# GMAT Critical Reasoning: How to Make Predictions

January 13, 2014 by

If you still need to be convinced about the value of making predictions on the GMAT, then read this: Beating GMAT Verbal by Making Predictions. Now that we are all on board, let’s learn how to do it…

When a Critical Reasoning (CR) question pops up on the screen, adept test takers know to read the actual question first. The Question is always found in the middle between the Stimulus and the Answer Choices. By reading the question first and, thus, depending solely on the type of CR question posed, the test taker knows how to most efficiently and effectively untangle the stimulus above.

There are many different types of CR questions, but most of them will fall under the category we at Kaplan like to call the Argument Family. The members of the Argument Family are Assumption, Strengthen, Weaken, Flaw, and Evaluation. The correct answer to every question … Read full post

# Set Your GMAT Score Goal

January 2, 2014 by

Do you know what your GMAT score goal should be?  Do you know how to figure that out?  Look, you need a target score and I need you to set it.  Here’s how:

1. Do some research.  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 what the average GMAT score is 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.
3. Take the highest score and make it higher.  Add on twenty points or so and set that as your target score.  Remember, an average is comprised of scores that are higher and lower than the mean presented.  You want to be on the top side of that range.

# ‘Twas the Night Before GMAT 2013

December 24, 2013 by

What’s the holiday without a classic tale rewritten for the GMAT test taker? We know you’ve been waiting patiently, and you’re on the “Nice” list, so here’s our holiday gift to you.

‘Twas the night before GMAT, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The knowledge was learned by the student with care,
In hopes that their Score soon would be there.

The test-takers were nestled all snug in their beds,
With she in her ‘kerchief, and he in his cap,
They’d just settled down for a fitful night’s nap.

When up in their heads arose such a clatter,

They sprang from their beds and thought, “What is the matter?”

Away to the bathroom they flew like a flash,
Will they tear open their stomachs and throw up their mash?

The nerves in the … Read full post

# Beat GMAT Verbal by Making Predictions

December 19, 2013 by

In Part II of my series on the Verbal section of the GMAT, we are going to cover the necessity of predicting correct answers to Verbal questions before evaluating the answer choices available. Predicting is a skill one must learn and practice over time. Start now, do it consistently, and you will make a breakthrough.

Let’s first take a moment to appreciate a simple GMAT truism: for every question on the exam, there is always one right and four rotten answers. Always. All answer choices that are not the correct one are definitively incorrect.

Understand that the GMAT is written by human beings. Just like the questions, answer choices are deliberately composed. In every list of five GMAT answer choices, the test makers thoughtfully construct the four wrong answers. Each of these wrong answers will, in some way, address a possible misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the original stimulus or … Read full post

# GMAC’s New Tool: School Finder

December 5, 2013 by

In the Information Age, having access to all that data can almost be worse than not having any at all. Information aggregators can be enormously valuable in terms of time and headaches saved. Tools that take loads of data and allow is to filter that information in various ways are always nice to find so let us be the first to point you to GMAC’s School Finder.

There are SO MANY business schools. On December 5, GMAC announced launch of a free tool to help all prospective b-schoolers make more informed decisions about where to apply and why. The tool is prominently featured and super easy to find on MBA.com. And, what’s more, it is free.

School Finder is a database of information on 5,674 schools as of press time. Search parameters include school name, location, program degree, program type, delivery format (classroom or online), program length, areas … Read full post

# GMAT Verbal: Some Big Ideas, pt.1

November 26, 2013 by

In my experience as a Kaplan GMAT instructor, I find that most GMAT challengers are primarily concerned with the Quantitative section of the exam. If a test taker is a native English speaker, then it is extremely rare for such an individual to imagine spending equal time, effort, and attention on the Verbal section. That is, at least at the outset of a study program. After all, we continue to speak and read in our everyday lives, but math is something immediately shifted to technology after—and often during—our school years. Yet, what invariably occurs is that all who study for the GMAT come to appreciate just how challenging the Verbal section is. In fact, exactly like the Quant section of the GMAT, the Verbal section is adaptive at the question level and will get as hard as we can make it.

Further, naive test preppers often struggle to fully appreciate … Read full post

# Rejection on the Road to MBA Success

November 21, 2013 by

The process of applying to business school is scary, daunting, and exposing. It not only forces significant introspection, but it also demands promulgation of the findings. Then, once those findings have been packaged and delivered according to the requirements of the application package, there is a high likelihood of receiving at least one if not several rejection letters.

Even along the way, aspirants can come up against obstacles that prove insurmountable. For example, a great number of my students target high-profile business schools where the average GMAT score is at, near, or well above 700. These ambitious, intelligent, educated, and experienced individuals believe that they will be able to earn such a score with modest time and effort. Yet, what becomes clear to all who challenge the GMAT is that such scores are not nearly as easily obtained as once thought. In fact, some must face the harsh reality that … Read full post

# Online MBA: What’s it like?

November 14, 2013 by

I am currently working with several students who are interested in online MBA programs. Each has his or her own reasons for taking this track to an MBA degree, but they all generally share an appreciation for the flexibility of working through the curriculum that will ultimately get them to that degree. All have also expressed similar concerns about feeling isolated and trepidation over the reality of distance learning over the long term. Still, after weighing the externalities, they are happy with the decision to take the online route.

Comparatively, these folks are in a small minority of the GMAT test preppers I deal with on a daily basis. Most of my clients are interested in traditional full- or part-time MBA programs at established brick-and-mortar universities. Despite barreling mercilessly into a tech-filled future, everyone initially holds a view of education that is essentially the same: you go to … Read full post

# MBA Application Videos Likely to Become the New Normal

October 30, 2013 by

Have you or are you submitting applications to business school? Was a recorded video component an aspect of one or more of those applications? If so, how did you feel about it?

In a recent US News article, Get Ready for MBA Application Videos, a burgeoning trend in b-school applications is highlighted: the video interview. Unlike traditional interviews conducted face-to-face or even their more modern counterparts, interviews conducted via video conference software such as Skype or FaceTime, these interviews are recorded by the applicant and viewed during the application review process by admissions committee members.

In a previous Kaplan GMAT blog post, MBA Admissions Decisions: A Fly on the Wall, I linked to an interesting exposé on the admissions process at one of the world’s top b-schools: The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Much to the delight of Rotman, when the PR rain comes, … Read full post

# MBA Admissions Decisions: A Fly on the Wall

October 18, 2013 by

We often write about the admissions process on this blog. After all, this is the #1 issue on the minds of the bulk of our readers since most of you are in the throes of preparing for the GMAT, which is a critical factor of a b-school application package. And, as I am are sure you can all appreciate by now, there is certainly much, much more beyond the just the GMAT in composing and submitting the strongest graduate school application possible.

While anyone can easily get a list of requirements for submission to an MBA program, the hard part is developing and polishing them. Yet, arguably, the hardest part might be the unknown. We nearly sweat blood developing applications and when we finally send them off, the process is taken completely out of our hands. We have no more control. We have no idea how our application will be … Read full post

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