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Barron's Test Prep vs GMAT Hacks

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BARRON'S TEST PREP

Barron's is a well-known test preparation company that has been helping students prepare for standardized testing for 70 years. They offer preparation courses for the SAT, PSAT, GRE, ACT, and GMAT exams. Their GMAT test prep course is customized to meet the individuals needs of the student and earns high marks.

The Barron's website is very well laid out and easy to navigate. The GMAT page advertises that preparing for the GMAT has never been easier than with the current Barron's program, and if the course prep is as simple and straightforward as the website, we would have to agree. There is a 'course tour' button which leads the user through a very brief outline of what the GMAT test prep course will offer. The student first takes a diagnostic test to determine the base level of knowledge on a variety of skills necessary to perform well on the GMAT. After this test, results are given in the form of detailed skill reports, and a study plan is created based on the individual performance of the particular student. If one or two skills are particularly lacking, the study plan will be created to dedicate more time to those skills.

We really liked this level of customization in the Barron's GMAT test prep plan. After that there are hundreds of instructional videos linked to each skill, and thousands of test questions also broken down by a certain skill required to pass the GMAT.

From a technology standpoint, Barron's offers the latest options for today's on-the-go students and professionals. The course preparation program is available on computer, tablet or smart phone so you can practice anywhere. As mentioned above, the test prep adaptive learning technology does not merely provide a static list of questions, but 'learns' what skills each student needs the most work on and highlights those skills in the training plan. The website offers live videos with trainers who explain in simple terms the answers and strategies to answer certain types of questions. This is more helpful for most students when compared with simply reading the answers and strategies. The website even has a blog where students chat back and forth, bouncing answers, tips and solutions off each other for interactive learning.

There is a basic level of test prep that Barron's will give you for free. This includes:

  • Diagnostic test
  • Custom preparation plan
  • Skill report

The full program costs $99 which gives the students the following additional resources:

  • 3 full length GMAT exams
  • 1 year access to the Barron's website
  • 850+ video lessons and solutions
  • 3000+ test questions

Barron's has been a trusted name in the standardized test preparation business for a long time, and the current program offers the most advanced technology at a very competitive price. For these reasons we give Barron's GMAT test prep program very high marks.

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GMAT HACKS

Right off the bat we were put off by the amateur appearance of the GMAT Hacks website. The main page is in the format of a piece of notepaper, complete with push-pin graphic, that contains a personalized welcome message from the author of the test prep materials, Jeff Sackman. There are 4 links on this page: books, articles, about us, and question of the day.

The 'about us' page is a short biography of Mr. Jeff Sackman, who it says was employed with a major test preparation company until 2005 when he broke out on his own to write his own test preparation course material. There is no other information, GMAT Hacks is just one person selling his test preparation books. There is no customer support number, no advisors to call, just Jeff selling his books.

The books themselves are just that...books. You can purchase the books in standard print form, or chose the e-book option which delivers the book in PDF format. To say this technology is behind the times is an understatement. There is no online material to access, no tablet or smart phone applications, no intuitive software, just old school soft cover text books. He offers a total of three books, one for the math section of the GMAT one for the verbal section, and a 'GMAT tips and tricks" book. Reviewing the details of each book contains chapters of lessons and then 200-300 test questions. It is very possible that some people prefer standard text books and static practice questions, so for anyone who learns best in this fashion, perhaps GMAT Hacks would be a good choice.

However the expense should deter even the most old school of text book student. The cost for just one of the three books is $59.95, or $49.95 for the e-book/PDF version. To purchase all three would cost you $150-$180 and you'd get at the most 900 test questions that don't change and are not customizable to each student. Due to the rudimentary technology, high cost and lack of content, we cannot recommend GMAT Hacks as a good value for GMAT test preparation.

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GMAT Test Prep

To help you find the Best GMAT Test Prep Programs, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Barron's Test Prep and GMAT Hacks.

Going to graduate school is a big decision that many individuals are making today to help them get ahead. Having an MBA is one way to stand out from other candidates competing for the same job. It's also another way for employees to outpace co-workers when it's time for that promotion. An MBA provides business majors more training as well as the chance to get where they want to go.

An MBA requires getting into a decent business school which can be a challenge with the number of graduate students that apply each year. Having a strong GMAT score not only helps candidates meet the basic requirements of many colleges but it also highlights their knowledge to college admission professionals.

But getting a solid GMAT score takes practice and training and that's where GMAT prep classes become necessary. A GMAT test prep course is a great way to improve your overall score. These courses vary greatly in format, features and cost. Choosing the right GMAT prep program can be a hard decision. No one wants to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on a program that doesn't fit to their personal learning needs.

When choosing a GMAT test prep program, you should look for the following:

  • Instruction Method. Is it a classroom setting or online? Can you anticipate lectures, mostly reading or some other form of teaching?
  • Format. Is the program available online, in hard copy, DVD, audio, web enabled and more. Do they have Smartphone apps to reinforce concepts on the go?
  • Price. What does the program cost, how does that compare to the competition and what is included in the price?
  • Use. If you are purchasing an online program how long will you have access to the study materials? Will that period be long enough?
  • Guarantee. If you aren't satisfied with your test score will you have to re-purchase the study materials or does the company offer a guarantee?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best GMAT Test Prep programs available today. We hope these reviews help you score high with your next GMAT exam!



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