Test Prep Companies

EMPOWERgmat

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Joined: Sep 16, 2016
Purchased Course: Jun 2, 2017
Verified Real Student Review

The most amazing course for GMAT!

August 13, 2017
  • Teacher: Max & Rich
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: 660 After: 710

Hi guys,

I know a lot of you are struggling to get a good GMAT score, and trust me, I know the pain. I have lost hair, gave up on my routine and missed out on life so much because of GMAT, but now I won't give the exam again!

I gave the first GMAT in Dec 2016 and got a 660 because I was super anxious. I even gave up on GMAT for a long time, and then in March I took a date randomly for August. I had studied so much in the past that I didn't know what I knew and I didn't. I had tried EmpowerGMAT before and what I truly love about them is the simplicity of their course. These guys don't tell you that GMAT is the end of the world or that you need to be a nerd to get what you are looking for, but rather they tell you the right things and you know they are right because their approach not only works on their own content, but also works on every question of the Official stuff, which is the basis for their entire course.

I have written cheesy emails to these guys just because of the sort of cool culture they have, and the value they have added in my life. To be honest, this time I did just one mock and didn't even complete my official stuff, but I completed their course(apart from the mocks- I don't recommend doing this though!) and went to take the exam. What changed this time was my mindset, I believed in myself, I knew what the GMAT would test me, and how I need to be calm while taking the exam.

Lastly, I don't think my score is that great, but I still feel that what they have collated is actually good for anyone who intends to get the right advice.

P. S. I have gone through 3 other courses (E-GMAT, Economist, Edushastra), but the reality is that all of them have no standing in front of EmpowerGMAT.
Joined: Aug 11, 2017
Purchased Course: Feb 1, 2017
College: Vivekananda College
Major: Finance
Industry: Accounting
Country: Oman
Verified Real Student Review

A course which truly lives up to its reputation

August 11, 2017
  • Teacher: Rich & Max
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: N/A

EMPOWERgmat was a phenomenal study tool and is a must have for anyone who really wants to dominate the GMAT with a very high score. My Expectations for a course were as follows
(1)A course which had detailed strategies on how to tackle the quant and verbal sections of the gmat
(2)A course which provided a wide database of questions for extra practice
(3)A course which could also teach all the test takers on how to make educated guesses to achieve a maximum score
Empower GMAT personally scored on all the fronts as I could see my score on the diagnostic tests improve progressively as I had studied through the modules
The support staff too is extremely helpful and you can hope to expect a quick revert on any of the doubts you may have regarding the problems
The pricing too is extremely attractive - do give this course a shot
Joined: Jul 28, 2017
Purchased Course: Jun 15, 2015
College: UNI
Major: Engineering
Industry: Commercial Banking
Country: Peru
Verified Real Student Review

EmpowerGmat's approach

July 28, 2017
  • Teacher: Max
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: 650 After: 690

I wanted to share my experience with the Gmat preparaton, I hope this can serve to the community.
In my first attempt in the gmat I got 650 (Q50V27), my mother tongue is Spanish and I started learning English a little late. In my first attempt I studied the books of Manhattan, the Official Guide, and private classes; All this built my theoretical knowledge very well. My first simulations were in the 650 range, so a 650 on my first try was logical. After the test I felt a little worried because I knew I could do better, but I did not know how. I did well in SC, but I was slow to solve CR and RC.
On my second attempt I got 690 (Q50V32). After my first attempt I went to get help on the forums, and I found Rich's comments. Which at first seemed acidic to me, but now I have to accept that he was right. My preparation for the second attempt was with some more private lessons. I read a lot of "The Economist", I solved more official exercises. And I enrolled in his Empowergmat Verbal course. I have to admit that Empowergmat's approach gave me a better perspective to solve the exercises. I did some more simulations, which continued in the 650 range, but I felt more confident this time. Then I stopped performing simulations; and focused on speed and understanding the logic of the question, rather than understanding word for word exercises. I finally got 690 on my second attempt. This time, after the exam, I did not feel worried given I knew I could have had a better result and that it was basically with more practice. However in my schedule I had already decided to give the Gmat on that date.
I just have to thank the EmpowerGmat team, they certainly gave me confidence and a good approach to take the exam. This time the Gmat episode was finished and I have to continue with the following parts of the application.
Joined: Jul 17, 2016
Purchased Course: May 30, 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!)

