The quickest way to a top-percentile score – now available for the GMAT Focus Edition.

Optimize Your Study Time with Our 5-Week GMAT Prep Course

Menlo Coaching’s GMAT Prep Course delivers time-efficient instruction for the new GMAT Focus Edition.

By pairing proprietary learning methods with official GMAT content, we’ll prepare you for a 90th percentile score with 5 weeks of live instruction followed by a 5-week study plan for timed practice and reinforcement.

*With Our Money Back Guarantee, you can request a full refund minus $100 before the start of the 3rd lesson, no questions asked.

Next Course Begins
July 9, 2024

See full course schedule.

Need a 90th Percentile GMAT Score, Fast?
Learn Why “Big Test Prep” Can’t Help You…

First came Big Oil. Then came Big Tech.

Now, there’s Big Test Prep. 

You know those big corporations, and their high-profile global brands. If you graduated from college in the past 40 years, you had seen their flyers plastered all over your campus. 

But if you need a GMAT score that will open doors at top MBA programs, are those industry behemoths right for you? 

Cornering The GMAT Prep Course Market

Test prep grew into a big business the same way the oil and tech industries did—by appealing to mass markets. But Big Test Prep didn’t corner the GMAT market by targeting folks with high aspirations like you. 

Instead, the industry got rich from a mass market with 50 times the buying power—the torrent of MBA applicants satisfied with decent, mid-percentile scores. 

A couple of decades ago, those scores might have won you entry at some top 25 MBA programs. Those were the quaint, grand old days of Big Test Prep. 

But today? No way. Times have changed. With a fiercely competitive candidate pool from around the world, in 2024, elite MBA admissions don’t work that way. 

Today, you need a 90th percentile score. Or better.

That’s why we added created our GMAT Prep Courses and tutoring packages. We want to help folks like you—ambitious folks whose big career plans require scores well-beyond average.  

And just so we’re clear, we’re not Big Test Prep. We don’t appeal to their mass market. But understanding more about Big Test Prep’s closely-guarded secrets will help you understand why we’re your best choice for the special kind of GMAT prep you need.

Can You Score in the 90th Percentile on the New GMAT? 

Yes, you can.

We don’t yet have exact figures on the number of 90th-percentile scorers on the GMAT Focus Edition—this version of the test is just too new.

But because the Focus Edition is still, fundamentally, a measure of higher-order reasoning and data literacy skills, the right study methods are sure to yield the high-percentile scores that top MBA programs look for. 

Still, the vast majority of folks who score in the 90th percentile range will do so in spite of their GMAT prep course—not because of it.  

If learning that fact surprises you, learning why will surprise you even more. 

To understand, you need to hear some of the dirty little secrets that the Big Test Prep behemoths don’t want you to know. 

Let’s start with, for example. . .

Dirty Little Secret #1

Big Test Prep has a nasty habit of relying on inauthentic exercises and practice tests that don’t prepare students for the real GMAT.

The issue here is not so much about the difficulty of Big Test Prep’s “simulated” exercises and exams per se, but instead about the inauthentic nature of their exercises and exams. 

In other words, some of these firms employ difficult exercises and practice tests, but rather they are not difficult in the same ways that the GMAT Focus Edition’s real test items and practice tests are difficult. 

In many cases, the reason for this inauthenticity is typically because the simulated questions don’t assess the skills that GMAC, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, intends its actual GMAT test items to measure. 

Frequently, Big Test Prep firms write purported Quant questions that assess math skills, or purported Verbal questions that assess English skills. But the GMAT isn’t a math test, and it isn’t an English test. Strictly speaking, the test doesn’t measure those underlying skills—which is why the application of those skills doesn’t make the GMAT difficult. 

Instead, the GMAT measures analytical abstract reasoning in both the Verbal as well as the Quant sections. It only uses quantitative expressions and English sentences and passages as vehicles to test analytical inferences and abstract reasoning—not to test math and English content knowledge.

