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Knewton Overall great
July 06 | 2012

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       By msinhagmat joined: January 1, 2012 | 7 | 5 | non-native speaker
Improvement: 110 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   | Location:  Online |
I started knewton course on february mid. The course is dividen into 13 sessions. Its has three sections into each of its sessions. Each session comes with video lesson, Preassessment, homework, extra homework.

This course helps to build concept well. It has a lot of question and the live session are also on convenient time as per IST. I attended lot of sessions. The discussion during live session flows well. It's score is little skewed on tests but i improved a lot on GMAT for V29 to V38.I was already too good in Quant so didn't give much time there. I realy liked the course but i would suggest to take this course within 3 months and attempt the test. Delay would flush off the thing.
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Knewton's 50 points guarantee
April 26 | 2012

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       By Anonymous joined: March 20, 2011 | 18 | 13 | non-native speaker
Improvement: 20 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   | Location:  Online |
I was consistently scoring around the 720. I came across the 50 point guarantee scheme that Knewton offers. I was pretty excited about this course. The instructors Dave, Jessie, Rich, Jen are really good. I liked the verbal part of the course. The questions very much resemble with the GMAT type. Knewton also offers 6 practice CATS including the diagnostic. However, I did not like the scoring algorithm. I mean that making 3 mistakes in quants would land me up at Q46. The only thing that I did not like about Knewton course is the CAT algorithm that they use in their CATS. Else, the course is nice. It did give me a 20 point increase. And yes, they gave my money back. This part is great. They mean what they say. They did not ask me a single question.
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January 24 | 2012

2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful
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       By Anonymous joined: September 30, 2011 | 1 | 0 | native speaker
Improvement: N/A  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   | Location:  Online |

Knewton prides itself on being a leader in technology, but all of their videos are not able to be viewed on the IPAD or the Android tablets.
A company at the leading edge of technology should have a work around to Apples stubbornness of not authorizing the ability to install adobe and with the case of the Android tablets, Knewton should develop the ability to make their videos viewable.

It is true that you can view most of their videos on tablets, but if you pay full prices, you should get all of the content that is paid for...tablets weren't developed last week...

Customer service is below average/poor. It took 3 weeks and me emailing 3 different departments for Knewton to tell me that their video is not supported on tablets. This information should be known prior to registration.

Recommend Knewton allowing a 1 week trial period for the reasons stated above....A car dealership allows a test drive before purchasing a car.


I am on session 3 and have enjoyed the content thus far...
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Knewton -- High Quality Live Classes
January 11 | 2012

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       By anubhavjain03 joined: January 5, 2010 | 6 | 25 | non-native speaker
Improvement: 80 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   | 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 -- would like to share some insights
January 11 | 2012

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       By shaselai joined: June 12, 2009 | 1847 | 202 | non-native speaker
Improvement: N/A  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   | Location:  Online |
i am also taking knewton and would like to share some insights as well (without making another thread). I have about 2 classes left so i am almost done. For quant they focus a lot more on PS than any other. Geometry is only one class and i believe probability is one class (my next class) as well. The verbal SC is focused the most with CR second.
The structure of the course is like:

day of class:
1 pre- quant problem set
1 pre-verbal problem set

re-take pre quant/verbal problem set (only on topics you got wrong on in the pre sets)
homeworks covering the topics went over in class.

During class the teachers try to go over all the questions students may have through chat and gives almost strictly 2 minutes to answer a problem via a poll. There are on-demand videos for each class - you can view like 2-3 classes from different teachers to get a different perspective - however, the problems are the same (they use same slides).

There is a progress bar that shows a graph that breaks down the percentage of a topic taught and how you are doing for that topic. For example, if they taught all the topics on geometry it will have 100%, if you got 80% of the geometry problems right you are at 80%. They break it down further to specific topics like verbal - idioms, run-on sentences etc. so it shows you what topic you might need to work on. I am not sure how to improve upon a specific topic since they dont categorize problems by topic. I guess one way is to re-take the problem sets you got <100% on and increase your percentage that way.

i got a 640 on my official gmat, got a 620 on my first Knewton CAT and a 650 last week. My math is more or less the same ~48 but my verbal improved from 28 to 32 - i was actually a bit disappointed because i got only 9 wrong on verbal and still got a 32. My next CAT is tonight so i hope at least my verbal can get a bit better.
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How I upgraded my 700 to a 770 (Q50, V44)
January 03 | 2012

6 out of 6 people found the following review helpful
  [ What's this? ]
       By Av joined: October 4, 2008 | 894 | 263 | native speaker
Improvement: 70 Points |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   | Location:  Online |
Unimportant Introduction

I took the GMAT for the first time in November 2008 and scored 700 (Q47, V39). At the time, I thought I had made the mark. After all, I had hit the magical 700 barrier that everyone talks about. It didn’t take long for me to realize that 700 was technically below average all of the top 10 schools. Although I had studied for 3 months prior to hitting the 700 mark, I knew I could do better, so I decided to retake the exam. This time I’d be shooting for 750.

