Preparing for the GMAT exam can be a strenuous experience. The exam is difficult and aimed at weeding out the most proficient from the least so it is understandable why many students decide that self study from guides and workbooks is just not enough. A tutor or instructional course can aid in supplementing, guiding, and coaching the process to preparing for a maximum score. Great! But how to determine which option best suits your needs. When searching for appropriate instruction for the GMAT exam it is important to respect just how intricate the exam actually is. Just like in the case of purchasing a new home you should be very specific and make sure that all of your needs will be sufficiently taken care of. This is a big purchase and without the risk of sounding finite, your future might depend on it. These are the questions you need to pose and be very strict in keeping to your requirements.
Does the course end outside of the classroom’s doors?
A GMAT test-prep course might offer very informative lessons, however, the time outside of the classroom is just as if not more important. An instructor can teach vital techniques and methods but it is important for the student attain mastery through repetition and review. Homework assignments provide for disciplined conditioning and time and time again lead to better scores. It is also important for instructors to be able to assess individual strengths and weaknesses and help create tailor made study schedules for each student. When studying at home it is important to know that the study is working hand in hand with what was taught in the classroom. Unstructured studying is counter-productive and can actually slow down the entire process. The about this example: a class lesson focuses around a specific method for deconstructing Critical Reasoning questions. You decide that because this was the lesson then Critical Reasoning is the area where studying should be focused around. You review questions and look for answers. The instructor, however, might have intended for you to study a specific aspect such as how to read the text. Answering the questions might have been best saved for a later lesson. He might also have intended for you to study with and without time constraints, to better recreate the conditions of the actual exam. A test-prep course should aim to work alongside you the entire way leading up to the day of the test.
Am I learning the course or is the course learning me?
Signing up for a program that has resulted in improved GMAT scores is very important. You also need to remember that although the course material might be top notch, not everyone absorbs information at the same rate. Students all have different strengths and weaknesses and learn at a different pace. Make sure that whatever program you sign up for the instructor is willing to modify his plan to make sure you’re getting the attention you need. A classroom environment has many benefits, such as sharing the questions and insights of fellow classmates. You want to make sure that you benefit from all the positives but also receive the personal attention you’ll need. Just as you will be expected to study the course material and study on your own time, you should expect the instructor to have a stake in your GMAT score.
What did your instructor score on the GMAT?
You should never, ever learn material from an individual who hasn’t proven a mastery of the material. Although scoring well on the GMAT does not necessarily qualify an individual as a good instructor, it does guarantee that they have a strong understanding of the structure of the exam. An instructor with a strong GMAT score is also beneficial because he carries all the other experiences associated with the exam but not often talked about. Preparing for the exam is stressful, students regularly complain about anxiety and an inability to focus. These feelings amplify during the actual test. An instructor with a strong score can relay their own experiences with stress and how they dealt with the feelings. As a student you want to surround yourself with quality experience.
What is your instructor’s teaching experience?
You want an instructor that not only knows how to take the exam but also knows how to convey the best methods and techniques in tackling test questions. A teacher’s knowledge is only as important to you as their ability to explain the material. Accountability is important so make sure you’re being taught by an individual with a strong track record. Find out if they have any university teaching experience. Don’t be afraid to be high maintenance with your list of demands. Your test score can potentially determine your future so you need to be completely selfish. Just like business schools are seeking the best possible candidates, you need to be seeking the best possible instructor.
What materials will be provided?
When signing for an instructor or instructional course for the GMAT you want to make sure that you will be provided with all the necessary materials. This includes, but is not limited to, GMAT test guides, GMAT practice tests, access to lectures and instruction. Your goal when preparing for the exam is to reach as close to a perfect score as possible. You should aspire for the best and expect nothing less in return. By asking what course material will be provided you are also learning more about what kind of instruction you will be receiving. If a course is fully developed they will generally have material that they prefer you work with in order to fully understand their methods and techniques. A highly developed system with a strong track record is what you want to look for. You don’t want to be someone’s experiment as a student, you want to know that what worked for many others will most likely work for you as well.
In conclusion remember that this is your test-preparation and it will ultimately be your score. Every decision you make should be selfish in aiming to maximize that score. Don’t be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings by rejecting their instruction. Business schools are seeking candidates who can prove to make the best decisions, those decisions begin when selecting where to receive your GMAT instruction.