Traditionally a place to study Karate, the word Dojo has come to stand for the Japanese style of learning, one that emphasises skills and practice. It's a style which is dramatically different from the Western university model, in which we passively memorise the main points from a book or a PowerPoint lecture.
THE ADAPTIVE TEST
What is the optimal way to train for the GMAT? It has to start with the fact that the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, or CAT. And what is a computer adaptive test? In a sense, a CAT is an early type of Artificial Intelligence, a prototype. It is like Big Blue, the IBM chess supercomputer which remembers hundreds of famous moves, and can choose the best response to any given arrangement of pieces on the board. Likewise, the GMAT CAT has a database of thousands of questions, at all levels of difficulty. Therefore, no two sessions of a computer adaptive test are alike. Each session is individually created in response to the person being tested. And thus, the GMAT is radically more surprising than any test I took at Berkeley. Though I studied pure Mathematics at one of the premier universities of the academic pantheon, I was shockingly unprepared for my first CAT.
TRAINING FOR THE GMAT
Industry-wide, preparation for the GMAT still follows the university model: students still read books; teachers still talk from PowerPoint; and the paradigm is still Data Transmission - as if there were a static collection of facts that might add up to a great GMAT score. Of course, there is static set of facts, and people may need to acquaint themselves with it. But it amounts to a score of only about 450. That's the limit of the Data Transmission model, and the point where the Training paradigm becomes essential. The Dojo idea is that high scores call for Training. And training is much more effective in the company of a good trainer. It is not usually possible to train from a book or a lecture. Practice time. Debate. Defeat. Guidance - these are the critical ingredients which combine for a fast and effective training program.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
It may seem like the Dojo is just another GMAT company. I ask you to spend a moment more to check the value proposition:
- Trained Professionals. Work under the guidance of an experienced test-takers with an average of 15 years of GMAT experience and a 760+ official score.
- Dedicated courses for Quant & Verbal, so that you can study only topics that are relevant for your target score.
Omer teaches our GMAT courses in London. His claim to fame is a 780 GMAT score. A graduate of UC Berkeley Mathematics, he has taught GMAT, GRE, and SAT for numerous agencies, including Kaplan Test Prep, Kidum GMAT, and Manhattan Review. He also served as academic director of the MBA Center in Tel Aviv. Find him on LinkedIn.