Knewton GMAT Course Reviews
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Knewton -- High Quality Live Classes
January 11 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By anubhavjain03 joined: January 5, 2010 | 6 | 25 | non-native speaker
Improvement: 80 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Premium Live | Location:   Online |
Why it rocks?

1. 50 points Money back guarantee – therefore, if you do well in the diagnostic test (first attempt) or have a score of 650-700 in the first attempt and plan to retake gmat, then it may be a low risk proposition. The only thing you need to devote is your time.
2. Quick and quality feedback – the knewton help centre is quick to respond to any queries. Every night I asked them some or the other questions and next morning I would receive a detailed explanation or clarification.
3. Good study videos that comprehensively cover almost all topics
4. High quality live classes – excellent and well prepared faculty and active participation of other members during class (I am talking about office hours)
5. A lot of practice tests – both topic wise and section wise
6. Free Gmatclub tests + $100 discount on reference + regular cash discount/promotion = not very expensive gmat preparation course (it cost me $690 - $150 (March Madness) - $ 100 (reference) = $ 450 + cost saving of $ 80 (gmatclub tests) = $ 370 (net perceived course value))
7. Knewton CATs
a. English section explanations are excellent (similar to the way OG 12 offers explanation)
b. Most questions – both Maths and English are basically reworded or twisted version of the OG or officially released questions
c. Level of Maths is generally lower and easier than actual Gmat. However, this weakness is smartly covered up by providing access to the Gmatclub tests where you can practice harder questions.
8. English section – I was happy with the English section because it was very similar to the Gmat prep and actual questions in the exam. The explanations are also high quality.

Why it sucks?

1. Knewton CAT
a. Scoring is weird. After the first 2 tests, I felt that its algorithm went awry. In spite of doing considerably well compared to first two tests, I got terribly low score in all the subsequent tests.
b. There is no CAT analysis provided (compared to the Manhattan CATs that have a very useful and sophisticated analysis)
c. You cannot try the CAT questions again because Knewton does not provide option of hiding answers while reviewing unlike Manhattan. This was bad for me because I could not know my concept gaps. After every CAT, I attempt the wrong questions untimed to test my concept gap and correct answers under timed condition to test any guesses made.
d. All practice tests are untimed. This was again terrible because I could not practice questions under timed conditions. I had to repeatedly use Walker’s gmat timer.
2. Maths section
a. Question level is nearly same as that of OG – basically reworded questions with slight change. Therefore, it tests most of the concepts as per the officially released questions
b. I felt that maths questions were easier than actual gmat.
3. Concept queue
a. Although Knewton touts this as revolutionary, I found it very overly simple with not much value.
b. The biggest problem with concept queue is that although you may know which area or topic you are weak, you will not be offered specific questions or question drills to master those concepts. You will have to retake all the practice tests again and get those wrong questions right. I was disappointed with this because 1 or 2 weeks before my exam, I wanted to work only on questions that covered my weak areas. I simply did not have time to redo all the practice tests (by the way, there are a lot of practice tests).

Final verdict on Knewton

I did not intentionally give verdict on Knewton because I wanted to leave it open for readers to decide. This is because given different background and circumstances, what may be good or bad for me may not be so for others and therefore, my verdict, should not veil someone's decision to take the course.

However, as per the request, I still present my verdict below so that someone with similar requirements can take a more informed decision.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Knewton course may not be responsible for my results because

1. It did not help me improve my Maths score (as Knewton's Maths is not very strong). Gmatclub tests, gmatclub forums, Manhattan tests and forums and Gmat prep Maths exhaust explanations were far better guide.
2. In spite of taking a lot of tests, due to lack of CAT analysis and lack of focussed practice on weak areas, I could not boost my English score as well. For English, Manhattan books and forums are more than sufficient.
3. Knewton CATs were a big disappointment in terms of its scoring and lack of analysis, and hence, I had to take shelter with Manhattan tests when I needed help most.

In sum, in retrospect, I could have scored well without Knewton. Manhattan and official guides were my savior.
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Knewton
January 19 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By Anonymous joined: March 9, 2011 | 1 | 5 | native speaker
Improvement: 100 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
Overall, I found that Knewton's scoring is tougher than reality - I ended up getting a score 50 points above my highest Knewton result.

Because the GMAT is a CAT, using an online course was very helpful. The verbal exercises in particular were very helpful, though I felt that the math explanations weren't always so clear. Instructor quality was top notch.

