Magoosh Review Introduction
Founded in 2008, Magoosh (a play on the Persian word “magush,” which alludes to a highly learned person), is an online platform that takes the stress out of studying for standardized tests.
To date, more than 1.5 million people from 185 different countries have chosen to study for their exams with Magoosh. Aspiring standardized test students have watched 8 million hours of Magoosh video lessons and answered 300 million practice questions within Magoosh’s system.
Magoosh’s courses certainly seem to have a good track record of helping students achieve their goals. Looking at the GMAT, for example, an average Magoosh student scores 90 points higher than other GMAT students. And, whereas only 10% of all GMAT takers score above 700, as many as 30% of Magoosh students have achieved a score surpassing 700. For aspiring business school students, this is an attractive statistic.
What Is Magoosh?
Magoosh is an online test preparation company based in Berkeley, California. The platform prepares students for competitive exams (including the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT, or IELTS) via video lessons and practice test questions.
With always available lessons and test questions, Magoosh is great for busy professionals who might not be able to set aside a lot of time for studying each week. Since most lessons are taught via video and all Magoosh practice tests also come with a video explanation, the platform is ideal for those who learn best through watching videos.
Magoosh isn’t just for first-time exam takers. It’s excellent for improving old scores too. If you’re planning to retake a standardized test, Magoosh promises to improve your previous score — or give you your money back.
One thing that makes Magoosh stand out from its competitors is its price. Magoosh’s courses are available at a fraction of the cost of similar services like the Princeton Review, Manhattan Prep, or Kaplan.
How does Magoosh Work?
Regardless of which standardized test you’re studying for, using Magoosh involves the following steps:
1. Register for a Magoosh account
Registering an account with Magoosh is simple. If you’re signing up for a free trial (I signed up for a free GRE trial), all you have to do is fill out your email address, create a password, and consent to Magoosh using your personal data to record your progress.
If you’re paying for a course, you’ll need to do all of the above, as well as fill out your payment details. Magoosh accepts most credit and debit cards, PayPal, and Alipay.
2. Complete your profile and take a video tour of the site
After you register with Magoosh, you need to fill out your profile. This means answering a range of questions, including your name, upcoming test date, target score, actual score (if you’ve taken the exam before), and more. The questions differ depending on which exam you’re studying for.
Next, you’re given a (skippable) video tour of the platform and links to more resources, like mobile apps, study plans, eBooks, and official guide explanations. I found the video tour genuinely helpful for quickly familiarizing myself with the site layout.
3. Take a short quiz to find out your ideal study schedule
After completing your profile and orienting yourself within Magoosh’s site, you have to answer a few more questions so Magoosh can figure out a study schedule that fits your needs. Questions here include confirmation of your test date, your familiarity with the test (in my case, the GRE), and the subjects you want to focus on.
The test matched me with a three-month beginner schedule. However, if you’re not happy with the study schedule, you can always choose another option.
As I was completing the short quiz, a popup message appeared. The message was from Chris, one of the GRE experts at Magoosh, who welcomed me to the platform and wished me good luck with my studies. I thought that that was a nice touch.
4. Watch the video lessons
It’s time to start studying! As soon as you complete the quiz and agree with the study schedule, you’re taken to your dashboard, which displays daily lessons developed by Magoosh’s expert tutors. You also get to see when and what you should study to reach your goal.
My study schedule was divided into 12 weeks or 84 days. Every 7th day I was given a break, and on days 34, 48, 62, 76, and 83, I was supposed to take a mock test. A week after the test, I was scheduled to review all the answers I got wrong.
Day one was pretty easy, with six introductory lessons that ran through things like what’s on the GRE and the test’s scoring range.
The first day’s lessons, which were mostly video-based, were quite short (the longest was 10 minutes) and, in total, took about 30 minutes to complete.
Day two was similar to day one, with more introductory videos (tips on stress management and what to expect on the test day). I imagine that if your test was due sooner, the two days would probably be merged into one.
