Every year, thousands of students take the GMAT in the hopes of scoring high enough to gain admission into the graduate business program of their choice. It’s a challenging exam, and many turn to GMAT prep courses to give themselves the best chance of doing well. There are plenty of options for Dallas residents, but it can be difficult to know which to choose. We put together this guide to the best GMAT prep courses in Dallas to help you figure out which one is right for you.
Our team of experts compared 15 of the most popular GMAT prep courses in the Dallas metropolitan area to determine which offers the greatest value to students. We looked at the comprehensiveness of the instruction, the included study materials, the available means of student support and the options for customizing your study plan. Then, we reached out to former students of each course to get their insights into what they liked and disliked about the programs.
After analyzing all the data we collected, we ended up with three companies we felt confident recommending. Each of them offers in-person GMAT courses and private tutoring in one or more locations around Dallas. Kaplan was our favorite overall thanks to its high volume of classes and exclusive study materials, like the GMAT Channel and the Official Test-Day Experience. But depending on the type of program you’re looking for, you may prefer one of our other finalists instead. We recommend checking out all of your options before making a decision to ensure you find the program that’s best for you.
A Full List of Every GMAT Prep Course in Dallas Worth Considering
Our three finalists are listed below, as are the other 12 companies we considered but ultimately didn’t choose. You can read our reviews of our finalists and visit the company websites by clicking on the links below.
The 3 Best GMAT Prep Courses in Dallas
|Kaplan Test Prep||$799 - $4,999|
|The Princeton Review||$499 - $2,970|
|Manhattan Prep||$999 - $7,749|
The Other 12 GMAT Prep Courses in Dallas We Reviewed
|Dallas Admissions||Visit Site|
|GMAT Genius||Visit Site|
|GMAT Instructor||Visit Site|
|Manhattan Elite Prep||Visit Site|
|Manhattan Review||Visit Site|
|Next Step Test Prep||Visit Site|
|The Waterton Group||Visit Site|
|University of North Texas-Dallas||Visit Site|
|University of Texas-Dallas||Visit Site|
|Varsity Tutors||Visit Site|
|Victory Step Education||Visit Site|
The Most Important Features: Course Access, Materials, Instructor Support and Personalization
We weighed dozens of features when choosing the best GMAT prep courses in Dallas. They broke down into four categories: course access, materials, instructor support and personalization.
Each of our finalists hosts in-person GMAT prep classes and private tutoring in Dallas. They also offer self-paced and live online courses for students who can’t or don’t want to to travel to a physical location. When choosing our finalists, we looked at the variety of course formats and the frequency of new classes. We made sure that there were evening and weekend options available to suit those who cannot attend classes during the week. Kaplan performed the best in this category with three locations in the Dallas area and live courses starting every few weeks.
A GMAT prep course usually includes a textbook, a bank of practice questions and several full-length practice exams. The best programs will incorporate proctored practice exams to give you a sense of the test-day conditions and an accurate estimate of your score. Kaplan stands out again thanks to its Official Test-Day Experience, which enables students to take a proctored practice test at an actual testing facility. Its most impressive resource, however, is its GMAT Channel, a growing library of webinars contain over 30 hours of additional instruction.
Most GMAT prep courses give students a means of reaching out for help if they run into problems. This is usually limited to email or a forum, but some companies may offer a hotline as well. Support may also take the form of a score improvement guarantee, like those offered by Kaplan and The Princeton Review. If your scores don’t go up after completing the prep course, you will be eligible for either a free course retake or a full refund. There are certain criteria you must meet in order to qualify for these guarantees, so make sure you read the fine print before you sign up.
Every student has different strengths and weaknesses, and the best prep courses employ analytics to track these and generate custom study recommendations. These help optimize your study sessions so you’re always focused on the most relevant material for you. Private tutoring is another option for students interested in a personalized prep course, as are the short courses and workshops offered by companies like Manhattan Prep. If you only want to focus on a single section of the test or if you just need a quick refresher before your test day, these will save you a lot of money compared to a traditional prep course.
