Company
GMAT PREP COMPANY

EMPOWERgmat

5 stars
(5/5) - 72 reviews
Joined: Aug 2011
Purchased Course: Aug 2016
College: Kazakhstan
Major: Management/Business Administration
Country: Vietnam
Verified Real Student Review

The best course to take

5 stars
March 7, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 680   After: 720
Empower GMAT is great for people who are just starting to prepare for the test and for those who are preparing for a while and are unable to move forward and improve. The last score I got was 680 and I was unsure what else can I do to improve my score. I read all the books advised and practiced as much as I could, but my score stayed the same.
I found Empower GMAT when I was looking for a good Math course. My Verbal score I thought was good enough, so I mainly was concerned about Math. I decided to try and never regretted it. What I liked about the course:
- It seems very fun and easy; sometimes I didn’t feel like I was studying.
- It seems very personal; the instructors give you advices not only about the academics, but what to do before the exam and how to make sure you will get the best scores. You can always email them and generally they seem like good guys.
- You are given only information you need, nothing else. Pretty much, it’s all the info in one place.
- The course is very strategic, you are given strategies and tactics on how to do the best you can. Using those tactics really helps.

I guess the only thing I regret about is that I hadn’t found this course earlier; maybe I would not spend all this time reading through millions of books and articles and trying to find the best solutions. It would save a lot of time.

Joined: Feb 2017
Purchased Course: Jan 2017
College: Georgia Southern University
Major: Finance
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Improved 70 points in 3.5 weeks!

5 stars
February 22, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Rich & Max
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 540   After: 610
EmpowerGMAT is the way to go to improve your score quickly or over a longer period of time.
For me, I was in a time crunch and only had a few weeks to study and improve my score. Now it may not seem like the best score to some, but for me I knew I needed to get a 600-score to be considered for some of the better MBA programs.
I had taken the GMAT twice, scored a 530 and a 540, without really studying and was confused about how I should approach studying. My main problem was the Quant section where I was scoring in the low 20's percentile. I studied for 3.5 weeks primarily focusing on the Quant section as I was in the 75th percentile for verbal and it really paid off. The thing that helped the most was how to approach data sufficiency questions and the simplicity Rich used in the videos to explain formulas, tactics, strategies etc. I ended up with a 610 which was awesome considering this was the only studying I had ever done for the GMAT.
Rich and Max will go over any type of question in Quant and Verbal and explain exactly the fastest and easiest ways to overcome easy and tough questions!
I would definitely recommend this course to anyone, even if you want a lower score or a 700+ score.

Joined: Oct 2009
Purchased Course: Jan 2017
Verified Real Student Review

Empower Review

5 stars
January 30, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Rich Cohen
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 640   After: N/A
Hello,

I am using Empower GMAT course while preparing for the GMAT test. While I am using this course in conjunction with MGMAT books and some other materials too, I really like this course the best, as I feel that it suits my learning temparament.

I am easily distracted and very lazy, also studing in the evenings after a long and stressful work day makes it very hard for me to get in the groove to study.

Enough on my ramblings... now on to the course review.
The conversational style of videos and the engaging voice of the instructors jolts me to actually learn something instead of passively going through the motions. Having said that, i feel that the videos have very basic content but high on strategies, be it triage, test it etc.. I feel that we do need additional materials for concept and then fine tune our preparation with strategies explained in the videos.

There are little nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout the course warning us on the mistakes that a test taker does. I find this extremely helpful. I feel as if someone is holding my hand and already pre- warning me on the errors I am about to make.

The other thing which I feel is working for me is witnessing an expert walk through the steps and thought process of the questions.

Overall I am loving the course, I hope this will help me while I actually take the test.

