Manhattan Prep GMAT Review

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Since 2000, Manhattan Prep has grown from a boutique tutoring company with a primary focus on GMAT preparation to one of the world’s leading test prep providers.

What makes Manhattan Prep GMAT so great?

  1. Comprehensive, quality content: Its curriculum is designed around a content-based approach that teaches the material covered on the exam rather than remembering tricks. All courses come with a complete Manhattan Prep GMAT book set that includes quality content, from basic foundation to advance. Many 700+ scorers swear by Manhattan Prep Strategy Guides as one of the must-have supplement materials to the Official Guide for GMAT. 
  1. Expert instructors: Its instructor hiring policy is very rigorous, recruiting only those with 99th percentile scores and substantial teaching experience; many of them have over 10 years of teaching experience under their belt. Not only are the instructors professional, highly adept and qualified at teaching, but they can also give you invaluable advice throughout your GMAT odyssey.
  1. Exceptional video lessons: Manhattan Prep created an award-winning interactive video lesson called Interact which is designed to keep you engaged with the lessons, making the learning experience much more enjoyable than traditional self-studying or video lessons.
  1. Decent practice test: Although no prep company can fully replicate the actual computer-adaptive test, Manhattan Prep’s Practice Exam is still a great alternative to practice exam mindset and pacing. You can also submit the AWA section to the Manhattan Prep team to be graded and receive written feedback according to the scoring rubric in 2 business days.

With the mix of these core strengths, Manhattan Prep offers a variety of products catering to different needs. In this article, we will help you evaluate whether Manhattan Prep GMAT has the right course for you.

Courses & Price

The course options range from self-study, class, to private tutoring. All with an add-on option for three 1-hour private Coaching Sessions. But when it comes to price, Manhattan Prep lets you know that a premium product comes with a premium price.

Course NameCourse NameClassPrivate TutoringPrice
GMAT Interact$549 – $999
GMAT Complete Course$1,399
GMAT Advanced Course$1,199
GMAT Boot Camp$2,699 – $5,199
GMAT Private TutoringStarting $225/hour
+ Coaching Sessions+$400

Despite charging the premium price, Manhattan Prep does not offer a score improvement guarantee. However, if you don’t achieve your score goals, you can reach out to your instructor for guidance and how best to move forward. 

GMAT Interact

GMAT Interact is ideal for students who want a flexible, self-paced GMAT course. You will study mainly through the on-demand Interact video platform and supplement your study with Manhattan Prep books and its online resources. 

Content and learning experience via Interact is very similar to what you would experience from a seasoned teacher during an in-person class, as Interact impressively integrates study tips, test-taking strategies, and exam mindsets.

Not only that, the platform also reacts to your performance and provides tailored explanations based on your preferred approach. We love this feature as it allows you to go straight to getting the right answer rather than re-learning unfamiliar approaches in order to understand the explanation.

GMAT Interact

This Interact lesson shows you three examples to organize your paper on test day in a fun way

Key Features

  • Interact: On-demand video platform
  • Full sets of Manhattan Prep books and online resources
  • 6 full-length computer-adaptive Manhattan Prep GMAT Practice Tests, including essay grading.
  • GMAT Mobile App: For study on-the-go

Pros:

  • Self-paced: For those who don’t like taking class because you don’t want to be stuck in a group pace, learning through Interact will be the most effective use of your time.
  • Comprehensive Course: Comes with complete Manhattan Prep GMAT materials and interactive video lessons that replicate in-person learning experience and integrate proven tips and strategies throughout the lessons.
  • Enjoyable learning experience: Interact video lessons explain concepts well and make the complicated concept much simpler. They also deliver the content in a light-hearted manner, making the learning experience pleasant and enjoyable.

Cons:

  • No instant expert help: Despite such a high price, it is quite disappointing that this course does not offer private expert help via chat. However, you can post any GMAT related questions in a Manhattan Prep GMAT forum which has standby instructors. The questions usually receive a response within a day. The studying advice, in particular, is extremely helpful.

If you are considering but not sure if Interact is right for you, Manhattan Prep gives you a free trial for 5 Interact lessons.

GMAT Complete Course

Available via both online and in-person, this course is ideal if you have just begun your GMAT journey, you value classroom interaction, and you need some external structure to study because self-motivation is hard for you, especially when you’re already working full time.

Expect the content covered in class to be the same as in GMAT Interact.

