Company
GMAT PREP COMPANY

EMPOWERgmat

5 stars
(5/5) - 88 reviews
Joined: Jul 2016
Purchased Course: May 2017
College: UC Berkeley
Major: Law and Social Sciences
Industry: Legal Services
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

680 to 740 in one month while working full time (with a new baby!)

5 stars
July 24, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 reviews
Teacher: Rich Cohen
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 680   After: 740
I decided to take the GMAT for fun/sport after growing restless at my job as an attorney at a large US-based litigation firm. Without much direction or focus, my initial approach to GMAT prep was to review the official guide and tinker with some practice problems in my spare time. In hindsight, it's almost comical to think of how naive my initial approach was in so many respects. Here are a few notable challenges that I faced but wholly underestimated:

1) young attorneys at big law firms have almost zero spare time to study for the GMAT

2) first-time fathers that come home from work to crying infants have even less

3) lawyers don't do math

I don't specifically recall my score on the first GMAT practice test I attempted, only that is was abysmal. After taking that first practice test, Problem #3 became readily apparent. I hadn't taken a math class since high school, and it would be generous to say my skills were "rusty." Still, in light of problems #1 and #2, I continued to struggle through the Official Guide for a few weeks and showed up almost completely unprepared for an official GMAT in November 2016. Not surprisingly, I bombed the quant section, scoring an overall 680 (Q42 V41).

After my first disappointing attempt, I gave up on the GMAT for several months following the birth of my first child. After some reflection, I assessed my weaknesses and decided to attempt the GMAT again in May 2017. At this point, I had even less spare time for study, but I had a sense of what the GMAT expected. Even though I only reviewed the official guide in preparation for my first GMAT, the questions hit me directly between the eyes. There were very few surprises. I struggled with timing and content on the quant section so much so that I was unable to complete the last several questions. It became painfully obvious that I needed to modify my approach if I wanted to score over 700 on the GMAT. I needed to have an analytical framework for the questions that kept hitting me right between the eyes on the GMAT. As any self-respecting millennial would do, I turned to google for the counsel and searched for of a complete test prep program that could provide me with a defined study plan, strategy tips, and an overview of basic quant skills.

If you're reading this, you likely already know that many test prep programs claim sole possession of the "700+ Secret Formula." Full disclosure: I was first drawn to the EMPOWERgmat primarily because it offered a free 1-hour trial. Price and fear of commitment were my primary motivators. I didn't have time for a classroom prep setting, and I didn't want to pay for any online program without trying it first. So I enrolled in the free 1-hour trial offered by EMPOWER and immediately I was hooked. The quant instructor, Rich, who refers to himself as a GMAT assassin, narrates each of the lessons with on-screen instruction. Rich loves the GMAT and I love him for it! Or maybe Rich hates the GMAT so much that he has dedicated his life to training others to assassinate it. Either way, his enthusiasm is infectious. For the first time since beginning my GMAT prep, I was actually having fun and approaching my study as a sport (#goals).

Rich's fundamental outlook toward the GMAT quant section is that you don't have to be a math major to beat the GMAT. "OK, Rich, I'm listening." (See Problem #3.) Instead, Rich proposes a pragmatic approach to each type of GMAT problem that is more based on logic than on being a human calculator. (Very encouraging for the non-human-calculators among us.) Rich's instructional videos are full of tips, strategies, and nuggets of wisdom for each topic in the GMAT quant section. My favorite nuggets are those related to convoluted story problems. Rich dissects the story problems and diagrams the moving parts, making them easily digestible. At the risk of sounding like a total nerd/fanboy, some of Rich's diagrams are so elegant that they're worthy of framing!

I followed the EMPOWERgmat program as prescribed. Within a month, I was confident in my approach to every conceivable GMAT quant problem. I took the GMAT again in July 2017 and scored 740. My quant score jumped from 42 to 47. Q47 is certainly not in the human calculator range, but it represented a substantial improvement for me, especially given my limited spare-time budget.

**The EMPOWER program also offers a complete menu of verbal, IR, and AWA instruction, but, to be fair, I didn't necessarily utilize all of that content. The verbal content I did utilize was presented in a user friendly format just like the quant. I'm sure the verbal content on EMPOWER is great, but I dedicated the majority of my study to the quant section.

In sum, I would recommend EMPOWERgmat to any would-be GMAT assassins. I did all of my study in one month after work and on weekends while juggling a new baby. It cost me less than 100 bucks. Can't beat that! Here are my improvement numbers as a testimony to the strengths of the program:

NOVEMBER 2016: total 680 (Q42 V41) (IR 7.0; AWA 6.0)

JULY 2017: total 740 (Q47 V45) (IR 8.0; AWA 6.0)

Joined: Jul 2017
Purchased Course: May 2017
College: Foreign Trade University
Major: International Business
Industry: Highly Diversified Service
Country: Vietnam
Verified Real Student Review

I got it. A 70-point improvement!

