Review of Maximum Education’s free intensive math preparation course for the General State Examination

It wasn’t an easy walk.
I sat through all my spring break reviews of Maximum Education, Examer, and Homework, got a stomach ulcer and a nervous breakdown, turned gray and gray, and my life will apparently never be the same again.
But before I throw my reader into this whirlpool of passion, let me write a few lines about how, in my opinion, should look like a normal (not perfect, at all!), service to prepare for the exams for the USE and USE.
My opinion is based on sound reasoning, on my year-long experience with YaClass services

and Sirius.Online,

and getting to know all the major players on the educational services market (I am giving the list in this article, and I did not include 15 online schools with which I am currently in correspondence for my Chemistry Olympiad preparation project).
So, what is normal service like?

If when you enter the service, you are greeted by a popup that says something like «Click on the keys for a step-by-step review of how our service works. Step 1 of 172»-run, run, get lost, reel them in!
There’s a problem with the service, and you don’t need to waste your time on it.
All buttons must be signed. If the button uses any icon, it should be common, and it should help the user (the icon HOUSE on the button to go to the first screen, as an example), and not interfere.
But, ideally, no idiot icons are needed.
All of the materials needed in the lesson that you are going through now, should be available on the first screen, not hidden under the hood, no additional clicking on the buttons should not be.
It is great if on the first screen you can see everything you need to do in today’s lesson, and it is amazing if you do not need to use glasses or a microscope.
Yes, it’s great if the first time you go to the course page, you are shown a screen with the rules of the service.
ONE screen, as clear as possible, where there are a few key rules, like:
1. The course is designed for three months.
2. The course consists of 30 sessions (three per week) and 2 sessions with tests — intermediate after 15 sessions and final after 30 sessions.
3. The first lesson is an introductory one, a review of previous classes.
It includes a video (2 hours) , 12 theories, and 180 problems.
This assignment is not required, but we highly recommend it.
We worked hard to create it, and it’s really, really helpful.
4. The rest of the class contains 3 to 5 pages of theory, and many (but not all) of the theory material is accompanied by a video (average length of 6 minutes).
For each theoretical material we suggest solving from 7 to 15 assignments.
If a live seminar is offered for the class — we recommend you to attend it, we have excellent lecturers. But do not worry, if because of your busy schedule you can not attend the seminar — they will all be available in recordings until the end of the course.
But please, do not delay in watching it!
5. We think that some classes might be difficult. If this is the case, we recommend that you do not sit over the problem for more than 5 minutes, but rather watch the solution and try to work it out from there. Don’t be afraid, you can practice solving this and similar problems later.
P.S. Even when you solve the problem correctly, be sure to look at the solution and figure it out. Spend as much time as necessary — we won’t rush you. Even one piece of your own workaround, even if it’s based on our example — it’s worth a lot.
6. If you don’t solve the problem, don’t get upset. «The road of a thousand miles begins with the first step. You’re already doing great math in our course!
On the side menu, you’ll find a button called «Working off mistakes.»
Click on it.
On the screen you will see all the problems you could not solve the first time.
The exercises are grouped by class.
Next to each unsolved problem there is a link to the necessary theory, we recommend that you read it. This theory is somewhat more detailed than the one in the main textbook. After that, see how the problem you failed on your first attempt was solved.
Next you will see three to seven similar problems, and by solving them you will remember the correct algorithms.
We recommend that you solve all of them, but in any case at least three.
7. If you have any questions you can ask your tutor in the chat. The chat saves all your questions and the answers you get. Average time of answer is 8 hours, but we will try to answer faster.
Thank you for being with us.
Let’s begin!

And of course this screen should have a bold, visible cross to close it in the upper right corner.
(By the way, I allow authors of services to use this text and structure. Link to my site is required)
2. it’s not pushing or forcing.
No linking to outside services.
No need to pressure the engaged person by sending them ten links to secret chats «where we share the hot news, connect soon, you already missed 7291 posts!»
Chat should be built in. It’s not up for discussion.
Support should be sane. (Want to know about insane support? Ask me — I’ve got MORE stories!).
If support, instead of an answer to your questions, tells you — «You’ll get the answers when you register in our VK group» — well, what can I say….