I've been recommending Knewton to my friends, and I can think of no better program to go with.
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LOVED IT!!!
January 19 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By ludwika joined: August 18, 2011 | 0 | 5 | non-native speaker
Improvement: 190 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
I started my preparations for GMAT in September '11 and signed up for the four month course (kudos to GMAT Club for $100 off). I took my first test and... I was very disappointed :p. I got 500 points. I wanted to apply for Kellogg's part-time MBA program. With that score it would definitely not be possible. I was slightly discouraged, and tried to get myself into more positive thinking reading success stories of 200 point improvements on GMAT club forum (again kudos to GMAT club members). Four months after Knewton's prep I took my first official GMAT. I got 690 points (quant 44 verbal 40)!!! :D I’m pretty sure that I could still improve even more with some extra prep on my verbal (English is my second language). Nevertheless, let's leave that for next time if won't get in where I want to.

Knewton's prep is divided conveniently into 13 sections - each with verbal and quant component. Every session contains initial assessment (about 25 questions), pre-recorded class (70min on average), homework, and reassessment test. In addition, Knewton provides you with a total of 6 full length GMAT mock exams (including your initial assessment test), extra homeworks, extra pre-recorded concept focused videos, extra questions, and extra hard (at least for me) midterm and final challenge tests. Believe me, you will have more than enough material to study.

All questions are timed. After submitting your answers you can check how long it took you to solve each one of the questions. In addition, Knewton gives you a comprehensive list of concepts with detailed explanations. As you go through each session your list of concepts to review fills up. The most amazing part about Knewton's prep is that the questions are so similar to the questions you will come across during the actual test. The part that I appreciated a lot is that Knewton wasn't trying to push on me to learn many strategies that could help me to guess the answer. Instead, Knewton showed me how each question could be solved using algebra, and what basic techniques I could use to speed up my process. I find this method much better and more convincing than Kaplan's or Princeton's GMAT guestimation (yeah, I tried both prep books before starting my Knewton classes). I also went though Manhattan books (which I really liked) out of curiosity, and I have to say that I feel like Knewton online course is a mixture of what's best in all prep materials that I've seen.

There are few things that I thought could be improved on:
- Verbal sections - I have no idea how they could make studying to those sections easier or more effective. Nevertheless, while Knewton gave me plenty of prep questions I still haven’t improved much on my verbal score. Maybe if they focused on more tricky questions... I have no idea. Maybe even more questions group in the types of questions like in math? So for instance a whole section on inference? No idea... I leave that to Knewton geeks ;].
- Flagging questions - unfortunately Knewton doesn't give you that option. You know whether you did the questions right or wrong after the fact, but you can't flag them as you go, or even after the fact for future reference. I would really like that feature to be added.
- Concept list updates - So here's the deal. Once you solve any of the questions, Knewton gives you a list of concepts that were tested in each question. Then, once you go to each of concept, questions with that given concept show on the side of the concept as a reference. I would like Knewton to divide this column into correctly and incorrectly answered. It's not a very important feature, but it would be cool to have it.
- Question redo - currently you can redo only homework and extra quiz questions. It would be really awesome if you could redo the tests and reassessments as well.

I hope that all of you considering Knewton for your GMAT prep will find this review helpful. Oh, and by the way, I actually completed my 13 sessions in 3 months. I used the last month to review concepts and questions I did wrong throughout. After I was done with Knewton, I moved on to do questions from OG. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t find many questions to be so challenging anymore :D
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Knewton course
January 19 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By Anonymous joined: August 9, 2011 | 35 | 9 | non-native speaker
Improvement: N/A  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
Pros:
1) It provides good structure in preparation
2) It provides the luxury of studying at home.
3) Great lively teachers. especially Verbal instructors were amazing
4) my phobia with Number Properties and Inequalities have been completely eliminated with Knewton. I can confidently handle these problems now.

Cons:
1) Course content could have been better. Although there are plenty of questions, cats, and exercises the video lessons are not that many for some of the topics( with the teachers that I wanted)
2) The CATs scoring is totally skewed esp Quant. Very demotivating. Frankly none of the test companies come close to official gmat prep. I have no way of knowing my level until I take gmatprep.
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Knewton = Godsend
January 20 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By codytravers joined: June 6, 2011 | 148 | 30 | native speaker
Improvement: 70 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
Knewton is simply an awesome program. I went with the complete prep version, which includes pre-recorded classes for all sections. I actually think it's better than the live version because one can watch the classes at their own pace. There would be some weeks where I was on vacation and/or too burned out to study, so I'd just push it off to the next week.

