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Engineers - Is the free Vocaz Chances Indication accurate?

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Engineers - Is the free Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 07:08
Hi,

I'm an engineer looking to apply to some of the US MBA programs, but i want to make sure i have a fair chance before starting this long process. i was trying to get some chances indication and stumbled upon this tool:
http://www.vocaz.com/ClientInfo/Chances ... n27985.htm

It supposed to predict my chances of admission. i did the calculations and my results were too pesimistic in my opinion :cry:
i have undergrad degree in Mechanical Engineering and almost 2 years of work experience. not much, i know...
anyone else tried it? found it accurate in retrospective?

cheers,
ahish

Last edited by ahish on 21 Feb 2011, 08:12, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 08:36
Dude i would suggest that you put in the best application possible to each school on your list. No need to bother with these "indication tools"
best of luck
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 08:41
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Well said.. These indication tools mean nothing. The only thing certain is that if you don't apply you will definitely not get in!

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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 09:58
What a piece of garbage. A classic case of overfitting if they actually did base this on past experience. Ignore this tool and ones like it, and instead spend some time reading through GMAT Club to get an idea of where you're best off applying. And perhaps ask for a profile eval in the admissions consultant forum to get some opinions, but even then take it all with a grain of salt.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 11:52
I just did this for fun, and found that my results actually line up pretty well with my previous projections of how competitive I am for the schools I'm applying to. Of course, since I don't know yet whether I'll be accepted to any of these schools, I don't know how well it lines up with reality. But I don't think it's a completely awful tool to use, as long as it's not your sole source of choosing schools. I would never avoid applying to a dream school because of a tool like this, but if it's really important for someone to attend b-school this upcoming year, this tool might indicate if they should add a safety school or two to the mix.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 05:29
Thanks guys for cheering me up :)
Of course I'm going for it!
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 05:45
Obviously, this is just a tool, and you do not have to put too much emphasis on that. However, I think the guys look competent, and I wouldn't say it is a completely irrelevant tool.
I would suggest that you take it into account for your applications, by putting more stress on certain area than on others .
The tool helps you realize that sport can help, community work, etc...
So my advice is: do not get depressed, just use it to maximize your chances.

Good luck with that
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 05:46
btw: I am by no means affiliated to Vocaz, but I am seriously considering asking them for help in my application process (fall 2013).
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 12:22
How are you supposed to decide whether your own essays, resume, etc. are "Strong," "Medium," or "Weak"? Would anyone here submit a "Weak" essay? I would put absolutely no weight into this tool... read through past "Applicant" posts on candidates for the schools you're interested in. And compare.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 12:27
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my Engineer friend who is right now at HBS took the Vocaz test on my request and his points were 12 points below the HBS category. That is direct evidence that the test is not accurate.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2010, 06:35
ok. then I may agree on what you said, if your friend from HBS is below... then there must be some flaws in the tool.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2010, 00:39
Actually, i just used it to check my "numbers" - age, work exp, managing people. I wanted to see where do I stand if I have strong essays and recommendations (assuming I will). For that purpose I think this tool is OK, it can give some indication.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2010, 02:15
Out of curiosity, how did you reach this conclusion?
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2010, 08:41
well, i compared myself (roughly) to class profiles that some schools publish on their websites, with students' statistics and average GMAT, age, work experience etc.
i found out that i'm somewhere in the middle, and the chances indication tool also predicted that i would be competitive at those schools. i know that there are other parameters and this is not exact science, but still...
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2010, 12:23
I've read two tidbits (one from Alex at MBAApply) that are good indicators of an applicant's b-school choices:

"The real acid test for applicants is this: if getting into HBS or Stanford would be the best thing that's ever happened to you professionally or personally, your chances are probably pretty slim (because you don't have enough to bring to the table, which is why HBS/Stanford/Wharton would be the best thing that's happened to you). "

The second one was this:
Clear out a spot on the top of your resume. Put in the b-school you're interested in as if you've already graduated. if it doesn't look out of place, you probably have a good shot (assuming you're not completely delusional).

Either way..sounds like a crapshoot these days! =/
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2010, 05:54
I agree, self awareness is the key. you have to stay true to yourself, you shouldn't aim for schools that are way out of your league, and such chances indication tool can help you with this.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2010, 06:23
uprightcitizen wrote:
How are you supposed to decide whether your own essays, resume, etc. are "Strong," "Medium," or "Weak"? Would anyone here submit a "Weak" essay? I would put absolutely no weight into this tool... read through past "Applicant" posts on candidates for the schools you're interested in. And compare.


Exactly right.

Vocaz Marketing Indicator wrote:
Essay Quality
Strong 10.5
Medium 6.5
Weak 1.5
* If you do a full, intensive process with Vocaz (or with a different high-quality service) on essays, choose strong.

