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so you hate your kaplan instructor...

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so you hate your kaplan instructor... [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2007, 17:36
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well DONT. It probably isn't their fault.

Let me explain. I took a job with Kaplan teaching GMAT at night. I figured I could save some extra money because I am quitting my job once I start grad school, and what kind of part time job is going to pay you $20 an hour?

I've given lectures to college students on various topics. I've tutored folks in calculus. I have even tutored someone privately on the GMAT. Everyone has always been happy with their experience with me.

My performance reviews from the Kaplan folks who sit in on your first classes have been really low. They grade me on the biggest bullshit - I have to say:
"Kaplan" "GMAT" "Test Day" "Higher Scores" "Online Resources" "Homework" at least once every third of a page. I wish I was kidding.


What the **** is that? Who the hell can teach material when you are worried about such inane bullshit? Many times I've only got 3 minutes to cover a topic, but a full third of that is taken up with these meaningless crap.

Oh and that brings me to their "materials". Well, THEY SUCK. My teaching really suffers because I have no faith in what I am doing. It is hard to be excited in class when you feel bad that, deep down, you know what you are teaching is either wrong, or some bullshit strategy that takes longer to use on test day than learning how to do it the "textbook way" and calculating something proper.

the way I have demonize the "textbook way" in class is also apalling to me. the "textbook way" a.k.a. using actual mathematics is essential for
a high GMAT score and success in B-School. Granted, "strategies" like backsolving and picking numbers have their place and come in handy - they should not be the focus of anyone's test prep plan. BTW - Kaplan acts like they **** invented picking numbers and backsolving. give me a break. I never even touched a kaplan book when I prepped for my GMAT, and I backsolved a mixture problem on test day. It's freaking common sense people!!!

The classes are so short, and crammed with so much retardation, that students don't have much time to ask questions or have discussion if needed... which thankfully they don't.

BTW, THERE IS HARDLY ANY TIME DEVOTED TO MATH IN CLASS. I feel that this is a huge rip off, because many students are not made aware of this. If you are reading this thinking to yourself, "hey I need to brush up on math, let me take Kaplan GMAT class" WELL DONT!

/rant over

Last edited by anonymousegmat on 26 Sep 2007, 09:15, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2007, 08:08
I think Kaplan tries too hard to be all things to all people, and maybe that's affecting their ability to retain quality instructors and produce quality material.

And these so-called "strategies" are hallmarks of Kap & PR - useful for saving time, counterproductive if you don't have the fundamentals down (leads to more confusion).
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2007, 08:30
Taught SAT at Kaplan and that experience sounds about right.

"Test Day"
"Higher Score"

hahahaha

I remember all too well. What I did was cover the Kaplan material very quickly then gave some of my own examples that made the students understand better. There's barely any time to finish the entire lesson.

But it was overall a somewhat frustrating experience.
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2007, 12:40
WOW. I have never heard this before either, and I did a lot of research before I started prepping. Makes me glad I'm taking an online course, although mine is with Princeton Review. I am getting plenty of practice on the fundamentals (math is my weak area) and am definitely able to maximize my time rather than listening to marketing drivel. I don't know if PR instructors do that in class, but so far, not through the online chat. I was initially lamenting not being able to do a classroom course, but now I am feeling pretty good about that!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2007, 23:03
Im so glad I cancelled my class w/ Kaplan. Saved 1200$ and spent only 840$ on MGMAT online course.

MGMAT has been AWSOME. Use OG, books that actually teach you the concepts.

I bought the Kaplan book and used it until I found MGMAT. Since then, i never bothered to open the book again.

I wanted to sell it, but who wants that crappy book ;P. (anyone need a paper weight? Burning material?)
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2007, 09:03
OMG, I can't believe this is a sticky! I feel honored!
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2007, 09:12
Calamity Jane wrote:
WOW. I have never heard this before either, and I did a lot of research before I started prepping. Makes me glad I'm taking an online course, although mine is with Princeton Review. I am getting plenty of practice on the fundamentals (math is my weak area) and am definitely able to maximize my time rather than listening to marketing drivel. I don't know if PR instructors do that in class, but so far, not through the online chat. I was initially lamenting not being able to do a classroom course, but now I am feeling pretty good about that!!!


Calamity,

Kraplan does give students plenty of 'online resources' so they may 'score higher' when they take the 'gmat' on 'test day' and they do have math review modules online that students can do for 'homework'.

however, we are told right off the bat in our first quant training video that "kaplan doesn't offer math classes, or even a math review" and i don't think customers buying into a kaplan class know that...

what the hell is the first thing you think of when you sign up for a GMAT class???? MATH REVIEW!!!!

Here is an example of what I mean:

The whopping 10 minutes I get to explain combinatorics and permutations to the class is fantastic. Considering a whole chapter of my PreCalc textbook was devoted to these two topics, I am really scared when I have to teach this lesson... who is going to be able to understand such things in 10 minutes? Especially since 25% of my time I am just spouting catchphrases and marketing nonsense
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2007, 18:52
Yeah, that's pretty much why I wanted to take a course, for the math review. I've been out of school for a while, so that's key.
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 [#permalink] New post 19 Oct 2007, 22:42
As a former Kaplan instructor, I can say that you have a lot of leeway in terms of what you teach and how you teach. Get students to do session 2 on their own at the end of the course, and you will have more time for more work on topics that students find difficult.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2007, 13:04
So, I teach for Kaplan and my students love me and do really well on the test. Honestly, teaching is fairly idiosyncratic. Sure there is a basic curriculum to teach, but every teacher at my center has lots of leeway to amend and add onto the course. Also, Kaplan students can move around to different classes as they please. So if you don't click with your initial teacher, then you can jump into a different class no charge. I don't think other test prep companies allow that, but I could be wrong.
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Re: so you hate your kaplan instructor... [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2013, 06:10
Any more recent experiences ?
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Re: so you hate your kaplan instructor...   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2013, 06:10
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