For non-native English speakers hoping to study or pursue a career in an English-speaking country, the TOEFL exam certification is one you can present to the university boards or job recruiters as proof of your language expertise. The exam tests listening, speaking, writing, and reading skills, just like the IELTS. It’s an internet-based test (iBT) and spells Test of English as a Foreign Language hence TOEFL-iBT.
There are various online platforms providing TOEFL study resources for use to get ready for the test. Kaplan is one of them. The Kaplan test prep company started over eight decades ago to provide learners with prep materials and tips for crushing standardized tests.
However, just because the company is over 80 years old doesn’t mean it doesn’t keep up with current trends in the testing world. Indeed, Kaplan combines stellar algorithms and comprehensive prep material to provide learners with customized prep packages.
Here’s a deep dive into the features of the Kaplan TOEFL course, plus a look at the pros and cons and who it’s best suited for; keep reading to see the ultimate Kaplan TOEFL review from the prep experts at Prep Test Pros
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Kaplan TOEFL Review
The Kaplan TOEFL course is for learners who already know English and want to master the TOEFL curriculum. It combines video lessons and practice exams into a 3-month step-by-step self-paced prep.
It also comes with a coursebook that you can use online or print as a physical copy. The coursebook contains 100 plus more drills and score-improving strategies.
The course costs $349 for a one-time purchase or monthly subscriptions at $30 each.
Kaplan TOEFL Prep Course Features:
- Over 190 expert-led videos, in self-paced format for maximum flexibility
- Simulated practice that includes four full-length practice tests that look just like the real thing
- Graded essay assessments by Kaplan’s top writing experts
- Coursebook containing hundreds of practice problems and exam tips and strategies
- Higher score guarantee
What To Expect from The Kaplan TOEFL Course?
Different TOEFL prep services providers prioritize different things. For example, Magoosh prioritizes video instructions; you’ll get hundreds of these, containing English grammar lessons, exams tips, and explanations for each of the company’s 420+ practice questions.
PrepScholar prioritizes practice; they provide 1000 practice problems and promise a 15-point improvement. Kaplan, on its part, balances between practice and video lessons. You will get 190+ video lessons and 100-400 practice problems.
Kaplan TOEFL Video Lessons
These are high-quality videos prepared by Kaplan’s top TOEFL experts. They cover the TOEFL academic content, explain practice problems, and provide tips and strategies for success. The lessons are grouped into reading, writing, speaking, and listening sections to select the section you want to revise.
They also incorporate anxiety and stress management lessons to help keep you cool during the exam. Even gifted students get nervous during preparation and when sitting for the exam. Learning how to organize your prep and manage time during the exam is key to better performance. Kaplan video lessons teach language skills and effective stress-management needed for success.
Kaplan TOEFL Practice Exams
At different stages of your prep using Kaplan TOEFL, you will sit for four timed, full-length practice exams to assess your progress and identify opportunity areas for improvement.
These exams will also include graded writing assignments; the team at Kaplan will evaluate your writing work and provide direct feedback.
Kaplan’s TOEFL Prep Book
The TOEFL iBT Prep Plus book from Kaplan packs the company’s 80 years of expertise to provide learners with a competitive advantage.
It includes proven strategies, four practice tests, 100+ more practice problems, and audio samples to help improve your pronunciation and start sounding just like a native speaker. The book is available both online and offline.
Why Choose Kaplan TOEFL? 👍
The Kaplan TOEFL course combines structured video lessons, practice problems, and full-length practice tests into an easy-to-use 3-month study package. The Pros of the course include:
✅ 1. Practice Tests
As is common sense with all preps for standardized tests, you can’t miss practice tests. Practice tests help acclimatize learners with the exam structure to know what type of questions to expect, test duration, and manage their time. Practice tests help students build test-taking confidence, and during the actual exam, they won’t feel intimidated.
Kaplan TOEFL provides four full-length practice tests that you will have to take in the same setting as the actual exam at different stages of the course. This is an above-average number of practice exams, as most TOEFL courses on the market provide just about the same number. What’s advantageous with Kaplan is that your writing responses will be scored and by the company writing experts, who will then provide immediate feedback.
✅ 2. Higher Score Guarantee
Kaplan TOEFL doesn’t promise to improve your score by specific points. However, it does promise that if you follow the study guide to the latter, you will score higher than you did during your last attempt at the exam. What’s more, there’s a money-back guarantee on this promise. That means if you don’t perform better than you did before purchasing the course, you can ask for 100% compensation.
