Shawn Berry's GMAT Preparation

Learn 1-1 from the world's foremost GMAT expert

Shawn Berry


Wharton MBA
  Getting Shawn Berry to teach you the GMAT is like getting Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel to teach you economics or getting Tiger Woods to teach you golf.  In each case, you will perform better with that expert's help than you ever could without his help.

Last year, I was applying to top MBA programs and I needed to excel on the GMAT.  I started working with Shawn when my GMAT score was average (around 50th percentile).  From our first GMAT test onward, Shawn identified specific areas for me to improve - Rate*Time=Distance and Numbers Properties on the Quantitative, Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension science passages on the Verbal.  For each GMAT area, Shawn explained how to proceed when any type of question is asked.  For instance, with every Numbers Property question involving the word divisor, factor, or multiple, you need to start your work with a prime factorization.  Then, amazingly, those questions start getting so much easier.  Questions that I couldn't solve using Kaplan's methods became easy (or at least straightforward) using Shawn's methods.

Every class I got better and better at these areas.  I progressed from cursing certain GMAT problem types to welcoming them because, with Shawn's insight, they made perfect sense to me.  In just six weeks, with application deadlines approaching, Shawn helped me increase my GMAT score by 150 points (to around 90th percentile).

The important benefit for me was that my application was reviewed by top MBA programs that probably would have rejected me if I hadn't made such substantial GMAT improvement.  I won multiple acceptances to the Top 5 MBA programs!

While I'm certainly glad that I'm past the MBA admissions process, I want you to know that on-campus recruiting for management consulting is like going through the admissions process all over again.  Top consulting firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.) will ask you for your GMAT score.  Just like MBA programs, consulting firms use the GMAT as the common metric to compare you to every other applicant.

So do your best on the GMAT, study with Shawn Berry.  His GMAT insight and ability to transfer that insight to you can make a huge difference as to what MBA program you attend and what career you have after business school.


Menlo Park
Wharton MBA
  This fall I decided to apply to top MBA programs.  Even though I started with a 90th percentile GMAT score, I knew I needed to improve my score to have my best chance at these top schools.  I wanted to hit 750 and I knew that type of improvement wouldn't happen with a Kaplan class.  So, when I saw Shawn Berry's ad, I called him to see how he could help me with the GMAT.

After meeting with Shawn for an hour, I was impressed with how he teaches the GMAT 1-1 with real GMAT questions under real GMAT conditions.  But most importantly I was impressed with Shawn's GMAT knowledge and his flexibility in working within my schedule.  I knew he could help me learn how to answer the most difficult questions that I had previously missed.  So I started and took my first class with Shawn the very next day.

Working together, Shawn was able to help me learn by doing.  Each class, Shawn assigned me a tougher GMAT test than he did for the previous class.  And each class, Shawn helped me correctly answer every GMAT question that I missed or spent too long on.  I was simultaneously getting a lower percentage of questions wrong despite tackling more difficult questions.

In 4 weeks of studying with Shawn, I improved from 680 (90th percentile) to 770 (99th percentile), including a perfect Verbal score.  I exceeded my GMAT goal and I applied to those top MBA programs with confidence that I had a point of differentiation on my GMAT score.

Not only did Shawn help me excel at the GMAT, he introduced me to Javier, a former client of Shawn's, who is a first year student at Wharton.  Javier met me on campus in Philadelphia and helped me prepare for my Wharton interview.  This was an unexpected benefit that provided me a personal connection to Wharton, where I'll start as an MBA student this fall.

In conclusion, if you want to do your best on the GMAT, study the GMAT with Shawn.


San Jose
Kellogg MBA
  I've lived all my life in California and I was determined to attend a top MBA program back East - to experience a different part of the country.  I focused on schools that excel in marketing.  My top two choices were Northwestern (Kellogg) and Duke (Fuqua).  I knew that both these schools have an average GMAT slightly over 700.  So I committed myself to doing my best on the GMAT.

I registered for a GMAT class at the Palo Alto Kaplan.  I went to every class and I did every problem, but my hard work didn't pay off.  Kaplan didn't prepare me to do well on the GMAT.  The Kaplan instructor read the book to us verbatim - like we couldn't read.  I could have stayed home and gotten the same effect.  Further, the Kaplan instructor couldn't answer some of the Quantitative and Verbal questions.  After completing Kaplan, I took the GMAT and I scored a 540.

I was devastated.  I mean, I'm smart - I went to UC Berkeley undergraduate and I have good study habits.  I knew I could do better, but further study with Kaplan wouldn't help.

So I started to investigate who I could trust to help me improve at the GMAT.  Soon, I found out about Shawn Berry.  I called him and we met.

I remember going through his brochure with him and listening as he spoke about his clients' successes, but what convinced me that Shawn was real was when he looked me in the eye and said, "But if you don't meet me halfway by energetically doing what I assign you, you won't get these results."  In one sentence, Shawn earned my trust and challenged me.  I signed up.

