The Sherpa Edge

Our Philosophy

Unlike most books and companies, we do not believe that great GMAT scores and serious improvement come from learning a few clever test-taking strategies. Such strategies may have been enough 15 years ago, but the GMAT has grown increasingly difficult and “self aware” over the years, and its makers have taken serious pains to minimize the usefulness of “gaming” the exam.

In our opinion, the key to great scores and improvement is real “know-how”. This know-how is not something that can be learned over the course of a weekend. But it is much simpler than you might think, and anyone can do it if they put in the time and dedication.

The prospect of acquiring such know-how may be daunting, but you'll be surprised how easily it can be learned when someone teaches it to you properly. You'll also be surprised exactly how powerful and effective knowing how to do things the “right way” can be. Problems that seem daunting and complicated can be remarkably easy. Problems that seem to require great math skills and a lot of time can be done amazingly quickly.

Interested in sampling a Sherpa GMAT class? Click here.

How Our Course Works

Comprehensive GMAT Test Prep

The ideas and content covered in our GMAT classes go well beyond the superficial treatments found in mainstream prep courses and books.

We start with an extensive review of the fundamentals of math and grammar - subjects that students may or may not remember from school - and gradually build to an understanding of the most advanced concepts that are required to succeed in every portion of the exam. Our knowledge-based approach teaches students to break down complicated problems into “types” and to understand the right ways (and wrong ways) to approach such question types. Every aspect of our course content has been field-tested and carefully refined to ensure that we communicate concepts in the simplest way possible and that we leave no stone unturned.

To ensure that students have the time to absorb our ideas and materials, our GMAT course is 40 hours long - nearly twice as long as most GMAT courses. This length allows us to cover every aspect of the exam in critical detail - detail that shorter courses cannot afford. Each class is devoted to an in-depth treatment of a specific topic, or topics, and is spent discussing, exploring, and practicing that topic in a careful and thorough manner. Between classes, students are asked to practice the topics we've covered in class by working through our extensive note packets and books, watching videos, and taking computer adaptive practice GMAT exams.

Take a look at our GMAT course syllabus.

Small Class Sizes

Small GMAT Classes

To further ensure that students learn properly, every Sherpa Prep GMAT course is limited to 12 students or fewer. To properly master “know-how”, we believe it is critical that students learn in a personal setting. Real learning is more than taking memorizing formulas and listening to lectures. It's an interactive process of identifying weaknesses, and learning how to address them. It's a process that demands hands-on advice.

In our opinion, small classes offer students a personal touch that uncapped “lecture hall” classes cannot, a touch that is extremely important to student progress and development. Small classes allow students and instructors an easy and on-going dialogue in which students can ask questions as they arise (regardless of difficulty) and instructors can recognize student difficulties as they occur. Small classes also put students and instructors on a first name basis in which students can get advice that is specifically tailored to their strengths and weaknesses. This allows instructors to “hold the hands” of students who need care and reassurance and “crack the whip” for students who need structure and motivation.

Our Instructors

Elite GMAT Instructors

To be considered for an instructor position at Sherpa Prep, candidates must score in the top one percent of GMAT test-takers. His or her academic qualifications must include a business, law, Master's or Doctoral degree from a top university, or current enrollment in such a program. He or she must also have several years of experience as an instructor.

Of the applicants who meet these standards, only 1 in 4 are ever hired. That's because personality matters. Not every GMAT instructor has the charisma to engage a class or the ability to explain problems and concepts in a manner that any student can understand. Quite frankly, many do not. We conduct a rigorous interview process to ensure that our instructors can connect with students and clarify difficult concepts through dialogue.

Once hired, instructors undergo three months of training before teaching their first classes. This training is augmented every few months with periodic training sessions to keep instructors up-to-date, and every instructor receives ongoing mentoring from a senior instructor.

To ensure that we retain our instructors, we pay our instructors up to three times the industry standard.

Course Materials

Sherpa GMAT Prep Materials

In addition to 40 hours of classroom instruction, every Sherpa Prep GMAT course includes four books and eight computer adaptive GMAT exams, as well as 500+ pages of our exclusive materials and 30+ hours of online video.

We have spent years developing our notes and videos, and continue to improve them on a daily basis. They provide extensive analysis of every question type, from the most basic to the most advanced, and provide access to essential information that goes well beyond the basic treatments found in store-bought materials. Whether a given topic is a strength or a weakness, the depth and clarity of our material will allow you to develop a firm control of the fundamentals of that topic and to practice them to the point of mastery.

To complement these materials, we also provide our students every Official Guide for GMAT Review and eight computer adaptive GMAT exams. These books and exams provide thousands of examples of actual GMAT questions, and provide students the most realistic preparatory questions available anywhere.

Just In Caseā€¦

As a final step to ensure that our students get the most out of their experience with us, we support our courses in three important ways.

The first of these is our Missed-Class Policy. Our students are welcome to make up any class that they miss. For a $10 rescheduling fee, we are happy to have our students attend an identical class in another course that occurs on a different evening or at a different location.

Secondly, every student enrolled in one of our GMAT courses is eligible for private instruction at our special Student Rate. While our standard rate for private instruction ranges between $125 and $175 per hour, students who are enrolled in one of our classes can receive any extra help they may need for just $50 per hour.

Finally, all our courses are guaranteed by our Free-Repeat Policy. Unlike most guarantees, our Free-Repeat Policy allows students to repeat their course one time, free of charge, for any reason. This is a “no hoops” policy that eliminates the hassle of “score increase” policies, which require students to submit proof that they completed every course assignment and attended every hour of every class. Our guarantee is designed to protect students from any circumstance, no matter how unusual or unfortunate. And because our guarantee has no time limit, students can feel assured that they will have our support whenever they need it.