Joined: Jan 2017
Purchased Course: Nov 2016
College: Arizona State University
Major: Finance
Industry: Investment Management
Country: Korea, Republic of
Verified Real Student Review

EMPOWERgmat is a godsend: cost-effective, powerful, no nonsense, and necessary

5 stars
January 22, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Brian Michaels
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 530   After: 600
Bottom line: the EMPOWERgmat is a cut above in tactics, skills, strategy, and confidence building for maximum impact in a compact timeframe. Try it for a month; I doubt you will be disappointed.

The GMAT is one of the most important choices in life for many, including myself, as it carries so much weight for MBA applications. But the GMAT preparation industry is saturated with high opacity around the true value behind a service’s offering. The costs can be exorbitant and I have firsthand experienced an ineffective large retail course wherein I poured thousands of dollars and more than 200 hours of study.

As a means of background, I am a French-American male who graduated in finance with summa cum laude honors in 2010. After working during more than 5.5 years in corporate finance, business analysis, and strategic marketing throughout Asia I decided to pursue the GMAT in the path to business school. Even though I have historically been a poor standardized test taker (questioning the validity of such exams altogether), I do strive to take measured, sound, and serious decisions based on available information and exert persistent effort to yield desired outcomes. In doing so, I often rely on recommendations and referrals as a short cut to discovering quality in making decisions. As such, I took up a trusted friend’s suggestion for a certain online module who had scored a 700.

I spent 6 months studying (May-November 2016) with the online prep class featuring software that predicted a score of 630-700 after gruelingly answering thousands of questions and going through all of the content lessons. However, the predictive models weren’t reflective of my real performance as my CAT scores were falling in the mid to upper 500’s. An anecdote to underscore my experience: I spent many dozens of hours studying three-dimensional geometry in the large retail course’s software and I only came across 1 such question in the two real-life tests. The same can be said for combinations, probability, two-rate problems, etc. This is indicative of the misinformation and flawed understanding of how the GMAT algorithm and scoring work by some (many) prep companies, rendering courses less effective and putting many at a disadvantage.

In my last-minute frustration, I conducted desk research to seek out if any other solutions existed. Thanks to the reviews left by several students on sites like Beat the GMAT, I fortuitously learned about EMPOWERgmat. The comments all seemed promising, so I had a first 1-hour free perusal and was immediately impressed by the curriculum and the affordability (the cheapest among competitors that I’d seen). The videos were vibrant - showing how to approach problems, take notes, stay organized, and strategically guess where needed. Unfortunately, it was only several days before my first test attempt so I had little time to absorb the lessons and correct my issues. Not surprisingly, my first official score was a 530, which I smartly canceled thanks to EMPOWERgmat’s optimal game theory-like test-taking strategy.

I was spurred to immediately reach out to the EMPOWERgmat team and explain my situation, which turns out to be not such an uncommon one – there are a number of students who go through retail courses with lackluster results in their first GMAT test and search for alternatives. EMPOWERgmat’s client service team, particularly Brian Michaels, is absolutely outstanding. The team is extremely responsive, attentive, and sympathetic to the client’s needs and difficulties. From the first interaction, I was put at ease with their no nonsense, straightforward, positive, and encouraging style of engagement. It was revealed to me that the test is a measure of skills and training as opposed to capability and hours of study per se. This was insight I hadn't come across anywhere else, as it's based on proprietary analysis. After exchanging several emails, I decided to reschedule and undertake study with their curriculum.

I had to untangle all of my bad habits with a wholesale recalibration of the way I thought about the test. This was not always easy, but EMPOWERgmat made it as painless as possible with the strong energy from the videos and an airtight system. After a short 1.5 months, I managed to improve my score +70 points to a 600 in time for Round 2 deadlines of different MBA programs. While that does not sound significant, it very much is to me. The score puts me in the 600+ range that is the minimum baseline for top programs and was the highest performance in any CAT or real-life exam I had taken (the highest percentile on any standardized test in fact).

So in short, the EMPOWERgmat was a lifesaver and I should have used it from the onset. Doing so would have saved me many hours of frustration and most likely allowed me to earn an even better score. My candid advice would be to carve out a solid 3-months of committed study to get the most impact (from any program for that matter).