I soon learned that Shawn expects you to succeed.  The most important way that Shawn ensures that you succeed is by helping you perfect every question you miss, guess at, or spend too much time on.  Shawn identifies the stage of each problem where you got stuck - perhaps you had the knowledge to answer the question but you didn't see that you could apply that knowledge to this problem.  Having provided that connection, Shawn sits back, prompting you to apply your knowledge to this problem.  This trains you to take control.  Shawn knows that he can't sit next to you on test-day and that he needs to make you independent.  Shawn's methods work so well because Shawn is observant (he knows exactly what you need) and he doesn't over-teach (he provides you only what you need).  And he does all this in a kind, friendly way. Amazingly, I left every class understanding every question that we perfected.

A supplementary way that Shawn helps you succeed is by putting positive thoughts in your mind.  Trust me, this matters because most of your room for improvement depends on you improving at your GMAT weaknesses.

A final success factor is that progress begets more progress.  Working with Shawn, you see that you're improving, which motivates you to study, which gets you even better results.

My better results were 140 points better!  I improved from 540 (50th percentile) to 680 (90th percentile).  I also earned a 6.0 on the AWA.  My much, much improved GMAT score helped me earn acceptance to both Kellogg and Fuqua.

Thank you so much for you help Shawn.  I believe that your GMAT service will enable me to go earn one million dollars in MBA profit.


Santa Clara
Stanford MBA
  Like many people, I want to go to a Top 10 MBA program.  I knew that my opportunity to do that would depend, to a good extent, on my GMAT score.  So I was determined to do my best on the GMAT.

First I went to Kaplan, mainly because I didn't know that I had any better options.  I took Kaplan's GMAT class and I studied.  I studied hard.  But I got nothing for all that studying but a GMAT score in the 500's.  I was upset and frustrated - with myself.  I knew that 700 is the average GMAT score at these top schools and with Kaplan I was nowhere close.

A few months later, I saw Shawn's GMAT advertisement and I called to see what he offers.  Even over the phone, I could tell that Shawn understood how to prepare people for the GMAT much better than Kaplan does.  So we met, got along, and I started taking Shawn's classes.

I soon knew that Shawn's service was going to be worth the money.

First, you spend time in class with him only after you've taken a full-length GMAT and the only questions you spend your valuable class time on are those that you missed, guessed at, or spent too long on.  So all the assistance that Shawn gives you is really concentrated where you need it the most.  Second, Shawn knows everything about this test.  Often, you'll get a question right but spend 3 minutes on it.  Shawn will show you how to do that same question in 1 minute. So instead of you falling behind by a minute on pacing, you gain a minute.  Third, Shawn teaches you what you need to now in terms of what you already know.  Many teachers feel that they've done their job if they showed you how to solve the problem.  But too often, math geniuses give you this cold-shower feeling because they bombard you with unfamiliar things.  Not Shawn.  In teaching you something new, Shawn takes into account what you already know, starts there, and proceeds clearly and logically to what you need to know.  For sure, learning what you need to know in terms of what you already know helps your comprehension go way up.

No surprise, so does your GMAT score.  I started with Shawn with a 540 (50th percentile) and I finished two months later with a 710 (95th percentile) - I improved 170 points!  I passed 9/10 of the people who had a better GMAT score than me.  Now I can apply to any Top 10 MBA program with confidence.

Looking back, what gets me is that when I was studying with Kaplan, I was upset and frustrated with myself.  But I shouldn't have been down on myself because I was doing my best.  It was Kaplan and their sorry methods that cost me so much time, money, and frustration.  The people at Kaplan don't know the GMAT anywhere near as well as Shawn Berry.


Stanford MBA
  This past fall I applied to top business schools.  To be competitive, I knew that I needed to do my best on the GMAT.  But I didn't know who, if anyone, could help me do that so I delayed the matter.   Then an HBS alumnus, with whom I consulted, told me about Shawn Berry and his GMAT expertise.

So I called Shawn and we started working together the very next day.  I started at 710 and I had only the hardest GMAT questions to ask Shawn about.  On every single question we reviewed, Shawn took those hard questions and helped me understand how to answer them.

In two weeks (application deadlines were coming) and five iterations of his Test-Perfect-Review cycle, I improved to 760.  Overall, I went from 95th percentile to 99.5th percentile - in just two weeks working with Shawn, I passed 90% of the people who'd previously had better GMAT scores than I did.   My score included a perfect Quantitative score and a 90th percentile Verbal score, both accomplishments for me because I had previously missed an occasional quantitative question and because English is my second language.  Further, Shawn taught me how to earn a 5.5 on the AWA essays.

I recommend Shawn and his GMAT service to everyone who considers earning an MBA.  He will help you do your best.  If I'd had the time to take all his classes, I know that Shawn would have taught me the fine points of grammar and thereby given me a chance to score 800.  Still, my 99th percentile score helped me get into Stanford GSB, where I have chosen to study.  Thank you so much for your help Shawn.


San Francisco
Darden MBA
  To help me achieve my professional goals, I want to earn the best MBA that I can. So I was serious about performing my best on the GMAT.

I knew from the beginning I wanted one on one help.  I wanted to be sure that I could focus my time and effort on the areas where I needed the most improvement.  I also wanted a high level of teacher interaction to keep me directed and challenged.

While researching the GMAT, I found out about Shawn Berry and I called him.  His price was higher than Kaplan's 1-1, but I knew Shawn's credentials (his 800's on the GMAT, his experience teaching college math, his track record of helping people excel on the GMAT, etc.) would surpass anything I'd find at Kaplan.  So we arranged to meet and after 20 minutes I was convinced that Shawn would be a great GMAT teacher for me.

