Goldman Sachs Analyst (Paul) Compares His GMAT Prep Experience Between ManhattanGMAT and GMATPill.com
So Paul, a Goldman Sachs analyst and student who recently signed up for the GMATPill.com sent me an email saying he wanted to help others learn about the GMAT Pill based on his relatively positive experience with the videos in the first few days. Prior to coming to GMAT Pill, he enrolled in the ManhattanGMAT program and looked at Kaplan and Princeton Review resources.
Ultimately, he finds the most value in the GMAT Pill’s thought-process driven approach.
Update: Paul is at Wharton Business School now! Congratulations!
Paul’s GMAT Prep Experience
GMATPill: Hello everybody! Today we have Paul with us here at the GMATPill.com. Paul, Welcome!
Paul: Hey what’s going on, Zeke. Good to be here.
GMATPill: Paul, you’ve actually been a member of gmatpill.com for just a few days ago, isn’t that right?
Paul:Yea. I actually signed up a couple days ago so I’ve been a member for about 5 days.
So I am class of 06, University of Connecticut. I graduated and I went to work in New York. I worked at Goldman Sachs & Company.
Taking the GMAT
Presently I am thinking about school and would like to take my GMAT. I stumbled upon the GMATPill on Google as I was just thinking about different test prep companies. I’ve actually done Manhattan GMAT–paid about $1500-$1600 dollars for it. But after taking the class and going through the videos I just felt like–I went through the books–I felt like a lot of it was not very effective. I was looking for something else so I found the GMATPill and I was very impressed.
GMATPill:Tell us why you are taking time out of your busy schedule to talk about your GMAT experience.
Other GMAT Prep Courses
Paul:You know really I was very frustrated by the test prep material on the market. You can go out and go to a book store and buy books or you can take a test prep. And I really think that this is a very expensive investment to learn how to take this GMAT and I figure that must be a better way. And I think that the ways in which these test companies teach the GMAT are geared towards you using them again and again or taking private tutoring. So it’s just a huge investment and I there must be a better way and GMATPill was very effective.
GMATPill: So you feel like they kind of got you into their basic program and they tried to upsell you on their private tutoring sessions.
Paul:It’s usually a 12 session class and you sit in the first one. It’s an introduction. You’re left with some basic concepts. You have to read the book. A lot of the terminology is very confusing. At the end of the day you’re learning terminology, you’re learning what logical predication is and you’re learning these fancy terms–but you know when you’re taking the exam–none of that is gonna be on there. You just need to know that this sentence correction looks wrong or this data sufficiency is insufficient. You don’t need to know all these fancy terms. And second, you’re paying a lot. To your point about upselling–yea, they usually leave you kind of hanging at the end. These companies are incentivized for you to not fully understand the material cuz then you’ll have to go back and buy additional material and get more tutoring.
GMATPill:You mentioned before your experience so far with the GMAT Pill is better and you mentioned pricing. Can you go into a little more detail what other areas you feel it’s better in? Obviously there’s a pricing component–it’s only a fraction of what the market—not just Manhattan GMAT–but what the market charges. But what other aspects do you see specifically makes your experience better so far?
Paul:I think what they’re trying to teach you is–they really try to drill into the material. It’s so academic that most people who are trying to get this done and over with—it’s not time efficient, let’s just say that.So let me give you example of why GMAT Pill is effective. If you go to a Manhattan GMAT class, they’ll talk to you about theory. They’ll talk to you about all these different things that you need to remember. You know 7-8 different things you need to remember every time you look at a test question. It’s the same with Kaplan and Princeton Review–I’ve gone through the books. With GMAT Pill—the important thing is you understand his mindset. You can read all these books—and most people will never get there—will never get to that mindset. Zeke obviously figured out how to crack the GMAT and if you sit through enough of these video–there’s plenty on the site—you start to think like Zeke.