Day three was when things got serious. There were seven lessons in total, and some of them were quite long (up to 40 minutes). However, I liked that there was a time estimate (1 hour and 21 minutes for day three) for the lessons, so you know how long your study session should take.
On day three, which was all about math, the instructor went straight to practice questions and noted that a full mathematical solution isn’t always necessary. To save time, it sometimes pays to use a logical solution instead. Then he demonstrated how to do that with a specific math problem.
Every video has space for notes. If you want to refer to your notes later, you’ll find them in your dashboard organized by subject area. I generally find sorting through bundles of notes before exams extremely stressful, so I thought that this was a great feature.
Each video also has a transcript, so you can read what’s being said (a handy feature for non-native English speakers). Most video lessons include related blog posts and a frequently asked questions section, as well.
If you want to learn while on the go, you can watch video lessons via Magoosh’s mobile app.
5. Complete a quick quiz
Magoosh offers a short quiz after each lesson that relates to the content you’ve just studied. If you don’t pass this quiz, you can retake it, but you’ll get different questions each time. You can review all of your answers at the end.
6. Answer practice questions
You’re not limited to just one quiz after each lesson. You can take as many quizzes or practice tests as you want.
You can even tailor practice tests to your liking. For example, for math, you can choose:
- Question type. All, multiple-choice, numeric entry, quantitative, etc.
- Subject. Algebra, geometry, coordinate plane, etc.
- Difficulty level. Adaptive, easy, medium, hard, or very hard.
- Question pool. Unanswered, answered and unanswered, incorrect, or flagged.
- Number of questions. 5, 10, 20, unlimited, or custom.
- Time limit. 10, 15, 20, 30, unlimited, or custom.
- Mode. Practice (show explanations after each question) or quiz (hide explanations until the end).
Since I chose practice quiz mode, I could see both the correct answer after each question as well as how long it took me to answer it. I also got a short explanation (video and text) and related lessons.
As I sometimes find written answer explanations difficult to follow, I liked how easy it was to understand Magoosh’s video explanations. The video explanation also explained why a particular solution works, showing the rules behind problems. Being able to flag questions that I wanted to go back to later was a nice feature also.
If you’re stuck on any question, you can send Magoosh a message (and attach up to five files). Magoosh says that you should get a response within 24 hours.
GRE verbal practice tests are similar to math practice tests. A GRE writing practice test, on the other hand, involves writing two short essays. Unfortunately, these essays aren’t graded. Instead, you get three sample essays with explanations for why each one deserves the score it gets. You’re then prompted to assign yourself a score based on these essays.
You can take Magoosh’s practice tests via Magoosh’s mobile app, as well.
7. Practice with Magoosh flashcards
To help you retain factual knowledge, Magoosh also features custom flashcards. GRE flashcards cover more than 400 of the most common math concepts and 1,000 of the most challenging vocab questions.
Magoosh also has a GRE vocab builder that makes it easy to learn new words every day. The builder features more than 1,000 words, which range from basic to intermediate to advanced. If you get a word wrong, Magoosh shows you the correct definition and an example sentence.
You can view Magoosh’s flashcards and the vocab builder via the web, iPhone, and Android.
8. Do a full-length practice test
When you’re up for it, you can take a full-length practice test, which mimics the adaptive nature of actual standardized tests such as the GRE. All of the questions that appear in Magoosh’s practice tests are similar to those in the real standardized tests.
For example, the GRE practice test questions are drawn from more than 1,000 possible questions. That means that you can take about six full-length tests before you run out of new questions. However, Magoosh recommends that you take two or three practice tests only and save the rest of the questions for quizzes and more targeted practice.
At the end of a full-length practice test, you get a score estimate based on past Magoosh students’ actual scores.
9. Consider getting a private tutor
If, after all of the above, you still don’t feel confident that you’ll achieve a high score in your test, Magoosh offers students online tutoring from $100 an hour. However, tutoring is available to GRE and GMAT students only.
