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Boost your GRE score with Crunch Time



A lot of GRE students choose to study on their own but need a bit of extra help to feel ready for test day. A full prep course may not be the right fit. Continuing to study alone isn’t going to cut it, either.

If this sounds like you (or a GRE studier you know), check out Crunch Time!

Crunch Time is a new kind of prep program we developed specifically for students who have already learned most of the GRE content, but don’t feel confident enough to take the test yet. This 2-hour online workshop will focus on game day strategies and quant practice questions to help you apply your GRE knowledge under pressure.

Some workshop highlights include:

  • Timed and proctored GRE problem sets to simulate the real exam experience
  • Guided review on the most effective ways to analyze your practice work, led by our GRE experts
  • Open Q&A session to address your concerns
  • Post-workshop email support

We’ve had this program in the lab for while, and we’re really excited to finally bring it to you! The first of these workshops will be offered on Tuesday July 14th.  If you think some time with a GRE master would help push you to your final goal score, you should definitely give it a try. Learn more and sign up right here.

See you there!

Manhattan Prep Instructor Wows With Record-Setting Jeopardy Win


3-24-Jeopardy-GREYesterday, the whole wide internet was shocked by the Jeopardy dominance of “This dude Michael”, but here at Manhattan Prep we weren’t surprised at all. We already knew that dude was smart and we knew that dude had the mathematical wherewithal to bet $7,000 without batting an eyelash.

Here at MPrep we know that dude as Michael Bilow (one of those people who command such respect that he must always be talked about using his last name lest anyone in earshot mistakenly attribute an anecdote or joke to some less deserving Michael). On Jeopardy, he lived up to his legend taking home the fourth highest single-day winnings in Jeopardy history: $57,198.

Michael Bilow joined the Manhattan Prep family in 2011 using his perfect GRE score and spectacular teaching chops to secure a role as an LA-based GRE instructor. A few years later we realized we needed more Bilow in our business so we asked him to join the Marketing Department. He took a position as our Business Data Analyst, while continuing to teach GRE classes and pursue his PhD. After seeing him flawlessly juggle those responsibilities, we never had any doubt that he would take the Jeopardy world by fire.

By now the whole country knows of Bilow’s intellectual prowess, but we know so much more. Michael is a dedicated practitioner of improv, a delightful presence in Google Hangout meetings, and a stylish dresser. We can’t wait for his next trip to the New York City headquarters so he can buy us a drink with his winnings after he takes a quick a nap in a tutoring pod.

Congrats, Michael Bilow! Keep it up!

Announcing 4th Edition GRE Strategy Guides


gre-strategy-guidesThe Manhattan Prep team is pleased to announce the new edition of our popular set of eight GRE® Strategy Guides, available now. All are content-driven and written by real GRE® instructors. Used individually or as a set, these guides will help you develop all the knowledge, skills, and strategic thinking necessary for success on the GRE®!

This comprehensive set covers every topic tested on the GRE® revised General Test, with many practice problems and more pages per topic than all-in-one books. All eight of the books have been updated. Here are some of the details:

Word Problems: Newly expanded rate problem chapter, now detailing various rate scenarios that can appear on the test. Build your understanding of ratios, statistics, probability, and more. Learn to classify and most efficiently solve these challenging GRE® math questions.

Reading Comprehension & Essays: Revised strategy chapters for note-taking and Argument Structure passages. Practice with many Reading Comprehension passages and questions. Optimize your Essay performance with clear ground rules and recommendations.

Text Completion & Sentence Equivalence: Six newly updated drill sets with complete explanations, including definitions. Study over 1,000 vocabulary words, made memorable with usage examples.

In addition, you’ll get six free online practice exams with the purchase of any Strategy Guide, including answers, explanations, scores, and assessment tools.

We are eager for students to start using these new practice materials. We hope you are as excited about these books as we are.

POWERPREP II for Mac is here!


iStock_000016135823XSmallCan I use POWERPREP on a Mac?  This is one of the questions most frequently asked by students calling us here at Manhattan Prep.

Well, I’m happy to say that my answer to this question is now a resounding, YES!  The long awaited introduction of ETS POWERPREP software for Mac users is here!  As of July 2013, ETS offers a Mac-compatible version of their terrific practice test software.  Mac-loving students will no longer have to worry about borrowing their roommate’s cousin’s boyfriend’s PC to take their practice GRE.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the software, POWERPREP is free practice exam available directly from ETS, the administrators of the GRE.  POWERPREP is an excellent resource, one that we recommend all of our students use.  The software includes two computer-based tests, sample Analytical Writing topics, scored sample essays and reader commentary, test-taking strategies, a math review, and test tutorials. We recommend that students save at least one POWERPEP II test until fairly close to their real exam to get a nearly exact practice run of what will happen on test day.

So, rejoice, Mac-users, POWERPREP for Mac is now available.

Math Flash Cards Are Here


Math-Flash-Cards-3We know that carrying around GRE study materials can be a hassle.  Some days you just can’t carry an extra 5 lbs in your backpack/messenger bag /satchel/kangaroo pouch/suitcase.  As such, students often turn to flash cards for convenient, on-the-go studying.

