I signed up for the Economist GMAT Tutor course after reading about it on both GMAT Club and the Economist website. For me, the initial attractions with the course were its technical content, accessibility (i.e. using the course on an iPad rather than attending classes or lugging books around) and adaptability (i.e. the course adjusts to address weak areas). And the Economist brand was also a factor. So I decided to sign up. I used the course only for the quant section; I used other resources for verbal.
The course exceeded my expectations in this regard. Every topic was more than adequately covered with the required depth of knowledge, and an appropriate mix of theory and practice (via questions during each topic). In addition, a strategy was provided for answering questions for each topic – I found this aspect to be the most beneficial of the entire course. Particular standouts were the strategies for sets and fractions (“bowties”).
The course exceeded my expectations in this regard. There was no loss of functionality when using the course via iPad. At the start of each session, you simply enter the time you have to study and the area (i.e. quant or verbal or both) then the course does everything else automatically. A couple of times I lost internet connection – the course took me to the area where I was when I lost connection. The interface was slightly smaller when compared to the laptop version, so I found myself tapping the wrong button at times, but this was only a minor issue.
The course was not quite what I was expecting in this regard. Although it is true that the course adapts to your weaknesses, the method used is to provide more questions for the topics for which you are weak while you are working on other subsequent topics. While in principle this appears to be a good method, at the time I felt that what I needed was a refresher of the theory and strategies, rather than more and more questions thrown at me. Unfortunately you are unable to revisit the areas of the course already covered, other than via a small summary of each topic on the home page which I found to be less than ideal, especially as the summary was only high level and the interface was clunky on the iPad (i.e. no quick way of finding a specific topic; difficulty when trying to scroll).
You have access to a tutor, either via email or with one-on-one sessions. My tutor (Isaac) was very prompt and thorough in answering my emails and providing feedback, as well as providing honest feedback. I didn’t take up the sessions.
You can query individual questions, and a tutor gets back to you within 24 hours most of the time – this is a good feature.
There are practice exams which are a good reflection of the feel of the real thing, although possibly not fully representative of its difficulty.
Overall the course was enjoyable to work through, especially when answering the practice questions and receiving feedback from the tutor (e.g. statistics such as % of questions answered correctly, weak & strong areas). The course is certainly effective in providing the technical content and strategies, and is very accessible compared to traditional methods of learning. Unfortunately these strong points are partially offset by its inability to revisit topics in depth at a later stage.
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