GMAT & MBA Admissions Blog

Thoughts on 1-1 vs. Group-based GMAT Test Prep

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Jul 08, 2010 @ 11:02 AM

We at MyGuru believe a majority of students do themselves a disservice when they choose to enroll in a typical group GMAT class from a major test prep firm.  Our experience in prepping for the GMAT (and subsequently attending the Kellogg School of Management), suggests self-study, supplemented by a private 1-1 tutor if necessary, may be a more effective approach.  So, we've structured a solution that relies on "off the shelf" test prep materials available for a very low cost from GMAC and 15 hours of focused, 1-1 help from an expert tutor.

It is important to understand why we've structured our GMAT solution as we have.  Our package is based on the following simple principles, which were developed by MyGuru's founders, recent graduates of the top ranked Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who scored above 700 on the test:

Core Beliefs about Studying for the GMAT

    • GMAC, the administrator of the GMAT, provides excellent self-study test prep materials

    • Group classes, which aren't customized, provide little new info that isn't contained in self study materials

    • The true benefit of group classes is structure – you're forced to review specific sections and do certain practice problems for a few hours each week

    • In fact, group classes are often simply providing an expensive form of structure, without allowing a student to focus on specific areas in which he or she is weak

    • Furthermore, the large test prep firms have made 1-1 test prep virtually unaffordable – they make so much money on group-based test prep, where 20 students have each paid $1,000 to sit in a classroom each week, that they charge through the roof for 1-1 help, almost to encourage students to choose class-based test prep first

    • So, we at MyGuru believe that combining self-study materials, both paper-based and online, with an expert 1-1 test prep instructor, at the right price, is a much more effective way to prep

    • Finally, the GMAT is important, but investing too much time in studying for it is not helpful- one should try to score within 5-10% of their personal best, be comfortable with that score, and focus on the rest of the application

With these principles in mind, MyGuru has developed a package of 15 hours of 1-1 GMAT tutoring that leverages available self study materials from GMAC to create an affordable, & we believe optimal, solution for business school applicants. Students receive the 12th edition of the GMAT Review, “The Official Guide”, written by the actual developers of the GMAT, prior to their first session. You’ll also receive 3 actual paper practice tests delivered in prior years.

Each sessions lasts 1.5 hours, for a total of 10 sessions. The first session involves a review of a diagnostic test, an overview of each section and question type covered on the GMAT, development of a study plan, and some initial problem solving. This is followed by 9 more sessions in which strategies for each section of the GMAT are reviewed & practice problems are completed. Students complete a practice test by themselves, which is reviewed during the final session.

The package provides a total of 15 hours of customized, 1-1 test prep, and the student is left with two additional paper practice tests they can complete to continue to hone their skills and measure their progress. Of course, additional sessions can be purchased, each at a 10% discount once you've invested in the package. We also offer an additional 6 paper practice tests and access to online test prep tools for an additional $100. These materials are sourced directly from GMAC, and you can learn more about them here

Customized, 1-1 Expert Instruction

All GMAT packages are delivered by true GMAT experts. Here is some background on one of our Expert tutors, Ethan.

    • Former high school English teacher

    • Currently receiving a JD & MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management & Law School

    • Recruited to be a GMAT instructor by several large nationally known test prep firms

    • Scored in the 98% percentile on the GMAT

High Quality + Good Value

Our package costs $925, which includes :

    • 15 hours of customized, 1-1 instruction from an expert MyGuru tutor

    • 20% discount on admissions prep (i.e, application/essay development, editing of your personal "story") from a graduate of Kellogg or the University of Chicago-Booth - email for details

We encourage you to check around for a better value - one well known national test prep company charges $2,499 for its 15 hour 1-1 tutoring package.

Call us at 312-278-0321 or email us at with any questions about our GMAT solutions.

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