GMATPill:So you feel like the academic approach versus the thought process that I show students through these videos–the thought process is actually superior to the academic rigor that the other programs walk you through.Paul:So you gotta think of it this way. Academic rigor is great. So I can teach you how to build a car or truck. I’ll teach you how to put on the wheels, how to install the different components of the engine. And if you learn that at a book–if I tell you to build that truck, it’s not gonna happen. But if you have a mechanic who’s going through each individual piece with you, standing next to you, walking through ok this is why you need to do this..it sticks with you much longer..this kind of hand holding that shows you exactly what you need to do at each individual step–that’s how you learn something. It’s not through reading through a book. I personally think you can read for years–and it’s not practical. You’ve got 3 months to study for GMAT–I would much rather have someone on video teach you what exactly I need to do than to read through a book. I mean I think Kaplan books are like 400 pages. Manhattan has like 8 books or something like that. There’s no way you’re gonna get through all the material. And even if you do, you’re not going to understand half of it.
GMATPill: So it’s theory versus practice. With our program each student actually has the same experience. They’re watching the same videos. So the experience is very consistent. Would you say as a student of a popular program–do you think your experience was similar or different from other students who enrolled in the same program.
Paul:Well, to be honest I took the Manhattan GMAT course. I took a couple classes and I sat in with one of the teachers. He was great. He was phenomenal with math, but with verbal he was just OK. He didn’t really go through the verbal as rigorously as I hoped. There were a lot of kids in my class that were really slow with the math so he spent more time with math. And then I had a break for a couple of weeks because I had to move so I took a couple of weeks off and transferred to another section. That section was terrible. There was one person who wasn’t good at teaching at all. So I switched sections. What I realized through that transition is that it’s really luck of the draw. If you sign up for a Manhattan class or a Kaplan class or a Princeton class and the teacher is no good–then you’re basically throwing $1400 or $1500 down the drain because he’s not teaching well.
GMAT Pill Experience | GMAT Prep
I like Zeke’s approach because it’s consistent, right? He gets to edit all the videos and basically deliver a clear concise message each time. It’s not like sitting through a class where there are so many variables. The teacher’s performance is a function of if he had coffee or if he had a late night or how fresh he is. And I like Zeke’s approach because it’s problem based–again getting back to academics versus actual problems. At the end of the day all of the academic stuff doesn’t matter–you need to answer the problem correctly. Again, I’m a very big proponent of the GMAT Pill.
GMATPill: There’s one additional point that I wanted to make sure our listeners understand and that is–with membership you actually get access to email me with any questions you have. So if you have any questions with the video and not sure about the thought process, you can email me. So the email service is actually a very good component–a lot of students do take advantage of the ability to email. Just as a summary, it seems like you’ve had experience with other prep programs and overall you feel their approach is a little different from the approach here at GMAT Pill and the approach here is a lot more thought-process driven and gives you more real world experience and it seems like you’ve benefited a lot more from that experience.
Paul:Yea I think it’s hands on practical experience that is going to increase your score–it’s not learning a fancy phrase or learning some specific trick. Right, because what a GMAT taker needs to do is be able to identify specific problems and understand exactly what he needs to do. At the end of the day, a test taker has 2 minutes to answer a question. And with 4 or 5 things floating around in his head, he is more than likely to be confused. What Zeke does is he walks through questions in the most efficient manner possible and he tells you why each question is wrong. And so for people out there who are considering GMAT prep, you’ve got to understand that when you’re doing this problem, 1) you’ve got to have very good explanations for each problem. And 2) you need to learn the approach of doing each question correctly in order to score well and I think Zeke deals with both of these issues.
GMATPill:Paul we’ve heard some of the positives that GMAT Pill has versus ManhattanGMAT–but there must’ve been a lot of positives with Manhattan GMAT as well.
ManhattanGMAT and GMAT Pill
Paul:Sure, ManhattanGMAT is good in the sense that the instructors are usually very caring. He or she genuinely wants to help you. Manhattan GMAT also has forums so you can post questions and get answers. There are also books. If you have time, the sentence correction book is very comprehensive. If you do all of their exercises, it gives you a very comprehensive view of sentence correction quesitons.
GMATPill: Well, I know you are very busy, Paul, with your schedule. We really appreciate your time here today at the GMAT Pill for expressing your honest opinion with how our service compares with the other ones. And certainly going forward, email me with any questions you have. And best of luck with your GMAT Preparation.
Paul:Thanks! Thanks for having me.
GMATPill:OK, thank you.
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