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FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Why Are Some Schools No Longer Requiring Students to Complete the Optional SAT and ACT Essays? 
Today’s high school student has the choice of either writing or skipping the essay on both the ACT and the SAT. Though many colleges don’t require students to submit an essay score, there are some that still do. This leaves many students wondering whether they should write the optional essay for the ACT and/or the SAT. It’s a good idea for students to find out if a college they are interested in requires an essay score for either of these two tests. This brings up the question: Why do some colleges require SAT and/or ACT essay scores while others don’t? Take a look at the reasons why many colleges consider the SAT and ACT essays optional for all of their applicants: Focusing on Other Scores Some school officials feel that the scores on other sections of the ACT and SAT serve to adequately represent a student’s suitability for college. For instance, a college may focus on a student’s scores in the Reading and Writing and Language sections of the SAT – the Writing and Language section tests skills such as command of evidence, the proper use of words in context, and expression of ideas. Though a student isn’t actually writing in these sections, their answers can indicate an understanding of these skills. Furthermore, college admissions officials can look at the subscores for these sections to get an idea of a student’s specific skills. Other college officials get a clear picture of a student’s skills by looking at their scores on the Reading and English sections of the ACT. With all of these other scores at their fingertips, many college officials don’t see the need for an essay score on standardized tests. The Admissions Essay Many colleges consider the SAT and ACT essays optional because they prefer to focus on a student’s admissions essay. There are some colleges that prefer to set the topic for the essay instead of leaving it to the discretion of the SAT or ACT. They like to have control over what their applicants are writing about as well as the number of words they use. Furthermore, they want to give their applicants as much time as they need to craft their essays before turning them in with their applications. Consequently, students don’t have the added stress of finishing an essay within an allotted amount of time. School officials feel they can get a good indication of a student’s knowledge of vocabulary, sentence structure, creativity, and ability to express ideas by evaluating the person’s admissions essay. They don’t see the need to factor a second essay into their decision. High School Literature and English Classes Other school officials believe that looking at a high school student’s grades in English and Literature gives them enough information to determine whether the applicant would be a good fit at the college. They can see whether a student has taken on the challenge of increasingly difficult courses over their high school career. In addition, if a student has taken honors English classes throughout high school, that is a definite sign of someone with excellent reading and writing abilities. These colleges feel that they get a better indication of a student’s skills by looking at their coursework over a long period of time. Awards, Honors, and Recognition for Writing Often, colleges that don’t require students to do the essay on the ACT or the SAT look at whether a student earned any writing awards or honors during high school. For instance, one student’s application may note that they were recognized by a literary magazine for a poem they wrote. Another student may have received recognition from their school for an editorial they wrote for the local newspaper. Prizes and honors for writing endeavors can help convince college officials of a student’s writing abilities. At Veritas Prep, our professional instructors show students how to sharpen their essaywriting skills as well as prep for every other portion of the SAT and the ACT. We hire instructors who scored in the 99th percentile on both tests because we want our students to learn from the very best teachers! Our students have access to testtaking strategies that can simplify every question on both the ACT and the SAT. Contact Veritas Prep today and tell us how we can help you get into the college of your dreams. Do you still need help with your college applications? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post Why Are Some Schools No Longer Requiring Students to Complete the Optional SAT and ACT Essays? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Applying to Business School: How and When to Apply for Business School 
Individuals who decide to pursue an MBA often have many questions about the application process. For example, an applicant who recently earned their undergraduate degree might wonder whether they should take the GMAT or the GRE. Another applicant who has worked in the business world for ten years might want to know when they should submit their application to business school. Let us provide answers to these questions and others for those interested in applying to business school. When to Apply for Business School A person’s first step in deciding when to apply for business school is to go online to look at the websites of schools they are interested in. This is an easy way to find out the specific admissions requirements of each school. In addition, they can learn how much time they have to take the proper tests and gather all of the necessary materials for their application. Many business schools have an admissions process that involves several rounds of applications. As an example, a school that accepts three rounds of applications may set an October 15 deadline for the first round. Students who want to have their application considered for the second round may need to submit it by January 15. Applications submitted during the third round might need to be in by April 10. This school’s acceptance letters are likely to be sent out to students in early summer. Applicants should keep in mind that schools usually receive the largest number of applications during the first round. There are people who decide to send out firstround applications to some schools and secondround applications to others. By the time the deadline for the third round arrives, many schools have most of their spaces filled. Requirements for an Application to Business School Business school applicants must supply basic information such as their name, address, phone number, and email address. Next, they must state where and when they earned their undergraduate degree and include transcripts. Professionals must provide a résumé of their work history. Applicants should also include their extracurricular or volunteer activities. The typical business school application also asks for an individual’s career goals and how an MBA would help with those goals. Individuals who want some tips on how to get their application noticed by admissions officials can take advantage of our free profile evaluation. Our consultants have worked in admissions at some of the best business schools in the country. Clients benefit from the experience of our admissions consultants at Veritas Prep. Taking the Appropriate Tests The GMAT is the test that is most often connected with admission into business school. But some business schools now accept an applicant’s GRE scores. The best way for students to determine which test to take is to check the testing requirements of specific business schools. Our instructors at Veritas Prep help individuals study for the GMAT as well as the GRE. Students who work with us learn useful strategies and prep for the test with instructors who mastered it. Writing an Essay Individuals applying to business school must write an essay. Each school provides prospective students with a prompt or a question to answer in the essay. Applicants should take the time to think about it before writing the essay. Jotting down notes is a good way to remember important details to include in the piece. The purpose of the essay is to give admissions officials the opportunity to learn more about the personal side of an applicant. Recommendations for Business School People who are wondering how to apply for business school want to know if personal recommendations play a part in the process. The answer is yes. The number of recommendation letters an applicant must get depends on the business school. Recommendation letters for applicants who are professionals in the workforce are usually written by employers, supervisors, or longtime colleagues. Students who are moving directly to business school from undergraduate school may ask their professors, a supervisor on a parttime job, or a mentor for a recommendation. It’s helpful to the people who are writing recommendations to know the types of things they should include in the letter. An applicant may want to summarize some of their accomplishments and qualities to serve as a guide for the person writing the letter. For more advice on how to apply for business school, contact our professional admissions consultants at Veritas Prep. Let us use our resources to help you achieve your goal of getting into business school! Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! And as always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. The post Applying to Business School: How and When to Apply for Business School appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Setting Your Strategy as a Business School Reapplicant 
