If you’re considering Uworld vs Kaplan NCLEX courses, you’ve already taken the first step in passing the NCLEX. 214,000 nursing school hopefuls took the National Council Licensure Examination Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam in 2020. Out of those, only 168,000 passed on their first attempt.
Kaplan and UWorld are industry leaders in helping students prepare for the computer adaptive testing (CAT) model that the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN tests use. With both Kaplan and UWorld, you can study on the go with high-quality mobile apps.We will focus on the NCLEX-RN test here as we compare each company’s prep courses.
- 0 at lower-price tier
- 2 at higher-price tier
$399 – $499
$129 – $279
- Exclusive NCLEX Channel (300+ topics)
- 10 content review sessions
- 3 full-length adaptive practice tests
- Performance graphs for comparison with other test-takers
- Innovative, content-rich rationales for practice questions
Yes – 7 Days
Overview: Kaplan NCLEX RN vs. UWorld NCLEX RN Prep Courses
Let’s introduce each test prep company with a brief rundown of their respective NCLEX RN courses before we dive into our Uworld vs Kaplan Course comparisons.
Kaplan NCLEX RN Prep Courses
Read our Full Kaplan NCLEX RN Course Review
Kaplan helps 2.1 million students prepare for multiple exams every year, ranging from the SAT to licensing exams for doctoral graduates. Kaplan’s test prep courses have a 4.6/5-star rating on TrustPilot.
For its NCLEX RN prep courses, NCLEX offers a Self-Paced prep course, a Live Online prep course, and in-person prep courses. Each course comes with a conditional first-time pass guarantee.
Kaplan NCLEX RN Prep Course Pros:
- Most vetted test prep company in the world
- Sturdy refund guarantee
- Opportunity to learn test-taking strategies in addition to test content
- Option for in-person learning (suspended currently due to COVID)
Kaplan NCLEX RN Prep Course Cons:
- Costlier than UWorld courses
- Less flexibility in terms of timeframe to complete the course
UWorld NCLEX RN Prep Courses
Read our Full UWorld NCLEX Review
Although UWorld is a much smaller company than Kaplan, it’s not unproven; 700,000 students have used the UWorld NCLEX RN prep course and its other courses to prepare for their tests.
In particular, UWorld’s Qbank practice questions are highly reviewed because of their depth and visual components. The UWorld NCLEX mobile app (included in all courses) has a 4.6/5-star rating on Google Play.
UWorld NCLEX RN Prep Course Pros:
- Plenty of flashcards, performance graphs, and other tools to complement study questions
- Detailed explanations (including plenty of diagrams and illustrations) for practice questions
- Significantly more affordable than Kaplan.
- Excellent mobile app
UWorld NCLEX RN Prep Course Cons:
- No practice tests at lower price tier
- No score/refund guarantee
- No free UWorld trial
UWorld vs Kaplan NCLEX Prep Course Review: Head-to-Head Matchup
Here is the Uworld vs Kaplan NCLEX head-to-head matchup by feature of each company’s NCLEX RN course offerings:
UWorld’s price differentials correspond to the length of time that you can access the materials: $129 for 30 days, $159 for 60 days, $199 for 90 days, and $279 for 180 days.
Conveniently, you can extend your access to the UWorld course materials for brief periods if you need more time to wrap up your test prep with “renewals,” starting at $35 for 7 additional days of access.
Kaplan’s courses are significantly more expensive than UWorld’s. Kaplan’s self-paced online course costs $399 while its “LiveOnline” option (featuring live streamed instruction) will set you back $499.
Most Affordable Course
Most Expensive Course
Regarding affordability, UWorld is the clear winner.
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Practice Questions & Tests
Both companies offer 2,100+ practice questions. The devil, though, is in the details.
Kaplan emphasizes specific strategies for decision-making within the NCLEX RN test format. Their prep courses teach the “Kaplan Decision Tree Method” for methodically approaching each problem.
As the company aptly puts it, “critical thinking is a critical skill” for navigating exams on a complex and wide array of topics such as the NCLEX RN.
30% of UWorld’s Qbank test questions come in alternate formats to help you prepare to answer the versatile formats of problems on the actual test (i.e., ordered lists, all-that-apply items, and hotspot items).
On top of that, UWorld’s courses come standard with proprietary graphics and analytics tools such as performance graphs (for comparing your results to other NCLEX RN test preppers).
UWorld’s 60-day course offers learners 1 self-assessment (practice test) while the 90-day and 180-day options offer 2 self-assessments.
All factors considered, each NCLEX RN prep provider is exceptionally strong in the “practice questions and tests” category. However, since all of Kaplan’s courses come with 3 full-length computer adaptive tests (CAT) (the same kind on the actual exam) and UWorld only offers 2 practice tests at its highest price tier and none with its most basic package, Kaplan wins here.
Class Materials & Instruction
The list of materials that Kaplan students get – in addition to the practice questions and tests — includes content videos covering 300+ topics, a NCLEX-RN® Content Review Guide, access to the NCLEX channel for the duration of the course, and a 500-page ebook.
