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While preparing for the GRE test, you may sometimes feel that the study books you bought are not enough. This is primarily because you can go to a certain extent with the help of those study books; after that you may even feel limited by what those books provide. One main disadvantage of using study books alone is that they are unable to provide feedback of any kind, be it answers to the test questions or your personal queries. That way you are limited to whatever is in the book. This is where preparation courses of GRE come into play.
There are numerous preparation courses available, both online and offline. That makes it even more difficult for you to choose the right one. Because some of the institutions offer both online and offline courses, it is important that you decide which one is better for you. One advantage of online courses is that you can avail them from the comfort of your home, rather than matching up your schedule to be in the training center on time. Also, you can sign up for any online course you wish; you need not bother whether or not it is offered in your locality. Online courses are better also because the maximum number of students is usually low. Some institutions also offer courses in a one-on-one format over the phone. If it is an online course, it is easier for the authorities to update their course material often; thus, you have the possibility of getting better study materials. Against these several advantages, one disadvantage is that you need to be online to avail the courses. Some students may find it difficult to be online to avail a course, and others may simply be more comfortable with the classroom environment and choose a regular offline course over an online one.
Whether you choose an online or offline preparation course of GRE, in both cases, there are certain things you need to take into account before you choose one course over another. Other than the difference in prices, the two most important points to note are the quality of the instructors offering the course and the amount of study materials the course provides. Most of the preparation courses claim that all the teachers they have are leading scorers in the particular exam, often boasting a minimum of 95th percentile (some even claim to have teachers with 99th percentile). Others claim to have more experienced teachers. While a top scorer can provide you with useful strategies, an experienced teacher may be able to develop your skills better. You need to contact the institutions for detailed information. Students often complain that the study materials that these courses provide are not up to their standards, and most students complement those with actual study books. As long as you are satisfied with the book you have, you can make use of the mock tests and practice materials that those courses provide. Yet, it is a good idea to check the standard of the study materials the institution provides, and the number of mock tests they offer. Of course, the cost of the course depends on these two factors. The better the quality of the teachers and study materials, the more you have to pay for the course.
Here we take a look at some of the available courses for preparation of GRE, and consider how they fare along the above mentioned lines:
This course boasts of having high quality instructors with a minimum of 99th percentile in the GRE test. PowerScore offers a number of options for the students taking their course. You can take the 30 hours extensive course either online or offline. You can also take the 16 hours course over one weekend. Additionally, you have the choice of taking the one-on-one personal tutoring course, either in-person or by phone. This last option is probably the best that this course provides, if you prefer private teaching over classroom courses. Along with ample study materials and excellent support features, you get the option of repeating your weekend course anytime within a year, all free of cost. The full-length 30 hours course provides three official GRE practice tests. Though the offline course is available only in New York and Washington D.C., the online course is available worldwide, for a slightly lower cost. If you choose to take preparation for either of the verbal or the quantitative sections, you have that option, too. These courses are of 15 hours duration each.
Jay B. Cutts, an experienced instructor, is one of the lead authors of the Barron’s Test Prep Series. He is also the director of the Cutts Graduate Reviews courses. The courses offered can be availed online from all over the world. It is a one-on-one on-phone tutoring course. You need to pay a fixed registration charge which includes free study materials, guides, video lessons, and about two hours of on-phone teaching. You can avail extra hours of teaching for additional cost. Apart from being personalized teaching, the best thing about this course is probably that you have control over how many hours to take the course, depending on your need. The course offers you extra free-of-charge teaching until you are admitted to a graduate course (provided that you fulfill the minimum requirements). Moreover, it guarantees to give your money back, in case you are not satisfied with the program. What more can one ask for?
This is another preparation course which is available both online and offline. The offline course can have a maximum of eight students per class. You get one class per week, for seven weeks, and each class is of three hours. The course is also offered in private, the course duration being 17 hours. If you are unable to take the offline course, the online course is as good. It contains live sessions and video lessons. The best feature is of course the interactive whiteboard, which allows the student and the teacher to work on the problems together. There are 10 full-length practice tests, which are invaluable resources to anyone taking the GRE test. Other study materials include a personal syllabus, books, flashcards, and CD-ROMs.
This course, accepting the fact that the teachers are most important in any course offered, lets you have a complete knowledge of their faculty (dedicates one webpage with information of their faculty). Most of the teachers are highly experienced, with over 20-30 years of teaching experience. There are quite a few options for availing the course, some overall GRE lessons and the others specifically designed for the verbal, quantitative or the analytical sections; but there is no online course offered. This way it is limited to the residents of Toronto, Canada.
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