Grockit Review: Effective Test Prep for GMAT?
Here's my dilemma: I love learning, but I hate studying. I simply can't pick up a book (the physical kind) and have the patience to read it. I'm always tinkering, playing around, and for me, learning must be an active experience.
This is why I found Grockit to be an interesting concept. It's a test prep service that's designed as part-social network (like Facebook) and part-game (like all those Farmville-types). But its all designed around helping you learn and prepare for tests. Pretty interesting concept so I decided to check it out.
How it works
I'm studying for the GRE so I signed up for the GRE prep service. The first thing you do is input your test date - Grockit then keeps track of your progress and makes sure you're on-track to learn what you need to by your test date. From there, Grockit is all about playing and chatting! You can choose to take quick practice tests, or compete with someone in a speed test. During the whole time, there are instructors' avatars around you who you can IM / chat with for any questions you have. It really felt just like playing a game on Facebook.
"Study" by playing games
You can take regular practice tests, which have a range of problems from very easy to very difficult - or you can take Speed Tests which matches you up with an opponent to see who can finish test sections most quickly. As you improve you can see how you rank against the overall community and try to move up the ladder. It adds a new sense of competitive fun to "studying" which is completely new to me.
Group study sessions, anytime you want them
In college, I always learned best in groups - where there is a small group discussion and Q&A about various topics. I found this to me a missing element in many online learning programs like University of Phoenix and Kaplan - they feel very lonely and isolated, like you're doing this all on your own. Not on Grockit - there is always someone nearby for you to chat with. Grockit offers study groups lead by a real instructor several times per day. So whenever you want to dive into your Verbal skills, you can sign up for a group class and participate in Q&A with other students and an instructor. What's even cooler is that you can create your own group discussion if you have a very specific topic you'd like to study. In a nutshell, you can always make your studying time a social time - which in my opinion is the best way to learn.
Effectiveness / results
Like with any education program, your success will largely depend on your effort and commitment to the program. But with Grockit, I felt like I had all the tools I needed to succeed. Along with the learning games and group discussion features, Grockit gives you an amazing range of statistics and progress updates so you can see your improvement day-by-day. You get your own personal dashboard which tells you where you stand and how well you'll score given your current performance. Every time you take a practice test, your diagnostic stats are updated, so its almost a real-time update on where you stand.
Probably the best testimonial is that as a busy mother of two, I was able to prepare for the GRE using Grockit in 4 months. Best of all, I scored in the 90th percentile in Verbal and the 78th percentile in Quantitative - big improvements from where I scored on the SAT (years ago!). I really think that this is the future of learning - no more reading boring books, instead we will all be taking a more active role in the way we learn in a social environment.