OWF-Logo-28Today wraps up our “Oh What Fun!” celebration! Manhattan Prep’s first-ever 12-day holiday celebration was a great success and we hope that everyone got the chance to enjoy all of our exclusive promos, contests, and free study materials.

If you’ve missed any of this year’s celebration, not to worry, we still have a few promotions going on. Our Black Friday Sale for $150 off all December GMAT classes ends December 15, 2013, with code “BLACKFRIDAY150.” There are still some spots open in our two December online classes, which you can sign up for here and here. Located in NYC? Come join us in-person for our classes beginning on Dec. 14th and Dec. 15th.

We’re also still offering a free download to our 1-year access GRE Challenge Problem Archive. Remember to enter the code “OWFGRECHALLENGE“ at checkout.

To keep the giving going and the holiday spirit alive, we are very excited to share today’s final celebration! We will be collecting non-perishable food to be donated to New York’s City Harvest now through Dec. 20th. Our goal is to collect a minimum of 200 food items including but not limited to: canned goods, peanut butter, mac-n-cheese, cereal, soups, pastas, etc. We will also be collecting children’s toys to be donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Our goal is to collect a minimum of 50 new/unwrapped toysto be distributed to needy children in NYC. Finally, we are also collecting warm clothing to be donated to New York Cares Coat Drive. Our goal is to collect a minimum of 50 new or gently used coats, sweaters and blankets to be distributed to New Yorkers in need. Donations may be made at 138 West 25th St, 7th Fl. New York, NY 10001. Let’s make this season brighter for our community and those in need.

Lastly, be sure to check our Facebook page tomorrow, where we will officially announce this year’s “Oh What Fun!” winners of the free GMAT course and the $250 Amazon Gift Card.

A big thank you to everyone in our social community who participated in this year’s “Oh What Fun!” festivities! Enjoy the remainder of the holiday season and best of luck with your studies!

Math Beast
Each week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

If x and y are integers such that x < y and xy = 4, which of the following could be the value of 2x + 4y?


To see this week’s answer choices and to submit your pick, visit our Challenge Problem page.

GRE-Be-StrategicThere’s something very alluring about practice tests. They feel productive. They seem like they’re giving you an upper hand on “the real thing”. And there’s always that secret hope that this time you’ll knock it out of the park and you can finally stop studying.

Don’t get me wrong; I love practice tests. I love them as a teacher, because they help me assess my students’ progress. And I love them as a student, because I know where I stand. But more and more, I find myself having to caution students about using practice tests effectively.

Often times, I see students using practice tests in ways that are completely unproductive. Since your time is precious and you ideally want to get the most improvement possible for whatever time you invest, I’d like to give you my two cents on using practice tests effectively.

Take a test before you start studying.

This is one practice test that’s completely efficient and insanely valuable, and yet it’s the one students are most likely to skip. Many students skip the practice test at the beginning of a course or before they start studying. Sometimes, they skip it because they are afraid of what the results will be. Other times, they know the result won’t be good enough for their school of choice, so it seems pointless. I also often hear students say that they don’t want to “waste” one of their practice tests until they have started studying.

I feel comfortable saying that, without exception, these are all bad reasons to skip the first practice test. You have to know where you’re starting so that you can know what’s working. Taking a practice test at the beginning of your studies will give you a baseline from which to measure your progress and an invaluable exposure to the exam to frame your studying. It wouldn’t be a waste even if you couldn’t ever take it again – but since you can, and since you’re likely to take it differently after weeks or months of studying, there’s absolutely no reason to skip the first practice exam. (If you’ve very recently taken a real exam, that’s a perfect substitute for an initial practice test.)

Take tests in a real way.

If you have to caveat your test score by saying anything that starts with, “I got XYZ score on my practice test, but…”, you’re not using your practice tests as efficiently as you could be. So let me lay it out as directly as I can.
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Below is an excerpt from Andrew Yang‘s new book, Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America, which comes out in February 2014. Andrew was named Managing Director of Manhattan GMAT in 2006, Chief Executive Officer in 2007, and President in 2010. He left Manhattan GMAT in 2010 to start Venture for America, where he now serves as Founder and CEO. 

smart peopleSmart People Should Build Things. 

I believe there’s a basic solution to our country’s economic and social problems. We need to get our smart people building things (again). They’re not really doing it right now. They’d like to. But they’re being led down certain paths during and after college and told not to worry, they can figure it out later.

Take me, for instance. I wasn’t very enterprising when I graduated from Brown in 1996. I had a general desire to be smart, accomplished, and successful—whatever that meant. So I went to law school and became a corporate attorney in New York. I figured out I was in the wrong place after a number of months working at the law firm. I left in less than a year and cofounded a dot-com company, Stargiving, which helped raise money for celebrity-affiliated nonprofits. It was extraordinarily difficult. My company failed spectacularly, but I recovered. I went to work for a mobile software company, Crisp Wireless, and then a health care software company, MMF Systems, over the next five years, eventually becoming the CEO of a test-prep company, Manhattan GMAT, in 2006.

I spent five years running Manhattan GMAT, helping young people get into business school. I taught our corporate classes of investment banking analysts and consultants at Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Company, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Deloitte, as well as hundreds of individual students over the years. Some were exactly where they wanted to be. But there seemed to be just as many top-notch young people who wondered why they didn’t like their jobs more. They sought a higher sense of engagement with their work and their careers. Sometimes they would put words to what they were looking for; they’d say they wanted “something entrepreneurial” or “to be really excited about something.”
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Math Beast
Each week, we post a new GRE Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for two free Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides.

What is the greatest prime factor of 399?

To see this week’s answer choices and to submit your pick, visit our Challenge Problem page.