With the LiveOnline package, students also get access to live streamed sessions from Kaplan instructors.
The only materials UWorld offers are its practice questions and, at higher price tiers, access to one to two 100-question practice tests.
Kaplan is the clear winner here in a landslide.
Learning Experience & Platform
Kaplan, in comparison to UWorld, has a vast selection of features and tools that you can utilize depending on your needs, preferences, or mood.
With Kaplan, you can take adaptive tests, learn test-taking skills and strategies, review specific content, enjoy the NCLEX Channel any time of day, or, if you select the LiveOnline course, virtually attend live lectures from NCLEX experts.
The UWorld platform – which you can sample in the demo – has a simplistic, intuitive feel that makes navigating between practice questions and tests and analytics easy.
For its practice tests, UWorld has designed its immersive user interface to mimic the “look and feel” of a real-world NCLEX RN test, with the idea being to help you best prepare to feel comfortable and confident when the moment of truth arrives.
Reports from past students consistently praise the user-friendly platform and learning experience of UWorld’s prep courses.
Both courses come with complementary, highly-rated mobile applications to support learning when you’re on the move.
In terms of access to various features and instruction modes, Kaplan’s platform and learning experience is superior. In terms of navigability, UWorld’s wins. The result is a toss-up in this matchup.
Kaplan is well-known for its industry-leading roster of instructors that support its lineup of live test prep courses. The NCLEX RN LiveOnline course is no exception, taught by former professional nurses and other NCLEX experts.
UWorld does not offer live instruction, tutor support, or other forms of instruction.
Nonetheless, UWorld takes pains to assure its students that its curriculum and materials are all developed by experienced nurses and other healthcare professionals with advanced degrees
Kaplan easily wins here.
Score Guarantees and Refunds
UWorld leaves the door open (just a crack) for a possible refund. However, a critical caveat is that these are issued at the discretion of the company – there is absolutely no guarantee of a refund at all.
UWorld notes in its FAQs section that it factors the time since purchase, the materials used, and other considerations into its determination to issue a refund or not, and, if applicable, for how much.
Kaplan’s NCLEX prep course guarantee, on the other hand, is robust and rock-solid. If you graduate from an accredited nursing program, enroll in one of Kaplan’s prep courses, take the test within 6 months and fail, then you qualify for a 100% refund or a course reset – provided that you meet minimum requirements such as attending all online classes (for the LiveOnline course) and answer at least 900 questions from your Qbank.
Kaplan’s refund policy is light years ahead of UWorld’s.
Standout Features of Kaplan vs UWorld NCLEX RN Prep Courses
For a bit of extra info on the comparative features of each course, here are some standout features of the Kaplan and UWorld NCLEX RN prep courses.
You can get a healthy sampling of Kaplan’s NCLEX RN prep course with a 7-day free trial, and on-demand NCLEX practice test, You can also get practice NCLEX questions direct to your inbox daily when you sign up to Kaplan with your email.
UWorld doesn’t offer any free trials per se, but it does allow you to try out a limited “demo” to get a feel for the platform and interface.
Both companies offer in excess of 2,100 practice questions. By sheer volume, that is more than enough practice material to adequately prepare for the real test.
The key difference between the Kaplan’s and UWorld’s respective NCLEX RN courses is the additional layer of test strategy that Kaplan offers in the form of test-taking strategy.
The image below shows Kaplan’s customizable Qbank with new 3D images and animations.
Per Kaplan’s contact page, you can connect and get help in real time with technical issues via Facebook, Instagram, live chat on the website, Twitter, email, or via phone at 1-800-527-8378 – an impressive and versatile set of options for sure.
In contrast, you can get in touch with UWorld solely by way of the web contact form. No other contact methods are public. The company does, however, have a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the same page as its contact form.
Kaplan has a partnership with a third-party financing organization called affirm that you can use to break your payment up into monthly installments – a huge benefit if you are on a tight budget without lots of extra cash on hand.
UWorld does not offer any payment accommodations. All tuition is due up front.
The Bottom Line on UWorld vs Kaplan NCLEX Prep Courses
Your ultimate decision on the right NCLEX prep course ultimately comes down to a set of personal considerations about budget and the respective benefits and limitations of features of each company’s course.
Use Kaplan’s NCLEX RN prep courses if you:
- Want a refund-backed pass guarantee
- Need more practice tests
- Want a broader, more comprehensive set of features and tools in your NCLEX prep course
- Want to learn proven NCLEX RN test-taking strategies in addition to test content
- Require a payment plan to finance your prep course
Use UWorld’s NCLEX RN prep courses if you:
- Only need access to prep material for a brief window (as tight as 30 days)
- Place a premium on high-quality practice questions
- Don’t need “extra” features with the course such as the e-book and video lessons that Kaplan offers
- Have a tight budget for your prep course (under $200).