Choosing the Right Dallas GMAT Course Delivery Type for You
There are four main types of GMAT prep courses, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The right one for you depends on several factors, including your budget, schedule and learning style. We’ve outlined each of them below.
- Self-Paced: You purchase the course materials and study them at your own pace.
- Live Online: You log in to a virtual classroom at scheduled times and learn from a remote instructor.
- Live In-Person: You travel to a physical location and learn in an interactive classroom environment.
- Private Tutoring: A tutor works with you to build a custom study plan tailored to your needs and schedule.
- Cheapest courses
- Choose when you study
- Move at your own pace
- Requires self-discipline
- Less personalized
- Little or no instructor help
Who It’s Best For
A self-paced course works best for those with busy schedules and independent, self-motivated learners who want the freedom to move at their own pace.
- Join from anywhere
- Can get personalized assistance
- Schedule keeps you on track
- Less interactive than in-person courses
- Technical difficulties are possible
Who It’s Best For
A live online course is great for those who want the interactivity of an in-person course and the flexibility to learn from anywhere offered by a self-paced course.
- Distraction-free environment
- Familiar classroom setting
- Interact with instructor and other students
- Travel involved
- Can’t alter schedule
- More expensive than online-only courses
Who It’s Best For
A live in-person prep course is a good fit for students who prefer a highly interactive learning environment and those who want personalized assistance when they need it.
- Tailored instruction
- Personalized study plans
- Choose from online or in person format
Who It’s Best For
Private tutoring is ideal for students who are looking to retake the GMAT and those who have to bring their scores up significantly.
Full Reviews of the Best GMAT Prep Courses in Dallas
Kaplan Test Prep GMAT Review
Best for comprehensive instruction.
Kaplan goes beyond your basic textbook and practice questions to deliver one of the most thorough GMAT prep courses on the market. In addition to the 18 hours of live instruction, you can head over to the GMAT Channel to view 30 hours of additional video lessons and join new webinars live. There’s also the Official Test-Day Experience, which enables you to take one of the company’s nine practice tests at a real testing facility under proctored conditions. These are resources you won’t find with any other company, so if they interest you, Kaplan is worth a closer look.
What to Expect
Kaplan has three in-person locations in the Dallas area with courses starting about once per month. Each class meets for six three-hour sessions over the course of three or six weeks. Most classes take place on weekday evenings, but there are some weekend options as well for those who can’t attend at any other time. If you can’t find an in-person course that suits your schedule, we recommend checking out their live online programs instead. There are new classes kicking off every couple of days and you’ll have more choices in scheduling.
In addition to the classroom hours, all live courses include the textbooks and online materials that make up the self-paced course. These include more than 5,000 practice questions and nine full-length, computer-adaptive practice tests. You also get full access to the GMAT Channel, a library of over 30 hours of webinars covering various aspects of the GMAT and business school admissions. You can sort through these videos by instructor, topic or difficulty until you find one that interests you. New webinars are being added all the time, and if you tune into them live, you can ask questions just as you would in a regular class.
Private tutoring is an option if you’re interested in a completely customized study plan, but Kaplan’s tutoring isn’t meant for those who only need a little bit of help. You must commit to at least 15 hours of tutoring upfront, and packages go up in 10-hour increments from there. If you only need assistance with a single question type, you’d be better off going with one of the company’s PLUS plans, which comes with three hours of private tutoring, or else exploring other options like The Princeton Review.
Kaplan Test Prep GMAT Details
|GMAT Prep - Self-Paced||$799|
|GMAT Prep - Self-Paced PLUS||$999|
|GMAT Prep - Live Online||$1,249|
|GMAT Prep - Live Online PLUS||$1,649|
|GMAT Prep - In Person||$1,449|
|GMAT Prep - In Person PLUS||$1,849|
|Private Tutoring (15 Hours)||$2,799|
|Private Tutoring (25 Hours)||$3,899|
|Private Tutoring (35 Hours)||$4,999|
The Princeton Review GMAT Review
Best for affordable GMAT tutoring and practice tests.