Math has never been my forte - in fact, I actively avoided math in college.  I knew I needed Shawn's expert assistance on the Quantitative section.  Shawn taught me more than just the tricks that sometimes work and sometimes don't.  He taught me the math that I needed to tremendously improve my Quant score.  In fact, in our GMAT classes, Shawn provided me with math skills that have changed the way I feel about math.  Since working with Shawn, I got an A- in Statistics (my first ever 'A' in math) and now I have an A- in Calculus... I feel like a rock star!

But I got even more than GMAT Quantitative improvement.  Shawn helped me boost my good Verbal score into a perfect Verbal score - without spending much time on it.  I also got a 6.0 on the AWA, which I wouldn't have achieved without Shawn's guidance.  In just 6 weeks of studying with Shawn, I improved my GMAT score from 560 (57th percentile) to 680 (90th percentile).

Overall, I spent about 100 hours studying and 20 hours commuting from San Francisco and Berkeley down to Menlo Park, but it was well worth it.  My 90th percentile GMAT score helped me gain admission to the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, where I will start this fall.

Shawn's GMAT service is absolutely time and money well spent because he will help you excel on the GMAT.


  740?  Really?  Is it real?  Yes, its real.  I called Shawn soon after my test with excitement:  "Aw, James, I was betting that you'd score 750.  Still, 740 is 98th percentile and an excellent score.   Congratulations!"  I am extremely happy because my initial goal was 700, the average score at top business schools.

Now let me tell you to how I came to score 740, because it almost didn't happen.

In the beginning, I chose Kaplan to help me with GMAT prep, because its a name brand and because its cheap (~$1,300).  I studied very hard with Kaplan; overall, I invested at least 150 hours attending classes and doing homework assignments.  To my disappointment, I only scored 650, only 10 points of improvement after going through the entire Kaplan program.  I was very frustrated because my time is worth at least $70/hour and this nearly $12,000 Kaplan investment was a waste.

Well, I thought, maybe I have been out of school for too many years and English is not my native language so I won't score 700.  Maybe I should give up studying the GMAT.  But after more thought, I decided that I needed to score 700 and that I was capable of doing so.  For one thing, I knew that I'd only have a slim chance of getting into a top school with that 650 score and I wanted to be likely to get into a top school like Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton.

After Kaplan had disappointed me, I didn't know where to seek help with the GMAT.  Princeton Review didn't seem any different.  Fortunately, while reading the Palo Alto Daily News, I found out about Shawn Berry's GMAT service.  I went to his website and gasped when I learned the price for his lessons.  Thats a lot of money to me.  But in comparison to the career benefit I assign to attending a top 10 MBA program (about $1 million), Shawn's tuition was actually relatively affordable.  So I called Shawn and we met in person.  In one hour, I decided that if anyone can help me score 700, it's Shawn Berry.  By the end of our meeting, I had scheduled our first class.  I just knew that I was on the right track.

Sure enough, in our first class, Shawn started showing me how the GMAT really works.  No more plugging in numbers, backsolving, or heavy reliance on idioms.  Instead, Shawn made sure that I could perform straightforward Algebra and he taught me Grammar and Evidence-Reasoning-Conclusion.  Shawn and I together tackled 1,500 real GMAT questions using his system.  Shawn's system works because he's an excellent teacher with great precision, clarity, and patience.

Halfway through Shawn's classes, I took the GMAT and scored a neat 700.  I thought about stopping there, but Shawn said, I want you to be greedy.  You have a good shot at 750.   So I continued and, three weeks later, I scored 740.  Overall, I improved 90 points in 6 weeks and scored well above initial goal.

Thank you, Shawn. With your help, I now have a good shot at going to my dream school.

Santa Clara
Harvard MBA
  I'm applying to Top 10 MBA programs and I knew that I needed to exceed 700 on the GMAT to have my best chance to be accepted.  Given a strong endorsement of Shawn's GMAT service by a Harvard MBA, I decided to meet with Shawn for an hour.  Upon learning more about his service, I immediately decided to work with him.  Let me tell you why.

Shawn has identified what works.  First, Shawn focuses on your weaknesses, instead of a general focus on everything.  Second, Shawn individualizes your GMAT tests by challenging you with the material that he knows will result in you making your greatest point improvement.  But most importantly, Shawn is an expert at communicating to you simple solution methods that you can use to solve practically any problem in 60 seconds.

Shawn has designed these methods so that you can learn them during your classes and then perform them on test day.  Simply put, you practice Shawns simple solution methods and make them your methods.  You dont need to read anything from Kaplan or Princeton Review; in fact, their methods only work half as well (I know firsthand).  Just focus on the straightforward methods that Shawn gives you and you can exceed 700.

Specifically, Shawn gave me techniques to break down sentences and zoom in on the relevant material.  I wasn't taught this in school, but within weeks I was recognizing these straightforward patterns in sentences.  These efficient sentence analysis methods helped me get more Verbal questions correct and gave me more time to consider the most difficult questions.  Another specific thing that Shawn had me do was to eliminate my careless errors.  Shawn had me show all my work, a method that keeps you from making errors and saves you time.  Showing my work helped me become more logical and systematic.

