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Prep Course vs. Self-Study???

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Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 11:27
Hi,

I am thinking about taking a prep course but am not sure this is the best route to go about studying for the exam.

If you had the choice would you take a prep course or self-study?

Also, lets ignore time and money since luckily I do have the luxury of both (I cannot start working for another 3 months and do have extra money to pay for a prep course).

Also, let’s assume that I am a well driven individual who doesn't necessarily need to be "pushed" by a tutor.

Any advice...

Gilad
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 11:52
Well if time and money aren't issues, then do a prep course and supplement with your own self-study. There's no harm in having a 99th percentile scorer teach you some things, and you can also discuss questions in class with others. For most people time and money are issues, which is why I am choosing self-study.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 12:07
Do a diagnostic and see where you stand. if you score below a 600 you should probably consider a full length prep course since they review math fundamentals and many basic strategies. If you do well you might go at it alone, avoiding the time spent in the class room on remedial lessons.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 12:37
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iggy614 wrote:
Hi,

I am thinking about taking a prep course but am not sure this is the best route to go about studying for the exam.

If you had the choice would you take a prep course or self-study?

Also, lets ignore time and money since luckily I do have the luxury of both (I cannot start working for another 3 months and do have extra money to pay for a prep course).

Also, let’s assume that I am a well driven individual who doesn't necessarily need to be "pushed" by a tutor.

Any advice...

Gilad


Iggy - are you considering a classroom course or an online one?
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 12:41
hi bb,

i was looking into taking an online course. more specifically, i thought of taking Manhattan GMAT's online course (heard some great things about them!).

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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 12:49
MGMAT is good, and their materials and the supplemental stuff online (though you can buy them separately) is real good.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2009, 13:31
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iggy614 wrote:
hi bb,

i was looking into taking an online course. more specifically, i thought of taking Manhattan GMAT's online course (heard some great things about them!).

Gilad


Sure, I assume you have seen this discussion: gmat-prep-courses-classes-reviews-ratings-and-comparison-78451.html
They do seem to have good reviews from GMATClub members.

One of the members I know who has taken their course is Nink - he got 770 on the GMAT, but not after taking the class. He then spent some time on self-study and only then was able to get to that level. I do have to say that GMAT Club members are heavily on the self-prep side, so the responses will be skewed.

Here are the main values of the Class/Online Course when compared to Self Study:
  • Access to condensed and comprehensive materials - traditionally prep companies have saved the better books for the classroom courses. However stiff competition is eroding this advantage. I am not sure if Manhattan uses anything other than their regular books + OG 12
  • Saves Time - you are told what to study, how, and when
  • Confidence that you are studying everything you need to cover and not missing something
  • Access to help and an expert
  • Schedule that drives and makes you study (very important for some)

If you feel these advantages are worth the money and you want to give it the best shot with wasting the minimal amount of time - then the class is for you. I would be interested to hear more but in my experience, most often the reason people are taking class are: to push them, to keep them on track/schedule. If that's important to you - then absolutely get into a class. However, you said that you do not need to be pushed, so I would say in your case, you may not get as much out of a class.


Also, a number of folks discovered that they can do self-prep first and get to a 650-700 level and then top it off with a "money back guarantee" prep class - allowing them to get the best of both world...

Anybody else has thoughts on this?
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 18 Jul 2009, 18:35
I *personally* needed some direction, so the online class gave me the direction I needed to break the 700 mark. I used the online Manhattan GMAT class and was very happy with the results.

That being said, only taking a class or only self studying is no guarantee to break the 700 mark. There is no one size fits all for everyone.

The best advice:

Figure out what your deficiencies are (using free practice exams)
Read what others have done to address those deficiencies.
Then, push button and receive bacon
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No wait, that last one was a joke...

The key is to figure out what strategies will best supplement the material. Only having one side (material alone or strategy alone) will not yield much success. They go hand in hand on standardized tests.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 10:40
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the input! I really appreciate it!!!

As I stated above I don’t need anyone to push me. The main reason I would like to take a prep course is so I don’t miss any “inside tips” the instructors might be able to provide me with.

The Manhattan GMAT instructors for example have all scored in the 99th percentile. I would like to think that they know some useful tips that are not covered in any textbook.

Does anyone who has taken a course have any input to this “theory” which I have?