The only thing more challenging than applying to business school is applying twice. After setting a comprehensive strategy in a previous year and not being successful, it can be really challenging to devise a new approach for the same school. For most, their initial MBA application was about sharing their most compelling anecdotes, experiences and challenges, so it can be difficult take on this application again with a whole new approach. Here are a few tips to help you successfully navigate the reapplication process: Understand the Process: Each business school has a different reapplication process so it is important to understand what is necessary to be considered again for admission. The only difference a reapplicant will face from the typical application process is that most schools will require the candidate to submit an additional reapplicant essay (and for some schools, the only new submission necessary may be the reapplicant essay). To further complicate matters, depending on how farremoved your last application was, your application status may not be technically considered a reapplication. The bottom line here is to make sure you understand the specific process at the programs you are targeting, because there is a lot of variation from school to school. Review Your Prior Application Was your previous application the best assessment of your candidacy? Were there any typos? Did you answer all of the questions as posed? Were you truly competitive? These are the type of questions that are important for reapplicants to ask themselves. Reviewing your old application indepth and honestly reflecting on your situation will go a long way in ensuring you create a successful application package this time around. It may be difficult to understand exactly why your first application was unsuccessful, but identifying some of the quantitative (easy to flag) and qualitative (harder to flag) issues in your prior application will make it easier to confront the reapplication process. Take Action and Make Changes After taking a full inventory of how your candidacy needs to change or improve as a reapplicant, it is important to take action and produce a new and improved submission. For example, if your GMAT score was below the average of your target school, then retake the GMAT again to improve this aspect of your candidacy. If there may have been confusion around your career goals, consider refining or simplifying them to avoid questions surrounding the viability of your postMBA plans. If your GPA is below the average score listed, create an “alternative transcript” by taking additional classes. These are just a few of the actionoriented changes a reapplicant can make to their profile. It is important to not simply submit the same application package again and expect different results – that goes for the essays as well, even if the prompt remains unchanged! Take this also as an opportunity to build upon the relationships you forged during the preparation of your initial application by exploring additional aspects of your candidacy that can reinforce, or clarify, why you would make a great fit for your target program. Follow these tips to better inform your reapplication and increase your chances of admission to your dream school. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here. The post Setting Your Strategy as a Business School Reapplicant appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Firm Up Your Vocab Skills for the GRE: The Most Common GRE Words 
There are many things that students must do to prep for the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE. Becoming familiar with vocabulary words used on the GRE as well as their definitions can help students to master many Verbal Reasoning questions. Fortunately, students have several options when it comes to studying the most common GRE words. Consider some creative ways that students can become familiar with vocabulary words used on the GRE: Word Games Many students find online word games helpful as they prepare for the GRE. It may be a simple matching game that asks students to pair GRE vocabulary words with their definitions. Or it could be a more familiar game, such as Hangman, that incorporates words seen in Verbal Reasoning questions. Some students like to play online word games with a friend. Competition can make the process of absorbing new words more fun. Plus, a friend can offer encouragement and support that can push a student to learn even more words for the test. Memorable Sentences Creating memorable sentences is another way for students to learn highfrequency words for GRE questions. For instance, a student can bring in personal experience when creating a sentence for the word “indelible”: “My mother was angry when my little sister wrote on her bedroom wall with indelible marker.” The student is more likely to remember the definition of the word “indelible” because they created a sentence based on something that happened in their family. Plus, the act of writing sentences on paper further helps a student absorb words and their definitions. Veritas Prep tutors are experts at helping students prepare for the GRE because we hire tutors who excelled on this exam. In our courses, we give students valuable tips like these for how to learn highfrequency words for GRE questions. Because our students learn test strategies from professionals who have practical experience with the GRE, they get the tools they need to succeed. Reviewing Flash Cards Flash cards are effective study tools for students who are learning the most common GRE words. Some students like to make traditional flash cards using a marker and index cards. They write the vocabulary word on one side of the card and its definition on the other. Other students prefer to find an app for GRE flash cards that they can access via their smartphone. Either way, students can review their flash cards during free moments throughout their day. This can increase the total number of GRE words a student can learn per week. Students can also enlist the help of friends as they review flash cards – a friend can hold up a flash card and ask the student for the definition of the word. Reviewing flash cards with a friend can make study time more effective. Using New Words on School Assignments The next study method is perfect for undergraduate students who plan to take the GRE. Highfrequency words found on the test can be incorporated into daily assignments for classes. For instance, a student might use several GRE vocabulary words while writing a paper for a literature class, or an individual can use GRE words to complete the essay section on an exam for a history class. Including GRE vocabulary in assignments gives a student additional practice with these words and may even impress a professor or two! Additional Reading Material Putting in some extra time reading is another way to prepare for the GRE. Highfrequency words seen on the test can sometimes be found in newspapers, nonfiction books, and magazines. Science and news magazines are especially useful for students learning GRE vocabulary. Some classic novels also contain many GRE words. Reading these types of materials gives a student the opportunity to see GRE vocabulary used in context. Once again, this boosts the chances that a student will remember the word when they see it on the test. Our team of instructors at Veritas Prep knows how to guide students toward success on the GRE. For the convenience of our students, we offer both online and inperson prep courses. We can help students increase their supply of GRE words so they can excel on Verbal Reasoning questions. Our talented instructors address the specific needs of each student. Contact our offices today! Want to jumpstart your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! The post Firm Up Your Vocab Skills for the GRE: The Most Common GRE Words appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Probability Practice: Questions and Answers 