Basically, I scored a 660 with my original study materials, which comprised mainly of the Manhattan GMAT books. While they tremendously helped me brush up my rusty math skills, they did not do a good job of emphasizing the proper study materials. For example, for my first exam, I overemphasized studying probability and combinatorics vs. rates and ratios and number properties, which can make up the bulk of the quant section. Furthermore, their practice exams are unrealistically difficult on the quant side, and unrealistically easy on the verbal side.

Anyway, enough about Manhattan GMAT. Knewton did an amazing job of allowing me to think like the testmaker. It also had CAT's which much better reflected actual GMAT problems. Basically, over four months, the course subtly emphasized the most important aspects of the GMAT exam, while taking it easy on subjects that wouldn't show up as much.

If there is a negative (which is a big IF), it is the CAT scoring algorithm. Scores can vary wildly between tests. Additionally, they can be lower than what is reflective of your actual performance. However, I would much rather have it this way, than the other way around. My scores ranged from 590 to 670 before my final CAT, on which I made a 710. My final GMAT was a 730.
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Disappointing score but good product
January 24 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By mikeyyJ joined: October 31, 2010 | 0 | 0 | native speaker
Improvement: 20 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
After taking the GMAT 2x, once scoring 660, and canceling my scores the second time, I decided to take the Knewton course instead of rely on my own preparation for my third and final attempt.

The courses were very good - and compared to online courses from MGMAT and others, in the videos the Knewton instructors move fast - which is a definitely plus!

The instructors were good, they obviously know their stuff and provide good ways to think through the problems.

The content was good as well, lots of questions and plenty of extra homework.

The course came with a 50 point increase guarantee which is a great confidence booster. Before taking the Knewton course, I never scored above a 700 on a practice test, and afterwards I scored between 620 - 740, with my final three practice tests at 720(MGMAT), 740(gmatprep), and 720(gmatprep). Unfortunately, in actual GMAT I scored 680..

before knewton: 1st test: 660 42V 40Q
after knewton: 3rd test: 680 37V 46Q

As you can see, in the first test I did quite well in verbal and poorly in quant - so my main focus during my review was quant. This was also reinforced by the fact that I was scoring consistent 43-45V in the practice tests, so I was super disappointed on test day when I scored a 37V. My understanding is that the verbal section has changed a bit -- away from idioms, which seems to be one of the primary focuses of all the courses.... maybe this has something to do with my score, or it was just a fluke and I should retake?

Combining my best V and Q scores would give me approx 700, which I would have been happy with.

All in all, I'm bummed, but glad that at least I get my money back. I scored a 620 on my first knewton gmat, so a 680 is technically a 50 point increase, but since I had already scored a 660, I did qualify for the refund.

I would recommend this course to anyone, and I think that this is probably the best way to get started on your gmat preparation.
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Knewton Online Course Review
January 24 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By Anonymous joined: October 13, 2011 | 0 | 0 | native speaker
Improvement: 70 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
Knewton has been an amazing resource for the price. I really just wanted some extra practice problems and a couple videos to introduce me to the plethora of concepts the GMAT covers. Knewton provided this and much more. The strategies they teach are basically the same as the other test prep companies, however it is presented in a better manner. I was very pleased when I found out that the modules are mixed (i.e. you don't go through 4 reading comp modules and then move on to problem solving... they mix them up so they don't become monotonous). Overall a great product that very worth the price.
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Knewton
January 26 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By Anonymous joined: March 12, 2011 | 6 | 0 | non-native speaker
Improvement: 70 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
Background:
I had completed a self-study by using the Manhattan Guides and also completing the Manhattan CAT tests. I initially started looking at the material in March '11 and scheduled a date for June '11. However, I didn't feel prepared and later rescheduled it for August '11. I did not get the score I wanted and was quite disheartened as I had put in months of serious studying.

I took a 2 month break because I was sick and tired of looking at any questions, but knew I had to get into the groove soon as deadlines were creeping up quite quickly. I kept procrastinating and finally signed up for the Knewton Course in November '11. There were many courses available, and after researching for hours, on GMAT Club forums and checking online - I made the decision to go with Knewton. The #1 reason I opted for Knewton was that they provided a guarantee of a 50 point increase or your money back. The reason this was important was not for monetary reasons - but because it proved to me that they had a good product and are willing to reiumburse if they do not meet the commitment.

