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Beat GMAT Verbal by Making Predictions

December 19, 2013 by

GMAT verbal wrong answerIn 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

veiw bucketIn 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 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, … Read full post

GMAT Verbal: Some Big Ideas, pt.1

November 26, 2013 by

VIn 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

TrophyThe 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

fingers on a keyboardI 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

Video_CameraHave 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

housefly staringWe 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

Columbia Business School – Your MBA in the Concrete Jungle

September 23, 2013 by

Columbia University (5563467708)Deep in the heart of Manhattan in New York City, New York lies the prestigious Columbia Business School. Located right off of Broadway, this private Ivy League university has its roots dating back to the mid 1700′s where it was initially known as “King’s College”. It retained its name, Columbia University, in 1896 when trustees of the board moved the campus closer to its current location. Today, it boasts world-renowned rankings and has one of the best MBA programs any university can offer.

School at a Glance

  • Of the 6,669 applicants the past year, only 16% were accepted.
  • There are nearly 150 Full-Time faculty members to support the school’s enrollment of approximately 1,200 students.
  • Tuition is pricey at Columbia Business School sitting at $58,868 per semester.
  • 96% of graduates receive job offers their first year out with top employers including Amazon, Google, IBM and Deloitte Consulting.
  • The average salary
  • Read full post

B-School Networking: Don’t forget your professors!

August 30, 2013 by

ProfessorsAnyone thinking about going to business school knows the value proposition includes networking. When I was asking around my social circle about what an MBA education was all about one close friend told me that 50% of the value was in the education itself and the other 50% came from the relationships you build while in school. The education-to-network breakdown fluctuates widely for different individuals, but a 50/50 split is a reasonable generalization.

The expectations around network-building likely involve your classmates, other b-schoolers you might meet at business competitions, and perhaps even outside professional relationships founded via an internship. Each expected source is reasonable, valuable, and realistic. However, an oft overlooked and severely under-valued source for enriching relationships the diverse, highly intelligent, experienced, and invested group of individuals that comprise your institution’s teaching faculty.

A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article reminds us of the importance of making concerted effort to connect … Read full post

Women in Business and Management – An Exclusive Kaplan Event

August 27, 2013 by

iStock_000000516094MediumTONIGHT! Join us for our final event in our Road to Business School event series: Women in Business Management. We are incredibly excited to end this year’s RTBS with such a powerful, relevant seminar. This moderated panel of accomplished professionals will offer insight through experience and take your questions, live online. Let’s learn more about the panelists!

Christine Wu, Senior Director, Sony Brand Marketing & Media

  • Prior to joining Sony Corporation of America in 2008, Ms. Wu was the Senior Marketing Manager at Pepsi-Cola North America. She received her MBA at Northwestern and BS at Wharton. Christine has climbed to and remained at the top of her field, engendering unique perspective on what it means to be a business professional.

Nell Derick Debevoise, Founder and CEO, Inspiring Capital

  • Inspiring Capital is an organization and network of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to assisting our non-profit companies in earning and optimizing
  • Read full post

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