Hey Dreas,

Thank you for asking these questions - I love talking about this stuff and always appreciate a pulpit from which to do so!

Particularly as I'm a co-author of the Fast-Track curriculum I'm really glad you asked about that. Here's a q

uick description of the difference. I think you can break down the knowledge required for success on the GMAT into three tiers:

Tier 1: Skills --- Assets

This encompasses all the "stuff" you need to know or probably should know, such as the Pythagorean Theorem, rules for multiplying exponents, the fact that "they/them/those" are plural pronouns and "it/she/that" are singular pronouns, etc. These are the assets you have at your disposal for decision making on the GMAT and these skills form the basis for the questions the test will ask; in a way, this is "the language of the GMAT".

Tier 2: Concepts --- Core Competencies

Here is where you really start to add high-level GMAT expertise to your studies. Synthesizing the above skills into guiding principles or core competencies is what transforms your test-taking ability from "what you know" to "how you think" in line with the GMAT as a higher-order-thinking and reasoning test. For example, one of the core competencies we teach with regard to exponents is that your goal, in order to use the exponent rules in your arsenal of assets, is to do one of these three things:

1) Multiply - All of these exponent rules (e.g. x^2 * x^3 = x^5) deal with multiplication, so in order to employ any of the exponent rules you know you need to manipulate the algebra that you're given to turn addition/subtraction into multiplication/division.

2) Find common bases (or common exponents) - Another key component of all these rules is that they require you to have a common term from which to apply the rules. So if you have something like 4^y * 8^z, you'll want to break 4 and 8 down to the prime base of 2 so that you can start to work on them algebraically.

3) Look for patterns - Exponents are just a way to express repetitive multiplication (2^9 is nine 2s multiplied together...it's very repetitive), so when exponent problems require you to find an actual number, often you can find it by establishing a pattern with small numbers and extrapolating it to the larger numbers that the question uses.

With core competencies or "guiding principles" like these, you can consolidate your subject-area knowledge into actionable goals and concepts.

Tier 3: Strategies -- Frameworks

Once you've synthesized the subject knowledge into actionable goals, you can really start to deconstruct the test and learn its subtleties. Categorizing question types can make your step-by-step approach to problems q

uick and efficient. Knowing the types of traps that certain questions tend to lay is a great way to turn the GMAT into a chess match, you against the author. For example, if a Data Sufficiency question offers statements 1 and 2 in a way that makes it pretty obvious that you could solve the problem with both statements, the answer is almost never C (example -

http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2010/03/gmat-tip-of-the-week-u-cant-c-me/) and your job becomes to determine whether one statement is sufficient by itself, or whether statements 1 and 2 are each restatements of each other (e.g. 2x + 3y = 9 AND 3(y-3) + 2x = 0).

Ok...so all that said - the Fast-Track Course focuses on most of Tier 2 and all of Tier 3. It's considerably shorter in length than the Full Course and so, necessarily, it has to omit some things, so we've designed that course to focus on those items that you really can't get without an instructor's help. I consider it to be the 15 most value-added hours of the Full Course - the stuff that our team of instructors has developed over the years as we've really fine-tuned our teaching style and knowledge of the GMAT.

Now, the Full Course will cover all of that, too as well as all of Tier 1 and a few things from Tier 2 that, time-permitting, don't make it into the Fast-Track. So the Full Course is certainly more thorough and provides more time for homework to be completed between sessions and a more natural week-by-week build of skills and strategies together. But keep in mind, also, that the Fast-Track course comes with all of our lesson books and access to all of our prerecorded On Demand lessons to be able to pick up those skills.

And, yes, both courses will give you access to the full set of

Veritas Prep resources. The Fast-Track course also comes with its own in-class workbook so that you're not s

tuck flipping between all 15 lesson books from which the main volume draws.

As for your third question, I think the best place to get some of those accounts is right here in the Beat the GMAT Verified Reviews page. You may also want to check out some of the comments our students have left for us on our Facebook page (

www.facebook.com/VeritasPrep).

I hope that helps...

Cheers,

Brian