Location
GMAT COURSE LOCATION

Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco

4.9 stars
(4.9/5) - 20 reviews
870 Market Street
Suite 1023
San Francisco, CA 94102
Joined: Dec 2017
Purchased Course: Jan 2017
College: USC
Major: Civil Engineering
Industry: Multimedia
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Great Investment

5 stars
December 21, 2017
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Isaac Puglia
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 720
The Manhattan Prep 9-session GMAT training course greatly exceeded my expectations and made it possible for me to achieve my target GMAT score. One of the best investments I have made. Isaac was a great teacher who kept the entire class motivated throughout the course.

Joined: Dec 2017
Purchased Course: Jun 2017
Major: Political Science
Industry: Energy/Extractive Minerals
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

570 to 770: Great course to conquer the GMAT

5 stars
December 17, 2017
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Ryan Jacobs
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 570   After: 770
When I first started studying for the GMAT, I couldn't remember how to find the area of a triangle. Manhattan Prep's course was awesome because it outlined everything I needed to learn, and gave me a plan of attack. Ryan walked our class through subjects like geometry and algebra in bite-size amounts so we didn't lose confidence. After learning the basics, I wanted to move at a faster pace. The course was perfect because Ryan would teach us the main concepts in class, and then I could do the hardest practice questions on that subject in Manhattan Prep's online platform. As I went through the ups and downs of finally getting above a 700, but not being able to break a 45Q score, I would have been lost without Ryan to turn to for guidance. He gave me advice that allowed me to make a couple breakthroughs in my performance. The actual test felt pretty easy because I had test techniques and the subject-matter knowledge to succeed thanks to Manhattan Prep.

Joined: Dec 2016
Purchased Course: Aug 2016
College: Indiana University
Major: Finance
Industry: Commercial Banking
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Highly Recommend Manhattan and Isaac Puglia

5 stars
December 20, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: isaac puglia
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: 690   After: 730
I would highly recommend Manhattan Prep for GMAT prep and Isaac Puglia as an instructor. I subscribed to his teaching method and exceeded my score goals in a timely manner.

Joined: Jul 2016
Purchased Course: Jun 2015
Verified Real Student Review

Highly recommend Kimberly Cabot

5 stars
July 23, 2016
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Kimberly Cabot
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 760
I took the prep course with Kimberly, and I really enjoyed my experience. She's very passionate about teaching the class and extremely knowledgeable as well. What I enjoyed most was her unique approach to solving quantitative problems. For example, while she would show us how to solve problems the "traditional" way, she would often point out a simpler solution that relied more on common sense thinking and less on calculation. I also really enjoyed her strategies around timing and pacing- from how to set up your scratch paper to benchmarks you should be following to make sure you're going to finish the exam on time. I think these small details were responsible for that +20 point boost I got on test day.

Manhattan Prep also has a ton of additional resources on their online student portal. My only gripe would be that it's very overwhelming and not presented in the most intuitive way. My favorite resource was the sentence correction book. While the classroom sessions do delve into the basics of sentence correction, this book is an absolute must to master all the nuances.

My final advice would be to take as many practices tests as possible. Manhattan provides 6 CATs, but I used free tests from Kaplan, Veritas, and the official GMAT to as well to improve my timing and pacing instincts and to diversify my prep. In my experience, the scores I got from Manhattan CATs were much lower than my official score (my highest Manhattan CAT was 700 and I was plateauing at that). So don't feel you need to hit your target score before taking the real thing. You may be pleasantly surprised on test day :)

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 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 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: Jun 2014
Purchased Course: Nov 2013
Verified Real Student Review

Great course - would absolutely recommend

5 stars
June 2, 2014
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Rey Fernandez
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 760
Took the 9 week course in SF - absolutely loved it. I found class to be extremely engaging - the detailed walk-throughs of practice problems were very helpful when it came to mastering the content. The online materials were fantastic as well, as they made it very easy to track progress and identify weaknesses. I would recommend this course to anyone thinking about taking the GMAT, regardless of what their score goals are!

Joined: May 2014
Purchased Course: Feb 2014
College: UC Berkeley
Major: Management/Business Administration
Industry: Advertising/Marketing
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Critical Assessment of Weaknesses & Online Resources

5 stars
May 13, 2014
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Ryan Jacobs
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 760
The course, instructor (Ryan Jacobs), and materials were all extremely helpful and very well thought-out. The lessons were helpful in challenging the class while taking the time to explain or re-explain concepts if necessary. While I ultimately think I could have learned some of the material on my own (which is what you do by doing the homework), I believe that the most beneficial aspect of the class was the deep analysis of my performance, progress and areas of improvement.

