Whether you are starting your GMAT prep for the first time or you have been preparing for some time, there is no doubt that finding the best course can be a bit overwhelming. There is plenty of material available in the form of books, personal tutors, coaching institutes, and online courses for people to choose from. But, if you know the right factors to choose the right course, it will not be as difficult. Let’s see how it can be done:
The First Step: Know Yourself
Knowing yourself means to identify your learning style and being aware of where you stand (which includes your understanding of Quant, Verbal, and the GMAT test in general). Let’s discuss the two in detail –
1. Know Your Learning Style
If you don’t know your learning style yet or are confused about it, think about how you have prepared so far. Do you grasp a piece of content better on video or have you always preferred to study from a book? Once you do that, you will know what works best for you – video lessons, one-on-one tutoring, books, or a combination of all.
2. Know Where You Stand
The best way to know your current skill level is to take a diagnostic test and analyse your score. However, it is important to note that the diagnostic test does not say anything about your performance in the final test. The intent is to know your strengths and weaknesses so that you can correctly identify the right course.
The Important Factors to Consider While Identifying the Right Course
There are certain factors that most people tend to consider while selecting the right course while completely ignoring another set of factors that are equally (if not more) important. However, as preparation progresses, they realize that these factors are relevant and should have been considered. Let’s discuss them one by one:
I. The Obvious Factors
The obvious factors that help you decide if a resource is ideal or not are as follows:
Quality of course and number of questions – To ensure that the course is of good quality, you can check if it offers GMAT styled questions. Ideally, 1500+ questions, along with explanations that are easy to relate and implement, are enough to solidify your concepts.
Support- Consider a course that connects you with an expert when you’re stuck at a topic or a problem that you cannot seem to come out of. This way, your queries will be resolved in less time and with minimal effort.
Flexibility- If you are working full/part time, have a demanding job, you travel a lot, or have other commitments to take care of every day, you will need a course that offers flexibility so you can be well-rested, focused, and attentive during preparation.
Scope of Customization – A good resource is one that can be personalized based on your needs. For instance, if you are a working individual with a dynamic schedule, the right resource should offer you a study plan that can be easily adjusted depending upon the time you can devote each day.
II. The Not-so-Obvious but Critical Factors
These are the factors that most people do not immediately consider while evaluating the right course, but eventually come to realize the importance of considering these factors –
Integrated Study Plan – Consider a course that comes integrated with a study plan so you can prepare each topic in the right order. This way, you will know what to study when, will have more time at hand, and you can jump directly into preparation without worrying about where to start.
Improvement Modules & Feedback in Real-time – In GMAT more than 60% questions test you on multiple topics at the same time, so if you’ve gaps in basic topics then chances are you will struggle in the related topics as well. Hence, it is important that the resource gives you real-time feedback with respect to gaps in your understanding and serves you improvement modules right away.
Application Focussed Course – Students often struggle to score well on GMAT because there is lack of consistency in their approach while solving questions. So, you should choose a resource that teaches a consistent methodology to solve each question. For instance, the right course will not only equip you to solve RC questions but also teach you how to read a passage.
Actionable Insights & Analytics – Actionable insights are reviews of your performance that clearly point out what your strengths & weaknesses are, so that you know what is to be done next without an iota of doubt.
Mentors to Guide Your Way Through – Most people require a guide who can help them strategize initially and whenever they are stuck. The right resource will also provide you an option to connect with mentors to take help in building strategies, understand the GMAT algorithm, or simply to seek advice.
Very few courses offer an ideal combination of all the features mentioned above! Visit www.gmatwhiz.com if you are looking for a complete feature-packed resource!
How to Evaluate the Resources Against the Above Factors?
There are two ways to evaluate the material and resources-
I. Speak to the Existing Users and Read the Customer Reviews
To get the most authentic advice about a course, you can simply speak to the students who are currently using the material. If that’s not possible, you can read through the reviews to get to know the pros and cons of the resource.
II. Take a Free Trial
If the previous step is not helpful or you trust your own instincts more than anyone else’s, you can simply opt to take a free trial. Here’s what you should look for –
- The course should not be a very high-level one as it does not really help.
- It should serve you with clear deadlines and help you understand which topic to do when.
- A good platform should offer customized improvement modules to help you improve right after you perform poorly in a quiz.
- There should be actionable insights available, such as an error log to identify your weakest areas.
- The platform should let you connect with a mentor to help sort your queries in the least possible time.
No matter how interactive, inclusive, and affordable the course is, at the end of the day it is your dedication that makes all the difference. If you are self-studying, you may have days when you are not so motivated, whereas, if you are referring to an online course, you might get regular reminders to keep you focused. Whatever the case may be, it is your determination and dedication to crack the test that makes all the difference.