Articles published in December 2014

mbaMission: The 2016 MBA Class Profile Infographic

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We’ve invited our friends at mbaMission to share their 2016 MBA Class Profile Infographic! Check out their findings below and visit mbamission.com to sign up for a free consultation.

Choosing the right MBA program for your needs can be challenging. How do you identify the best one for your specific personal, educational, and professional goals?

An important element of your business school experience will be your fellow students—the other aspiring MBAs with whom you will be living and studying every day. Using Class of 2016 profile statistics from the top ten U.S. programs (according to U.S. News & World Report 2015), we at mbaMission have created this infographic to help show how the different programs compare. Enjoy!

 

mbaMission 2016 MBA Class Profile Infographic

The newest GMAT Strategy Guides have arrived! (Part II)

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GMAT_ChartThe newest GMAT Strategy Guides have hit the shelves! We’re really excited about these new books, the perfect stocking stuffers to make all of your dreams come true. (Well…your GMAT-related dreams, anyway.)

Yesterday, we talked about the Quant Guides and today I’ve got the Verbal scoop for you. Let’s start with Sentence Correction.

The SC Guide begins with a new strategy chapter that discusses our 4-Step SC Process and lays out drills that you can do to get better at such skills as the First Glance and Finding a Starting Point. We’ve also significantly expanded the Subject-Verb Agreement chapter to include a full treatment of Sentence Structure, an area that has been becoming much more commonly tested on the GMAT.

We’ve added important segments to Modifiers, Parallelism, and Verbs and we’ve woven relevant Meaning topics into every chapter in the book.

Finally, we’ve streamlined the Idioms material. The main chapter contains a strategy for tackling idioms as well as the most commonly tested idioms found on the GMAT. A separate appendix contains the less-commonly-tested idioms. We recommend taking the time to memorize the ones listed in the main chapter, but to use the appendix more as a resource to look up the correct idiom when you struggle with a particular problem. (It’s impossible to memorize every idiom in a language; there are thousands, if not tens of thousands!)

What about RC and CR?

Glad you asked! Our Reading Comprehension Guide was re-written from scratch. We’ve streamlined the process for reading passages and added lessons designed to help you wade through these dense passages and extract the kernels you need to answer questions. We’ve also expanded our lessons for each question type and provided you with end-of-chapter cheat sheets that summarize what to do for each question type and what common traps to avoid. (I’m most excited about this book; students often complain that RC is hard to study, and I’m hoping that this book will change your minds!)

Of all of the books, Critical Reasoning has changed the least, although we did add more information about Fill-In-The-Blank question types. This Guide also provides you with end-of-chapter cheat sheets that summarize how to recognize each type of question, what to look for in the argument, what kind of characteristics the right answer needs to possess, and how to spot the most common trap answers.

What is the best way to use the books?

Here’s how we typically study each topic in class:

Sentence Correction

First, we learn how to use the SC Process and we discuss the main topics being tested (grammar and meaning); these correspond to chapters 1 and 2 of the book. Then, we work through one new chapter a week, starting with Chapter 3 (Sentence Structure). The order of chapters in the book is the same order we use in class.

You can use the same approach mentioned for quant (in the first half of this article): do some end-of-chapter problems first to see what your skills are. If you know that you don’t really know this material, then you can also skip this step. After you’ve finished a chapter, try some of those end-of-chapter problems to ensure that you did actually internalize the concepts that you just learned. Then, if you have the OG books, follow up with some questions from the OG Problem Sets, located in your Manhattan Prep Student Center.

Reading Comprehension

The class contains three RC lessons. First, we learn how to read. Bet you thought you already knew how, didn’t you?

Of course you do know how to read, but the way you read in the real world may not work very well on the GMAT. You’ll learn a new way to deal with the short timeframe we’re given on the test. After that, you’ll learn how to handle General questions, the ones for which you need to wrap your brain around the main ideas of the passage.

Then, you’ll move on to Specific Questions, including Detail, Inference, and Purpose questions. The test writers are asking us to do something a bit different for each one, so you’ll need to learn how to recognize each type in the first place and then how to handle it.

In class, we finish off with a Challenging RC lesson. You can create something similar for yourself by tackling harder and harder OG passages.

Critical Reasoning

Critical Reasoning begins with a thorough treatment of argument building blocks and the 4-Step CR Process. After that, you’ll learn about each question type (do actually use the order presented in the book). Pay attention to what the book says about frequency of each type; some types are much more common than others (and those types should obviously get more of your attention).

For both CR and RC, tear out or photo-copy the cheat sheets and use them to quiz yourself. Alternatively, put the material onto flash cards yourself (the act of rewriting the material will help you to remember it better!) and drill while you’re sitting on the subway or waiting for that meeting to start.

Is that all I need to do?

That will certainly keep you busy for a while. As you get further into your studies, note that you also need to lift yourself to the 2nd Level of GMAT Study. Yes, of course, there are lots of facts, formulas, and rules to memorize, and your brain will be focused on those areas at first. It’s crucial, however, for you to learn the various strategies presented in our Guides, as well as your own decision-making strategies based on your own strengths and weaknesses, and timing strategies.

