July 23, 2016

Joined: Apr 29, 2014

Posts: 115

Kudos: 161

Self-reported Score:
640 Q50 V26
660 Q51 V27
680 Q50 V31
710 Q50 V35
760 Q50 V42

Verbal Booster rocked!


Improvement 30 Points

Course EMPOWERgmat Online Course

Location Online

I decided to give EmpowerGmat ago after failing to reach 700 target after 3 tests, with the goal of getting V35-36 at least ( I got V31 the in the 3th test). I used the Verbal Booster course because I have no problem in Quant; however, the course does include some lessons and tips about how to maximize your Quant score.

This course is actually for those who want to take the test in a short time. I completed it within 1 month, and then took the test and got 710, with Verbal score of V35. Here are some of my reviews:

- Tips and podcasts from Rich and Brian: There are many tips in the course. I just did some of them, and found all useful. I chewed gums during the test (if you do so, remember to follow his tip about how to avoid being caught) and saw that I could concentrate even in the end of Verbal section. In previous tests, I used Red Bull with the hope to stay alert at the end of the test, but it turned out that the drink harmed me. Brian (the supporter via email) recommended that I get rid of it. I followed all advice and they worked like a charm. Also, Rich told learners to wink at someone at the test center to gain the confidence and get refreshed. At first, I thought this tip is somewhat ridiculous, but after I tried to imagine the situation in my mind, I realized it actually worked. During the test days, although I did not actually do so, imagining how I am cool when winking at the female proctor really boosted my confidence. This course also includes many podcasts, and listening to them also helped me understand how the GMAT test works and have an appropriate strategy.

- SC: I used to follow the meaning-based approach of E-Gmat when working with SC questions. It is really good, but it took me a lot of time for each question (1m30s-40s on average). EMPOWERGmat’s approach is to split and eliminate 2-3 choices using grammar, and then use the meaning or grammar to get to the final choice. Some grammar errors are so easy to be spotted, but I had not known before (for example: there must be a comma “,” before “which”). I combined the approach of both E=Gmat and EMPOWERGmat and thus was able to decrease significantly the time for each SC question (1m15s or even less). The accuracy rate did not decrease, and I had much more time for CR and RC.

- CR and RC: I did not really focus on CR and RC lessons in EMPOWERGmat’s course. The reason was that I did not have many problems in finding the correct answers, but because of time constraint, I had not performed well on both parts. After I decreased time in SC questions, I had more to allocate to CR and RC, and all went fine.

- Course’s price: if you want to take the test in 1 month and do not want to spend a lot of money on prep courses, this Booster course is what you need. Just finish it within 1 month, and the price for 1-month-subscription cannot be beaten.

- Some Cons: It is not economical for those who study for a long time because they have to pay for subscription each month. Also, grammar lessons about SC mostly provide tips for spotting the error. If you are still weak in basic grammar such as sentence structure, tenses, etc. you should go to Manhattan or E-Gmat.

P/s: After getting V35 and 710 overall in the 4th test in Jan 2016, I continued to take the test in March and got 760 (V42). Although I did not extend EMPOWERGmat subscription, I think what I had learned in 1 month did help a lot in the 5th test.

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