From India to Vietnam, students are using Gmax’s online courses to score highly on American standardized tests.Mohit Gupta, an electronics graduate originally from India, moved to New York in 2001 to work for General Motors. Getting more involved in business as the years went on, he decided to apply to business school to obtain an MBA.
“I was looking for some way to prepare for the GMATs, and I got all the details from the Princeton Review and the Kaplan courses and the other well known ones. But based on my assessment, I wasn’t going to get the one-on-one attention I was looking for. There wouldn’t be anyone who would be willing to work with a student, who understood the way I think and where I was going wrong,” he told ISRAEL21c.
That’s why Gupta ended up choosing an online video course provided by GMAX, an Israel-based school founded to serve the needs of college and graduate students who want to assure themselves of the highest level of preparation for American examinations, required for college entrance in the US, and in Israel.
The brainchild of ex-New Yorker Lenore Kellman, GMAX has so far prepared over 100 American students for the GMATs.
“I came to Israel in 1992, and founded GMAX a year later – I thought this country needs a school like ours, because there weren’t really any good GMAT schools,” the vivacious Kellman told ISRAEL21c. “We called it GMAX, so people would know it was helping them with their GMATs but in the maximum way.”
Kellman said she saw a problem with the existing courses for GMAT study – which focus on style and strategy more than content.
“We started the school with a different kind of philosophy than had existed prior in relation to studying for the GMATs. This is a test in which you need to know the material – the math and the English. You can’t just take a few learning strategies and apply them,” she said.
But the main element that distinguishes GMAX from the competition is that its courses are online – which enables the student to control the pace and to review as much as required.
Kellman explained that the instructors for the courses are carefully chosen through a number of criteria.
“Our instructors all come from English-speaking backgrounds – one is British, another Canadian, and another American with a South African background – and they’ve all had lots of experience teaching Israelis, so they’re also comfortable with non-English speakers as well as their own English. They don’t talk too fast and they enunciate well. Plus they’re attractive Israelis,” she said.
But just as importantly, the teachers are chosen both for their knowledge of the subject matter and for their ability to teach students successfully and in an interesting manner, Kellman added.
The result is a video online course which provides all the information that a student needs to prepare for the GMATs, presented in a format that is totally without boundaries in its capabilities to repeat lessons or return to certain sections.
“There are many schools that offer courses with anywhere from 16 to 42 hours of curriculum,” said Kellman. “Our online course is special in that we teach the content – and the students can take the lessons as many times as they need to. Our curriculum is 67 hours with another 12 hours of testing – that’s almost 80 hours. There isn’t a comparable course anywhere.”
The experience that Mohit Gupta had attests to the personal attention that GMAX devotes to its students.
“I saw an ad for GMAX and called their 800 number, and had a brief discussion with Lenore. She then returned my call and we spoke for 45 minutes,” he told ISRAEL21c.
“She explained exactly what they had to offer, and I was impressed that she was willing to spend so much time with me. I didn’t even know at the time that she was in Israel.”
Gupta said he was surprised and impressed at how the GMAX approach differed from the other courses he had checked out.
“Her message was different from the other places. She said that there was no magic solution and it involved lots of hard work. The other institutions were claiming ‘just do our course and it will be magic.’ On the contrary, GMAX was very realistic, and helped in the aspect of learning how to prepare, not just the content.”
“The online course was excellent, I would rate it as nothing less than the best, especially in the content. It provides as close you can get to the real GMATs, and gives guidance at how to best strategize my efforts. They work on the ground level and try to build a strong foundation for the student to learn. The beauty is that it’s all recorded, and you can watch it again and again. That’s what really makes an impact,” Gupta said.
Gupta is planning on taking his GMATS in December after delaying them when he accepted a job offer in Chicago as Business Development manager for HCL, the largest technological IP outsourcing company based in Asia. But he’s convinced that GMAX has prepared him to succeed, not only in the GMATs, but also in the business world. According to Kellman, that’s not by chance.
“We prepare them with methods that enable them to cope in the fast-paced environments there, by teaching how to manage their time more efficiently to think mathematically and analytically, and to conceptualize,” she said.
In addition to the GMAT course, GMAX also offers courses for the GREs, the entrance test for MA, MS and PhD programs worldwide, the SATs, and the TOEFL English test required by American universities.
“The online course began a year and half ago, and more than 100 Americans have taken the course and have gone on to business school. We’re getting more popular now in India, as well as with Asian countries like Vietnam. People are hearing about us from friends, or on Google, or reading about us on forums,” said Kellman.
Gupta said that he can’t get over how such an effective course in English originates in Israel.
“Ever since I took the course, I’ve wanted to visit Israel – I want to see where such an excellent group of people are living, and what’s instilled in them to produce such good work.”