As some will have already learned from my other post, I scored 710 on the GMAT last Friday. Now that I have slept, eaten, and consumed a bit more alcohol than I probably should have, I would like to share some observations about what I felt helped me reach my goal of scoring over 700.
For starters, I tried both Kaplan
and The Princeton Review
. While the latter was of some use, particularly in its approach to cracking Reading Comprehension questons, I felt that neither Kap nor TPR were very effective in giving me a holistic approach to cracking the GMAT
. One-on-one instruction was not an option for me, as I hold a full-time job and am the father of two little boys. Not to mention, I wanted to see my wife as often as possible.
What to do?
I began surfing the web. It was during one of these forays that I discovered the GMAT Club. What a resource! Admittedly, I am a lurker-- someone who reads the advice and questions of others without posting many comments of his own. This secondhand knowledge, however, was immensely helpful. It was here that I first learned of GMAX Online.
I checked out their site, and watched their instructors' intro videos. It looked very interesting. By this point, however, I only had 6 weeks left before the test. After emailing Leanna with a few questions, I decided to take the plunge. I even upgraded to a sweet new Dell laptop in order to watch the streaming video lessons from coffee shops, libraries, and between my boys' cribs at night after putting them to bed.
My laptop arrived shortly after I signed-up for GMAX Online. After some initial hiccups with Windows Media Player not working properly with video playback, I was in business. Over the next 4 1/2 weeks, I watched some 40 to 50 hours of instructional video in which topics as disparate as Coordinate Geometry and Parallelism in Sentence Structure were covered. After each video, I completed between one to two hours of homework. I would wake each day around 5 am, drive down the cafe by my office that offered free wifi, order a latte, plug in & tune out. This pattern continued for weeks.
The result was that I am now the proud owner of a GMAT score of 710. While I worked my tail off, I can honestly say that GMAX Online had a lot to do with my success. At $499, it's less than half the cost of most Kaplan
courses. It's not everyday I take to the web to promote a product or service, but the correlation here is simply undeniable.
Thank you, GMAX, for pushing me over the top.
On a side note, I strongly encourage anyone who may be considering GMAX to <b>get the CDs</b> of the video lessons. Windows Media Player is unreliable, and does not always play nicely with its own DRM system. Save yourself the headache and get the lessons on disc.
Also, my experience with GMAX's sample tests was that their tests are much harder than the actual GMAT. For instance, I scored around 640 on GMAX's test, about 710 on PowerPrep, and received an actual score of 710 on the GMAT. In other words, try to do as well as possible on GMAX's test, but don't worry too much if your score seems low.
I hope this helps someone out there who may be deciding which test prep to select.