Interestingly, the aggregate numbers don’t tell the entire story. For example, students who just used the Magoosh platform averaged an increase of 93.2 points. When they added a class to the platform, they didn’t do better. In fact, they did worse.
As noted above, overall, we saw a 16.9 point spread between those taking a class and those not doing so. (93.7 for taking a class versus 76.8 for using a platform only.) But like the classes, we wanted to see what the differences were between the popular platforms. For test-takers that were using just a platform, those using Magoosh saw the highest average score increase and it wasn’t close. Those using Magoosh reported an average score increase of 93.2 points — an average increase of 15.5 points more than the company with users reporting the second-highest increase. That platform was EGMAT where users reported an average score increase of 77.7. Across all companies, Magoosh was the only one where users reported an average score increase above the overall average across all test-takers that used a platform only. The company where test-takers saw the lowest score increase was Official GMAT with an average score increase of 62.3. – and saw an that Magoosh was far and away the winner, with a 93.2 score increase –far ahead of all students who used just platforms, and well ahead of the 83.3 score increase for all students reporting.
Of course, studying style fit within the platforms is also important to consider. For example, the Magoosh platform offers a different kind of interaction than the normal question-and-answer interfaces the other providers offer, sort of like a tutorial, but not a class, on a crowdsourced platform.
But say you are the kind of candidate who prefers to not do-it-yourself and is willing to pay for more structure. In that case, a class or a tutor usually does help. If you look at the case of the Official GMAT platform, which does not have an official school attached, choosing your own class but using the Official GMAT material results in the highest score increase of this group.
Inversely, compared to platform-only test-takers, Magoosh candidates had the lowest increase when they took a class, even lower than the platform only group. We forgive you if you find some of the results confusing — in fact, so do we. But there are some interesting inverse relationships.
As noted in the chart above, test-takers who used the Official GMAT site with a class had the highest score increase — partly because they had their choice of classes to pick from. So what’s the message? Using Magoosh? Don’t dilute. But that’s just an average — as they say, your mileage may vary. We did see several cases of 100+ score increases from those using Magoosh and a class, using providers like Sherpa, Target Test Prep, and Manhattan Prep.