Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog

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!  🙂

B-School Mixer: Shaken Not Stirred


If you’ve ever wondered how you could combine planning your forthcoming business school career with your previous undergraduate lifestyle, look no further. ManhattanGMAT, in conjunction with MBA Admissions Consultant Firm, Clear Admit, is holding a networking mixer in Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 6, 2008.

At the event, you’ll have the opportunity speak with ManhattanGMAT Instructor, Brian Lange, and Clear Admit co-founder, Graham Richmond. This is truly a great opportunity to get a head start on the admissions process while networking with other young professionals.

As if alcohol and food isn’t enough of a draw, for those who can’t wait to experience their senior citizen side, we’ll be raffling off various goodies throughout the night, including a 9-session GMAT prep course, a complete set of ManhattanGMAT course books and some school guides from Clear Admit.

Just click the Martini glass below to register! After all, there’s nothing quite like Happy Hour (or getting into a top business school).

(Click Here to Join)

Happy New Year from ManhattanGMAT!


New Year ManhattanGMAT

Good luck to all business school candidates who have recently submitted (and perhaps may continue to submit) their applications for consideration! To all those who are just starting the process of applying to business school for Fall ’09 admissions, congratulations for doing your research sooner rather than later. We hope you strongly consider ManhattanGMAT for your test prep needs.

Have a safe and healthy New Year!


The Team at ManhattanGMAT

Veritas Prep vs. ManhattanGMAT – Instructor hiring and training


We are often asked to compare and contrast MGMAT to Veritas. The primary difference between ManhattanGMAT and Veritas is that the two organizations have vastly different approaches to Instructor hiring and training. We have several Instructors who have had direct experiences with both companies – their accounts follow below.

“The quality of any business is reflected in its hiring process. Manhattan GMAT’s excellent hiring process is the main reason I decided to work for it rather than for our competitor, Veritas Prep. Before applying to both companies, the only thing I knew was that they both advertised in Craigslist seeking instructors. I soon found out that the similarities end there.

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