In short, get ready to make a commitment. Think of studying for the GMAT as a university-level course: you’re going to spend hours every week for about 3 to 4 months to get ready for this test. With a solid plan, you’ll achieve your goals.

Visit our store and be the first to own the full set of our brand new Strategy Guides. Happy studying!

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Studying for the GMAT? Take our free GMAT practice exam or sign up for a free GMAT trial class running all the time near you, or online. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+,LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!

The Newest Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides Have Arrived!

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booksThe newest GMAT Strategy Guides have hit the shelves! We’ve been working all year on updating our materials to give you the best and most up-to-date study materials possible.

What’s so great about the new books?

So many things, I don’t know where to start! Okay, let’s talk about quant first.

Every quant book contains between 1 and 3 entirely new chapters. These chapters are devoted to strategies that will help you solve quant problems more efficiently and more effectively. These strategies are a crucial reason why all of our teachers score in the 99th percentile on the GMAT (I certainly wouldn’t consider taking the test without using them). We’ve always taught them in class and now we’re putting them in our books for the first time.

These strategies include:

Choosing Smart Numbers: you can turn certain algebra problems into arithmetic problems by substituting in your own numbers for the variables. We’re all better at arithmetic than we are at algebra, so you’ll definitely make your life easier (and be able to answer harder questions) by choosing smart numbers.

Testing Cases: On many data sufficiency problems (and even some problem solving problems), you’ll want to test cases in order to determine whether a statement is sufficient (or to eliminate wrong answers on PS). These problems are “theory” problems: the question may ask “Is n odd?” and then provide information that doesn’t allow you to determine a specific value for n, just whether specific characteristics are true of n.

Working Backwards: Sometimes, the problem is pretty annoying to set up and solve but the answers are all “nice” numbers: relatively small integers. In this case, you may be able to work backwards from the answers: pick one and try it in the problem to see whether it’s correct. The beauty of this technique: if you get good at it, on many problems you won’t have to try more than two answers in order to get to the correct one. I tested three answers on the solution in the article linked here, but I only really needed to test the first two; see if you can figure out why.

Estimation: Sometimes, the problem would be really irritating to solve exactly, but the answers are all decently spread apart. When this is the case, you can just estimate to solve! There are also a bunch of strategies for jumping between fractions, decimals, and percents to solve more quickly.

Combos: The GMAT likes to ask us to solve for a combination of variables, such as x + y. Sure, it’s possible that you may have to find x and y individually and then add them up, but it’s actually more likely that you’ll want to solve directly for that combo (x + y), especially on Data Sufficiency. Learn how to do this and also how to avoid DS traps in which the statement is not sufficient to solve for the individual variables but is sufficient to solve for the Combo.

Draw It Out: You can often solve the extra-annoying story problems, such as rates & work, via a “back of the envelope” approach: you sketch out a picture of the scenario and just “step” through it. For instance, you’d draw a timeline and map out exactly where those two trains are after 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours. It’s a little bit shocking how often this kind of strategy will get you all the way down to a single answer.

What is the best way to use the books?

I’ll leave you with a few tips about studying for quant. First, here’s the order that we use in our own classes:

  1. Fractions, Decimals, & Percents
  2. Algebra
  3. Word Problems
  4. Geometry
  5. Number Properties

I actually think Number Properties is a more important topic than Geometry, but geo requires you to memorize a bunch of formulas; that takes some time, so we do it in class first. If you feel okay with that type of memorization, then do the Number Properties book first. (By the way, the Geometry Guide now contains a 1-page sheet with all of the important rules and formulas to memorize! Tear it right out and keep it handy for studying or use it to make flash cards for yourself.)

Next, I’d recommend starting with a few problems from the problem set at the end of the chapter—that’s right, before you even read the chapter! This creates curiosity, which really wakes your brain up and primes it to learn. Don’t do a bunch and don’t do the hardest ones (unless you think you’re really good at that topic). Just do about 2 or 3 problems and then dive into the chapter. (This will also help you to know how much time you’re likely going to want to spend on the chapter; if the problems are really a struggle, you may even want to review the equivalent chapter in our Foundations of Math Guide, if you have that book too.)

When you get to the end of the main chapters of that book, do the OG Mixed Questions Quiz that we’ve devised for you. (Certain longer books also have mid-way quizzes.) You can find these quizzes on our web site, where our Official Guide Problem Set study lists live. You’ll receive access to these problem sets and quizzes, along with other bonus materials, when you register your books on our site.

We moved the OG problem sets online because GMAC is going to start publishing new versions of their Official Guide books every year (in July, we’ve heard), so by moving the problem sets online, we’ve ensured that you’ll always be able to go and get the sets for the specific OG editions that you own.

I also have a ton of updates to share on the Verbal side as well, which are detailed in Part II. Also, a plea: if you get the new books, tell me what you think down in the comments. (Compliments or criticisms—I do want both.)

Visit our store and be the first to own the full set of our brand new Strategy Guides. Happy studying!

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Studying for the GMAT? Take our free GMAT practice exam or sign up for a free GMAT trial class running all the time near you, or online. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+,LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!