Partway through Shawn's classes, I sat for the GMAT-CAT and I scored in the mid-600s.  Taking the test halfway through is a great learning experience and doing so helps you and Shawn better identify where you still need help.  The good thing is that MBA programs are on your side and they only use your best GMAT score when evaluating you. 

Then, one month later, once Shawn's methods had really sunk in, I took the GMAT again and scored 720, 97th percentile.

If you only have a mediocre GMAT score, then you are at an unnecessary competitive disadvantage.  For anyone who is serious about getting into a top MBA program, I enthusiastically recommend Shawn's service.  Personally, I am now much more confident of getting into the top schools.  Thanks, Shawn.

Mountain View
  I wanted to apply to top business schools, but I was concerned that my GMAT was not adequate. I had studied on my own and with Kaplan but I kept getting average scores.  Then I met Shawn at a Duke MBA event (he's an alumnus).  Within 10 minutes of talking to him, I knew that he was the person I could count on to help me do my best on the GMAT.

Shawn's teaching approach is logical, rigorous, and customized to what you need.  His Test-Perfect-Review system promotes discipline - you don't have any chance to slack off.  Still, you should be really dedicated and eager to spend the necessary time to review the material.  I was also impressed by how Shawn pays great attention to small details - right down to making sure you are testing under the most realistic GMAT testing conditions.  By the time we had completed our classes, I was prepared for everything I saw on test day.

In 6 weeks, I improved my GMAT score by 160 points.  I'm really glad I made the decision to invest in myself and my GMAT score by studying with Shawn.  In comparison, those hours I spent studying on my own and with Kaplan were only marginally effective.  Particularly on the Quantitative, Shawn was able to make the problems straightforward for me.  I know that Shawn can help you earn a GMAT score that is 100 points (or even more) higher than you can earn through any other preparation method.

My GMAT investment has paid off huge -- I'm headed to Boston to start my MBA at MIT Sloan.  Thank you for your help and friendship Shawn.


Los Altos
Duke MBA
  I want to go to a highly-ranked MBA program such as Stanford, Duke, or Dartmouth, where I can transition from the non-profit work I've done into a more mainstream career.  To have my best chance to attend such a high-ranked MBA program, I wanted to score 700 on the GMAT.  But the people I knew who had taken the GMAT had scored in the 500s or 600s, not bad scores but generally not good enough for the top schools.

I learned about Shawn's GMAT service from my sister Kat, who took Shawn's classes and improved more than 200 points.  So I had every reason to believe that Shawn would help me excel on the GMAT.  I started Shawn's classes with a 600 GMAT score, 70th percentile.

So let me tell you how Shawn's system works.

Before each class, Shawn has you take a real GMAT test, suitable to your level, under strict test conditions.  Then, in class, Shawn helps you solve every question that you miss, guess at, or spend too much time on.  The emphasis is on you, not Shawn, solving the question.  If the problem challenged you, Shawn will have you explain step-by-step how to solve the problem, a verbalization process that helps you solidify what you need to do next time you see a similar question.  Another thing Shawn may do to help you overcome a challenging problem is to write you another problem, similar but harder, to make sure that you understand and can solve that type of question.  Shawns ability to write you a similar but harder variation on a question is very important to help you understand question types for which there are few examples.

While preparing for the GMAT, Shawn assigned me more than 1,500 real GMAT problems.  For every single question that I missed, guessed at, or spent too much time on, Shawn had the answer that I needed.  More than that, Shawn distills everything down to a few key concepts.  Shawn gave me scaleable solutions that apply to all problems from moderate-difficulty problems up to the very hardest problems.  Shawns methods work throughout the test, whether at the 600 level, 700 level, or 800 level.  Shawn helped me make sense of the most complex Data Sufficiency numbers properties questions and the most counter-intuitive Sentence Correction questions.

Working with Shawn, I knew that I was going to score 700.  I remember leaving Shawn's house after class and telling his next client that success is imminent.

Sure enough, seven weeks after our first class, I scored 720, 97th percentile.  I walked out of the test center with my hands in the air and a huge grin on my face.  I had done it.  Super.  Thanks Shawn.

Jeff & his Wife JJ
Michigan MBA
  I want to attend a top ranked MBA program so that I will be better qualified to go into business for myself.  I've spent the last few years working in the restaurant and wine businesses.  Now, I want to further develop my general management and marketing skills in order to effectively run my own wine distributorship.  Therefore, I am applying to Kellogg, Michigan, and Duke.  To have a good chance to get into one of these top MBA programs, I knew that I needed to score 700 on the GMAT.

I remember choosing who I should have teach me the GMAT.  There was Shawn and there was everybody else.  I say this because having met with Shawn for an hour, other GMAT teachers paled in comparison.  Not one of them had Shawns GMAT expertise, his long line of client successes, or his teaching ability.  Because of Shawn's higher price, I talked it over with my wife and my father, both of whom thought I should work with Shawn.  Upon thinking about it, it was ultimately an easy decision for me to invest in myself and choose Shawn.

The first thing I have to say about Shawn is that he knows what works and what doesn't.  Immediately, Shawn saw that my propensity for answering questions in my head would keep me from earning my personal-best GMAT score.  So Shawn had me show my work.  This may not seem like much of an accomplishment, but I had never shown my work.  While all my previous math teachers had tried and failed, Shawn got me to systematically show my work.  Shawn wasn't going to accept any excuses because he knew that if I showed my work, I could proceed more systematically and efficiently to the correct answer.

