Jamboree vs The Princeton Review vs Kaplan [Offcially Comparison]

Jamboree vs The Princeton Review vs Kaplan

Studying abroad has become a raging trend in India. While the quality of educational institutions in India has improved significantly from what it was in the previous century.

Jamboree vs The Princeton Review vs Kaplan Prep

Jamboree, TPR and Kaplan are some of the biggest names in GMAT and GRE preparation

However, the lure of studying at the world’s best institutions with arguably the world’s brightest is often too tempting for most students to turn down. MBA courses at top Ivy League schools and other universities in Europe and Asia attract a lot of attention from students in India. In the race to reach these top institutions, a good GMAT score becomes indispensable to boost a student’s application.

Roman Ahuja, a faculty at a top CAT prep institute explains some key differences between MBA admissions in India and abroad. ‘In India, it is all about the exam whether it’s engineering or MBA. Passing the exam is the biggest test. Admissions abroad, especially for mainstream postgraduate courses such as MBA and MS, are a long winded process with a lot of variables.

You have to pass the exam, but that is not the end of the story. There are LORs, SOPs and essays students need to prepare. Then there is also an interview round.

When asked whether Indian institutions must also incorporate such a selection criteria, Roman was indifferent to the idea. ‘I don’t know if it would do any good. The top foreign universities need to have such an intensive selection process because they receive application from around the world. They need a highly streamlined process. In India, we already have GD & PI rounds to assess the candidates on a more holistic level’

One interesting point Roman made was our fascination with exams. Take GMAT and GRE for instance. While the scores themselves carry far less weightage in the overall scheme of things, most students tend to believe otherwise. Their main focus is on getting a high score in these objective exams rather than trying to build a wholesome profile.

For this very reason, GMAT and GRE coaching have become a key part of India’s coaching classes industry. While domestic MBA entrance exam coaching centres also provide training for GMAT and GRE, there are a few institutes which specialize in training students for entrance exams to foreign universities.

GMAT or CAT: Which is a better indicator of proficiency?

Indian academicians have often raised hue and cry about the reason behind IIMs not accepting GMAT scores and instead conducting their own entrance exam.

GMAT is a world-renowned test accepted by practically every top B-school in the world. The question is, who do the IIMs have a problem with it?

Kumar Anand, an educationist and former faculty at a top B-school in Bangalore, explains some of the reservations about GMAT. ‘The problem with GMAT, more than anything else is logistics. Right now, you have the CAT exam. Students pass CAT exam and are subsequently invited to the PI round. Its simple and easy to handle. CAT is held only once every year, so it gives admission offices at various IIMs time to set their office straight.’

‘GMAT on the other hand is held across the year. If the IIMs start accepting GMAT scores for regular PGDM admissions, the institutions will have to spend a chunk of their money on admissions alone. It will be a logistical hazard’

Another aspect Kumar feels pegs GMAT lower is the emphasis on writing. ‘India is a multilingual country. Some people have e very sharp brain, but lack the linguistic skills to attempt the writing section successfully. Just because a candidate cannot write an essay does not mean he is devoid of any managerial talent. The CAT exam has a section testing language skills as well, but it is divided fairly with other quantitative questions’

Does this mean the GMAT exam is a bad idea to start with? If so, why do so many B-schools around the world accept GMAT scores as a parameter for offering admissions? We asked Kumar the same question, who broke into a smile.

‘Now-now, let’s not create a mountain out of a mole-hill. India is a unique country with unique requirements. The US is not a multilingual country. If you want to go and study there, the university has every right to know whether you’ll be able to understand the language. This is why they prefer GMAT. It suits their case, and the CAT exam suits ours’

We also asked Kumar his opinion about the improvements which can be made in the CAT exam. ‘Of course improvements can be made. I personally feel engineering students find it comparatively easier to deal with a major portion of the syllabus. The CAT conveners should find a way to neutralize this advantage. Many humanities students have great aptitude in management, but they miss out due to the vigorous attention to problem solving abilities. Right now, the number of engineers who make it to B-schools is astonishing. If anything, the selection procedure can be balanced out a bit more’

‘This is where CAT can learn from GMAT. The ratio of engineers coming through B-schools is far less outside India. I’m not suggesting ground-breaking changes, but something needs to be done’

The counter question is quite obvious: does the problem lie with the questioning pattern or the quality of education in non-engineering backgrounds? Kumar refuses to be pulled into an argument over the quality of education.

