Updated January 5, 2019
When it comes to Self-Paced GMAT reviews, the folks at examPAL have put together a really competitive product that combines state-of-the-art interactive software with 20 years of teaching experience to provide students with a great opportunity to CRUSH the GMAT on test day.
In addition to over 60 video lessons, 4 practice exams, and 1500 practice questions, examPAL also provides services to help students with business school admissions. By utilizing a unique credit system, examPAL also gives students the opportunity to customize the learning experience by swapping some Self-Paced features for personal services like tutoring and essay review.
Although examPAL’s proven PALgorithm makes for a great online self-paced course, there are no options available for instructor-led classes. Keep this in mind while reviewing your options and check out our full review of the pros and cons below.
The team at examPAL boasts a unique AI algorithm that is meant to fully optimize your study time and maximize results. Known as the PALgorithm, the goal is to utilize data from thousands of students to help determine the best strategy for each question for you.
Some GMAT questions can have as many as 10 different ways to get to the right answer. The PALgorithm studies all of these potential routes, combines this information with your performance from diagnostic questions, and then guides you in the direction that will get you to the right answer fast. Scoring higher is more about how you study than it is about simply how much you study. With examPAL, you can be sure that you are making the most of your study time.
2. Free Trial
The GMAT is an adaptive exam. It reacts to your performance in real-time, responding with harder or easier problems depending on how you have been answering previously. This means that the best GMAT prep courses are adaptive as well, using cutting-edge technologies that create interactive courses with customized strategies based on your previous performance.
Getting used to this type of teaching can take some time, and not all teaching styles will fit your learning style. Thankfully examPAL is one of the few GMAT prep courses that offers students a free trial of their services, which can be a real help when deciding on which product is best for you. Check out the examPAL site to get started with a free 7-day trial today!
Use your trial to run move through some practice questions, which can help you determine your current proficiency level and decide which examPAL course is right for you!
3. Essay Reviews
Another important feature found in the examPAL GMAT courses is personalized feedback on practice essays. When the Quantitative Boogeyman looms so large in GMAT prep, the Analytical Writing Assessment can sometimes fall through the cracks in preparation. But in fact, essay writing is one of the areas of study in which live feedback is most important. It can be hard to improve your writing on your own without falling into the trap of reinforcing bad habits. To tackle this, examPAL provides 3 complete essay reviews in both of their complete packages. This provides students with access to scores for their practice written assignments as well as personalized tips on where to improve.
The Analytical Writing Assessment makes up a smaller portion of the GMAT scoring, but when the top 10 business schools are separated by only 16 points on their average GMAT scores, you want to seize every advantage you can! If you think this is an area that you would benefit from some in-depth feedback, consider checking out our reviews of The Princeton Review GMAT, which offers feedback on all 10 practice exam essays, and The Economist GMAT, with 5 full essay reviews.
4. Admissions Consultancy
Your business school journey doesn’t end after you’ve prepared for and taken the GMAT. The next steps can be just as crucial for making sure that you make the most of all the hard studying and high scoring you’ve just done. That’s why examPAL includes a helpful 60-minute session with a professional MBA admissions coach to help you make sure you take your next step in the right direction.
The inclusion of admissions guidance is not unique to examPAL, but compare this option to Manhattan Prep, which offers a partnership program with a consulting firm but at a much higher cost. With examPAL, you instead get one session included for free with your Self-Paced package and—as you will see below—you have the option to add even more guidance to your plan.
5. Interactive Video Lessons
Video Lessons tend to serve as the heart and soul of an online GMAT prep course. With examPAL, the unique PALgorithm is used in combination with responsive video lectures that create an experience to keep students interested and learning efficiently.
Each lesson features a number of practice questions, with explanations for correct (and incorrect) choices built in. At each question, you have the option to progress or review the lesson, allowing you to move at exactly the pace you want.
Here is a quick breakdown of the pricing plans and options available for examPAL online GMAT review:
- $489; 6 months of online access; 4 practice exams; 1500+ practice questions; 3 essay reviews; 60 minute admissions consultation; 60+ interactive video lessons; 1110 credits* (discussed below)
Ideal for students who are looking to study at their own pace, while still taking advantage of a software that provides tailored feedback.
