My GMAT Prep Course with Veritas

Haven’t talked about this much, but I’m getting ready to apply to Business PhD programs for admission in Fall of 2010. To that end, I have to take the GMAT again (turns out schools don’t accept 14-year-old scores) and since I figured I was going to have a hard time getting myself to study for it, I enrolled in a course with “Veritas Prep”, which sounds like an aptly branded high school for nouveau riche children.

It’s not. It’s just another test prep company like Kaplan and Princeton Review. I’ve gone for two weeks now and…

Good:

  • For the money, they give you a lot of class time (14 sessions vs. 8 or so with the other companies).
  • The workbooks they use are pretty well written and lend themselves to self-teaching.
  • On the second night of class one person who was re-taking the class said that last time everything moved too fast for her, to which the instructor responded that it moves as fast as it moves and they expect students to have some reasonable understanding of the subject matter beforehand so deal with it. I’m paraphrasing.
  • Most of the answer keys are correct.

Bad:

  • The teachers are more like TAs than professors. Basically, they just read through the manual and answer questions if they come up. I’m guessing this is the Veritas method, but it seems a little half-hearted.
  • More class sessions means it’s kind of a pain having to spend three hours twice a week to attend.
  • The hotel where the classes are held appears to have no food-vending machines. 
  • The other students in the class — well, yeah. I guess they’re about what I expected. But since most of the students in the class are going to be happy scoring 600 and the instruction is focused mostly on them — well…

All in all — it’s probably the right thing for me to be doing to prepare for the test. I get next to nothing out of the in-class instruction, but it gives me six relatively quiet hours a week during which I can work through the workbooks and practice problems, which is a lot more time than I’d spend preparing otherwise.

bkd

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