When you sign up with online tutoring, you have to complete a form explaining your background as well as your needs. A tutor will then ask you follow up questions via email. The tutoring session generally takes place either via Skype or phone.
Review of Magoosh Pricing & Costs
Exactly how much you end up paying for a Magoosh exam preparation course depends on the type of exam and length of time you want to study with Magoosh. To get information on the costs of specific types of Magoosh prep courses, refer to the following sections of this Magoosh review:
Across all types of exam prep courses, Magoosh does offer not only a 7-day free trial for all its courses but also a 7-day money-back guarantee. If you buy a course and decide that you don’t like it, you can get a full refund within a week, no questions asked.
Also, if you’re studying for a standardized test you’ve taken before, Magoosh promises to improve your exam score — or give you your money back. This is a rather bold guarantee to make, and it shows the confidence the Magoosh team has in their platform.
Thus, if you’re unsure of whether Magoosh is right for you, you can test it out with some strong safety nets protecting you. And, if you’re studying for several standardized tests, Magoosh offers some special discounts (you have to email the company about that, though). All in all, Magoosh’s pricing is fair and student-friendly.
Magoosh’s GRE prep course covers all GRE topics, including math, verbal, and AWA. The course includes video lessons, more than 1,200 practice questions, and up to three practice tests. You also get access to a score predictor, a Magoosh vocabulary builder, Magoosh flashcards (vocabulary and math), a GRE prep & practice app, and 24/7 email support.
Online tutoring for the GRE is also available and costs about $100 an hour (you get discounts the more hours you buy).
According to Magoosh, if you’ve taken the GRE before, this course will help improve your score by at least 5 points. If you sign up for just Verbal + AWA or Math plan, Magoosh promises that your score will increase by at least 2 points.
How much does Magoosh GRE cost?
A 1-month Magoosh GRE preparation course (math, verbal, and AWA) costs $149 and is ideal for quick score improvements right before an exam. A longer 6-month course that costs $179 is also available, giving you a longer runway. Individually, the 6-month GRE math, verbal, and AWA courses cost $149.
Is Magoosh good for GRE prep?
Undoubtedly. Students that study with Magoosh typically get a median score of 159 for math and 157 for verbal, which is 6 points higher in both sections than the median GRE score for all students. Plus, 20% of Magoosh students go on to receive a top decile score in GRE.
Magoosh’s GMAT prep course helps you study for every GMAT subject, like math, verbal, IR, and AWA. The course brings you 340 video lessons, more than 1,300 practice questions, and at least 2 full-length practice tests.
Also included are a score predictor (unless you opt for the Math + IR self-study course), Magoosh flashcards (idiom and math), a GMAT prep & practice app, and email support.
Plus, you can buy discounted GMAT Official Practice Exams created by GMAC, the creators of GMAT. These official practice exams feature real questions from past GMAT exams.
You can also sign up for online GMAT tutoring, which costs $110 an hour ($500 for 5 sessions and $900 for 10 sessions).
If you’ve taken the GMAT before, Magoosh says that you’ll improve your math score by 3 marks if you opt for the Math + IR self-study course and total score by 50 marks if you go for the Premium course that covers all GMAT topics.
How much does Magoosh GMAT cost?
Magoosh’s GMAT courses are divided into self-study and guided-study plans. There are two self-study courses: “Math + IR” (costs $219 for 1 year – includes math and integrated reasoning content) and “Premium” (costs $249 for 1 year – includes math, verbal, integrated reasoning, and AWA). And, there’s a single guided-study plan: “Tutoring + Premium” (costs $799 – includes all Premium content and six hours of one-on-one tutoring.)
Is Magoosh good for GMAT prep?
Magoosh says that its students score 90 points higher than average GMAT students. Moreover, whereas only 10% of GMAT takers get a score above 700, 30% of Magoosh students have scored above that. Also, Magoosh students have been accepted to top business schools, such as Harvard Business School.
