FAQ

Q: How much do you charge?

A: This is perhaps the first question I am always asked and that is why this is at the top of GMAT Gladiator’s private tutoring FAQ. The charges for online GMAT tutoring can be found at Online GMAT Tutoring Charges. These are the current charges but these may change based on seasonal demand; and demand is likely to be higher during peak GMAT season (usually May through January).

Q: Can I get a discount?

A: I don’t prefer any sort of “package” or “volume” discounts, and prefer to charge the same hourly rate to all of my students. Please visit the charges page for current details.

Q: How do you structure your GMAT tutoring sessions?

A: The honest answer is that there is no specific answer to this question. It all depends entirely on each student’s strengths, weaknesses, areas of interests, and yes, the target GMAT score as well. All these things are not the same for each and every student. You’re (presumably) looking for a GMAT tutor because you want somebody who will efficiently teach you exactly what you need, rather than wasting time with, say, a one-size-fits-all GMAT class.

Keep in mind that the GMAT, more than any other major standardized test, is extremely nuanced. We’ll look for the most efficient ways to help you gain points on the test, and that inevitably means different things for different people. Give me a call, and we can discuss an approach that will be effective for your GMAT and MBA admissions goals.

Q: Can you provide references from past GMAT students?

A: All the testimonials posted on this website are all completely original and they can also be found at my LinkedIn profile as well.

And if you want some instant references from people who have worked with me, feel free to check the 100% original testimonials on the home page.

Q: If I don’t plan to hire you as my GMAT tutor, will you answer my questions anyway?

A: Oh! I would love to help any GMAT aspirant but I can’t commit on that as practically it is not possible for me to provide unpaid advice to every one as I am literally getting lot of such requests. I’ll try to help if I can, but please don’t be offended if I don’t respond to requests for (unpaid) advice, particularly during the GMAT and MBA admissions frenzy that runs from June through January each year.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: This is where it gets a little tricky. I do everything I can to accommodate reasonable schedule changes. But the reality is that it is really a big problem for me when a students cancel a few hours before a GMAT tutoring session – it means that I’m able to accommodate fewer than planned GMAT students on that day.

The bottom line is that I prefer if everybody just shows up to their appointments as scheduled. If something really terrible happens we can discuss about that but if you’re just canceling for work or something important without giving me a good 48 hours’ notice, I think it’s fair to ask that you pay for the slot that you occupied, since 48 hours usually doesn’t give me enough time to offer that slot to anybody else. Sound reasonable?

Q: Do you also tutor for the SAT and/or ACT?

A: Yes, very much. My students for SAT/ACT have gotten in to IVY leagues with massive scholarships for their undergrads. My extensive experience tutoring for standardized tests comes in very handy for SAT and ACT as well.

I have been tutoring for SAT/ACT for the last 8 years now with excellent results. The SAT or ACT tests you on mostly the same concepts as the GMAT, and I don’t want to say more but a triangle will always have 3 sides, irrespective of whether it is in GMAT or SAT or ACT.

Q: How long is a typical GMAT lesson?

A: I strongly recommend two-hour GMAT tutoring sessions in most cases, simply because most students need 10-15 minutes to get themselves warmed up for exhilarating GMAT fun. Also GMAT sessions longer than two hours may not be so much fun for everyone, but I’ve tutored some passionate students who really enjoyed three to four hours of non-stop GMAT fun. So there’s some flexibility, but it’s usually best to start with two-hour sessions.

Q: I’ve already taken two GMAT test-prep courses, I’ve taken the exam three times, and I’m still disappointed in my GMAT score. Can you help me?

A: It depends on your exact weaknesses, but odds are good that I’ll be able to help you, even if you’ve already suffered through a long, painful relationship with the GMAT. I love searching for creative, interesting ways to help students improve, and if you’re starting to think that you’re completely hopeless, I’ll probably really enjoy finding new ways for you to approach the GMAT.

Think about it this way: if you’ve already been through a few GMAT prep courses—or if you’ve spent hours hunched over a stack of GMAT test-prep books—then it’s likely that you’ve seen nearly every “standard” GMAT test-prep technique in existence. For whatever reason, the one-size-fits-all approach employed by GMAT test-prep companies isn’t right for you.

That happens. A lot. A majority of my students have taken the GMAT at least twice before contacting me for GMAT tutoring, so I’m used to seeing students who have been thoroughly beaten down by the test. I like to think that I’m the GMAT tutor of last resort: if standard GMAT test-prep techniques aren’t working for you, I might be creative enough to come up with something new that helps you achieve a breakthrough.

No two GMAT students are exactly alike, and that’s exactly what makes GMAT tutoring fun for me. If there’s a way for you to improve your GMAT score, I like to think that I’ll be able to find it—even if my techniques end up being unorthodox.

Even if you’ve struggled mightily in the past, there might be a path forward for you. If I don’t think that I can help you, I promise to be 100% honest about it. But if there’s a way for you to improve your GMAT score, I promise to do everything I can to find it, and I’ll probably come up with ideas that very few GMAT tutors would think of. Call or email anytime if you want to discuss your exact situation in more detail.

Q: Do you provide any of your own GMAT study materials as part of a tutoring plan?

A: I do offer dozens of sets of practice GMAT questions that I’ve developed over the years, but these sets are only designed as supplements for students who may need extra practice with certain GMAT question types. The GMAT has its own unique question style, and there’s absolutely no substitute for using official GMAT materials, including the GMAT official guide, the quant and verbal review books, and the GMATPrep software.