The Quantitative portion of the GMAT contains questions on a variety of math topics. One of those topics is probability. GMAT questions of this sort ask you to look for the likelihood that something will occur. Probability is not as familiar to many as Algebra, Geometry, and other topics on the test. This is why some testtakers hesitate when they see the word “probability” on a summary of the GMAT. However, this is just another topic that can be mastered with study and practice. You may already know that there are certain formulas that can help solve GMAT probability questions, but there is more to these problems than teasing out the right answers. Take a look at some advice on how to tackle GMAT probability questions to calm your fears about the test: Probability Formulas As you work through GMAT probability practice questions, you will need to know a few formulas. One key formula to remember is that the probability equals the number of desired outcomes divided by the number of possible outcomes. Another formula deals with discrete events and probability – that formula is P(A and B) = P(A)*P(B). Figuring out the probability of an event not occurring is one minus the probability that the event will occur. Putting these formulas into practice is the most effective way to remember them. Is it Enough to Know the Basic Formulas for Probability? Some testtakers believe that once you know the formulas related to probability for GMAT questions, then you have the keys to success on this portion of the test. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The creators of the GMAT are not just looking at your ability to plug numbers into formulas – you must understand what each question is asking and why you arrived at a particular answer. Successful business executives use reason and logic to arrive at the decisions they make. The creators of the GMAT want to see how good you are at using these same tools to solve problems. The Value of Practice Exams Taking a practice GMAT can help you determine your skill level when it comes to probability questions and problems on every other section of the test. Also, a practice exam gives you the chance to become accustomed to the amount of time you’ll have to finish the various sections of the test. At Veritas Prep, we have one free GMAT practice test available to anyone who wants to get an idea of how prepared they are for the test. After you take the practice test, you will receive a score report and thorough performance analysis that lets you know how you fared on each section. Your performance analysis can prove to be one of the most valuable resources you have when starting to prepare for the GMAT. Followup practice tests can be just as valuable as the first one you take. These tests reveal your progress on probability problems and other skills on the GMAT. The results can guide you on how to adjust your study schedule to focus more time on the subjects that need it. Getting the Right Kind of Instruction When it comes to probability questions, GMAT creators have been known to set subtle traps for testtakers. In some cases, you may happen upon a question with an answer option that jumps out at you as the right choice. This could be a trap. If you study for the GMAT with Veritas Prep, we can teach you how to spot and avoid those sorts of traps. Our talented instructors have not only taken the GMAT; they have mastered it. Each of our tutors received a score that placed them in the 99th percentile. Consequently, if you study with Veritas Prep, you’ll benefit from the experience and knowledge of tutors who have conquered the GMAT. When it comes to probability questions, GMAT tutors at Veritas Prep have you covered! In addition to providing you with effective GMAT strategies, tips, and topquality instruction, we also give you choices regarding the format of your courses. We have prep classes that are given online and in person – learn your lessons where you want, and when you want. You may want to go with our private tutoring option and get a GMAT study plan that is tailored to your needs. Contact Veritas Prep today and dive into your GMAT studies! Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post GMAT Probability Practice: Questions and Answers appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How to Solve “Hidden” Factor Problems on the GMAT 
One of the interesting things to note about newer GMAC Quant questions is that, while many of these questions test our knowledge of multiples and factors, the phrasing of these questions is often more subtle than earlier versions you might have seen. For example, if I ask you to find the least common multiple of 6 and 9, I’m not being terribly artful about what topic I’m testing you on – the word “multiple” is in the question itself. But if tell you that I have a certain number of cupcakes and, were I so inclined, I could distribute the same number of cupcakes to each of 6 students with none left over or to each of 9 students with none left over, it’s the same concept, but I’m not telegraphing the subject in the same conspicuous manner as the previous question. This kind of recognition comes in handy for questions like this one: All boxes in a certain warehouse were arranged in stacks of 12 boxes each, with no boxes left over. After 60 additional boxes arrived and no boxes were removed, all the boxes in the warehouse were arranged in stacks of 14 boxes each, with no boxes left over. How many boxes were in the warehouse before the 60 additional boxes arrived? (1) There were fewer than 110 boxes in the warehouse before the 60 additional arrived. (2) There were fewer than 120 boxes in the warehouse after the 60 additional arrived. Initially, we have stacks of 12 boxes with no boxes left over, meaning we could have 12 boxes or 24 boxes or 36 boxes, etc. This is when you want to recognize that we’re dealing with a multiple/factor question. That first sentence tells you that the number of boxes is a multiple of 12. After 60 more boxes were added, the boxes were arranged in stacks of 14 with none left over – after this change, the number of boxes is a multiple of 14. Because 60 is, itself, a multiple of 12, the new number must remain a multiple of 12, as well. [If we called the old number of boxes 12x, the new number would be 12x + 60. We could then factor out a 12 and call this number 12(x + 5.) This number is clearly a multiple of 12.] Therefore the new number, after 60 boxes are added, is a multiple of both 12 and 14. Now we can find the least common multiple of 12 and 14 to ensure that we don’t miss any possibilities. The prime factorization of 12: 2^2 * 3 The prime factorization of 14: 2 * 7 The least common multiple of 12 and 14: 2^2 * 3 * 7 = 84. We now know that, after 60 boxes were added, the total number of boxes was a multiple of 84. There could have been 84 boxes or 168 boxes, etc. And before the 60 boxes were added, there could have been 8460 = 24 boxes or 16860 = 108 boxes, etc. A brief summary: After 60 boxes were added: 84, 168, 252…. Before 60 boxes were added: 24, 108, 192…. That feels like a lot of work to do before even glancing at the statements, but now look at how much easier they are to evaluate! Statement 1 tells us that there were fewer than 110 boxes before the 60 boxes were added, meaning there could have been 24 boxes to start (and 84 once 60 were added), or there could have been 108 boxes to start (and 168 once 60 were added). Because there are multiple potential solutions here, Statement 1 alone is not sufficient to answer the question. Statement 2 tells us that there were fewer than 120 boxes after 60 boxes were added. This means there could have been 84 boxes – that’s the only possibility, as the next number, 168, already exceeds 120. So we know for a fact that there are 84 boxes after 60 were added, and 24 boxes before they were added. Statement 2 alone is sufficient, and the answer is B. Takeaway: questions that look strange or funky are always testing concepts that have been tested in the past – otherwise, the exam wouldn’t be standardized. By making these connections, and recognizing that a verbal clue such as “none left over” really means that we’re talking about multiples and factors, we can recognize even the most abstract patterns on the toughest of GMAT questions. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles written by him here. The post How to Solve “Hidden” Factor Problems on the GMAT appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Geometry Practice Questions and Problems 
Would you call yourself a math person? If so, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and other types of math problems on the GMAT. Perhaps you like math but need a little review when it comes to the topic of geometry. If so, learn some valuable tips on how to prep for GMAT geometry problems before you get started studying for the exam. Learn and Practice the Basic Geometry Formulas Knowing some basic formulas in geometry is an essential step to mastering these questions on the GMAT. One formula you should know is the Pythagorean Theorem, which is a^2 + b^2 = c^2, where c stands for the longest side of a right triangle, while a and b represent the other two sides. Another formula to remember is the area of a triangle, which is A = 1/2bh, where A is the area, b is the length of the base, and h is the height. The formula for finding the area of a rectangle is l*w = A (length times width equals the area). Once you learn these and other basic geometry formulas for the GMAT, the next step is to put them into practice so you know how to use them when they’re called for on the exam. Complete Practice Quizzes and Questions Reviewing problems and their answers and completing GMAT geometry practice questions are two ways to sharpen your skills for this section of the test. This sort of practice also helps you become accustomed to the timing when it comes to GMAT geometry questions. These questions are found within the Quantitative section of the GMAT. You are given just 75 minutes to finish 37 questions in this section. Of