Company
GMAT PREP COMPANY

Manhattan Prep

4.8 stars
(4.8/5) - 329 reviews
Joined: Nov 2015
Purchased Course: Nov 2015
College: Fordham University
Major: Finance
Industry: Investment Banking
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

590 to 700 - Thank you Manhattan Prep and Joe Martin!

5 stars
April 24, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - New York 77 reviews
Teacher: Joe Martin
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 590   After: 700
I took the GMAT several years ago and scored a 590 after reading through the Official Guide and working through practice tests/problems. This time, I decided to take a more serious approach with a prep course, and I had heard from some of my friends that Manhattan Prep was the best. I registered for Joe Martin's class, followed the syllabus throughout the 9 weeks, self-studied for a month after the class ended, and scored a 700.

After browsing through the course options, I decided to go with the full 9-week course, but wanted to ensure that both the day/time and instructor were right. Many of the reviews I read pointed to Joe Martin, so I registered for one of his classes. That turned out to be the right decision.

Joe will be the first one to tell you that all of the Manhattan Prep instructors are great, but he has consistently proven to be among the best. He is engaging, funny, and knowledgeable about both the mechanics and the content of the GMAT; you will find that understanding the GMAT itself is just as important as understanding the formulas, grammar rules, etc. that the questions are derived from. He also is very approachable for questions in class or via email.

In regards to the Manhattan Prep books: if you are taking the GMAT, you should be using those to study. Although there are 10+ books, they are very clear and not intimidating at all. They break down each topic and prepare you for every kind of question you will see on the test.

The Manhattan Prep CATs are also great. You get 6 CATs, which is more than enough, especially combined with the free tests you get from GMAC itself. After each MPrep test, you get a breakdown of each question, which is extremely valuable to see what you got wrong or even how you can get correct answers faster.

If you are taking the GMAT, use Manhattan Prep and try to get into Joe Martin's class. You will not regret it.

Joined: Mar 2016
Purchased Course: Dec 2015
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Manhattan GMAT is a must. Thank you Joe Martin!

5 stars
March 29, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - New York 77 reviews
Teacher: Joseph Martin
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 700
I was initially hesitant to sign up for the course because it was a bit costly. I decided to go through with it since I couldn't reach my target score of 700 by studying on my own (for over 6 months). After reading numerous reviews about Joe Martin, I signed up for his 9-week course and I absolutely LOVED it! Joe was a great teacher who taught the class many GMAT tricks and and gave us an understanding of the exam. He kept the class fun and the 3 hours always flew by. I scored a 580 on my initial practice exam before the class began. When I took the GMAT last weekend, I received my target score of 700! Thank you for all of your help Joe & Manhattan GMAT! No regrets.

Joined: Mar 2016
Purchased Course: Jan 2015
Verified Real Student Review

Fantastic course for achieving your goals!

5 stars
March 15, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 16 reviews
Teacher: Isaac Puglia
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 750
About Me

I am a 33-year old Mexican. I attended a Manhattan Prep GMAT course in San Francisco and a live Manhattan Prep GRE course in Oakland in early 2015 and then studied with a tutor in Mexico in mid 2015. I took both courses because my career plan required that I take both the GMAT and the GRE. I have only taken the GMAT so far, and depending on the business schools that I get in, I might or might not need to take the GRE. These are my GMAT results:

06/06/2015: V 32 66%, Q 40 46%, AWA 5 59%, IR 3 25%
Total: 600 60%.

07/09/2015: V 38 85%, Q 39 42%, AWA 6 91%, IR 4 38%
Total: 630 70%.

24/11/2015: V 44 98%, Q 49 78%, AWA 6 91%, IR 6 67%
Total: 750 98%.

Intro

When researching GMAT preparation courses, the options can be overwhelming. You have online self-paced courses, live courses, boot camps, and private tutoring. Depending on your budget, study style, and goals, there is a right option for you. Before I get to my Manhattan Prep review, a brief introduction.

Before deciding on an option, I recommend that you read about the GMAT. Learn how the sections are divided, the timing for each section, and the different question types. Once you are familiar with the exam, download the free GMATPrep software and practice some questions.

