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Why pay for GMAT/GRE tutoring?


March 26, 2021


Josh Jones

Why pay for test prep?  After all, there are plenty of “free” GMAT and GRE resources online, and bookstores are filled with books – books that are far cheaper than working with Test Prep Unlimited.  And, look, I’ve made it this far on my own – I didn’t hire a tutor for the SAT, or maybe I relied on some test prep class, so why do I need Test Prep Unlimited?

Fair questions – questions that deserve a fair answer.

But, first, I have a few questions of my own: Why bother with doctors?  After all, WebMD is free, and the bookstores are filled with medical books.  Heck, I can get free medical advice on TV.

See my point?

You wouldn’t risk your health on “free” resources, so why would you risk your academic future on “free” or “cheap” resources?

When I was a student at Yale Law, I heard a speech by the Amazing Randi, who debunks psychics.  I remember he said that he never understood people who paid psychics for the “winning” lottery number; after all, he explained, “If they knew how to win millions in the lottery, why would they sell you that information for $5?”  Likewise, if someone knew how to beat the GMAT, GRE, or LSAT, why would they give you that information (or sell it to you for the price of a book)?

By the way, don’t you think the people who design these tests know what everybody’s saying about them?  Don’t you think they’ll change the test to correct whatever shortcuts these “free” or “cheap” resources do manage to identify?

In other words, I want you to stop and think for a moment: if there’s a shortcut, do you think anyone would reveal that information for nothing?

At Test Prep Unlimited, we don’t believe there is a shortcut, and that’s certainly not what we’re selling.  Rather, we believe that standardized tests are just that – tests – and tests can be beaten through disciplined, organized, and intensive study.  To illustrate our point by analogy, we don’t think Tom Brady and Peyton Manning sit around studying film to find the perfect trick play; rather, they study film to prepare themselves for the game.  They know they won’t see the “same” thing on gameday, but they’ll see something familiar, and they’ll improvise accordingly. Standardized tests are similar – they’ll always change, but they’ll change in predictable patterns along predictable lines, and we’ll get you ready to improvise on gameday.

That is, nobody can tell you precisely what questions you’ll face, but we can help you attack those questions in a confident, fully-informed, and proven strategy.  You could try to develop the same thing on your own – just like you could try to diagnose and treat your own ailments, but neither is a wise strategy.

Look at it this way: when you think how much time and money you’ve spent just to get to this point, do you want to skimp on the final step?  Or do you want to give yourself the best possible chance?

Please don’t get me wrong: I’m the first person to worry about price, but sometimes you just don’t.  I’ve never chosen the “cheapest” surgeon, or the “cheapest” sushi, or the “cheapest” home; sometimes, you chose the right choice and figure out the financing later – this is one of those times.

(This article was written by Michele, who has a Harvard MBA and a Yale JD and offers MBA Admissions Consulting services.)


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