GMAT Tutor
99th percentile score

Look, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. You want a no nonsense GMAT tutor who can help you define realistic goals and achieve your ultimate objective:


The best GMAT Tutor will cut to the chase

An MBA candidate looking for a gmat tutor reached out to me with the following request:

I will pay you 10,000 € to help me score a 700+ on the gmat in 1 month.

MBA candidate and GMAT prep student

My answer was NO.

He had tried most top gmat prep online courses available, signed up for their tutoring sessions, attended online gmat classes, and used up the credits to consult with their online gmat tutors.

I turned him down and explained why (I am paraphrasing now):

Your foundations in math and reading comprehension are not developed enough to achieve a 700+ GMAT in 1 month. Either pursue another goal or give yourself more time.

After a long conversation he expressed his gratitude and wished he had met three years prior. The funny is that if he indeed had met me 3 years prior he probably would not have taken my advice.

A good gmat tutor will amplify your efforts to achieve your goals, and ALSO

save you time and be honest about your prospects of achieving your target gmat score.

GMAT hacks or tips and tricks don’t work when you take the GMAT

The gmat is a computer-adaptive test – the gmat scoring algorithm assesses your performance as you answer each question and adjusts the difficulty of the problems based on your performance. Because the gmat is timed, you have very little time to answer each question. Unless your verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning skills are very well developed, you will not have the time to execute consistently and solve quantitative and verbal problems at a 700+ level score.

A hack, tip, or trick simply won’t matter. All it can do is give an already strong candidate a little extra edge on the actual test. A significant improvement in a short amount of time is possible with a few gmat tutoring sessions but other criteria are required as I will describe below.

A gmat private tutor is much more than a 760 gmat score on the real gmat

Any serious test prep service hires 99th percentile test takers. But the a great gmat coach is a lot more than that.

The gmat tutor overlapping set. An intersection of:

  1. A master test taker who scored in the 99th percentile.
  2. High empathy – most tutors take high performance for granted. You need a gmat instructor who can appreciate that the ‘obvious’ is not so obvious, and explain seemingly complex ideas in simple terms.
  3. A great motivator. This can be hard and you want someone who can help keep your chin up.

GMAT strengths and weaknesses

Another business school candidate reached out with the following message:

“My GMAT strengths lie in the quantitative section and data sufficiency. I am particularly good at identifying patterns and working with numbers to solve problems. Additionally, I have a strong understanding of basic math fundamentals such as algebra, geometry, and probability. My weaknesses are in the verbal section, primarily reading comprehension and sentence correction. Although I understand the concepts in all sections, I struggle with applying them during timed practice tests. To improve my weaknesses, I have been utilizing official gmat prep tests and studying strategies to help me better comprehend reading material quickly and accurately answer questions about it. Additionally, I have been focusing on strengthening my grammar skills by reviewing verb tenses, conjunctions, adjectives/adverbs and other important aspects of English language.

Nevertheless, I cannot seem to improve my score in a meaningful way. Can you help me?”

This is not uncommon. An expert gmat tutor understands that solving under timed conditions is a different ball game. Most gmat courses fail to account for improving performance under timed conditions. This was the main problem in that student’s gmat preparation: failing to account for improving her work under timed conditions.

After years of experience, I found that this is the hardest thing to improve. You can solve thousands of problems, but if you don’t change how you solve them to fit in, on average, 2 minutes per question, you will not make a meaningful improvement.

A gmat prep diagnosis might surprise you

Gmat score improvements don’t simply happen when you improve your math or English. Because the GMAT is a quantitative and verbal reasoning test, many hidden variables come into play that an online diagnostic is unlikely to identify.

Consider what reasoning means:

The act of reading or consuming a set of information, understanding it, and make inferences based on that information.