In January 2009, I decided that I would use the GMAT Club Tests and the MGMAT SC guide to improve my quant and verbal scores. I finished 2 chapters of the MGMAT SC guide and quickly realized that this plan sucked. I was still worn out from my first attempt and I didn’t have any motivation to study on my own. To top it all off, the economy was getting worse and a lot of people were nervous about the impact on b-school job opportunities. I put the GMAT on the backburner and began to research March Madness strategies to ensure that I would get last place in the GMAT Club March Madness fantasy league.

By the time March Madness was done and I had succeeded in taking last place, Knewton was offering their course for $699. It seemed like a reasonable price and the program looked promising, so I paid for the program and chose the session that would run from June – July. So now that you know how I got back into studying the GMAT, here’s how it all went down…

I took my Knewton diagnostic test and got a dismal 640 (Q46, V32). I was pretty pissed off because I only missed 2 questions on the quantitative portion. I couldn’t help but wonder if this program was just a marketing scam. Did they sandbag my performance on the first test just to make their 50 point guarantee easier to back? I called Knewton support and they said they’d look into my results and send me an email. I never got an email.

I went forward with the course and most of it was actually pretty good. As most people will tell you, the instructors are great. The practice material is also really good. Most of their practice problems are official questions that have been rewritten. I actually liked this approach, because it gets you in the habit of looking for the pattern. Rather than seeing a random question, you see the concepts that are being tested. It’s also really helpful to practice with questions that are representative of the real exam. I was mostly disappointed with the CATs, which I thought was funny because they’re so quick to brag about having the original creators of the GMAT scoring algorithm on staff. The scoring on the Knewton CATs sucks, but I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the algorithm or simply a lack of difficult questions. It was also a little annoying that there wasn’t a good library of information to reference. The concept library was great for seeking explanations to problems you had missed, but there wasn’t a clearly organized method for reading material before you’re tested on it. This led me to seek resources outside of Knewton.

The Recommendations
For quant, I used Jeff Sackmann’s Total GMAT Math, as well as his Extreme Challenge Questions Set. Total GMAT Math is by far the most thorough quant book available for the GMAT. It starts with the assumption that you know nothing about the GMAT and ends with the most difficult subjects, such as combinations, permutations, probability, and symbolism. Total GMAT Math contains every concept that you will need on the GMAT, but it won’t expose you to every combination of concepts. This is where the Extreme Challenge set comes in. The question set contains 100 questions that are all 720+ difficulty level. What I liked most about this question set is that it requires you to solve difficult questions by combining concepts. Consider the following question:

"How many ways can you select 4 people from 5 married couples if no two people from the same couple can be selected?"

You know that order doesn’t matter, but you can’t really solve this question with the combinations approach either. What’s the solution? You use the permutation approach and divide out the number of ways they can be ordered.

(10x8x6x4)/(4x3x2x1) = 80

Jeff Sackmann’s explanations are outstanding and all of these questions appear to be based on official questions.

MGMAT SC is an absolute must. This book will teach you everything you need to know about GMAT Sentence Correction. If you’re serious about getting V40+ on the GMAT and you’re not already an SC wizard, you have to buy this book. I learned a couple odds & ends from Knewton as well.

I didn’t use any books for these sections, because Knewton is actually really good with these subjects. I didn’t use Knewton’s approach to reading RC passages, but their explanation of question types was really helpful. I’m probably going against what most test prep companies will tell you, but I don’t use any tricks for CR or RC. I read the passage and answer the question. For me, it was really helpful to understand the types of wrong answer choices (too extreme, out of scope, etc).

As you can see, I didn’t mention GMAT Club Tests or the Brutal SC document. I’ve tried to use these resources, but they’re just too demoralizing for me. A lot of people really like these resources, so don’t be swayed by my opinion, but just know that they aren’t the only resources that will take you to Q50 or V40+.

The Test Scores
Knewton #1 640 (Q46, V32)
Knewton #2 730 (Q46, V45)
Knewton #3 750 (Q48, V45)
Knewton #4 730 (Q48, V41)
*I lost faith in the Knewton CATs and never took the last one.

MGMAT #4 730 (Q49, V41)

GMATPrep #1 750 (Q49, V42)
-9 Quant errors, 6 Verbal errors (1RC, 2CR, 3SC)
GMATPrep #1 RT 780 (Q51, V47)
-3 Quant errors, 2 Verbal errors (1SC, 1CR)
GMATPrep #2 750 (Q49, V44)
-10 Quant errors (timing issues), 5 Verbal errors (3SC, 2CR)
GMATPrep #2 RT 770 (Q50, V47)
-6 Quant errors (finished early), 2 Verbal errors (1SC, 1RC) (finished early)

Official GMAT: 770 (Q50, V44)
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Course Rankings
Overall Score Improvement
70 points
International Student Score Improvement
70 points