Why an Accelerated GMAT Course May Be Just What You Need

Accelerated GMAT CourseChris Kane is a longtime Veritas Prep instructor and recipient of the worldwide Instructor of the Year Award. Having taught thousands of students in New York City and the tri-state area, he contributes frequently to the Veritas Prep lesson materials and is the primary instructor for the popular Accelerated Course format in Midtown Manhattan, where he will begin another such course this week. In his first of many contributions to the Veritas Prep blog, he shares the wisdom of his experience with the one-week, 42-hour Accelerated Course format.

While no Veritas Prep class is more popular than the Full Course, the Accelerated Course has a lot to offer. It undoubtedly makes for a long week: We cover all the material presented in the 42 hour Full Course in one week, meeting every day from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with a one hour lunch break. When I teach the Accelerated Course, students in my evening Full Course often remark that the format is, well, insane: “How could you learn all this in one week?” Information overload! I could never do that… It’s crazy!”

Some Unique Benefits That No Other Format Offers
While it is certainly a lot of information in one week, there is a continuity to the class and the material that cannot be replicated with other formats. Additionally, the classes are typically a little smaller and there is a camaraderie that develops among the students that I normally don’t see with the other formats. As with any difficult life experience, there is a special bond created among people who face such a challenge together! Students tend to come to New York (or wherever else Veritas Prep offers the Accelerated Course) from all over for the class, so there is also a great mix of international students and backgrounds in these classes.

The biggest advantage that I have seen with the Accelerated format, though, is the continuity. In the first few days, people are often a little overloaded with new information, but as the course progresses there is ample opportunity to reinforce this knowledge. By the end of the class, students have a really clear picture of the skills required to succeed on the GMAT, and there is no interruption in the presentation. As many evening and Saturday Full Course students can attest, it is difficult with work and other personal demands to make every class over a seven week period. In the accelerated format, that problem is never an issue as students set the week aside and rarely, if ever, miss one of the classes.

Think of It As Your First Taste of Business School
The accelerated format also helps train focus better than other formats. By sitting through 42 consecutive hours of material over seven days, students learn better how to remain focused and retain information, even when tired and a bit overwhelmed. More than anything, the GMAT is a test of focus and precision, so training this is essential to success on the test. While the Full Course certainly does this (three hours of class after a long day of work is also quite a challenge!), I believe that the Accelerated format Course helps students deal with questions and problem solving under duress more than any other format does.

Obviously, the accelerated format is not for everyone, but the students who choose this option are almost always pleased that they did. The main disadvantage of the format is that students are not rarely able to complete all of the homework problems between sessions, an important part of the Veritas curriculum. In my Accelerated Courses, I assign students the most important questions out of the books to do in the evening and then after the class they must complete the remaining questions. This requires that students be disciplined after the class ends and leave more time between the course completion and their test dates. Also, if students feel that their math or verbal backgrounds are particularly weak, I advise that they do some extra preparation before the class starts so that they are not overwhelmed by all the new information in the first half of the class.

Who Would Get the Most Out of This Course?
I strongly recommend the Accelerated Course for students who have extreme work demands and struggle to make the evening or Saturday sessions over seven weeks. Yes, it may require burning one week of vacation time, but that time will be rewarded by more efficient preparation and a higher GMAT score. Also, I think it is the perfect format for those students who are not working or who have flexible work schedules. With this class, they learn everything that they need to know about the GMAT and how to prepare efficiently. They can then work for four to six more weeks on their own and finish the test in less than two months. Lastly, it is a great format for international students or U.S. students who do not have access to a Veritas Prep Full Course in their region and want a live 42 hour class.

The next Accelerated Course, which starts on Jan 23rd in New York City, will be around my 40th class in this format over the past 6 years, and I really believe it is a great way to prepare for the GMAT. Yes… The course is certainly a challenge but then again so is the GMAT! If you want more information on this format and the upcoming classes, look on our website or call our customer service line at 1-800-925-7737. We typically offer this format every few months, with more frequency in the Fall and early Winter as application deadlines loom.

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