What you need for a 700+ gmat score

  1. Mental stamina, focus, and anxiety management

  2. High level verbal comprehension of the English language

  3. An intuition for good grammar

  4. Excellent ability in basics of linear equations, geometric visualisation, and mental maths

  5. Skill in paraphrasing large bodies of text into simple mathematical equations

Any decent gmat tutoring package must include a diagnosis of the above and regular evaluation.

How gmat online tutoring should work

A thorough diagnosis and review of your official scores

This includes an assessment of the above skill set and gmat history, weighed against your gmat goals. I sometimes turn people away because their target gmat score is unrealistic in the time frame they envision. In many cases, they agree that more time is required and we develop a strategy that factors in their career goals, admissions applications, and plan B. You don’t want to be left hanging if your objectives don’t work out.

An overhaul of your thought process

Some ideas cannot be transmitted via self-study gmat online courses available and a gmat prep course that includes one-on-one sessions with an experienced private tutor will be required. One of those ideas is solving more efficiently under timed conditions. Among the vast plethora of resources available, an attentive gmat tutor can pinpoint you to the information you need to do a lot more than you currently can with less effort. Excellent test prep is not about presenting you with a linear path. Instead, it factors in individual learning style and a student’s individual learning needs. 

Regular assessment by your private tutor

This happens in two ways: assessing performance when I work with students during gmat lessons, but ultimately, on official gmat practice exams. A good benchmark is to spend 20 to 30 hours of self-study between practice tests.

How to determine if you are a good candidate for a big score improvement with gmat tutoring.

  1. You have not solved all the gmat problems in the official guide or other formats of gmat test prep.
  2. You have obsessed over gmat math (this is a common error) and neglected working on sentence correction, critical reasoning and reading comprehension.
  3. You have not hired any gmat tutoring services.

Why I became a gmat tutor

About a decade ago I was working on a startup in the transportation industry. Uber moved into Barcelona, Taxi syndicates were hard to work with, and so I decided to work in a domain I knew so well and to which I held all the keys. I’ve always had a knack for standardized tests and officially began my one-on-one gmat tutoring service.

One-on-one private gmat tutoring is more art than science

The gmat is one of the most exciting tests I have ever taken. All standardized tests present a challenge, but the GMAT is a test one takes relatively late in adulthood. Effecting change in oneself, let alone in others, requires a great deal of introspection and the patience to understand someone’s problems and develop a solution that works. It is a lot like therapy. One size does not fit all, and empathy pays a great deal.

The best gmat tutors will hold you accountable

If you want to get into business school or hit that 700 on the gmat, talk to me. I want to help you. The path may not be linear, and we may hit a few road bumps, but if you don’t give up on your goals, I wont.

Get in touch


February 9, 2023

Ayham was an excellent tutor, incredibly supportive throughout and curated a study plan according to my needs not only for a grade but specifically for the business schools I was interested in. Ayham has an incredible bank of resources that he has made which were invaluable for my studies and really helped as it’s often difficult to find reliable material for the GMAT. He is an incredibly kind person and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

June 15, 2022

Regardless your knowledge, bachelor, overall background or time that you need to dedicate to the GMAT, Gmatbuddy led by Ayham is just the perfect and more tailored mentoring programme that you can have in order to stand out and boost your GMAT. In my experience, Ayham has helped me greatly not only to score a better GMAT grade when I was struggling the most but also to learn faster, more efficiently and think differently to face my GMAT and MBA goals in a better way. Ayham is an outstanding professional and person. From a technical perspective he is excellent, he has been mentoring many students all over the world for years and he perfectly knows the best techniques to make sure that you succeed in your goals. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, I believe his greatest asset is his emotional intelligence and empathy towards his students as well as the way of transferring knowledge to others, he understands very well what is your greatest struggle and he tailors the programme to your needs. Additionally, he always gives his best in all his sessions and he is always willing to help more when needed. I recommend Gmatbuddy and Ayham 200%, without them, I would have not made it.