I’m going to digress a little here. I must say that I do not use Instagram, Facebook and other distractions — I do not have time.
Here is, for example, my kanban board for the Medicine Project (I am using Basecamp):

I have 130 unprocessed responses from Universities. On average, the processing of 1 response, that is, the creation of an article on the site — takes 20 minutes. Only in this table (and there are three), and only on this project (and there are three) — work for 35 hours. A full working week of an adult. And in fact, since this project is a hobby, it is a month and a half or two months of work .
What the hell, VK groups with secrets!!!

3. The service is handled by GOOD TEACHERS.
When you come to apply for a job, show me your diploma and certificate! You’re an «A» student? Go home and babysit the kids.
Mathematician? Winner of the school Olympics?! SECURITY GUARDS, TAKE HIM OUT!
No honors students. No Winners of anything and everything.
If I don’t understand how to solve an example, the guidance counselor should understand exactly what I don’t understand, and explain in as simple a language as possible so that I understand.
If my question about solving a system of equations in 9th grade is answered with examples from Demidovich’s math analysis textbook for MSU, well, these people clearly do not occupy their place.
Excellent and Winners — that is, people who have been shaped by nature for these specific subjects, people who are given everything easily — should not work in such services, at least in support.
I want a man who himself did not understand a damn thing all the time while he studied at school, and understood (with difficulty, through tears and pain from the belt Head of Department) only in college, and preferably in — teacher training.
I agree to the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. And for more I do not agree.

Here are the basic ELEMENTARY rules, which must meet the normal service preparation for the GCSE and USE.
Is that too much to ask? Well, of course not!
Do the services I’ve reviewed meet these elementary rules?
Yes (I’m very kind to praise today, because I’m done reviewing, and I haven’t gone crazy).
But not all, not always, and not in everything.

I’ll finally get to the main topic of this post.
I found out about Maximum Education’s FREE three-month course on March 18.
The program itself, which is called Maximum Future, started on March 13.
You can find a description of the program here. The website itself does not have this link right now.
If I understand correctly (and there is no explanation on the site), the program consists of two modules, and for the first module, which, judging by the diary, consists of 9 classes — no more entries.
The 9th session will take place on 04.04.2023, so I recommend to check the site periodically at the link above and try to register.
I tried to register yesterday (24.03.2023, but instead of showing me a message that registration is suspended, come back later- I was shown a message that the email was not sent. Incorrect, uninformative messages are a feature of Maximum Education that you have to get used to.
After registering, I received an email that said I had 3 days to take subject tests and a motivational test, and after that, if I successfully passed the tests, again within 3 days, I would be given access to the course.
There are 2 courses in total for 9th grade Russian and Math, and it is recommended that you take both, but if you pass, you only get access to the 1st course, the one you registered for earlier.

I took both of these tests,

and the next day I was given access to the math course (earlier than the stated deadline of three days, which is nice)

At this point I must say that the diagnosis of motivation is a very strange thing.
In fact, all the questions look like:
Monday after school you came home. You:
1. Fall asleep until 3 am, and then go drink beer with his father, because tomorrow on TV soccer and school you can skip.
2. You’ll stay up all night working on your homework.

or .
The teacher praises you in class. You:
1. Come home and spend the whole weekend killing goblins in StarCraft.
2. Study even harder.

The system assesses whether you gave the right answers or not, and gives you a grade for it.
It is clear that the owners of Maximum do not want to waste time on people who will not pass the course, get used to it, and will not become paying customers in the future, and yet the evaluation of such diagnostics, in my opinion — this is too much.
On the motivational math test, I answered randomly-and still passed.

On the Russian test, I answered the way the test takers expected me to.

Personal Cabinet Maximum in my opinion overloaded with information (useless), and the font, which are written tasks of classes-very small.
On the main screen a quarter of the height of the screen occupies a plate on which you yourself have to write motivational appeals, (and her, of course, must be removed) and next to it is written-who leads your lessons. And first I had it was one person — Elizabeth, which I immediately after the test set the question-what to expect from the service on (no answer so far) and then came the inscription that my instructor, Anton, and I can ask him questions as a module, that is not leaving the lesson), and in his group in VK.
The system has a chat, and because no information on the rules of training in a private office, I asked a few questions in support through it.
But it turned out that the questions written in this chat is not saved when it is closed (and this is just unexplainable) — so I have not received answers.
On 23.03.2023 I asked the same questions about the program to Anton. No answers, of course.