The most substantial area that Shawn taught me was Grammar, which is applicable throughout the Verbal section.  Shawn will teach you how to break down sentences until you can, practically without trying, see all the fine distinctions that differentiate one Sentence Correction answer from another, one Critical Reasoning answer from another, and one Reading Comprehension answer from another.  This helped me earn a near perfect Verbal score and was the most eye-opening part of Shawn's classes seeing the English language in a more analytical way.

Halfway through Shawn's classes, I took the GMAT-CAT and earned a 640, a score negatively impacted by my nerves and anxiety. Shawn said that I needed to get some test day experience and get that first test out of my system.  He was right.  Four weeks later, at the end of my classes, I earned 720, 97th percentile.

Frankly, I never expected to earn 97th percentile.  I doubted my coach-ability.  But I did it.  Through it all, I must say that Shawn certainly follows through and gives you your best chance at an excellent GMAT score.  I highly recommend his service. 

Thank you, Shawn.

Palo Alto
  In the span of only four to six weeks you cannot change where you went for undergrad, the caliber of your work and leadership experience, or whether you have starred on Broadway or played in the major leagues.  You can, however, study with Shawn Berry to vastly improve your GMAT score, a key piece of the MBA admissions puzzle.

Raising your GMAT score depends on two interrelated steps: 1) correctly understanding and answering questions types with which you have typically struggled; and 2) being able to answer familiar questions much more quickly to give you the luxury of extra time for the most challenging questions.  Shawn not only clearly explained to me several mathematical and grammatical concepts thereby eliminating the majority of my knowledge-based errors but he also helped me to find more efficient methods to answer previously time consuming questions.  Shawn's mastery of every possible type of question, combined with his proven teaching abilities, makes improvement steady from session to session.

Through working successfully with a broad spectrum of prospective business school students, Shawn has gained a firm grasp of how to tailor an individualized strategy to maximize GMAT improvement.  On the math section, Shawn worked on solidifying my understanding of Algebra, particularly Data Sufficiency problems dealing with inequalities and absolute values. Also Shawn introduced and reinforced the wide range of questions with which Rate x Time = Distance can be applied.  On the Verbal section, Shawn was the first teacher to explain effectively to me the fundamentals of grammar that are so crucial to success on Sentence Correction questions.  Similarly, Shawn's introduction of several easy to apply frameworks for Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension questions meant that these sections became much more predictable and straightforward.

Although I have chosen to delay applying to business school to work at Bain&Company, I know that my having worked with Shawn to achieve a 760 GMAT (99th percentile) on my first attempt including a perfect Verbal section and a 6.0 AWA will be a valuable asset when I apply to top MBA programs in the future.  Compared with my 680 (90th percentile) initial GMAT score, I improved 80 challenging points and passed 9/10 of the people who previously had a better GMAT score than I did.

I highly recommend Shawn's knowledge, teaching ability, and overall commitment to his students success.  If you want to be accepted to a top MBA program, study the GMAT with Shawn and perform at your highest level on the GMAT-CAT.

San Francisco
Columbia MBA
  Let me tell you how close I was to being rejected by my dream school, Columbia.

For three years, my primary professional goal was to be a member of Columbia's MBA class.  In almost all respects, I was doing the right things.  I'd landed a high profile job, I was impressing people at work, and I was gathering proof of my accomplishments for use in my essays, interview, and recommenders references.  I saw Columbia as my ticket to both New York and a Top 5 MBA program.

So, of course, here's the problem: the GMAT-CAT.  I'd studied for over 10 weeks with Kaplan with no increase in my score I was stuck at 600 (70th percentile).  I'd invested $5,000 $1,000 in direct costs (Kaplan tuition) and $4,000 in indirect costs (the value of my time) with nothing to show for it.  Worse, I was about to be denied by Columbia.  Fortunately, I'd done such an excellent job with the rest of my application that I wasn't denied but waitlisted with the requirement that I exceed 650 on the GMAT in the next four weeks.

So I looked for real GMAT expertise and I found Shawn on Craigslist.  I read Shawn's website, where Shawn convinced me that it's not how much you pay for GMAT preparation that matters, it's the results you get that matter.  The MBA admission stakes at Top 5 schools are so high that an extra 50 points could be worth 50 times what Shawn charges.  This was true for me with Columbia.  So I called Shawn, ready to get started, but he told me right away that he had a waitlist.  But I knew Shawn's rejection would soon be Columbia's rejection.  So I told him I was on Columbia's waitlist and because I only had 4 weeks, I couldn't wait.  I even offered to pay extra.  Shawn rejected that, but he agreed to meet me later that day, at which time he decided to teach me.  Shawn wanted to see me go to Columbia.

So how does Shawn teach?  When you come across something new, Shawn will patiently teach it to you.  But as Shawn says, Knowledge alone is worthless."  So Shawn makes sure that you can apply this knowledge to often-deceptive GMAT problems.  Shawn's solution methods are very efficient and flexible.  Over your classes, Shawn cultivates your ability to apply his efficient methods in a variety of circumstances because he knows that on test day, no matter how well prepared you are, you'll see material that is unique from anything you've seen yet.