You can download the free GMATPrep software from this link: http://bit.ly/1SRwOrA

These are the question types:

Verbal Section (Verbal)
-Sentence Correction (SC)
-Critical Reasoning (CR)
-Reading Comprehension (RC)

Quantitative Section (Quant)
-Problem Solving (PS)
-Data Sufficiency (DS)

Integrated Reasoning (IR)

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

I recommend that you write at least a couple of essays for the AWA section.

You can download the prompts for the AWA from this link: http://bit.ly/1M6qqeD

After two weeks or so of practicing the questions in the GMATPrep software take a practice exam in the GMATPrep software.

It’s important that you imitate official testing conditions when you take the practice exam. Here are some tips for doing so:

-Schedule four hours.
-Work in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, such as a library.
-Bring a squared graph notebook and ballpoint pen for working on your answers. I used about 20 sheets per practice exam.
-Turn off your cellphone or leave it at home.
-During the exam you can’t have a watch, calculator, or any other device, so don’t bring one.
-Turn off the Wi-Fi in your computer and close all applications except for the GMATPrep software.
-Begin your test and don’t skip the AWA and IR sections.

After you finish the test look at the score for each section and the overall score.

If your overall score is above 700, congratulations! You don’t need much prep. I am not implying that you shouldn’t prep for the real exam, but pointing out that you won’t need to invest much time to achieve your target score. If your score is below 700, you will benefit from prep. Now let’s discuss the options.

Independently of what you end up deciding, you will need the official guide because it’s the only source of official GMAT questions. Although each prep option has its own practice questions, and these questions are similar to what you will find in a real exam, they aren’t identical. You can actually find many official questions online, but you will have trouble staying organized if you follow this approach.

I recommend that you get the Kindle version of the official guide. It’s $18 dollars on Amazon and you can get it from this link: http://amzn.to/1UeOQVF. Also, there is an official Quantitative Review guide, which you can get for $8 dollars from this link: http://amzn.to/1pn69Hm. There is also an official Verbal Review guide, which you can get for $8 dollars from this link: http://amzn.to/1Vb1k0a.

Now let’s talk about Manhattan Prep. I chose Manhattan Prep because after an hour or so of researching on forums, it was what most people recommended. I chose the live course because it gave me an excuse to travel to San Francisco and spend some time in that wonderful city. I know that these aren’t compelling reasons for choosing Manhattan Prep’s live course, but in retrospect they were the right choice for me, and maybe they will be for you.

Why Manhattan Prep?

It’s difficult to compare preparation options because you usually don’t use more than one. Even if you use more than one, the second option will benefit from the experience acquired during the first. So I’ll tell you what I liked about Manhattan Prep.

Instructors

Manhattan Prep only hires instructors who scored at least on the 99th percentile and have ample teaching experience, teaching classes or as private tutors. Manhattan Prep’s high hiring standards guarantee that you will have an exceptional teacher. In fact my teachers, Isaac for the GMAT and David for the GRE, were comparable to the best teachers I’ve had both in high school and in college. This is relevant for the live course, although not so much for the online self-paced version.

My teachers not only were great during their respective classes, but also were accessible and responsive after finishing my courses. For example, after completing a Manhattan Prep practice exam, I would write to Isaac and he would get back to me within a day with a detailed analysis of my exam. Additionally, I would often send a question with a solution I didn’t understand to either Isaac or David, and they would reply with a detailed explanation within a day.

Some personal experiences about how great Manhattan Prep’s teachers are. I could never, ever, understand combinatorics. Ever since I first learned about them in high school, I always got combinatorics problems wrong. However, David was able to finally help me understand combinatorics through his clear, fun, and relevant examples. Also, David would send corny stories each week by email that used GRE words in creative and compelling ways. The stories were so memorable that they made it easy to learn the new GRE words. Finally, Isaac would send a recap email after each session with the key takeaways to study. These emails weren’t generic. They were specific to our class experience.

Resources

I will focus on the GMAT resources now. The books are fantastic. They cover all the GMAT sections and topics from the basics all the way to the advanced problems and strategies. The Sentence Correction guide is probably the best guide out there. I also found the Advanced Quant book, which is not included in the live course, very useful in my final push. You can get the Advanced Quant book from this link: http://amzn.to/253mzW2. There is one area of improvement though: Manhattan should give you the option to opt for a Kindle version of their books when you buy the live or online self-paced courses. The physical books are bulky and the electronic version that Manhattan Prep gives you works with Adobe Digital Editions, which pales in comparison to the Kindle reader application.