I unreservedly recommend EMPOWERgmat and sincerely hope the program helps other students the same way it worked wonders for me. Good luck!

Joined: Jan 2017
Purchased Course: Sep 2016
College: Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Major: Finance
Country: Italy
Verified Real Student Review

A Skyrocket in Your Score

5 stars
January 19, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Rich and Max
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 680
I am a 21-year-old student from Italy, currently attending Bocconi University. Since I want to do my MSc abroad, I decided to take the GMAT.
My first score, due to poor math knowledge and language barriers was poor: 540
My target was a 650+ score, so I decided to sign up for an online course, EmpowerGMAT.
Some friends who already took the GMAT told me about it, but to be honest, since the course is much less expensive than the other courses, I was skeptical.

I approached the online course and started listening to the video lessons and completing the many exercises provided with the course.
After just a few days I realized that my overall knowledge was improving:
The Math course (by Rich) is a direct approach to kill every exercise, focused on knowing the fundamental formulas and distinguish the questions one need to answer correctly from those that can be dumped with no effect on the score. In this way, the student needs to know only a few basic formulas and is able to go through the Quant section without rushing, since he is educated to dump some non-important questions.
The Verbal course (by Max) provides for basic grammar knowledge, but its power stays in the tips and tricks provided to answer every question (or at least to make an educated guess) in no-time. This direct approach allows non-natives (like me) to score high without the need to know every single English grammar rule.
The IR and AWA courses, since these sections do not affect the overall score, are really concise but helpful to develop a successful mind pattern and tactic.

The course is really interesting and not excessively or unnecessarily long, and leaves to the student the freedom to choose when to take it, in how much time, and what lessons to take (it also presents tailor-made study plans).

After concluding the course in a month I approached Test Day feeling relaxed and prepared: I was able to raise my score to a 680!! (Q:44 V:40 IR:8 AWA:5)

To conclude, the course, integrated with the official GMAT book, is extremely helpful to improve the score of every student, native or non-native, math genius or bad at math.
Each section is successfully broken down and analyzed, and the mix of basic knowledge and tricks provided is a must have to kill the GMAT.
I recommend the course without any doubt to all.

Joined: Jan 2017
Purchased Course: Oct 2016
College: University of Melbourne
Major: Economics
Industry: Diversified Financial Svcs/Insurance
Country: Indonesia
Verified Real Student Review

Excellent Teaching and Value for Money Especially for Non-Native Speakers

5 stars
January 19, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Rich & Max
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 530   After: 590
I just retook my GMAT on the 28th of Dec and managed to get a score of 690 (Q44 and V41). This was a noticeable improvement from my previous GMAT scores of 530 (before EMPOWER) and 640.

EMPOEWRgmat materials were superbly written and executed, especially on Quant. Prior to EMPOWER, I was stuck with a sub-30 Q score and using the module, I managed to learn that quant is actually not that hard, and quite fun. My verbal score also improved as I practiced hard to solve that tricky modifier error on SC or applying the CR box during CR questions, and this boosted my score from 35 to 44. In Indonesia, the trend is that people’s quant scores are generally much higher than that of verbal. So my higher than average verbal score is kind of an anomaly, all thanks to EMPOWER. Oh and the Triage… I wonder what I would get had I not learned about Triage from Rich and Max.

As a final note, we do not have the luxury of abundance of GMAT prep companies in Indonesia, most relying on traditional pen-and-paper teaching method. But we know from EMPOWER that this method is incredibly flawed especially when dealing with a rigorous 4.5-hour computer based test, testing both your stamina and mental strength. I’ve taken the liberty to recommend Empower to my Indonesian cohorts who are looking to ace the GMAT for their MBA journeys. A friend managed to improve her score from 500s to 680 and another friend improved from 640 to 690. The way we say it in Indonesia: EMPOWERgmat mantap!

