## Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog

### Free GMAT Practice Exam is the CAT’s Meow

ManhattanGMAT is now offering a FREE GMAT Computer Adaptive Test to absolutely anyone and everyone who wants to take one. This FREE test is one of the 6 CAT exams that we offer to students enrolled in our 9-session classes and draws from the same pool of questions. This is a great FREE opportunity to take a ManhattanGMAT practice exam and see for yourself how our Assessment Reports, continually updated and re-calibrated Question Pool, and detailed solutions to every single question can help you master the GMAT. As if you needed another reason, did we mention that it’s FREE? Just click on any of the above links and follow the on-screen instructions to sign up!

### 80 B-School Applicants, 4 Admissions Consultants, 1 Panel to Unite Them All

Last night, we hosted our first Admissions Consultant Panel Discussion at our center in New York City! We invited our friends from Clear Admit, MBA Mission, Expartus, and Stacy Blackman Consulting to engage in four separate conversations with our Director of Instructor Development, Chris Ryan, who roleplayed as four prospective students applying to business school. Afterwards, the attendees and consultants engaged in a question and answer session.

The event exceeded even our own expectations. The energy level was astounding, the consultants’ reactions to the case studies were extremely insightful, students networked, and many even stayed long after the end of the event to ask more detailed questions to the consultants. A special thanks definitely goes out to all of the consultants, who stayed until they answered every student question.

For those of you who couldn’t make the event, we’ll be posting audio from the discussion in the next week, so check back if you want to receive free advice from the best consulting agencies out there!

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Most folks regard Reading Comprehension on the GMAT as fairly predictable and boring, particularly in terms of the format. Generally students see 4 passages, 3 short and 1 long, with 3 questions for each short passage and 4 questions for the long passage, for a total of 13 questions.

However, there have been reports of some funny business on the format of Reading Comprehension recently. One student reported having seen 5 passages, which would be unprecedented in our experience (though one of them was doubtless experimental). Also, another student reported a short passage that consisted of only one paragraph, which would also be something new.

The moral of the story is, do NOT take for granted the number of passages and the number of Reading Comprehension passages anymore, as there seem to be some tinkering and experimentation going on with the format. More info to come if/as we get consistent confirmation of format changes.

### ManhattanGMAT Opens in Philadelphia, Voraciously Consumes Cheesesteak

ManhattanGMAT, shortly after opening a center in our nation’s current capital, is proud to announce the opening of another location in our nation’s original capital. Worry no longer, denizens of Philadelphia, for ManhattanGMAT has scheduled a preview class on August 21st at 6:30pm and a 9-session course (with accompanying trial session) set to begin the following week, August 28th also at 6:30pm.

We are also pleased to announce that the preview class and the 9-session course will be taught by ManhattanGMAT’s first hire and current CEO, Andrew Yang. To register for any of the sessions, simply follow any of the links above.

### Know anyone REALLY smart who can teach?

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ManhattanGMAT is growing by leaps and bounds, and we are constantly searching for new Instructors.

It is a very hard thing to become a ManhattanGMAT Instructor; one must have a 99th percentile real GMAT score (now a 760+) and prior teaching experience to even be considered. Of those who satisfy these requirements and audition, we take about 1 in 5. Instructors must then complete training of approximately 100 hours before they are given a class or a tutoring student.

If that sounds like an awfully daunting selection and training process, it is! But we make it worth people’s while; in order to attract and retain instructors that are this talented, we pay $100/hr, by far the highest in the industry. And our selectivity has paid off – it is not an exaggeration to say that our outstanding Instructors are the main reason we have been so successful as a company. Feel free to check out their bios here. If YOU know someone you think may be interested in applying to us, send them our way! As they apply, let us know that you referred them by e-mailing jobs@manhattanprep.com/gmat/, and have them mention you. If we hire your friend and they begin teaching for us, we will pay you an “Instructor Bounty” of$1,000! That’s right, you can finally take advantage of having brilliant friends who happen to be outstanding teachers!

