I completed the Knewton course recently (from Dec-Jan). My baseline score with Knewton is a 670. So I am hoping their 50 point guarantee will work to take me over that 7 feet tall hurdle.
I was looking for a course to stabilize my verbal performance more than quant. At 299 Knewton sounded like a great offer.
- The online database/question bank is very well organized and easy to use
- They have quant and verbal theory/"concepts" if you want to go down to the basics and read theory behind stuff (they also have some short video clippings and supplemental lessons that are quite useful). The "concepts" queue is updated real-time as you answer questions/take CATs based on the questions you get wrong. Also, you can view your progress over time with these "progress bars" that move up and down based on performance. Note: The "concepts" are not too detailed but provide the basics with the concepts being applied to test-like questions
- There are lots and lots of practice questions (I think I read somewhere that they have more than 3000 practice questions overall now). For the money back guarantee, you only need to complete the "core work" and the 6 CATs. They also have a ton of "extra practice" questions that are optional and not required for the money back. I have worked my way through all the material now (except the final challenge sets that I have saved for this weekend) and can say that the extra practice questions do have certain question types that are not as extensively covered in the core work and its definitely to ones advantage to get as much practice as possible.
- The underlying question patterns are sometimes very similar to the OG material/GMAT prep. I had not worked on the OG too much when I started so it was helpful to cover the whole gamut with Knewton
- You can attend live classes and switch sections based on your schedule, if needed. I found that pretty useful. Can also view archived on-demand videos to go at your own pace or to cover missed classes (these cover the same material as the live classes)
- I found the classes to be well structured and well taught and on the last 12 CATs or so (except the very last Knewton CAT) verbal has yielded 40+ scores (other than two 39s). Remains to be seen how I do on the real test. Have my fingers crossed and hope I don't have to ask for my money to be returned.
The -ves (at least for me):
- I really found the scoring alog of the CATs to be... well, sometimes just random. Now Knewton will never agree and they always give their stock company line that refers to an article written by the alog guy at Knewton on BeattheGmat.com and emphasizes the critical importance of the "difficulty level" of the questions. That said, I cannot believe 6 to 7 incorrect responses on either section can lead to a score as low as a 34 on verbal or something in the low 40s on quant. I mean I got a quant 50 with as many as 10 incorrect responses on one of the gmat preps so I think the margin of error for getting a 7xx score on the Knewton CATs is quite low (at least thats been my experience). All said and done, for better or for worse, whether or not one should only be looking to use the tests as timing practice and to "learn the content," I don't think anyone wants to see low scores when they are practicing. That said, overall I would say the quality of questions on the CATs is not something I would find fault with.
- I have been using gmatclub tests
and also Jeff Sackmann's Challenge sets. So in that sense, its not really something that affected me too much, but I don't think Knewton quant is as deceptive or tricky as some of the gmatclub tests
. They have a set of ~30 quant/verbal mid term and final challenge questions that are quite tough though. So I would say Knewton quant is not for "high altitude" quant training along the lines of the gmatclub tests