Congratulations! You've decided to make the investment in your future and take a prep class. Now just sit back, let the knowledge come to you and you'll have no problem acing the GMAT. WRONG! Just because you've decided to take a prep class doesn't mean that you're done.
The following are tips designed to allow you to get the maximum benefit out of the class that you choose. Take these seriously! Many people give more thought to what to eat for lunch each day than they do to what test prep class to take. Do you see the insanity here?
- Demand an experienced instructor - You will want an instructor who has extensive teaching experience, and has been educated at an Ivy-league caliber school. The problem in this industry is that if you've taken the GMAT, you're typically either in business school or out making six figures. It's very tough for test prep companies like Kaplan and the Princeton Review to retain high quality teachers. Make sure you know your instructor’s qualifications before signing up!
- Demand a high-quality instructor - When you're considering various prep companies, be sure to ask the instructor about his own academic background. You don’t want to take a class from anyone who didn’t get into a top business school.
- Ask about the center's re-take policy - The GMAT classes are typically so packed with information that it's often tough to pick everything up the first time around. The prep company should allow you to re-take a class within a reasonable time frame (e.g. 6 months) at either no or very little cost (after all, it doesn't really cost them anything additional to have you sit in the class). This way you will have insurance in case you don't learn as much as you had hoped the first time around.
- Check out how updated the course materials are - Some companies will use the same materials for many months or even years. The best preparation materials are those that are prepared specifically for the course, and updated on a regular basis. Small companies, like Manhattan Review, typically offer more individualized material for students preparing for the very top business schools, than do large test prep companies.
- Correspond with the test company before taking the class - This might seem kind of tough but shouldn't be. Most companies offer email contacts and are happy to respond to prospective student inquiries. If the center does not seem willing to answer your questions before you get to the course, go elsewhere.
- Familiarize yourself with the test prep company’s method of instruction – This means going online and reading up on the course you’ve selected. This will help you to get a feel for what's going to be talked about, so you won't go in cold. You'll be surprised how much difference this will make. You'll probably find yourself going into class with questions rather than going home with questions.
- Go to class - You would think this one would be obvious but you would be surprised at how many people pay big bucks to attend these classes and then don't show up. If you don’t think you can handle weeks of attending evening or weekend classes, look into one of the test prep companies that condenses its preparation into one information-packed weekend.
- Good luck with your prep class and remember to visit GMATTutor.com often!