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Barron's Test Prep vs The Economist

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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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THE ECONOMIST

The Economist GMAT preparation program uses the latest technology, features an interactive learning system that focuses on areas of improvement for each student, and has an impressive number of questions and quizzes. However it's a lot more expensive than other similar GMAT test preparation programs and this may turn some students away.

The technology offered by the Economist meets or exceeds that used by the other GMAT test prep programs we have reviewed. The system is fully mobile and can be accessed at any time on a computer, tablet or smart phone. The content consists of video lessons and then test questions for each, covering every area on the GMAT exam. After each quiz a score is given to the student and these scores are compiled on a personalized dashboard. The dashboard tracks performance and guides the study program towards areas that the student needs to work on. This automatic customization is found in all of the most successful online test prep programs and it helps students avoid wasting time studying material that they already know well. In addition to the lessons and quizzes, there are also complete GMAT text exams so students can practice the full GMAT test experience.

The Economist also offers e-mail support through their ask-a-tutor program. There are additional levels of personal assistance with this program, however, that we have not seen in many other GMAT test preparation programs. Every course in the program comes with one on one personal video tutoring sessions included in the price. If you're having trouble with a certain aspect of the GMAT you can conference in with a live tutor and they will walk you through a lesson. Each student receives 6 or 8 of these personal sessions depending on which plan is purchased.

Additionally you can send your writing samples from the writing section of the GMAT to get personal writing help from a tutor. They will mark up sample essays, provide tips on avoiding common errors, and even give suggestions on how to improve each students writing style. Each student can have 5 or 6 essays corrected in this way. This could be extremely helpful for students who learn better through human interaction, and the availability of such personal assistance is very likely the reason for the high cost of this program.

With either of the premium programs, The Economist offers a money back guarantee if your score does not improve by a full 70 points. This is higher than another other point guarantee we have seen in another other GMAT test preparation program, and for students who have a baseline GMAT score already this could be a powerful incentive to go with the Economist.

The Economist offers a great GMAT test preparation program. It's expensive, but it provides a level of personal tutoring and teaching that many of the other strictly online programs don't offer. We highly recommend this program to anyone who learns best with personal human contact. For anyone who has no such need for the one on one tutoring, there are other online programs that are much less expensive.

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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 The Economist.

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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