Veritas Prep vs. Manhattan Prep

The comparison that thousands of GMAT students make every year

It’s a question we hear every day: “How does Veritas Prep compare to Manhattan Prep?” Among the savviest students who are considering GMAT prep course providers, Veritas Prep and Manhattan Prep long ago emerged as the two providers that seem to get the most consideration. So, the “Veritas Prep vs. Manhattan Prep” comparisons are inevitable.

We love it when students ask this question, since we’re very proud of how Veritas Prep stacks up vs. Manhattan Prep (formerly known as Manhattan GMAT). We have put together this page to help students understand the facts and objectively compare Manhattan Prep and Veritas Prep, and to dispel some of the outdated myths and half-truths that have persisted on some other websites.

GMAT Score Guarantee & Course Retake Policy

When it comes to guaranteeing your performance on the GMAT, Veritas Prep has the industry’s most generous score guarantee and free retake policy, while Manhattan Prep offers neither.

It doesn’t get any simpler than this: You may retake one Veritas Prep course of equal or lesser value, for any reason, free of charge within 12 months of the course start date. Even if you score above 700 but feel that with a little more preparation you could gain another 40 or 50 points, just call us. If you feel that you still have room for improvement on the advanced verbal problems, get in touch with us and we’ll add you to the next class. No matter what the reason is, we’ll be happy to host you again at zero cost to you.

Our GMAT score guarantee is also simple and free of loopholes: If you have a previous official GMAT score and take any 36-hour Veritas Prep GMAT course, and your score does not improve, we will refund your entire tuition or you can repeat the course free of charge.

Manhattan Prep’s GMAT score guarantee? There is none. Want to retake a course? That will cost you $399. Want a refund because you weren’t happy with the course? All payments made to Manhattan Prep are nonrefundable. We urge you to Google “Manhattan Prep refund policy” and see for yourself.

Manhattan Prep Has Been Owned by Kaplan Since 2009

For the first eight years of its existence, Manhattan GMAT grew through word of mouth to become a major independent player in GMAT prep. Unfortunately for today’s students, that changed when Kaplan acquired the company in 2009. As is often the case when a large company adds a smaller one to its portfolio of brands, things have started to change at Manhattan Prep.

I found the Veritas Prep course materials to be more useful than the equivalent Manhattan Prep books. On the surface, they seem quite similar, as all GMAT prep books do, but the Veritas books delve more deeply into certain important test taking strategies that seem as though they are an afterthought to the Manhattan books.

- Andrew McCormick
New York City GMAT Student, March, 2016

Since the acquisition, several senior managers have left the organization. Kaplan, which has seen its revenue decline significantly over the past five years, has had no choice but to divert resources that could go into new innovation at Manhattan Prep and devote those dollars to the rest of Kaplan’s test prep business. One victim of this lack of investment is Manhattan Prep’s practice test offering (see more below), which hasn’t been changed or upgraded significantly in years.

The regime change generated turnover among Manhattan Prep’s instructors and managers, and some insiders report a decline in company morale. It is now indisputable: Manhattan Prep is no longer the same company it was before it was acquired by Kaplan.

Be Careful When Counting Classroom Hours

Manhattan Prep advertises that it offers “54 hours of class time & coaching,” but many prospective students don’t realize that this only includes 27 hours of actual course instruction. The other 27 hours – three hours per week for nine weeks – are online meetings devoted to reviewing homework problems.

By contrast, Veritas Prep advertises 36 hours of classroom time, and this means that you really get 36 hours of course instruction, led by a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor. You also have access to our entire Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand pre-recorded, high-definition GMAT course, available online any time for one year from when you enroll. If you’re taking one of our Live Online GMAT courses, you also get access to the recording of every one of your own classes (not just any class, but the classes from the exact course in which you enrolled). Building on that, we also offer more than 12 hours of Skillbuilder online videos for viewing before each course, so you can make the most of those instructor-led hours in the classroom.

Our students get plenty of live online homework help, too. For 14 hours every week for one full year, Veritas Prep students have access to a live online classroom in which they can ask questions and get help from an experienced Veritas Prep GMAT instructor. Every Veritas Prep GMAT student has access to this resource for 12 months, no strings attached.