July 24, 2017
  • 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 23, 2017
Purchased Course: May 26, 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!

July 23, 2017
  • 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 7, 2016
Purchased Course: Dec 14, 2016
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Major: Entrepreneurship
Industry: Investment Management
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Simplying the Puzzle

May 15, 2017
  • 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 20, 2016
Purchased Course: Jan 4, 2017
Verified Real Student Review

Really empowers

March 24, 2017
  • Teacher:
  • 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 24, 2017
Purchased Course: Sep 20, 2016
Verified Real Student Review

A fantastic experience with EMPOWERgmat

March 24, 2017
  • 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 12, 2011
Purchased Course: Aug 30, 2016
College: Kazakhstan
Major: Management/Business Administration
Country: Vietnam
Verified Real Student Review

The best course to take

March 7, 2017
  • Teacher:
  • 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 22, 2017
Purchased Course: Jan 23, 2017
College: Georgia Southern University
Major: Finance
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Improved 70 points in 3.5 weeks!

February 22, 2017
  • 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 15, 2009
Purchased Course: Jan 14, 2017
Verified Real Student Review

Empower Review

January 30, 2017
  • 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 21, 2017
Purchased Course: Nov 1, 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

January 22, 2017
  • 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 19, 2017
Purchased Course: Sep 19, 2016
College: Universit? Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Major: Finance
Country: Italy
Verified Real Student Review

A Skyrocket in Your Score

January 19, 2017
  • 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 19, 2017
Purchased Course: Oct 11, 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

January 19, 2017
  • 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 27, 2016
Purchased Course: Oct 3, 2016
Industry: Computers/Software
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Best for tactics

January 4, 2017
  • Teacher:
  • 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 12, 2016
Purchased Course: Oct 7, 2016
Major: Management/Business Administration
Industry: Diversified Financial Svcs/Insurance
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Scoring a 700 for a PhD

December 7, 2016
  • Teacher:
  • 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 19, 2016
Purchased Course: Nov 7, 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!

December 4, 2016
  • 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 16, 2016
Purchased Course: Aug 19, 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..

November 16, 2016
  • 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
Joined: Nov 14, 2016
Purchased Course: Aug 1, 2016
College: University of Oklahoma
Major: Finance
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

EMPOWER provided invaluable support

November 14, 2016
  • Teacher:
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: 740

So I bought EMPOWERgmat's On Demand course after a google search led me to their site. I really did not do a lot of research into various options beforehand but I knew I had seen prices for prep courses that were WAY above theirs and they seemed to have good stats so I jumped right in.

Before the course I had done no GMAT preparation. I tested in the 99th percentile on both the ACT and SAT before college. I have a finance degree but am honestly not any sort of quantitative whiz. In fact, as you'll see, it is a weak point of mine. I followed the course exactly as they suggested, except for taking my first official GMAT after 9 weeks of study time. My first "cold" practice test score was a 630 (38Q, 38V). My first official GMAT score was a 710 (47Q, 40V, 8 IR, 6 AWA) and three weeks later my second official score was a 740 (48Q, 45V, 7IR, 6 AWA).

The course is set up to work with the Official Guide, and I truly feel like that is the best way to do it. While other sources of questions can be very helpful, they are, by definition, not official. By becoming flawless at the official questions I think you can get a very high score because you get a good sense of how the test writers think. That said, I would like to point on my only real CONS of the course: The lower number of practice questions, and the lack of "hard" (700+) questions. As many people are aware I'm sure, the first half of the OG questions are pretty much softballs. There are some harder questions towards the end but to really see a wide breadth of questions and be prepared for everything you may need more practice questions.

