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How I Started Helping Students Get Into Top MBA Schools and Programs

August 28, 2014 by

top mba schools and programsBy Jeremy Shinewald

Megalomaniac; madman; murderer … not necessarily the type of character you want to brag about emulating—even if what you’re talking about is his singular work ethic and fervor for competition.

So when I say that Daniel Plainview—the role portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis in the 2007 Paul Thomas Anderson film, There Will be Blood—is the fictional character who best represents my work ethic in launching my own MBA consulting firm to help students secure spots in top MBA schools and programs, I am not referring to these massive character flaws.

In fact, I strive to embody traits that run counter to Plainview’s; I try to be deferential, ethical, calm, fair, and generous in my business dealings. And unlike Plainview, I do not view business as a zero-sum game. Like him, however, I try to be the most aggressive competitor I can be— tirelessly working to … Read full post

6 Ways to Calm Down When You’re Stressed from Studying

August 27, 2014 by

By Megan Weyrauch on September 9, 2013

This article  is brought to you by Uloop & Kaplan.  Search Uloop for student housing, roommates, college jobs, internships, scholarships, and college news.

It’s 3 a.m. and you’re still studying. Sweaty fingers turn the pages of your textbook as your heart tries to bust out of its chest-jail. In a daze, you scan the same dull paragraph four times before you realize that you aren’t actually reading the text. Your head is pounding and you cannot concentrate as you count down the final hours, minutes and then seconds until you need to be relaying your knowledge on paper.

You’re stressed from studying, buddy.

Stress is “a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way.” When you sense danger, your body goes into “fight-or-flight” reaction mode in order to protect you. This is great for … Read full post

How to Land an MBA Job at a Startup

August 25, 2014 by

mba startup jobsThe availability of MBA jobs

If you’re considering going to business school, you should feel pretty great about your path to unlocking the good life. After all, the availability of MBA jobs is up across the board, and that includes startups and opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The usual suspects—consulting firms and big banks—are still hiring in droves, but a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek analysis showed that startups lead the pack among organizations that recruit MBAs on business school campuses. In the summer of 2013, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School reported that the number of its students working summer internships at startups rose 15 percent.

The shift toward the startup

This shift toward entrepreneurship is an interesting change, as business school students embrace the risks and potential rewards of startup companies. This shift is not without its critics. In a controversial article in the Wall Street Journal, noted academic … Read full post

Why Get an MBA? To Get Hired!

August 19, 2014 by

why get an MBAIf you’re looking for an answer to the question you’ve probably asked yourself a million times— why get an MBA? —you can add this to the list of responses: Because you’re likely to get hired!

The continued upward momentum of MBA holders in the global labor market is especially encouraging in light of the overall grim employment trends for bachelor’s degree holders and experienced direct-industry hires.

A new article posted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)—the makers of the notorious b-school admissions test, the GMAT—outlines key findings in two complementary surveys posted in late May 2014: the 2014 Corporate Recruiters Survey and the 2014 Global Management Education Survey.

The former study uncovered a 7% jump in anticipated MBA hires as well as projected hiring increases for masters of management, accounting, finance, and other specialized graduate degrees.

“More companies in all sectors and across the world plan to Read full post

How to Pay for an MBA: Maximize Monetary Benefits (even with loans!)

August 14, 2014 by

how to pay for an MBAWhy get an MBA?  One of the major reasons is salary; an MBA puts you in a position to earn more.  But in order to get the monetary benefits that stem from an MBA degree, you have to make an investment.  The real question may be how to pay for an MBA.  All of you future MBAs know that return on investment is everything, but you want to make a smart investment, especially if you are taking out a loan.  Let’s examine the four types of loans that can help you secure that valuable MBA degree.