During my 3 ½ weeks studying with Shawn, I studied so much because I knew what Shawn was teaching me was working.  I needed this momentum to put in so much effort because I was as sick as a dog the whole time.  Still, I improved my Quantitative scaled score from 37 (52nd percentile) to 47 (82nd percentile).  I went from missing 14 Quant questions to missing 4.  And it deserves to be said, I underperformed 20-40 points on my Verbal (at the end of the 3.5 hour test) because I was exhausted.  In addition to working too much, I'd gone through 4 of Shawn's Test-Perfect-Review cycles (~40 hours of studying) in the 5 days immediately before my GMAT.  Still, I went in there and earned 660 (87th percentile) on the only chance I had to take the test with Shawn's assistance.  But my exhaustion didn't last long.  Euphoria came when I was accepted off of Columbias waitlist the very next day.  I called Shawn to tell him the good news and he was thrilled for me.  He really did care that I got into Columbia.

I remember that Shawn said I was his third female client in a year to be accepted off a Top 10 schools waitlist with the same scenario exceed 650 and get in the very next day.  So I'm not the only one.

Thank you, Shawn, for all your help and for fitting me into your schedule!

Washington D.C.
  From 610 to 710 in less than 4 weeks!  Mission Impossible?  Not if you push yourself and study with Shawn Berry.

As a graduate of a highly-ranked undergraduate program, I have always done well in school and on standardized tests.  When I decided to pursue a Top 10 MBA, I figured that the GMAT would be just like the SAT.  So I studied on my own and took the GMAT.  Unsatisfied with my score, I took a Princeton Review course.  Six weeks of hard work (more than 100 hours of my time) and 1,200 dollars later, my score was exactly the same!  Needless to say, I felt lousy.

It was by chance that, a few weeks later, I saw Shawn's website while I was searching for GMAT materials.  After reviewing Shawn's website, I immediately called him.  I needed to figure out if it would be worth it for me to take 4 weeks of vacation from work and travel from Washington DC to the San Francisco Bay Area to study with Shawn.  After two lengthy phone conversations, I was sure that Shawn is for real.  A week later, I flew out to California to start my GMAT journey.

First, Shawn is more than just the best GMAT teacher that money can buy.  The learning environment that Shawn creates for you is comprehensive -- designed to catch your every GMAT weakness and enable Shawn to help you fix it.  For any question type that you struggle with, Shawn helps you gain his expert vantage point on how to answer all GMAT questions of that type.  He does this by teaching you one efficient solution method that works for all questions of that type.  Then, Shawn makes sure that you can correctly perform this solution method over and over again.  His goal is to make you self-sufficient.

Second, Shawn helps you become self-aware -- enabling you to identify your careless errors so that you stop making them.  Also, Shawn focuses on problems that you got right but took too long to solve.  Shawn can help you cut in half the time it takes you to solve moderate-difficulty questions, thereby giving you so much more time to answer hard questions correctly.  And on the GMAT, if you answer a lot of hard questions correctly, you get a high score.

Third, although your classes involve a lot of teaching and correcting, Shawn helps you in a friendly way.  Working with Shawn feels more like working with a coach than with a teacher.  Also, Shawn takes a personal interest in you and your results. Overall, Shawn is a constant source of encouragement.

In less than 4 weeks, Shawn helped me improve 100 points, from 74th percentile to 95th percentile.  I feel an indelible joy when I think of my 710 score.  After having studied with Shawn, I cant imagine someone choosing to go to Princeton Review.  If you go to Princeton Review, you are probably giving away 100 additional GMAT points that you could have improved if you had studied with Shawn instead.

In my final analysis, several months after studying with Shawn, I am even more bullish on the very high value that Shawn Berry delivers his clients.  I'm living proof.  Last year, I was waitlisted and ultimately denied by Darden.  This year, with my much improved GMAT score, I was not only accepted to Darden, but I was also accepted to Wharton.  Thank you again, Shawn.

San Francisco
  I studied the GMAT with Shawn last Fall.  I started with a GMAT score of 600, 70th percentile, and finished with a 690, 91st percentile.  I missed going half my distance to 800 by one (darn) question.  Still, in improving 90 points, I passed 7/10 of the people who previously had a better GMAT score than I did.

Going half your distance to 800 is a worthy goal because you need to cut your wrong answers in half despite taking a much more difficult test.  I found this out first-hand.  In earning my 690, I encountered a 140-line Reading Comprehension passage.  While previously earning a 600, I had no passage anywhere near that length or anywhere near that time consuming.  Still, on this much harder test, I effectively cut my errors in half.

Shawn says that I probably had a perfect Verbal section in progress to warrant that long of a passage.  And I know one major reason why I was able to do so well on the Verbal: Shawn taught me Sentence Correction so that I could just look at a sentence, analyze it, and get it right in one minute.  Literally, I went from fearing Sentence Correction to jamming on Sentence Correction.

Excelling on Sentence Correction, which is the most common type of Verbal question, gives you much needed time and confidence because you may need to tackle some ridiculously long (Reading Comprehension) or ridiculously complex (Critical Reasoning) material.  I know from having looked at what other GMAT prep companies offer that Shawn offers truly unique and valuable Verbal instruction.

