Manhattan GMAT
Excellent prep course, great instructors !!
September 03 | 2013

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       By cvk84 joined: May 23, 2013 | 9 | 1 | native speaker
Improvement:  90 Points  |  Verbal:        |  Quant:      
This review is for:   Manhattan GMAT 9-Session Prep Course | Location:   San Jose (Milpitas), CA USA | Taught by:  Ron Purewal
I've seen the MGMAT books before but I wanted to learn some actual test strategies to hit the 99th percentile. I'm very glad I took the 9-week course under an amazing instructor, Ron Purewal. My score on the GMAT after this course was 760, from an initial mock test score of 670.

Quant: I'm a techie, so I'm used to writing complex equations, doing in-the-air math and spending long hours on tough problems. Unlearning these habits for the GMAT was the most helpful part of this course. After some initial resistance and disastrous mock tests, I understood Ron's emphasis on finding alternate techniques and using common sense in Quant. In every class, once a problem's time was up, Ron would stress stopping work on the problem and actually putting the pen down. This is probably the hardest part for techies - accepting that the problem just beat you. But with Ron enforcing this strategy in every class, I acquired this habit and my quant scores started going up in my mock tests. Ron also teaches several alternatives to algebra to unblock you, these come extremely handy on the actual test.

Verbal: I was terrified of CR questions, I always seemed to get these wrong. Again, Ron's techniques of summarizing the arguments and real-world thinking helped enormously here. After a while, CR became all about common sense and real-world reasoning. Sentence Correction gets easier as you go through the 9 weeks, tougher topics like Modifiers come up later in the course. But it's enough to just practice the topics covered in each class and focus on SC strategy and timing. My only concern was RC, which gets only two classes in the course. While passage-reading techniques, timing and question types were covered, I had to rely on some external resources, like blogs, to recognize the question types and eliminate bad answers.

Mock tests: Very very useful in getting used to the test format. I took 8 MGMAT + 2 GMATPrep tests, one each weekend. The assessment summaries tell you where you're getting better, and where you need to improve. Definitely do the AWA and IR sections to build stamina, the Verbal is a lot tougher then since you're sapped by then (just like the real GMAT).

Takeaways: Rely on Ron to teach you the right techniques for all the problem types, interact as much as you can in his class. Break the bad habits and apply Ron's techniques to practice problems. The strategy guides (especially SC) give you all the necessary content. But the practice is really up to you. Apart from the official OG and guides, I used the MGMAT Question banks, the 494 additional questions from GMATPrep. Also, watch "Thursdays with Ron" for the tough topics. Above all, enjoy the GMAT prep and the test becomes a lot easier.
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