GMAT Club
January 22, 2017
DarkMashew

Joined: Jan 22, 2017

Posts: 0

Kudos: 0

Verified score:
600 Q39 V34

Improvement 70 Points

Course EMPOWERgmat Online Course

Location Online

Bottom line: the EMPOWERgmat is a cut above in tactics, skills, strategy, and confidence building for maximum impact in a compact timeframe. Try it for a month; I doubt you will be disappointed.

The GMAT is one of the most important choices in life for many, including myself, as it carries so much weight for MBA applications. But the GMAT preparation industry is saturated with high opacity around the true value behind a service’s offering. The costs can be exorbitant and I have firsthand experienced an ineffective large retail course wherein I poured thousands of dollars and more than 200 hours of study.

As a means of background, I am a French-American male who graduated in finance with summa cum laude honors in 2010. After working during more than 5.5 years in corporate finance, business analysis, and strategic marketing throughout Asia I decided to pursue the GMAT in the path to business school. Even though I have historically been a poor standardized test taker (questioning the validity of such exams altogether), I do strive to take measured, sound, and serious decisions based on available information and exert persistent effort to yield desired outcomes. In doing so, I often rely on recommendations and referrals as a short cut to discovering quality in making decisions. As such, I took up a trusted friend’s suggestion for a certain online module who had scored a 700.

I spent 6 months studying (May-November 2016) with the online prep class featuring software that predicted a score of 630-700 after gruelingly answering thousands of questions and going through all of the content lessons. However, the predictive models weren’t reflective of my real performance as my CAT scores were falling in the mid to upper 500’s. An anecdote to underscore my experience: I spent many dozens of hours studying three-dimensional geometry in the large retail course’s software and I only came across 1 such question in the two real-life tests. The same can be said for combinations, probability, two-rate problems, etc. This is indicative of the misinformation and flawed understanding of how the GMAT algorithm and scoring work by some (many) prep companies, rendering courses less effective and putting many at a disadvantage.

In my last-minute frustration, I conducted desk research to seek out if any other solutions existed. Thanks to the reviews left by several students on sites like GMAT Club, I fortuitously learned about EMPOWERgmat. The comments all seemed promising, so I had a first 1-hour free perusal and was immediately impressed by the curriculum and the affordability (the cheapest among competitors that I’d seen). The videos were vibrant - showing how to approach problems, take notes, stay organized, and strategically guess where needed. Unfortunately, it was only several days before my first test attempt so I had little time to absorb the lessons and correct my issues. Not surprisingly, my first official score was a 530, which I smartly canceled thanks to EMPOWERgmat’s optimal game theory-like test-taking strategy.

I was spurred to immediately reach out to the EMPOWERgmat team and explain my situation, which turns out to be not such an uncommon one – there are a number of students who go through retail courses with lackluster results in their first GMAT test and search for alternatives. EMPOWERgmat’s client service team, particularly Brian Michaels, is absolutely outstanding. The team is extremely responsive, attentive, and sympathetic to the client’s needs and difficulties. From the first interaction, I was put at ease with their no nonsense, straightforward, positive, and encouraging style of engagement. It was revealed to me that the test is a measure of skills and training as opposed to capability and hours of study per se. This was insight I hadn't come across anywhere else, as it's based on proprietary analysis. After exchanging several emails, I decided to reschedule and undertake study with their curriculum.

I had to untangle all of my bad habits with a wholesale recalibration of the way I thought about the test. This was not always easy, but EMPOWERgmat made it as painless as possible with the strong energy from the videos and an airtight system. After a short 1.5 months, I managed to improve my score +70 points to a 600 in time for Round 2 deadlines of different MBA programs. While that does not sound significant, it very much is to me. The score puts me in the 600+ range that is the minimum baseline for top programs and was the highest performance in any CAT or real-life exam I had taken (the highest percentile on any standardized test in fact).

So in short, the EMPOWERgmat was a lifesaver and I should have used it from the onset. Doing so would have saved me many hours of frustration and most likely allowed me to earn an even better score. My candid advice would be to carve out a solid 3-months of committed study to get the most impact (from any program for that matter).

I unreservedly recommend EMPOWERgmat and sincerely hope the program helps other students the same way it worked wonders for me. Good luck!"

This reviewer has not participated on GMAT Club but it is a REAL person and a REAL review. GMAT Club has verified this test-taker's identity through GMAC/Pearson Vue Score Reporting system and confirmed that this reviewer indeed took the GMAT, is unique, and has not submitted multiple reviews.
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