Joined: Sep 2016
Purchased Course: Oct 2016
Industry: Computers/Software
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Best for tactics

5 stars
January 4, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 710
I recently took my GMAT and got a 710(Q49, V38). I did not have a lot of preparation time and I was looking around to see the best bang for the buck in terms of preparation. I am happy I went with EmpowerGMAT. There are a couple of things I really liked about these guys. When it comes to GMAT TACTICS these guys are the BEST. If you are keen on learning your math(formula statistics) or verbal fundamentals(grammar, tense etc) there are a lot of OTHER online and offline resources. But when it comes to test taking strategies and help drilling them EmpowerGMAT is the best in my opinion. The lessons are fairly bite sized and is engaging, and you dont get bored unlike other online study material. I did pick up a couple of books including the Manhattan series and Powerprep series, but felt that those did not add much value. If you are looking for a score jump.. have less time or dont have much interest/money to spend for prep classes I would say definitely go with EMPOWER.

Joined: Sep 2016
Purchased Course: Oct 2016
Major: Management/Business Administration
Industry: Diversified Financial Svcs/Insurance
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Scoring a 700 for a PhD

5 stars
December 7, 2016
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 580   After: 700
Background

GMAT Score: 700, Q46, V40, AWA 5.0, IR 6
Nationality: American
Undergrad Degree: Business Admin, regional school 10,000+ students
Graduate Degree: MBA, regional school 15,000+ students
Profession: Auditor/CPA
Materials Used: 2017 Official Guide, 4 Official GMAT prep tests

My GMAT Experience

I have taken the GMAT twice. My first test experience was in 2012. I scored a 580 after studying for maybe 20 hours with a generic GMAT test prep book (I’m not sure what company produced it). I was aiming for anything over a 500 so I could gain admission to my local university’s MBA program. My goal was to get a graduate degree and become a CPA. I was not aiming to attend a top business school.

Fast forward to September 2016, I started studying for the GMAT so that I could apply to PhD programs for Fall 2017 admission. I took an official GMAT practice test before I started studying and scored a 610 (Q40, V34), I began studying on my own, thinking I could power through the GMAT using the same strategy I used for the CPA exam: complete thousands of practice questions. After two weeks of this I realized this strategy would not get me to a 700+ score.

Next, I signed up for the beatthegmat.com’s 60-day study guide. I worked through all of the Quant days, then I took another official practice test. I scored a 630 (Q43, V34) and saw my Quant score increase by 3 points. I knew I needed a better method of studying. Specifically, I wanted a GMAT prep course that would teach me the strategy needed to beat the GMAT.

I read hundreds of reviews, forum posts, and anything that I thought would help me find what I was looking for in a GMAT prep course. A major deterrent to the big name GMAT prep courses was the cost. I was not willing to hand over the kind of money these courses demanded because the results I saw from reviewers did not convince me the courses would take me to the 700+ level.

Then, I saw one review of the EMPOWERgmat course. It was the first review that I read that offered a glimpse of what I wanted in my GMAT prep course, test strategy. I read through more reviews and visited the website. I was sold on two major points: 1. The number of reviews with 700+ scores, and 2. The price.

I signed up for EMPOWERgmat’s course on October 7th and had already scheduled my GMAT exam for November 19th. I got to work immediately watching videos and working through the problems in the 2017 Official Guide, even though I had already worked through all of the Quant practice problems.

I devoted an hour before work and 3-4 hours after work on the weekdays and 4-8 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. I completed all of the EMPOWERgmat required videos in the order contained in the 1-month study guide. My only deviation from the study guide was the practice exams. I took a total of 4 practice exams and did not work through the AWA essay or Integrated Reasoning on any of the exams. I did this because it was hard for me to devote 4 hours straight to a practice exam and I was more concerned with working through the practice problems and videos.

