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Is the GMAT for me?

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Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 09:21
I just recently graduated from college and am considering taking the GMAT. I got a 2.5 GPA from my undergraduate career (lets not get into how I got a 2.5 GPA) which I don't think reflect my abilities and potential at all. I have a extremely good memory in things I am interested it in and the times when I get perfect scores in exams is usually the times I devoted the least amount of time. Classes I did great in were the ones I was interested it in, it is very hard for me to study for something I am not interested it in. I am usually the first to finish an exam because I either know the answers in exams or I don't.

I am at a point in life where I feel like I need to be motivated and challenged by something and the GMAT seems to be the answer. I experienced this type of feeling before in the past when I was a high school drop out (NEVER attended/passed one single course in high school). The first 3 years I was suppose to be in high school I was out playing everyday until one day I felt bored and decided I wanted to go to college, so I went to the nearest barnes and noble to grab the first GED review book I found. I read through it in less than one month and went to take the GED exam, scored in the higher range. Then I found out I needed SAT scores so I went to take that without any type of studying/high school education and I think I got a 1100 out of 1600 (the older scoring system). I got into a state university with my GED and SAT scores 1 year earlier than my friends that went to HS the same year as me, and most of those who did graduate from HS couldn't even get into my state university.

I would say my weakness is math and reading skills (the lack of HS education made it very hard to catch up on math and reading in college). My strengths would be critical thinking, fast reaction, fast thinker, problem solver, very logical, street-smart type of person. So my question is, what type of exam is the GMAT? (does it require tremendous memory, math skills, reading skills, etc.) Is the GMAT for me based on my personality, strengths, and weakness?
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 09:37
The question is: Why are you thinking about GMAT? Unless you are trying to get into a MS program etc, you shouldn't consider taking GMAT yet. Get professional experience first.

Many people who scored low GPA as undergrad score high on GMAT.

GMAT is in my opinion:

60% pure skill, 20% effort, 20% boost from prep materials

GMAT score can be raised (about 70 to 100 points) by taking one of those prep classes or self study using prep materials. Also, it requires countless hours of self studying.

It tests your basic math skills plus analytical skills. It tests your grammar, reading comp, and reasoning skills like LSAT.

So is it for you? Why do you plan on taking this exam?
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 11:05
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I am not one to be negative, so I will be as positive as I can. When I refer to going or applying to business school, that is an assumption I have made that you intend to apply to business schools, but I acknowledge, this may not be a proper assumption.

1) It appears that you need direction in your life and structure. You say you "got bored" so you went and finished your GED. I do not have any stats, but I would be surprised to find many people in business school with a GED. The 2.5 GPA may really hurt you. It's not so much that people will question your intellect, but if you show a very high GMAT score, and no work experience, lack of going to high school, etc. The admissions committees (if you do plan on applying to business school) may question your work ethic. You admit that you do not do well in areas that you are not interested in. This would be a major hurdle to admissions committees and future employers. In work, we are all called to do numerous things that we do not want to do. We have a choice in whether we do them or not. If we say "No, I will not do that." or if we perform very poorly, it will likely result in us seeking other employment, voluntarily or otherwise. Employers and business schools want people that are well rounded in many different areas.

2) You admit that your weakenesses are math and reading skills. This in itself is enough for me to say that the GMAT is not likely a good choice, or graduate school in general.

3) Decide what you want to be when you grow up and then go do it. You obviously have the capacity to do great things. It is natural for people to dislike certain areas, and especially in formal education. This is the "game" that we play. How often do you hear of someone that has a college degree, but their job has nothign to do with that college degree? A Theater Major as an insurance salesman? The point is that the person HAS a degree. It's validation that the person will play the game, get the degree, and be a normal individual. The world does not treat people nicely that do their own thing, march to their own tune, and then when they get a feeling that they need something more, they go accomplish it and expect the world to simply let them in the club. As you move up in levels of education and work experience, this becomes an ever-increasingly difficult shell to crack. Many of these circles, if they get a feel that you do not play the game strictly by the rules (i.e., get the degree, put in the time, kiss a little ass) you will not get the chance to show them your ability, because it won't matter to them. As an employer, I would not want to hire someone that "one day decided to do ______". It would make me wonder, "How long will they work for me before they get an idea to go do something else?"

