Reviewed: Economist GMAT Tutor
Updated 13 August 2020
GMAT Test Practice
There are three Economist GMAT plans, each providing access to a comprehensive library of online lessons that simulate the adaptive style of the official test. Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll work towards improving your score through a given number of practice exams and have access to support from experienced tutors.
This GMAT test prep course also comes with a score improvement guarantee of between 50 and 70 points, plan dependent. As one of the highest score guarantees on the market, the Economist positions itself as a leading product.
However, it does come at a cost, so you’ll need to be sure the program is suited to your circumstances and supports your learning style. This Economist GMAT Tutor review is designed to help you decide if this is the right study aid for you.
Adaptive Learning Style
Just like the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections of the official test, the Economist GMAT Tutor uses adaptive technology. This means that your study program will be unique and tailored specifically to your progress.
On starting your subscription, you’ll submit your target score and the date of your test. To improve your performance in the Verbal and Quantitative sections, you’ll be presented with questions that are in line with your current capability and that allow you to build on your weaknesses.
This is a key benefit of the Economist GMAT Tutor, since it makes efficient use of your study time.
Depending on which Economist GMAT plan you choose, you’ll get access to between two and four one-to-one sessions with an expert tutor. These can last up to 45 minutes each and are held via web conferencing.
This is a valuable feature that allows you to discuss problem areas in-depth and in person. The topics you cover are entirely up to you and can relate to any part of your GMAT test prep, including analysis of practice exam performance.
To fully utilize this feature, you’ll need to identify the areas where you’ll most benefit from guided tuition.
As well as your one-to-one sessions, you’ll also be able to submit questions from within your lessons to experienced tutors via a chat function.
You’ll receive a detailed response in your personal dashboard within three to four working days.
Each Economist GMAT Tutor package comes with a set number of practice tests. These are highly representative of the official exam, with 75 minutes each dedicated to the Quantitative and Verbal sections.
It’s recommended that you take your first practice test after completing half of the overall content of the course.
Any GMAT study plan should include practice tests to measure improvement and help you build on timing and strategy. The benefit of taking them within the Economist GMAT Tutor program is that its adaptive learning technology will use your test results to tailor future lessons.
Alongside lessons for the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), based on structure and how to present a solid argument, you’ll also be able to submit a set number of essays for review.
It’s advisable to complete all lessons relating to AWA before you do this. Feedback from professional tutors will then help you develop both your analytical skills and essay writing ability.
Here’s what we did and didn’t like about the Economist GMAT Tutor:
Pro: Mobile App
One of the features rated highly in our Economist GMAT Tutor review is its mobile app. This is available with every subscription package and provides a handy on-the-go learning tool. It’s available on both iOS and Android.
We found it a valuable companion to the online program with access to a good amount of content, as well as in-app chat support.
It should be noted that this is only beneficial when used alongside the online program, but by using the same adaptive learning style, it provides a great method of study during downtime.
Pro: Access to Private Tuition
Although it’s a self-paced solution, the one-to-one tutoring sessions give the Economist an element of guidance you would associate with a taught program.
The downside to this is that appointments are made online and availability can be limited, so it will take some organization on your part to make the most of this feature.
Pro: Replicates Adaptive Learning
The most positive finding in our Economist GMAT Tutor review is the software’s adaptive learning style. Not only does this make efficient use of your time, but it also mirrors the official test.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is a vital part of your GMAT test prep, but so is developing a strategy that allows you to achieve the best score possible. The Economist’s adaptive learning style helps you do both.
Pro: In-Depth Explanations
Another feature that focuses on strategy is the explanations that are given for practice answers. These include alternative approaches that could save you valuable time. This is particularly good for the Quantitative section, where there may be several ways to solve the same problem.
The most useful tool here is that you get explanations for every answer you could have chosen, not just the one you did. This helps you get a better grasp of concepts based not only on what is right, but also what is wrong and, more importantly, why.
Con: Limited Media Resources
Aside from the one-to-one tutoring sessions, there are no video or audio resources available within the Economist GMAT Tutor. This would be a drawback for those who prefer a more visual or interactive approach to learning.