course, not all 37 questions involve geometry – GMAT questions in the Quantitative section also include algebra, arithmetic, and word problems – but working on completing each geometry problem as quickly as possible will help you finish the section within the time limit. In fact, you should work on establishing a rhythm for each section of the GMAT so you don’t have to worry about watching the time. Use Simple Study Tools to Review Problems Another way to prepare for GMAT geometry questions is to use study tools such as flashcards to strengthen your skills. Some flashcards are virtual and can be accessed as easily as taking your smartphone out of your pocket. If you prefer traditional paper flashcards, they can also be carried around easily so you can review them during any free moments throughout the day. Not surprisingly, a tremendous amount of review can be accomplished at odd moments during a single day. In addition, playing geometry games online can help you hone your skills and add some fun to the process at the same time. You could try to beat your previous score on an online geometry game or even compete against others who have played the same game. Challenging another person to a geometry game can sometimes make your performance even better. Study With a Capable Tutor Preparing with a tutor can help you to master geometry for GMAT questions. A tutor can offer you encouragement and guide you in your studies. All of our instructors at Veritas Prep have taken the GMAT and earned scores that have put them in the 99th percentile of testtakers. When you study with one of our tutors, you are learning from an experienced instructor as well as someone who has been where you are in the GMAT preparation process. Our prep courses instruct you on how to approach geometry questions along with every other topic on the GMAT. We know that memorizing facts is not enough: You must apply higherorder thinking to every question, including those that involve geometry. GMAT creators have designed the questions to test some of the skills you will need in the business world. Taking a practice GMAT gives you an idea of what skills you’ve mastered and which you need to improve. Our staff invites you to take a practice GMAT for free. We’ll give you a score report and a performance analysis so you have a clear picture of what you need to focus on. Then, whether you want help with geometry or another subject on the GMAT, our team of professional instructors is here for you. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! The post GMAT Geometry Practice Questions and Problems appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: 6 Reasons That Your Test Day Won’t Be A Labor Day 
As the northern hemisphere drifts toward autumn, two events have become just about synonymous: Labor Day and Back to School. If you’re spending this Labor Day weekend getting yourself ready to go back to graduate school, you may well labor over GMAT study materials in between barbecues and college football games. And if you do, make sure you heed this wisdom: GMAT test day should not be Labor Day! What does that mean? On a timed test like the GMAT, one of the biggest drains on your score can be a combination of undue time and undue energy spent on problems that could be done much simpler. “The long way is the wrong way” as a famous GMAT instructor puts it – those seconds you waste, those extra steps that could lead to error or distraction, they’ll add up over the test and pull your score much lower than you’d like it to be. With that in mind, here are six ways to help you avoid too much labor on test day: QUANTITATIVE SECTION 1) Do the math in your order, only when necessary. Because the GMAT doesn’t allow a calculator, it heavily rewards candidates who can find efficient ways to avoid the kind of math for which you’d need a calculator. Very frequently this means that the GMAT will tempt you with calculations that you’d ordinarily just plugandchug with a calculator, but that can be horribly timeconsuming once you start. For example, a question might require you to take an initial number like 15, then multiply by 51, then divide by 17. On a calculator or in Excel, you’d do exactly that. But on the GMAT, that calculation gets messy. 15*51 = 765 – a calculation that isn’t awful but that will take most people a few steps and maybe 20 seconds. But then you have to do some long division with 17 going into 765. Or do you? If you’re comfortable using factors, multiples, and reducing fractions, you can see those two steps (multiply by 51, divide by 17) as one: multiply by 51/17, and since 51/17 reduces to 3, then you’re really just doing the calculation 15*3, which is easily 45. The lesson? For one, don’t start doing ugly math until you absolutely know you have to perform that step. Save ugly math for later, because the GMAT is notorious for “rescuing” those who are patient enough to wait for future steps that will simplify the process. And, secondly, get really, really comfortable with factors and divisibility. Quickly recognizing how to break a number into its factors (51 = 3*17; 65 = 5*13; etc.) allows you to streamline calculations and do much of the GMAT math in your head. Getting to that level of comfort may take some labor, but it will save you plenty of workload on test day. 2) Recognize that “Answers Are Assets.” Another way to avoid or shortcut messy math is to look at the answer choices first. Some problems might look like they involve messy algebra, but can be made much easier by plugging in answer choices and doing the simpler arithmetic. Other times, the answer choices will lead themselves to process of elimination, whether because some choices do not have the proper units digit, or are clearly too small. Still others will provide you with clues as to how you have to attack the math. For example, if the answer choices are something like: A) 0.0024; B) 0.0246; C) 0.246; D) 2.46; E) 24.6, they’re not really testing you on your ability to arrive at the digits 246, but rather on where the decimal point should go (how many times should that number be multiplied/divided by 10). You can then set your sights on the number of decimal places while not stressing other details of the calculation. Whatever you do, always scan the answer choices first to see if there are easier ways to do the problem than to simply slog through the math. The answers are assets – they’re there for a reason, and often, they’ll provide you with clues that will help you save valuable time. 3) Question the Question – Know where the game is being played. Very often, particularly in Data Sufficiency, the GMAT Testmaker will subtly provide a clue as to what’s really being tested. And those who recognize that can very quickly focus on what matters and not get lost in other elements of the problem. For example, if the question stem includes an inequality with zero (x > 0 or xy < 0), there’s a very high likelihood that you’re being tested on positive/negative number properties. So, when a statement then says something like “1) x^3 = 1331”, you can hold off on trying to take the cube root of 1331 and simply say, “Odd exponent = positive value, so I know that x is positive,” and see if that helps you answer the question without much calculation. Or if the problem asks for the value of 6x – y, you can say to yourself, “I may not be able to solve for x and y individually, but if not, let’s try to isolate exactly that 6x – y term,” and set up your algebra accordingly so that you’re efficiently working toward that specific goal. Good testtakers tend to see “where the game is being played” by recognizing what the Testmaker is testing. When you can see that a question is about number properties (and not exact values) or a combination of values (and not the individual values themselves) or a comparison of values (again, not the actual values themselves), you can structure your work to directly attack the question and not fall victim to a slog of unnecessary calculations. VERBAL SECTION 4) Focus on keywords in Critical Reasoning conclusions. The Verbal section simply looks timeconsuming because there’s so much to read, so it pays to know where to spend your time and focus. The single most efficient place to spend time (and the most disastrous if you don’t) is in the conclusion of a Strengthen or Weaken question. To your advantage, noticing a crucial detail in a conclusion can tell you exactly “where the game is being played” (Oh, it’s not how much iron, it’s iron PER CALORIE; it’s not that Company X needs to reduce costs overall, it’s that it needs to reduce SHIPPING costs; etc.) and help you quickly search for the answer choices that deal with that particular gap in logic. On the downside, if you don’t spend time emphasizing the conclusion, you’re in trouble – burying a conclusionlimiting word or phrase (like “per calorie” or “shipping”) in a long paragraph can be like hiding a needle in a haystack. The Testmaker knows that the untrained are likely to miss these details, and have created trap answers (and just the opportunity to waste time rereading things that don’t really matter) for those who fall in that group. 