The Princeton Review is your best option if you’re interested in private GMAT tutoring that doesn’t break the bank. Packages are flexible, and you can start with as little as three hours. Like the other companies on this list, The Princeton Review also hosts live and self-paced GMAT prep courses. And with 4,000 practice questions and 10 full-length practice tests, you don’t have to worry about running out of study materials.
What to Expect
The Princeton Review has a single in-person location in nearby Plano, Texas, and there are new GMAT prep courses starting every couple of weeks. Most of them take place in the evenings, but a few of the weekend classes are during the afternoons. Each course meets once or twice per week for nine three-hour sessions. During this time, your instructor will walk you through the concepts you’re likely to be tested on and strategies for tackling different types of problems. You’ll work through some examples together in class, and then you’ll practice more on your own for homework.
The live courses also come with access to the materials that make up the self-paced program. These include video lectures, drills and Hard Math workshops, as well as 10 full-length practice tests and 4,000 additional practice questions. All of your answers are tracked, and the computer uses it to generate custom study recommendations that keep you focused on the material that’s most relevant to you, so you can improve your performance in low-scoring areas. The Princeton Review’s resources also include LiveGrader essay software to give you feedback on your Analytical Writing responses and to show you how you can improve your answers.
Unlike the other companies on this list, The Princeton Review lets you pay for tutoring by the hour, and the rates are very reasonable. You must start with at least three hours of tutoring, but you can choose how much you move up from there. If you’re planning on doing a comprehensive review of the test, you’re better off paying for more hours upfront because you’ll get a discount.
The Princeton Review GMAT Details
|Ultimate In Person||$1,299|
|Private Tutoring - Flexible Plan (3 Hours)||$510|
|Private Tutoring - Targeted Package (10 Hours)||$1,555|
|Private Tutoring - Comprehensive Package (22 Hours)||$2,970|
Manhattan Prep GMAT Review
Best for quality instructors and flexibility.
Manhattan Prep is the only company on this list to offer section-specific courses and workshops, so it’s an ideal solution for those who only need help on a single section of the test. Complete courses and private tutoring are available as well, but you’ll pay extra for Manhattan Prep’s 99th-percentile instructors. According to students, it’s worth the additional cost. They report the instructors are knowledgeable, friendly and genuinely motivated to help you succeed.
What to Expect
Manhattan Prep has a single location in downtown Dallas, and it hosts in-person GMAT prep courses about once a month. Students meet once per week for nine three-hour sessions where they’ll cover each section of the exam in depth. Courses are usually in the evenings, and there are some weekend classes available as well. If you can’t find an option that works with your schedule, you can always try the live online programs, which kick off every few days. There’s also the self-paced Interact course, and it gives you the unique option of purchasing the Quant and Verbal sections separately, so if you only need help with one, you don’t have to pay for materials you won’t use. The company also hosts short two- to three-hour workshops on different aspects of the exam, and these are another alternative to a full prep course if you just need a quick refresher.
Every Manhattan Prep GMAT course comes with 10 strategy guides, on-demand video lessons, a huge question bank and six full-length, computer-adaptive practice tests. Your performance is tracked by the GMAT Navigator tool, so you can see how well you’re doing in each area and where you could benefit from further study. All of these online materials are mobile-friendly, so you can access them from your Android or iOS device if you’re not near a computer.
Tutoring is also available, and you can start with as little as five hours. Manhattan Prep’s rates are the highest on the list, and it may cost too much for some. But if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth looking into. All of Manhattan Prep’s instructors have scored in the 99th percentile on a real GMAT, and they have extensive experience teaching the exam. Students have had a lot of positive things to say about Manhattan Prep’s tutors, but if for some reason you’re not happy, the company will assign you a new tutor at no additional charge.