The ‘Ask-a-tutor’ questions do provide you with further support, but this is text-based; if you work better with audible or visual resources, you may want to consider other options.
Con: No Access to a Question Bank
One of the downsides we uncovered in our Economist GMAT Tutor review is that although the product comes with over 5,000 practice questions, these are not available as a stand-alone study resource. Instead, they are presented to you as you make your way through lessons and practice exams and are chosen through the adaptive learning process.
This is a positive thing, as it prevents you from spending unnecessary time on questions you’ve already mastered, but should you wish to focus more on an area of your choice, you have no option to do so.
A solution here would be to find additional quiz banks and practice questions to support your study. WikiJob has a set of these available here.
Con: Initial Lessons Require a Certain Level of Knowledge
Despite its adaptive technology, the Economist GMAT Tutor starts with lessons focused on strategy and the basic concepts of the GMAT. You must complete these before you’re able to move on to more advanced material.
If you’re unfamiliar with the nature of the GMAT, these initial lessons may prove difficult for you. On the other side, if you’ve got a lot of experience and a strong grasp of the basics, they may be unnecessary and will eat into your prep time. As such, the course is best suited to those who stand in the middle ground.
Con: Price Point
The Economist GMAT Tutor is not a cheap purchase, with the lowest price point currently standing at $799. When you combine this with other costs associated with taking your GMAT, it can become an expensive undertaking.
However, the pros of this product do go a long way to justifying the cost, and the score improvement guarantee provides a level of confidence in its benefits. Ultimately, if it helps you gain admission to your school of choice, the initial outlay will be worthwhile.
How Much Does It Cost?
The Economist GMAT Tutor comes with three price points:
- Complete Prep package – $799. Includes full access for three months, a 50-point improvement guarantee, three practice exams, two private tutor sessions, four essay markings and 50 ‘Ask-a-tutor’ questions.
- Premium Prep package – $899. Includes full access for three months, a 70-point improvement guarantee, five practice exams, three tutor sessions, five essay markings and 100 ‘Ask-a-tutor’ questions.
- Ultimate Prep package – $1,099. Includes full access for six months, a 70-point improvement guarantee, six practice exams, four tutor sessions, six essay markings and unlimited ‘Ask-a-tutor’ questions.
Can I Try Before I Buy?
Yes. You can take a no-obligation seven-day trial of the Economist GMAT Tutor. This will give you partial access to the course content and allow you to test-drive its adaptive learning technology.
You’ll also have access to one free practice exam and a one-to-one session with an experienced tutor to discuss your GMAT test prep strategy.
How Does the Score Improvement Guarantee Work?
You’ll need to submit a baseline score when you first purchase the Economist GMAT Tutor. If you’ve previously sat one or more GMAT exams, this will be the highest score achieved in the past two years. Otherwise, you can take a practice exam during your free trial or use one of the practice exams included in your subscription package (this must be taken within seven days of purchase).
This baseline score will be used to measure your progress. If you fail to achieve the guaranteed score improvement of your package, you can request a full refund, provided you meet the following criteria:
- You must complete a minimum of 90% of the course content.
- You must have used all the live tutor sessions included in your plan and have completed all practice exams in full.
- You must have started your Economist GMAT Tutor program 10 weeks or more in advance of your official exam date.
You’ll need to file your claim within 30 days of your subscription expiration and grant access to your official GMAT score report.
How Does the Economist GMAT Tutor Compare to Other Courses?
When compared to other self-study options, such as those available from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the Economist GMAT Tutor may appear quite expensive. However, its features and functionality more than make up for the price difference.
Overall, the Economist GMAT Tutor is an effective method of study for those looking for a self-paced solution that also brings a level of expert guidance.
It is best suited to those whose current score lies somewhere around the average benchmark. If you’re well below this, chances are you’ll need more initial guidance than it allows. If you’re at the top of the scale, you may find some of the starting lessons limiting.
For those that want to improve their score to above average in a limited time frame and want flexibility in their learning schedule, we highly recommend the Economist GMAT Tutor and its adaptive learning style.
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