Would 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?
What does a 3.8 GPA + 670 GMAT + 4 years of work experience + 3 years of community service equal? The answer is that it could equal nothing and it could equal a letter of admission. It is impossible to respond with confidence because admissions is absolutely not a science. After all, if it were a science the admissions office would just do away with the entire time and resource consuming admissions process and publish a simple formula. Why not make life that much simpler for everyone?
In some countries, there are simple tests which establish benchmarks — one gets into a top MBA program with a score of X and does not with Y. In the United States, some graduate programs have cutoffs for GRE scores or situations where LSAT scores and grades are definitive. Plainly put, when talking about the top global , there is no
The GMAT—a test that is specifically designed for aspiring graduate level business students—is confronted with a relatively new (last couple years) competitor, the GRE, a test traditionally associated with any program besides business, law, or medicine. Why? ETS, the company behind the GRE, has recently received the GRE (August 2011), and the “new GRE” is even more similar to the GMAT than the “old GRE” was. Some might speculate (I among them) that the major GRE revision was a move to try to grab market share. Here are the results:
- 2009: 24% of programs accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT;
- 2010: 39%
- 2011: 52%
Those numbers are based on an annual survey of 250+ business schools conducted by Kaplan. As you can see, this year is the first one since we’ve started tracking the issue that a majority of business schools have accepted the GMAT…. Read full post
Students considering taking the new GRE, coming in August 2011, can finally try their hand at the revised test. While we’ve known about the pending changes for some time, the test makers have just released new software, (POWERPREP II) that allows potential test takers a first chance to test drive the revised GRE. Because the test maker’s current prep software is nearly identical to the current GRE in format and content, this release is likely very similar to the new test. But test takers beware: you won’t get a Quantitative Reasoning or Verbal Reasoning score upon completion, only a total number of questions correct/incorrect. So no insight yet as to how all this will translate into the new scoring scale.
Lack of scoring aside, we found out some interesting discoveries as we explored the new test
1. As expected, it’s harder.
a. It’s longer than the GRE currently is
What the GRE changes mean to you: the essays, and where should your b-school road lead you?
Like the current GMAT and GRE, the new GRE will offer two writing tasks as part of its “Analytical Writing Assessment.” Unlike the current GMAT and GRE, the new test is planning to deviate from the practice of inserting a standard set of directions into each prompt. Instead, variable instructions more or less unique to each prompt will be provided. You can access the 17 or so published examples and more examples are expected to be revealed over time.
What this means in practice can be illustrated by a simple example. Suppose you’re asked to write an argument in response to a publishing company’s proposed initiative to reorient its business around electronic media delivery. (That kind of proposal has been a standard on both GRE and GMAT for years.) On the new GRE, … Read full post
What GRE changes mean to you: Success at a keystroke?
Of all of the changes to the GRE, the one that excites most students is the addition of an onscreen calculator on Test Day. They are elated at the prospect of a reduced need for scratch paper, not to mention the reduced likelihood of errors caused by freehand number crunching. Today’s students are, of course, generally comfortable with new technological solutions to a challenge, and many students are inclined to welcome them unquestioningly.
At the same time, ETS is almost certainly looking forward to the calculator as a clear point of differentiation between the GRE and the test whose business the GRE is looking to steal a big chunk of: the calculator-free, scratchwork-dependent GMAT.
Yet it’s possible that, for examinees at least, the calculator will not be an unmixed blessing. For one thing, it’s quite likely that the GRE testmakers … Read full post
What GRE changes mean to you: Some things old, some things new
When the new GRE is unveiled in 2011, the Quantitative Reasoning section will look awfully familiar to longtime test watchers (and we at Kaplan employ hundreds of them!). “QC’s” – the well-known Quantitative Comparisons, comparing quantities in Columns A and B – will remain. Also intact will be that mainstay of both GRE and GMAT Quantitative, the math question with five answer choices, only one of which is correct.
Yet there’ll be innovation as well. For one thing, some quantitative multiple choice questions will have more than one possible answer – and just as in GRE Reading Comprehension (discussed in an earlier posting), no partial credit will be offered. As an additional wrinkle, testmaker ETS is suggesting that sometimes they’ll spell out exactly how many (as, for example, “Which two of the following are equivalent to x ?”) … Read full post
What GRE changes mean to you: What to expect in the new Verbal Reasoning Section
In addition to the reading comprehension changes, which we discussed last time, the 2011 GRE exam is eliminating two old verbal reasoning question types and introducing two new ones. Gone are antonyms and analogies, in favor of variations on the old fill-in-the-blank challenge that will reward independent thinkers with supple vocabularies.
Text Completion is akin to the “Sentence Completion” question type currently on the GRE in that both feature individual sentences, one or more parts of which are missing and the student must fill in the blank(s). The big difference is that on the current exam, if there are two blanks to fill, the examinee must choose among five pairs – “(A) separate…instill”; “(B) appeal…support”; and so on – and so we can find shortcuts to narrowing down the possibilities. (If “support” won’t fill blank … Read full post
What GRE format changes mean to you: A turn for the better?
While the GRE’s overall content breakdown will remain the same for the 2011 test change – that is, it’ll still consist of analytical writing, math, and verbal sections – the specific question types are undergoing quite the transformation. The most radical changes will be seen in the area of Reading Comprehension, where the testmakers are introducing two brand-new question types, both of which take fuller advantage of the computerized format than either the old GRE or the current GMAT ever have.
The first new type consists of multiple choice questions which have more than one possible answer. This is a variation on the traditional “Roman numeral question,” a perennial on the GMAT, in which you are handed three Roman numeral statements and one or more are correct, e.g. “III only”; “I and II only”; “I, II, and … Read full post
What GRE changes mean to you: an option for greater control
Those considering the GMAT vs. GRE decision (in preparing for the business school application process) will be extremely interested to note that beginning in 2011, GRE examinees will have the ability to move forward and backward within a section, and even to change answers that they’ve already submitted. As you’re probably aware, both GRE and GMAT permit an examinee only to move forward. Up to now, adaptivity – the algorithm’s power to raise or lower the difficulty level of each successive question based on the student’s previous result – has required that no one be able to return to previously-answered questions.
The GRE is retaining its computer adaptive nature. But in ways that could interest only the most committed psychometrician, it has evidently become sophisticated enough to allow examinees to flag questions, and to move past or come … Read full post