Apart from the books, Manhattan Prep gives you a problem by topic guide that was invaluable in my later studies. The guide breaks down the official guide’s problems by topic, so if you want to focus on geometry, for example, the topic guide lists all the geometry problems in the official guide.

Furthermore, the GMAT Navigator was a key part of my study workflow. The navigator is an online tool in which you enter a problem number, your answer, and the time it took you to solve the problem. You can then see the correct answer and explanations for why the right answer is right, and why the wrong answers are wrong. You even get video explanations for some questions. Additionally, the navigator keeps track of your timing and performance, providing useful analytics for later on. It’s sort of an error log, but not a substitute for one. I wish Manhattan Prep would release the navigator as a standalone app with error logging capabilities. It would be very useful! Maybe I should just code something like it… Moving on!

As a side note, I just found out that Manhattan Prep charges an additional $49 dollars for the GMAT Navigator. It was free when I took my course and for some months afterwards. Nevertheless, I think that the GMAT Navigator totally worth it. Continuing.

Manhattan Prep has six practice exams that are very similar to the real GMAT exam. After you finish an exam, you can access answer explanations and an Assessment Report with useful data, such as timing per question and right and wrong answers by difficulty and topic. The Assessment Report will help you improve your timing strategy and identify and focus in your weak areas. Essentially, the Assessment Report from your Manhattan Prep exams will guide your study plan. Because the GMAT Prep software doesn’t provide this data, the Manhattan Prep exams with the Assessment Report analytics are far more useful.

Post-Exam Assessment

After you take a GMAT exam, Manhattan gives you a free Post-Exam Assessment (PEA) with an instructor. During the assessment, the instructor goes over your results, asks you to solve some problems while he observes, and outlines a customized syllabus for you. By the end of the PEA, the instructor details exactly what you should be doing between now and your next exam date.

In my case, I asked for my PEA after my second attempt because, although I had a significant improvement in verbal, I hadn’t improved in quant. I had an online session with Ryan. In my session, he gave me many pointers, and the most important one was to get the Advanced Quantitative Guide from Manhattan Prep and work on it. He said that I needed to practice with more advanced problems to improve my quant performance. I ended up doing all 150 problems in the guide. By the way, some of these problems are insane. I didn’t even know that there was an Advanced Quantitative Guide before I spoke with Ryan, or that I was above the medium difficulty level but below the hard difficulty level for quant as Ryan pointed out. In the end, my PEA was an important part of my 120-point increase in my third attempt, on which I got a 750 or 98th percentile.

Why live?

There is a $750 dollar difference between the live and the self-paced online Manhattan Prep courses. The difference might seem like a deal-breaker, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not. In fact, I think you should invest as much as you can to get a high GMAT score. Here is why.

Consider that the entering class for the top 15 MBA programs in the United States has an average GMAT score of above 700. Although the GMAT is not the only thing that business schools consider for admission, a high score will certainly improve your chances of admission to a top ranked program. Now, let’s assume you graduate from Stern, which is among the top 15 MBA programs in the United States and has an average entering class GMAT score of 721. Assuming you end up earning the average salary of the graduating Stern class, you would make around $100K dollars per year. Compare Stern with the University of Miami, for which the entering class has an average GMAT score of 621 and an average early career pay of $70K dollars per year. That is a $30K dollar difference per year for a 100-point difference in GMAT score. I know that your GMAT score and the MBA program you end up attending will not be the only factors that affect your future pay prospects, and that correlation between GMAT score and pay doesn’t imply causation, but we could devolve that argument into not needing an MBA, or even a college degree to be successful in life. My point is that a higher GMAT score will increase your chances of entering into a higher ranked program, which will have higher pay prospects holding everything else equal. Also, not only will you have higher pay prospects, but also will you have a higher quality of peers, teachers, and network.

The previous paragraph is irrelevant unless I can prove to you that a live course will yield a higher score than an online self-paced course. Unfortunately, I don’t have the data to backup that claim. However, I can give you some compelling reasons for doing a live course over an online self-paced one, and tell you why I believe that these reasons will yield a higher score.

