Patrick Curtis, a first-year student at Wharton and founder/CEO of WallStreetOasis.com emailed to inform me of a new GMAT tutoring service that WallStreetOasis has just launched. Details of the service can be found here. At first glance, it looks good to me*, at least price-wise and concept-wise.
My GMAT tutoring experience:
I personally used Veritas tutoring and was only marginally satisfied. I paid $2,800 for 14 hours of private tutoring, which was their least expensive in-person tutoring package. (Insert cartoon character with eyes popping out here.) It took over three weeks to get matched with a tutor, which was unacceptable because I had initially planned to take the test within four weeks of signing up, which the company rep told me was a reasonable expectation. Veritas did pay the fee required to change my test date, but the lack of follow-up and unresponsiveness left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Once I had a tutor, I liked her a lot. She did what the WallStreetOasis program promises to do -- focus quickly on trouble areas (e.g., data sufficiency, sentence corrections) to maximize score increase. I took the test late last summer after using just eleven hours of tutoring over the course of three weeks (effectively wasting $600). I broke the 700 threshold and scored 6.0 on the writing portion. My quant score hovered around the 80th percentile, which I was not happy about, but in the interest of sanity, summer vacation, and essay-writing, I decided not to retake it.
Generally, my tutor's value-added service was focusing my energy on my personal trouble areas of the GMAT in a very short period of time. I got a reasonable score the first time I took it, so I can't complain too much, and I should also mention that the reason I signed up for Veritas is because a friend (now at Darden) got an 800 after using their private tutoring service. Wow.
In a nutshell, I think tutors are a good idea for the time-strapped applicant who has some extra cash. I like the WallStreetOasis service because its minimum package is 5 hours for $875. Had it existed when I was studying for the GMAT and had I had one or two recommendations from satisfied customers, I likely would have signed up for this intro package and added hours if necessary.
Good luck, and please let me know if you have any experience with a GMAT tutoring service you would like to share. Also, has anyone seen a good post on admissions consultants? I didn't use one to prepare my applications, but would like to link to a post that discusses them in my sidebar. Thanks.
*I have no personal experience with this particular service. Buyer beware.