So the answer is yes, but I would be a pretty crappy GMAT tutor if I pretended that my materials were somehow better than the materials developed by the people who actually write the GMAT.

Q: Do you tutor on weekends and evenings?

A: Yes, but please be aware that there is much higher demand for GMAT tutoring during evenings and weekends, so you might need to schedule sessions well ahead of time, especially during the peak of MBA admissions season. I often have a lengthy waiting list for evening and weekend tutoring sessions, so please plan ahead if you possibly can.

Q: You’re booked for the next several months. Can you refer me to another GMAT tutor?

A: Yes, I’m always happy to refer you to another GMAT tutor if my schedule is too packed. I frequently have a waiting list (especially for evening and weekend sessions), and I know that not everybody can afford to wait for tutoring… so I’m prepared with the names and emails of some of my favorite colleagues in the GMAT world. Just ask if you need a referral.

Q: How does online GMAT tutoring work? Is online tutoring as effective as live GMAT tutoring?

A: Yup, I definitely offer online GMAT tutoring, usually via Skype. You’ll be able to see both a dry-erase board and anything I type on my computer screen, so the experience is a pretty solid replacement for a live, one-on-one GMAT tutoring session. A few nuances are inevitably lost via the internet (I can usually see your reactions, but I generally can’t see what you’re writing down), but I routinely work with GMAT students online, and it works surprisingly well. If you live outside of Denver and are interested in long-distance GMAT tutoring, let me know, and I can put you in touch with somebody else who has worked with me online.

Our essay editing and MBA admissions consulting services are also offered online. We (by “we,” I mean the team of editors who occasionally work with me on large projects) have worked remotely with applicants in India, Singapore, Egypt, the U.K., Australia, and South Korea, as well as locations throughout the United States.

A longer rant about the benefits and drawbacks of online GMAT tutoring can be found here.

Q: How much GMAT tutoring will I need before I take the test?

A: Nearly everybody asks this question, and my answer is always the same: it depends. If you’ve never touched a GMAT prep book in your life but dream of getting into HBS or NYU or Stanford, you might need more tutoring than somebody who is just fine-tuning his approach after months of self-study. If you’ve taken only a single practice test and scored 200 points lower than your goal, then you might need a whole lot of time with a GMAT tutor. Everybody learns at their own pace, some people are better about doing homework than others, and some people have set more challenging GMAT goals than others.

So I know that the answer is unsatisfying, but until I know a lot more about you and what you’re trying to achieve, I have no idea how much GMAT tutoring you’ll need. Sorry.

Q: How much can I expect to improve my GMAT score?

A: You probably know the answer yourself; and I tell this in all honesty that though a lot of my students were able to improve on their GMAT scores by more than 200 points, but it’s very difficult to achieve that. It requires unwavering dedication towards GMAT prep. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen it happen a few times – in fact one of my favorite students went from a 330 to a 670, but it took him a long time. He did not have huge budget constraints and took sessions wherever he had any doubtshad one heck of a work ethic.

Also, keep in mind that it’s a lot harder to improve your GMAT score if you’re already scoring in the 600s or 700s. A 150-point improvement might be a realistic goal for somebody who starts in the 400s (I’ve seen this happen quite a few times), but is extremely unlikely for somebody whose first test score is around 620. If you’re starting in the 600s, a 100-point improvement will require some extremely heavy lifting from both you and your GMAT tutor. Yes, I’ve seen it happen, but it isn’t easy to do. Call or email if you want to discuss your specific situation.

Q: Will you help me on my MBA application essays?

A: Yes, and we have an extremely high success rate of students being accepted to the top school of their choice.

Q: How does MBA essay editing work? Do you make changes directly to the essay?

A: Regardless of whether you need editing services for an MBA application or any other project, I never make changes directly to your essay. I’ll make thorough suggestions using the comment feature in Microsoft Word, but it’s up to you to execute on those suggestions. I’ll happily provide plenty of help on both grammar and content, but the essay still needs to be substantially yours, so you’ll always have the final say on all edits.

Q: I worry that if I use an MBA admissions consulting service for my application, it will sound like somebody else wrote the essays. Will this be a problem?

A: Good question. If you’re writing a bunch of essays for an MBA application, you want to make sure that you write your essays in a consistent style. I make sure that my suggestions for improvement do not disrupt the natural flow and voice in your writing, even if we need to make major changes to your essays. Other admissions consulting services may handle things differently, but I take extreme care to respect your authorship when making changes to your MBA essays.

Q: Can I see your official GMAT score report?

A: No problem. But I hope we can all agree that a great GMAT score does not, by itself, guarantee that anybody is a good GMAT tutor. I retook the GMAT on September 14, 2010 and again on July 13, 2014, and the official score reports are on my bookshelf for anybody who wants to see them.

Q: What software and equipment do I need for an online tutoring session?

A: A few things you definitely need are a good internet connection and free zoom or Skype or Google video conferencing software, though online GMAT tutoring usually works best if you have a webcam (so I can see your reactions as we work through questions) and a decent headset (to minimize audio interference during our session).

Q: I noticed that you don’t use your students’ names, when you write about them on your GMAT blog. Why?

A: I usually refrain from publishing specific details about my students – such as the name of their employer or the MBA program they attend–to protect their identities. You probably don’t want to your name plastered on a GMAT blog, especially if you’ve struggled with the process or if your employer doesn’t know that you’re applying for an MBA. So whenever I tell a story about my students on my GMAT blog, I try to make sure that the students are completely unrecognizable to, say, their coworkers… just in case their MBA goals would ruffle feathers at the office.