To begin with, a live course will set you on a study schedule. Unless you can get into the habit of consistently studying for the GMAT, you won’t easily achieve your target score. Also, in the live course it’s more difficult to get distracted than when studying on your own.

Additionally, through the way the live class is conducted, you will get insight into different ways of solving questions. Being more specific, after Isaac asked us to solve the problem on the board, he would ask each of us to share how we approached the problem. Knowing more than one approach to a problem is very important when facing the GMAT, as you will later learn.

The most important reason for taking the live course instead of an online self-paced course is your classmates. You will meet people that are in the same boat as you. Not only you will learn from them, in some cases more than you will from your teacher, but also they will keep you motivated and on track. For example, after my course ended, my class kept meeting on the same day and at the same time of the class for study group. These meetings kept everybody in the GMAT track after class. We even went to an MBA presentation at Stanford where we learned many useful MBA application skills, such as how to write a compelling essay. Additionally, my classmates were very helpful later on in the process. They shared study strategies, MBA application tips, and even helped with my essays. Their struggle becomes yours, and your struggle becomes theirs. Everybody cheers for everybody else, and trust me, there will be many moments during which you will have a need for cheering!

Finally, let me give you a reason that only applies if you want to attend a full-time or part-time MBA. Why do you want to do a full-time or part-time and not an online MBA? Write it down. The answer that you wrote down is the same answer to why you should do a live course instead of a self-paced online course. Clever right? No? Well…

Conclusion

In the end, unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to achieve your target score, it doesn’t matter if you choose Manhattan Prep or Patito Prep (In Mexico, we use the “Patito” brand whenever we want to imply that something is cheap and of low quality). You are the most important element in your own success. I owe my success to Manhattan Prep’s resources and teachers, my classmates, coaching from my tutor in Mexico, my supportive wife and, above all, my unrelenting desire to beat the GMAT.

PS

I am slowly writing a blog post about my MBA application experience. I will cover the study techniques that ended up being the most helpful for my final score, my essay writing struggles and approaches, and my interview preparation strategy. If you are interested in reading about my experience, go to this link: http://bit.ly/1M6raAs, which will redirect you to the future post about it. Your click will motivate me to write faster. Thanks for reading!

Joined: Mar 2016
Purchased Course: Jul 2015
College: UC Berkeley
Industry: Computers/Software
Verified Real Student Review

Couldn't have done without it

5 stars
March 7, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Teacher: Isaac Puglia
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 650   After: 750
My class was top-notch. The structure of the class, the homework, and the online learning were high quality. I would not have been able to study for this test effectively with just a book - the curriculum helped me navigate the sea of content, in the right order. Isaac, the instructor, was excellent: he anticipated our questions, explained everything clearly, spent extra time to help us after class if we needed, and was funny and warm. I really appreciated the approach of the class as well - first master the content while getting used to timing, and then focus on areas of weakness in the latter part of the class. Definitely could not have increased my score by 100 points without Manhattan. I would recommend it to anybody.

Joined: Feb 2016
Purchased Course: Nov 2015
Verified Real Student Review

Great Experience and Investment

5 stars
February 25, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT Live Online 9-Session Prep Course 41 reviews
Teacher: Jamie Nelson & Laurel Hanson
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 620   After: 730
I used the live GMAT course (online) and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to boost their scores, especially if you're struggling with timing or testing strategies. I took the GMAT twice the prior year and only used online self-study courses and practice tests to prepare and didn't have great results so I decided to give the live course a try. Instructors Jamie Nelson and Laurel Hanson were a huge help teaching the fundamentals and keeping me focused during the study process, as well as providing very useful insights along the way. With their help I was able to boost my score by 110 points. If you're willing to put in the time and effort to the work outside of class, then I believe the MGMAT course can be really helpful.

Joined: Feb 2016
Purchased Course: Jan 2016
College: Miami University
Major: Finance
Industry: Investment Banking
Verified Real Student Review

Could not recommend more highly

5 stars
February 23, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT Private Tutoring 29 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - New York 77 reviews
Teacher: Joseph Martin
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 740
Briefly - I could not be more pleased by my experience with Joe Martin and Manhattan Prep. I was under significant timing pressure, with only one month to prepare for the GMAT, and was blown away by how much I was able to improve though my private tutoring work with Joe.