You will study mainly through the live class: 27 hours in total spreading over 9 sessions, and supplement your study with Manhattan Prep books and its online resources. Online classes are held via Zoom video conference. Since instructors are required to follow a well-structured Manhattan Prep curriculum, expect the content covered in class to be the same as in GMAT Interact, which is also included in this package. 

Manhattan Prep Online class format using Zoom platform

However, the benefit of classroom interaction is that you will gain an in-depth understanding of all topics covered because you can immediately ask your instructor questions during the class. Through classroom interaction, you will also gain some great strategies and different methods of approaching problems from your peers. You will be surprised how many creative shortcuts have been discussed during the class that you might not have otherwise known because they are not the approach in the curriculum

Keep in mind that courses are not a magic hat, bestowing instant knowledge upon the wearer. You can’t simply show up for the nine sessions and expect to improve. You still need to put in substantial work outside of class on your own, where you learn to apply those lessons to practice.

Key Features

  • 27 hours of in-person or online class
  • Private pre- and post-exam assessments with an instructor
  • Everything in GMAT Interact

Pros:

  • Comprehensive course: Learn how to tackle GMAT problems directly from the 99th percentile instructor, providing you with tips and strategies throughout. Comes with complete Manhattan Prep GMAT materials.
  • In-depth learning experience: Thoroughly understand all topics covered from interaction with the 99th percentile instructor. You can ask questions and get answers immediately. 
  • Pre- and post-exam assessment: Most GMAT test takers take the exam more than once. This feature is going to be your savior to minimize those numbers. When you have to retake the exam, nothing is going to soothe you more than knowing that a 99th percentile instructor is on your side, helping you on the right path with a winning strategy.

Cons:

  • Constrained by group pace: Proficiency levels of your classmates are different, so you might feel that some parts are going too slow for you as the instructor may spend a lot of time explaining concepts you already know.
  • Overlapped content with Interact: Most, if not all, of the concepts and strategies taught in the course are already covered in Interact. You can view it as an option to review the lessons taught in class rather than as an additional studying material.

Fortunately, Manhattan Prep provides a try 1 session for free which we highly recommend you to take advantage of before committing the full course as the price is expensive. This is also an opportunity for you to test out your future instructor.

GMAT Advanced Course

If you have been studying GMAT for a while and have a balanced score of at least 650 (and Q42/V35)–that is, if you have both strengths in both quant and verbal–but you can’t seem to reach the high score that you are aiming for, then this course may be the answer for you.

You will study mainly through 5-session classes, 3 hours each, and supplement your study with Manhattan Prep books and its online resources. 

The experience is very similar to GMAT Complete Course. However, the instructor assumes you already have a solid foundation across all basic math and grammar content, so he or she will intensely focus on building strategies on more difficult questions; therefore, taking a shorter time to complete than the full GMAT Complete Course. 

Key Features

  • 15 hours of online classes
  • Private pre- and post-exam assessments with an instructor
  • Everything in GMAT Interact

Pros:

  • Focus on next-level skills: Comprehensive quantitative and verbal instruction focused exclusively on what is needed to move into the uppermost GMAT score range in both content and strategy.
  • Personalized environment: For a concentrated push instruction,each class is comprised of 2 instructors and maximum 15 students.
  • Pre- and Post-exam assessment: Get personalized help from the 99th percentile instructor to set you on the right path with a winning strategy.

Cons:

  • Constrained by group pace: Proficiency levels of your classmates are different, so you might feel that some parts are going too slow for you as the instructor may spend a lot of time explaining concepts you already know.

If you are a former student of Manhattan Prep Gmat course, you are eligible for a discount by contacting its Student Support for specific quotes.

GMAT Boot Camp

This intensive course is designed for those who want fast results and can commit to GMAT study full time for 3 weeks. The course comprises 35 hours of instruction, either online or in-person, spreading almost every day throughout the course which requires you to put in 4-6 hours of work every night between sessions.

If GMAT Complete Course is a marathon, then GMAT Boot Camp is a sprint with a sideline coach. 

Compared to Manhattan Prep’s flagship course, GMAT Complete Course, GMAT Boot Camp provides longer hours of instructions (35 vs 27 hours) and more private sessions with the instructor. If GMAT Complete Course is a marathon, then GMAT Boot Camp is a sprint with a sideline coach. 

