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Wednesday, February 28th
With a majority of its users being service members due to Peterson's military contracts, Peterson's offers low-cost test prep subscriptions for most career-defining tests out there. While you are able contract-out multiple months in advance for better deals and tutoring added, Peterson's offerings generally aren't the best. Here's how it breaks down.
Low cost and low quality
Peterson's test prep offerings are decidedly low-cost and not very robust, offering 3 full-length GMAT practice tests broken down by content level, explanations for each question, and the ability to access via computer. Your price point is going to depend on the length of your (automatically renewing) subscription, at $49 per month for 1 month, $45 per month for three months, and $39 per month for 6 months. Peterson's 3- and 6-month plans offer 90 minutes and 270 minutes of 1-on-1 tutoring respectively, in addition to essay review services.
Inexpensive, but auto-renewing
While not very expensive (on the face of it), Peterson's offerings are very slim. Offering (in essence) only three total practice tests with question descriptions, Peterson's plans pale in comparison to other GMAT test prep services that offer study materials and - at the very least - pre-recorded video lessons. Not to mention that Peterson's products are subscription-based, and unless you cancel your subscription 48 hours before they expire, Peterson's will automatically re-enroll you in your plan. This means that unless you actively cancel your six-month plan, Peterson's will automatically bill you for it without any refunds once it expires. We think that, in general, taking advantage of customers with an automatically-renewing subscription model is poor business practice.
Tutoring offered... but with whom?
Even though Peterson's offers live-online tutoring with their 3- and 6-month plans, they do not detail any of the qualifications of their tutors. As such, we think it unlikely that they are hiring high-quality tutors or compensating them appropriately, and you would likely be better off with a tutoring service that tells you about their instructor staff.
Little offered and not recommended
While Peterson's does offer practice tests with explanations, they do not offer much more than that, and their tutoring does not inspire confidence. In addition to some shady subscription practices, we think Peterson's is likely not a good fit for most students - and unless you are already receiving their services for free, we do not recommend them for GMAT test prep.
The question is a critical one, because choosing the right study schedule and test prep materials can make-or-break your plans for a good GMAT score, and - subsequently - admittance into a prestigious (or even standard) MBA school. In fact, 9 out of 10 new MBA enrollments are made using a GMAT score, and it's accepted by more than 7,000 programs around the world.
Although it is still widely used, keep in mind that some MBA programs utilized the pandemic to phase out their standardized testing requirements. If you're focusing on one particular school, it might be wise to check their requirements. If they likely still use the GMAT, the materials you'll find here will go a long way towards simplifying your test prep decision making process.
The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is meant to assess an applicant's general suitability for graduate study, particularly in regards to business and MBA performance. The GMAT distinguishes itself from the more generalized GRE insofar as its quantitative reasoning assessments are much more in-depth, and it de-emphasizes verbal reasoning assessment.
The GMAT consists of four sections: an Analytical Writing Assignment (AWA) that lasts 30 minutes, a multiple choice Integrated Reasoning (IR) section that consists of 12 questions and lasts 30 minutes, a Quantitative section of 31 questions that lasts 62 minutes, and a Verbal section of 36 questions that lasts 65 minutes. In short the test is extensive, and as such it will pay dividends to make some common sense preparations and study plans beforehand.
In spite of what some of the advertisements might say, there is no magic bullet to an improved GMAT score. While some highly rated test prep materials can certainly help, they are only one half of the equation, the other half being a realistic assessment of your needs, your timeframe, and the work needed to reach your goals. As you search for some appropriate GMAT prep that fits your budget and timeframe, it is important to take a deep breath and remember that - as long as you put in the work - you will in all likelihood improve your score.
In any case, as you start preparing for the GMAT gauntlet, here are some tips we've found for you to keep in mind:
Searching for test preparation materials is often - let's be frank - a terrible experience. The field of GMAT test prep hosts an entire industry sustained by the dangling of higher-test scores in front of often financially-insecure graduates behind huge costs. Even so, there are good companies out there offering reasonably priced and well-supported GMAT materials. Here at Top Consumer Reviews, we've done the legwork to help you find them. So, while searching for GMAT test prep is certainly not fun, we're certain that our curated list of high-quality and well-rounded test prep will help make the process a whole lot easier.
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