I found the 9 session GMAT prep course very helpful for a few reasons. The primary reason was to motivate me to stay on track with weekly assignments and a structured review plan. I think that some people would be fine to buy the books and work through them on his/her own and at his/her own pace. With my busy work and social schedule, I found the structure to be incredibly helpful.
Another reason that I thought the class was helpful was for the little tricks of the trade that the instructor provided. At some points I felt the classes were a waste of time, but every once in a while we would learn something that could save me 20 seconds on a quant problem and would make it all worth while.
I did not find the verbal review to be very helpful. On the actual test I ended up using only 1-2 things that I learned in the classes. My improvements in verbal came really as a result of simply doing a lot of practice problems.
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