Up to this point our flash cards have only been a vocabulary building tool and over the past year, students have asked that we offer cards for the quant section of the exam.  It seems that students’ commutes were unbearable (or at least less enjoyable) when they didn’t afford a chance to study for the GRE quant section.  Well, fear not, commuters Math Flash Cards are now available! (If you will, please imagine that last sentence being accompanied by the Superman theme.  You know the one; it has the triumphant horn section.)

Our new math flash cards provide math drills for all skill levels and include easy-to-follow explanations to help you build fundamental math skills for the GRE.  You can use these cards as a teaching tool, or for rapid quant drills.  These 500 cards cover a wide variety of quant topics including algebra, geometry, word problems, number properties, and more.  If you are looking for bite-sized math practice, these cards are for you.

The GRE 5 Lb. Book is Coming


The path to a good GRE score shares a lot with the path to rippling pectoral muscles.  Routine, repetition, and weight lifting are required.  And in just one 5lb bookweek, we are going drop five pounds of GRE material.

Fear not, Philosophiae Doctorate-destined fitness fanatics! On February 5th we will be releasing our new strategy guide supplement the 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems.  No longer will you have to choose between working out and studying; carrying around this 5 lb. behemoth (real weight closer to 5.8 pounds) will help you keep both your mind and muscles limber.

This book contains over 1,800 GRE-style practice problems broken down by topic and organized by difficulty.  Using this book, you can home in on your weaknesses and then drill those areas to improvement.  Our comprehensive tome covers every GRE question type and subject area, including the essays.  Rounding out the book, is a list of over 1,400 key vocabulary words and idioms.  This is the largest and most comprehensive book of GRE practice problems anywhere.

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The GRE Continues to be Relevant for Business School


ETS distributed this press release last week with an update on how the GRE is being used as a GMAT alternative for business school applications.  There is not too much new information in this release but a few things caught our eye.

The big news is that more than 1,000 business schools now accept GRE scores.  This follows the pattern that we’ve seen over the past two years “ the relevance of the GRE as a business school test continues to grow.  The press release also includes a sampling of quotes from business school admission directors affirming the validity of the GRE as a GMAT alternative.  These quotes match up with what we have heard from admission officers.  There is ample evidence that the GRE can be used for most business school applications in place of the GMAT.  As always, check the list of schools accepting the GRE before choosing to take it for your b-school application.

The release also specifically notes the success of the new ScoreSelect option.  As we mentioned earlier this year, the ScoreSelect feature is a student friendly addition to the GRE score reporting policy that allows students to only report their best GRE score out of multiple attempts.  While most schools never frown upon multiple GRE attempts, we believe this feature to have a psychological benefit to students.  The idea that a GRE score isn’t on your permanent record helps to take a bit of test-day pressure off students.

GRE News: POWERPREP II v 2.0, ScoreSelect, and the new Retake Policy


manhattan prep gre

There is BIG NEWS  in GRE-land!

Late last week, ETS launched their POWERPREP II version 2.0 preparation software.  We were anticipating that this software would drop in August, so the 3-week advance is a nice surprise.  Unfortunately, the test still isn’t Mac compatible, but a number of other problems have been addressed.  Version 2.0 includes two timed practice GREs (rather than just one as was the case with the old version), and can now be used on 64-bit Windows 7 machines.  Most importantly, the software will now score your tests on the new 130-170 scale.  The older version was still giving those wide score estimates based on the 200-800 scale, so this new software is a huge improvement for students in terms of estimating performance.

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GRE News: ScoreSelect (and How it Helps You)


Manhattan Prep GRE Blog - GRE News: ScoreSelect (and How It Helps You) by Taylor DearrDid you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GRE courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

Yesterday, ETS announced a big change to the way GRE scores will be reported to admissions panels. Starting in July of this year, GRE test takers will be able to choose which test scores they send to their graduate institutions. You can now choose to send only your best GRE scores using the ScoreSelect option.

This is big news for GRE test takers, and we wanted to give you the full scoop on this new feature. We had a chance to talk to ETS officials yesterday and we got all the details on this new ScoreSelect option. Here are our top 3 thoughts on ScoreSelect. Read more

GRE Pacing and Strategy: The Review Screen



One of the highly touted features of the Revised GRE is the ability of students to navigate freely within a test section. While the old GRE was (and the GMAT is) a Computer Adaptive Test, which required students to complete the test without skipping a question, the Revised GRE is a Section Adaptive Test, which allows students to skip questions and analyze the overall section on a review screen. But, as great as this feature sounds, you shouldn’t skip around. On the GRE, time is extremely valuable. Time spent hunting for an easy question is time wasted.

That is not to say the review screen isn’t a boon; it can be. Pacing is an extremely important part of GRE strategy, and the review screen can help you with that.

By test day, you should have an idea of how much time you will spend on each question. Here are some good guidelines for how much time you can afford on each problem type: Read more