Joe's instruction, combined with the Manhattan Prep resources, were invaluable in helping me develop test taking strategies for both the quant and verbal and rebuild the math skills that I had neglected since high school.

I was ultimately able to achieve a score that would have been at the very highest range of my expectations when I began this process, and I could not be more satisfied with my experience and outcome.

Joined: Jan 2016
Purchased Course: Dec 2014
Verified Real Student Review

Excellent course to get up to speed with content and strategy

4 stars
January 30, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 640
I would echo the view of most of GMAT takers that Manhattan offers the best content. I have attended the course in person in London and it has certainly prepared me well to score over 600. My only issue lack of practice material outside questions in the book. If you are someone learns by practising (and making mistakes) you may find course a little bit light on practice materials. Hence, I choose to sign up for Magoosh which had tons of pracrtice materials for a fraction of the MGMAT price and both course worked very well in combination.

Joined: Dec 2015
Purchased Course: Aug 2015
Verified Real Student Review

Great Course - High Recommended!

5 stars
December 17, 2015
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Teacher: Ryan Starr
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: N/A
Based on my experience, Manhattan course is the best GMAT prep course out there. Before I started the Manhattan course, I was using Veritas Prep on demand and did not see huge improvement in my practice test scores.

I enrolled in the Manhattan GMAT 9 week prep course and I am finishing my preparation to enroll in the exam.

I attended all the classes and felt that they were a great supplement to my studying. I cannot recommend Manhattan Prep and instructor Ryan Starr enough. Ryan Starr is a fantastic teacher who genuinely cares about his students' performance. Ryan’s tricks and words of encouragement were incredibly helpful in improving my score.

In addition, the website is amazing - "homework help" hours, the on demand prep, the evaluation of the preparation – its making a huge difference.

I believe that the approach to learning that Manhattan Prep has created is what truly makes the course successful.

I can only think of good things to say about the company and the employees of Manhattan.

Joined: May 2013
Purchased Course: Aug 2015
Country: Portugal
Verified Real Student Review

A must for the Quant Section!

4 stars
December 17, 2015
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course 242 reviews
Teacher: Ryan Starr
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 490   After: 650
Its True: Manhattan GMAT provides students with the skills and strategies essential for success

The course is very comprehensive given you the opportunity to improve your skills in each of the section tested on Gmat Exam.

The course is special good for the ones who want to improve the quant score - i notice that the mocks exams on quant section are harder than the real exam. My improvement on quant section were from Q37 to Q47.

Notice that our score really depends on the work he put into studying plan. With discipline, focus, and a time, he can achieve our dream score.

Joined: Dec 2015
Purchased Course: Sep 2015
Major: Economics
Industry: Diversified Financial Svcs/Insurance
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Consistency Pays Off

5 stars
December 16, 2015
Company: Manhattan Prep 329 reviews
Course: Manhattan GMAT Live Online 9-Session Prep Course 41 reviews
Teacher: Noah Teitelbaum
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 680   After: 740
Manhattan Prep combines the two necessities of beating the GMAT: content and strategy.

For content, the 9-week course is balanced between Verbal and Quant, building on itself each week with both readings and actual OG problems. Progress is tracked by 3 CAT exams taken throughout the course, as well as homework planners and trackers. The essay and IR are also taught, but in such away that they are thoroughly understood without becoming an added layer of stress.

As for strategies, instructors at Manhattan Prep cut to the core of each problem type. For Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency, students are taught how to instantly recognize question stems. Then, depending on the answer choices, strategies such as back-solving, smart numbers and even guessing may be utilized. For verbal, the approach of eliminating answer choices helps to keep thoughts organized and makes even the toughest problems a 50-50 toss-up. Most importantly, there is an intense focus on timing, without which even the smartest test takers will be lost.

As an aside, for those who cannot commit to a weekly class in a consistent location, the live online course is great. Each session is still incredibly interactive and the ability to actually see and hear the instructors makes it hard not to pay attention.

For those thinking of taking the GMAT, best of luck! However, you won't need luck if you use Manhattan Prep...