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Which MBA Ranking Do You Trust the Most?

November 21, 2014 by

Although quantifying a school’s profile certainly does not tell you everything, it can sometimes be helpful in simplifying the many differences between the various MBA programs. We recently surveyed a number of visitors to our site to get a feel for the concerns, plans, and mind-sets of this season’s MBA applicants. 

As part of our informal survey this year, we posed the question “Which business school ranking/survey do you trust the most?”

Given that Bloomberg Businessweek has long been considered by many the premier MBA ranking, we were quite surprised to see that only 5.1% of responders picked it as their most trusted source. Instead, a whopping 46.1% indicated that they view the U.S. News & World Report survey as the most trustworthy, while the Poets & Quants aggregate received the next greatest percentage of the votes, with 33.3%. With just 10.2% and 5.1% of responses, respectively, the Financial Times … Read full post

4 Tips for a High GMAT Score

November 19, 2014 by

You don’t just want to increase your GMAT score, you want to get a high GMAT score, right? You’ve come to the right place. Our veteran teacher Gene Suhir has detailed advice for what sets GMAT high scorers apart from the pack. Take note.

4 Tips for a High GMAT Score, from Kaplan Expert Gene Suhir

  1. GMAT high scorers are really good at picking and choosing their battles wisely.  They understand that they WILL be getting certain questions wrong on test day, and that being perfectionists can hurt them (getting a problem right after 5 minutes is a Pyrrhic victory).
  2. High scorers recognize patterns that others don’t, so they are able to correct the mistakes they made previously on similar problems.  Meanwhile, others continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over again because they fail to see the similarities between the problem they’re working
  3. Read full post

How to Get Into Business School: Admissions Expert Edition

November 17, 2014 by

There are a lot of obvious tips out there about how to get into business school.  You probably know to tirelessly study for the GMAT, court old bosses for glowing recommendations, dazzle your interviewer and write arguably the best essays in the history of b-school.  Sign, seal, and deliver to the schools of your choice.

What happens next can seem like the proverbial black box.  We went behind the scenes with two admissions directors–Sara Neher at University of Virginia Darden School of Business and John Roeder at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management to hear what takes place around the conference room table.

What is the number one mistake applicants make?

JR: One of the biggest mistakes is on letters of recommendation.  Applicants think we will be impressed by a recommendation from a CEO or senator.  The best letters of recommendation are always from someone who knows … Read full post

MBA News: Bloomberg Businessweek 2014 Rankings Released, Duke Fuqua Now at Number One

November 14, 2014 by

Bloomberg Businessweek has just released its 2014 ranking of full-time MBA programs, and some people may be surprised at certain schools’ new standings. For this survey, schools are ranked according to a myriad of factors, including recruiter marks (employers’ opinions of a program’s graduates) and enrolled student survey responses.

This year’s results certainly show a few major shakeups. Duke Fuqua, which ranked sixth in both 2012 and 2010 (up from eighth in 2008) knocked long-standing first-position holder Chicago Booth from that coveted spot (it is now ranked third). Perhaps even more notably, Harvard Business School (HBS), which has held steady at number two since 2008, dropped to eighth and failed to make the top five for the first time in list history.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Duke Fuqua graduates received high ratings from recruiters who tend to hire large numbers of MBAs. The school’s dean was quoted as … Read full post

What is a Good GMAT Score?

November 11, 2014 by

Quite simply, the GMAT score you need is the one that gets you into the b-school of your choice.

Let’s look at GMAT scoring in more detail to give this initial statement more context.