I took my third official practice exam and scored a 650 (Q45, V34). I took my fourth official practice exam and scored a 680 (Q43, V40) two weeks before my exam date. I did not take the 5th and 6th recommended exams because I wanted to devote more time to the practice problems and videos.

Test Day

I sat for my exam on Saturday, November 19th at 8:00am. I took all of Rich’s advice on test day except for winking at a test center employee, that’s only because I can’t pull off a convincing wink without looking creepy. I chewed cinnamon gum, took both of my breaks, did push-ups, ate a protein bar, and drank Gatorade. I even took a 5 second pause during the Verbal section when I felt I was losing focus.

Overall, I felt absolutely prepared for everything I saw on the exam. Even without practicing the AWA and IR sections, I felt prepared for these sections.

In the Quant and Verbal section, I used Test It, Test the Answers, and Triage. Honestly, I did not see a question that I had not prepared for. EMPOWERgmat gave me the edge I needed on test day.

The time between the end of the Verbal section and the reveal of my score was the most painful part of the test. Once I saw the 700 on the screen, I felt an immense wave of relief and elation. I walked out of the test center knowing that I could have not achieved my score without EMPOWERgmat.

Summary of the EMPOWERgmat Course

Pros
• Self-paced
• Cost – I only paid $188 for two months
• Quant Material – Teaches strategy first and math second, teaches the best way to answer questions, teaches you how to identify what is being asked, covers important and not so important questions, videos for every question in the official guides, Rich demonstrates enthusiasm in every video and he wants you to succeed, I looked forward to the Quant videos
• Verbal Material – Teaches you how to identify the question, teaches you how to identify wrong answers, teaches you how to read the RC and CR passages, teaches you how to spot sentence correction errors, videos for every question in the official guides

Cons
• One section of videos did not load correctly for me (this has since been fixed)
• The Verbal practice questions at the introduction of new sections used a timer. This caused me to focus on the clock and not on learning how to use what I had just learned in Max’s videos.
• The methods for tackling RC and CR questions slowed me down and did not work well for me (I mastered SC questions, though)

Conclusion

I would recommend EMPOWERgmat to anyone that is serious about achieving a high score on the GMAT. It helped me achieve the GMAT score I needed to be taken seriously by PhD admissions committees.

Joined: Jan 2016
Purchased Course: Nov 2016
College: UC Berkeley
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Industry: Energy/Extractive Minerals
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Amazing GMAT class for any test takers!

5 stars
December 4, 2016
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Rich
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 710   After: 730
The EMPOWERgmat class is amazing! It focuses more on strategy and approach than plain concept. This is great for someone like me who already has a solid score before the retake. I think the foundations/ theoretical concepts cover in the course is just enough for you to perform well on the exam without giving you too much of a headache that you become discouraged and don't want to study anymore.

I have taken other prep courses before (Magoosh, eGMAT, Manhattan) and I have to say that this course is the best one in enabling me to achieve my 730 (Q49 V41). In addition, EMPOWERgmat also offers a MBA application adivs0ry service that I didn't get to take advantage of (already accepted to INSEAD).

Joined: Nov 2016
Purchased Course: Aug 2016
College: Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Industry: Other Manufacturing
Country: India
Verified Real Student Review

A review of EMPOWERgmat and other musings..

4 stars
November 17, 2016
Company: EMPOWERgmat 72 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 72 reviews
Teacher: Rich and Max
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 640   After: 720
Before you proceed to read my review of EMPOWERgmat (EG), I think you should know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. For me to give anything a perfect rating, the product/service should be absolutely flawless, be able to tick every single item on my checklist AND probably have some additional noteworthy benefits (yes, I'm fun at parties). Therefore, kindly exercise discretion.

The good:

1. Tone
An informal tone of instruction is used throughout. It’s conversational and feels like you’re listening to a real person and not a robot with a gun to its head. It's important that the tone doesn't bore you as you're likely going to be viewing these videos for several hours at a stretch.

