Articles published in February 2008

ManhattanGMAT vs. Kaplan and Princeton Review


The primary difference between ManhattanGMAT and Kaplan/Princeton Review is the nature of the Instructors employed by each Company.

ManhattanGMAT was founded by a Teach for America teacher, Zeke Vanderhoek, who believed that the teacher is the most important component of any educational experience. Accordingly, Zeke sought to attract and retain the best possible teachers when he started MGMAT.

To represent this commitment to superior teachers, MGMAT pays $100/hr plus yearly bonuses plus a $1,000 signing bonus. This is approximately 3 – 4 times the rate paid by Kaplan or Princeton Review (approx. $25 – $40, depending upon a number of variables).

In order to be considered for employment with MGMAT, Instructors need to have scored a 99th percentile on an official exam, now a 760+ out of 800. For reference, the average score for students at Harvard Business School is a 720, and the score requirement for Kaplan is a 90th percentile, a 680 (Princeton Review does not have a score requirement). Candidates also need to have prior teaching experience in order to be considered for a position with us.

Applicants who have both the score and teaching experience must go through an audition process here in New York; approximately 1 in 5 candidates makes it through the audition round, based upon personality and teaching skill. After receiving an offer, Instructors still must undergo 100+ hours of training before seeing any students.

As you can imagine, it takes a pretty distinctive individual to get through this process. You can read the bios of all of our Instructors here.

Perhaps the most important part of having such strong Instructors is that it enables us to offer a curriculum that focuses on the actual academic content tested by the GMAT. In other words, instead of teaching methods, tips and approaches (e.g. backsolving, trial and error, guessing strategies), we can teach the actual math, grammar, and analytical principles tested on the GMAT (e.g. prime numbers, subject-verb agreement, finding assumptions). We have found that mastery of the content underlying the GMAT is the only path to consistent high scores on the test.

Last, we teach and research only the GMAT. This is in stark contrast with Kaplan and Princeton Review, which offer test prep services for every major standardized test. The GMAT is, in our experience, unique and complex. We believe that our singular focus enables us to provide a much stronger offering than the course provided by the larger, all-in-one test prep companies.

For more information regarding ManhattanGMAT, click here.

Top 5 GMAT Study Tips


Here is the latest in our latest Strategy Series, by Chris Ryan, Director of Instructor and Product Development.

You’ve just accepted your fate. I have to take the GMAT, you admit to yourself. And now you admit one more thing: No, I can’t walk in and take it cold.

So you contemplate all the research you have to do. Tomorrow you’ll start trolling the online forums, talking to friends about their GMAT-prep experiences, and haunting the Study Aids aisle of your local Barnes & Noble. But right now, you don’t want to buy anything. You want general principles. Whichever books you pick up, whatever course you take (or not) “ how should you think about preparing for the GMAT?

Here are five tips to guide you.

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Business School Application Round…


Our good friend, Jeremy Shinewald, over at mbaMission is writing a two-part article for our weekly newsletter, GMATTERS about how the current crop of prospective business school candidates face distinctly unique challenges other rounds of applicants have not had to face. Jeremy touches upon a lot of great points in the first part of his article, so we thought it would be a good idea to share it. Enjoy!

Long-Term Planning: The Big Picture

By: Jeremy Shinewald of mbaMission

With the final round of MBA applications for almost all of the top schools upon us, we can take a brief moment to reflect on the main story of the year thus far: application volumes are up significantly as a result of economic turmoil. So, with the promise of increased competition for a finite number of spaces going forward, it is best that prospective MBA applicants who are targeting admission for next year (or even beyond) start working to improve their chances now. Further, regardless of this macro-trend, by being proactive, candidates can remove a great deal of stress from the process and ensure that in July, when the 2008 applications appear, they can simply focus on mastering the applications. We at mbaMission have several big picture recommendations for candidates to consider so that they can be as competitive as possible.

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Conventional Wisdom


It’s conventional wisdom that, in a weak economy, more people will apply to business school to wait out the bad times in a productive manner.

Well, it appears that conventional wisdom is correct, as we’re seeing a bit of a rush to apply, including people trying to make 3rd round deadlines for Fall, 2008, just as the economy hits a rough patch.

Anecdotally, business schools have caught on that there may be a late rush of qualified applicants – they seem to be employing their Waitlists more than in past years, presumably to keep their options open in terms of filling their final slots.

What does all this mean? Well, it likely means that 3rd round applicants for this Fall are going to face even steeper odds than in past years. Most admissions officers will tell you that you’re better off applying for the 1st round rather than the 3rd round in any given year. So if you’re on the fence, you may want to consider trying to sharpen your application for next Fall rather than rush to get it in now.