June 1, 2020

I 100% recommend GmatBuddy and Ayham. After 1 year studying a course and on my own, I couldn't reach the level I wanted on the GMAT. Once I started to work with Ayham, he guided me to learn from my mistakes and to focus on my weak areas. He also helped me to develop my skills and to confront the questions with the knoledge I had. He changed my way to approach the exam and made me improve my level. After a tough year, I accomplished to get a 700, and if it weren't for Ayham, I don't think I would have done it.

December 18, 2019

Thank you so much GmatBuddy! Ayham was invaluable in my preparation for GMAT. I had studied really hard for months, but was struggling so much with my anxiety and my head. The problem wasn't that I didn't know the stuff, but that my anxiety would invade my mind while studying. Ayham has great empathy and knows what are the key factors to overcome exam anxiety. He helped me a lot to understand that it's not about the score, but like a tennis match: you just have to focus on each poing, game by game, question by question. With that in mind, I was able to increase 90 points my score, which is what I need to apply to European B Schools. The main difference, is that with so many prep courses to choose from, you don't really know who's actually good or who just wants your money. With Ayham, I felt real support, he was there for me through every question and every concern. Thank you very much Ayham for everything!!

December 6, 2019

I really recommend GMAT Buddy as its impact on your preparation will be invaluable. Have you studied so hard but not improving anymore? That’s where I was but then this great tool came into action. As the most precious secrets, I was told about it by word of mouth (Man, you need to work on marketing!!). Ayham’s job is impressive and unique. Any GMAT prep course is able, with more or less success, to teach you the theory you need for the GMAT but most of the time that is not enough. In order to obtain the results you aim for, the work you need to do is at a much deeper level, in your head! Seems weird to say but it is true. Ayham has great empathy and the priceless ability to understand how your mind reasons and approaches the problems, even just after the introductive session. From there, he will prepare a tailored program in terms of time and preparation level in order to strenghten you weakest points, improve your time management skills, your decision making process but most of all how you tackle the excercises. Moreover, during the sessions and all the time you will be preparing for the test, Ayham will be in close contact in order to keep you motivated and have a clear view of your progression. If this is not enough GMAT Buddy offers in addition to the 1:1 sessions a great platform that will help you to study (or review) the theory you need with interactive courses, slides, videos and specific excercises that will boost your speed on the test. With Ayham’s help I was able to upscale my result from 540 to 680 in less than 5 weeks. To summarize, if you are now approaching the test or you feel stuck with a score that is not enough, trust me, GMAT Buddy is for sure the best resource you can use.

September 20, 2019

Before I met Ayham I took the GMAT once and did not achieve the score I needed to apply to an MBA program. At this time, I knew I needed to look for a GMAT buddy / instructor. A friend of mine recommended that I meet Ayham and give his lessons a try. From the very first day with him, I felt I was improving a lot in both the verbal and quant sections because Ayham teaches you how to efficiently put into practice all the knowledge you have for the test. Ayham makes special emphasis to help you understand what your weaknesses are and how to overcome them, and how to behave in case of crisis. In other words, he teaches you how to do the GMAT properly. He even provided additional tools to practice the verbal section, which in the end, has become one of my strengths on the test. Working with Ayham has been the best decision I’ve made since I’ve been practicing for the test. His motivational talks combined with his absolute mastery of the GMAT were the key to improve my score from 550 to 680 in less than a month.

August 5, 2019

I would strongly recommend GmatBuddy to anyone struggling with GMAT. Ayham was my coach for about 2 months and he not only gave me the necessary tools to improve my score but he also helped me get the motivation and courage to keep trying when I was about to throw in the towel. Without his help I would have not been able to increase my score from 620 to 720, allowing me to get a place and also a scholarship to study in the school I wanted (IESE). The main difference of him compared to other GMAT prep programs is that he is able to identify your strengths so that you can take the most out of them. In my case, I was focusing too much on improving the quant and my score was not improving enough. He suggested me to work on my strength (verbal), of course wile keeping with the quant practice, and thanks to that I ended up getting a 99th percentile in verbal, which increased my overall GMAT by far. To sum up, GmatBuddy is definitely worth it! You you will feel accompanied during the process and you will get the necessary empowerment to master the GMAT!