The Quantitative side can get just as complex as the Verbal.  Here, Shawn will help you move quickly and correctly through more routine material so that you can get ahead on pace for the more difficult material.  In particular, Shawn taught me how to answer Rate*Time=Distance questions, the most common type of Quant questions, with much better results and in half the time that I was previously taking to answer such questions.  Similar to the Verbal section, Shawn offers unique and valuable Quantitative instruction.

Finally, a unique point of advice that I can offer (that neither Shawn nor I knew of before I went through it) is that you may need to reschedule a GMAT-CAT test because the computer keeps freezing up on you.  The problem is that the timer keeps going down despite the computer not serving you any new material.  If I'd really had two opportunities to take the GMAT-CAT after I'd learned everything, I may well have earned my 700.

In sum, I recommend Shawn Berry and his GMAT service.  I would recommend it to a friend and I recommend it to you.

  My name is Yujie.  I am from China, but I have lived in the United States now for 6 years.  I have worked in real estate for a number of years in a variety of capacities and now I want to attend a highly ranked U.S. MBA program.  After business school, I want to have the business know-how to finance, build, and operate a resort near my hometown in China.  This is a very good opportunity for me to meld many of my interests together and an attractive business opportunity.  To succeed, I know that I need to improve my business abilities, particularly in general management and marketing.

Because I want to go to one of the best MBA programs, I wanted the best assistance with everything related to my MBA applications.  I knew that if I could get help from the best and perform my best, then I could transcend from an average applicant who would be denied to an impressive applicant who would be accepted.

The first thing that I wanted to improve at was the GMAT.  I knew that top schools average 700, but I started with a 530 and I knew I needed as much improvement as possible.  When I first heard about Shawn Berry through his Palo Alto Daily News advertisement, I told my boyfriend Jim and we read his website together.  Then we called Shawn and met him the next day.

Although I had high expectations, I never expected to meet someone as well qualified as Shawn to prepare me for the GMAT.  I say this because Shawn not only knows the material so thoroughly, but he communicates what he knows so well and he is so patient and considerate.  I sometimes struggle with English as my 2nd language and I feel that people, especially smart people, sometimes want to hurry me along.  But I am proud to say that Shawn, who is an incredibly smart person, never ever hurried me.  Shawn was always very helpful with my GMAT weaknesses and I always knew that Shawn would provide me the help I needed.  This communication and trust that I have in Shawn was crucial to my learning the GMAT from him.

One specific way Shawn helped me improve on the GMAT is that Shawn knows everything about this test that I needed to know and Shawn taught me what I needed to know Numbers Properties, Probability, Grammar, Evidence-Reasoning-Conclusion, how to summarize RC passages, etc.  Shawn helped me improve from below average to above average on the Verbal and from good to great on the Quantitative.

Another way Shawn helped me improve on the GMAT is that Shawn is very disciplined and he helped me become more disciplined while taking GMAT tests.  To perform well, I didnt just need knowledge, I needed to be disciplined to apply and execute the relevant knowledge in 2 minutes or less.  Shawn taught me GMAT discipline so that I could make the most of the knowledge base that he had taught me and helped me build.

With my knowledge and discipline, Shawn helped me relax and perform.  I knew I was well prepared and I looked forward to taking the GMAT-CAT and proving it.  By studying with Shawn, I improved my GMAT score by 130 points from 530 to 660, half my distance to 800.  We accomplished our goal, to exceed 650, and I know Shawn was instrumental.

Lastly, Shawn is an entrepreneur who cares.  I hope that you are lucky enough to have him prepare you for the GMAT.  I most enthusiastically recommend Shawn Berry.

Palo Alto
  The GMAT was a vexing problem for me.  I had enrolled in Princeton Review's one-on-one tutoring service ($2,000) and found it to be immensely disappointing.  I started with a 630 and ended with a 630.  Ultimately, it did not matter what I paid for that service - $2,000 or $10,000 - it simply was not worth it.  I think about GMAT preparation as such: if it helps you get a choice score that will ultimately get you into a top MBA program, virtually any tuition fee will deliver a huge return on investment.  But if a GMAT service fails to deliver the results you need, then no amount of discounting will make that investment worthwhile.  Princeton Review yielded $0 (benefit) / $2,000 (cost) = 0% return on investment.  If you have any trouble with this equation, ask Shawn to explain it to you in further detail.  He'll even write it down on a note card for you!

I had heard of Shawn's service two years ago but I was skeptical that it could actually help me.  But after the Princeton Review debacle, I needed to do something productive.  When I finally arranged to meet Shawn at a local coffee shop for my initial consultation, he was poised and confident.  He made the relatively bold claim that he could help me go half my distance to an 800 (that I could score 710 or 720).  Feeling defeated, I decided to give it one last go at the GMAT and place my trust in Shawn.

Throughout my classes with Shawn, I became cautiously optimistic.  I soon discovered that Shawn was in fact a true GMAT expert.  We must have reviewed over 1,000 GMAT problems during our five week course.  Never once did Shawn hesitate to not only help me figure out the right solution, but he always had a consistent and efficient solution.  He helped me capitalize on my areas of strength and bolster my areas of weakness.  As it is for many sub-700 GMAT test takers, timing was a crucial problem I needed to address.  Shawn helped me stay on pace and develop a test strategy that would ultimately help me correctly answer as many questions as possible and thereby maximize my score.