5) Scan the Sentence Correction answer choices before you dive into the sentence. Much like “Answers are Assets” above, a huge help on Sentence Correction problems is to scan the answer choices quickly to see if you can determine where the game is being played (Are they testing pronouns? Verb tenses?). Simply reading a sentence about a strange topic (old excavation sites, a kind of tree that only grows on the leeward slopes of certain mountains…) and looking for anything that strikes you as odd or ungrammatical, that takes time and saps your focus and energy. However, the GMAT primarily tests a handful of concepts over and over, so if you recognize what is being tested, you can read proactively and look for the words/phrases that directly control that decision you’re being asked to make. Do different answers have different verb tenses? Look for words that signal time (before, since, etc.). Do they involve different pronouns? Read to identify the noun in question and determine which pronoun it needs. You’re not really being tasked with “editing the sentence” as much as your job is to make the proper decision with the choices they’ve already given you. They’ve already narrowed the scope of items you can edit, so identify that scope before you take out the red marking pen across the whole sentence. 6) STOP and avoid rereading. As the Veritas Prep Reading Comprehension lesson teaches, stop at the end of each paragraph of a reading passage to ask yourself whether you understand Scope, Tone, Organization, and Purpose. The top two timekillers on Reading Comprehension passages/problems are rereading (you get to the end and realize you don’t really know what you just read) and overreading (you took several minutes absorbing a lot of details, but now the clock is ticking louder and you haven’t looked at the questions yet). STOP will help you avoid rereading (if you weren’t locked in on the first paragraph, you can reread that in 30 seconds and not wait to the end to realize you need to reread the whole thing) and will give you a quick checklist of, “Do I understand just enough to move on?” Details are only important if you’re asked about them, so focus on the major themes (Do you know what the paragraph was about – a quick 57 word synopsis is perfect – and why it was written? Good.) and save the details for later. It may seem ironic that the GMAT is set up to punish hardworkers, but in business, efficiency is everything – the test needs to reward those who work smarter and not just harder, so an effective test day simply cannot be a Labor Day. Use this Labor Day weekend to study effectively so that test day is one on which you prioritize efficiency, not labor. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! By Brian Galvin. The post GMAT Tip of the Week: 6 Reasons That Your Test Day Won’t Be A Labor Day appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Quarter Wit, Quarter Wisdom: Using the Deviation Method for Weighted Averages 
We have discussed how to use the deviation method to find the arithmetic mean of numbers. It is very useful in cases where the numbers are huge, as it considerably brings down the calculation time. The same method can be applied to weighted averages, as well. Let’s look at an example very similar to the one we examined when we were working on deviations in the case of arithmetic means: What is the average of 452, 452, 453, 460, 467, 480, 499, 499, 504? What would you say the average is here? Perhaps, around 470? Shortfall: We have two 452s – 452 is 18 less than 470. 453 is 17 less than 470. 460 is 10 less than 470. 467 is 3 less than 470. Overall, the numbers less than 470 are (2*18) + 17 + 10 + 3 = 66 less than 470. Excess: 480 is 10 more than 470. We have two 499s – 499 is 29 more than 470. 504 is 34 more than 470. Overall, the numbers more than 470 are 10 + (2*29) + 34 = 102 more than 470. The shortfall is not balanced by the excess; there is an excess of 10266 = 36. So what is the average? If we assume that the average of these 9 numbers is 470, there will be an excess of 36. We need to distribute this excess evenly among all of the numbers, and hence, the average will increase by 36/9 = 4. Therefore, the required mean is 470 + 4 = 474. (If we had assumed the mean to be 474, the shortfall would have balanced the excess.) This method is used in exactly the same way when we have a simple average as when we have a weighted average. The reason we are reviewing it is that it can be very handy in weighted average questions involving more than two quantities. We often deal with questions on weighted averages involving two quantities using the scale method. Let’s see how to use the deviation method for more than 2 quantities on an official GMAT question: Three grades of milk are 1 percent, 2 percent and 3 percent fat by volume. If x gallons of the 1 percent grade, y gallons of the 2 percent grade, and z gallons of the 3 percent grade are mixed to give x+y+z gallons of a 1.5 percent grade, what is x in terms of y and z? (A) y + 3z (B) (y +z) / 4 (C) 2y + 3z (D) 3y + z (E) 3y + 4.5z Grade 1 milk contains 1% fat. Grade 2 milk contains 2% fat. Grade 3 milk contains 3% fat. The mixture of all three contains 1.5% fat. So, grade 1 milk provides the shortfall and grades 2 and 3 milk provide the excess. Shortfall = x*(1.5 – 1) Excess = y*(2 – 1.5) + z*(3 – 1.5) Since 1.5 is the actual average, the shortfall = the excess. x*(1.5 – 1) = y*(2 – 1.5) + z*(3 – 1.5) x/2 = y/2 + 3z/2 x = y + 3z And there you have it – the answer is A. We easily used deviations here to arrive at the relation. It’s good to have this method – useful for both simple averages and weighted averages – in your GMAT toolkit. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! The post Quarter Wit, Quarter Wisdom: Using the Deviation Method for Weighted Averages appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Understanding the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Scoring 
The Integrated Reasoning section is one of four that make up the GMAT. The questions in this section are useful in gauging an individual’s evaluation and problemsolving skills. These are some of the same skills used by business professionals on a daily basis. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning scoring system is different than the scoring on other parts of the exam. Consider some information that can improve your understanding of the scoring process for the Integrated Reasoning section: Profile of the Integrated Reasoning Section on the GMAT Before learning about GMAT Integrated Reasoning scoring, it’s a good idea to know a little about the questions you’ll encounter in this section. These questions ask you to examine various charts, diagrams, and tables. You then need to evaluate, organize, and synthesize the data to answer questions. It’s important to filter the essential data from the nonessential data. There are 12 questions in this section, and each one has several parts. The four types of questions featured in the Integrated Reasoning section are TwoPart Analysis, MultiSource Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, and Table Analysis. In this section, the order and difficulty of the questions is random. One of the best ways to prep for the Integrated Reasoning section as well as all of the others on the GMAT is to take a practice exam. At Veritas Prep, you can see how your skills stack up in each section by taking our free GMAT practice test. We also provide you with a score report and performance analysis to make your study time all the more efficient! Scoring on the Integrated Reasoning Section When it comes to the GMAT section on Integrated Reasoning, scoring comes in the form of singledigits – the scores for this section range from one to eight. You receive a raw score that is given a percentile ranking. The score you receive for the Integrated Reasoning section doesn’t affect your total score for other sections on the GMAT. (Note that you won’t be able to see your Integrated Reasoning score on the unofficial score report that is shown to testtakers immediately after the GMAT is complete.) You will find out your Integrated Reasoning score in 20 days or so, when your official score report is delivered to you. Considerations for Integrated Reasoning Questions There are some pieces of information that can prove helpful to you as you tackle the Integrated Reasoning section on the GMAT. For instance, you can’t earn partial credit for these questions. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to all parts of each question. Furthermore, you can’t answer just part of a question and click forward to the next question. And after answering an Integrated Reasoning question, you won’t be able to go back and rethink an answer. These are things to keep in mind to avoid making preventable errors in this section. Preparing for the Integrated Reasoning Section For the section on Integrated Reasoning, scoring is a little different than it is on the rest of the test, but it’s just as important to excel here as on the other sections. The effective curriculum of our GMAT prep courses can supply you with the mental resources you need to master the Integrated Reasoning section along with every other section on the exam. Veritas Prep instructors are ideally suited to prepare you for the GMAT, since each of them earned a score on the GMAT that put them in the 99th percentile. Our professional tutors understand that you have to think like the Testmaker in order to master every part of the exam. In addition to being knowledgeable and experienced, our instructors are experts at offering lots of encouragement to their students. On top of providing you with firstrate prep for the GMAT, we also offer you options when it comes to how you study. We have both online and inperson classes designed to suit your busy schedule – we know that many people who take the GMAT also have fulltime careers. Be sure to take advantage of Veritas Prep’s other valuable services, such as our live homework help, available seven days a week. This means you never have to wait to get your questions answered! Contact our offices today to get started on your GMAT studies. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post Understanding the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Scoring appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How to Simplify Complicated Combination and Permutation Questions on the GMAT 