August 4, 2019

Working with Ayham was a transformational experience. I only enrolled with GmatBuddy for 4 - 6 weeks before I had my GMAT retake and I was at a point where I felt I couldnt make any further improvements but Ayham proved me wrong. I realised a 130 points score increase in the 4 weeks that we worked together. I think the extra personal touch he gives makes all the difference. He does not roll out a one-size-fits-all approach that you would find with other generic programs but tries to understand each candidates weak areas and tailor programs to help address each of them and then he follows up continuously to ensure that the skills learnt are mastered. I struggled a lot with time management and stamina so Ayham taught me how to optimize my time; how to make the best decision on which question to give up and when and how to fight for every question till the very end. His technique of tackling the long verbal passages were very useful and helped me tremendously in increasing my verbal score. The score increase I had was all I needed to get into what I consider the best European MBA program - IESE.

August 2, 2019

I strongly recommend GMATBuddy and I personally felt that the classes I had with Ayham provided huge added value to my GMAT preparation. Through his guidance, I managed to upscale my GMAT result from 690 to 730 (at my first attempt) in just 8 weeks. He also supported me with the essays review during the application processes, that helped me secure a spot in three Top European Business Schools (INSEAD, IESE and IMD). As said above, I would underline 3 key highlights of Ayham's method that really "make a difference": 1) Fully-tailored resolution methods (for real)! While solving math section of GMAT, there is always some problem type that drives you nuts. In my case, even at University, I always struggled to solve permutations/combinations exercises. Ayham proposed me 3 different methods for solving them; one of them was extremely visual and intuitive and definitely helped me in tackling these exercises during GMAT test. 2) Realistic upscale Ayham is extremely meticolous in "upscaling" the preparation and set-up realistic objectives. In my case, we used the first sessions to improve my weak areas and then we moved forward to simulations. In general, he really cares about sthrengthening concepts and methodology at first rather than bumping straightforward to exams simulations (unless time constraints are strictly incompatible with this approach) 3) Psychologic preparation to exam Needless to say, but simulations and real exam are quite different matters. Ayham provided me with effective time management techniques, self-guidance methods for moments in which you literally "get stuck" during the test (it happens way more than I imagined) and several advices for speeding-up resolution of easy questions, in order to tackle the difficult ones. I feel that sessions with him were incredibly better than stremalined in-person/online GMAT courses. Also, I definitely recommend him for bridging the final prepration gaps... The ones that allow a candidate to consistently score 700+ in the test

July 26, 2019

My plan was to get a high or at least good enough GMAT score in order to have a strong application for IESE Business School Full-Time MBA program. I am spanish and with a business background, so due to the fact that the school looks more and more for diversity in all terms I had to make my application outstand a bit to have a chance. Mr. Ayham Shakra helped me increase my GMAT score from 620 to 700 in less than a month. We met in 10 occasions, he helped me understand what areas I needed to work more in, taught me about them and gave me tools and exercises to keep preparing by myself. Not only did he do a great job and very close follow up of my progression, but I would say we also had a good time working together (I hope he could also learn something from me). Ayham Shakra gave me personalized assistance in my preparation, with amazing tips and tricks to help me achieve my objective. Honestly, I did not have my best day at test day because Ayham deserved me to get at least a 730. However, the average at IESE's previous year class had been 680 so that was enough for me to apply. The experience was totally worth it and I did not only achieve the desired objective but also got to know a magnificent proffesional (also ex IESE MBA) and a friend who I keep contact with nowadays, and to whom I believe I owe a lot. In conclusion, Ayham Shakra and the tool he developed, GmatBuddy, are a great way to go. I totally recommend it, very good luck!

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