I understand that large programs like Kaplan and Manhattan Prep. may offer you the chance to audit a class, i.e. to sit in on one session before committing to the full program. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to offer that option. These days, my classes are usually right at the minimum level of enrollment, so the number of students affects the duration of the whole course. The course is 3 weeks long if only 1 student enrolls, 4 weeks for 2 students, or 6 weeks for 3 or more students. Therefore, I’m afraid I have to know the enrollment numbers before we begin. This policy has made some students nervous about putting down a deposit.
First of all, let me explain why a deposit is necessary. Without it, I may get 5 or 6 students expressing interest in the course. Then maybe only 2 will show up. When that happens, I have to tell the students that the course will only be 4 weeks long, when they had been counting on 6. Collecting deposits before class ensures certainty.
Now, I know that several hundred dollars is a lot to ask, so there are compromise options. I am available for free consultations throughout the week. You also have the option of booking a one hour one-on-one lesson with me first.
You should be advised that I do not refund or make up absences. However, bear in mind that the class is double-loaded. In addition to our class time, you also have a full math course component at home in the form of lecture videos. Those lectures alone would be almost an $800 value for a 1-on-1 student.
Your deposit is generally fully refundable before class begins. If you need to withdraw before Week 4, I even offer a pro-rated refund. The only exception is if exactly 2 or 3 students enroll. In that case, all students will be relying on each other to keep the course at its duration. If exactly 2 or 3 students enroll, then I will contact you immediately after the registration deadline and offer you a 24-hour period to withdraw. You might choose to wait until the next course to see if 3 or 4 people sign up.
There are numerous ways to get a feel for the class before enrolling. See my Yelp reviews (upper right corner of the website) most of which were written by GRE students. You can even ask for contact information for a student who has taken my course. My YouTube channel (also in the upper right) hosts several video lectures I have recorded, most of which are GRE-appropriate.
Finally, here’s the important issue: In all my years teaching GRE classes, I’ve only had one student withdraw because she was dissatisfied with the course — and that was for administrative reasons. She’s the student who complained about the deposit in the first place and inspired me to write this blog post! (Honestly, I never understood why it was such a big deal for her).
If you don’t feel ready to commit to a deposit, then the answer is simple: don’t sign up for the class yet! Book a one-on-one lesson or a free 30-minute consultation so you can get to know me before making that decision.