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GMAT, TOEFL, SAT, GRE Test Preparation

The Minimum Number of Private Training Hours Needed for Your Standardized Test Preparation

 

If you hire a qualified trainer to help you achieve top GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE scores, you must estimate the minimum number of private training hours you need.

Generally speaking, the minimum number of private training hours needed range...

  • from as few as 8 hours (for someone who has already studied a lot and whose GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test date is very close),
  • to as many as 40 hours (for someone who is completely new to GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE, who attempted these tests with a very poor result, or who has been out of school for many years).

What factors should you consider when estimating the minimum number of private training hours needed?

The minimum number of private training hours you need depends on your response to the following questions:

  1. How close is your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test date?
  2. How long have you been out of school?
  3. How many times have you taken the official GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test before?
  4. How much time have you already studied for the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test?
  5. How well you know your weak knowledge and skill areas?
  6. What other commitments do you have besides GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test preparation?
  7. How much time can you devote to doing homework?
  8. How familar are you with the college application process?
  9. How well can you motivate yourself?
  10. What is your English language proficiency level?

1. How close is your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test date?

- an MBA, MSc, PhD, BS or BA diploma is an important stepping stone during your career

- thus, you may not be in the position to postpone your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test date

- under these circumstances you have no choice, but to prepare within the short time period available until your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test date

- because of the limited time available, you may take only a few private GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE training sessions

- these few training sessions, however, are crucial for maximizing your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test score!

2. How long have you been out of school?

- you may decide to change the course of your career after working for several years

- however, your Math and Essay Writing skills may have become rusty in the meantime

- therefore, you should add some extra training hours during which your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer can get you up to speed  with your Math or Essay Writing skills

3. How many times have you taken the official GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test before?

- universities do NOT care about how many times you have taken the official GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test; they only care about one thing: what was your most recent GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE score!

- there is an important advantage to taking these tests several times - you know the key aspects of the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE official test: the testing environment, difficulties, tricks and traps

- moreover, your official GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test score will reflect your weak knowledge and skill areas

- this, in turn, can make your further test preparation much more focused

- thus, your official test experience will actually decrease the number of private training hours you need to improve your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE score!

4. How much time have you already studied for the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test?

- you may decide to study independently for a while, but suddenly realize that the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test is much more difficult than you have originally thought

- therefore, you decide to hire a qualified GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer to help you

- your independent studies, however, will be very useful in many ways: you are already familiar with the main challenges, test layout, tricks and traps

- moreover, the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE diagnostic tests you have already solved will show your weak knowledge and skill areas

- because of these advantages, your further test preparation can be much more focused

- hence, the knowledge accumulated throughout your independent studies will actually decrease the number of private training hours you need to improve your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE score!

5. How well you know your weak knowledge and skill areas?

- Even if you have not taken an official or diagnostic GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test before, you may know yourself well enough in terms of your weak knowledge and skill areas

- From your previous test taking experiences you may remember that you tend to be: nervous, overconfident, deconcentrated, demotivated or frustrated

- From your previous shooling you may recall that you used to have poor: English Vocabulary, English Grammar, English Listening, English Speaking, English Reading, English Notetaking or English Writing skills

- From your previous Math classes you may recollect that you used to have difficulties with: Arithmetics, Algebra, Geometry or Word Problems

- Sharing the above information with your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer will help her/him to concentrate on your weaknesses

- Consequently, knowing yourself will actually decrease the number of GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE training hours needed!

6. What other commitments do you have besides GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test preparation?

You should take into consideration the answer to the following questions:

- Are you a student?

- Do you have to support yourself by working?

- Are you a professional athlete and student at the same time?

- To what extent can you free yourself at least partially from the above commitments? Can you rely on the support of your parents? Can you take time off from your studies/job/athletic training in order to concentrate on your test preparation?

Generally speaking, the more commitments you have, the more training hours you will need!

7. How much time can you devote to doing homework?

- Remember! Doing homework is important because the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT and GRE tests are predominantly skill-based exams - although your knowledge base is the necessary condition of a great GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE score, it is NOT sufficient! The sufficiency condition is fulfilled by having excellent GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test taking skills! Doing homework has two important objectives: increasing your test related knowledge base and fine-tuning your test taking skills and strategies.

- you should NOT assume that hiring a GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer will excuse you from doing homework!

- you MUST do some homework even if you hire a very qualified GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer!

- you MUST make some sacrifices in the form of prioritizing your commitments, in order to make some time for doing homework

- while cutting back the time spent on your hobbies, you must keep at least one sports activity as a high priority commitment; this will help you balance your intellectual and physical activities throughout your preparation period

- due to your high priority commitments, however, you may not be able to do as much homework as you wish

- then, you must compensate by taking more GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE training hours!

8. How familiar are you with the college application process?

Please consider answering the following questions:

- Do you have trouble with writing essays?

- Do you feel uneasy about "bragging" about your academic, career and extracurricular accomplishments?

- Do you have difficulty making yourself stand out from the crowd of college applicants?

- Are you stressed out by personal interviews (for certain programs you may be interviewed by an admissions officer, or a local admissions office representative)?

- Are you familiar with writing CVs?

- Do you have difficulty collecting adequate reference letters?

- Do you need some advice on how to finance your education abroad?

- Do you have a hard time choosing colleges/programs?

If you answer with yes to any of the above questions, your GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer can help you during some additional training hours!

9. How well can you motivate yourself?

Please answer honestly the following questions:

- Do you tend to become overconfident?

- Do you tend to become superficial and solve test problems in your head (without using scratch paper)?

- Are you prone to procrastinating (postponing your responsibilities)?

- Do you get distracted easily?

- Do you have trouble with following through your commitments?

- Do you get discouraged easily?

If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, you will most definitely need a private GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE trainer, who will spend some extra time on changing your bad studying habits!

10. What is your English language proficiency level?

- Someone, whose English is only her/his second or third language, needs more training hours than a native speaker of English

- Someone, who has passed a British language exam will need more training hours than someone, who has passed the same level of American language exam (GMAT, TOEFL, SAT and GRE are American standardized tests!)

- Someone, who has an intermediate level of English proficiency will need more training hours than someone, who has an advanced level of English proficiency

- Someone, who has a beginning level of English proficiency, should NOT attempt the GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE test!

Generally speaking, your English proficiency level should be AT LEAST intermediate level, in order to achieve a decent score at standardized tests such as GMAT, TOEFL, SAT or GRE!