Here’s the harsh reality: really good GMAT prep doesn’t come cheap.
If you’ve done a bit of research on GMAT courses and bootcamps, you already know you’re looking at $1000+ for training.
But if you need a big score increase, and want to walk into the exam feeling totally confident and prepared, professional test prep really is your best bet.
The thing is, not all GMAT courses are made equal. Far from it! There are wild disparities in pricing, thoroughness, instructor expertise, learning experience—and crucially, actual results.
So, if you’re going to bite the bullet, and dig into your savings for test prep, we’re assuming you want the best possible quality, at the lowest possible price.
There are several key ways to avoid overspending on your GMAT course, without compromising on value. Here are 4 solid strategies to save big, and get more.
1. Don’t fall for a shorter GMAT course just because it’s cheaper
There are a whole slew of short GMAT bootcamps out here, promising complete exam prep in 20-30 hours, at a great price.
The problem is, there’s no such thing as “complete” exam prep in such a short span of time.
In fact, there’s a very high probability that you’ll need to buy another course to fill in what you missed at the bootcamp.
In the end, you’ll pay twice, and still might not get full exam prep coverage.
It’s like buying a cheaper, imitation brand that looks amazing on the surface, but breaks the second time you use it. Short-term gain; long-term loss.
A longer GMAT course offers far better value for your money
In terms of value, you’re better off purchasing a truly comprehensive, 50 -100 hour GMAT course. This way, you’ll cover everything you need to know to nail the exam, the first time around.
It’s been well proven that more hours of prep equal a higher score. With a longer course, the bulk of your studying is done by the time you finish. And you’ve had an expert instructor holding your hand at every step.
Once you’re done, you’ll just need to keep practising the problem-solving techniques you learned in class, right up until the exam.
There are no question marks or uncertainties with a longer, more thorough course. That’s money well spent.
2. Choose a GMAT course with an extensive free repeat policy
This is really key to saving money on GMAT prep. Let’s say you agree with point number one, and you opt for a longer, 50 to 100 hour course.
You finish the course, but find you’re not 100% confident in certain verbal or quant topics (a very common scenario).
Will you be left to struggle on your own? Not if the course you chose has a robust free repeat policy.
We’re not talking about the option to repeat the GMAT course just once.
A solid policy should offer unlimited course repeats for a generous span of time (like 3-6 months after enrollment, for example).
This way, you can take the whole course, or just part of it, again and again until you feel totally and utterly confident in your skills.
Now think about the cost of that course, divided up among all those repeats. You’ll get tremendous dollar-per-hour value by the time you’re finished training.
Months of repeated, reinforced test prep will more than justify the upfront expense of a longer, more comprehensive GMAT course.
This is the ideal way to stretch your course dollars to the max, while increasing your chances of a really high score.
Bottom line? Never purchase a one-off GMAT course. Save big by choosing a course with multiple free repeats.
3. Capitalize on early-bird specials & other GMAT prep discounts
It pays to plan your GMAT prep in advance. Literally. It’s quite common to find discounts of up to 45% on GMAT course fees when you enrol well before the start date.
Often called “early-bird” specials, these deals offer immediate, very substantial savings.
Test prep companies want (and need) to fill up their courses well before they begin, in order to book the right size classroom, prepare materials, and coordinate teaching staff.
Students can save big by simply scheduling their start date 1-2 months in advance.
And there’s another way to save on GMAT courses. Some companies offer a discount on fees when you bundle two or more courses together.
For example, you might put together an advanced math and comprehensive verbal course.
Or, maybe you’ll pair up an intermediate and advanced math combo (depending on your mock exam results, or if you’ve already self-studied for a bit, and only need help in a particular topic area).
Look for a test prep provider that offers discounts when you combine courses—these deals can literally save you hundreds of dollars on quality GMAT prep.
4. Verify proven results before you buy
Professional test prep is a growing business. More and more prospective B-school students enrol in GMAT courses to give them a competitive edge on exam day, and boost their chances of admission to a top graduate program.
So, it’s not unusual to see a lot of wild claims from test prep companies trying to catch your eye online.
You’ll see companies claiming their 20-hour course is all you need to get a 700+ score. Or ads “guaranteeing” wildly optimistic score increases.
To avoid wasting your precious tuition dollars, it’s crucial to verify claims like these before you enrol.
Dig up those Google reviews. Go out to a free information session and grill the test prep company with questions about:
- the documented, average GMAT score increase their graduates achieve
- repeat policies
- exactly how many authentic practice questions/tests/study guides are included in the course fees
- terms and conditions of advertised discounts
- what happens if you miss a class?
- how long their instructors have been teaching GMAT prep
- which top B-schools have course graduates gained admission to?
Do your research, so when you do invest in a GMAT course, you know you’re spending your money wisely and can expect a very substantial return on investment.
In the long run, that’s the very best way to save big on test prep—and hit your score goal.
Still have questions? Need help navigating GMAT prep, MBA admissions, or want to know more about Quantum GMAT courses?
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