Recommendations
Strong 10
Medium 7.5
Weak 4
* If you work intensively with Vocaz (or with a different high-quality service) on recommendations, choose either medium or strong.

Application Forms/Resume Quality
Strong 9
Medium 7
Weak 3
* If you work intensively with Vocaz (or with a different high-quality service) on PDM, resume and application forms, choose strong.


And then:

Vocaz Marketing Indicator wrote:
What is the gap between your total points and the school points below?
-7 or less = Stretch
...
+2 or more = Strong with potential for a significant scholarship


Which is interpreted as follows:

Vocaz Marketing Indicator wrote:
Strong with potential for a significant scholarship:
There is a good chance that you will be accepted, possibly with a significant scholarship. Estimated admission chances are somewhere around 75-80%.

Stretch:
Candidates with similar profiles rarely get accepted to this program. Estimated admission chances are somewhere around 10%.


So, the difference between having a 10% chance of admission to a particular school vs 75-80% chance of admission, possibly with a significant scholarship, is 9 points on their scale, but there is a potential 21 point swing on your score depending on how you rate your application on the subjective scale of Strong, Medium, Weak? Yet the difference between Non-existant and Strong community service is 3.2 points? And they can predict the impact of starting a company that employs 5 people to the 0.3 point level of granularity? Not to mention, there's a potential 8 point swing depending on your GPA, which they give in %age terms when every major US school I know of asks for (and uses) a 4.0 scale?

Oh and by the way, if you use their service, all 3 sections of your application are guaranteed to be "Strong" by their own measure.

I repeat my earlier statement:

brainhurt wrote:
What a piece of garbage.


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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2010, 08:20
Agree..this is complete garbage, but it is a useful starting point. After getting to know the programs, you will be better off than if you rely on this matrix.

It said that I am competitive at Duke, Michigan, Yale, NYU - I am applying to Duke and Michigan
It said that Chicago is a stretch-competitive - I consider this my stretch.
Texas is Strong - and I am applying here as my safety.

It also said that Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton are longstretches. No shit!

But still, this is just something to get you to buy their services. Do your due diligence on this before you sign up to any such service.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2010, 11:18
herserendipity wrote:
I've read two tidbits (one from Alex at MBAApply) that are good indicators of an applicant's b-school choices:

"The real acid test for applicants is this: if getting into HBS or Stanford would be the best thing that's ever happened to you professionally or personally, your chances are probably pretty slim (because you don't have enough to bring to the table, which is why HBS/Stanford/Wharton would be the best thing that's happened to you). "

The second one was this:
Clear out a spot on the top of your resume. Put in the b-school you're interested in as if you've already graduated. if it doesn't look out of place, you probably have a good shot (assuming you're not completely delusional).

Either way..sounds like a crapshoot these days! =/



Alex is a smart guy, but his first point is a bit baffling. Getting into one of the most coveted graduate schools in the world (not just business but any degree) like HBS is a huge accomplishment for almost anyone. There are very few people in that age range who are so insanely accomplished that getting into HBS is just a blip in their radar.

Also, according to vocaz, cambridge is more selective than oxford, and insead is more selective than LBS. I thought it was the opposite? And why is a person in high-tech penalized when applying to columbia? Is it because very few columbia students can get jobs in high-tech? I know they're obsessed with applicants' employability.
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Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate? [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2011, 00:14
herserendipity wrote:
I've read two tidbits (one from Alex at MBAApply) that are good indicators of an applicant's b-school choices:

"The real acid test for applicants is this: if getting into HBS or Stanford would be the best thing that's ever happened to you professionally or personally, your chances are probably pretty slim (because you don't have enough to bring to the table, which is why HBS/Stanford/Wharton would be the best thing that's happened to you). "

The second one was this:
Clear out a spot on the top of your resume. Put in the b-school you're interested in as if you've already graduated. if it doesn't look out of place, you probably have a good shot (assuming you're not completely delusional).

Either way..sounds like a crapshoot these days! =/


Both of these are subjective to the applicants interpretation of their own work experience and schools, especially if they have not done their due diligence.

I think the second one is good, but instead of reading it yourself, send it to someone that works in HR or is a current student or alumni from a top 10 school. They have a much better understanding and can comment subjectively.

Also, visit the schools and talk to the students. If you feel that you are competitive with the rest of the students after hearing their backgrounds, then you stand a decent shot of getting admitted. If you feel completely intimidated by their credentials, its time to re-evaluate your choices.

Me - I felt like a had a slightly superior background for my safety schools, felt on par with my competitive places, and felt slightly intimidated by my stretch (but did find students with similar achievements and backgrounds, which is why it is a stretch and not a long shot).
Re: Is the Vocaz Chances Indication accurate?   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2011, 00:14
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