GMAT Scoring Basics

GMAT scores are used by business schools to provide a common yardstick to compare candidates for admission and to determine whether prospective students have the ability to contribute and perform well. On the GMAT, you will receive five scores:

  • An overall score, ranging from 200-800
  • A math subscore, ranging from 0-60
  • A verbal subscore, ranging from 0-60
  • A score for your AWA, ranging from 0-6
  • An Integrated Reasoning subscore, ranging from 1-8

Your Percentile Rank

Each of the above scores will be accompanied by a percentile ranking. This ranking highlights what proportion of test takers scored lower than you on the test. The higher the percentile ranking, the better you did. For … Read full post

How to Apply to Business School: Confidence v. Arrogance

November 10, 2014 by

One of the big discussions that comes up consistently in business school admissions is how to apply to business school successfully and grab the good life you deserve; in particular, one of the biggest irritants we hear admissions officers and deans complain about is an application that treads on the wrong side of the line between confident and arrogant.

In the process of applying to become an MBA, confidence in yourself is an invaluable asset.  Unfortunately, it’s easy to go too far and come across as arrogant, entitled, or over-proud– characteristics that definitely rub admissions committees (like most of us) the wrong way.

TIP: Negativity is not a sign of confidence.

When you are trying too hard to come across as confident, it’s extremely easy to give the impression of arrogance.  If you feel the need to display your confidence by talking down to people, placing yourself above … Read full post

MBA Career Advice: Stop Talking About Work at Networking Events

November 6, 2014 by


We have this silly idea that when we meet people at networking events we should be talking about work. We are there to forward our career after all, so it stands to reason that the conversation should focus on what outstanding professionals we are, right? Wrong!!! A networking event is not an interview, and you should stop treating it that way.

What matters in making that first connection with someone is whether or not they like you, whether they want to talk to you again, whether they could imagine enjoying coffee or a drink with you after work. Networking events are social more than they are professional. You don’t want people to be impressed by you. You want them to relate to you.

You could call this a common interest or common ground, but it is not simply a surface-level shared passion for, say football, travel, or crime novels. … Read full post

Confessions of a First-Year Business School Student

November 5, 2014 by

“So, why get an MBA?”

It’s the question on everyone’s mind the moment they see my NYU Stern-branded water bottle, or hear me talk about an upcoming accounting midterm. Why b-school? Why now?

I’ve tried out all the typical answers to this question. Sure, there’s the whole increased-earnings-potential, return-on-investment thing, but there are lots of ways to make more money without spending three years and countless hours of time in class as a business school student.

There’s also the speed-your-way-up-the-corporate-ladder answer, which is probably more true, but even then, I’ve climbed pretty high already in my relatively short career—there’s no reason to think that I couldn’t continue to grow professionally without adding the letters MBA to my name.

I know that a career-change is not in the cards—I’m one of those lucky people who really likes her job, so I have no plans to move out of … Read full post

MBA News: Average MBA Debt for Business School Graduates

November 4, 2014 by

What’s the latest news in business school education today? From the MBA graduates who are making the most money and accruing the least debt to a former basketball player wishing he had gone MBA rather than NBA, let’s dig into the latest business school news.

Average MBA debt or average MBA?

Want to get your MBA? Then remember the number $42,000. That’s the average MBA debt for business school graduates, according to the New America Foundation. Not too bad, considering that that 43% of MBAs are graduating without any debt. But does average MBA debt mean an average MBA education? And if so, are you willing to settle for average? Check out this list of top schools, their average MBA debt load, and what percentage of their students actually carry debt. (Poets & Quants)

Career opportunities meet quality of life in Singapore

Having abundant career … Read full post

Setting a GMAT Score Target

November 3, 2014 by

What should your GMAT score goal be?  This is one of the biggest initial steps in your GMAT process.  We can help you set  your target score as well as achieve it, but it’s not as simple a process as you might imagine.

Setting a GMAT Score Target

  1. Research your possible MBA programs.  Compile a list of all the programs you’d like to attend.  Be thorough in your research and clearly identify why you would like to attend each institution that makes it onto your list.
  2. Find out the average GMAT score for admitted students to each of your listed programs.  If, for some reason, you cannot find that information online, call the admissions office and ask.  Don’t be afraid to reach out!
  3. Set an above-average target GMAT score.  Take a look at the highest average score on your program list; to be safe, you want to hit above the
  4. Read full post


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