Figuring out how to structure your GMAT prep can be a tough decision. Some people are sure that they need private tutoring or in-person prep classes; others are confident that an online course or self-studying is the only way for them.
Still trying to decide? Here are some of the benefits of online prep to help give you a more detailed picture of the options out there.
1. Increased flexibility
With 60+ hour work weeks, networking events, volunteer commitments, hobbies, travel, and family obligations, the last thing you want to add to your plate is a time-intensive GMAT prep course. “Rigorous,” “challenging,” and “effective,” perhaps — but not all-consuming. After all, your time is precious, and with the demands of the application process, you may need time to research programs and reflect on your professional goals. You don’t want to spend your out-of-work hours trudging off to class! The benefit of online prep is that it allows for flexible scheduling, so you can prep anytime and anywhere (think cafes and the comfort of your home). After all, the GMAT is only one part of the grueling application process.
2. Targeted approach
In order to cut down on the time you spend prepping, you want the time you do spend to be effective. But it can be tricky to figure out how to target your weaknesses, maintain your strengths, and get the most mileage out of your studying on your own. With an online course, technology streamlines the process for you. By employing adaptive technology, online prep courses can generate a stream of learning material that pinpoints your weaknesses and allow you to eliminate them quickly. As a result, you get a course that adapts continuously to you and gets you aggressive results.
3. Cost effective
With price tags around $300 a course, online prep offers a great opportunity to save money, nail that stellar GMAT score, and save the rest of your cash for expensive applications (that can cost as much as $275 a pop), an admissions consultant, a new suit, a flight to the interview… The MBA admissions process is expensive, so don’t burn through your pre-MBA budget with in-person prep when you can get a targeted, effective online course instead. Concerned that it won’t work for you? Pick a course with a higher score guarantee.
4. Quality content
Online prep harnesses the power of the collective; data scientists and product developers can use real-time performance data to continually improve the effectiveness of the content and the scoring algorithms of the practice tests. Thus, the quality of the content (questions, explanations, reading passages, videos) is exceptional and reflects perpetual improvement. If developers find that an educational item isn’t test-like or isn’t up to snuff in some way (too hard or too easy), the problem can be fixed in a few minutes. No expensive printing and shipping costs, and customer feedback can be addressed with a simple click.
5. Social and interactive
You might not think of online prep as social and interactive, but in many ways, they are more so than in-person prep alternatives. Social features like message boards, forums, groups, and private chats give you more ways than you would expect to interact with instructors, assistants, and other students. You might even find yourself asking questions you would be too embarrassed to bring up in a classroom.
6. Environmentally friendly
Though saving the environment may not be on your list of priorities when choosing a GMAT class, you can rest assured that you won’t be adding to your carbon footprint by choosing an online prep course (think: no commuting; no hefty books). Bottom line: you get what you want at minimum cost to the planet.
7. Test-like environment
The GMAT itself is a computer adaptive test. Regardless of whether you enjoy this approach or prefer underlining, dog-earing, and highlighting your way through exam booklets, the GMAT is taken on the computer. In this sense, it makes sense to prep on the computer. You’ll get used to reading passages on screen, working on your scratch paper (instead of in the margins), and not flipping back and forth through the test or underlining key words. On test day, this comfort could make all the difference.