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GMAT Expert Q&A: Ofek GMAT Part 1

Are you looking for some expert advice about studying for the GMAT?

This week, we’ve got an interview with Zack Goldman and Doron Aaronsohn, the team behind Ofek GMAT. Together, they have nearly thirty years of experience helping students to do their best on the GMAT and get into business school.

What was your own study path like when it came to taking the GMAT?

GMAT Expert

Zack: I have been teaching GMAT prep since 1994, first working with another test prep company and eventually on my own.  For myself, I had an engineering background beforehand and taking tests came naturally to me, so I did very well on the GMAT without much preparation.

Doron was actually my student before he came to work with Ofek GMAT. He was a little further out of school and had a humanities background, so we worked together to improve his GMAT quantitative score. Of course, he was a very smart guy and did very well ultimately.

It’s given us some different perspectives on the GMAT study process.

What do you enjoy most about about helping students prepare for the GMAT?

Doron: Absolutely, seeing our students succeed is the best part of this.

Zack: We just had a student call us and tell us she got her score up to the 700 range, and she was accepted to her top school. That’s what we love, that’s what it’s all for.

As you work with students, what are some of the most common fears and anxieties you see with the GMAT?

Zack: A lot of students put unnecessary pressure on themselves. They tell everyone they know when they are testing, what score they want to get.

Doron: Students come to us in a rush sometimes because they feel like they have to get the GMAT done so they can get their application in for Round 1.

When we initially talk with students, we try to get a sense of whether the deadline is real or something they’ve made up, something they’re pressuring themselves to do that doesn’t have to be so rigid.

Zack: Submitting in Round 2 is just as good! We advise students not to make everything so public. Don’t tell everyone what score you have to get or when you’re testing. Just put your head down, study consistently and quietly. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. 

When is taking a GMAT prep course or working with a tutor a good idea, compared to studying on your own? 

Zack: Almost all of our students have done some GMAT preparation on their own before working with us. I think people reach a point where they need some extra support or structure, and it’s good to seek that out when you need it. 

Doron: Working in small groups or independently is better than a big group. GMAT courses tend to have a typical, average student profile, and if you fall within that profile, then it is likely to be beneficial for you. 

If you are outside of that average group, though – you have a very busy, inflexible schedule, or you’re aiming for a very high score or starting from a very low one – then you are much more likely to benefit from personalized work with a private tutor. 

What tips do you have about choosing a GMAT tutor? 

Zack: Look for someone who either has a lot of experience tutoring the test, or someone who needed to study in order to get a good score. When I first started tutoring, it was sometimes a little hard to relate to the students’ struggle, since I had gotten a high GMAT score without much studying.

Also, don’t rely on a conversation with a sales or marketing person when you’re choosing a GMAT prep company. You should speak to your actual tutor.

Trust and a good rapport are vital for a successful tutoring experience, and you need to talk to the person you’re going to be working with to see if it’s going to be a good fit. 

Doron: We create a personalized study plan for all our students, and then we change it if we need to as we go along. It has to work for the student. Everyone is different – you can’t promise “I have the one method that will work for everyone” or “This is the only right way to do well on the GMAT.” 

Your Turn 

In part two of our interview with Doron and Zack, we will discuss test anxiety, comparisons to the GRE, and the best time to take the GMAT.

What questions do you have about doing well on the exam? 

Leave your comments below and we’ll get back to you.

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