On March 21, another curator wrote to me in Telegram, who began to poke me, as if we were old friends (and I do not understand why a stranger can not be called «you»), and call me in three groups, where I can get the answers I need:
Egor, hi! It’s good to see you in Maximum ISI math course! Congratulations, you succeeded in entrance exams)
My name is Natalya, I will be your tutor.
You can ask me absolutely any questions, both organizational and questions about the subject
Ready to take OGE on easy?) Then it’s up to you:
Add to me VK, I will tell you what you need to do before class)
Join a secret VK group. You don’t want to miss anything, do you?)
We also have a conversation VK, there we will share the news and socialize
Natalya Kavkaeva
Maximum Education

I have VK, and although I don’t use it, I came to see what links the next curator sent me.
The first group was dead, the second had news of a week ago, such as how to connect to a personal account Maximum your VK, in the third was not necessary to me spam.
On the second day in correspondence in Telegram I asked for information on the work with a personal account (the same questions that I asked Anton), and Natalia said, first log in to the group VK, and then we will send you information.
I wrote to Natalia that I now in Telegram, she wrote in Telegram, why not just send you information on the studies. For example — if I do not pass the interim test — will access to the course be closed?
To which I took offense, and quietly threw me a link from our correspondence above — first I have to register in VK, then I need info.
I chose not to communicate with Natalia anymore.
That would be FINALLY to deal with support, I 23.03.2023 wrote the same questions in the official group Maximum in VK.
The answer, understandably, is absent.
In general for the support of Maximum I put a great and brilliant zero — at the moment it is the Worst support, that I have seen in my life.
Well, whatever.
Let’s move on to the course and a little bit of personal account.
The course begins with an introductory lesson.
And this lesson is not easy to find — I went to the course a few days after it began, and by this time, those courses that trainees should already have been hidden.
See the almost inconspicuous line on the scan below to show previous classes (2)?
The lesson of the first class is there, hidden in the drop down box. And the second one, too.

There’s another way to get to the courses you haven’t completed or missed — the Close Practical Debts link.
And the developers are grateful for this.
The first lesson is really huge, with 38 sections of theory alone, more than 170 problems, and a test (should I do it or not?),

and I don’t think many people went through it and watched the 2-hour introductory video.

In VK of Anton’s teacher it says that the first lesson can be skipped.
He also has written about deadlines, when and by what date you need to pass this or that lesson — but it seems to me that no one is watching this.
I certainly asked about the deadline and access — but, as I wrote above — for three days, support has not found time to answer me.
When passing the theory in a private office, suddenly it turns out that some of the information from the class is permanently hidden, and this — inexplicably.
For example, this is what you see when you go through the topic Triangles 4:

But in fact there is more theory here — it’s just hidden:

Don’t ask me what the point is, I don’t know. There’s plenty of room on the left, and a dozen more items could easily fit in there.
I also have to say that in the course, quite often the drawings were missing, which is, of course, very annoying.

I was taking several courses on different platforms at the same time, so maybe the problem was with my internet and not with the Maximum Edition service.
On the other hand, none of the other courses I’ve taken have had this problem.
The question to the programmers of the service, and the technology they use.
And I also note that I personally do not like the clock that counts down the time of the lesson.
They are needed when you pass the final test, to get as close to the conditions of the exam.
In normal learning mode, when the whole point is to figure out how to solve equations and inequalities, the clock is absolutely unnecessary and distracting.
A small complaint I have with the service processing errors.
If you solve a problem incorrectly, you are supposed to solve 1 problem of the same type, and often this is the same problem you didn’t solve.

For example, YaClass offers any number of similar problems, and it is usually two or three of the same problems first (with the same drawing, for example), but with slightly changed parameters, and then several similar problems (with different drawings, but the same dimensions), and then several dissimilar problems. And the YaClass approach, of course, is much cooler.
And finally, as for the most important content of the course.
Based on the results of three lessons, I would say that the course itself is quite good.
Theoretical sufficient-enough, tasks-diversified.
Several tasks I really liked, such as solving triangles through X (X) I have not encountered (perhaps, so far) in other courses (and at school, perhaps, overslept)

As always, I got a reminder to pay attention to both the drawing and the dimensionalities in the drawings