You may have dozens of areas that really interest you and you can be good at every single one of them. Unfortunately, the world is not interested in "good" at a bunch of things. The world would rather have an expert at a single thing, than what many would call a Renaissance Man. If you realize this, or have already been treated badly because of this, don't resent people for it. It's just the way it is. There is no better way to explain it. So, my advice to you is

1) Figure out what 1 single thing you want to do and commit to doing it better than 99% of the rest of the people that have choosen it as their profession too.

2) Determine what steps you have to do in order to get there.

3) Identify the parts of it that you're going to hate. Get some of those out of the way early while you're still excited about your choice.

4) Accept the fact that you enjoy doing ____________, but that's not your identity. If you've chosen to be a rocket scientist, tell people "Yeah, I really enjoy finance, and I casually read as much as I can to learn more about investing, but I could build you a rocket to get you to the moon. I'm a rocket scientist. That's what I do and I'm the best you'll ever meet that does it." That sticks in people's minds. Saying "I can do finance, marketing, goephysics, legal analysis, public speaking, etc, etc, etc." doesn't resonate with anyone. They just thinkg "He doesn't have a clue what he is."

It appears as though you are still young and have many, many opportunities ahead of you. I hope Ive offered you some advice you can use.

entice wrote:
I just recently graduated from college and am considering taking the GMAT. I got a 2.5 GPA from my undergraduate career (lets not get into how I got a 2.5 GPA) which I don't think reflect my abilities and potential at all. I have a extremely good memory in things I am interested it in and the times when I get perfect scores in exams is usually the times I devoted the least amount of time. Classes I did great in were the ones I was interested it in, it is very hard for me to study for something I am not interested it in. I am usually the first to finish an exam because I either know the answers in exams or I don't.

I am at a point in life where I feel like I need to be motivated and challenged by something and the GMAT seems to be the answer. I experienced this type of feeling before in the past when I was a high school drop out (NEVER attended/passed one single course in high school). The first 3 years I was suppose to be in high school I was out playing everyday until one day I felt bored and decided I wanted to go to college, so I went to the nearest barnes and noble to grab the first GED review book I found. I read through it in less than one month and went to take the GED exam, scored in the higher range. Then I found out I needed SAT scores so I went to take that without any type of studying/high school education and I think I got a 1100 out of 1600 (the older scoring system). I got into a state university with my GED and SAT scores 1 year earlier than my friends that went to HS the same year as me, and most of those who did graduate from HS couldn't even get into my state university.

I would say my weakness is math and reading skills (the lack of HS education made it very hard to catch up on math and reading in college). My strengths would be critical thinking, fast reaction, fast thinker, problem solver, very logical, street-smart type of person. So my question is, what type of exam is the GMAT? (does it require tremendous memory, math skills, reading skills, etc.) Is the GMAT for me based on my personality, strengths, and weakness?

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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2008, 16:06
Yeah I am thinking about applying to business school and thats why I am asking about the GMAT. I just wanted to know what type of exam the GMAT is all about, and as I read in another post its unlike the MCAT which is the type of exam where you either know it or you dont. My goal is to get at least a 725 on the GMAT and only applying to the top 10 business schools, which I think I can do now that I know what I am up against.

ninkorn wrote:
Many people who scored low GPA as undergrad score high on GMAT.

How come?

ninkorn wrote:
GMAT is in my opinion:

60% pure skill, 20% effort, 20% boost from prep materials

GMAT score can be raised (about 70 to 100 points) by taking one of those prep classes or self study using prep materials. Also, it requires countless hours of self studying.

It tests your basic math skills plus analytical skills. It tests your grammar, reading comp, and reasoning skills like LSAT.

So is it for you? Why do you plan on taking this exam?

Exactly what I wanted to hear. Basic math skills I can definitely master with self studying. Analyzing stuff is my forte. Reasoning skills I am also great in. I guess its just grammar and reading comp that I am going to need a whole lot of practice in.