5 stars
July 24, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 reviews
Teacher: Rich and Max
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 640   After: 710
As a non-native speaker, honestly I didn't think of Empower GMAT as the best choice when I considered which course to take. Then the 70-point guarantee of the course draw my attention. Although at the end of the course, I am not qualified for the score policy, I was still happy to “absorb” so many valuable lessons that the course delivered. I chose to gradually study each lesson, adopt suggested strategies if necessary and practice as much as possible in 1-month duration. You know what, I used to think that I don’t need to study Quant, because my Q score was pretty cool already. However, applying 2 methods of Rich, I could finish the Quant session with 15 minutes remained and my accuracy level stayed the same. Regarding Verbal, I love the way Max explained in details every OG questions and built the habit of identifying what type of errors in each wrong options. I cannot describe how I am proud of myself when I applied that habit to every single question, I was able to find out which option is tempting and to explain why that tempting one is just a runner-up.
Last but not least, thank you, Brian and Tom, for your assistance emails whenever I had concerns, from technical problems to academic and strategic questions.
Thank you! :-)

Joined: Nov 2016
Purchased Course: Dec 2016
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major: Entrepreneurship
Industry: Investment Management
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Simplying the Puzzle

5 stars
May 15, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 reviews
Teacher: Rich
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 630   After: 670
After two big box curriculums (in-person and online) with very little progress, I didn't know what to do. I was working against a very crunched timeframe and was in desperate need of a fresh perspective. As a poor standardized test taker, I found that the EMPOWER modules finally taught me about what the test is trying to test. I found myself getting a grasp on feeling comfortable that I would be familiar with each question type and I would have different approaches to solve problems, even if it just came down to my guessing strategy. Along with great content, Rich (the instructor) does a great job of weaving some short clips outside of content that keeps you engaged and feeling ready for the big day.

I regret having spent so much money with big box providers before EMPOWER only to find myself buried in 20 lbs of books feeling lost and overwhelmed. EMPOWER is by far the most cost-effective GMAT prep program.

Joined: Oct 2016
Purchased Course: Jan 2017
Verified Real Student Review

Really empowers

5 stars
March 24, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 reviews
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: No
GMAT ScoresBefore: 620   After: 710
I'm a non-native English speaker. I have took other prep courses, but what they really teach you is how to answer a problem. Given the time constraint and competitiveness, how to solve a problem is not the only thing you needed, you need some tricks to get ahead of others. It's like any other game that you play. If you just know how to play a game, only that doesn't get you anywhere, but you also need to know how to tackle it wisely. That's exactly what EMPower teaches you. It's really worth it. It doesn't matter what prep course you follow; this is a must for you if you want to learn some tricks and tips. It's worth every penny.

Joined: Mar 2017
Purchased Course: Sep 2016
Verified Real Student Review

A fantastic experience with EMPOWERgmat

5 stars
March 24, 2017
Company: EMPOWERgmat 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 reviews
Teacher: Rich Cohen & Max Peterson
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 650   After: 710
I signed on with EMPOWERgmat after a disappointing 650 on my 1st attempt at the GMAT. Rich did an analysis of my ESR and gave me a recommended study plan that I followed. The course has a high focus on tactics and logic whilst providing me with the foundations necessary to tackle all the concepts that the exam threw at me.

I've never been great at math, but the way it was taught by Rich made it extremely simple. There are multiple ways of solving certain problems, but Rich shows you how to figure out the best (and most efficient) way to approach even the most complicated prompts. After going through the Empower modules, I was confident that even if I was given an unfamiliar question, I'd know the best tactic and method to approach the question. Rich was also always ready to answer emails and provide me with feedback whenever I had questions about my progress. Overall I loved the EMPOWER approach to the Quantitative part of the test.

The Verbal part of the course is pure gold. My Verbal score improvement was from the 50-60th percentile till the 90th percentile in my final score. After going through the Empower modules, I scored a perfect 51 on RC in every mock and on the official exam. My SC improved from the 40th percentile to the 90th. Max doesn't just teach you how to get the right answer, he shows you what to look for in the answer prompt and how to easily identify and eliminate wrong answers. Overall, I found that the Verbal section in the actual GMAT was an absolute breeze and I finished it with almost 10 mins left on the clock.

I would like to add a special mention to the support and advisor team from EMPOWERgmat as well. Brian & Stacy were amazing at getting back to me, answering problems and sorting out whatever issues I had. I don't think there was a single instance where they took more than a few hours to get back to me and solve my queries.

Overall, the entire team at EMPOWERgmat is as invested in your success as you are. If you have any doubts whatsoever about the GMAT, then just sign up with them and don't look back. They'll get you to the score you need.

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 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 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 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 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 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 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 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 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 88 reviews
Course: EMPOWERgmat On Demand Course 88 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.