‘I can’t make such an assumption. I can say for sure that the CAT exam conveners can bring some changes. About the quality of education provided, you will have to ask someone else. I would concede that the style of teaching at top engineering colleges suits CAT preparation. Engineering students are much more adaptable than say, a B.Com graduate who has spent three years ploughing through core commerce textbooks. The ability to improvise is crucial for exams like CAT and this is where engineers take the cake’

GMAT and GRE coaching

There are several coaching institutes around India offering GMAT and GRE coaching to students looking to pursue studies abroad. Besides the old players such as Jamboree and The Princeton Review, there has been a notable emergence of a number of other coaching alternatives such as BYJU’s and Pythagurus. 

For any student looking to choose the right coaching centre, there is no pliable means or methods to judge how one coaching institute compares to the other which is strange considering the amount of money involved in paying for these classes.

We attempt to solve this problem students face and compare some of the well known GMAT coaching institutes.

Jamboree

One of the most famous names in GMAT and GRE preparation, Jamboree has morphed into an edu-prep powerhouse over the recent years with the increasing dependency of students on coaching centres.

With centres across major cities in India and a few abroad, Jamboree has become a name synonymous with study prep for foreign universities.

Jamboree

Jamboree is amongst the most well known GMAT coaching institutes in India

Last year, Jamboree recorded the highest number of scores over 700 in GMAT and highest number of scores over 325 in GRE in India alone. This performance further solidified its reputation as the go-to institute for GMAT and GRE coaching in India.

Besides classroom programs, Jamboree also offers online training and private tutoring for GMAT and GRE. It also offers admission counselling to students looking to move abroad for higher education.

Jamboree course fee has been given in the table below. Keep in mind, the fees varies with the desired centre.

Course

Fees (in Rs)

GMAT classroom training

39,200/-

GRE classroom program

30,400/-

GMAT online course

20,600/-

GRE online course

11,400/-

SAT classroom training

32,600/-

The Princeton Review

With a popular Ivy-League school lending weight to its name, The Princeton Review is one of the biggest test prep companies in the world. Its influence on the GMAT and GRE coaching scene is very significant, considering the Princeton brand name coming with its own reputation and backing.

In India, The Princeton Review works through its partner, Manya Group. With the aid of Manya, The Princeton Review has managed to match the ground game of other GMAT/GRE coaching institutes. Offering comprehensive classroom programs across various centres in India, The Princeton Review has become a major player in India itself.

Like Jamboree, The Princeton Review also offers admission counselling to students around India. Having recorded impressive results in the past few years since its collaboration with Manya in GMAT and GRE, The Princeton Review has a very good chance of challenging Jamboree for the behemoth of India’s GMAT and GRE coaching market.

The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review is one of the most acclaimed test prep companies in the world

Manhattan Prep

Based in New York, Manhattan Prep is a globally known test prep organisation. Offering courses for GMAT, GRE, LSAT, ACT and TOEFL, Manhattan Prep doesn’t have ground-presence in India, but its online courses remain a lucrative option for a number of students.

Manhattan Prep

Manhattan Prep is a US-based test prep giant referred by many GMAT aspirants every year

The online courses comprise of high quality instructors teaching a small batch of students online. The curriculum and teaching is designed based upon umpteen amount of research done by analysts.

In India, Manhattan Prep only offers live online courses as GMAT and GRE training. These courses are structured to be held once a week over three months. Each class is three hours long covering each aspect of GMAT and GRE preparation.