With Magoosh’s SAT prep course, you get over 1,750 practice questions, more than 200 video lessons, and 3 practice tests. Score predictor, SAT flashcards, SAT ebook, SAT advice blog, SAT exam prep & practice app, and email assistance are included, as well.
If you want, you can also get Magoosh to send you a study reminder on your phone on all the days you’re supposed to be studying for the SAT.
The really cool thing about Magoosh SAT Premium is that if you study for at least 20 minutes each day, you can earn points which you can then trade for Amazon gift cards.
Magoosh promises to improve your SAT score by at least 100 marks. To aid you further in improving your SAT score, check out our article on the top SAT prep books. Or, if you want some extra free resources, refer to our article on free SAT prep resources.
How much does Magoosh SAT cost?
The Magoosh SAT prep course costs $100 for 1 month, $119 for 3 months, or $129 for 12 months. All three Magoosh SAT pricing plans are identical in their content.
Is Magoosh good for SAT prep?
If you put in the hours and follow Magoosh’s SAT prep study schedule, you should ace your SAT exam. If you’ve taken the SAT before, Magoosh promises that you’ll increase your score by 100 points this time around.
When you buy the Magoosh ACT prep course, you gain access to more than 1,300 practice questions, over 250 video lessons, and up to 4 practice tests. You also get a free ACT eBook, a printable ACT practice test, Magoosh flashcards, and an ACT prep app.
Every time you log in to Magoosh ACT and study for at least 20 minutes, you keep your streak going.
If you’ve taken the ACT before, you’re more or less guaranteed to improve your score by at least four marks.
How much does Magoosh ACT cost?
The Magoosh ACT prep course costs $79 for 1 month, $89 for 3 months, or $99 for 12 months. All three Magoosh ACT pricing plans are the same in their content.
Is Magoosh good for ACT prep?
Magoosh provides both online and offline ACT practice tests and is so confident you’ll improve your score by at least four points (if you’ve taken the test before) that it offers a full refund if you don’t.
Magoosh MCAT exam prep course gets you over 380 content review videos, more than 740 practice questions, and 3 shortened practice tests (updated for 2020 to resemble practice tests you’ll see on your test day).
You can also access MCAT flashcards that cover around 230 of the most common MCAT topics and concepts, including organic chemistry, biology, and more. Other resources include a complete list of MCAT topics (compiled directly from the AAMC), a list of sociology terms and definitions, and an online periodic table.
Magoosh claims that students retaking the MCAT exam will improve their score by at least 10 marks.
How much does Magoosh MCAT cost?
The Magoosh MCAT prep course costs $179 for 1 month or $199 for 12 months. Both pricing plans feature the same content.
Is Magoosh good for MCAT prep?
Magoosh students have been accepted into top medical schools, including the Duke University School of Medicine. That, combined with the fact that Magoosh offers a refund if you don’t improve your score by at least 10 marks when retaking the MCAT, should reassure aspiring medical professionals.
Regardless of whether you’re studying for the Academic IELTS or the General Training IELTS, the Magoosh IELTS exam prep course gets you access to more than 125 video lessons, over 600 practice questions, and 4 full-length mock tests.
Depending on which plan you choose, you can also submit one essay for grading by an IELTS expert. Your essay not only gets marked but also comes back with personalized tips on how you can improve in each grading category.
Other useful resources include IELTS vocabulary flashcards and IELTS podcast (detailing English vocabulary you need to know).
If you’ve taken the IELTS previously, Magoosh says you can expect to improve your score by at least 0.5 points.
How much does Magoosh IELTS cost?
The Magoosh IELTS prep course costs $59 for 1 month, $69 for 3 months, or $99 for 6 months. Students can choose between Academic IELTS and General Training IELTS. The 1-month and 3-month pricing plans are identical in content, but the 6-month plan also includes a graded essay.
Is Magoosh good for IELTS prep?
With Magoosh IELTS exam prep, you get access to tried-and-tested content that’s continuously updated. If you’re retaking the exam, Magoosh promises to improve your score by at least 0.5 points, which demonstrates just how confident Magoosh is in its product.
