Articles published in 2008

SixFigureStart Free Coaching Call


Our friends at SixFigureStart, a career coaching firm, will be holding a free coaching teleclass this coming Friday, December 19th, from 12 noon – 12:45 p.m. EST. The topic, apropos for the time, will be “How to Effectively Handle a Job Layoff & Move Forward.”

SixFigureStart co-founders Connie Thanasoulis and Caroline Ceniza-Levine will co-lead:

If You’ve Been Laid Off, What To Do Next
If You Haven’t Been Laid Off, How To Recession-Proof Your Current Job
Dial-in: 712 775 7100

Participant code: 151675# (you must hit the pound key)

*The call is free but long-distance charges apply depending on where you are calling from.

Hope this is either helpful or you can ignore it!

3rd Edition Strategy Guides – 1 month out


Our 3rd Edition Strategy Guides have been out for about a month now, and the feedback has been tremendously positive. Most of the feedback has centered on the obvious additions (e.g. advanced chapters of math content, new idiom list), which have been welcome to many students.

At the same time, we’re very conscious of the balance of giving students all the resources they would need without overwhelming them. It held us back from adding certain esoteric topics that we thought would be more trouble to students than they’d be worth on the test.

Right now we’re also working on a couple more math guides (one as a Math Refresher, one for very Advanced Math Topics), and are considering how best to add them to the curriculum without swamping students.

I’m sure someone reading this is thinking “I want the stuff MGMAT decided not to print!” To which I’d respond in my best GMAT Teacher Voice, “Think depth, not breadth. You’re much better off knowing 100 problems/topics in your bones rather than kind of knowing 500.”

To this end, one change we’re already considering for the next printing of the 3rd Edition Strategy Guides is to move all Advanced Content and accompanying In Action problems to the back of each book, as opposed to the end of each chapter. This physical separation may help keep students from knocking themselves out too early on.

Also, we plan on fixing some of the typos sharp-eyed students have found. 🙂

What Business School Admissions Officers are Saying


ManhattanGMAT was fortunate enough to host several Admissions Officers from top business school programs earlier this month in our New York center.  The panel featured:

NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Heather Daly, Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions

THE WHARTON SCHOOL Ainsley Parker, Associate Director in the Office of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid

KELLOGG SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT Yhana Chavis, Associate Director of Admissions

The panel discussion lasted close to 2 hours.  A few points that emerged:

Highest GMAT: All the schools reiterated that they take your highest GMAT score “ they do not average your scores. (It must be a single GMAT score from one test administration, though “ they don’t do a Franken-score, as Ms. Daly from Stern put it, of your best math and best verbal subscores from different tests.)

More than Once is Fine: In response to the question how many GMATs is OK, and how many is too many? Ms. Parker from Wharton said that they worry when you get into double digits. But otherwise, no one gave a specific number that’s too many. In fact, taking it more than once can demonstrate persistence, as Ms. Chavis from Kellogg said. The issue on the high end is judgment (e.g., if you take the test a dozen times, then you are not showing good judgment about where you can realistically improve your chances of admission).  At another panel, admissions officers from Kellogg & Harvard said 5 to 6 was getting to be too many. Short answer: taking it more than once is fine, as we’ve always said, and don’t worry unless you’re really climbing the charts in terms of number of times.

Effects of Economic Crisis: Schools are seeing increases in applications to varying degrees. There was some report of fluff applications (i.e., applications that do not convincingly explain why you are applying to that school in particular or even business school in general), though not universally. The representatives agreed that so far, the people who are getting in would have gotten in in other years, and the people who are being rejected would have been rejected in other years. In response to a question about financial aid (i.e., will it be available), the representatives said that they don’t know yet how this issue will play out exactly, but that their

Third Round Futility: Ms. Parker from Wharton actively discouraged students from applying in the 3rd round. Last year, they had over 600 applications in the third round, and they accepted fewer than 10. (Do the math: that’s less than a 2% acceptance rate.)

Much more was said at the Panel, as each representative went over her individual institution’s approach to candidates.   If you missed it, we’ll host another one before too long! telethon Nov. 19th


If you are applying for Round 2 or later for Fall 2009 (or thereafter) and have questions about applying, we’ve got some good news: our friends at are holding a telethon during which you can talk to an admissions consultant for FREE.

Go to the telethon page on for more info and to sign up. You’ll submit a resume and fill out a questionnaire in order to make your conversation more specific and productive. Sign up now, as the slots will likely fill up before the 19th!

Washington Post article


A recent Washington Post article heavily referenced ManhattanGMAT, and even included a snippet of video from our Washington D.C. location. If you squint, you can see a couple of ManhattanGMAT Instructors, and our Strategy Guides make a star turn. 🙂

The article itself discusses more generally how it’s a very competitive landscape out there as people seek shelter from the recession in the oasis of business school.

Bschool Admissions Panel in New York on November 6th


We are very proud to announce that ManhattanGMAT’s New York office will host an Admissions Panel next week consisting of Admissions officers from 3 of the world’s top business schools. Ainsley Parker, Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Wharton, Yhana Chavis, Assistant Director of Admissions at Kellogg, and Heather Daly, Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions at Stern will be participating. Our very own Chris Ryan will be the moderator.

This event is free on Thursday night, November 6th at 7 p.m. – click here for more info or to sign up. Space is limited, so first-come-first-edified!