Loan Types

There is a definite hierarchy of the four available loan programs for an MBA degree. To reduce the cost of capital, apply to financial aid programs in the following order:

  1. Federal Perkins loan

  2. Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loan

  3. Fixed-rate federal PLUS loans

  4. Private student loan

Duke University’s School of Law provides an … Read full post

The 4 Sections of the GMAT Practice Test

August 12, 2014 by

GMAT practice testWhat is the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)?

If you’re thinking of going to business school but haven’t yet looked into GMAT test dates or taken a GMAT practice test, not to fear! You’ve come to the right place to learn about the format, timing, and scoring of the GMAT test and GMAT practice test, the latter of which we offer free on our website year-round.

The CAT (computer adaptive test) and GMAT scoring

Understanding how the CAT works and approaching GMAT practice questions with a few targeted strategies will help you get in fighting form for your GMAT test date.

A CAT is more than just a digital version of a written exam. It actually adapts to your performance as you’re taking the test. When you begin each category, the computer assumes you have an average score and gives you a question of medium difficulty. As you answer … Read full post

Destination Good Life: How Will You Get There?

August 11, 2014 by

Good LifeThe Good Life. What does it mean to you? For some, it’s earning enough money to lead the life they want to live: a nice home, a big family, or the ability to travel the world.  For others, it means creative freedom, supporting a cause, or dedicating life to helping others.

Every path is different.  Whether you have your eye on a certain company or dream of starting your own, a business degree will get your foot in the door, whichever door you choose.  At Kaplan Test Prep, we strive to help students achieve their educational and career goals.  We want to reach beyond test preparation to give our students the tools and confidence to become their very best.

See how others unlocked their good lives.  Student and teachers, professionals and notables: maybe their dreams, vision and success will inspire you to accomplish yours.

“The best thing about leading Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s University of Virginia (Darden) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

August 4, 2014 by

MBA programThe Darden School at the University of Virginia claims to have released its MBA program application essay question for the year, but last year, it released a single essay question on its blog and then added more when the complete application was later released. Let us hope that Darden makes things simple for applicants this year and takes a “what you see is what you get” approach—keeping the required application essays to just one. We will stay on top of this and update our essay analysis as needed, if Darden happens to be up to its old tricks again!

Essay 1

Describe the most courageous professional decision you have made or action you have taken. What did you learn from that experience? (500 words maximum)

Darden’s use of the word “courageous” here may fluster some applicants, leading them to wonder, “At this point in my career, can I really say … Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

July 28, 2014 by

MBA programThe MIT Sloan School of Management bucks conventionality this admissions season and has added to the word count for its application essays—moving from a maximum of 1,000 words to 1,250. The school’s first MBA admission essay question remains the same as last year’s, but its second essay prompt presents an interesting challenge in that the admissions committee asks you to do exactly what it does not want you to do in reality: write your own recommendation letter. At least in this case, the school is allowing you to do so in the light of day. Thankfully, perhaps, Sloan has dropped its befuddling optional essay, which had invited applicants to share any additional information in any format. Candidates will be content to see clearer directives in the program’s essay questions. As always, our analysis follows…

Essay 1

The mission of the MIT Sloan School of Management is to develop principled, innovative Read full post

Getting Into the MBA Program: mbaMission’s Duke University Fuqua School of Business Essay Analysis, 2014–2015

July 21, 2014 by

mba programThese days, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is a veritable maverick in that it offers applicants vast opportunities to tell their stories. In its first three very short “essays,” applicants reveal their goals. In its second “essay,” applicants create a list of what should be far more than 25 diverse accomplishments and experiences. Then, applicants choose from two essay options in order to reveal fit with the Fuqua program. As admissions committees seemingly limit more and more applicants’ flexibility, Fuqua ensures that applicants can offer all of themselves. So, Fuqua may be a little more work for some applicants, but the payoff should be there in the form of creative control!

Required Short Answer Questions Instructions: Answer all 3 of the following questions. For each short answer question, respond in 250 characters only (the equivalent of about 50 words).

  1. What are your short-term goals, post-MBA?
  2. What are your long-term
  3. Read full post


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