Many times we feel reluctant to disparage other people's work. Usually, they are doing the best they can. However, often they could be doing much better than that. And ultimately, the world needs us all to do great work. We shouldn't kill the cheaters, but we might want to let them go out of business.
The problem is that we tend to blame the supplier of the service. Sure, they might be holding back, like the light bulb cartel did, in the early years of the last century. On the other hand, many companies are doing their best.... only their best is not quite good enough, and sometimes not quite good full stop.
That situation sadly prevails at the great majority of companies which do GMAT prep. And if there were one single reason for this, it would have to be that you, dear client, are that fabled goose that lays golden eggs: the One-Time Buyer.
You have never before signed-up for a GMAT course, and you are unlikely to ever enroll in another. You have hardly no basis for comparison, and no reason to think you need one. You take the course. It might even be fun. But I am sad to say you are not in position to evaluate the product. It just isn't an easy call, like a film review would be.
Not many people will take one course and understand in time that a 600 and 700 score are fully 32 percentile ranks apart. A 600 is all that's required to enter the Premaster program at Erasmus, but for a top 10 MBA candidate, 600 is basically a failing grade. These two demographics cannot sit in the same class without wasting each other's time. Yet in nearly every single school, they do.
Furthermore, how are you to know the full meaning of taking a Computer Adaptive Test? This is still a new kind of test, and not many of us have ever heard of it, let alone taken it or trained for it. So it is possible, if the school wants, to fobb you off with an English teacher, as if this was a test of American Literature. Most of the English teachers who double as GMAT Verbal experts have not yet taken the test, and hence could be forgiven for not knowing the difference between Grammar on the couch and Grammar at full speed. And some of the schools might be forgiven too, especially if they've been in the business only three or four years. But many of them do know the difference, and just don't want to fork up for actual expertise. Reason: they know you can't tell the difference.
Think about what I'm saying: it's the buyer's ignorance that drives product quality in a competitive market. If you were an expert standardized test taker, you would surely know what we all know: that it takes a particular set of skills to beat any one of the 5 GMAT question types. Each one of them is a bit of a black-belt martial artist, and I promise you most English teachers never have to think at this speed, nor even this level.
And don't think this is just an issue for English. An Econometrician may do well enough on the Quantitative section of the test. But I promise you they can't teach you to play the same way they do. They have a skill-set drilled over years, and they think well, but in a particularly mathematical way. But this is not a test of Math; it's a test of logic, written in Math. And though it's possible for a mathematician to beat it, it is not possible for you to learn to beat it in the same way, unless you put in several years. You need a very different skill set, and one which is alien to your teachers because they never learned it.
So, dear buyer, now you know. If you see this post, share it with younger people you know. Better still, tell them to look out for situations where they buy once and judge later, like in presidential elections, marriage, and yes, GMAT test prep.