I visited accepted.com several times before committing to a package. The price was steep for me, but in the end I told myself that it would be an investment if I were accepted into one of my top schools. From the very start, Philippe was very kind, encouraging, and honest. It was amazing how he was able to help me organize my thoughts and written notes into a comprehensible Statement of Purpose. With each week, I saw my paper come alive and turn into a statement I was proud to send to top programs in the Nation. Thanks to Philippe and accepted.com, so far I have been accepted into five PhD programs, to include my top choice -- UC Berkeley!! Thank you Philippe!!
I wanted to offer some thoughts on working with Philippe Barr through the whole process. In summary, Philippe helped me with 3/4 of my essays and a quick resume scan. I applied to Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, and MIT Sloan, and was accepted to three, waitlisted at Stanford.
I'd highly recommend Philippe across the board. Stylistically, he was exactly what I was looking for. In email communication and when I had a few follow up questions, he was very kind and personable. But, as I had hoped, his markups of my essays were not "sugar-coated" at all - he provided very direct and honest feedback. For some, this may be uncomfortable, but for me it was exactly what I needed - it helped me trust his comments and really reassess my approach when I needed to. His approach is exactly as mine would be - start with high level themes and then refine specifics/details once the structure feels good. Much more efficient.
Furthermore, in a more nuanced way, Philippe was very low-ego. Often, editors can be very stiff and inflexible - when they give a recommendation they expect it to be taken, and in subsequent versions may have difficulty accepting a rejection of their comment. I never had this problem with Philippe - when I disagreed with his comments, we discussed why, and then moved on to the broader themes of the essay. So, I felt respected as a partner and we always were very efficient.
Lastly, turnaround and response time was incredible.