The fee details of the course have been explained below:

Course

Exam

Fees

Live Online Winter U 2018

GMAT

$1299

Live Online K Winter 2018

GRE

$999

Just Math: Live Online March A 2018 

GRE

$599

Live Online February 2 Week Boot Camp

GMAT

$2650

Kaplan Prep

Kaplan Prep

Yet another US based test prep giants, Kaplan is well known in India through its published GMAT & GRE textbooks

Kaplan is yet another world renowned brand name in the exam coaching industry, especially for standardized tests such as GMAT and GRE. While it has no centres in India, it maintains a well established name amongst GMAT aspirants here through the popularity of its published prep books and online classroom training.

Like Manhattan prep, Kaplan is also based in the US. However, the assortments of exams covered under the training programs at Kaplan far outweigh those of Manhattan Prep. From the regular GMAT and GRE to other popular exams in the US such as LSAT, ACT, SAT, DAT, MCAT, BAR and various other professional exams across different lines of work.

However, its main focus on pull remains GMAT and GRE training. Besides regular online training exams, Kaplan also offers private tutoring to students who feel they need the extra help. The fee details of the courses offered are in the table below.

Course

Fees

GRE (Online or In-person)

$1099

GMAT (Online or In-person)

$1099

GRE Self Paced (Online)

$699

GMAT Self Paced (Online)

$799

GRE Private Tutoring (Online or In-person)

$2299

GMAT Private Tutoring (Online or In-person)

$2599

Pythagurus

Pythagurus is a Gurgaon-based education company providing admission counselling for foreign university admissions and GMAT training to MBA aspirants.

A start-up launched by a team of MBA graduates from some of the best B-schools in the US, Pythagurus’s USP lies in its well entrenched faculty who have a hands-on experience on how to crack exams such as GMAT and GRE.

Their GMAT training course is an 11-week long exercise to acclimatize students to the nuances and challenges posed by the exam. Besides exam preparation, the course also helps students prepare for the test after GMAT, successfully applying for the college. This includes refining and reengineering a student’s standard resume into a business school standard resume. 

The price of the GMAT course is Rs. 34,000/-

Besides GMAT training, Pythagurus is extremely popular for admission counselling and essay preparation to be very precise. Due to the presence of some experienced professionals at their behest, Pythagurus has the potential to become a major player in the GMAT prep industry.

CrackVerbal

With a name colloquial with the general population of GMAT and GRE aspirants, CrackVerbal is a Bangalore-based GMAT and GRE coaching institute.

CrackVerbal started back in 2006 as an attempt to prepare Indian students for GMAT and GRE in a manner which isn’t influenced by the American style of learning, but rather accommodative of Indian educative tendencies. 

CrackVerbal

CrackVerbal is a Indian GMAT & GRE training institute based in Bangalore where it has found great success

The classroom preparation program is offered only in the Bangalore centre of the institute. CrackVerbal does offer online courses to students for GMAT and GRE preparation as well. A key part of CrackVerbal’s success lies in a single minded approach to develop and refine teaching resources to aid students in their preparation efforts.

The course details are explained in the table below.

Course

Fees (Rs.)

GRE Verbal Online

6,350/-

GRE Quant Online

6,350/-

GRE Verbal + Quant

8,500/-

GMAT Verbal Online

12,900/-

GMAT Quant Online

12,900/-

GMAT Verbal + Quant

19,400/-

Veritas Prep

A name synonymous with test preparation in the States is Veritas Prep. Started back in 2002 by a group of Yale graduates, Veritas has become a major player in the test prep sector having secured top-draw results in the past few years.

The USP of Veritas which is found lacking in some of their competitors is their ability to gauge on-ground realities. GMAT and GRE preparation requires constant development and refinement of teaching resources which can otherwise become redundant. Veritas trumps its competition in this regard by constantly striving to improve the quality of the courses it offers.

Veritas Prep

Veritas is a well known name in the GMAT & GRE prep sector

Besides GMAT and GRE, Veritas also offers test prep programs for SAT and ACT.

The fees of the programs offered at Veritas Prep are given below:

Course

Fees

GMAT Online Classroom

$1,500

GRE Online Classroom

$899

GMAT Private Tutoring (30 hours)

$6,450

GRE Self Study Package

$167

GMAT Self Study

$775

Besides test prep, Veritas also offers post-exam support to students in the form of admission counselling for students in the US and abroad. 