First of all thanks jallenmorris for all the effort you put into your response, its freaking long!
jallenmorris wrote:
I am not one to be negative, so I will be as positive as I can. When I refer to going or applying to business school, that is an assumption I have made that you intend to apply to business schools, but I acknowledge, this may not be a proper assumption.

1) It appears that you need direction in your life and structure. You say you "got bored" so you went and finished your GED. I do not have any stats, but I would be surprised to find many people in business school with a GED. The 2.5 GPA may really hurt you. It's not so much that people will question your intellect, but if you show a very high GMAT score, and no work experience, lack of going to high school, etc. The admissions committees (if you do plan on applying to business school) may question your work ethic. You admit that you do not do well in areas that you are not interested in. This would be a major hurdle to admissions committees and future employers. In work, we are all called to do numerous things that we do not want to do. We have a choice in whether we do them or not. If we say "No, I will not do that." or if we perform very poorly, it will likely result in us seeking other employment, voluntarily or otherwise. Employers and business schools want people that are well rounded in many different areas.

I just graduated college with an economics major and business management minor. I have a pretty decent employment history in my resume but even with that I know it will be extremely hard for me to find a job considering the economy right now. So what I am thinking in the mean time is to do the impossible again (like with my GED scores) but this time with the GMAT. You might have taken the point that I do not do well in areas I am not interested in a bit too far, its not as serious as you might think it is. I think a huge factor for me getting into the college I attended was the fact that I was a HS dropout with an abnormally high GED score. They mightve looked at me and said hey this kid never went to HS but yet can do extremely well on the GED exam, judging from this his potential and capacity to achieve something might be worthwhile to accept him. (boy did they make a mistake with all the partying I did in college, haha). Anyways I think the admissions for bschool would really question me and find me interesting if I were to achieve a 725+ on the GMAT. Interviews with them would be no problem at all.
Quote:
2) You admit that your weakenesses are math and reading skills. This in itself is enough for me to say that the GMAT is not likely a good choice, or graduate school in general.

Math I can practice and master it with self studying, reading skills are gonna be a bit tough for me.

Quote:
3) Decide what you want to be when you grow up and then go do it. You obviously have the capacity to do great things. It is natural for people to dislike certain areas, and especially in formal education. This is the "game" that we play. How often do you hear of someone that has a college degree, but their job has nothign to do with that college degree? A Theater Major as an insurance salesman? The point is that the person HAS a degree. It's validation that the person will play the game, get the degree, and be a normal individual. The world does not treat people nicely that do their own thing, march to their own tune, and then when they get a feeling that they need something more, they go accomplish it and expect the world to simply let them in the club. As you move up in levels of education and work experience, this becomes an ever-increasingly difficult shell to crack. Many of these circles, if they get a feel that you do not play the game strictly by the rules (i.e., get the degree, put in the time, kiss a little ass) you will not get the chance to show them your ability, because it won't matter to them. As an employer, I would not want to hire someone that "one day decided to do ______". It would make me wonder, "How long will they work for me before they get an idea to go do something else?"

You may have dozens of areas that really interest you and you can be good at every single one of them. Unfortunately, the world is not interested in "good" at a bunch of things. The world would rather have an expert at a single thing, than what many would call a Renaissance Man. If you realize this, or have already been treated badly because of this, don't resent people for it. It's just the way it is. There is no better way to explain it. So, my advice to you is

1) Figure out what 1 single thing you want to do and commit to doing it better than 99% of the rest of the people that have choosen it as their profession too.

2) Determine what steps you have to do in order to get there.

3) Identify the parts of it that you're going to hate. Get some of those out of the way early while you're still excited about your choice.

4) Accept the fact that you enjoy doing ____________, but that's not your identity. If you've chosen to be a rocket scientist, tell people "Yeah, I really enjoy finance, and I casually read as much as I can to learn more about investing, but I could build you a rocket to get you to the moon. I'm a rocket scientist. That's what I do and I'm the best you'll ever meet that does it." That sticks in people's minds. Saying "I can do finance, marketing, goephysics, legal analysis, public speaking, etc, etc, etc." doesn't resonate with anyone. They just thinkg "He doesn't have a clue what he is."