Up-to-Date and Accurate Practice Tests

Veritas Prep launched entirely new computer-adaptive GMAT practice tests in July, 2013, while numerous former insiders confirm that Manhattan Prep’s practice tests have not changed significantly in years.

Veritas Prep’s practice tests – which were built in-house – are based on the same Item Response Theory that is behind the official GMAT’s scoring algorithm. (GMAC had no involvement with the development of our own GMAT practice tests.) Using data from more than 23 million responses from more than 200,000 test takers, we built an all-new testing system that not only feels like the real thing, but also generates what many believe to be the most accurate practice test scores in the industry.

Manhattan Prep’s practice tests are flawed, or unlike the real GMAT, in several ways. The company is well aware of the flaws, but the tests have not changed in many years.

Mark Porath
Former Manhattan Prep Instructor

Every time a student answers a question, the system uses that data to refine its model of that question and better determine when and to whom it should serve that question again. In this way, Veritas Prep’s GMAT practice tests become more and more accurate every day.

These computer-adaptive tests (CATs) are now available to all Veritas Prep GMAT students, and a free practice test using this same technology is available to everyone in the world. It truly is adaptive testing, and the system is unique to Veritas Prep.

Know the Whole Story about Instructor Hiring

Veritas Prep puts every potential instructor through a rigorous hiring and evaluation process, including a mandatory performance evaluation with a veteran Veritas Prep GMAT instructor.

On its own website, in outdated blog posts that the company refuses to remove, Manhattan Prep falsely claims, “Most Veritas Instructors have never met anyone from Veritas in-person by the time they start teaching.” Since 2010, the Veritas Prep instructor evaluation process has included an in-person performance in front of a Veritas Prep mentor instructor. Candidates who successfully pass this round must then complete more than 100 hours of instructor preparation and serve as a teaching assistant to an experienced GMAT instructor before earning the privilege of leading a Veritas Prep GMAT course on his or her own.

Looking back through history, it’s worth noting that only Veritas Prep has exclusively hired 99th-percentile GMAT instructors since its inception. For a while now, Manhattan Prep has also made this a requirement of its prospective instructors, but this was only after Veritas Prep became a prominent national GMAT prep provider.

The GMAT Doesn’t Just Test Content. It Tests Your Thinking.

Manhattan Prep vs Veritas Prep

Since its launch in 2002, Veritas Prep has been dedicated to teaching the higher-order thinking skills that the GMAT measures, the very same skills that help students earn GMAT scores in the 700s.

The GMAT is not a test of what you know, but rather a test of how you think. You certainly need to know English language structure and usage, for example, but devoting yourself to memorizing idioms is a surefire way to keep yourself from reaching your maximum GMAT score potential.

Over the years, the Manhattan Prep name has become synonymous with “content-based curriculum.” Many students respond to this, since memorizing content was how they excelled in middle school, high school, and college. While we believe this is a good start to preparing for the GMAT, this approach falls short in building up to the higher-order thinking skills that MBA programs look for in successful applicants.

This is where Veritas Prep’s additional classroom time (33% more classroom time than what Manhattan Prep GMAT classes offer) really matters. We absolutely cover the core content that you need to know for the exam, but that’s just the start. Our students then progress to more advanced concepts, developing the skills required to correctly answer 700-level questions on the exam. Outside of the classroom, Veritas Prep students work on basic drills and review Skillbuilder video lessons before class so that instructors can focus the majority of classroom time on honing those critical thinking skills that students need on test day.

I thought this class was amazing! I took the Manhattan Prep course prior to taking the Veritas Prep course, and the Veritas Prep course really seemed to teach towards what the GMAT is actually trying to test. Manhattan Prep kept preaching continue to develop the fundamentals in order to complete problems quicker, where as Veritas Prep taught the fundamentals, but then took the learning even further by teaching the strategy on how to apply those fundamentals to answer problems quickly and efficiently.

Sean Ublacker
Live Online GMAT Course Student, March, 2017

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