Articles published in December 2011

Studying for – and struggling with – the GMAT


Have you been studying for a while now but having trouble getting to your goal score or making the kind of improvement that you want to make? If you’re getting frustrated with your progress (or lack thereof), let’s try to figure out what’s going on. It’s entirely possible that you have some problems of which you’re unaware, or that you’re studying in an inefficient or ineffective way.

There are a number of additional articles linked in this article. If you read something that applies to your situation, click on all the links you see in that section. Also, ask for advice! There are so many resources out there that it can be overwhelming, but most companies offer free advice and you can also benefit from talking to fellow students.

Time Management

Almost everyone has timing problems (unless you’ve already explicitly fixed them), so don’t gloss over this section. I talk to students every day who tell me their timing is fine and then I ask a few questions or we look at their tests, and timing is a problem. I’m actually surprised on the rare occasions when I talk to someone who truly doesn’t have any timing problems.

In fact, if you’ve been studying for a while and know that you’re learning things but your score doesn’t seem to be changing much, then you almost certainly have a timing problem. Another common sign: your practice test scores seem to be all over the map and you feel like you don’t have any consistency. That’s almost always due, at least partially, to a timing problem.

Most people seem to think that, if they finish each section on time or ahead of time, then time management is not a problem. Let me make this very clear: you can finish the section on time and still have severe timing problems. The single most common issue is spending too much time on really hard questions (which you then mostly get wrong anyway because they’re hard!) and then rushing on easier ones to make up the time, resulting in careless mistakes on questions that you did know how to do.

Before you do anything, read this short article: In It To Win It.

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Just Starting Out – What Should I Do?


Don’t worry. We’ll address what to do if you’re already studying—and struggling in some ways—in another article coming later this week.

If you’re just starting out and trying to figure out what to do, we’ve got several big categories of things to discuss: mindset, devising a study plan, and learning how to study.

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The Next-Gen GMAT: Graphics Interpretation


Recently, GMAC released a new sample question to illustrate Graphics Interpretation questions that we will see when the Next-Generation GMAT is released in June of 2012. At that time, a new Integrated Reasoning (IR) section will be added to the test; you can read more about it in our previous article published here.

Taking the test before then? You won’t see this kind of question on the old school GMAT. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to take the old-school version a second time in case you don’t like your score the first time around. In other words, don’t plan to take the test for the first time in May of 2012.

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5 Takeaways From The New Integrated Reasoning Sample Questions on


GMAC has posted new sample Integrated Reasoning questions here. Here’s a first review of these questions, with 5 big takeaways.

1) No Drastic Changes

There’s nothing here that’s too surprising. Integrated Reasoning emphasizes three big tasks:

a) Deal with integrated math & verbal content, as the name says
b) Deal with real-world data in quantity
c) Read critically, drawing accurate inferences from given evidence

The newly released questions reflect these three tasks, just as the older ones did.

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Patty’s Path to Wharton: Staying Sane While Waiting To Hear Back (Part 8 of 8)


Patty at WhartonThis is part 8 of a series featuring b-school advice gleaned from one of Manhattan GMAT’s own. Until recently, Patty managed marketing and student services for our sister company, Manhattan LSAT. But she chose to return to business school and started at Wharton last fall. She has agreed to share her application experiences with us in a series called, “Patty’s Path to Wharton.” Read Part 7 here.

Today, we talk to Patty about the dreaded waiting period. The process was agonizing, because you have nothing else to do, she says.

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Challenge Problem Showdown – December 5th, 2011


We invite you to test your GMAT knowledge for a chance to win! Each week, we will post a new Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for a free Manhattan GMAT Prep item. Tell your friends to get out their scrap paper and start solving!

Here is this week’s problem:

A circle is inscribed within a regular hexagon in such a way that the circle touches all sides of the hexagon at exactly one point per side. Another circle is drawn to connect all the vertices of the hexagon. Expressed as a fraction, what is the ratio of the area of the smaller circle to the area of the larger circle?

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In It to Win It


This is probably the shortest “ and most important “ article I’ve written in a year. It’s just a little story, but it’s the story of a crucial epiphany one of my students (and I) just had.

Last night, at the end of a class I was teaching, one of my students began asking questions about timing and guessing on the GMAT. He’s really struggling with the idea that he has to let some questions go and that he’s going to get a decent number of questions wrong. I told him he’s not alone; most students have significant difficulty accepting this idea “ and those who can’t accept it almost never reach their goal scores.

As we discussed the boring details of how the GMAT works, he acknowledged that he knew he had to do what I said (because I’m the expert =) ), but he was having a tough time because, normally, he’s in it to win it.

(For those who aren’t familiar with that expression, it means that, if you’re playing a game, you’re always going for it and trying to win.)

When he said that, a light bulb went off in my head, and I then said something to him that made a light bulb go off in his head. I said:

Yes, but are you playing the right game?

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Manhattan GMAT and Gilda’s Club


Gilda's Club On Saturday, November 12, 2011, the Gilda’s Club New York City Associate Board, a volunteer board of young professionals supported by Manhattan Prep staff member Jessica Trujillo, hosted a day of lectures and workshops geared towards health and wellness at the Manhattan Prep headquarters. These lectures and workshops, free to all GCNYC members, promoted techniques for healthy living and included activities for the whole family. The Health and Wellness Day incorporated everything from meditation sessions, nutrition lectures, hair and beauty makeovers and family portraits. Gilda’s Club New York City creates welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer “ men, women, teens and children “ along with their families and friends.