When testtakers first learn how to tackle combination and permutation questions, there’s typically a moment of euphoria when the proper approach really clicks. If, for example, there are 10 people in a class, and you wish to find the number of ways you can form a cabinet consisting of a president, a vice president, and a treasurer, all you need to do is recognize that if you have 10 options for the president, you’ll have 9 left for the vice president, and 8 remaining for the treasurer, and the answer is 10*9*8. Easy, right? But on the GMAT, as in life, anything that seems too good to be true probably is. An easy question can be tackled with the type of mechanical thinking illustrated above. A harder question will require a more sophisticated approach in which we consider disparate scenarios and perform calculations for each. Take this question, for example: Of the threedigit positive integers whose three digits are all different and nonzero, how many are odd integers greater than 700? A) 84 B) 91 C) 100 D) 105 E) 243 It’s natural to see this problem and think, “All I have to do is reason out how many options I have for each digit. So for the hundreds digit, I have 3 options (7, 8, or 9); the tens digit has to be different from the hundreds digit, and it must be nonzero, so I’ll have 8 options here; then the last digit has to be odd, so…” Here’s where the trouble starts. The number of eligible numbers in the 700’s will not be the same as the number of eligible numbers in the 800’s if the digits must all be different, then a number in the 700’s can’t end in 7, but a number in the 800’s could. So, we need to break this problem into separate cases: First Case: Numbers in the 700’s If we’re dealing with numbers in the 700’s, then we’re calculating how many ways we can select a tens digit and a units digit. 7___ ___. Let’s start with the units digit. Well, we know that this number needs to be odd. And we know that it must be different from the hundreds and the tens digits. This leaves us the following options, as we’ve already used 7 for the hundreds digit: 1, 3, 5, 9. So there are 4 options remaining for the units digit. Now the tens digit must be a nonzero number that’s different from the hundreds and units digit. There are 9 nonzero digits. We’re using one of those for the hundreds place and one of those for the units place, leaving us 7 options remaining for the tens digit. If there are 4 ways we can select the units digit and 7 ways we can select the tens digit, there are 4*7 = 28 options in the 700’s. Second Case: Numbers in the 800’s Same logic: 8 ___ ___. Again, this number must be odd, but now we have 5 options for the units digit, as every odd number will obviously be different from the hundreds digit, which is even (1, 3, 5, 7, or 9). The tens digit logic is the same – 9 nonzero digits total, but it must be different from the hundreds and the units digit, leaving us 7 options remaining. If there are 5 ways we can select the units digit and 7 ways we can select the tens digit, there are 5*7 = 35 options in the 800’s. Third Case: Numbers in the 900’s This calculation will be identical to the 700’s scenario: 9___ ___. For the units digit, we want an odd number that is different from the hundreds digit, giving us (1, 3, 5, 7), or 4 options. We’ll have 7 options again for the tens digit, for the same reasons that we’ll have 7 options for the tens digit in our other cases. If there are 4 ways we can select the units digit and 7 ways we can select the tens digit, then there are 4*7 = 28 options in the 900’s. To summarize, there are 28 options in the 700’s, 35 options in the 800’s, and 28 options in the 900’s. 28 + 35 + 28 = 91. Therefore, B is the correct answer. Takeaway: for a simpler permutation question, it’s fine to simply set up your slots and multiply. For a more complicated problem, we’ll need to work casebycase, bearing in mind that each individual case is, on its own, actually not nearly as hard as it looks, sort of like the GMAT itself. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles written by him here. The post How to Simplify Complicated Combination and Permutation Questions on the GMAT appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Three Expensive Things Worth Buying (Even on a College Budget) 
No matter how you’re financing your college education—through scholarships, savings, working, loans, etc.—your college budget is likely to be tight. I had generous scholarships and a reasonable pile of savings helping me through my four undergraduate years, but even then I spent plenty of time counting coins at the supermarket, dragging my laundry home to avoid the dorm machine costs, and making up excuses to avoid eating out with friends or colleagues at restaurants out of my budget (ordering the smallest and cheapest dishes said restaurants had whenever I couldn’t come up with a good enough excuse). In some ways, four years of pennypinching paid off: I graduated in a more financially secure position than I’d expected to, never had to take out a student loan, and avoided burdening my family with high college costs. However, I also learned the hard way that there are some things worth splurging on. I know that college student budgets vary widely, and that sometimes it’s just not possible to spend money on the arguably luxury items in this list – whenever the funds can be safely afforded, however, I highly, highly recommend investing in the following three things: 1) A Good Mattress This may not be an option if you live in a dorm, but if you’re buying your own bed to use throughout college, this is a must (and even if your school does provide you with a mattress, a good mattress topper is just as helpful). Even though I could have spared just enough money to buy a mattress with adequate support, I ended up with some nasty shoulder and lowerback pain because I spent far too long on a thin, flimsy bit of foam that thinned to nothing within four months of regular use (even though I’m a relatively small person; I heard plenty worse from my larger friends). Today, two awful dorm bed mattresses later, I’m working on hammering out the kinks in my shoulder with a massage therapist who charges $85 per hour. And I’m not alone – I know others who picked up lifelong back problems just from a year or two on a bad college mattress. Pay for the mattress now to avoid paying for your health later. 2) Fresh, Healthy Food Meal plans and junk food are tempting and (often) cheaper than the healthier options, but your body and your mind will thank you throughout and after college if you choose fresh produce over instant ramen. Healthy food improves your academic performance, keeps you energized, and boosts your mood, which makes you both a better student and a generally happier person. Pay for real nourishment to get the most out of the money you’re spending on your education. 3) Study Abroad This is by far the most expensive item on this list, but it deserves to be included because study abroad is an incredible supplement to your college education. Study abroad programs allow you to expand your horizons and gain new perspectives through travel and exposure to new places and people. Classes help you meet types of people you’ve never met before; program and university affiliation provide a safety net (health insurance, counseling resources, emergency loans, and other benefits) to reduce the risks that may come with spending a lot of time in an unfamiliar place; and financial aid and scholarships are available to ease the financial burden. Studying abroad is especially worth the money because it’s something you can only do while in school. The opportunity to spend an entire semester or year exploring a new world, especially with a program and an academic structure to keep you safe and help you integrate, is rare and precious and should be seized. Do you need help with your college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament. The post Three Expensive Things Worth Buying (Even on a College Budget) appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How Does Diversity Play Into MBA Admissions? 