See, in my opinion, there is a good case for both sides of the argument regarding practice questions. On one side, a person could argue that by really breaking down each OG question and understanding the core concept frontwards and backwards then you don't NEED hundreds more practice questions. This is the approach EMPOWER takes, and I agree somewhat. However, personally I needed a bit more to feel truly prepared, especially on the Quant side. The other side of this argument is that by seeing many questions you will be prepared for the various ways the GMAC can phrase questions. I mean, it's a standardized test. There are only so many concepts. BUT they can get VERY crafty in the ways they test these concepts (Ridiculous geometry DS questions just testing that a triangle as 180 degrees anyone?) In the end, I can only say that where you fall in this debate is going to be particular to your specific situation and personality. While it may be a small con, it should not inherently be a reason you choose not to take the course.

The way Max and Rich (the video commentators) break down questions is great. They take a very common-sense approach that I think is helpful for a large number of people. The quant videos really teach you to not get bogged down in the technicality and theory of some of the questions and to instead think of them in a simple, approachable way. I believe there is merit to understanding the underlying theory TO A POINT, but on test day if something isn't clicking it is SO nice to be able to approach problems from various sides. Also, the verbal videos are interesting to watch as well. They break down all the types of questions and give some great insight on how to narrow down choices. Honestly realizing that in most cases all 4 of the wrong answers are GLARINGLY wrong on the verbal side is why I was able to score 99th percentile. Max helped me to approach it this way.

Also of note is the attention paid to strategy, timing, triage, and mistake evaluation within the course. This is truly what sets apart the good test takers from the elite ones. The course's approach is to NAIL all of the easy questions, that way when you are presented with a crazy 700+ level question that you know is either A) going to take a long time to finish, or B) something you know you will probably get wrong you can DUMP IT. This is a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and a tremendous help to time management as well.

Lastly, my advisor (Brian) was a tremendous help to my success. He talked me off the ledge a few times, kept me focused, and was a calm voice of reason in the crazy tempest that is test prepping. If the course's other advisors are half as good as him then they are in a great place.

In conclusion, I give EMPOWER a resounding "yes" recommendation and urge everyone to give them a try. Their approach is a bit different than the Manhattan and Veritas type companies out there and I truly believe they are onto something. My score and many others like me is a testament to that.
Joined: Nov 14, 2016
Purchased Course: Sep 22, 2016
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Incredible quant content

November 14, 2016
  • Teacher:
  • Recommended forVerbal: Yes  Math: Yes
  • GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A After: 740

After reading through several 700+ debriefs, I noticed the use of online platforms as a common trend. I isolated three companies as contenders: EMPOWER, e-GMAT, and Magoosh. EMPOWER caught my eye because during practice I had often noticed Rich?s solutions as unique. Many of the experts on GMAT Club tend to provide solutions that are crisp, precise, and efficient. However, most rely on relatively arcane mathematical principles that, in my opinion, are dangerous to rely on in the test day environment. Rich?s solutions, in contrast, focused on identifying the underlying patterns upon which individual questions were structured. Quite frankly, I chose EMPOWER because it seemed to offer an approach that significantly contrasted with my approach at the time.

As I progressed through Rich?s lessons I was surprised by the comparative lack of specific content: ?But if I don?t know both formulas for three-overlapping-sets problems how can I make sure I get it right??? However, I took the leap of faith and obediently incorporated every single strategy into my prep. Boom. Q47. In about three weeks using EMPOWER I had roughly doubled my incremental progress. Unfortunately my test day came slightly too soon. I am convinced that if I had another week or two using EMPOWER, I could have hit Q50. EMPOWER is powerful because it first teaches you that the GMAT is not a math test. Then it teaches you how to ruthlessly exploit that fact.

Furthermore, EMPOWER?s support team is almost as valuable as the content itself (you?re my boy Brian). My basic questions were answered in hours with paragraphs of specific, relevant information that I could tell were personally written. The same goes for Rich, the founder, who took the time to personally answer several of my questions. As I continued with my studies it became apparent that the EMPOWER team was genuinely interested in my personal success. If you are studying alone like I was, and you are tired about venting to your friends and family about GMAT stuff, then this support structure will become very valuable.

5/5 stars. Do it.
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