Second Time around which Prep Course do I do?

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So I went through the 7-week GMAT prep course through Princeton Review. I was very disappointed with my official GMAT score that I took two weeks ago.

They offer two guarantees: Money-Back and Satisfaction. I am wondering if I should retake the course through Princeton or get my money back and apply it towards a Manhattan GMAT prep course.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I will be taking the GMAT again in late March. I have been studying since October.

Thanks!
Last edited by Maria7890 on Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by ksear » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:56 pm
Hey,

I took PR's course initially and ended with a 550 score; even though their prep courses are not that bad and had I put in more time (just studied for approximately a month), I would have probably gotten beyond 600. I am studying for GMAT once again and this time around, I have enrolled in Manhattan GMAT's classes and even though I have only taken 2 classes so far, I see a huge difference. MGMAT's course is more comprehensive (that means you have to put in more hours of study every week comparatively) but if you are willing to put in the effort, I can bet you'll end up a getting a better score with MGMAT's as compared to PR's.

Regards,
Kashif Sear.

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by Random Wok » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:45 pm
I can second the recommendation for MGMAT. I initially considered doing PR, but I heard so much negative feedback about their course that I went with Manhattan. MGMAT definitely helped me achieve my score, and I only did the live online version, not the in-class one. MGMAT doesn't offer a refund, but it's good to note that the average score of a student there is around 700.

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by gsbjake » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:59 pm
I think I can third that advice. MGMAT is certainly better than Princeton Review.

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by Anthony Russomanno » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:37 am
Maria,

I am sorry to hear that you score was disappointing. I would love to find a way to help guide you to the best option for you. From some of the comments already I see they are recommending MGMAT but before you do that I would like to inquire about a few items and make some comments and suggestions for you. First it sounded like Kashir mentioned he took TPR 1st time but went with MGMAT the 2nd time. By his own indication he did not put in the time he need for a solid score as 1 month is not nearly enough to do it right especially with a lower starting score. Students who attend all our classes, take all our exams and do the work that goes along with it, do extremely well in comparison to where they started. So my 1st question is did you truly put in the necessary time to get a score that would make you happy? Regardless of the company/program, if you dont put in the proper amount of time, you will not see the results you want. Did you take all of the practice exams in our course (7). If not, again you are limiting yourself into getting the best score. I do understand some companies may fit a student better than others based on their approach/learning style or even schedule so I dont want to drive you back to TPR if it doesn't fit you but I dont think it is the case. For some students it does take more than 7 weeks to sink in so maybe you need a bit more time and you did not take to our methods first time around. But if you did everything you could and were scoring 600 on the practice tests, maybe it is a test DAY thing. Again I dont know for sure and need to assess you whole situation before giving you final advice.

I would love to speak with you directly so you can call me at 888.758.7737 ext 5017 and we can discuss it further.

Continuing on...
What were your prior test scores before going in to the actual GMAT. If you were scoring 400's on the practice tests then a better idea would have been to postpone the GMAT to a later date as you may not have been ready. I am not sure if you spoke with your instructor but they are usually very good at guiding you to a plan. Byt the way, what city did you take the course and who was your instructor as I would like to follow up with them to see how else we can help. Knowing some of this info will help me guide you. Also did you ever take advantage of our free extra help? Please contact me to discuss so we can get you on your way.

Sincerely,
Anthony
Maria7890 wrote:So I went through the 7-week GMAT prep course through Princeton Review. I was very disappointed with my official GMAT score that I took two weeks ago (390).

They offer two guarantees: Money-Back and Satisfaction. I am wondering if I should retake the course through Princeton or get my money back and apply it towards a Manhattan GMAT prep course.

Does anyone have any thoughts? I will be taking the GMAT again in late March. I have been studying since October.

Thanks!
Anthony Russomanno | MA, MBA
National Director of Educational Partnerships, The Princeton Review
800-2Review | www.PrincetonReview.com

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by aslan » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:59 am
@Anthony:Love the way you write a long email in response, but I fear that I would have to side with Maria's apprehensions

I don't really want to disclose the name of the center because, personally I really do not want anyone's careers to get jeopardized in the process or to think somehow that somebody leaked something to the HQ, but if you take a look at the PR's progress in other countries than it would be safe to say that it doesn't come 'near' to any of those offered by the likes of GMAT.

I took a course from PR and the instructor was none other than the head of the region.What he did initially was to give a diagnostic test which people had to finish in about 20 mins each, with a lot more questions.As could have been guessed, major class got poor scores of around 400's.Then, he went on to lecture that how important GMAT is for our future and how PR will uplift it from these scores to some 100 points or more.I was stupid not to test myself beforehand on GMATprep to check where I was in actuality.

Anyways, not only the class had some people who were half interested, but the instructor himself had a lackluster side to teaching saying that he had been pulled out from the administration process to teach in place of someone else (although he had some 99%).He completely abandoned the approach of solving and instead relied heavily on POE (process of elimination) or tricks which he considered were 'hard to follow for a technical student'.At some instant he just ball parked randomly without really telling anyone how he arrived at the the answer (obviously he had loads of practice from years and years).All these tips and tricks contributed in making the mind all the more confused as he leapfrogged from the solid concepts on to other things.In the middle of the course I knew that I was trapped and the PR guy was making it all the more confusing by just doing random questions (sitting) from OG.In Verbal he just used to quote that 'it just sounds right' *shrug*... instead of getting into the nitty gritty of things...for nonnatives it was NO help at all.

All in all disaster happened the first time with abysmal scores.After this fiasco, I picked up MGMAT and it felt like someone had kicked me in the face.It went straight to the hardcore stuff without wasting time on ABCD.I envy those people who have MGMAT to train them in their countries.I unfortunately neither had the books nor the facility of a training center.If you yourself pick up any of their books, without doubt, you will notice a difference in the question levels.I also believe this to be a part of their success as well as they really have done a LOT of work on their material in keeping with the real test trends.Also they have staff who also seem to cherish their jobs (not doing it like part time stuff).In my class of PR, there were actually instructors who were doing multiple ( bank) jobs and also teaching in the evenings...what level of commitment a person brings in to a classroom, who continuously looks at his watch is anybody's guess.

Please dont think me as a promoter of anyone or any agency or denouncing anyone person on some purpose, but quality speaks for itself.Even after having a bad score I thought it worthwhile to prepare for myself rather than to go back and join the class again.

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by Maria7890 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:01 am
Thank you everyone for the advice. I am acting upon my Money-Back Guarantee through PR. I felt I took advantage of everything PR offered. I really liked my teacher, went to all the classes, went to outside help, did the homework and took all the practice tests. I just feel like I need to try something different.

I will be going to a free Manhattan GMAT class next week and signing up for a class after that.


Thank you again
Maria

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by aslan » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:12 pm
@Maria7890:I believe the situation can be different at any place and indeed your instuctor could also be a committed teacher, but I believe you would be pleasantly surprised by the MGMAT material itself. (if not the teacher)

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by Anthony Russomanno » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:40 pm
No one would lose their job. I personally want to make sure these things dont happen so if I am able to backtrack we can see what things we can do better so our students are happy. These are rare occurences but sometimes there is a trend of why something happened.

Good Luck Maria and sorry we could not continue to service you for the GMAT. It does sound odd that you did everything and you score did not go up. Please let us all know how you do 2nd time around.

Anthony
Anthony Russomanno | MA, MBA
National Director of Educational Partnerships, The Princeton Review
800-2Review | www.PrincetonReview.com