It appears as though you are still young and have many, many opportunities ahead of you. I hope Ive offered you some advice you can use.
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2008, 19:02
Since you're new to the GMAT, i'll provide you with some FYI. A 725 is impossible. It goes in increments of 10 from 200. A 720 or a 730 would be possible.

I'll write more later, or you can send me a PM and we can discuss my opinion there.

entice wrote:
Yeah I am thinking about applying to business school and thats why I am asking about the GMAT. I just wanted to know what type of exam the GMAT is all about, and as I read in another post its unlike the MCAT which is the type of exam where you either know it or you dont. My goal is to get at least a 725 on the GMAT and only applying to the top 10 business schools, which I think I can do now that I know what I am up against.

ninkorn wrote:
Many people who scored low GPA as undergrad score high on GMAT.

How come?

ninkorn wrote:
GMAT is in my opinion:

60% pure skill, 20% effort, 20% boost from prep materials

GMAT score can be raised (about 70 to 100 points) by taking one of those prep classes or self study using prep materials. Also, it requires countless hours of self studying.

It tests your basic math skills plus analytical skills. It tests your grammar, reading comp, and reasoning skills like LSAT.

So is it for you? Why do you plan on taking this exam?

Exactly what I wanted to hear. Basic math skills I can definitely master with self studying. Analyzing stuff is my forte. Reasoning skills I am also great in. I guess its just grammar and reading comp that I am going to need a whole lot of practice in.

First of all thanks jallenmorris for all the effort you put into your response, its freaking long!
jallenmorris wrote:
I am not one to be negative, so I will be as positive as I can. When I refer to going or applying to business school, that is an assumption I have made that you intend to apply to business schools, but I acknowledge, this may not be a proper assumption.

1) It appears that you need direction in your life and structure. You say you "got bored" so you went and finished your GED. I do not have any stats, but I would be surprised to find many people in business school with a GED. The 2.5 GPA may really hurt you. It's not so much that people will question your intellect, but if you show a very high GMAT score, and no work experience, lack of going to high school, etc. The admissions committees (if you do plan on applying to business school) may question your work ethic. You admit that you do not do well in areas that you are not interested in. This would be a major hurdle to admissions committees and future employers. In work, we are all called to do numerous things that we do not want to do. We have a choice in whether we do them or not. If we say "No, I will not do that." or if we perform very poorly, it will likely result in us seeking other employment, voluntarily or otherwise. Employers and business schools want people that are well rounded in many different areas.

I just graduated college with an economics major and business management minor. I have a pretty decent employment history in my resume but even with that I know it will be extremely hard for me to find a job considering the economy right now. So what I am thinking in the mean time is to do the impossible again (like with my GED scores) but this time with the GMAT. You might have taken the point that I do not do well in areas I am not interested in a bit too far, its not as serious as you might think it is. I think a huge factor for me getting into the college I attended was the fact that I was a HS dropout with an abnormally high GED score. They mightve looked at me and said hey this kid never went to HS but yet can do extremely well on the GED exam, judging from this his potential and capacity to achieve something might be worthwhile to accept him. (boy did they make a mistake with all the partying I did in college, haha). Anyways I think the admissions for bschool would really question me and find me interesting if I were to achieve a 725+ on the GMAT. Interviews with them would be no problem at all.
Quote:
2) You admit that your weakenesses are math and reading skills. This in itself is enough for me to say that the GMAT is not likely a good choice, or graduate school in general.

Math I can practice and master it with self studying, reading skills are gonna be a bit tough for me.

Quote:
3) Decide what you want to be when you grow up and then go do it. You obviously have the capacity to do great things. It is natural for people to dislike certain areas, and especially in formal education. This is the "game" that we play. How often do you hear of someone that has a college degree, but their job has nothign to do with that college degree? A Theater Major as an insurance salesman? The point is that the person HAS a degree. It's validation that the person will play the game, get the degree, and be a normal individual. The world does not treat people nicely that do their own thing, march to their own tune, and then when they get a feeling that they need something more, they go accomplish it and expect the world to simply let them in the club. As you move up in levels of education and work experience, this becomes an ever-increasingly difficult shell to crack. Many of these circles, if they get a feel that you do not play the game strictly by the rules (i.e., get the degree, put in the time, kiss a little ass) you will not get the chance to show them your ability, because it won't matter to them. As an employer, I would not want to hire someone that "one day decided to do ______". It would make me wonder, "How long will they work for me before they get an idea to go do something else?"

