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GMAT Basics: What to Expect, What is a Good GMAT Score, How to Test

December 15, 2013 by

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is probably unlike any test you’ve ever taken in your academic career. The GMAT is a computer-adaptive test designed to provide a common yardstick by which business school admissions committees can measure applicants and their ability to succeed in their M.B.A. programs.

The test consists of three sections and is scored on a range between 200 and 800.

GMAT sections

Your GMAT Score

GMAT scores are used by business schools to provide a common yardstick to compare candidates for admission. On the GMAT, you will actually receive four scores:

  • A total 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 rank. The percentile rank highlights what proportion of test takers … 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

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

Business School Tell All is Available Online: Get Insider Info Now and For Free!

November 13, 2013 by

Get your MBA insider secretsWould you like to know what business school admissions officers from top schools like Harvard, Mercer, Rice, and Northwestern really care about when they consider your application? We surveyed top schools so that we can share their insights with you!

Check out streaming video of our Business School Tell All to get answers to these (and more!) questions:

  • What’s the most important admissions factor?
  • What’s the biggest application killer?
  • Are potential business schools watching you on social media?
  • Are schools accepting the GRE as well as the GMAT?
  • Does your Integrated Reasoning score matter?

If you have questions, reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, or ask us here in the comments!

Business school admissions tips



The University of Texas: A Lone Star Education at McCombs School of Business

November 11, 2013 by

University of Texas at Austin

Everything is big in Texas, including the University of Texas at Austin and the McCombs School of Business. Big resources, big options, and a big future await you there, so read on ahead and learn about the school that might just be your future home for the next few years.

Fast Facts

  • The Class of 2014 has 235 students.
  • Specialties include accounting, entrepreneurship, information systems, finance, marketing, part-time MBA, and production/operations programs.
  • Tuition comes to $33,298 per year for in-state students and $48,832 for out-of-state and international students.
  • The mean base salary for the MBA Class of 2012 was $105,112.
  • 93% of 2010 graduates had job offers within three months of graduating.
  • The most popular industry was consulting for the Class of 2012.
  • The average GPA and GMAT scores were 3.43 and 693, respectively.

Stretching is Important

Why do people love buffets? It’s because of the options, the freedom. … Read full post

Join Our 2nd Annual Business School Admissions Officer Survey Debrief

November 7, 2013 by

Do you wonder what top business school admissions officers really care about when they consider your application? Which factor do admissions committees really think is the most important part of your application? What is it that gives you an edge over the competition?

We surveyed top business schools, and you can sit in with our panel of business school admissions officers and experts as they discuss—and debate—our findings.

Get the answers to these questions:

  • What’s the most important b-school admissions factor?
  • What’s the biggest application killer?
  • How important is the GMAT Integrated Reasoning score?

The 2nd Annual Business School Admissions Officer Survey Debrief will be free, live, and online on Tuesday, November 12, from 9:00 – 10:00 pm ET. Register now to reserve your seat and join us to hear admissions officers tell all.

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

Washington University: For Business and Pleasure

October 28, 2013 by

Washington University Olin Business School prides itself with rigorous training for business professionals who want only the best in critical thinking and communication. Located in St. Louis, Washington, this school promotes applied learning through advanced business concepts.File:Holmes Lounge.jpg

Olin Stats

  • Olin Business School has 279 full-time students and 357 part-time students enrolled.
  • The business school offers students a way to combine business curriculum with other areas of interest including architecture, biomedical engineering and public health studies.
  • The cost to attend Washington University’s business school is $47, 800 for each semester with an estimated $104, 600 in total costs for the complete program.
  • The average GMAT scores for students accepted is 697, and the average GPA is 3.32.
  • Olin Business School has a whopping 96% job offer rate for graduate students.

Student and Campus Culture

Washington University Olin Business School has a competitive environment where each year students compete for a $50,000 … Read full post

AngelList Syndicates: Game Changer?

October 8, 2013 by

Angel List

Some of you may know, but many don’t, that I am currently in my last year of the MBA Program at Berkeley, Haas. It has been an amazing experience, but that is the subject of another post…or perhaps a whole series of them. For now, let’s just say that that experience has been shaped and informed by at least three main factors: 1) the people I have come to know, 2) the classes and curriculum, and 3) the location and connection of Berkeley with all things Silicon Valley. It’s the intersection of the last two that leads me to the subject of this blog post.

I am currently taking a class called Venture Capital and Private Equity. In this class, we look at the whole innovation ecosystem from the venture capital perspective and learn to evaluate the industry and companies from that side of the table. This is very … Read full post


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