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Three GMAT Challenges

July 25, 2012 by

Piecing together the time to study for the GMAT can be challenging.  In today’s blog, I’m going to talk about three students (whose names I’m changing to protect their identities).  Each had a major obstacle to studying, and each overcame it in a different way. I hope these students’ examples can help some of you reach your GMAT and MBA goals.


Case Study 1: Vincent, the Entrepreneur

The Challenge: Vincent was a busy man when I was tutoring him. His schedule was very flexible—his main source of income was a business that he started and ran himself—but he was distracted at all hours by emails and phone calls related to his work.

The Solution: Vincent needed a time and place where he could study in peace.

Because of his flexible work schedule, it was easier for Vincent to find time than it is for some other students. He … Read full post

GMAT Critical Reasoning Inference Questions, Part 2

July 18, 2012 by

Listen to a politician speaking, and you’ll hear a lot of platitudes and vague statements. Occasionally, a senator or congressman will make a statement about a specific number or an exact proposal; rarely, those statements will even be correct. But mostly, you’ll hear things like, “the hidden costs will total billions,” or “this program will have far-reaching negative impacts,” or “some have suggested that this proposed law will do nothing but enrich corporations.”

When you think about it, these claims make perfect sense. With a claim as vague as the ones above, it’s hard to be proven wrong or caught in a lie. For instance, “hidden costs” could refer to net costs, but it also could refer to gross costs even if the proposal actually netted a profit. “Billions” could refer to two billion, or it could refer to two hundred billion!

In other words, the vaguer the claim, the … Read full post

GMAT Practice Accuracy

July 5, 2012 by

One of the most common questions I field from students posting on MBA forums, is whether Kaplan CATs are accurate.

Some people see official scores so far above or below their expectation that they assume a math error is the only explanation. Others hear that a batch of Kaplan tests from around 2007 had some scoring irregularities, and assume (incorrectly) that we haven’t fixed things in the past five years. And still others just haven’t practiced enough to understand the ins and outs of the GMAT’s adaptive testing. But the question is always the same: are Kaplan tests mathematically representative of the real GMAT?

The answer is “yes.” Kaplan uses the Official GMAT tests to normalize our scores; students who take a Kaplan test and the Official GMAT in the same weekend usually get scores no further apart than the test’s statistical margin of error, 29 points.

But that’s … Read full post

Business School: An MBA’s Perspective

April 22, 2012 by

As you may know, I recently took a break from studying the GMAT, but I didn’t take a break from researching B-school programs. I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Cavaughn Noel.  He is a 2009 graduate of the NYU Stern full time program. Here are some of the golden nuggets he shared with me:

Candice: I know it’s been a while, but can you recall your experience preparing for and taking the GMAT?  Do you have any tips for those of us still in this stage of the B-school application process?

Cavaughn: It was hard (laughing) – we all know that!  I didn’t take a prep course beforehand, but looking back, I think it would have been a good idea.  I took a lot of practice CAT’s.  Repetition is key.  The more practice tests I took, the more comfortable I felt with the questions.  … Read full post

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