I took this course between Nov 2012 and April 2013 (course is normally 4 months but I bought two 1-month extensions which cost extra).
Great resource to teach you the fundamentals of each topic. Highly recommend buying an Official Guide after you complete this course. The OG does a terrible job explaining why each answer choice is right or wrong. The GMAT Tutor fills this void by helping you understand the fundamentals. I have no regrets about signing up for this course.
- the tool works if you have time to devote to acing the GMAT.
- Very thorough with all of the material.
- Tool adapts to your strengths and weaknesses. If you are an all-star in one section, the tool will push you to your limits by giving you tough questions to continuously challenge you in that one section. However, completing a series of difficult questions will make you mentally exhausted, so you'll need study breaks. Similarly, if you are struggling in one section, the tool will spend more time helping you to understand the fundamentals and the reasoning behind why the answers that you select are incorrect.
- I received a one-year subscription to The Economist magazine. I enjoy reading this on my iPad on the weekends. This magazine is more internationally focused than most US newspapers/magazines.
- Course is not short. Takes several months worth of commitment to complete the course. Be sure that you have the time to reach your goals.
- Question types are slightly different that the official GMAT questions. So it is essential to use the Official Guide after completing the course. You will still score well if you don't use the official guide, but I added 40 points to my score by going through the Official Guide after taking this course.
- Tutoring sessions are with tutors from Poland, Israel, Taiwan, so the tutoring times are at odd hours for students in North America (i.e. 10PM - 8AM CST).
- The support for the Integrated Reasoning section is very weak. Use the Official Guide to study for IR; the OG is a much better resource.
- The AWA section is weak. GMAT Tutor provides overview of "how" to write an essay, but doesn't give you a list of sample essay topics and doesn't force you to write practice essays. Use the OG for a list of sample essay topics.
- The tool's advice on Reading comprehension did not work well for me. I tried to follow the tool's advice to first do an initial reading by "skimming" through the passage and jotting down notes, and then digging for details later; however, I found that I scored much higher and I spent much less time by reading the entire passage thoroughly the first time. Going back and fourth between the passage and the questions just took way too much time for me. The skimming method may work for you, but if it doesn't, don't let the GMAT Tutor's suggested RC method hurt your GMAT score.
- The tool's advice on "ball-parking" was, in many cases, more time consuming than solving the problem by shorthand arithmetic. If you're terrible at math, then this "ball-parking" (or guessing) method is an ok approach. Again, you really have to determine which method is the most efficient for you. I suggest following the tool's advice at first, but if the tool's advice isn't working for you after you're 75% complete with the course, then use the method that is most effective for you.
- There were only a few Reading comprehension passages and each passage was repeated too often. It would have been more beneficial if there were more passages.
Advice for students:
- Bring a pen/pencil and a pad of paper to each GMAT Tutor session.
- Do not take this course when tired or distracted. At first it is hard to build up an endurance to study for at least an hour straight, so start off with shorter study sessions. Take breaks between study sessions.
- At the end of the course, attempt longer study sessions to build up endurance.
- Try to understand why you answered questions correctly / incorrectly. Just because you guessed and answered a question correctly doesn't mean that you will do the same on a later date with a similar question.
- Read the fine print on the money back guarantee. Not doing so could cost you $700!!
- Buy the OG for use at the end of the course (especially for the verbal section). The OG is a great resource to help build up your stamina/endurance right before you take the test. I studied with the OG for the 3-4 weeks prior to the real exam. Try to answer each OG question in less than 90 seconds to build your endurance.
- Take tutoring sessions towards the end of the course; bring questions to the tutoring sessions. Tutors are willing help you with questions from the OG or other studying resources. I found tutoring sessions were most helpful when I came to the tutoring session with a list of OG questions that were difficult for me.
- Take the mba.com practice tests right before you take the real GMAT.
- Complete at least 90% of the course before you take the test; I still learned new things at 85% progress. How can you expect to "ace" the GMAT without knowing/understanding all subjects tested?
- Take the real GMAT before taking this course. Taking the real GMAT before taking this course will establish a "baseline" for your 70 point score increase guarantee. Study for this initial GMAT test to maximize your baseline score. If you are not familiar with the GMAT prior to taking this course, you are bound to score poorly on your "baseline" examination.
Good luck!! Wishing you the best of success on your GMAT endeavor!!
Was this review helpful to you? 21 out of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Economist GMAT Prep course comes with most, if not all, the material you will need to prepare for the GMAT. Should you choose to complete all the coursework, you will almost certainly be better prepared to take the test than if you had not done so.
In my experience, the frustrations that came with the course balanced its benefits fairly equally. I'll outline them here.
1. Specialized Practice Tests
After completing the probability coursework, I noticed the vast majority of my practice test questions came from that same probability material. That is unrepresentative of the GMAT.
2. Unorganized Tutors
On one occasion, my tutor missed our appointment. On another, the tutor failed to communicate that a new tutor would work with me, and that I should have blindly accepted the random Skype request (with no indication of any affiliation to this program) from that new tutor.
3. Reactive Tutoring
Tutoring here is only reactive, as opposed to proactive. If I had a specific question about a data sufficiency problem, for example, the tutor could do a good job of talking me through it. If I was not stuck on any particular problem, however, the tutors were unable to suggest a relevant topic. I imagine a more valuable experience would come from using my coursework data, or even historical trends, to predict and suggest helpful tutoring topics.
Was this review helpful to you? 0 out of 2 people found the following review helpful