And learned a few new tricks

And separately, I have to mention Lecter.
Although he abuses diminutive suffixes, and after hearing about the bisection in the triangle for the three hundredth time, my ears twisted into tubes, the lecturer is unequivocally wonderful.
He knows the subject, he loves the subject, and the words come out of his mouth like a machine.
I would equate an hour and a half of his lecture to three or four classes at school in terms of volume of information.
The only problem is that, as always in live broadcasts, there is a lot of fuss in the frame — the lecturer is constantly asking questions, waiting for the listeners to type an answer, praising for the right ones, scolding a little for the wrong ones, and in general it distracts me quite a lot. It’s much easier for me when the lecturer stands at the blackboard, and leads the lessons according to a pre-designed program, without distracting myself with nonsense. This is how courses are made, for example, in Internet-lesson, and almost all independent studios on YouTube. And, of course, at Khan Academy.
To summarize, Maximum Education’s free intensive math preparation course has a great lecturer, good content, enough assignments, a small number of tasks to work on mistakes, and the worst customer service on Planet Earth.
I recommend this course to those students who are capable of independent study, who do not need the endless distractions of VK groups and support, and who are not shy about analyzing the solutions given by the authors of the tasks, and are able to extract knowledge from them.
However, of the three courses reviewed, the Examer course is the best.
Almost all of the shortcomings I write about in this article are absent from Examer’s OGE course.

BONUS. There is a good textbook on school subjects on the site of Maximum Education,
(as usual for Maximum with incomprehensible logic — if you watch the Math lesson of 8th grade and switch to 9th, you open conditional Chemistry 9 — because in the next window of subject selection Chemistry is first in the list)

Still, it’s a textbook two heads better than, for example, Foxford’s (although Foxford’s courses in general are just fine).

P.S. A small but important addition.
In the evening of 28.03.2023 I received an email warning about the possible exclusion from the course to prepare for the exam OGE.

It was the second letter from the service — in the first one, a week earlier, I was congratulated on my enrollment.
I went to the group VK, to find more information, and realized that for many in the group news about the possible expulsion was also like a thunderbolt from out of the blue.

I decided to finally understand the rules of the service, and after an hour I found on the site, in the very depths, the Rules of the contest «MAXIMUM Future Grant Program» (the ones that I unsuccessfully asked for from the numerous supporters).
The Rules stated:
4.6. Online course programs consist of three modules, viz:
4.7. The first module takes place from 03/13/2023 to 04/02/2023.
4.7.1 You can join the first module until 22.03.2023.
4.7.2 To proceed to the second module it is necessary:
4.7.3. complete at least sixty (60%) % of the homework assignments assigned in classes;
4.7.4. attend at least eighty (80) % of the classes online or watch a recording.
4.8 The second module takes place from 03.04.2023 to 30.04.2023.
4.8.1 The second module is available for:
4.8.2 Winners who have fulfilled the conditions of par. 4.7.2. of these Rules;
4.8.3 Winners who have received the Prize between 03.04.2023 and 16.04.2023.
4.8.4 To proceed to the third module it is necessary:
4.8.5. complete at least sixty (60) % of the homework assignments that are assigned in class;
4.8.6. attend at least eighty (80) % of the classes online or watch a recording.
4.9 The third module is held from 01.05.2023 to 21.05.2023.
4.9.1 The third module is available to:
4.9.2 Winners who have fulfilled the conditions of par. 4.8.4 of these Rules;
4.9.3 Winners who have received the Prize between 01.05.2023 and 10.05.2023.
4.10. in case of failure to fulfill the conditions specified in par. 4.7.2.,
4.8.4. the Winner is not granted access to the next module.

Unfortunately, I have no time for this course, but I decided at the end to watch the video for the lessons, as I wrote above, the lecturer is very good.
But either because everyone rushed to watch the video, or because of the usual problems with my Internet (and site) — videos do not load.
I tried to open them several times, reloaded pages, moved the slider in the frozen video — all in vain.
However, in the morning in my personal cabinet I had a surprise.
Although I did not watch the videos-I was credited points for watching them, 60 points for each of the two.
This, of course, is not a feature, but a bug.

These extra points did not affect me in any way, and I would have continued to use this service, but I finished writing an article about the service from Examer, and it was much better and clearer for me. The link to a review of the best of the three services is below.

Review of the free multidisciplinary course self-study for the General State Exam from Examer→