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The Economist vs GMAT Hacks

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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 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 The Economist 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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