comparing GMAT tutoring rates (no, not mine)

I was just thinking about the good ol’ days when I worked for a big test-prep company, and I was curious to see what the going rate might be for GMAT tutoring purchased through similar companies. In case you’re curious, here are GMAT private tutoring rates for the four biggest names in GMAT test-prep, presented in alphabetical order:

Kaplan: rates range from about $133/hr (with purchase of a 35-hour GMAT tutoring package) to $163/hr (if you buy only 15 hours).

Manhattan GMAT: $185/hr if you purchase 25 hours, $215/hr if you only buy 10 hours of private tutoring

Princeton Review: prices range from $150-$450/hr, depending on whether you choose a “standard” GMAT tutor, a “master” GMAT tutor, or a “premier” GMAT tutor.

Veritas: about $164/hr with purchase of a 42-hour GMAT tutoring package, $175 if you go for 28 hours, $200/hr for 14 hours.

These rates were taken from each company’s own website on July 15, 2009. If asked, I searched for GMAT tutors in New York City–it’s possible that rates are different outside of NYC.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on this. All I’m going to say is that I earned less than $20/hour in 2002 when I worked as a test-prep tutor and classroom instructor for one of these companies, and I was given very little training by the company. I’m not saying that it isn’t worth the price–after all, these companies usually include a fat wad of books and materials in the tutoring package, and it’s arguably worth the extra money to hire a familiar, “reliable” company. I’m not going to tell you that independent GMAT tutors are necessarily better for everybody, but if you go with one of the big GMAT test-prep behemoths, please shop carefully.

2 responses to “comparing GMAT tutoring rates (no, not mine)

  1. In response to your post regarding tutors at the major test prep companies, I, too, taught classes for and tutored GMAT (as well as GRE, LSAT, & MCAT) at one of the huge “GMAT test prep behemoths,” as you called them. That is an apt assessment of that particular company for which I worked, and friends and colleagues of mine who taught and tutored at three of the other large test prep companies had experiences similar to mine and apparently yours. Although I had taught numerous GMAT (and other) classes for over a year, my “training” for tutoring at that company was nonexistent. The single qualification for tutoring GMAT, the test in which I specialized, was having conducted several successful GMAT classes. Fortunately, I had years of experience tutoring standardized tests and general and specialized subjects in the past. Knowing the test well is certainly critical for successful tutoring, and being able to teach it in a classroom setting increases the probability that a good teacher will tutor well. However, tutoring one-on-one, particularly for a test as interestingly nuanced as the GMAT, is a whole different ball game, so to speak, than classroom teaching. Among other exceptionally important abilities, tutoring requires the ability to read the tiniest expressions and the body language of that single student and the concomitant ability then to tailor the tutoring to that student’s individual needs. The big test prep companies, in my experience, do not train adequately to meet this need. Experienced, talented individual tutors do, in fact, meet this need and serve students well. Kudos to your terrific advice on this site!

  2. I’d like to add to my [very long–sorry ;-)] reply about tutoring at the big test prep companies above. For tutoring and MBA admissions consulting, I received my regular teaching rate of just over $20/hour, which wasn’t bad pay for over 15 years ago, but the company charged about $115/hour for tutoring and some astronomical fee for the admissions consulting. It always seemed to me that volume was far more important to the company than providing the best tutoring and consulting. Again, I firmly believe that individualized GMAT tutoring and MBA admissions consulting are far superior to such services provided by large test prep companies, and I advise people to find tutors who provide such services. To that end, I think your post concerning how to find a good GMAT tutor is spot-on. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *