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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Veritas GMAT Essentials - Review

Sorry for the delay folks. A lot of you have dropped in emails enquiring about the course, and I've been asking you to hold on for a couple of days. I've been real busy, but hey, enough with excuses. Let's get talking about the course.

Disclaimer: This post is just going to dive into too many details. I'll be following up with a more detailed post once I have had a chance to go through the course recordings. Also, I haven't reviewed this post, so please excuse the numerous grammatical & spelling mistakes that you are bound to encounter.

I've already posted a brief intro on the course. For the benefit of those who haven't read the earlier post, Veritas Prep recently launched the GMAT Essentials course - A 2 day (8 hours/day) weekend workshop. I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural launch event. Going into the course I was a tad confused as to who were the target audience. Was it meant to be a "get to know the gmat" course for beginners, or a "what you need to know to cross 700" course for those who are already somewhat familiar with the test. I even had second thoughts as to whether i should actually attend because the course was scheduled to run through the day for those in the US, so for me it translated to 7:30 PM - 3:30 AM. I have no problems with staying up until 2 AM, but staying up until 3:30 would definitely leave me with a splitting headache and a hangover the next day, and the day after. However, I weighed up the pros and cons. On the pros, I had the following points:
  • Veritas Prep
  • Brian Galvin
Once i had those two points put down, tt was a no-brainer. Veritas Prep is renowned for its quality, but i have heard that some of the tutors don't do the brand justice - not from anyone i know personally, just from a couple of reviews (the few negative ones that stood out in an ocean of positive ones). That's where Brian Galvin comes in. He is no ordinary tutor :) . He is the Jesus of the GMATland. The son sent over to save the millions of test takers who are up against the

OK, enough about Brian, more about him in another post. Moving onto the course. The course started off with a brief intro, where we got to know each other. We had two instructors: Brian Galvin, and David Newland. Brian, i knew about before. While David was introducing himself, I did a quick google search to get some extra info: JD, LSAT guru, Veritas Prep Instructor of the Year award to his belt. I don't know about you guys, but I tend to work/ prep much better when I know that I'm in safe hands. There have been so many instances when the instructor is not entirely sure of the subject matter - there is no bigger turn off. Okay where were we? Oh yeah, the instructors: I knew I was in safe hands, and so got into GMAT mode straightaway. After the intros, we quickly shifted into top gear.

On Day 1, we covered Problem Solving, Critical Reasoning and Data Sufficiency. On Day 2, we started off with Reading Comprehension, before moving on to Data Sufficiency and wrapping up with Sentence Correction. Okay, I know you guys must be thinking "hey, hold on. How on earth can you cover all that? Surely you must have just glanced through a few pointers and done some random problems, noting more". That's exactly what I was expecting. I was in for a welcome shock. What the smart folks @ Veritas did is that they mapped out the important concepts for each area e.g. For Problem Solving, they had listed out all the major concepts that are tested, such as Odd & Even, Property of the Number 0, Divisibility, Probability. And for CR, they had their SWIMMER outline. Okay, so most courses cover all these topics. What's the big deal? I'll tell you what the big deal is. The questions that they chose to explain each topic. On each subject we focused on the "must-knows", and learnt by doing. For each "must-know" Veritas had designed a sample problem. In most courses, I'm able to pin down at least half of the problems without even picking up a pen/ pencil. And when this happens, I tend to get bored with the course and drift off. However, with this course, each of the problems was carefully picked. Some problems were designed just for the course. Each problem was a challenge, and once we were done solving/ attempting to solve, we came away with an important lesson - sorta like those fairy tales, which have a moral of the story at the end. This was along those lines. I enjoyed each problem that was presented. There was none of that "oh, no - not this problem again - how many times have I seen this?"

And now onto another important question: How did I survive 16 hours of prep in 2 days, that too over time periods that put me out of my comfort zone. For that, I have to thank the course makers. Yes, the 5 minute breaks that were interspersed gave a breather. But what did the treak was the quality of the course. No, seriously! It was amazing. It was by far the best course that I have attended, and that's saying something. It was a hell of a ride. And the 16 hours just breezed by. You know when you smoke weed and get high (not that I've ever done that - I've just watch

Okay, enough with the superlatives. To sum up, I had a blast. I recommend the Essentials course to anyone and everyone who wants to get that 700+ score. This course will definitely take you there. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners, though coz it's a tad advanced. However, by purchasing this course, you do get access to the Veritas GMAT on demand content, which goes through all that you need to know. So what you can do is purchase it, go through the on demand content, and then attend the live online essentials course.


Ratings (Out of 5)
  • For Beginners:   4
  • For Veterans:     5
  • User Interface:   4
  • Content:             5
  • Value ($$):          5
  • Overall:               5

Tray Recommends this Course? Most Definitely, Yes!

Click here for more information on the Veritas GMAT Essentials.


I will be following up with a more detailed description of the course sometime down the line.

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any lingering questions.

Over & Out!

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