2. Test-oriented approach
The course is full of strategies such as taking the best guess, solving problems by plugging the answer choices in etc. It does not overly emphasize theoretical/conceptual learning. While this keeps the preparation process light, it is a double-edged sword as I'll explain later.

3. Podcasts / pep-talks
Anecdotal and motivational podcasts by Rich (one of the instructors) are scattered throughout the course. They address issues such as mindset during the journey, confidence on test-day etc. I found these to be quite helpful, and again, they make the whole experience a little more personal.

4. Pricing
I did more than my fair share of research before choosing EG and I can safely conclude that it is one of the most reasonably priced courses available. The price of the flagship 3-month course includes that of all 6 Official GMAC CATs. However, you could also choose to pay just for the course. This is not an option on many other online courses that are available.

5. Score guarantees/policies*
I'm glad that I didn't have to use it, but, they offer a 60-pt score improvement guarantee for non-first time test-takers with scores up to 650. This is among the best in the market. They even offer one hour of professional admissions counseling (worth 250$) for free, to those who improve their score by 60 pts or more. Overall, their policies are not only lucrative, but also fair.

The bad:

1. Not much emphasis on theoretical understanding
This is the other edge of the sword. There are no ‘concept-videos’ and the material does not delve into theory such as properties, special cases etc.
While this approach might be sufficient for some, others looking for better understanding at a conceptual level might find it lacking. This is especially true when it comes to DS, as at higher levels, it tests the thoroughness of your understanding of the most basic concepts. There’s no doubt that most of these questions can be answered by good ol’ methods such as plugging-in numerical values, trial and error etc., (methods emphasized by EG) but, these approaches are not foolproof and especially so if you don’t know what kind of values to use for testing. I found that my theoretical knowledge bailed me out in many such cases. But hey, that’s just me.

2. Not many options for customization
It’s been designed almost as a one-size-fits-all programme. You could probably ask for assistance in designing a schedule or something. However, it’s not something that I tried.

Other things to be noted:
-I would not advocate blindly following the course to achieve your target score. You might have to modify it according to your needs. For example: Although EG advocates taking tests at uniform time intervals, I took most of my practice tests after I was done with the course, as I felt the latter approach would be more effective.
-EG reflects teaching methodologies used in the U.S. You might have been taught some of these things differently.
-I found Rich’s explanations (Quant) to be more lucid than those of Max (Verbal). Hence, the discrepancy in the ratings.

Other things that really worked for me:
-I was consistent in my preparation. It is worth noting that the intensity of my preparation was augmented by the fact that at the time I was (and in fact, still am) jobless. Help.
-I took full-length mocks and I took them seriously. In total, I took about 7-full length mocks. I bombed on one of the tests because I was really nervous and didn’t manage my time well. The experience actually helped me avoid that scenario on test-day.
-I booked the test ONLY once I felt completely ready. This meant that since I hit my target score on my last mock, I booked the next available slot, which was in about 3 days. If your situation allows for something like this, I would totally recommend it.
-I supplemented EG with other study material. This not only allowed me to fill those ‘theory gaps’ that I was talking about, but also helped me lower my cost of preparation considerably. In addition to the course, I only bought one Official GMAC test pack. I was able to squeeze out 5 CATs from that and the free Test Prep software. For the other CATs, I used Manhattan and Veritas. GMATclub also has some amazing tests. I should also mention that some of E-GMAT’s free stuff is simply top notch.
-And finally, I maintained a detailed error-log throughout my prep. The postmortem of each of my practice CATs was as thorough as possibly could be. I don’t think I can stress on the importance of this enough. You can use the error log that comes with this course or one that you get off the internet, but DO IT. Record every question you get wrong and also the action that you need to take to avoid repeating it. You HAVE to identify your weak areas, consciously work on improving them and then take the next test. Unless you’re doing that, you’re wasting your practice tests.

Anyways, I’m done with my rant. Hope this helps and Godspeed!

*at the time of my purchase