Manhattan Prep GMAT Details
|GMAT Interact (Self-Study)||$999|
|Complete Course - Online||$1,299|
|Complete Course - In Person||$1,599|
|Private Tutoring (5 hours)||$1,250|
|Private Tutoring (10 hours)||$2,450|
|Private Tutoring (15 hours)||$3,525|
|Private Tutoring (20 hours)||$4,600|
|Private Tutoring (25 hours)||$5,625|
|Prep + Admissions - Pre-Application||$3,399|
|Prep + Admissions - 1-School Package||$5,299|
|Prep + Admissions - 3-School Package||$7,749|
|GMAT Bootcamp - Online||$2,650|
|GMAT Bootcamp - In Person||$2,950|
Frequently Asked Questions About the GMAT
In order to prepare for the GMAT, you need to know more than just the material you’re going to be tested on. We’ve answered some of the most common questions about the exam below. If there’s anything we missed, feel free to reach out and let us know.
What are the most important things to know prior to taking the GMAT?
If you’re planning on taking the GMAT, you should have some idea of your chosen school’s requirements and deadlines, the test format and the exam-day rules you’ll be expected to follow.
Every graduate business program sets its own bar for GMAT scores. You should be aware of what kind of score you’ll need to achieve in order to get into the school of your choice. Do some research online and see what you can find. Most schools will list a range of scores they’ll accept or the average GMAT scores of their student bodies. Write down any numbers that you find, and set this as your goal.
You also need to be aware of application deadlines to ensure that you get your score reports in on time. It takes about 20 days after the exam for your scores to reach the schools you selected, and if you added additional schools after the test, it could take another week for these reports to go out. Make sure to account for this delay when choosing your test dates and, if possible, take the exam well in advance of the deadline, so you have time to retake it if you need to.
The GMAT is a computer-based test that measures your skill in four main areas: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning. The Quantitative and Verbal sections are computer-adaptive, which means that the question difficulty adjusts based on your previous answers. This helps the test creators to more accurately judge your level of knowledge. Because of this arrangement, there’s no way to skip questions and return to them later. If you’re unsure of an answer, all you can do is make your best guess.
Not all of the questions on the exam are scored. On each test, there are a handful of unscored pretest questions included by the test creators to measure their difficulty. Those that pass the test will be included as graded items in future versions of the exam. You won’t know which questions are the pretest items, so you must assume that all of them are going to count. It’s important to be aware of these extra questions, though, so that you can budget your time appropriately.
The GMAT is administered at Pearson VUE testing centers nationwide. Make sure you know how to get to your nearest testing facility, and arrive at least a half hour early on exam day. You must bring a government-issued photo ID with you, and you should be prepared for additional identity checks like a fingerprint scan and test-day photo. Business schools can request this photo along with your score report to ensure that the person applying is the same one who sat for the test.
You can’t bring any personal items with you into the testing room. The exam proctor will give you a secure locker where you can store your belongings for the duration of the test. You will be provided with scratch paper and a pencil for the Quantitative section. For a full list of the rules and procedures you’ll be expected to follow at the testing center, visit Pearson VUE’s website.
How much time should I spend studying for the GMAT?
The amount of time you need to spend preparing for the GMAT depends on several factors. When creating your study plan, focus on the following things.
Your Current Knowledge
Take a timed practice test to figure out how close you are to you goal. Use your results as your guide when planning your study schedule. It’s best to do a comprehensive review of the entire test, but if time is short, you may want to opt for a shorter class or workshop like the ones offered by Manhattan Prep. Keep taking practice tests as you go to measure your progress.
Your Application Deadline
It’s best to leave yourself at least two possible test dates in case you don’t get the score you want on your first try. Keep in mind the 20-day delay in schools receiving your score reports. Once you’ve chosen your first test date, you can begin to work backwards from there to figure out when you need to start studying. If your application deadline is rapidly approaching, you’ll obviously have to put in more hours per week than someone who has months until they must submit their scores.
If you’re enrolled in a GMAT prep course, there may already be a course schedule for you to follow. But if you’re studying on your own, you’ll have to build one for yourself. It’s best to set aside some designated studying time each week in order to keep yourself on track. Plan out what you want to cover each week, and leave yourself a little extra time in case you want to do a final review at the end.
How is the GMAT scored?
The GMAT consists of 91 questions broken down into four sections. Each section has its own grading system, and the results are added together to reach the total score, which ranges from 200 to 800 with most students scoring between 400 and 600. We discuss the scoring for each section in detail below.