The 3rd Edition ManhattanGMAT Strategy Guides have arrived!


After months of work, the 3rd Edition Strategy Guides have landed! The new guides include 200+ new pages of material spread over 8 books. We’re always trying to offer the most sophisticated and thorough preparation materials around, and these books reflect hundreds of hours of development work by some of our best Instructors.

If you want an inside look, go to the MGMAT Store and click on the individual books to look at .pdfs of the first chapter of each book. There’s a lot of new advanced content (not in the .pdfs so much, but in the books themselves!).

There’s no rest for us though, as we’re hard at work on a GMAT math refresher (working title “Foundations of GMAT Math”) as well as something for the really hardcore math types.  There’s also a rumor that the 12th Edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Review comes in March, so it could be that Strategy Guides 3.1/4.0 will be on the way early next year.

“The 2nd round is still okay” according to many top Bschools


As this year is something of an unusual year, many applicants might think that the current uptick in applications has upset the customary dynamic that the 2nd round is just as good as the 1st.

To address this concern, Jeremy Shinewald, founder of MBA Mission, did a little bit of one-on-one with the horses’ mouths themselves, Admissions Officers from some of the top Bschools. The takeaway – no need to panic if you’re pulling your application together right now (though you should try not to miss the 2nd round deadline).

Kudos to Jeremy for using the term “nerve-wracking” correctly!

Jeremy’s account begins below:

The main admissions story thus far this year has clearly been the expected surge in applications due to the faltering economy. However, because much of the recent Wall Street carnage occurred so close to many schools’ first-round deadlines, those caught by surprise had little time to take the GMAT and submit first-round applications. As a result, numerous candidates are now concerned that they will be applying too late this year because they perceive that many places will already be given away in the first round ”anxieties previously reserved not for second-round, but for third-round applicants. Well, mbaMission connected with Admissions Officers at several leading business schools and can confirm for our clients that there is plenty of scope left for submitting winning MBA applications.

For instance, we connected with Rose Martinelli, Associate Dean, Student Recruitment & Admissions, at the Chicago Graduate School of Business, who stated, I would like to temper all this incredible pressure on applicants. What is most important is to apply well. She then added, Between Rounds 1 and 2 there is very little difference (in terms of selectivity)  I can assure you that schools will not take 100% of their class from the first round. We look for the best applicants throughout the entire year, even in Round 3.

This sentiment was echoed by Peter Johnson, Director of Admissions at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, who told mbaMission, I think candidate anxiety may be out of proportion with the actual situation. In the past, chances of admission to the Berkeley MBA Program in Round 2 have been almost identical to those in Round 1. Johnson noted that in Haas’s final round, its fourth, chances will be slight and encouraged candidates to submit applications by the third round.

Similarly, Beth Flye, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kellogg, urged calm and patience: First, it is most important that candidates apply when they are ready to submit their applications, as the overall process involves a lot of time, including much thought and reflection Candidates interested in Kellogg should not operate on the assumption that they have missed the boat if they do not apply for the first application round. Ms. Flye added, Selectivity tends to be about the same for both the first and second rounds.

Meanwhile, Yale’s Director of Admissions, Bruce DelMonico, regards the first two application rounds as functionally equivalent in terms of both selectivity and scholarship availability. He too emphasized that the final round can be more challenging, but urged candidates to be thoughtful and submit their strongest application. He added, They shouldn’t rush to apply (with weaker applications) sooner.”

Clearly, there are no new rules for MBA applicants this year. While it can be nerve-wracking to apply in a competitive year, if you want to pursue an MBA next year, you should rest assured that you can still submit a competitive application this year. Resist the temptation to focus on the competition and instead focus on creating the most impressive and interesting application you can in order to standout from the crowd, capture the imaginations of admissions committees and take that next, exciting step in advancing your career.

Stacy Blackman event in New York on October 16th


ManhattanGMAT is proud to welcome Katie Malachuk, of Stacy Blackman Consulting , on Thursday night, October 16th, at 6:30 p.m. here at our New York Center!

Some of the topics to be presented include:

– What the top schools are looking for

– Answers to practical questions such as who to ask to write your recommendations, which schools to apply to and whether to plan a school visit

– Common application mistakes to avoid

– Dispelling business school application myths

– Real life applicant case studies

– Practical advice to help you get started

The speaker, Katie Malachuk, has a BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Prior to attending business school, Katie was the Director of Admissions for Teach For America where she created the selection model and oversaw the admissions decisions for over 4,000 applicants annually.

Space is limited, so sign up now!

Not just checking your GMAT Score


This past weekend, I attended a barbecue and wound up in a conversation with a current Wharton student. We talked about Scoretop for a little bit, as she had just received an e-mail from the administration about the 3 students at Wharton whose scores had been canceled due to confirmed usage of the Scoretop site.

One interesting point that this student shared with me that I was surprised by was that, prior to her showing up at Wharton, she went through the equivalent of a background check, with people calling her past employers and confirming various details. She said that one of her supervisors at Ebay had since left the company, and she had to scramble to track the person down so that her information could be verified.

Businessweek also reported recently on steps B-schools are taking to catch resume-puffers. It seems there’s a growing trend of ‘trust, but verify’ in the MBA application landscape. Something to be aware of as you’re filling out your applications.