This regrettable two-step shell game results in what some have called the “Big Test Prep scam.” In brief:

  • The Big Test Prep firms first write their own in-house, “simulated” test questions that aren’t the same as GMAC’s authentic questions. . . 
  • . . .then those firms repackage and sell those questions within GMAT prep courses, tutoring, book sets sold by weight, and online platforms linked to question banks containing thousands of “proprietary” test items. All these products teach these firms’ own in-house strategies to solve their own in-house test item simulations—which are never the same as the GMAT’s authentic test items! 

Think of what the Big Test Prep firms are doing as monetizing inauthenticity. Yet this is big business. Unsophisticated examinees spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on Big Test Prep’s offerings, even though those customers pay premium prices for products that to one degree or another amount to inauthentic knock-offs of genuine GMAT test items. 

Big Test Prep mostly does this for financial reasons because this practice drastically lowers their costs. This way, they write simulated practice questions for a tiny fraction of the $2,500 average cost that GMAC pays expert subcontractors like the American College Testing Program to develop each question on the GMAT. 

Believe it or not, you read that right. The 64-item GMAT Focus Edition that GMAC’s software serves to a typical examinee contains questions that cost about $200,000 to develop. Each Executive Assessment, with a little more than half the GMAT’s questions, costs about $100,000. And at $2,500 per item, the entire test bank from which the software selects and serves test items must have cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build during the 18 years since GMAC fired Educational Testing Service in 2003. 

The part-time, junior GMAT teachers Big Test Prep hires presumably know the difference between the simulated and authentic questions. They can tell. But because they lack the decades of teaching experience found among the best-paid full-time professionals in the business, it’s not in the best interest of these ambitious young employees to openly call attention to the ways the industry monetizes inauthenticity.

These “pseudo-GMAT” exercises also help enhance customer satisfaction—at least temporarily, that is. Because so many of their answers are correct, Big Test Prep’s students believe they’re performing superbly in the GMAT prep classes and on the practice homework. They also feel that putting in a lot of effort was the correct path to get a high score, and they feel virtuous about all their difficult study.  

But then these students show up for the real GMAT, only to experience a surprise on test day. They find that the actual test differs from their exercises and practice exams in unexpected, perplexing ways, and end up with scores well below the 90th percentile. 

Is it any wonder? Not at all. This is the result that Big Test Prep was designed to produce. That’s because the industry’s economics inherently incentivize median-seeking outcomes—not scores in the 90th percentile range.

Dirty Little Secret #2

The value propositions of many Big Test Prep companies tend to pitch volume over quality and service.

Firms like these subtly imply that their highest-scoring students worked through the largest number of their voluminous practice questions. And that all of their students should do that, too.

But a lot of fallacies exist with that grueling, workaholic value proposition. 

For one thing, it’s blatantly using fear as a motivator, despite 50 years of research in social and educational psychology demonstrating that fear motivates students poorly. It’s manipulative, arguably dysfunctional, and doing that is just plain wrong. 

But second, have you ever noticed that the GMAT test takers who aspire to attend the best business schools—those who most need 90th percentile scores—usually have the least time available for GMAT prep?

Think about it: What junior management consultant or investment banker or Silicon Valley technical lead do you know who has plenty of free time during months of evenings and weekends to devote to working through many hundreds of GMAT exercises?  

In 2024, does anybody like this even exist? 

Do you have free time like that? 

This is where GMAT efficiency becomes critical in an industry rarely known for efficiency. Spoiler alert: As much as 75 percent of the scattershot, time-wasting curricula and methods of several Big Test Prep firms are useless on the actual test—and may even be so destructive that they later require “deprogramming” by experienced GMAT tutors like ours at Menlo Coaching. And the opportunity cost of not instead studying the 25 percent of concepts most useful in solving 90th percentile test items has damaged many scores. 

Besides, working through huge volumes of content exercises won’t help with an exam that—as we just pointed out—doesn’t primarily test math and English content.

What will help is learning to select and apply a targeted assortment of critical reasoning strategies—carefully selected methods that efficiently solve the broadest spectrum of genuine GMAT questions. 

So if you need a 90th percentile score, you can’t afford to trust your study to a bloated Big Test Prep “imitation curriculum.”

