Articles published in August 2009

One more word of advice for test day


We received a report of a student having her score canceled because she went to her locker during a break on test day and checked her cellphone for messages  (FYI, you put all of your belongings in a locker at the testing center).  Apparently, an official at the testing center flagged her for suspicious activity and canceled her test administration on the spot.

The moral of the story is, stay away from your electronic device during the breaks!  Keep it in the back of the locker and don’t pick it up again until you have your score report in hand (hopefully you’ll want to call your friends and share some good news!).   You CAN have a snack in your locker to scarf during the breaks, but keep it in the front of your locker and don’t rummage too much in there.  Apparently some of the testing proctors are very action-oriented.

Official Guide for GMAT Review Verbal 2nd Edition


As promised, we now have a detailed write-up of the Official Guide for GMAT Review Verbal 2nd Edition.  The skinny is that there are 81 new problems (27%) that were not present in the 1st Edition.  None of the new problems is particularly groundbreaking, and some of them appeared in past released GMAC resources.  For a detailed problem list by topic, visit our write-up and select a topic to see precisely where the new problems lie.

The bottom line is that if you own the 1st Edition, spending an additional $17.95 for 81 problems would be helpful, but not vital.

The Quant Guide will be reviewed next week.  Also, in case you missed it, we did the same for the 12th Edition a little while back.

Manhattan Prep and Score Guarantees


Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Manhattan Prep and Score GuaranteesDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

We occasionally get questions about why we don’t offer a score improvement guarantee.

There are a few little reasons, and one big reason. In our experience, a test prep score guarantee has a number of attendant issues: Read more

5 Tips for 1st year MBA Students


We get a lot of good news here at Manhattan GMAT from students who have been accepted into the MBA program they had their sights set on.  Now, as many of them are packing their bags to get settled into their new environment, here are some words of wisdom compiled from some of our Instructors who have been through it themselves.

Top 5 Tips for Entering Business School Students

So you’re about to start business school “ congratulations!As you hit your first orientation events and get to know your companions for the next couple of years, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of the experience:

1. Networking: Depth as well as Breadth.  The message about networking is ubiquitous in business school, and for good reason.  Chances are you’ve already witnessed how important it is to build relationships and make connections in the world of business.  A good portion of your classmates will be movers and shakers in their respective industries, so it’s a wise investment to network with them at every opportunity.  But one thing to keep in mind is that effective networking is not about collecting a stack of business cards during orientation weekend and accruing hundreds of connections on LinkedIn.  It’s okay to have a fair number of “weak ties” in your network, but also strive to cultivate strong, meaningful relationships along the way.  Ask yourself, Could I really call this person a couple of years from now and have them lend me a hand? These types of relationships take time to develop, so start early and make it a priority.

2. Make use of Clubs and Groups. Maybe you weren’t a big club person in college, and you made friends in other ways. Well, business school groups ought to be a different story. This is especially true if you’re interested in switching careers and/or industries. Clubs can often be a crossroads for cutting-edge ideas, speaker events with industry leaders, and job opportunities. Listing significant involvement in one or two clubs on your resume can make all the difference in your job search.  And participating in groups is a great way to build networks outside of your graduating class.

3. Stay Current.  The case method employed by most b-schools is about looking into the past to discuss key dilemmas and decisions that managers have faced.  But that does not allow you to lose sight of the present business landscape.  Consider your daily business newspaper/periodical/website reading a critical part of your coursework.  Not only will it contextualize and enhance your coursework, but it’ll help you understand the environment when you’re looking for a job.

4. Mix It Up.  You probably crafted an articulate and convincing argument about your short- and long-term career goals in your application essays.  But rest assured that no one will hold you accountable to anything you wrote or said during the admissions process.  Don’t be afraid to deviate from the path you envisioned for yourself. Take some electives outside your comfort zone and try new things, even consider registering for a course in one of the non-business schools of the university (e.g. law, public policy, etc.).  And while you’re mixing up your course plan, also avoid grouping up with the same three or four people project after project.  It would be a shame to miss out on the different talents and backgrounds of your classmates, and you could make a new friend or two.

5. Explore your idea.  There are not that many times when you’ll be free of the demands of a full-time job and surrounded by smart people with a natural interest in helping you flesh out that business idea you’ve had rattling around your head. Business school is a fantastic opportunity to give an idea a try in a supportive, relatively risk-free environment. Enlist support from classmates. Ask a professor what he or she thinks. Build or join a team. Think of it as yet another part of your education. At a minimum, it’ll make a great story for your job interviews down the road. 🙂


by presented a very interesting and informative write-up of the GMAT prep landscape earlier this week.  We’re glad that Businessweek included us, and grateful that many of our core values (top Instructors, rigorous curriculum, organizational focus) came through in the article.

Breaking the 700 Barrier


One of the great GMAT myths is that the first 8 questions in each section “make or break” your score and that nothing you do after that point has much of an effect on the score you end up with. False! Eight questions are not enough to determine your score. If they were enough, each section would consist of 8 questions.

One of the consequences of the myth is the belief that in order to break 700, you must answer those first 8 questions correctly. Untold numbers of test-takers have labored over the first eight, afraid that any mistake will send their scores plummeting to unthinkable depths. While it is true that you should give each question your best shot, the absolute number of questions answered correctly is not as important as their difficulty level. Better to have a 50/50 success rate at a high level than a 50/50 success rate at a lower one, even though the percentage of right and wrong answers is the same.

The most serious upshot of this myth is that its believers spend far too much time on the first eight questions and then find themselves racing to finish the section. Often, these test-takers run out of time and leave some questions unanswered at the end of a section. Given that unanswered questions are essentially counted as incorrect answers, it makes more sense to move at a steady pace throughout the entire section rather than concentrate on any particular subset of questions. In fact, spending too much time on early questions may actually damage rather than help your final score.

Read more

Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review – 2nd Edition (preview)


Following up on the release of the 12th Edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Review, GMAC is now releasing the 2nd editions of both the Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review (released this week) and the Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review (to be released in the next couple of weeks).

As was the case with the 12th Edition, we will be breaking down the new guides in detail.  As a preview, 81 of the 300 verbal questions in the 2nd edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review are new, in that they didn’t appear in the 1st edition or the Official Guides.  That means that 219 of the 300, or 73%, appeared in the 1st Edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review.  We’ll be analyzing the 81 newbies in detail later in the week.



Here in Manhattan, Time Out New York is THE source for fun, practical information. So we here at MGMAT were excited to be included in the latest issue in an article about finding jobs.

On a related note, MGMAT IS hiring.  Click here if you’d like more info on currently available positions.  Warning – we’re very picky!