September 07, 2016

Joined: Aug 29, 2016

Posts: 0

Kudos: 5

Verified score:
660 Q41 V40

Houston Full Course - Mark Alan Robinson


Improvement N/A

Course Veritas Prep In-Person Full Course

Instructor Mark Robinson

Location Houston, TX USA

I took the July-August 2016 Houston Full Course Veritas Prep Class taught by Mark Alan Robinson. I’ve got a few notes about Veritas Prep resources and then a review about Mark:

Veritas Prep
1. Lots of Material that at first feels overwhelming if, like me, all you know about the GMAT is how to spell it. That being said, the structure of the course material is excellent, and the way it’s broken down into pre-class skillbuilder work, lessons, and homework is great.

2. It is worth (if you have time) watching the videos for each lesson BEFORE class. You can watch them at 1.5x or 2x speed (I felt 2x was too much, but YMMV). This helps get a feel for the lesson, as well as pay more attention to what the instructor says. It’s not crucial, but it’s worth doing.

3. The feedback from the Veritas Prep team via email is quick and effective. They try to answer within 24 hours.

4. The homework solutions are also well done, with additional videos submitted of ways to tackle various problems really helpful (there’s more than one way to skin a cat, some are just more efficient than others). The homework not only shows you how to get to the actual answer, but gives some background on why the other answers are trap answers and why they are there.

5. The plethora of practice exams is way more than you need! There’s no shortage and it even gives you feedback on pacing and timing.

6. The online homework format helps a lot in that it gets you familiar with going through questions on a computer. It’s in your best interests to do this from the start; you wont have anything more than a marker and some laminated paper on the exam, so highlighting parts of a question are only going to set you up for a poor performance.

7. The “Think like the Testmaker” is useful for the higher-end problems and gets people into the mindset of “what are they really asking” and “why are you here”.

My one complaint with the Veritas Prep course is that they scheduled class Tuesdays and Thursdays. Ideally it would be Mondays and Thursdays as one day between lessons isnt sufficient. That being said, it’s likely so they can squeeze another class Monday-Wednesdays and run 2 classes concurrently. This might allow more students to take the class BUT it has an adverse effect on effective class preparation. It also means Mark doesn’t see his kids 4 nights a week…

Mark Alan Robinson
I feel like if Mark were a Yelp review on his own, he’d score a 4, with 80% giving 5 stars and 20% giving 1 star. He’s in a difficult position in that he has the goal of getting people from all backgrounds singing from the same hymn-sheet in the space of 6 weeks. He has to reteach math to engineers like me who just want to write equations all day (it’s math without doing math) and at the same time deal with folks who struggle to read and analyze long passages of text without falling asleep (I guess that also applies to me!).

However (transition word), if all I got in an instructor was a carbon copy of the online video I would have been disappointed. Mark throws his own teaching methods at each problem and tries to use different tools to tackle each area, be it comparing data sufficiency questions to 2 consultants or recipe making, or leveraging as much as we can from the answers to gauge what to look for in the question stem (Mark: What do you smell? Is it Oregano? Me: Mark, I don’t know, it’s 9 PM and I’m tired). Classes ran from 7-10 PM, and most of us are all working professionals so to keep us engaged for that long was a tough job, at which I feel he succeeded. He would even stick around after class (on at least one occasion for several hours) talking through questions and general business school thoughts with students. He cares, he wants you to succeed, and he goes well beyond what’s required.

I’ve already written the GMAT once since finishing the course and scored a 660. 8 Weeks ago this would have felt amazing, but after this course I actually feel disappointed (having written 5 practice tests that ranged from 660-720). I would never have been close to achieving this without Mark and the Veritas Prep Course, and to be clear I, the engineer, bombed the Quant, NOT the verbal, so that’s on me, not him.

One that thing, it’s worth signing up for test after 8 classes. Yes, it’s $250, but by class 8 you should have all the info you need. I regret not doing it, but there’s little pressure to succeed at this point and it will help get the jitters out by the time you try it again a few weeks later.

TL; DR: If you’re serious and are willing to put the work in, do it. Don’t waste this much $ for a subpar job. Sign up with Mark Alan Robinson and leverage as much online resources through Veritas Prep as you can. Oh, and RTFQ.

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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