Originally Posted by VisionsFinest
Which Kaplan course is worth the investment? They have a few options. The Classroom, the live classroom via computer or the online on demand option where you can watch the lectures 24/7 via computer. With all 3 options, you get the same materials to use, including the 5 timed practice tests.
In addition, do you think that the private tutor option is worth adding to the package? They have the tutors available for 15 hours, 25 hours or 35 hours and you get access to the classroom, the on-line on demand course and all the materials.
Mehhh...it's up to you on the tutor. I don't really think it's worth it (and I actually worked for them as a private tutor for the ACT/SAT tests). That's just because there's SO much information to cover. It could be worth it if you were at a 350 and wanted to push it higher by refining a few set skills, or if you were rocking every section but one (in which case a class that broadly covers everything is simply not helpful that way). However, if you feel like you would benefit from the one-on-one help from someone that could maybe explain a certain set of the topics to you, then go for it. I think that would most likely benefit you on the high-skills section (like math, reading, and maybe some of the science sections regarding using formulas), and not so much on the high-knowledge sections (like biology). It's really whatever your learning style is. I just think the majority of the learning is spending hours and hours reading, re-reading, and quizzing yourself over the material...then doing that all again.
Do all the classroom formats cost the same? If so, then probably either the in-person or the on demand. I've seen those two types, and just heard about the live classroom. I think the benefit of the in-person one is getting to ask the teacher questions and for tips that may or may not be officially part of the Kaplan curriculum (like my teacher gave us print-outs he made to help with certain important enzymes in the body, hormones and where they are made in the body, some math formulas, etc). I thought that was nice. And it wasn't like he was a bad instructor - there's just way too much material and no one could cover it all. The down side to that is that you have to travel to wherever the class is and make sure to be there on each of the class days. The benefit to the On Demand is that you can watch things on your own schedule, plus they are probably the best of the best teachers doing those videos and you don't have to deal with any classmates raising their hand and asking super off-topic questions that are totally unrelated to the test (we had a girl like that in my class and it drove everyone nuts). The down side is that there's no teacher to ask a question to if something comes up that you really don't get. The live classroom has benefits and drawbacks just like the others - you WOULD have a live teacher to talk to, but you still do have to get online at the designated time. I don't know how big of a pain it would be to have people asking questions that way or typing them or whatever they do. And I just think you learn more in the physical presence of someone rather than through an online conversation with some power points...but that's really up to your learning style! If you have the time to commit on the schedule they set, I say go for the in-person class. The teachers will usually give their personal contact information and be happy to field your questions even after the end of the class.
Also, I took my class Feb 2011 and didn't take my exam until Aug 2011. I spent all of July and August studying on my own. If the class runs for around a month and a half or two months and you don't have anything to do in between but study, then you'd probably be fine to take the test right after you finish the class. I knew I wasn't going to have time to hit the books hard until later, so I skipped taking all the online tests other than the diagnostic so that I could use them to practice with closer to my actual exam date (they will arbitrarily say you should take your midterm at a particular date, then your final on a different date...but you don't lose the tests if you don't take them then). The other important thing is to talk to them BEFORE paying to see if you can get your online resources for an extended time. Usually they expire somewhat soon after your course ends, but that clearly wasn't going to work well for me, so I got them to extend it until after my test. I would just make sure to line that up before they have your money, because then you are in a good bargaining position