The 800score GMAT course is one of the largest online and well known prep sites around. According to Wikipedia, they were founded in 1999 and have helped over 150,000 students score higher on the GMAT test since then.
800score Review: Features
(For a condensed version of features, you can check out this article on 800score. For those who want a more in depth feature list, continue on below).
5 GMAT CAT Tests
These are tests in the GMAT CAT format that simulate the actual GMAT. This means that the questions get harder or easier depending on your performance. A sample test is available for download here: Download Sample Test.
- Explanations & Scoring
When you complete each test, you’ll get a breakdown for your quant and verbal sections, you’ll find out how those translate into a score (out of 800), what your percentile would be and you’ll get a full analysis and explanation for each of your questions. Additionally, there are plenty of video and flash explanations as well as the ability to learn more about any topic that you’re having trouble with.
These exams are meant to simulate the GMAT meaning that the program will be basing questions off of how you’re doing, ie, the questions will get progressively harder as you get questions previously correct or slightly easier if you start getting them wrong.
- Test Pacer
Just as it sounds, the test pacer will tell you the question you should be on if you want to finish the test on time. As an example, if you’re halfway through the test, you’ll be told that you should be on the middle question. This feature will help you with time management, an important skill if you want to achieve a high score on the GMAT as poor time management could have you lose upto 100 points from your score ( double penalty if you leave any questions unanswered at the end due to running out of time which is worse than getting a question wrong, clearly making the ability to manage your time key to success).
As the practice CAT exams from 800score are meant to simulate the real GMAT, there is a timing feature that’s set to time you for each section, just as on the GMAT. With that said, you can turn the timing feature off to allow you finish your practice exam if needed, allowing you to get some additional practice of questions.
- Performance Analysis
Get an evaluation on your performance based on time spent and question type.
- Graphical Explanations
Some math questions include graphical explanations through the use of flash movies that create interactive visual explanations.
You’ll learn how to structure your essay so that you can do well on your GMAT. Included is a 60-page section on the GMAT essay section along with with templates, strategies and 20 sample essay answers that comes from actual GMAT essay questions. Additionally, you have the ability to try 20 practice timed essays; after you take one of these 30-minute timed essay simulations, you’ll get the essay mailed back with answers from previous students. Furthermore, for only $19.95, you can have one of their ivy-graduate GMAT tutors give you specific feedback which is invaluable if you need tips for improving. You can try an essays by going to: www.800score.com/takeessay.html.
Verbal Prep Guide
- Sentence Correction
You’ll get 60 pages of content as well as 30 timed online practice questions that are divided by skill level. You’ll be taught by the use of graphical layout diagrams to teach grammatical concepts. The content focuses narrowly on the common error types found on the GMAT and it is interspersed with specific advice about GMAT grammar.
- Reading Comprehension
Nearly 100 pages worth of material that is a breakdown of writing logic and structure and combines the a very detail oriented analysis on how to dissect academic writing. You’ll also get approximately 80 questions to work through.
- Critical Reasoning
You’ll learn how to use reasoning skills to identify flawed arguments which is what the critical reasoning section is all about.
Quantitative Prep Guide
- Math Introduction
You’ll find content that covers all the topics that you’ll need to do well on the quantitative section of the GMAT, including advanced strategies that are based on discussions with tutors who cater to 700+ students.
These sections are for those who are more on the beginning or intermediate level.
- Word Problems & Strategy
This section is considered to be one of the more advanced sections and covers the following topics:Functions & Symbols
Progressions & Sequences
Ratio and Proportion
Discounts and Markups
… and any other main topic on the GMAT quant section. You’ll find that material here to be comprehensive and it’ll cover many of the common trick questions that you might come up against.
- Permutations, Combinations, Probability
Great section for beginners and those on an intermediate level to make these abstract concepts highly intuitive.
- Data Sufficiency & Strategy
This section does a good job discussing common trick-question types.
- Standard Deviation
This area is a bit lacking, especially considering how in-depth all the other sections are. 800score continues to improve on their prep materials and so you should see this section being better developed in future iterations.
- Low Cost
- Extensive content and explanations
- Great analysis of questions and overall diagnostics
- CAT Tests
- Ability to email a tutor with a GMAT related question
- Standard deviation section needs to be beefed up
The course currently sells for $39.95 which is a fraction of the cost of attending a full-service testing center or using a GMAT tutor for one-on-one sessions, with either of this options typically costing hundreds of dollars and up to a few thousand. When you consider how much material you get from 800score, it seems like a no brainer when you consider the difference it can make.
800score definitely sets the standard for low-cost test preparation. They offer a plethora of material to work from, the variety of questions (with many of those questions linking back to discussions on their forum so that you can get a better undertanding of the material), the pacer feature are just some of what makes this prep course so good.
The use of this course will help you with enhancing your strategy with how you approach the GMAT, in addition to actually getting the general knowledge you need. 800score.com gives you tutorials, access to samples of questions that you are similar to what you’ll see on test day, advice on spotting trick questions, and tools to help pace yourself with their Test Pacer system.
The Test Pacer system helps people learn how to better pace themselves. Remember, with the GMAT’s CAT system, you get penalized for leaving questions unanswered (as mentioned earlier, the penalty is worse than if you were to get the question wrong), you can’t go back to questions unanswered if you finish early, and there’s no ability to skip a question. That’s why it’s so important to be able to pace yourself properly if you want to achieve a score that’s in the 90th percentile.
The fact that you get five full GMAT CAT exams will help with preparation as it not only gets you used to the CAT format of the GMAT, but you’ll be able to review your wrong answers, getting a full explanation of the problem, and with many of the questions linking back to the 800score forum.
Without a doubt, 800score (for additional reviews check them out on epinion) should be part of your overall GMAT preparation strategy as their course only costs $39.95 and works great as a standalone product for preparing you for the GMAT or even to use as an addition resource/supplement to whatever other prep strategy you decide to use (whether you take a full course or use a private tutor).