Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog

Write Essays, Win Cash Prizes for B-School

gmat cash prizes

While the monetary rewards of business school can be tremendous, oftentimes the cost to get there can be great (and we don’t just mean the emotional trauma of grueling work). However, for those applicants looking to ease the financial burden of b-school, look no further. Without further adieu, we present to you the Beat the GMAT Scholarship:

ManhattanGMAT is proud to announce that we will co-sponsoring the annual Beat the GMAT scholarship once again this year!

Beat The GMAT is an MBA discussion community dedicated to helping business school candidates achieve their full potential on the GMAT and in the b-school admissions process by connecting them with the best resources available. To this end, Beat the GMAT has teamed up with ManhattanGMAT and Stacy Blackman Consulting to provide scholarships for the third year in a row. The 2008 program will provide over $15,000 worth of prizes to 5 deserving individuals. Prizes include GMAT registration subsidies courtesy of Beat the GMAT, admissions consulting services provided by Stacey Blackman Consulting, and free enrollment in a 9-week ManhattanGMAT prep course.

It is the hope of Beat the GMAT and our sponsors that the scholarships will make a profound impact on the lives of five deserving individuals, said Eric Bahn, founder of Beat the GMAT.

Applications are due May 1, 2008, and winners will be announced May 22. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must meet the following requirements:

¢ Finished college, or in final year of college
¢ Plans to redeem awards in the next 12 months
¢ Has a PayPal account to receive cash prizes

For further details on how to apply, visit //

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Business School Application Round… (Part 2)


Jeremy Shinewald, Founder of mbaMission is back this week with part two of his article about the challenges this year’s crop of applicants face while applying to business school:

Long-Term Planning: The Details

By: Jeremy Shinewald of mbaMission

Last week, in Part One of this two-part series on long-term planning, we focused on big-picture issues ” identifying macro ways to significantly bolster your profile on your way to becoming a more competitive candidate next year. Today, we look at pragmatic and practical steps that you can take to ensure that you will have the time needed to put your best foot forward. In some ways, these are micro tips for the uber-motivated ” those who leave absolutely nothing to chance.

With some foresight and planning, you can ensure that when the essay questions come out in early July, you will be able to focus solely on them and reduce the noise around you. In last week’s piece, we discussed visiting schools now, a step that will not only show your commitment, but that will also free up significant time in September. Another simple step that many can take is to prepare a resume now and then make small modifications and updates regarding your most recent position in October, during the latest stages of the application process. By preparing your resume now, you will save precious hours that would otherwise be spent crafting your resume during a much busier summer. Further, an added benefit is that you will start the process of reflecting on your accomplishments and reawakening yourself to certain experiences now as well. In many ways, preparing your resume now will be a primer for your essay brainstorming process, which will be the foundation for your essays.

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Where Should You Apply to Business School?


Presented from our friends at
Where Should You Apply?You know you want an MBA. And you know you want to go to a top school. That’s why you have invested in Manhattan GMAT’s top GMAT program. But once you earn that excellent score, what’s next? You have to decide where to apply, and there are at least fifteen schools in the top 10! How to choose?

You have a major decision to make: Where do you want to spend two years and roughly $100,000 while earning your MBA, accelerating your career progression, and hooking into a professional network that will last a lifetime. How should you choose? What criteria should guide you?

Since the MBA is a professional degree, first look at career opportunities and recruiting. How is recruiting in your area of interest at your target schools? What percentage of graduates entered the field you want to go into? How strong are the schools’ ties to the region you would like to live in, if you have a geographic preference? Do the companies you would like to work for recruit at these schools? Is the student body happy with the Career Services Center? What do recruiters think of your school? Study the schools’ web sites, review data (not the raw ranking) at US News, BusinessWeek and the Wall St. Journal, attend school receptions and MBA tours, and contact students and recent alumni to obtain answers to these questions.

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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.

Recipe for Acceptance (from


The following article was provided to us by our friends at Accepted is hosting a number of telethons in mid-2008 that allow MBA applicants to call in for a free 15-minute consultation. Click here for more details.

Recipe for Acceptance

Take a few buzzwords like synergy, global village, sustainability, social responsibility, leverage, empower, diversity. Season with acronyms B2B, B2C, ETF, M&A,CDO, TLA, and PE. Stir in generous platitudes about forces that molded you into the person you are today and the top-notch faculty, diverse student body, and outstanding alumni network at the schools to which you are applying. Cook on your smart phone while seeking feedback from a bevy of your fifty closest colleagues, friends, and relatives. And voila! You have an MBA application essay.

No, you may have a recipe for rejection.

All too often MBA applicants grope for a recipe for success, a one-size-fits-all approach to writing the essays. Push the right buttons, stir in the tried-and-true ingredients, and you’ll have it made. Right? Wrong!

That recipe doesn’t exist. You aren’t making pancakes here; you’re trying to portray yourself as a multi-faceted, one-of-a kind gem. How do you do that? Use the Ten Tools for Terrific MBA Essays below to focus on your uniqueness, accomplishments, and strengths as you refine your essays.

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Top 5 GMAT Test-Taking Strategies


by Chris Ryan, Director of Instructor and Product Development, ManhattanGMAT

You’ve studied all the content, you’ve done hundreds of problems, you’ve taken practice test after practice test.  And now, it’s GMAT game day.  You’re following all the logistics tips: you got enough sleep last night, you’ve shown up early, you haven’t eaten anything funny, you plan to take the breaks while giving yourself enough time to check back in with the proctors.  But what about actually taking the test?  What do you have to remember while you’re in the thick of battle?

Here are five strategies to guide you:

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If you like podcasts . . .


The best resource around for MBA-related podcasts is the aptly named MBAPodcaster, which includes Admissions tips and discussions with admissions officers from various institutions.  Their library is deep enough for you to constructively fill many a morning commute or jog on the treadmill.  Something else to do when you’re not prepping for the GMAT!  🙂