Diversity has become a buzzword throughout the business world, however one place where its potential has not been fully realized is in the classrooms of some of the top MBA programs in the world. In this way, many business schools struggle to emulate the markets to which they send graduates to. We can all agree diversity in the workplace and in the classroom make for a more rewarding experience for all. Let’s discuss how diversity can manifest itself during the MBA application process: Ethnic Diversity: In the United States, this is one of the most important and severelylacking forms of diversity in top MBA programs. Underrepresented minorities – such as AfricanAmericans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans – in the U.S. still represent tiny portions of most schools’ incoming classes. Many blue chip companies rely on MBA programs to serve as feeders for their talent, and if MBA programs remain barren of diverse candidates, then top companies will also struggle in this department. Given this need, qualified, underrepresented minorities really can stand out in the application process if they package together the “right” application. Gender Diversity: Business schools have made remarkable strides when it comes to gender diversity. MBA programs have historically been a “boys club,” but most programs have narrowed the gap here and come closer to the desired 50/50 gender ratio. This year, Northwestern’s Kellogg School even reported a record 43% of female MBA students in their Class of 2018. Even with these improvements, women still remain a minority of sorts, which can prove advantageous in the application process. International Diversity: The business world has become truly global – a shift that most programs have tried to mirror. The business school campus of today can take on the look of the United Nations, itself. The array of experience and thought this diversity brings to the classroom can help shape a class set out to become the global leaders of tomorrow. Remember, there are certain regions of the world that are underrepresented and others that are overrepresented, so international diversity can go both ways when it comes to admissions. With the holistic nature of the MBA admissions process, diversity can play a huge role in shaping the student community for the incoming class. This diversity of thought, perspective, and experience is certainly a hallmark of the MBA experience. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here. The post How Does Diversity Play Into MBA Admissions? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Medical Activities for High School Students Interested in Medical School 
High school students who want to go to medical school can start working toward that goal by participating in extracurricular activities within the medical field. These types of extracurricular activities can give high school students a closer look at various specialties within the medical profession. Plus, students can use these extracurricular activities to help them gain acceptance into a preferred college. Consider a few examples of medical activities for high school students who are interested in going to med school: Volunteer at a Hospital Becoming a volunteer at a hospital is one of the most interesting medical activities for high school students to pursue. There are many different departments in a hospital that need volunteers. For example, a high school student can work at the information desk in the main lobby of a hospital, directing people to the rooms of family members and answering questions of visitors. This is a great way to observe the daytoday operations of a hospital. Or a high school student could perform clerical work. This may include putting medical files away, entering patient information into a computer, or answering telephones. A high school student doing clerical work would get to see the behindthescenes activities necessary to keep a hospital running. Hospital volunteers also help deliver meals to patients, transport patients to different departments, and distribute magazines as well as other reading material. All of these tasks would give a high school student valuable experience working in a hospital setting. Students must be ready to dedicate several hours a week to this volunteer activity in order to learn as much as possible. Volunteer on an Ambulance Working as a volunteer on an ambulance is another example of an extracurricular for medical school. Volunteers assist the emergency medical service workers on runs to homes and businesses. This type of volunteer work gives students experience dealing with emergency situations and teaches them how to treat various injuries. Also, it gives a high school student the chance to see the treatment of a patient before they reach the hospital. This would be an appealing option for a high school student interested in becoming a medical professional working in an emergency room. Shadow a Doctor When it comes to extracurricular activities for medical school, shadowing a doctor is an excellent choice for a mature high school student. Of course, a student must get the permission of a doctor and set up a suitable schedule. Shadowing a doctor gives a student the opportunity to witness interactions between the doctor and their patients. Also, the doctor can fill the student in on what is written on an examination sheet, how to diagnose certain ailments, and how to go about answering a patient’s questions. Shadowing a doctor for a long period of time serves as an impressive extracurricular for medical school. In addition, the student may want to ask the doctor for a letter of recommendation to submit with a college application. A glowing letter from a doctor can carry a lot of weight with college admissions officials. Work in a Doctor’s Office One of the most useful extracurricular activities for medical school is working in a doctor’s office as a volunteer assistant. A high school student in this position may help with a number of different tasks. For instance, the student may assist with clerical work, direct patients to examination rooms, or take basic information from patients under the guidance of a nurse. A student gets to see the teamwork it takes to keep a doctor’s office operating in an efficient way. This is one of those medical school extracurriculars that conveys a student’s interest in learning about all aspects of a doctor’s office. At Veritas Prep, our experienced consultants advise students on every part of their college application – this includes evaluating a student’s medical school extracurriculars to determine which ones to highlight for admissions officials. We also guide students as they study for the SAT and for the ACT. Our instructors review practice test results with students to create an efficient study plan, as we know that these test scores play a critical role in a student’s path toward medical school. Our SAT and ACT prep courses are available both in person and online so students can get all of the study time they need to ace the test. Contact Veritas Prep today! Do you need help with your college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post Medical Activities for High School Students Interested in Medical School appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Gary Johnson, Aleppo, and What To Do When Your Mind Goes Blank 
