Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog

Cracking the GMAT Code

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Cracking the GMAT Code by Chelsey Cooley

The GMAT will never lie to you. But, it doesn’t always tell you what you really want to know. The GMAT is a little bit like my friend in this exchange:

Me: “What do you think of this outfit?”

My friend: “Well, it’s very… creative.” Read more

Michigan Ross Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Michigan Ross Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Michigan Ross essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan must have liked the essay questions it used last year, because it has made only the smallest of tweaks to them for this season. Previously, the school gave applicants nine options for its 100-word short answers—this year, candidates have just six. One has to wonder whether the admissions committee received an abundance of responses to the prompts that were kept, while those that were largely ignored by applicants were discarded. Similarly, Michigan Ross has maintained a second 300-word career goal essay but has refined it, dropping verbiage about long-term goals and asking only about applicants’ short-term goals. Again, we will make an inference here: Michigan Ross is saying that most long-term goals are so vague and prone to change that it is interested in learning only about the short term, which the school can more directly influence. Anyway, those are the tweaks; our Michigan Ross essay analysis follows… Read more

GMAT Critical Reasoning: Arguments that Predict the Future

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - GMAT Critical Reasoning: Arguments that Predict the Future by Chelsey Cooley

GMAT Critical Reasoning is repetitive. The arguments in GMAT Critical Reasoning problems might be dressed up differently—one is about local politics, another is about business—but, under the surface, the arguments use the same tricks over and over again. If you learn to spot these tricks, you’ll also learn to spot the right answer. (You’ll also start poking holes in every argument you hear, which is a great way to make new friends.) Read more

Why Robots Aren’t So Good at GMAT Sentence Correction

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Why Robots Aren't So Good at GMAT Sentence Correction by Ryan Jacobs

Greetings, reader. I wish to determine whether you are a robot. To help me do so, I will show you a sentence, and then ask you a very simple question about the sentence. Just so you know, the sentence uses correct grammar and would be an acceptable answer choice were it to appear in a GMAT Sentence Correction question. Please don’t worry about correcting the sentence; instead, just read it and then answer the question. Ready? Read more

Sucking All the Juice Out of GMAT Quant Problems (Part 2)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Sucking All the Juice Out of GMAT Quant Problems (Part 2) by Patrick Tyrrell

Grab your Official Guide as we walk through 3 GMAT Quant problems (Problem Solving), hoping to drink every drop of knowledge from the problem before we say, “Yo, that keg is kicked.”

In part 1, we discussed the process of maxing out the value of the GMAT Quant problems you do.

As you review them, classify your current level of mastery for that problem. Read more

Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2018-2019

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Columbia Business School Essay Analysis, 2018-2019 by mbaMission

How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? With this thorough Columbia Business School essay analysis, our friends at mbaMission help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute, so that your experiences truly stand out.


Columbia Business School (CBS) has just released its essay questions for this year, and the admissions office is offering applicants “a little bit old and a little bit new.” Its micro essay (really just a goal statement, to be fair) and first essay remain unchanged, while its second essay is a repackaging of a prompt from two years ago, and its third is brand new. In the past, for its third essay, Columbia Business School applicants could choose from two prompt options, generally pertaining to their personal lives and passions; now, candidates must respond to a question about a team failure instead. In short, this year, applicants have less choice with their essays (though the word counts have not changed), and the topics involved skew slightly in favor of the professional and academic and away from the personal. Let’s jump into our Columbia Business School essay analysis… Read more

Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 2)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 2) by Stacey Koprince

Last time, I gave you a couple of questions to try and then we discussed how to minimize your work on the first one. (If you haven’t read the first installment yet, go do that now.) Today, we’re going to review the second problem. Read more

How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - How to Use Parallel Construction in Your MBA Application Essays by mbaMission

Longer and more complex sentences often require parallel construction. Simply put, parallel construction ensures that any given longer sentence has a standard rhythm or construction. With parallel construction, each pronoun corresponds with another pronoun, each verb corresponds with another verb, each adjective matches with a corresponding adjective, and so on. Parallel construction can certainly be found in shorter sentences as well, and to great effect. Read more

Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 1)

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Executive Assessment: Fast Math for Faster Solutions (Part 1) by Stacey Koprince

The Executive Assessment (EA) shares a lot of roots with the GMAT, GMAC’s flagship graduate business school exam. In certain ways, the Executive Assessment feels almost like the GMAT on steroids—it’s even more stereotypically GMAT-like than the GMAT itself, if that’s possible. Read more

Using Data to Ace the GMAT

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Manhattan Prep GMAT Blog - Using Data to Ace the GMAT by Chelsey Cooley

Over the last two articles, I analyzed what we know about missing GMAT Quant questions and missing GMAT Verbal questions. As it turns out, you can miss a lot of questions on the GMAT. Getting a lot of wrong answers doesn’t guarantee you a bad score—and getting a lot of right answers doesn’t guarantee you a good score. Read more