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Veritas Prep Course Review

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Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 11
Veritas Prep Course Review  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 22 Feb 2010, 23:01
    1. General Questions
      a. Which Course did you take?
      - Veritas Prep
      b. In which city (or indicate if online)?
      - Dallas, TX
      c. When did it start and when did it end?
      - February 2009-April 2009
    2. About You
      a. Why did you decide to take the class?
      - I plan on going to MBA school fulltime in the next two years (from now). Aiming for a top 15 school. I thought I had some extra time and I could knock it out then.
      b. How much studying did you do before taking the course?
      - I did no studying before the Class
      c. How many points did you improve? (GMAT Score before and after the course) or if you are still enrolled, what is the progress so far?
      - N/A, haven’t taken the test yet but practice tests have improved considerably
      d. Which area improved the most?
      - Combinations and Permutations was my most improved

    3. About the Course
      a. What did you like about the course?
      - The instructors were very smart (one for verbal and one for math and they would alternate classes). I lose attention easy during lectures but they were pretty good about keeping people engaged. I also liked how many classes there were and how they broke it up. Instructors seemed to have every aspect figured out, could easily work through questions.
      b. What did you not like about the course?
      - This is my biggest pet peeve. So the Veritas marketing campaign is advertising about how they have a lot more class hours than most competitors. That’s what attracted me to the course since I figured having class lectures would be just as good studying, so this was essentially “forced studying” since I wasn’t that motivated at the time to do a lot of studying. Well, none of the classes (except 1 or 2) took the full 3 hours. 1 or 2 of them only lasted an hour. Most lasted 2 hours. So that “class time” was just time for you to ask questions after class. To their credit- both instructors said they would stay until the last person left. So it was great in the aspect you could essentially get private tutoring after the class. But if a lot of people stayed after you would just me waiting until they could get to your question. This wouldn’t have upset me at all if not for the fact they advertised so much on this aspect. And since we were there late (til 9:30) I would often just leave if there was a long line. And since I didn’t do any studying before the first class and the first class was only an hour, I had nothing to ask after the first class. That’s 2 wasted hours right there.
      Another aspect I didn’t like is they didn’t recommend studying before the class started. Definitely do some studying on your own. You will get the most out of this class that way. Figure out what you are lacking and come prepared to those classes and be able to ask your questions after the class.

      The books also were mostly filled with practice problems. Not a lot of strategy.
      Read below for a review of the books

      c. How would you rate your instructor?
      - They were both extremely knowledgeable and never seem to get stumped. Both were native English speakers so no communication problems.
      d. How would you rate prep materials used?
        i. Books
        - I would say the books are subpar. There are a lot (I think 14). Which would give the impression that there is a lot of info, but they are mostly practice problems of their own. I have gone through the Manhattan GMAT books and they blow Veritas away (in my opinion). When I take a GMAT prep class, I want most of the books and discussion to focus on strategies. Instead, most of the books and class were mostly just going over practice problems. Several times during the class they would teach a “strategy” and I would have to ask how they would apply to actual problems. We would learn some “theory” on how to think. But they didn’t really tie into “how” to take the test. I have read other guidebooks which give you strategies on what to write out during Verbal to help you analyze the Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Veritas pretty much gave some “theory” help then went straight to practice problems but didn’t link how to break down the problem. In my opinion, that is the best value a class can give a student, but Veritas didn’t help a lot in that aspect.
        ii. Tests
        - They give you 15 practice tests in total. 5 of their own and the rest outsourced from different sites. I haven’t taken all the classes so I can’t speak to all of them, but they seem relatively good. They do count the 2 standard tests you could get anyway as ones they give you.
      e. What was the size of your class?
      - About 18 total, with about 15 coming to each class
      f. What did you think about your classmates?
      - Wide range- had some really smart I-Bankers and consultants to out of work sales guys. Pretty good crew though.
    4. Would you recommend this class to others? Why or why not?
    - You can get a lot out of this class. They say you don’t need to study before the class (so I didn’t). I believe this had a negative effect on me because your just going along with what they say. Go though a guidebook or 2 before you take the class so you can take advantage of the after class time since you will know what you are weak at.
    5. On a 1 to 5 scale, how would you rank your entire experience?
    - 3.75. Smart teachers, good class. But after reading through other guidebooks, I would say there are better alternatives. But I do believe you could get a high score out of taking this class. There were a lot of negatives in this review but it really was a good class. You just need to be able to take advantage of the extra time after class.

- An added plus was they did a webinar on admissions. They had a “admission consultant” where you could ask admission strategies and what it takes to get into the school of your choice. A loose sales pitch for their consulting service, but did add value nonetheless.

- Additional Advice: Take the class once you are 110% ready to sacrifice a lot of time. Obviously, if you are in a time crunch, go ahead, but I should have waited awhile to take this class to really put in the time. As with anything, you only get what you put into it.

Originally posted by smuroach on 22 Feb 2010, 21:20.
Last edited by bb on 22 Feb 2010, 23:01, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Veritas Prep Course Review  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2010, 22:40
Thanks for the write up. It has been added to:
Strategy Discussion Thread | Strategy Master | GMAT Debrief| Please discuss strategies in discussion thread. Master thread will be updated accordingly. | GC Member Write Ups

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Re: Veritas Prep Course Review  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2010, 10:39
Hi smuroach,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful, in-depth review!

I was a little surprised about your comments re: the course lessons being shortened, since we take the "42 hours" promise VERY seriously. That doesn't mean that a class might not end early by a few minutes here or there (if a class has covered everything for the night, we won't hold you hostage!), but if an instructor is consistently cutting off a class after barely two hours, that's not the Veritas Prep way. In fact, one of the challenges with our revised course curriculum -- which we launched one year ago -- is that our instructors sometime say that 42 hours isn't enough time to get through it all!

If you don't mind, PM me. I'd like to find out more. In the meantime, we went back and checked the student reviews for our past few Dallas classes, and found no complaints about class frequently being let out early. But, please do contact me so I can learn more, because we take things like this very seriously.

Also, I wanted to share some thoughts re: the way we structure our books. There are many ways to prepare the GMAT, but our experience has proven that this learning style works best for nearly every student. We very consciously frontload our lesson booklets with strategies, and then we buttress those with our original practice problems. By working through actual problems students can immediately segue from theory into practice. Consequently, we rely heavily on our instructors to treat each practice problem like a mini-lesson. Students can test whether or not they truly understand the proper strategic approach. Otherwise, it is too easy for students to simply nod along with a false sense of security.

Our pedagogical philosophy mirrors many successful mathematical learning models, and one of our founders has honed this approach for nearly 20 years on high-performing LSAT and GMAT students. Finally, because our lesson booklets are so comprehensive, it's easy to underestimate how many pages we devote to pure strategy.

Anyway, I'm glad you had an overall great experience with Veritas Prep!

Co-Author, Your MBA Game Plan
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Veritas Prep Course Review   [#permalink] 02 Mar 2010, 10:39
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