The online analysis of the practice tests and the practice questions (OG Archer - which use the Original Guide, but add better explanation) was critical to my score improving. I was able to identify both general areas of opportunity, as well as very detailed issues like timing with very specific types of questions. I relied on Manhattan GMAT to develop a strong foundation for the core concepts, then did every practice question I could get my hands on. Their explanations were so much easier to understand than any other resource I could find.

They also provide a free private session to review your practice tests and help you determine a personalized study strategy for your exam. This was very valuable for me as I was able to pinpoint key areas of improvement that made a big difference in my score. I ultimately improved 200 points from my diagnostic and ended up receiving a score in the top 700's. I would strongly recommend this course - worth the investment!

Joined: May 2014
Purchased Course: Nov 2013
College: Colgate University
Major: Sociology
Industry: High Technology/Electronics
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Manhattan GMAT materials make all the difference

5 stars
May 5, 2014
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Ryan Jacobs
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 750
I took the Manhattan GMAT 9-session prep course, and would be happy to recommend it to anyone interested. The teacher of my course, Ryan Jacobs, is perfect for a class of this style. His high energy style always kept me engaged, and he was always careful to not get too bogged on any one problem during the course.

The real key to Manhattan GMAT though is the materials they provide you with. The course is great, but the syllabus and accompanying books give each student a step-by-step process to follow until they ultimately take the GMAT. My biggest concern before I started studying was that I would eventually run out of material to review, but during the course I was able to follow the GMAT syllabus, and in the ~1 month after the course and before my test I had ample test questions to practice and review.

Additionally, the customer service from Manhattan is great. If I had a question I could always expect a prompt response, even on the weekend.

While I cannot speak to the quality of other GMAT prep companies, Manhattan certainly provides a great service.

Joined: Apr 2014
Purchased Course: Dec 2013
College: Emory University
Major: Political Science
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

Great Materials provided by Manhattan GMAT

4 stars
April 10, 2014
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Rey Fernandez
Recommended forVerbal: No   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 750
Manhattan does a wonderful job providing you with all the materials you will need with your studies (study guides, practice questions, practice exams, test prep booklet, and more) and gives you a plan of action (which lays out a weekly reading guid, practice problem guide, and practice exam guide). Without these materials and plan of action, I would have been lost in my studies. Manhattan also provides you with numerous full length exams scored in a similar algorithm to the actual GMAT.

I found the quantitative materials to be very helpful, as I had forgotten most of my high school math (which is essentially what the GMAT tests). I followed the syllabus diligently, read all of the quant reading, and completed all of the quant practice problems. My quant score raised dramatically from my first practice exam to my actual GMAT.

I came into the class already very strong in Verbal, and most of the Verbal material was designed for students who started a bit weaker. So although I learned a few useful tips, I did not gain much from the Verbal Review.

My instructor was a really great guy - friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful. The 9 3-hour sessions are somewhat helpful, but I definitely found self study of the Manhattan materials to be more helpful.

Overall, I definitely recommend Manhattan!

Joined: Mar 2011
Purchased Course: Jun 2011
College: Harvey Mudd College
Major: Computer Science
Industry: Computers/Software
Country: United States
Verified Real Student Review

D. Manhattan GMAT ALONE is sufficient

5 stars
January 19, 2012
Company: Manhattan Prep 396 reviews
Course: Manhattan Prep 9-Session Prep Course 276 reviews
Location: Manhattan GMAT - San Francisco 20 reviews
Teacher: Kim Cabot
Recommended forVerbal: Yes   Math: Yes
GMAT ScoresBefore: N/A   After: 710
I work 70-80 hours/week at a tech startup and simply did not have the time to figure out what I needed to focus on studying for the GMAT. I signed up specifically for this course so I could exceed a 700 GMAT score and manage my time effectively.

Manhattan GMAT gives you all of this. You receive more than enough textbook material to bury yourself in studying for months, but the instructors and course structure really help distill the essentials for you.

My instructor, Kim Cabot, is a fantastic teacher and I found the energy she brought to the classroom as valuable as her excellent pacing and delivery of the material. She was always able to explain even the most advanced quant questions clearly, and I really valued her advice on sentence correction (PIMPSCV!)