Instead, you need something more efficient, streamlined, and authentic: you need a curriculum developed for elite scores.

A 99th Percentile Curriculum By Chris Kane

A funny thing happened when Chris Kane moved to New York City a decade after graduating from Stanford University. 

Chris Kane, Vice President of Test Prep at Menlo Coaching

Learn more about Chris

A possible career switch into management consulting had drawn Chris to New York. But instead of conducting informational interviews on Wall Street, he thought it first seemed like a good idea to see if he was right for a management consulting career in another way—by taking the GMAT.

He maxed out the test with a 99th percentile score. 

Then Chris switched careers in an entirely different way. He decided that instead of crunching numbers on Wall Street, he would much rather help people succeed on the GMAT.

Chris quickly rejected the approach used by Big Test Prep, realizing that the best way to achieve a high score was to work exclusively with genuine sample questions.

That was almost 20 years ago.  Since then, using a curriculum based 100% on official GMAT material, Chris has been fortunate to hire and work beside some of the best instructors in the business.

At the top of this list is Hailey Cusimano.  A seasoned tutor with a decade of full time GMAT experience (and a high 99th percentile score!), Hailey brings unparalleled subject matter expertise and enthusiasm to the classroom.   A true captain of the Test Prep industry, Hailey is the perfect instructor for the new Menlo Coaching GMAT Focus Edition courses. 

Starting in January 2024, Hailey will take over as the instructor for Menlo Coaching’s GMAT Prep Course, carrying on the approach to GMAT instruction that Chris pioneered.

Meet Your Instructor, Hailey Cusimano

Hailey Cusimano, Director of Tutoring

Learn more about Hailey

Reading through countless student testimonials, one thing becomes clear about Hailey Cusimano: her enthusiasm for the GMAT is infectious.

As one student put it, “it’s amazing to work with someone who absolutely loves what they’re doing and really, really wants you to succeed. Hailey thinks the GMAT is great, and she’s having a blast, so you have a blast too.”

This positive attitude works particularly well in the classroom, where Hailey leads students through the exam, section by section.

Emphasizing strategy in every lesson, Hailey encourages students to put themselves in the shoes of the GMAT question writers: “once you start to understand the underlying design of each question, you’ll reach a point where you say ‘aha! I see what they’re doing here!’ That’s when things really start to click.”

In addition to her animated teaching style, Hailey brings a deep expertise to Menlo Coaching’s GMAT Prep Course: with a 780 on the original GMAT and a perfect verbal score, Hailey is one of the most trusted experts in the industry. Through it all, Hailey emphasizes a strategy-focused approach to GMAT preparation, one built around a curriculum developed by Menlo Coaching’s VP and Head of Test Prep, Chris Kane.

Interested in Seeing a Sample of Our Curriculum?

Get a preview of the classroom, with access to a Refresh Module + full course recording.

Praise for the Menlo Coaching GMAT Prep Course

Hear from GMAT Prep Course Students

Frequently Asked Questions About Menlo Coaching’s GMAT Prep Course

What’s included with the course?

The $1600 course includes 25+ hours of live lessons with the following curriculum elements (in both written and video form):

Refresh Modules

Most students in our courses don’t need an expert’s help with reviewing the most basic skills required for the GMAT. However, not all underlying skill areas are equally important. During the 18 years of the modern, post-ETS GMAT, the examiners have tested some of these skills much more frequently than others.

The greatest value an experienced GMAT instructor delivers stems from their experience teaching the highest expected value strategies and concepts students need to master. To that end, we’ve prepared proprietary GMAT Refresh Modules for you that emphasize topics like these. They will save you time by focusing your study only on those skills that the examiners are most likely to require for correct solutions.

You’ll independently study these self paced materials at your convenience before the live lessons. That will save classroom time for what you most need an expert’s help with: the advanced application of this material to difficult test items likely to appear on your GMAT.