Pros:
- Lessons are structured - 2 lessons - 1 is Verbal and 1 is Math --> this was very helpful because I was learning both concepts and if I got frustrated with one lesson I moved to the next to change things up
---> Sections had a per-assessment and a post-assessment which was helpful because you can track your improvement/ or identify areas of concern quite easily
--> Can take quizzes and tests numerous times to get extra practice
--> Extra focus lessons were a bonus
--> video lessons were interactive --> paused the screen to complete questions etc

Cons:
--> Cannot retake the CAT tests

I did a crash course ie about 1.5 months - it was very intense and time consuming and I barely slept. However, after doing the course my score improved by 70 points!!

I would definitely recommend this course to any one - I was working with a very short time frame and this was the best option. It's a win win situation either way - if your score improves by 50, you're in a better spot. If it doesn't, then you get your money back.
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Nothing Spectacular Here
February 10 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By Anonymous joined: January 6, 2012 | 294 | 56 | native speaker
Improvement: N/A  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
I had been pondering for a while which GMAT class to take since early 2010 mainly because
1. I work for a consulting firm & work anything balance is crap
2. I havent studied for a entrance exam for a bloody long time

In the end I choose Knewton cause it would give me a lot of flexibility to study & attend lectures.

The lectures are pretty good, specially the live classes but they used to happen at very odd Indian Standard Times such as 9 - 12 am or 4 - 7 am. The upside was that you could get your answers immediately from the Teaching Assistant (TA) or the instructor.

They also have a library or archive of the older recordings & their weekly doubt solving sessions which was again a plus point.

The CAT's were good but I couldn't attempt all 3 cause I ran out of time towards my date with the GMAT.

The major help I got from them was AWA in which I scored a 6. They corrected around 4 of my AWA's & gave me really great advice that helped a lot during the real thing

The bad part was that all of the above only worked like 60% of time as their website/ Internet/ Browser had some kind of an issue all the time. Thus videos streams were broken, I had to re-start the sessions most of the time, important concepts were lost in transit, etc & was really frustrating.

Also they do not help you with questions from resources other than the GMAC (Be Fore Warned - I did try some from Kaplan & they point blank refuse) & will only correct 3 AWA's. The refund policy is applicable only if you complete the entire course test, practice, CATs - hence I didn't get any refund

Overall I would rate Knewton's course as average & only recommend it to people who have blazing internet speeds (my 2Mbps broadband fixed line didn't cut it & had lots of issues), compatible browser technology (Mozilla, Chrome had issues during my course), questions from GMAC only & a bucket load of patience (which i lacked at 9 pm / 5 am) the course is good, else like me find a course which gives u an instructor in the flesh (get him to kick your rear hard), Best Friends (Lazy Farts will jump to kick you ass) & GMAT Club questions to etch towards your dream score.
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Easy to use and go at your own pace
February 13 | 2012

  [ What's this? ]
       By pardeep joined: July 27, 2010 | 0 | 0 | non-native speaker
Improvement: N/A  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:  Knewton Complete Prep | Location:   Online |
I was thinking of studying for GMAT for almost a year and then one day I signed up for Knewton course at steal away price. I think, it was a right pick.

Pros.: 1. Syllabus and dashboard are set up in a way that makes it easy to track progress.
2. Great explanation to questions. You can email it's service center and it replies promptly.
3. It has 6 Knewton CATs, almost on the same lines as of real GMAT.
4. Overall, Knewton lectures were incredibly helpful to get through the material necessary to be ready for the GMAT. Teachers were definitely enthusiastic about material and often made the material itself more lively offering personal help.

Cons: 1. You can't retake the CATs.
2. Many of the questions are very much easy as per GMAT standard and sometimes non representative of real GMAT. First few classes were very much easy, may be it was to make your base strong.
3. It doesn't have any offline materials or workbooks. Having offline books could have made this course much strong or may be unbeatable!

Final verdict: This is an awesome GMAT course for busy/working people. If you can learn well on online courses, go for it. Online classes are helpful when you can go for the course at your own pace or as according to Knewton schedule. Both ways, it's a win-win situation.
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Knewton Course Rankings
Overall Score Improvement
68 points
International Student Score Improvement
75 points
Verbal
80%
Quant
80%
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