Thanks,

Gilad
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 17:28
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It is not really answering your question, but just thinking out loud - If I had the money for it - why not?
Total MBA cost is $100,000+ and $1K is only 1% - an insignificant number in the grand scheme of things.
most people would use a car mechanic to change engine oil since their time is worth more, you may as well trust GMAT prep to a qualified expert to get you from point A to point B in the fastest and most efficient manner.

That would be another perspective.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2009, 19:13
That’s exactly what I’m thinking – bb. To further expand on your point I think that not only the cost of an MBA but the benefit of going to a good program is well worth the $1k.

My main concern isn’t whether the $1k’s worth it. I’m just worried that spending time in a prep course isn’t the most efficient way of studying for the exam…

However, you did make a great point. The people running the prep courses are “qualified experts.” And the Companies who hire them spend countless hours devising a study program which should (at least according to my logic) be the most efficient way of studying.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 00:22
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iggy614 wrote:
That’s exactly what I’m thinking – bb. To further expand on your point I think that not only the cost of an MBA but the benefit of going to a good program is well worth the $1k.

My main concern isn’t whether the $1k’s worth it. I’m just worried that spending time in a prep course isn’t the most efficient way of studying for the exam…

However, you did make a great point. The people running the prep courses are “qualified experts.” And the Companies who hire them spend countless hours devising a study program which should (at least according to my logic) be the most efficient way of studying.


I agree - go for it.

As an FYI - the biggest mistake people make while taking a Prep Class is thinking that they are paying for a higher score, where in reality they are paying to be taught and even though instructor and class materials count, you will be taking your test alone. You won't get a great score if you consider it an "outsourcing" project where you take a back seat position during prep. Yes, you are being taught for a few hours a day by folks who scored high, but it is up to you to use that knowledge. Still takes work and time. Thus, if in the example with the car mechanic - somebody else changes your oil while you eat or shop, in this case, that somebody else is telling you how to change oil while you are getting dirty in oil and grime under the car.
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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 09:54
Hey bb I appreciate the heads up and am hoping that everyone saw and read your post. I made that exact same mistake when I studied for the SAT. I took a prep course and thought that just because I’m in a class taking a course my score will improve. I didn’t do much during the course and “shockingly” (I am being sarcastic btw) my score went down 50 pts :( lol… So for anyone taking a prep course please read and reread bb’s post ten times because it is a fact!

Anyways, I’m on my way to register for the class. Thank you everyone I really appreciate your responses and help.

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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2009, 04:51
Iggy614

I’ve been thinking about doing a prep course too.

I have a very demanding full time job, a girlfriend and a social life (not much this summer with GMAT study). I sat a couple of mocks recently and didn’t do so well. I really lack a solid foundation. My timing and exam discipline are poor too. I don’t believe I will reach a 700 score without a huge amount of sacrifice. Luckily I only need a 600 + score to get into one of my programs. After having a restless night last night thinking about my GMAT I decided to book into an MGMAT classroom prep course. The framework, interaction with other gmatters and useful tips I feel will be invaluable. Combing the course with dedicated self-study, I feel I will reach my goal!

Bipolarbear: Excellent point about getting over 600. If you are not even hitting that mark then I feel a prep course is justified.

bb: Excellent point about the cost. In the greater scheme of things it’s minimal. And I completely agree about the prep course only being beneficial if it’s combined with hard graft.

Iggy614: How is your MGMAT course going?

Regards,

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Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study??? [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2013, 23:59
Hi All,

My score now is 470 and I would like to retake the GMAT aiming 700+ score. I know, it is very tough. :roll:
I considered my problems as
1) I am from Malaysia where my secondary school education is in Malay. Hence, it change to English and Quants becomes very difficult for me and I am still not well catching the Math concepts & tricks(I got Q37). So I am thinking I shall re-start everything from basic.
2) My Verbal section is weak too, especially my reading speed to understand the passage & choosing answer. Sometimes, I still find it very difficult to understand the passage.

I plan to take the exam in 3months time.

So I am considering to get online course, which able to teach me from very basic on both Quan and Verbal. Money is an issues for me.
I have gone through the recommendation MGMAT online is exspensive and I found the GMAX online price is affordable.
I would like to get comments on this GMAX online course is worth to go for?

I would appreciate if anyone of you can give me better advise? Thanks in advance!
Re: Prep Course vs. Self-Study???   [#permalink] 01 Jul 2013, 23:59
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