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Joined: Nov 22, 2016
This particular test center is on McCarthy Blvd and is tucked away amidst legacy empty silicon valley companies. The venue has enough parking slots and the main test center housed inside the building can be found easily using the information board at the lobby. Be prepared to see nobody since this part of San Jose is sort of abandoned for some reason.
Once you enter the main test center, you are given a token and a form to fill. When its your turn you do whats needed and they give you a locker to put all your personals. Nothing is allowed into the main test room.
You enter the testing area one at a time, after being called and a person verifies your identity. You will not be frisked per say but you have to undo any buttons on your sleeves and empty your pockets. You may feel like you are at an airport but hey whatever it takes to get in! If you are wearing glasses, they will be checked for hidden technology.
Once inside, you will be directed to your desk and be given a pad and couple of pens. When you run out of the pad, you must raise your hand and get a new one. The person who checks you outside the door will suggest getting a new pad instead of wiping it. Don't wipe it! Its a colossal waste of time.
During the break you are allowed access to your belongings but you cannot access material. I suggest taking some gatorade and/or a banana to rejuvenate. The same drill repeats when you re-enter.
Before leaving the test center make sure you take your belongings with you.
Joined: Nov 22, 2016
Course Kaplan GMAT Prep - In Person
Instructor Kris Park
Location San Jose (Milpitas), CA USA
Firstly, Kaplan offers many options all over San Jose for GMAT in person prep. I choose the Palo alto high school location since a closer location was unavailable.
For some reason the course I had picked was changed at the last minute and a new course code was assigned. Nothing else changed.
The materials from Kaplan arrived on time and included their GMAT premier course book, a pocket guide and admissions guide. The package also included a pad similar to the on you will get test day and a marker pen.
Our tutor was Kris Park. He broke up the prep into various segments and would always give us a summary of what we would be learning on any given day. The class was an eclectic mix of people from various backgrounds. The classes were held from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. Taking this class in winter meant walking in pitch darkness from the class room to the school parking lot. On the flip side the school was quite during those hours. Also, the room was very hard to find on the first day, specially in the dark. Some more planning like placement of signs would have helped.
The course itself had many facets. The Kaplan flex sessions were helpful in receiving targeted help. The online content was good to recapitulate what you had learnt. The tests were a bit on the harder side in my opinion. What I suggest is not to take these CAT scores as gold standard. You have some room, if you know what i mean.
My only gripe with Kaplan is that their content is not available for a longer duration. 6 months is too less. Taking into consideration the prep time and possible retest, students should have at least 12 months access.
Overall I did benefit from interacting with real people and these live sessions may or may not be your cup of tea. There is no way that the tutor can cover everything in the book and this means you must use your time with the tutor wisely.