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 peopleThe Prestige Pathways.  

Let’s imagine a very large company. It is a leader in its industry and much admired by its peers. It invests a tremendous amount of money—literally billions of dollars a year—in identifying, screening, and training its many employees. Those employees who are considered to have high potential are sent to special training programs at substantial additional cost. Happily, these top training programs are considered to be among the best in the world. After these employees complete their training, the company encourages them to choose for themselves the division in which they’d like to work. Employee preferences are deemed to be the most efficient way of deciding who works where.

This seems like a good system, and it works well for a long time. However, perhaps predictably, many of its most highly rated employees eventually become drawn to the finance and legal divisions because these divisions have very effective recruitment arms, are more visible, pay better, and are thought of as providing a more intellectual level of work.  Over time, proportionally fewer of the top recruits go toward the management of the company or the company’s operations.  The company’s basic training division is considered a backwater, with low pay and low recognition. And only a relative handful of employees go toward research and development or the launching of any new products.

Take a second to think about the company described above. What do you think will happen to this company as time passes? And if you think that it’s not set on a path to success, what would you do to fix it? This company reflects, in essence, the economy of the United States of America.

If you are a smart college student and you want to become a lawyer and go to law school, what you must do has been well established. You must go to a good school, get good grades (already accomplished, for many), and take the LSAT (a four-hour skill test). There is no anxiety in divining the requirements, as they are clearly spelled out. Most undergrads, even those with little interest in law school, know what it takes to get in. The path location costs are low.

The same is true if you want to become a doctor. Becoming a doctor is hard, right? Sort of. It is arduous and time-consuming, but it is not hard if you have certain academic abilities. You must take a battery of college courses (organic chemistry being the most infamous and rigorous of them) and do well, study for the MCAT (an eight-hour exam), and spend a summer or even a year caddying for a researcher, doctor, or hospital. These are time-consuming hoop-jumping tasks, to be sure, but anyone with a very high level of academic aptitude can complete them.

If you attend an Ivy League university or similar national institution, legions of suit-wearing representatives from the big-name investment banks and consulting firms will show up at your campus and conduct first-round interviews to fill their ranks each year, even in a down period (as with the recent years following the financial crisis). They will spend millions of dollars enlisting interns and educating the market annually. Most freshmen have no idea what management consulting is, yet seniors can rattle off the distinctions of different firms with little difficulty. All undergraduates have friends in the classes above them who have gone through this process and gained analyst or associate positions at major investment banks and consulting firms.
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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.

OWF-Logo-28We are so excited today to announce the launch of “Oh What Fun!,” Manhattan Prep’s first-ever, 12-day holiday celebration! Everyday between today and December 12, 2013, we will be offering exciting promotions, gifts, and contests that are inspired by the spirit and joy of the holiday season.

“Oh What Fun!” deals include $150 off GMATLSAT, and GRE courses in the month of December, 50% off strategy guides, free workshops, and AMEX giftcards, offering you unbeatable prices and more ways to save throughout the holiday season.

Here’s how it works: Everyday beginning today and running through December 12, 2013, we will unlock one holiday offer per day for our social media communities. We invite you to come join the fun on Facebook and Twitter so that you don’t miss any of our student-focused holiday deals! You can also use the hashtag #ohwhatfun to connect with us and the entire Manhattan Prep community this holiday season.

The giveaway begins today and we’re offering 50% off all of our individual GRE, GMAT, and LSAT Strategy Guides. Head on over to any of Manhattan Prep’s Facebook pages to redeem today’s code and to read the terms and conditions.

We hope you’re as excited as we are for this beautiful time of year. Oh what fun this is going to be! 

Here are the free GRE events we’re holding this week (All times local unless otherwise specified):

Remember, our Black Friday special ends December 7th. Receive $150 off all December GRE classes with the code BLACKFRIDAY150.

free

12/3/13- New York, NY- Free Trial Class- 6:30PM-9:30PM

12/7/13- New York, NY- Free Trial Class- 10:00AM – 1:00PM

Looking for more free events? Check out our Free Events Listing Page.

BlackFriday150GRE

Happy Black Friday! In case you’re too full of turkey and stuffing to make your way out to the stores today, we’re serving up something extra special. Today through December 7th, we’re offering $150 off all of our December GMATLSAT, and GRE courses*! This deal includes all Complete Courses– in-person as well as Live-Online. To receive this limited-time discount, register for a course that starts in December and enter the code “BLACKFRIDAY150″ at checkout.

This is only the beginning of the holiday season, which means we have many more amazing things coming your way. Be sure to check back next week when we unlock our most student-focused holiday campaign. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with everything happening at Manhattan Prep. Oh what fun this is going to be!

*Offer is valid for courses starting in the month of December only. Not valid for students currently registered for courses, or with any additional offers. Offer expires 12/07/2013 for GRE courses.

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 n is a positive integer greater than 1, then the function p(n) represents the product of all the prime numbers less than or equal to n. Which of the following is the second smallest prime factor of p(11) + 12?

 

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