You may have dozens of areas that really interest you and you can be good at every single one of them. Unfortunately, the world is not interested in "good" at a bunch of things. The world would rather have an expert at a single thing, than what many would call a Renaissance Man. If you realize this, or have already been treated badly because of this, don't resent people for it. It's just the way it is. There is no better way to explain it. So, my advice to you is

1) Figure out what 1 single thing you want to do and commit to doing it better than 99% of the rest of the people that have choosen it as their profession too.

2) Determine what steps you have to do in order to get there.

3) Identify the parts of it that you're going to hate. Get some of those out of the way early while you're still excited about your choice.

4) Accept the fact that you enjoy doing ____________, but that's not your identity. If you've chosen to be a rocket scientist, tell people "Yeah, I really enjoy finance, and I casually read as much as I can to learn more about investing, but I could build you a rocket to get you to the moon. I'm a rocket scientist. That's what I do and I'm the best you'll ever meet that does it." That sticks in people's minds. Saying "I can do finance, marketing, goephysics, legal analysis, public speaking, etc, etc, etc." doesn't resonate with anyone. They just thinkg "He doesn't have a clue what he is."

It appears as though you are still young and have many, many opportunities ahead of you. I hope Ive offered you some advice you can use.

_________________

------------------------------------
J Allen Morris
**I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2008, 22:25
jallenmorris wrote:
I am not one to be negative, so I will be as positive as I can. When I refer to going or applying to business school, that is an assumption I have made that you intend to apply to business schools, but I acknowledge, this may not be a proper assumption..........

awesome post. 100% agree.

entice, i partially agree with ninkorn (nine inch nails and korn my favs) about gmat: however, I would give more to preparation and less to other stuff like luck, skills, etc....assuming that you are not "slow" or not aiming at 750+.

good luck and let us know about your decision.
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 06:24
entice,

I just hope you realize how small of a part the GMAT plays in applying to a top 10 business school. A competitive score at a top 10 would be 670-ish and up. Aside from this, the admissions committees take into account letters of recommendation, extra curricular activities, demonstrated leadership, and work experience to name a few. I don't think any one single part of a person's application will earn them a ding. Even if someone had a 1.9 GPA, I think the adcoms would look at other parts of their application to see if there are places where that low GPA can be "made up". I have a 3.05 GPA and I was worried about that when I was going to apply to top 10 schools (I have decided to go in a different direction). The 2.5 GPA is certainly going to be something the adcoms are going to look at and probably seek other areas of your application that show 2.5 is not the best you could do.

You said you hae a "pretty decent employment history." What does this mean? Does this mean stable? Does this mean you supervised a team of 12 implementing a new system of acconting, or anything like that. I am interested in learning more about your employment history.

1) What job or jobs have you held?
2) Are these jobs in your field of economics?
2) Did these require a bachelor's degree?
3) Did you have any leadership role or responsibilities?
4) How long did you stay at each of these jobs?

An employment history for applying to business school is not the same as an employment history when looking for a new job. You say that you just recently graduated from college with your degree in economics. I doubt there has been sufficient time for you to get a job within your chosen field and excel in that job since you just graduated.

Looking forward to you reply.
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 09:49
I just took princeton review's practice cat test online and scored 510 =(
Is this good, bad, average? I kinda did the test as fast as I can without thinking too much about if I have the right answers to see where I am at without any type of studying or knowledge of what the GMAT is all about. I think I had about 30 mins left on the math section and 20 mins on the verbal sections. Kinda felt like a retard because the the problems on the practice test was basic math but I felt like I barely knew it. The only thing I know about the GMAT is that the highest score is 800 and I want at least a 700. If I devote 40-50 hours a week for x amount of months would it be possible to up my score to 700? I am asking about all this is to see if I have the potential to actually reach 700 without killing myself. I am all about efficiency and not doing any type of work that will require extreme brute force/hard work.

