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Joined: Oct 31, 2018
740 Q49 V41
REVIEWER IDENTITY VERIFIED by score report [?]
Improvement 170 Points
Instructor Elaine Loh
I sometimes feel intimidated when I see other reviews for others that are scoring 750+. I hope to score 700+ on my retake in a few weeks, but I am very happy with the score that I received. I am not a brilliant student, nor am I naturally gifted with numbers, I just worked as hard as I could with the Manhattan Prep program. I want to be clear, without Manhattan Prep, and specifically Elaine Loh, there is NO WAY that I would have scored as well as I did.
As the title states, I first scored a 520 on a practice test in December 2018 with a different GMAT test prep company. I used that particular program consistently from October-December of 2018, and I was crushed that I could only score a 520. At that point, I decided that I needed to get serious, and I started the Manhattan Prep instructor led course.
I was skeptical that using a Manhattan Prep instructor led course could really help since I had been working so hard with the other GMAT program. I was completely wrong. The Manhattan Prep materials are simply the best that you can get. I’ve used some different materials from other prep courses, and they were pretty good. However, the Manhattan Prep strategy guides are clearly better than the competition. The online content, including the GMAT Navigator, is phenomenal and certainly worth the money spent. The strategy guides are comprehensive, easy to read, and effective. The course syllabus provided the exact type of structure that I needed to prepare for the GMAT.
However, I think the real difference was the course led by Elaine Loh. I can’t say enough good things about the actual course. When I was taking the class, I had confidence knowing that who I was working with actually scored in the 99th percentile. Elaine was fun, charismatic, and most importantly, she was genuine in wanting to help us score as high as possible. She really took the time to make sure that we understood the material. She taught the class in such a way that I could actually recall specific moments while I was taking the GMAT. I know it sounds weird, but I was actually singing our “peanut butter” words song under my breath while doing the verbal section. My wife laughs at me when I randomly say “when in doubt, get the pronoun out!” And lastly, I specifically recall Elaine telling us to “WORK IT OUT” when doing data sufficiency questions.
Elaine not only taught us the appropriate content, but also the strategy behind the questions---I think this is the real difference between high scores and mediocre scores. She taught us different ways to approach questions, and made sure we understood WHY we worked problems the way that we did. Knowing content will only take you so far with the GMAT. After completing the course and actually taking the test, I’m convinced that anyone can score above a 650 with the right preparation.
In closing, I want to thank Elaine Loh and the Manhattan Prep team for helping me to score as well as I did. This sounds dramatic, and maybe it is, but her course really helped me get closer to my dreams. For 3 long months, I had serious doubts about whether I could make it in business school. I could only see myself working in sales for the rest of my career. However, with Elaine’s help and Manhattan Prep, I can not only say that I WILL go to business school, but I also have a good chance of going to legitimate top business school. Thank you Elaine!
Joined: Oct 31, 2018
740 Q49 V41
Krista Nannery helped me gain admission to a T10 MBA program by helping me truly understand my career goals; helping me write strong, impactful, and memorable essays; and helping me prepare effectively for behavioral interviews and group interview activities. Moreover, I feel like Krista really cares about helping me reach my career goals, and over the past 6 months, I feel like she has grown into a friend rather than a consultant.
If you read nothing further than this, please read this:
She will absolutely strengthen your candidacy for your MBA program of choice. I went from settling for a T35-T50 school with a median salary outcome of $100k to a school with a median salary outcome of $145k. Just considering this, my ROI IS OVER 300%. If you consider scholarships and intangibles like experiences and network, my ROI is significantly higher.
Before Krista: planning to apply to T35-T50 schools
After Krista: Applied to 7 schools
Admitted to 2 T10 (one with a small scholarship)
Admitted to 2 T15-T20 (both with half scholarships)
Dinged WITH interview from 1 M7 school
Waitlisted with interview from 2 T15
Here are some highlights on what Krista helped me with:
1. Brainstorm. She helped me brainstorm potential essay topics by thinking about my personal, undergraduate, and work experiences. This was SO important because ALL of us have valuable experiences to share with admissions committees, but we sometimes discount those memories. As an experienced admissions insider, Krista helped me understand my unique experiences and how I could showcase them on my applications.
2. School selection. After considering my career goals and family needs), she helped me select schools that would be a good fit for me. Again, there is SO MUCH MISINFORMATION and stereotypes on the internet about MBA programs, so I’m glad that I had someone as knowledgeable as Krista on which schools could help me achieve my goals. She helped me pick 7 schools to apply in Round 1 since I wanted to be finished by early 2020. Krista was REALISTIC with me about my chances at certain schools, something I really appreciate after this humbling process.
3. Essays. Krista’s help in this area likely helped me get a scholarship from a T10 school. Krista helped me plan and put together top-notch essays. I tend to ramble (can you tell?) and Krista helped me refine my essays to the most important topics. In some cases, she helped me restructure my essays to make a stronger, more impactful statement. To be clear, she did not write my essays, but she did make my essays 100% better. If you’re a regular person like me, I promise you, your essays will be so much better after working with Krista
4. Recommenders. Krista helped me manage my letters of recommendation very effectively. First of all, she gave strict timelines that I used in order to get my applications in on time. This was very important since one of my recommenders took FOREVER to get back to me. When one of my recommenders gave me bland feedback, Krista helped me put together conversation points that helped me speak with that recommender. He ended up writing a fantastic letter of recommendation that included specific examples. Krista really saved the day here.
5. Interview prep. This was HUGE. MBAmission provides free interview guides for top programs. These guides include actual questions and what to expect. Krista took this a step further and conducted mock interviews with me. This gave me a significant advantage over other applicants since I had an idea of the pressure that I would feel answering real interview questions. Krista asked actual behavioral questions that sometimes caught me off guard, but this helped me during the real interview. In one scenario, 100% of the questions during my T10 interview were asked either in our mock interview or in the Interview guide. HUGE ADVANTAGE!!!
6. Advice and Friendship. I feel like Krista really cared about me, my family, and my helping me reach my goals. At no point did I ever feel like we had a transactional relationship. During this entire process, I feel like Krista has grown into a family friend, someone that I can trust for real, honest career advice. I think we all need someone like that in our corner.