Manhattan Prep GMAT® Practice Tests First to Offer New Select Section Order Feature

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Education Company first to incorporate just-announced feature into Computer Adaptive GMAT® Practice Tests (CATs)

Manhattan Prep GMAT Computer Adaptive Practice Tests (CATs) now offer Select Section Order feature.

Manhattan Prep GMAT Computer Adaptive Practice Tests (CATs) now offer Select Section Order feature.

"We're excited to provide students these updated tests so they can ‘practice how they’ll play’ on test day.” - Rey Fernandez, Vice President and General Manager of Manhattan Prep

Leading education company Manhattan Prep, the world’s largest provider of GMAT® test prep products and services, has become the industry’s first provider of GMAT practice tests featuring the new Select Section Order feature.

The feature, just announced by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®) on Thursday, June 15, promises to give test takers the flexibility to customize their GMAT experience. Starting July 11, 2017, at 12:01 local time, all test takers will have the ability to choose the order in which they complete the four sections of the GMAT.

Mirroring the new options available on the official GMAT, Manhattan Prep’s Computer Adaptive Practice Tests (CATs) will now offer three different section orders:

  • Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
  • Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
  • Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

"It is essential that students practice with official materials and under real, test-like conditions,” said Rey Fernandez, Vice President and General Manager at Manhattan Prep. “This will allow students to optimize their performance on test day by feeling as comfortable as possible not only with the content but also the format of the exam.”

According to Fernandez, Manhattan Prep prioritized adding Select Section Order to its CATs immediately so that students taking the test soon could begin to practice under the new format as quickly as possible: “Especially for those students scheduled to take the test on or shortly after July 11, when the new feature goes live on the actual test, we're excited to provide them these updated tests so they can ‘practice how they’ll play’ on test day.”

Manhattan Prep Senior Academics Manager Stacey Koprince, who owns a 99th-percentile 780 GMAT score, said that test takers who have already registered to take the test before July 11 may now want to reschedule their test date in order to take advantage of the Select Section Order feature. Between June 15 and June 22, GMAC is offering a seven-day grace period that will allow test takers to reschedule without having to pay the normal rescheduling fee of $50. Test takers who reschedule by phone within that time period will also be able to waive the normal phone fee of $10.

By when can GMAT test takers decide their section order?

Test takers will have two minutes to make their selections immediately prior to beginning the exam at the test center on the exam date. If a test taker makes no active selection, the test will default to the original order.

Which section order should test takers select?

On or after July 11, 2017, GMAT test takers will have to choose a section order option. Koprince recommends that most students choose between Quant-first and Verbal-first. “Most people probably aren’t going to want to do the essay and IR first,” said Koprince. “That’s an hour of test-taking before you get to the sections that you care most about, Quant and Verbal.”

Koprince added that the one scenario in which students might choose to take the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) first is if writing is a serious cause for concern, and mental fatigue might seriously negatively impact their AWA score.

Quant-first or Verbal-first?

For students deliberating between the Quant-first and Verbal-first options, Koprince recommends that students start with the section at which they are strongest in order to build confidence and momentum into their weaker section. But Koprince also offers the caveat that students who strongly dread their weaker section might do well to complete it first in order to unload that mental burden early and approach the rest of the test with confidence.

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About Manhattan Prep

In 2000, Teach for America alumnus and Yale graduate Zeke Vanderhoek had a radical idea: Better teachers lead to better student outcomes. He applied this vision to test prep, recruiting only instructors with 99th percentile scores and substantial teaching experience. Through Manhattan Prep’s high-end approach, students learn the content knowledge and critical thinking skills they need to succeed not only on their exams but also in school and beyond. Manhattan Prep offers in-person, online, and on-demand instruction through classes, private tutoring, and interactive video technology for exams including the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. For more information, visit

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