BYJU's

While BYJU’s is more famous for domestic competitive exams such as JEE and CAT, it also offers GMAT preparation modules through its much acclaimed tablet format.

Though the course contents are very comprehensive and detailed, BYJU’s still has significant ground to cover to match the brand reliability in the field of GMAT and GRE training.

The GMAT and GRE course are priced at around Rs. 25,000 which is still more than acclaimed online competitive exams where it has gained a sizable footprint; GMAT prep remains an area where it can improve.

The Comparison

Having discussed some of the popular GMAT and GRE coaching institutes, we will now move on to comparing them on a common pedestal.

To complete any worthwhile comparison, it is important to establish certain factors which decide the supposed merit of a coaching institute. These factors are:

  1. Affordability

Many candidates often find highly expensive GMAT & GRE programs off-putting as the courses aren’t as long and simply do not warrant too much financial investment. If you’re already going to spend a pile of money on an MBA degree, it makes little sense in spending an extremely high sum on test prep separately.

  1. Course length

Shorter courses are usually better, but this factor is purely subjective to different students. One thing to be sure is that a course shouldn’t be too long. GMAT doesn’t requisite ten months of separated preparation, but 3-4 months of rigorous studies. A shorter course is usually the better choice.

  1. Presence of classroom program

There is a reason why classroom teaching is still assumed to be the best mode of teaching. The presence of a faculty in a classroom setting coupled with competing peers breathing down a student’s neck contribute heavily to the learning curve of a student.

  1. Perception

For the success of any public enterprise, perception plays a huge role. When we are talking about coaching institutes, perception plays an even more important role as no student will join a training program offered by a dubious organization

Company

Affordability (out of 10)

Course Length (Ideally between 2-4 months)

Presence of classroom program

Perception (out of 10)

Jamboree

8.5

-

-

9.1

Fees is lower than some other courses offered by companies abroad

≈ 3 months

Classroom training programs offered across 15 centres in India

Perception is solid as it is the most recognizable name for GMAT/GRE prep in India

The Princeton Review

8.0

-

-

9.1

Fees is very high due to disparity in exchange rate as TPR is a American organization

Online course so no particular course length

Classroom programs offered by TPR’s Indian partner Manya

Perception regarding TPR is very good

Manhattan Prep

7.9

-

-

9.0

Fees is very high for conventional GMAT aspirants in India

2-3 months

Classroom programs not offered, but facility to avail 1-on-1 tutoring is available in-person and online

Perception amongst students is stellar

Kaplan Prep

8.0

-

-

8.8

Fees is high for regular candidates to afford

2-3 months

Classroom program not available, but private tutoring offered to students in-person and online

Perception is very good, with the institute also famous for its published GMAT & GRE prep books

Pythagurus

8.6

-

-

8.6

Affordable in comparison to some other coaching institutes

3-4 months

Classroom program available only in Gurgaon

Less popular, but regarded highly by a niche group of aspirants

Veritas Prep

8.0

-

-

9.1

Fees is high for common Indian GMAT and GRE candidates

2-3 months

Classroom program not available, but private tutoring offered to students in-person and online

Very popular amongst GMAT and GRE aspirants

CrackVerbal

9.1

-

-

8.7

Within the financial means of general GMAT aspirants

3-4 months

Classroom program available only in Bangalore

Fairly popular amongst aspirants in India

BYJU’S

8.3

-

-

8.9

Priced lower than other GMAT coaching institutes, but lack of live teaching means it essentially becomes a self study course in which regard it is very expensive

Online course so no pre-decided course length

No classroom program available

Very popular amongst its niche group of SSC and IBPS aspirants

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Student Discussion

  • Jayanth R 2016-08-20 08:18:51

    Placements are similar. If you are dependent on college campus selection, either be the topper or forget the placement. In spite of scoring 83% I preferred going to market and find job, though few of my classmates got placed in Tech Supports and BPOs from college. Few were placed in HCL also.

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