The information your friends needs to apply can be found here, as well as a list of locations for which we are hiring. And if you don’t have any friends that fit the bill yet, go find one! 🙂

### ManhattanGMAT is arriving in D.C.!

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As first announced on businessweek.com, ManhattanGMAT is officially arriving in Washington D.C.! Our first open house will take place next Thursday, July 19th at 6:30 p.m. And our first course will begin the following Saturday, July 28th, taught by veteran ManhattanGMAT Instructor Eric Caballero.

We are awfully excited to FINALLY be able to serve the students in our nation’s capital!

### Recent emphasis on statistics problems on the GMAT

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Here at ManhattanGMAT, we’re continuously trying to figure out how better to study for the GMAT.

One of our Instructors analyzed the downloadable test at www.mba.com (which anyone studying for the GMAT ought to download at some point, it’s a GREAT resource). We found a remarkably high concentration of weighted average problems. Now, everyone expects statistics problems on the GMAT, but these recent problems are in different forms than seen in the Official Guide and in other places. In other words, instead of a customary mean, median, or standard deviation question, the recent questions are more complex weighted average types of problems or hybrid mean-median problems.

A fair, but not great, litmus test of this flavor of GMAT problem can be found in Problem Solving #224 (p. 183) of the Official Guide. If you get this problem right, you’re likely in okay shape. If not, you may want to consider reviewing some problems of this type before rolling into exam day. And of course, it would be a good idea to spend some time with the test from www.mba.com in order to make full use of that resource, because the statistics problems on the GMAT are likely to be tougher than the ones you’ve been practicing on.

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Last night saw the Business School Admissions panel here in New York, with Admissions officers from Harvard, Kellogg, NYU Stern, and Wharton in attendance. Each school aired a presentation highlighting the specific features of its MBA program, and then answered questions for over 140 prospective students in a lively Q & A session.

We will be posting some of the insights generated via the panel in this space in the coming days. One early tidbit – Harvard is reducing the total number of essays it requires, and also increasing flexibility to give applicants more choices for essay topics (2 required + 3 chosen from a number of different topics).

Andrea Mitchell Kimmel, Associate Director MBA Admissions at Harvard Business School answers a question, as Ellen Kim of Kellogg and Alison Goggin of NYU Stern look on.

The event was tremendous, and we’d like to thank our panelists for sharing their time. Again, we will be posting additional points raised and addressed by the panelists in the days to come.

Also, while we’re thanking people, here’s a picture of the organizer of the panel, Jessica Eliav (on the right), Director of Corporate Accounts for ManhattanGMAT, with Katie Buongiorno from the Marketing Department. Kudos to a great event! 🙂

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Due to an immense level of interest, we are going to be capping attendance at our Business School panel on June 21st here in New York (Admissions officers from Harvard, NYU, Kellogg, and the recently added Wharton are scheduled to attend). If you missed out this time, we will be having another similar panel here in New York later in the year. If you’re already coming, see you on the 21st!

### GMAT Score Standards on the Rise

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Recently, we interviewed a potential instructor who said that he had gotten a 99th percentile score a number of years ago, but that his total score was a 730.

This did not seem correct.  As many people know, the current score threshold for a 99th percentile score on the GMAT is a 760 or higher (out of 800).  This is a change from just last year, as even the most recent edition of the Official Guide indicates that 750 is a 99th percentile score.  But a 730?

So we examined a copy of this gentleman’s score report with great interest.  His score was reported as follows:

October, 1998

Quant Raw Score – 49

Quant Percentile – 97%

Verbal Raw Score – 41

Verbal Percentile – 94%

Raw Score Total – 730

Total Percentile – 99%

It turns out that he was correct – a 730 WAS indeed a 99th percentile score in 1998 (when GMAC first went to the computerized adaptive test format).

It is worth noting that this person’s raw scores NOW would translate to:

Quant Percentile – 90%

Verbal Percentile – 93%

In other words, over the past 9 years, it has become MUCH harder to be at the top percentile in the Math, and slightly harder to be at the top percentiles in the Verbal.   His scores now would not place him near the 99th percentile overall.

This just goes to show that it’s gotten, and continues to get, increasingly difficult to get a distinguishing score as competition heats up and preparation levels rise.

(on a side note – we did not hire this particular instructor candidate)