The night before my exam I again fell into despair.  Strangely I had made the GMAT out to be something more than it actually is - an ill-fated destiny.  I actually believed that despite having undergone extensive training from the foremost GMAT expert, I was ultimately doomed to a sub-700 score.

Shawn coached me through my insecurities and convinced me that I was ready for this exam.  "Eugene, at this point I know more about your ability to score well on this exam than ETS does. You are going to do great!", he reassured me.

I am happy to report that I improved slightly over half my distance to an 800 and scored a 720 (96th percentile overall, including 90th percentile on the Quant and 91st percentile on the Verbal).  Now I have a shot at making my business school dream a reality.  If I gain admission to a top MBA program, I figure the yield on Shawns GMAT Service will be $1,000,000+ (benefit) / $10,000 (cost) = 10,000+% return on investment.  Put that on a card.  Just as importantly, Shawn helped me face an obstacle that had become a deep-rooted insecurity, a process that all great business leaders must inevitably face.

My parting advice to any prospective client is to choose your mentors wisely.  It will make all the difference.  Despite my false start, I finally made the right choice when I chose Shawn.  Thats the beauty of life.  You can make mistakes and still come out on top.

Palo Alto
  First, please take it from me that you can't study the GMAT for too long or you'll suffer GMAT burn out.  For this reason, I recommend that you prepare for the GMAT in the most efficient way possible, with the best assistance possible, and be done studying the GMAT within 2 months, 3 months maximum.  After more than 3 months, you'll lack your original enthusiasm and this alone jeopardizes your score improvement.

I give this advice because my GMAT preparation took 3 ½ months.  I had to go through a formal ETS process to secure extra time for a learning disability.  Because this took so long, I had to stretch my classes with Shawn out to 3 months, meeting just once a week.  Stretching my classes out this far wasn't optimal, but it wasn't up to us, it was up to ETS.  Obviously, it's easier to remember something from 6 weeks ago than from 12 weeks ago.

For me, the best assistance possible was learning 1-1 from a true GMAT expert.  I briefly considered other GMAT services, but when I found out about Shawn Berry, I knew I'd found my GMAT teacher.  Shawn was much more convincing than the competition.  The only thing that the competition beat Shawn on was price, but I knew that even $10,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to what a high-powered MBA can help me achieve.

I wanted to do my best on the GMAT-CAT.  I wanted to go half my distance to 800 so that I stood my best chance of admission at a highly ranked MBA program.  I'm entrepreneurial and I need an excellent MBA education to help prepare me to run my future businesses.  To me, what MBA program I go to is a very high stakes situation.

I really liked that Shawn's Test-Perfect-Review program had me jump right in and take GMAT tests right away.  I liked seeing what GMAT content and conditions were like right from the beginning, Class 1, and getting Shawn's instruction on how to answer real GMAT questions in 1 minute.  Shawn helped me reinforce what he taught me by having me answer 1,500 real GMAT questions, all under appropriate GMAT time conditions.  For each question, Shawn taught me a very particular way to answer the question effectively and efficiently.  On the Quant, for instance, Shawn taught me how to reduce my solutions from 8 equations to 4 equations without losing any clarity.  On the Verbal, for instance, Shawn had me diagram 400 sentences and those grammar methods really helped me on Sentence Correction and throughout the Verbal.  I remember, while taking the GMAT-CAT, I could hear Shawn's voice, "Does that pronoun have a referent?"

One more aspect I liked was working on the whiteboard with Shawn, putting myself in the role of the teacher, which helped me gain a greater self-awareness as I moved through a problem.  This helped me grow as a test taker and reduce my careless errors.

While working with Shawn, I improved my GMAT score by 130 points, from 550 (54th percentile) to 680 (90th percentile) half my distance to 800.  One more thing, because my family likes to discuss intellectual matters, including grammar, I was able to impress my father by describing a that-clause.  That was pretty special.  Also, being done with the GMAT after taking it only once feels great.  I'm glad I chose Shawn to teach me the GMAT and I recommend his service to people who seek to do their best.

Palo Alto
Cornell MBA
  I've traditionally struggled with standardized tests even though my background is one of demonstrated academic and professional excellence.  But you have to take the GMAT.  First I went to Kaplan.  I took Kaplan classes and didn't get a competitive score.  Then I studied some more with Kaplan and I got the same score again!  Frankly, Kaplan's methods only scratched the surface and didn't provide me with the complete tool-kit that I needed to earn a competitive score.

Not seeing any improvement, I was concerned that I would continue to struggle with the GMAT.  Then I saw Shawn's advertisement 'World's Foremost GMAT Expert'.  Yeah, right.  Now I'm a skeptic about anybody saying that they're the best at anything.  But Shawn proved me wrong.  His expertise on the GMAT is unmatched. He knows the GMAT inside-out.  But not only that, he can teach it to you.  Shawn customizes your classes to your developmental needs.  His disciplined approach will help you get the GMAT score that you need.  In only 4 weeks (an important deadline loomed), I improved my GMAT score 70 points (from 64th percentile to 85th percentile).  Those 70 points got me accepted off Cornell's waitlist in less than 24 hours.  Shawn's GMAT service is the real deal.
    Additional references coming soon!