Bigger doesn’t always mean better. A small class size often provides a much more personalized learning experience. Here are some things to consider in your search of a perfect MBA program or a GMAT prep course.
1. A good fit
MBA is not simply an academic program where you learn the basics of business. It is a professional degree designed to help you boost your career. A smaller program will often give you more opportunities for closer interaction with your peers, faculty, the career centre, and with the school’s industry contacts at networking events.
Be sure to visit the school’s campus and attend classes and information sessions to get a feel of the school’s culture and understand if a smaller class environment is the right fit for you.
When it comes to selecting an ideal GMAT prep course, you need to look for a personal fit as well. GMAT is unlike most other tests, because it measures not your knowledge of specific rules or formulas, but the skills that will make you a successful MBA student and a successful future manager: skills such as analytical abilities, critical thinking, and decision making.
A good GMAT course will provide not just the knowledge, but the right training environment to help you develop these skills. In a large GMAT class, your instructor won’t get to know you and won’t be able to offer any personalized feedback – the feedback that will be crucial to help you develop the right skills to succeed on the test.
Be sure to contact the GMAT prep centre, ask about the class size, and attend a free sample class, if one is available. Find out if there are is a money back guarantee if you are promised a small class and end up in a class of 25+ people – because you can’t learn effectively in a class this large, you might be better off taking a class at a different prep centre that guarantees small classes.
2. More specialized
Many smaller MBA programs are highly specialized and are designed to meet the needs of specific industries. For example, some world-class MBA programs such as Luxury Brand Management MBA at ESSEC, Hospitality Management MBA at EHL and Wine Marketing and Management MBA at INSEEC may not be as well known as Harvard or Insead, but are much more focused, practice-oriented, and have excellent reputation in their field – many graduates from these smaller specialized programs have multiple job offers from the best companies in their industries before graduation.
Many GMAT courses offer cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all courses. You might be in class for many hours, listening to things you already know, because in a larger class an instructor must progress slowly and can’t afford to lead the class efficiently based on your individual needs.
Admit Master GMAT courses are smaller, more personalized, and are designed for MBA candidates who are targeting 650-700+ scores on the GMAT. Before taking classes, you will take a full-length diagnostic GMAT test, will meet 1-on-1 with an expert instructor to discuss your study plan, and will work on refreshing your basic knowledge of theory by completing practical Math & Verbal exercises online.
Because every candidate coming to the Admit Master GMAT course is well prepared, and because in a small class of 12-15 people your instructor will know you personally, the course will progress much more efficiently, saving you time and letting you focus on harder topics that will make a real difference in your GMAT score results.
Large business schools can afford to spend more money on advertising, yet schools with smaller enrollments could still be among the best in the world (take Stanford GSB, for example).
The same pattern could be seen in the GMAT prep industry. Prep centres with larger classes spend a lot of money on advertising to fill these classes, yet don’t necessarily offer the best classroom experience, because a large part of your tuition is spent on marketing. These programs tend to be very generic and mass-oriented, where you become just a number. Remember your undergraduate class of 100-500 students? 🙂
Smaller programs, such as Admit Master’s GMAT Mastery program, tend to attract many students through word of mouth and can focus on providing quality training and personal support instead of expensive advertising.
Be sure to read reviews from real past students on Google or Facebook, and don’t hesitate to ask the GMAT prep company to put you in touch with candidates who took the course before you – this will help you not only learn from experiences of others, but also understand if the company indeed cares about each student and keeps in touch with them after the course is over.
MBA is a major investment. While cost of the program is important, you need to look at the value the MBA will provide to your future career. Don’t choose a program just because it’s cheap – you can only do one MBA, and a cheap program from a less reputable business school may prove to be a poor investment. At the same time, a more expensive program doesn’t always mean a better value – you need to see whether your tuition goes to providing a high quality personalized, or on other things that don’t add value to you.
We recommend picking a program that’s the best fit for your career and that offers the best long-term value, and then maximizing the value of your investment by securing an entrance scholarship based on your competitive GMAT score and your attractive overall MBA application package.
GMAT courses cost a lot less than MBA programs, but an opportunity cost of taking a poor course could be significant: many larger courses are designed for average candidates and won’t help you get a high score within a short time. Thus, you may need to spend more money on additional resources and private tutoring, and may need to delay your MBA application – a decision that may cost you $30,000-$50,000 or more in foregone salary because you will graduate a year later.
Admit Master’s GMAT courses include everything you need to succeed on the GMAT – small classes, personalized attention, online resources and practice tests, free course retakes for 1 full year, and even 1-on-1 tutoring. To maximize the value of your investment in the GMAT course, be sure to register early to take advantage of early-bird discounts, and set aside 8-10 hours per week to do your homework, so that you could get to your dream score faster.
5. Strong network
Smaller, more exclusive MBA programs often have stronger alumni networks. Smaller classes not only facilitate opportunities to get to know your classmates on a more personal level, forging quality lasting relationships and helping you build a stronger professional network, but also allow for greater opportunities to tap into more tight-knit alumni networks that could be invaluable in your post-MBA job search.
For example, two world-class MBA programs – Queen’s & Ivey – have smaller class sizes and are located outside of the Greater Toronto Area, yet many of our students who went on to study at these schools praise excellent recruiting opportunities with the best companies in Toronto – a testament to the strength of the alumni networks at these business schools.
A GMAT course is often your first opportunity to develop lasting relationships with future MBA students at different business schools. This is your perfect chance to expand your network beyond your chosen business school, so don’t take it lightly!
Most GMAT courses offered at University campuses serve almost exclusively applicants to these Universities. Even if you’re planning to apply to these Universities, you’ll be better off taking a GMAT course outside of the campus and expanding your network beyond that one University.
Because Admit Master’s GMAT Mastery program is designed for candidates targeting high GMAT scores of 650-700+, most of your peers in the GMAT course will be successfully admitted to the best MBA programs in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Take a full advantage of the opportunity to get to know your classmates in the GMAT course, and you’ll be well on your way to building awesome professional relationships for years to come!
One of the greatest benefits of smaller programs is the feeling of community. During your program, you will get to know everyone in class. Your trainers, professors, and the staff will be there to support you on a more personal level. When you graduate, you will feel part of a stronger alumni family.
Choose your MBA program and your GMAT course wisely. Do your research, visit the school, and don’t fall for empty promises and one-size-fits-all marketing messages. Find the right learning environment and look for a good fit with your personal and professional goals. Don’t underestimate small programs, because small is indeed beautiful and small can be your perfect match!
Need help choosing the best GMAT prep option or the best MBA program for you?