Last edited by entice on 18 Dec 2008, 16:34, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 15:52
entice wrote:
I am all about efficiency and not doing any type of work that will require extreme brute force/hard work.


Because of what you said in the quote box above, I must tell you I don't think you're cut out for b-school.

A person that may not be as naturally smart is likely to be more successful in b-school and in his/her career afterwards simply because of that person's work ethic. B-school requires intelligence AND work ethic.
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 16:04
jallenmorris wrote:
entice wrote:
I am all about efficiency and not doing any type of work that will require extreme brute force/hard work.


Because of what you said in the quote box above, I must tell you I don't think you're cut out for b-school.

A person that may not be as naturally smart is likely to be more successful in b-school and in his/her career afterwards simply because of that person's work ethic. B-school requires intelligence AND work ethic.


I think what I have is the work ethic, you know how theres the "book-smart" and "street-smart", I feel I am the "street-smart". If there is a goal to complete and theres A, B, C, D, E steps to do I will always be unconventional and find a way to complete the goal with 2 steps, A then E. I apply that to everything, I dont like hard work I like to be efficient, I dont see why everyone needs to work extremely hard reading through all the whole textbook of a class while I will find a way to do a quarter of that work and achieve the same grades.

entice wrote:
I just took princeton review's practice cat test online and scored 510 =(
Is this good, bad, average? I kinda did the test as fast as I can without thinking too much about if I have the right answers to see where I am at without any type of studying or knowledge of what the GMAT is all about. I think I had about 30 mins left on the math section and 20 mins on the verbal sections. Kinda felt like a retard because the the problems on the practice test was basic math but I felt like I barely knew it. The only thing I know about the GMAT is that the highest score is 800 and I want at least a 700. If I devote 40-50 hours a week for x amount of months would it be possible to up my score to 700? I am asking about all this is to see if I have the potential to actually reach 700 without killing myself. I am all about efficiency and not doing any type of work that will require extreme brute force/hard work.

BTW how was my 510, will studying make up that 200 points that I am missing?
The math I kinda feel like I would be able to improve on with some type of study guide, but I dont know about the reading part.

Last edited by entice on 18 Dec 2008, 16:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the GMAT for me? [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2008, 16:11
Average GMAT is about 500 - 550. Somewhere in there. BUT...that's on the real GMAT. A lot of the books like Kaplan, PR, and some others tend to be lower than what a person could score on the real thing.

My concern about what you're saying regarding work ethic is that if you got into b-school and then...well, lets do a hypothetical.

You get into b-school and you graduate. You take a job with a company and you're assigned to a project. Your manager tells you to do some task and tells you how to do it. There are 5 steps. That manager isn't going to care that you took 2 steps to do it. That manager is going to see that you can't follow directions and that he/she can't trust you to do as you're told. That's not good.


By the way, can you answer these questions for me?

1) What job or jobs have you held?
2) Are these jobs in your field of economics?
3) Did these require a bachelor's degree?
4) Did you have any leadership role or responsibilities?
5) How long did you stay at each of these jobs?

entice wrote:
jallenmorris wrote:
entice wrote:
I am all about efficiency and not doing any type of work that will require extreme brute force/hard work.


Because of what you said in the quote box above, I must tell you I don't think you're cut out for b-school.

A person that may not be as naturally smart is likely to be more successful in b-school and in his/her career afterwards simply because of that person's work ethic. B-school requires intelligence AND work ethic.


I think what I have is the work ethic, you know how theres the "book-smart" and "street-smart", I feel I am the "street-smart". If there is a goal to complete and theres A, B, C, D, E steps to do I will always be unconventional and find a way to complete the goal with 2 steps, A then E. I apply that to everything, I dont like hard work I like to be efficient, I dont see why everyone needs to work extremely hard reading through all the whole textbook of a class while I will find a way to do a quarter of that work and achieve the same grades.

BTW how was my 510, will studying make up that 200 points that I am missing?

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Re: Is the GMAT for me?   [#permalink] 18 Dec 2008, 16:11
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