Advantages (Pros) of Magoosh
Magoosh is one of the more affordable test prep companies out there. For example, Magoosh’s 1-year GMAT course costs just $249. In comparison, a Princeton Review GMAT course would set you back $499 and Kaplan/Manhattan Prep $799.
Moreover, Magoosh has a seven-day no-strings-attached return policy. If you are retaking a standardized test, Magoosh also promises to give you your money back if you don’t improve your score.
Magoosh has a simple, easy-to-use interface that’s easy to navigate. Because everything is displayed clearly (and you’re shown a video tour of the platform when you register for a Magoosh account), you’re very unlikely to get overwhelmed. Plus, pretty much everything is accessible via the dashboard.
Helpful study resources
Magoosh mobile app, which is compatible with iPads, iPhones, and Android devices, is available for every exam prep course. Since Magoosh mobile app features every video lesson and quiz that appears on the Magoosh site, you can access your account anytime, anywhere.
In addition to its mobile app, Magoosh has a ton of other resources, too. These include a blog with information on standardized tests, several YouTube channels with lessons from experts, online flashcards, and even a few free eBooks, among other things.
Magoosh offers 24/7 email support. Experts will answer your questions about the platform as well as the content within 24 hours. You can flag a question as urgent, and Magoosh will prioritize it.
Magoosh’s exam prep courses are totally flexible, so you can personalize them to suit your schedule. Also, the Magoosh study plan is based on your needs (and your test date). The platform lets you customize tests and rewind and skip lessons as necessary, as well.
Moreover, if life gets in the way, you can pause your subscription until you’re ready to start studying again.
Practice tests and quizzes
Magoosh offers full-length practice tests for all standardized tests to help you see the progress you’ve made. I loved how I could design my own custom practice tests too, specifying which test section and questions I wanted to focus on.
After completing a practice test, Magoosh gives a score estimate to help gauge the result you would have received on the actual test. After the test, you can review all answers and watch video explanations of all the questions you got wrong.
The timed quizzes are also a great way to test your pace — an important part of real-life exams.
Magoosh teaches primarily through short video lessons. These are led by expert tutors and are therefore easy to understand and follow. If the pace is too slow for you, you can always speed up the video (or slow it down).
All videos include a video transcript and links to other resources, like Magoosh’s blog where the topic is explored in greater detail. The videos also have a frequently asked questions section.
Disadvantages (Cons) of Magoosh
No in-person courses
Magoosh doesn’t have any in-person courses. As such, the self-paced courses that Magoosh offers won’t suit every student. Some people need the accountability of in-person classes. If in-person courses are more to your liking, check out Kaplan (but be prepared to pay significantly more).
Limited practice tests
Magoosh doesn’t offer as many practice tests as some other exam prep companies. Once you answer all of the available questions, there’s no way to get more questions on the platform. While it’s unlikely that most students will exhaust all course material, some might. If you think that you might want more practice tests, check out the Princeton Review GRE Prep.
No essay grading
Instead of grading your essays, Magoosh shows you how to do it yourself, which isn’t very helpful. The only exception is the six month IELTS course, which includes one graded essay. In this respect, Magoosh’s competitor Kaplan is better since it lets students submit essays that are graded by qualified Kaplan instructors within a few days.
Review Conclusion: is Magoosh Worth It?
As one of the most effective and best value online exam prep companies out there, Magoosh doesn’t want you just to pass your exam — it wants you to ace it. That’s why it doesn’t just explain a topic or a problem. It makes sure that you understand it 100%.
Magoosh isn’t for everyone, though. Individuals who love to learn at their own pace will thrive; those who need classroom-esque structure won’t.
However, Magoosh’s approach clearly works. Magoosh students generally receive higher scores than other students taking the same standardized tests. With a lower price than many other test prep platforms, Magoosh is an excellent value investment for anyone who wants to reach their full potential on a standardized test and take the next step in their career.