These guarantees show how much the Kaplan team is confident in the course; it’s all up to you to take advantage of the offer by preparing thoroughly, and if you don’t succeed, you can ask to be refunded.
✅ 3. Extensive Audio and Visual Material
Kaplan TOEFL provides the most number of video lessons, 190+ to be exact. The only other TOEFL course that comes close is BestMyTest (150+) and Magoosh’s (140+).
The video reviews concepts in the coursebook further, providing explanations for every practice problem and tips to manage stress during your prep and when sitting for the exam. The lessons are grouped according to the speaking, writing, and reading sections to make it easy to select which area to revise.
Furthermore, the course contains sample audios of everyday conversations and academic discussions of TOEFL concepts to give you a feel of what you will hear in the actual exam.
✅ 4. 6 Months of Access
The Kaplan TOEFL organizes lessons and practices into a three-month prep package. However, you will be allowed access to the course for six months after purchase. That way, you can take as long as necessary to go over the course repeatedly until you get the concepts and feel ready to take the exam.
✅ 5. Incorporates a Coursebook
Most modern test-takers indeed prefer an online course so they can study anywhere, anytime over the internet. However, there indeed are some who still prefer physical books. Kaplan caters to both types of students. It’s a trend with all the company’s courses to include course books containing extra practice problems, lessons, and exam tips.
The TOEFL course comes with a prep book for the revised TOEFL syllabus. The book is available online and in print too. Students are encouraged to use it alongside the online course. The online videos provide further explanations for concepts in the book.
✅ 6. Writing Feedback
Kaplan’s TOEFL practice tests are full-length, and the writing section will be graded by the company’s writing expert, who will then provide feedback on how to improve.
✅ 7. Stress Management Tips
It’s common for students to get nervous during the exam, even after thorough prep. The best prep courses know better than to not include stress management tips in their program. Kaplan TOEFL videos teach time management tips so you won’t feel overwhelmed in the exam.
What you might not like about Kaplan TOEFL 👎
That said, there are a few things you probably won’t like about the Kaplan TOEFL course. Here’s a look.
❌ 8. The Price
The Kaplan TOEFL course costs $349 for six months of access. That’s $200 way more than the Magoosh 6-month self-paced TOEFL course costs. In fact, Kaplan’s is the most expensive on our list of the best 10 TOEFL courses.
It costs $150 more than the second most expensive course. Worst of all, the Kaplan TOEFL doesn’t provide as many practice problems as PrepScholar TOEFL. It also doesn’t provide a mobile app like Magoosh TOEFL.
❌ 9. Not easy to use
The Kaplan TOEFL course combines an online dashboard and a coursebook. However, the dashboard doesn’t offer much, just a brief review of the contents in the TOEFL prep book. Now the book is available online and as a physical copy too.
However, that still makes things hard. Navigating any book, be it an eBook or a physical textbook, is hard for busy students who want to study on the move.
❌ 10. Only 100-400 practice questions
The Kaplan TOEFL book includes only 100-400 practice questions. Those are fewer than what you will get from PrepScholar (1000) or BestMyTest (1000+). If you are a serious learner looking for a substantial amount of practice, Kaplan TOEFL is not it; you will run out of practice questions after a short time.
❌11. No Private Tutoring
Learning English by oneself is not easy. It would help if you practiced in the company of other learners and experts to get feedback and change pronunciation, sentence structure, etc.
However, like most TOEFL courses on the market, Kaplan doesn’t include live online or private tutoring classes. In fact, the only TOEFL course that provides private coaching is the one offered by English Success Academy.
Who is Kaplan TOEFL Best Suited for? 🤔
Anyone can use Kaplan TOEFL to revise for the exam. However, the way the course is structured, you will benefit more if you are:
- A self-driven learner who is already confident in your English skills to study on your own
- A visual learner: the course provides the most number of video lessons
- Aural learner: the online dashboard includes audio samples of lectures and everyday conversations to help master TOEFL iBT
- Linguistic learner: you can print the TOEFL prep book for use offline
However, since the course relies more on the book rather than the online dashboard, busy students won’t find it easy to use. You will have to make time to navigate the coursebook then go online for video explanations, which is just not smooth.