These self-study materials cover the GMAT fundamentals required in all the major skill areas required to improve your Quant, Verbal, and Data Insights scores:

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Word problems
  • Statistics
  • Critical reasoning

Lessons

During the course, you go through ten 2.5-hour live lessons with your instructor in which you learn core strategies and best practices in the following order:

  • Introduction to the GMAT
  • Arithmetic
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Algebra
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Word Problems
  • Advanced Verbal
  • Statistics
  • Data Insights I
  • Data Insights II + Final Preparations

Curated Homework and Homework Review Recordings

Following each lesson, you complete carefully curated sets of homework from the official guides using a provided error log. These homework questions are separated into two sections: priority homework and remaining homework. The priority homework questions are the most important to complete each week and we provide detailed video explanations for each of these priority questions. The remaining questions are done as time allows to reinforce concepts and provide extra practice.

Given that we want our students preparing with the official materials, you do have to buy the official guidebooks and practice tests, which cost approximately $200 at MBA.com (resources that everyone preparing for this test should have) and are not included in the course price.

What’s the difference between your GMAT prep course and those your competitors offer?

Our approach to GMAT instruction differs in a few key ways:

  • Our curriculum is highly sophisticated and designed to actually work on the complex, higher-order thinking questions that you encounter on the GMAT. Too many courses use “dumbed-down” strategies that might seem appealing when you learn them but fail miserably on the actual test.
  • We move the course at a fast pace and do not let the sessions get bogged down in basic content or questions for which the instructor is not providing real value in reaching a 90th percentile score. By separating out basic content in our Refresh Modules and making it clear that this is an advanced course, we create a classroom environment that maximizes high-value takeaways. Our Adobe Connect classroom also allows maximum input at once from students as they move through a live session.
  • We use official resources for homework, timed sets, and practice tests. The biggest mistake you can make in preparing for the GMAT is using unofficial homework and practice tests. We provide advanced strategies and content prep with our Refresh Modules and lessons, and then have you apply what you have learned to curated, official problems. Our curriculum is designed to work on actual test items, not inauthentic questions that do not properly replicate exam items and that are used in a majority of GMAT courses.
  • Put simply, you will not find a better GMAT course instructor than Hailey Cusimano. She combines a complete mastery of the exam with a true passion for helping students excel on the GMAT. Why work with a less experienced, part-time instructor when you can learn from a true leader in the field whose full-time focus is preparing students for the GMAT?
Who would benefit most from your GMAT prep course?

Our GMAT prep course is designed for students who are looking to score above the 90th percentile. We believe that most GMAT courses on the market teach to the median—that is, you may feel comfortable moving through the course but the content and strategies you learn will not work well on hard, authentic GMAT questions. The primary value in a GMAT prep course comes from learning strategies and best practices for attacking the question types that will really differentiate you from other smart people on the exam. Our class time is focused on exactly those questions, and the rote content that you may need to refresh is provided before the live sessions with our proprietary Refresh Modules. We want your class time with a veteran instructor to provide the greatest value-add possible and not be wasted on basic content or median-seeking strategies that plague many group courses.

Do you offer a score improvement guarantee?

No…score improvement guarantees are mostly a scam. For twenty years, we have watched test prep companies perpetrate these scams, which generally work as follows: you must either take an official test cold (which never goes well because you have not reviewed content or learned the different question types) or take a decidedly harder and purposefully low-scoring unofficial practice test created by the company and then base the score improvement on that. In other words, you will likely get the guaranteed score “improvement” even if the course and curriculum did not help much. Additionally it can be very hard to measure improvement as test-day performance and other issues can skew your results.

Our guarantee is simple: we believe that our curriculum and course are highly effective and will help you improve your score as much as possible. You can join the first week of the course and dig into the curriculum to see if it is a good match for you. If you are unhappy or feel like the course is a bad match, then we will provide a full refund minus $100 with no questions asked (and we promise that the two lessons and exposure to the curriculum for a few weeks will be worth more than $100!).

Do you provide your own practice tests?

No…and that is a good thing! Practice tests made by test-prep companies are universally bad and may hurt you more than they help you. It is impossible to reliably replicate the Verbal and Data Insights sections on the GMAT, and it is very difficult to make a Quant section that actually tests reasoning and problem solving, not just “math.” Remember, GMAC spends around $2500 to create each question on the exam (and we think more for the complex Data Insights items) and they use very particular methodologies to make sure these questions assess the higher-order thinking that matters in business school.

