I began my quest to attend a top 5 business school as a 08 New Year Resolution. I started without much information on the GMAT, resulting in 2 months of on and off studying with a Princeton Review book. From the get go I knew my challenge would be math and had to start with the basics (i.e. FOIL, exponents, etc). Knowing my P Review book was as unhelpful as my irregular study habits, I enrolled in a Kaplan Course on 4/20.
GMAT Kaplan Course April: Weekly Sunday
During the first class, I felt lost since my classmates were all strong in math. Moreover, I left overwhelmed with the pre class and home work. I tried to plow through everything just to check the boxes even though I knew I was not learning. Realizing I would not be able to finish the class due to an international work assignment, I stopped studying and checked the boxes, to ensure I could retake the class using the higher score guarantee.
Bottom line: check all the boxes so you can retake the class with the higher score guarantee
GMAT Course July: Weekly Sunday
Having attended classes previously, I felt more confident about retaking the class and actually learning content. I made a conscious decision to make the GMAT my number one priority (see body, soul). Again I was in a class with strong math students and felt overwhelmed. It did not help that my teacher was new and started her part time MBA while working full time and teaching for Kaplan. While she was nice, the teacher often rushed through the lessons without providing thorough explanations. There were also logistics issues, resulting in two missed classes. After completing the class, I was no where near scoring a 700 as my CAT scores ranged from 520 to 580. Providing a real world testing example, the Ultimate practice test was the best part of the course.
Bottom line: report any issues you have about your teacher / logistics to ensure you are getting your moneys worth
GMAT Course October: Weekly Saturday (Math Intensive)
Scoring in the 500s, I realized I desperately needed to understand basic math to improve. I retook the class for the 3rd time using the Alumni Discount ($300) + the added cost of 3 math intensive classes. This time the teacher was strong and I finally understood the material. Having taken the CATs before inflated my scores: ranging from 620 to 660.
Bottom line: having a capable instructor is the most important aspect of the course
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