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Can’t decide between a GMAT course and private tutoring? Wondering which route would be the most cost-effective, or give you biggest advantage on test day?
It’s not quite so black-and-white. Whether you’d be better off in a course, or with private sessions, really depends on your individual needs, current skill-level, and score goal.
Read on to dig deeper into which GMAT prep strategy makes the most sense for you, based on where you’re at right now.
Who Benefits Most from Private GMAT Tutoring?
To be honest, we don’t normally recommend people opt for tutoring right out of the gate. Because it’s one-to-one, tutoring will always be more expensive than a group GMAT course.
For example, you’re looking at, on average, about $30/hour for a course, versus $200/hour for a 10-hour tutoring package.
However, there are some test-taskers for whom private sessions do make sense, and are well worth the added expense.
In our experience, these are the three groups of students who benefit most from private GMAT tutoring:
1. People who already took a GMAT course (and want more support)
There are a couple of common scenarios here. In some cases, we see people who have completed a less than stellar GMAT course, and found themselves without the right tools and techniques to hit their score goal.
These candidates don’t want to risk taking another sub-par bootcamp, and instead go straight for the precision and security of personalized tutoring.
In other cases, we’ve had students complete a quality prep program, but still struggle in certain topic areas.
They opt for tutoring in order to target those weak areas, with the undivided attention of a GMAT expert.
Our advice: Start with a reliable GMAT course, and then study on your own, to practice and strengthen the techniques you learned in class.
Follow the 1:1 ratio approach. If your course was 50 hours, be sure to put in 50 hours of your own study time before seeking out tutoring. Do a couple hundred practice questions and take another mock exam.
At this point, if you’re still not seeing improvement, you may want to consider one-to-one GMAT prep.
You can show your tutor your mock exam results, the questions you’re struggling with, and develop a highly targeted strategy to reach your score goal.
2. Students who need help with a specific question-type
Let’s say you’re performing reasonably well on mock exams, except for one or two question-types—say, data sufficiency, advanced exponents, or reading comprehension—which consistently trip you up.
You’ve tried researching and applying problem-solving techniques for these topics, but aren’t seeing much improvement. Your score has plateaued.
At this stage, you don’t really need a comprehensive, 100-hour GMAT course.
Private tutoring makes more sense because you can customize the process to your needs, and target only those problematic question-types.
3. When you need a really big score increase
Did you score much lower than expected on a mock GMAT exam?
We often see students sign up for private tutoring to address a very large gap between their baseline score, and the result they need to apply to business school.
We’re talking about a mock exam score of about 350.
On average, business schools require a GMAT score of at least 650, so in cases like this, the student can really benefit from intensive, highly personalized tutoring. This is the most reliable way to close a really large score gap.
Quantum offers a few different tutoring packages, ranging from 5 – 20 hours.
If you’d like to learn more, or want to discuss your GMAT needs and goals, we welcome you to reach out for a free consultation.
Advantages of Opting for a GMAT Course
So, if private tutoring doesn’t sound like the way to go for you, should you be looking at a GMAT course?
While you don’t necessarily need a course to do well on the exam, professional test prep offers some very clear advantages. In our experience, these are the most valuable takeaways for students:
- Working with an expert GMAT instructor, who knows the exam inside and out—and can teach you exactly how to maximize your scoring potential.
- Getting access to hundreds of authentic practice questions, mock exams, and the very best study guides. (It can take students ages to hunt these down on their own)
- Learning the most reliable problem-solving techniques for every topic and question-type, along with strategies for avoiding GMAT traps, and managing your time well on the exam.
- Having the chance to repeat the course for free, as many times as needed, to target weak areas. All of Quantum’s comprehensive GMAT courses come with a free 6-month repeat policy.
We’ve also heard from students that taking a course helps jump-start their prep, increase their confidence, and keep them focussed leading up to the exam.
The structure of attending class, meeting other test-takers, and connecting with the instructor helps motivate students to buckle down, and work harder than they would have on their own.
But we would be remiss if we didn’t also mention some potential drawbacks to taking a GMAT course—like the expense (good courses don’t come cheap), giving up some weekends or week nights, and possibly having to travel to attend class (if the course isn’t offered where you live).
Need more help making your decision? Check out: Should You Take a GMAT Course? The Pros & Cons of Professional Test Prep
Finding the Right GMAT Test Prep Company
The very best way to find a reliable GMAT test prep company is by talking to previous customers, checking out online reviews, and if possible, seeing the instructors in action.
Many companies run free workshops, webinars, and trial classes for prospective students. You get to meet the team, experience their teaching approach, and get a feel for whether the training is right for you.
GMAT prep is such an important investment. We strongly recommend taking the time to attend a “preview” event, before committing to a course, or any kind of tutoring arrangement.
Want to see Quantum in action? Check out our schedule of upcoming, free GMAT events in Toronto and Montreal.
In the meantime, we’re happy to chat with you about all things GMAT: study strategy, courses, free resources, MBA admissions…just leave us a comment or book a phone consultation. We’re here to help.