EMPOWERgmat focuses on teaching exam strategies. It is relatively less well-known compared to other GMAT preps and we have yet encountered any top MBA students who have used the platform. So we are very excited to review this product for you and uncover some of its myths.
After going through EMPOWERgmat’s entire module, we came out feeling certain that it should not be used as your primary, go-to GMAT prep resource. Rather, you should consider using it only as a supplement to other GMAT Prep books or GMAT Prep Course.
However, EMPOWERgmat offers plenty of lessons on soft skills to improve your exam performance, so you may still consider taking its course if you feel up to exploring more test-taking strategies to complement your strong knowledge on concepts i.e. the hard skills.
|Course Name||Self-Study||Class||Private Tutoring||Price|
|3 Months + Tests||$349|
With $99 per month, EMPOWERgmat is not cheap. However, if you plan to use it as a supplement, then one month is more than you need.
- Video coaching lessons
- Study plans
- Quick advisor email support
- Discounts on the Official GMAT Practice Exams (CATs)
EMPOWERgmat claims that it guarantees a full month refund if your score does not improve by 100 points. However, there is a big caveat to the score guarantee. The point increase will be subject to your score range as follows so make sure you check its full criteria first.
100 Points – Scored from 200-580
70 Points – Scored from 590-640
10 Points – From 650 onwards
EMPOWERgmat covers all sections tested in GMAT (Quant, Verbal, IR, AWA). The program has 6 study options based on your preference; each will guide you step-by-step when to use which resource. The study plans incorporate EMPOWERgmat’s video lessons, practice, Official GMAT CATs, and its own podcast.
There are over 100 video lessons in EMPOWERgmat, comprising contents and test-taking strategies taught by its two co-founders, Rich Cohen and Max Peterson. The lessons are outlined clearly and divided into small sub-sections, making each of the videos only a few minutes long.
Now, let’s dig deeper.
There are some good and distinctive features that make EMPOWERgmat an excellent addition to your GMAT prep. But there are also some limitations which we find to be dealbreakers for stand-alone GMAT prep.
- Weak content: The most critical first step to GMAT success is to achieve a strong foundation for its content, or raw concepts, in order to perform higher-order critical thinking which is the essence of the GMAT exam. Unfortunately, EMPOWERgmat video lessons do not provide adequate content coverage. For example, EMPOWERgmat only explains only basic rules between ‘Like vs As’ when teaching comparisons to tackle Sentence Correction, disregarding deeper rules or other equally popular rules that GMAT often tests such as ‘more than’ and ‘as…as’.
Furthermore, EMPOWERgmat often directs students to download content from external sources that are available for free. Considering the amount of money you will have to spend on this course, this is disappointing. It appears the course value is mostly focused on test-testing strategies offered by its two co-founders, rather than creating quality content to build up foundational knowledge for students.
EMPOWERgmat video lessons do not provide adequate content coverage.
- Some test-taking strategies are not realistic for 700+ scores: Many test-takers who score above 700 know all too well that taking notes in Critical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension section during the exam will not take you very far.
And yet, EMPOWERgmat promotes a number of note taking strategies. ‘RC Laddering System’, for example, requires you to write down the author’s tone and main point in each paragraph. ‘CR Box’ asks you to jot down summary, goals, missing information, etc. These key points are indeed what you should be aware of, but not at all necessary to be written down.
The consequence? You are left with less time to trace back the original sentences. With the clock ticking, you will be most likely forced to answer the question based on your simplified note, which is insufficient to eliminate all four incorrect answer choices. It becomes a trap.
Although some of its strategies are not practical for shooting high scores, EMPOWERgmat has many strategies in its pocket. Some of them are pretty decent. Choose to adopt a strategy wisely, and your score could improve out of this course.
- Focus on test-taking mentality and strategies: EMPOWERgmat has plenty of great strategies on soft skills to increase your test performance. For instance, the ‘Triage’ strategy which explains how you may easily eliminate unrealistic answer choices, providing you with a better chance to break your percentile ceiling.
EMPOWERgmat also emphasizes good test-taking mentality, such as getting into the right mental state and maintaining a positive attitude, which we think is underrated in many GMAT prep courses.
EMPOWERgmat offers plenty of great strategies on soft skills to increase your test performance.
- Straight-to-the-point video lessons: The video lesson is divided into bite-size pieces so you can easily comb through and select strategies to learn more about.
- Discounts for the Official GMAT Practice Exams (CATs): The package comes with over 20% discounts on the official GMAT CATs which you are going to need in order to maximize your score. Practicing with Official computer-adaptive tests is the only reliable method to predict your actual test results.
- Excellent support team: The advisors are almost always available via chat box or email. They can assist you with GMAT questions and provide you guidance on study plans. Their responses are generally fast, which is helpful to maintain a steady study rhythm.
Is EMPOWERgmat worth it?
EMPOWERgmat has serious drawbacks in contents and some of its exam strategies. You should be very cautious in using EMPOWERgmat as your primary study source. Some strategies taught in the video lessons, though conceptually correct, are not practical if you are aiming for scores above 700.
Therefore, EMPOWERgmat is not for GMAT beginners, but for seasoned GMAT test-takers who are looking for exam strategies to complement their already strong foundation. People who will benefit from EMPOWERgmat are those who are well aware of methods that will work or not work for them. These people already have the ability to filter out and adapt the concept to their advantage.
EMPOWERgmat is not for GMAT beginners, but for seasoned GMAT test-takers who are looking for exam strategies to complement their already strong foundation.
EMPOWERgmat’s platform is perfect to shop around strategies. Although it’s not for everyone, fortunately, it comes with a 24-hour free cancellation policy for you to see if the course fits your needs. It also offers free 1-hour access but we feel the time is not sufficient to browse through its strategies.