Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog

Mission Admission: What Type of Candidate Are B-Schools Seeking?

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: What Type of Candidate Are B-Schools Seeking? by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


One of the most common questions we hear from business school applicants is “What type of candidate does [Harvard/Stanford/Wharton/Chicago Booth/etc.] want?” Of course, the answer to that question is that schools do not want just one type of applicant. Instead, each MBA program is striving to assemble a remarkably diverse class and thus wants to be able to identify distinct qualities in each candidate. Read more

FAST Math for the GMAT (Part 3 of 5)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - FAST Math for the GMAT (Part 3 of 5) by Stacey Koprince

Did 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.


Welcome to the third installment of our Fast Math series. (Miss the earlier installments? Start here.)

Here’s the basic premise: I’m always on the lookout for ways to get out of doing tedious paper calculations on the GMAT.

The awesome part: the test writers actually set this up for me! They know we’re not going to have to do a bunch of paper math in b-school or the real world, so they construct problems that allow us to take advantage of all sorts of shortcuts…if we’re paying attention. Read more

Tiny GMAT Critical Reasoning Mistakes You Might Be Making (Part 1)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Tiny GMAT Critical Reasoning Mistakes You Might be Making (Part 1) by Reed ArnoldGuess what? 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.


Critical Reasoning. It’s not the easiest subject to teach, I tell ya. Or to study. On the one hand, it’s deceptively simple: ‘here are four sentences, answer a question about them.’ You might be glad there are no formulas, no little rules to memorize. Unlike geometry, in which you might not see a 5-12-13 triangle on the actual test but need to know about them just in case, GMAT Critical Reasoning is usually just a game of spotting a few parts of an argument and answering the question logically.

But while there are certain things that show up again and again—premise, conclusion, counterpoints, assumptions—there are a lot of different ways the GMAT can construct the logic, and a lot of different ways they can make wrong answers seem tempting. How many times have you been wrong but the answer just felt so right? Read more

Revising Your Resume for Your MBA Application

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Revising Your Resume for Your MBA Application by mbaMission

Each week, we are featuring a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


In revising your resume to be submitted with your MBA application, your overall goal is to create a document that showcases your major accomplishments and career progress for the admissions committee in an effective and compelling way. Your resume is an important opportunity to tell your professional story—and to some degree, even your personal one—in a concise form. We strongly caution you not to underestimate the value of this document. The admissions committees actually review applicants’ resumes carefully, so you want yours to be simple and consistent in style while being powerful in substance.

One of the most common errors that MBA candidates make is leaving their resume in an industry-specific format, full of jargon and acronyms recognizable only to an expert in their field. Remember, the schools are not hiring you for a job but are trying to develop an understanding of your progress, accomplishments, and even character. Each bullet point in your resume must highlight achievement over positional expertise. Read more

FAST Math for the GMAT (Part 2 of 5)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - FAST Math for the GMAT (Part 2 of 5) by Stacey Koprince

Did 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.


Welcome to part 2 of our Fast Math series! In Part 1, I acquainted you with the fact that I’m a lazy math person: I don’t want to do any more than I have to in order to answer the question. And this series shows you how!

Principle #2: Learn shortcuts for when you do have to do the math.

You already saw the first example of this in Principle #1:

Shortcut #1: When multiplying a string of numbers, pair off the 5’s and 2’s and multiply them first.

Let’s say that that problem hadn’t had a 20 in it. If we had to multiply 5 and 81…how would you do that? Read more

What’s the Deal with Square Roots on the GMAT?

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - What's the Deal with Square Roots on the GMAT? by Chelsey Cooley

Did 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.


Here’s one of the most common math questions my students ask: “What’s up with negative numbers and square roots on the GMAT?” Luckily, the answer doesn’t involve a lot of complex rules. In this quick article, I’ll lay out the issues surrounding square roots and negative numbers, and share everything you need to know to handle them confidently.

If you’ve been studying for a while, or if you’ve worked your way through Foundations of Math, you probably know that there’s a strange interaction between negative numbers and exponents. If you square a negative number, the result is positive. If you square a positive number, the result is also positive. Squaring a number makes the negative sign ‘go away.’ This is where the problem with square roots comes in.

Suppose you’re looking at an equation that looks like this: Read more

Mission Admission: Look Beyond Business School Rankings

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Mission Admission: Look Beyond Business School Rankings by mbaMission

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips from our exclusive admissions consulting partner, mbaMission.


We at mbaMission have tried repeatedly to persuade candidates who are evaluating MBA programs to downplay the various business school rankings, which can fluctuate wildly, and instead focus on fit, which is enduring. Now, as a new admissions season is about to begin shortly, we recommend that you accelerate and broaden your evaluation process. Read more

FAST Math for the GMAT (Part 1 of 5)

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division-sign-gmat-fast-math-part-1-of-5-stacey-koprinceGuess what? 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.


I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty lazy when it comes to doing math on paper. Blame constant access to Excel and the calculator on my phone…but I’m completely over doing math on paper.

If you give me a problem that’s going to require half a page of calculations…well, I’m not going to want to do that problem. But on the GMAT Quant section, I don’t get a calculator, so how can I still get a 99th percentile score while staying true to my lazy-math desires?

Let’s do some Fast Math! Read more

Error Log: The #1 Way to Raise Your GMAT Score!!

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - The #1 Way to Raise Your GMAT Score: The Error Log!! by Elaine Loh

Did 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.


This is not hyperbole. I truly believe that the number one way to raise your score is to have a thorough error log. I have had a number of students who come to me after having gone through most of the Official Guide but who are still struggling to get the scores they want. When I ask, “What do you have to show for doing ALL of these problems?” the answer is often something along the lines of “I’m not sure.” That drives me bonkers! I want you to work smart, not hard.

Read more

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Business School Stereotypes

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Business School Stereotypes by mbaMission

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.


Many business school applicants believe that the MBA admissions committees have distilled their criteria for selecting candidates over the years and have in mind a specific “type” of individual they want. For example, within this world of business school stereotypes, applicants believe that Harvard Business School (HBS) is looking only for leaders, Kellogg is looking only for marketing students, Chicago Booth is looking only for finance students, and even that MIT Sloan is looking only for “eggheads.” Of course, these business school stereotypes—like most stereotypes—are inaccurate. Chicago Booth wants far more than one-dimensional finance students in its classes, and it provides far more than just finance to its MBA students (including, to the surprise of many, an excellent marketing program). HBS is not a school just for “generals”; among the approximately 950 students in each of its classes, HBS has a wide variety of personalities, including some excellent foot soldiers. So, at mbaMission, we constantly strive to educate MBA candidates about these misconceptions, which can sink applications if applicants pander to them. Read more