- $799; 6 months of online access; 4 practice exams; 1500+ practice questions; 3 essay reviews; 60 minute admissions consultation; 60+ interactive video lessons; bonus: 2 expert assessments (review and strategize your pace, progress, and study plan); 3 1-on-1 online tutoring sessions; 2580 credits
Ideal for students who want to study at their own pace but would like some additional human engagement in the form of tutoring and guidance.
- $369; 6 months of online access to all Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning lessons and practice questions; 4 practice exams; 675 credits
Ideal for self-paced students who are looking to focus only on the quantitative sections of the GMAT.
Each plan comes with a set number of examPAL credits, which are used in the system to answer practice questions (1 credit = 1 question).
But, as we’ll discuss in a moment, these credits can also be converted to contribute towards the purchase of extra services which can be a very nice bonus. If you decide that examPAL is the course for you, you’ll need to make sure you set out a study plan that takes this credit system into account.
6. Optional 1-on-1 Services
In addition to the consultancy, essay reviews, and tutoring options available in the course packages discussed above, examPAL also gives students the choice to shift their credits towards extra personal services. For those who do not purchase the Genius plan, for instance, you can use some of your unused practice credits to earn a significant discount on a 1-on-1 tutoring session, a comprehensive teacher assessment of your study plan, or even more essay reviews.
This type of customization can be good for students who want to be able to use a wide range of tools, but keep in mind that it will require a good deal of organization. Each package comes with enough credits to get you through the entire course, but it will require a bit of planning if you are wanting to take advantage of the extra services.
If you’re having to constantly pay for more credits in order to access the kind of help you need, then you may find that another plan might be more economical. Keep your own organization level in mind when making your decision.
7. 70+ Score Improvement Guarantee
As I said above, the top business schools in the US are separated by less than 20 points when it comes to their average GMAT score. At examPAL, students are guaranteed an increase in score of 70 points, which can be a life-changer when it comes time to apply to your chosen school. Also, 70 points is one of the highest score improvement guarantees in the industry, on our list of the top GMAT Courses, only the Economist GMAT Tutor can offer a comparable deal.
1. No Mobile App
Unfortunately for those of you who love to study on-the-go, examPAL does not offer mobile access to their review materials. When you compare this with someone like Magoosh, our top-rated GMAT Prep course, which provides students with seemingly endless options for mobile and desktop learning, it can be disappointing to not be given the type of flexibility that is clearly available elsewhere in the industry.
2. Only Self-Paced
Similarly, examPAL only offers students packages for Self-Paced learning. This means that there is no scheduled Live instruction, whether online or in-person. On their website, examPAL bills this as a positive and in fact their unique algorithm is great at capturing some of the essence of live instruction in a self-guided course. While this is not necessarily a negative of the course, you should keep this in mind while shopping. If you prefer Instructor-led learning, read our review of the Princeton Review GMAT Prep to see an example of some great Live options.
Overall, examPAL provides students with a suite of self-paced study options that are generally affordable. If you are a student who likes to work on your own time and set your own pace, then you may find that examPAL Premium or Genius is a good choice for you. Throw in the additional perks of coaching sessions, essay reviews and admissions counseling (with the option to purchase more), and suddenly you have a pretty good deal.
As always, keep in mind your personal study style. If mobility and personal instruction are important items on your shopping list, you may want to check out our reviews of the top GMAT Prep courses, and see just how examPAL stacks up directly against the best.
Commonly Asked Questions:
1. How do I use the credits system?
Self-Paced courses each come with a set number of credits, and this amount is always sufficient to get you through your chosen course in its entirety. The pricing scheme for other services is as follows:
Practice questions -1 credit
GMAC practice test -100
Private one-on-one tutoring -250
Video lessons are free, but you should be sure to properly organize your credit usage if you plan to take advantage of extracurricular services. A guide in your course will help with this.
2. Does examPAL GMAT Prep have a Mobile App?
No, examPAL does not offer a dedicated mobile app. Their PALgorithm software is highly-sophisticated and personalized, but unfortunately it only runs on desktop.
3. How is the PALgorithm from other interactive video lessons?
What separates the PALgorithm is that it uses data sourced from thousands of students across multiple years, in order to identify specific strategies and tendencies and custom-fit your lessons to your learning style. The key is efficiency, and in arriving at the correct answer in the fastest way possible.