Section 1: Analytical Writing Assessment
This section gives you 30 minutes to answer a single essay question. The prompt will give you a short passage to read, and you’ll be asked to analyze the author’s arguments. Your response is graded twice—once by a human grader trained for the task and once by a computer software—on a scale from 0 to 6. If the two scores are very different, another human grader will be brought in and the human scores will be averaged instead. You can request a rescore for $45 if you feel you were graded unfairly, but you should note that this could just as easily result in a lower score.
Section 2: Integrated Reasoning
This section is also 30 minutes long and consists of 12 multi-part questions. You must answer all parts in order to receive credit. These questions ask you to look at a chart or read a passage and then draw inferences based on what you find there. Your responses are graded on a scale from 1 to 8.
Sections 3 and 4: Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning
These two sections form the bulk of the exam. Each is 75 minutes long. The Quantitative section has 37 questions while the Verbal section has 41. These parts are computer-adaptive, which means the question difficulty will adjust as you go. You begin with a question of medium-difficulty, and whether you answer it right or wrong determines if the next question is easier or harder. You get more points for correctly answering difficult questions. Your results are scored out of 60 in each category, and you’ll be able to view these scores as soon as you finish the exam.
How important is the GMAT to business school admissions?
The GMAT has become a central component of most business school applications because it’s an easy way for schools to compare potential applicants. It also helps them measure your readiness to tackle the challenging graduate-level coursework. But the GMAT is only one piece in a larger picture that includes your undergraduate transcripts, work history, letters of recommendation, interview and essay.
Every school weighs these components a little differently, so there’s no way to know how big of a role your GMAT scores will play in your application. You should try to aim for the school’s average GMAT score if you can. Do some research online to figure out what this is. If a range of acceptable scores is given, aim for the high end of it just to be on the safe side.
It’s not the end of the world if you fall a little short, though. Your GMAT scores are only one dimension of your application. A strong undergraduate transcript and work history can help make up for a lower test score. Schools also want to get to know you to make sure that you’d fit in with its culture and values. That’s where your interview, essay and letters of recommendation come in. Take these other components of your application just as seriously as you do the GMAT.
How do I send my GMAT scores to schools?
On the day of the test, you’ll be able to select up to five schools that you’d like to receive your GMAT scores. There is no cost for these first five reports, as it’s already built in to the testing fee. Once your official results are released 20 days after the test, the reports are automatically sent out to the schools you selected. This is all you need to do unless you’re planning on submitting your results to more than five schools.
In that case, you can add additional recipients by contacting the Graduate Management Admission Council, the creator of the GMAT. You can either call them or fill out the request form and mail it in. Each additional score report costs $28. Unlike the schools you choose on test day, these extra schools won’t receive your GMAT scores as soon as they’re available. It takes an extra week for these reports to be sent out, so bear this in mind when thinking about application deadlines.
You can cancel your scores on the day of your test if you feel you didn’t do well, but this generally isn’t a smart move. It’s difficult to predict how you did, and if you cancel your scores, future reports will indicate that you did so—not to mention, you’ll be out the $250 exam fee. If you’re worried, it might be best to wait to submit your scores until you see your results and then decide how you want to proceed from there.
Key Statistics of the GMAT
The GMAT total score ranges from 200 to 800. Each section has its own scoring system as well. We’ve gathered some statistics to show you how your scores measure up against others who have taken the GMAT in the last few years. All data is rounded up to the closest percentile listed.
90th Percentile: 710
70th Percentile: 640
50th Percentile: 580
30th Percentile: 500
10th Percentile: 390
90th Percentile: 8
70th Percentile: 6
50th Percentile: 5
30th Percentile: 3
10th Percentile: 2
90th Percentile: 40
70th Percentile: 34
50th Percentile: 28
30th Percentile: 22
10th Percentile: 15
90th Percentile: 51
70th Percentile: 48
50th Percentile: 43
30th Percentile: 36
10th Percentile: 23
90th Percentile: 6
70th Percentile: 5.5
50th Percentile: 5
30th Percentile: 4.5
10th Percentile: 3.5