One week is just about enough time to make and break all sorts of New Year’s resolutions. I actually avoid making any, but my wife likes to do it which almost always results in me having to come up with a few. After that round of car trip conversation, I promptly (if not intentionally) forget about the ones I made so breaking them doesn’t ever bother me.
Despite my attitude, the intention of making introspective promises to better your life and self is not lost on me. In fact, I am here now to advocate making a few specifically regarding your GMAT goals. Here are five things to consider:
- The GMAT is changing in June and you should take the test before that happens. With the addition of a new Integrated Reasoning section, test preparation is going to be more difficult and take more time. Keep in mind that GMAT
U.S. News & World Report is ranked #1 in… ranking. Specifically, I’m talking about they’re annual rankings of colleges and universities. US News is the go-to publication for anyone interested in where an institution falls in relation to its peer institutions, and the expectation is that the “Top XX” lists are actually meaningful. Well, the meaningfulness of those lists is under some serious scrutiny.
After the question was asked and momentum built, the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) published a report in late-September 2011 outlining the deficiencies of the magazine’s ranking algorithm and making recommendations on how US News & World Report can improve their current methodology (a weighted average of various assessment scores). Interestingly, US News’ response, in sum, was, ‘Thanks for the conversation, but we’re satisfied with how we arrive at our rankings and we will continue to do it the way we’ve always done … Read full post
There’s so much to do as you prep for the GMAT…review math formulas, remind yourself of grammar rules from way back when, take practice tests, learn this whole new world of data sufficiency…there are endless tips on how to improve your score, and most people find the need to spend 2-3 months or so preparing. In addition to the study-prep tips that are already top of mind, such as working through all of the practice problems in your test-prep books, there are other things that you can do during your preparation period that can indirectly help you improve your GMAT score, outside of your study time. One of these is to READ as much as possible between now and Test Day.
So what exactly is meant by reading more — are we talking reading GMAT material, or just reading in general? While it IS important to do a lot of … Read full post
You’ve been studying religiously for the GMAT, learning all of the content and formulas you need, practicing under timed conditions…and suddenly, your practice test scores went down! How is that possible, you wonder? Is all the work that you’re doing pointless? Are you doomed to stay at this low score level no matter what?
Relax, and know that it is NORMAL for your practice test scores to fluctuate. There are many reasons for this, including:
• Learning new approaches can slow you down initially
Any good test prep material will provide you with strategic, methodical approaches to each type of GMAT question. Having a step-by-step approach that you take for every question type ensures that you are never just sitting there on test day, staring blankly at the screen. Learning these methods, though, takes time and practice, and you may even SLOW DOWN for a period as you master the … Read full post
Using my finely honed investigative skills, I’ve been able to obtain the results from Kaplan’s most recent survey of 260 business school admissions officers, including many from the most selective schools. Of course by “investigative skills” I mean I simply asked for them.
Here’s some of the juicier tidbits:
51% of admissions officers stated that the number of applicants reporting they are unemployed has increased. In the past, being unemployed was commonly considered a blot on an application, but today’s economic reality seems to be changing that.
Among the 76% of schools that currently don’t accept the GRE as a substitute for the GMAT, almost 9 out of 10 reported that they most likely will not consider changing their policy. So much for the GRE’s plans for world domination.
Slightly more than one quarter of officers surveyed reported an increase in applicants directly from college. That suggests that the outreach … Read full post
At the end of every course, I ask my students to shoot me an e-mail with their impressions of the actual GMAT. While I get a lot of feedback, the positive comment I receive most frequently is, “I can’t believe I got a 6 on the essays!” Does that mean test takers don’t need to worry about the two essays that kick off the test? Not really. But it does suggest that being fully prepared for this part of the GMAT need not be a daunting challenge.
Before we talk about preparing for the Analytical Writing section, just what is the function of this part of the test? Scores on the essays are not as important in the admissions decision as the 200-800 combined score for the Quant and Verbal sections. However, the essay section does answer a very basic question for the admissions committee – “does this test taker … Read full post
The slow down paradox: going slower on the GMAT can make you faster.
Recently, one of my GMAT tutoring students, an engineering undergrad at Penn, hit the test prep wall. After a couple of months of study he was consistently scoring 670/680 on weekly practice tests, but he needed to do significantly better to qualify for Wharton’s sub matriculation program. This student was a bright guy and a typical engineer, accustomed to attacking challenges and blowing through them. His problem was quant. – all kinds of quant. This was particularly surprising since, in both our sessions together and his homework, he demonstrated mastery of high-level content and methods. But something was falling apart under test conditions. Together, we analyzed his situation and soon saw a pattern. Specifically, he was making unforced errors, misreading the problems and falling into traps. Meanwhile, he was regularly finishing the section 15 minutes early!
Every … Read full post
The problem with this question is that it’s seldom asked early enough. You enroll in an MBA program to develop your business skills. The GMAT tests your aptitude for the business school curriculum. Planning is a skill basic to business – in fact, to life. Yet, I can’t tell you how many students seem to say to themselves, “Hmm, it’s August and I want to have my app in to Wharton, Kellogg and Stanford by mid-October. I guess I’ll start studying for the GMAT.”
While this startlingly illogical approach works for some, it’s NOT optimal for most of us. That said, there is no RIGHT amount of time to prepare. How much time you’ll need to prepare for the GMAT depends on the following questions:
1) What’s your target? Are you striving for your personal best or are you aiming for the window set by one or more schools? If … Read full post
Back in the middle ages (the late ’80′s actually), HBS began a multi-year experiment during which the school no longer accepted GMAT scores. The rationale was that the school’s commitment was to admit the best future leaders, not necessarily the best students. One primary goal was to broaden the student body by encouraging applications from those with appealing backgrounds but underwhelming GMAT scores. Although it may have had the desired impact in terms of diversifying the class, it also led to the admission of some students who were in the process of being rejected from what many would consider to be less prestigious programs. A case could be made that during this period, the gap in perceived reputation between HBS and other top programs narrowed.
With the GRE decision, the school is following rather than leading the trend, but is HBS dipping its feet into the very same murky waters? … Read full post