Articles published in July 2009

August is TEP Month here at Manhattan GMAT


Here at Manhattan GMAT we are incredibly proud of the exploits of our founder and chairman, Zeke Vanderhoek.  Zeke departed MGMAT in order to found TEP, a charter school in Washington Heights dedicated to attracting better teachers to the profession. TEP is paying its teachers $125,000 per year plus bonuses to teach underprivileged children.  The school has generated a lot of attention as a result of its innovative approach; the New York Times has been covering TEP every step of the way (here and here).

Imagine a world where teachers are paid handsomely (without increasing overall costs, TEP pays higher salaries by remving administrators and asking more of its teachers).  More talented young people would choose and stay in teaching as a profession.  Better teachers would produce better outcomes.  In a generation or so, we’d be in a lot better shape!

Now, TEP is only a month away from opening its doors to 120 fifth graders.  TEP will be making use of a temporary facility for the first several years, but will need a permanent home by the time it expands to its full-size of four grades.

To help TEP in its drive for a permanent facility, Manhattan GMAT is proud to donate 10% of the Company’s revenues in the month of August to TEP.  The donation will be made early next year.  We’re tremendously excited to support Zeke’s vision, as we know from experience that if you pay teachers more and expect more out of them, they’ll deliver results!  🙂

Here’s to TEP, higher pay for teachers, and improving the American educational system by making teaching the attractive profession it should be for the best and brightest!

Foundations of GMAT Math Workshops


About 2 years ago, one of our L.A. Instructors, Mike Kim, suggested that we provide a math curriculum  for students who want a refresher on fundamental math topics (e.g.  fractions, algebra, etc.).  We thought it was a fantastic idea.  Being an extraordinarily productive guy, Mike went on to author the Foundations of GMAT Math Workshops I and II which take place online (it turns out there are too many fundamental math topics to teach in one sitting).

Now, the Foundations of Math Workshops will be available for free to any Manhattan GMAT course student.  If you are a course student, you can simply go to the website and add the Foundations workshops to your account.  You will immediately receive access to dozens of practice problems in your student center as well as class recordings, and you can attend the next scheduled Foundations workshops live.

For non-students, the Foundations of Math Workshops will each be available for only $95.  Additionally, if you end up signing up for a course after taking the Workshops, we’ll credit you whatever you spent on the workshops, so they’ll essentially wind up being free for you too.

Remember, these workshops review foundational math topics such as algebra, basic geometry, fractions, etc.  They’re very useful if you need a refresher because you haven’t seen the math in a long while, but if you’re comfortable with the math already you can feel free to go straight to the Official Guides, Strategy Guides, etc.

P.S.  The Foundations of GMAT Math Book is due out this Fall, as Mike’s original idea is taking multiple forms to reach as many people as possible.

MGMAT on Clear Admit


Clear Admit did a recent profile on Manhattan GMAT on its blog as part of its series on GMAT prep companies.  The profile had some good info about MGMAT’s upcoming offerings that really ought to appear in this space.  🙂

GMAT Breaks Shorter as of July 17th


We’ve received word through the grapevine that GMAC is shortening all break periods during the test by a total of 15 minutes, effective July 17th.  This change has yet to be confirmed – we’ll update this blog post as soon as we receive official confirmation.

The primary change for students is that breaks between sections will be 8 minutes each instead of 10 minutes.  Those 2 minutes can be significant, as most people go to the bathroom between sections.  So it’s something to be aware of.

The other 11 minutes come from the time allocated to read Instructions, fill out background info, and decide whether to see your score.

However, none of the allotted times for GMAT Content areas will be affected (i.e. 2 30-minute essays, 75 minutes for Quantitative and 75 minutes for Verbal).

Why is GMAC making this change?  Hard to say.  It could be that shortening the total appointment time by 15 minutes would allow more appointments at the margins.  Or it could be an added security measure so that people have less time to do anything non-test related during break periods.  Whatever the rationale, a stressful experience just got a little bit more intense.

The OG 11th Edition – Collector’s Item

Andrew and Tom commemorate the passing of Big Orange

Andrew Yang (NY) and Tom Rose (Boston) commemorate the passing of Big Orange

Among the many topics of discussion at the Manhattan GMAT Instructor Convocation was what happens to the 11th Edition of the Official Guide now that it’s about to leave print.  Here at Manhattan GMAT, we have something of a library of the various editions of the OG, starting with the 4th Edition or so (our copy of that one is pretty tattered).

Most students automatically gravitate toward the 12th Edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Review as soon as they hear about it, because, well, the newer the better.

But the fact that the 12th Edition is one-third new questions also means that the 11th Edition has several hundred other fairly representative problems of recent vintage for the thorough student to pore through.  So if you’ve got Big Orange lying around, don’t punish yourself for having an earlier edition.  Instead, praise yourself for picking up what could soon be a Collector’s Item.

Manhattan GMAT Instructor Convocation


Erica Lee (NY), Alex Cappy (DC/Phi), Robert Wilburn (NC) and Danielle Diciaccio (NY HQ)

The 3rd Annual Manhattan GMAT Instructor Convocation took place this past weekend. Dozens of Instructors came from across the country (and Canada) to mingle and share best practices with some of the brightest teaching minds anywhere.

The topic of the afternoon was how to deal with students whose issues are not primarily content-related (i.e. understanding GMAT-tested concepts), but rather issues surrounding the test-taking experience (e.g. stress management). Some very interesting themes came out of the Convocation – we’re going to be compiling some of these ideas to help our Instructors coach students moving forward.  Some good suggestions came up for us incorporate into our upcoming books.  We’re also looking at putting together a series of essays that may be helpful directly to students as well.  An essay will likely appear in this space.

The Convocation was then followed by a massive Company dinner and a party at the CEO’s apartment, so it wasn’t all work and no play.   Perhaps there will be more pictures to come . . .  🙂