When you do unofficial practice questions and tests, you are training for an altogether different test and you will not develop the appropriate mindset and pattern recognition required for the actual exam. With the new GMAT Focus materials at MBA.com, you have 12 available official practice tests (each test can be repeated once without repetition) and you can make timed sets at MBA.com to replicate sections from the exam. Using these authentic tests and sets will allow you to improve your score and avoid the often flawed and inauthentic items (and incorrect scoring mechanisms) that you find in unofficial practice tests.

Do you provide a detailed study plan for after the course?

Yes! An effective GMAT study plan is critically important. We’ll provide you with a detailed study plan to guide you not only through the course but also after it—the crucial period just before your test date. Think of your preparation in two parts:

  1. The learning phase, in which you refresh core underlying content and learn how to apply that content to official questions with proprietary best practices and strategies during the live course
  2. The practice phase, in which you take everything you have learned in the course and apply it to official timed question sets and practice tests.

During the course, we walk you through the learning phase and then provide you with a detailed plan for the practice phase following your last lesson.

I’m nervous I won’t like the course or it will be too challenging. Do you offer a free trial class so that I can see what it’s like?

Like score improvement guarantees, free trial classes don’t work well and are a bad idea. What inevitably happens is that people come in trying to get content for free with no intention of signing up and interrupt a class full of paying students. Instead of offering a free trial class we do the following:

  1. Offer you a video sample of a live course session with Hailey.
  2. Provide the Arithmetic Refresh Module so you can see a sample of that curriculum element.
  3. Provide additional videos and information outlining our philosophy and approach to the GMAT.
  4. Allow you the opportunity to speak with Hailey before the course if you still have questions or concerns.
  5. Provide a money-back guarantee as outlined in one of the other FAQs.
I may have to miss a few sessions of the live course. Are all the sessions recorded?

A majority of students who join our courses have to miss at least one session during the five weeks of live lessons. The sessions are all recorded and these video lessons are made available to students immediately after the live session. You can catch up on the missed lesson as soon as you are able and move through the course without disruption.

GMAT Focus Edition Prep Course

Class Beginning July 9, 2024 — Enrollment Open

Topic Date Time (Eastern Time Zone)
Introduction to the GMAT Tuesday, July 9 7pm — 9:30pm
Arithmetic Thursday, July 11 7pm — 9:30pm
Critical Reasoning Tuesday, July 16 7pm — 9:30pm
Algebra Thursday, July 18 7pm — 9:30pm
Reading Comprehension Tuesday, July 23 7pm — 9:30pm
Word Problems Thursday, July 25 7pm — 9:30pm
Advanced Verbal Tuesday, July 30 7pm — 9:30pm
Statistics Thursday, August 1 7pm — 9:30pm
Data Insights I Tuesday, August 6 7pm — 9:30pm
Data Insights II + Final Preparations Thursday, August 8 7pm — 9:30pm

On-Demand GMAT Prep Course (Updated for GMAT Focus Edition): Start Any Time

Our on-demand service is self-guided and offers flexible GMAT prep built around your schedule. An excellent choice for highly motivated students who do not need the support of a live instructor, Menlo Coaching’s On-Demand GMAT Prep Course gives you access to recordings of all live sessions, including the introductory lesson and homework reviews. That’s 35 hours of video content covering every major section of the test—available when you need it. Follow at your own pace as expert tutor Hailey Cusimano teaches you the strategies required to break 700, with the freedom to rewind, rewatch, and skip ahead as needed. For the self-guided student, there’s no better option.   

What’s included?

  • A detailed study plan for use during and after your coursework—covers the period up to test day
  • Full access to video recordings of every lesson and homework session (35 hours of content)
  • GMAT Refresh Modules and other written materials from the curriculum, updated for the GMAT Focus Edition

Interested in Seeing a Sample of Our Curriculum?

Get a preview of the classroom, with access to a Refresh Module + full course recording.