However, you will go through the same lessons and homework as GMAT Complete Course students. So don’t expect that the number of hours you put into studying will be fewer. In fact, GMAT is not like other tests that you can cram. It drains your brainpower very fast, especially when you practice questions. Most students feel their performance significantly worsens after 4 hours. Moreover, 99% of the students have at least one weak area that is going to require some time to fix, so after the course ends you will still need to practice on your own. 

Key Features

  • 35 hours of online or in-person class
  • 3 hours of online Coaching Sessions
  • Private pre- and post-exam assessments with an instructor
  • Everything in GMAT Interact
  • 12 hours of private tutoring (only available in Boot Camp Plus)
  • 6 hours of foundational math instruction (only available in Boot Camp Plus)

Pros:

  • Faster duration: Instead of the typical 2-3 months lesson period, the course ends only after 3 weeks
  • Comprehensive course: Learn how to tackle GMAT problems directly from the 99th percentile instructor, providing you with tips and strategies throughout. Comes with complete Manhattan Prep GMAT materials.
  • In-depth learning experience: Thoroughly understand all topics covered from interaction with the 99th percentile instructor. You can ask questions and get answers immediately. 
  • Personal GMAT Coach: With pre- and post-exam assessment, as well as 3 hours or online coaching sessions, you will get ample personalized help from the 99th percentile instructor to set you on the right path with a winning strategy.

Cons:

  • Constrained by group pace: Proficiency levels of your classmates are different, so you might feel that some parts are going too slow for you as the instructor may spend a lot of time explaining concepts you already know.
  • No time to drill weak areas: There are only one or two days apart between each session, leaving you little spare time after completing assigned homework. So you will not have the luxury of time to focus on your specific areas of improvement during the course. 
  • Energy Draining: Long hours of study and practice required per day can quickly exhaust your brainpower.

GMAT Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is suitable for customized direction or concentrated push on areas of growth if you are already scoring 670+. Or you simply do not care for a group-work pacing, and you have a high budget. With GMAT Private Tutoring, you can book sessions with 99th percentile instructors with a minimum of 2 hours and utilize these hours however you like, online or in-person. 

The private tutoring follows Manhattan Prep’s content so your tutor will teach what you generally see in GMAT Complete Course, but fully customized to your pace and your approach. Keep in mind that the quality of content delivery and teaching style still depends on who you get, so we recommend doing some due diligence on the person you will be working with.

The private tutoring follows Manhattan Prep’s content so your tutor will teach what you generally see in GMAT Complete Course, but fully customized to your pace and your approach.

To book in-person sessions, it normally takes less than a week to confirm the appointment. However, in some areas where in-person private tutoring is in high demand, you may have to wait a few weeks for the appointment. This possible long wait time could either slow down your progress or your concerns might be irrelevant by the time you secure your appointment. We recommend checking with the Manhattan Prep about typical lead time in your area.

Key Features for 10+ hours sessions

  • Customized online or in-person sessions
  • Everything in GMAT Interact

Pros:

  • Fully customized: Can use the time to hone your certain areas, to strategize a study plan, or asking advice for suitable test-taking methods from your 99th percentile score instructor. You pretty much have control over the pace and the lessons. 
  • Comes with a full self-study package: If you book more than 10 hours, you will be eligible for GMAT Interact.

Cons:

  • Quality varies among instructors: As with typical private tutoring, you should do your research before booking an appointment. It may take trials and errors before you find a tutor that you prefer.
  • Expect up to a few weeks to make appointments in areas where there is a high demand for in-person tutoring.

Final Thoughts

We highly recommend GMAT Interact if you just started your GMAT preparation. Our team really enjoys learning through Interact platform as it does a great job in explaining concepts succinctly and making them easy to understand. You will learn important test-taking strategies and exam mentality which you will rarely find from normal self-study. The course comes with complete Manhattan Prep resources that encapsulate 360-degree GMAT preparation. You can also upgrade to GMAT Advanced Course for the price difference later if you need more push for an elite score by contacting the Student Support Centre.

Interact platform does a great job in explaining concepts succinctly and making them easy to understand.

FAQ

Is Manhattan Prep GMAT test harder than the real GMAT?

Although Manhattan Prep tries to replicate the actual GMAT exam question as much as possible, generally its Quant section is tougher than the real exam while its Verbal section tends to be slightly easier. As for the score, it really depends on the scoring algorithm but in general, you will see a lower overall score than the real exam.

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