|All Reviews > kikimondra's Reviews|
Joined: Oct 20, 2019
690 Q48 V37
I usually don't write reviews but for this result I just HAD TO.
In July this year, I started prepping with another platform and diligently studied my material for the following three months.
October came around and the date of my GMATapproached rapidly. I might have been over-confident, going into my first GMAT. During my mock exams, which I kept as close to reality as possible (no breaks, distraction or other) I scored in the high 600 and even hit a 700 once. I was aiming for mid 600. That being said, when I sat my first GMAT, I thought this was the easiest the test had ever been. I thought I was doing great and shining until I clicked "send essay" and stared at the 580 in front of me. I sat there and stared at my screen until the test instructor came around and asked me to leave the chair if I am done with my exam. I couldn't believe that after investing MY ENTIRE LIFE to the GMAT for three months, studying 7h per day and pushing aside other hobbies, meetings etc. I was only able to score 580. To me, it wasn't representative of the amount of work I put into this prep. Other than that, it wasn't even close to the minimum I needed to apply to my Master's.
I had three weeks until the last possible GMAT date if I wanted to retake. I knew I had to change my strategy, so I decided to try out different trials and then pick the one that I liked most. I decided to try out EmpowerGMAT.
The thing that got me hooked immediately, was their approach. Now, I do not have a math background. In fact, I studied culinary arts, sciences and restaurant management - yes, management, so there was a bit of biz in there, but needless to say, I wasn't forced to calculate around with integers, radicals or work problems for a good 5 years. And if, then surely not on paper but with a calculator.
I used Empower's score booster, their shortened program which immediately caught my eye as it is advertised as directed towards people who wrote the GMAT once already. It is all laid out clearly, with a step-by-step guide to follow so it leaves no room for guesswork. The whole course is structured in mini-videos and in-between exercises BUT THE BEST PART is that Empower, and Empower only makes use of the OG guides. I purchased them back in June, before even knowing which online study platform to use because I thought that I would surely need those books. During my three months with the previous platform I didn't touch the books at all, but in Empower's structure, you have built-in Quizzes of different difficulties for which you always use the OG guides. It means you're practising with the real deal only.
I studied hard, and I mean HARD, for the following three weeks, focusing mainly on math, and diligently went through all of the prep material.
Now, one important thing though: When I asked for advice in forums if an increase in three weeks would be possible, everybody said no. I was nearly discouraged. The ONLY reason why I managed to bump my quant from 36 to 48 was because of Rich's way of teaching math.
What I loved is that he cuts back on unnecessary stuff, teaches you the vital things only, AND MOST OF ALL he teaches you how to be thorough. I no longer guessed around in DS or answered based on what I thought was true based on some notes and calculations, but started following a strict way of figuring out what is right and wrong in DS and HAVING PROOF FOR IT written on my paper, so whenever I clicked on an answer I was dead-sure it was the right one.
You learn how to skip questions that aren't worth much, how to work diligently, in an organized matter and make sure that you know your answers based on EVIDENCE you have on your scratch paper. And even in cases where you aren't really sure, you learn how to triage your answers so you can eliminate some and make an educated guess from the remaining ones. Even that, as simple as it sounds, WORKS.
I cannot thank the Empower team enough. Rich made me love math (which has never happened in my life and Max made me discover the little details I was missing in my approach to verbal. Lyndsay was always quick to help and their platform is well built, self-explanatory and full of little surprise bits like motivational podcasts and extra study material as well as built-in reviews and Quizzes to strengthen all you've learnt so far.
CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH and wish I would have found it earlier!