Arguably the biggest news story this week was presidential hopeful Gary Johnson’s reply to a foreign policy question. “What is Aleppo?” is what Johnson responded, his mind evidently blanking on the epicenter of Syrian civil war and its resulting refugee crisis. And regardless of your opinion of Johnson’s fitness to be the architect of American foreign policy, there’s one major lesson there for your GMAT aspirations: In pressure situations, it’s not uncommon for your brain to fail you as you “blank” on a concept you know (or should know). So it’s important to have strategies ready for that moment that very well may come to you. To paraphrase the Morning Joe question to Johnson: What would you do about “Aleppo?” Meaning: what would you do if your mind were to go blank on an important GMAT rule or formula? There are four major strategies that should be in your toolkit for such a situation: 1) Test Small Numbers You should absolutely know formulas like exponent rules or relationships like that between dividend, divisor, and remainder in division, but sometimes your mind just goes blank. In those cases, remember that math rules are logicallyderived, not arbitrarily ordained! Math rules will hold for all possible values, so if you’re unsure, test numbers. For example, if you’re forced to solve something like: (x^15)(x^9) = And you’ve blanked on what to do with exponents, try testing small numbers like (2^2)(2^3). Here, that’s (4)(8) = 32, which is 2^5. So if you’re unsure, “Do I add or multiply the exponents?” you should see from the small example that you definitely don’t multiply, and that your hunch that, “Maybe I add?” works in this case, so you can more confidently make that decision. Similarly, if a problem asked: When integer y is divided by integer z, the quotient is equal to x. Which of the following represents the remainder in terms of x, y, and z? (A) x – yz (B) zy – x (C) y – zx (D) zy – x (E) zx – y Many students memorize equations to organize dividend, divisor, quotient, and remainder, but in the fog of war on test day it can even be difficult to remember which element of the division problem is the dividend (it’s the number you start with) and which is the divisor (it’s the one you divide by). So if your mind has blanked on any part of the equation or on which element is which, just test it with small numbers to remind yourself how the concept works: 11 divided by 4 is 2 with a remainder of 3. How do you get to the remainder? You take the 11 you started with and subtract the 8 that you get from taking the divisor of 4 and multiplying it by the quotient of 2. So the answer is y (what you started with) minus zx (the divisor times the quotient), or answer choice C. Simply put, if you blank on a rule or concept, you can test small numbers to remind yourself how it works. 2) Use Process of Elimination and Work Backwards From the Answer Choices One beautiful thing about the GMAT is that, while in “the real world” if you need to know the Pythagorean Theorem and blank on it, you’re out of luck (well, unless you have a Googleenabled Smartphone in your pocket which you almost certainly do…), on the GMAT you have answer choices as assets. So if your own work stalls in progress, you can look to the answer choices to eliminate options you know for sure you wouldn’t get with that math: What is x^5 + x^6? You know you don’t add or multiply those exponents, so even if you don’t see to factor out the common x^5, you could eliminate answer choices like x^11 and x^30. Or you can look to the answer choices to see if they help you determine how you’d apply a rule. For example, if a problem forces you to employ the side ratios for a 454590 triangle and you’ve forgotten them, the presence of some square roots of 2 in the answer choices can help you remember. The square root of 2 is greater than 1, and two sides must match, so if someone spots you “the rule includes a square root of 2” the only thing it can really be is the ratio x : x : x(√2) Gary Johnson should have been so lucky – had the question been posed as, “What would you do about Aleppo, which is either a DJ on the new Drake album; the epicenter of the Syrian crisis; or a new restaurant in the Garment District?” he would get that question right every single time. Answer choices are your friends…when you blank, consult them! 3) Think Logically Similar to that 454590 “what else could it be?” logic, many times when you blank on a rule, you can work your way to either the rule itself or just to the answer by thinking logically about it. For example, if you end up with math that includes a radical sign in the denominator and can’t quite remember the steps for rationalizing the denominator: What is 1/(1 – √2)? (A) √2 (B) 1 – √2 (C) 1 + √2 (D) 1 – √2 (E) √2 – 1 Not all is lost! Sure, algebraically you should multiply the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate (1 + √2) but you can also logically work with this one. The numerator is 1, and the denominator is 1 – the square root of 2. You know that √2 is between 1 and 2, so what do you know about the denominator? It’s negative, and it’s a fraction (or decimal), so once you’ve taken 1 divided by that, your answer must be a negative number to the left of 1 – only answer choice D would work. So, yeah, you blanked on the steps, but you can still employ logic to back into the answer. 4) Write Down Everything You Know Blanking is particularly troublesome because it’s that moment of panic. You’re trying to retrace your mental steps and the answer is elusive; it’s a moment you’re not in control of at that point. So take control! The more you’re actively working – jotting down other related formulas or facts you know, working on other facets of the diagram or problem and saving that step for last, etc. – the more you’re controlling, or at least actively managing, the situation. Gary Johnson couldn’t get away with a “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” style talkthroughit (“Um, I know it’s not the name of any congressmen; it’s not Zika, it’s not…”) without looking dumb, but no one is going to audit your scratchwork and release it to Huffington Post, so you’re free to jot down halfbaked thoughts and trial calculations to your heart’s content. Actively manage the situation, and you can work your way through that dreaded “my mind is blank” moment. So learn from Gary Johnson. No matter how much you’ve prepared for your GMAT, there’s a chance that your mind will go blank on something you know that you know, but just can’t recall in the moment. But you have options, so heed the wisdom above, and let Trump or Clinton handle the gaffes for the day while you move on confidently to the next question. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! By Brian Galvin. The post GMAT Tip of the Week: Gary Johnson, Aleppo, and What To Do When Your Mind Goes Blank appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Evaluating “Useful to Evaluate” Critical Reasoning Questions on the GMAT 
In today’s post, we will look at how to answer “useful to evaluate” Critical Reasoning questions in the Verbal section of the GMAT. Arguably, this is one of the toughest question types for testtakers to tackle (perhaps right after boldfaced questions). To answer this type of question, all you will need to do is follow these six simple steps: 1) Identify the conclusion. 2) Ask yourself the question raised by answer choice A. 3) Answer it with a “yes” and figure out whether it affects the conclusion. 4) Answer it with a “no” and figure out whether it affects the conclusion. 5) Repeat this for all other answer choices. 6) Only one option will affect the conclusion differently in the two cases – that is your answer. Let’s illustrate this concept with a problem: In a certain wildlife park, park rangers are able to track the movements of many rhinoceroses because those animals wear radio collars. When, as often happens, a collar slips off, it is put back on. Putting a collar on a rhinoceros involves immobilizing the animal by shooting it with a tranquilizer dart. Female rhinoceroses that have been frequently recollared have significantly lower fertility rates than uncollared females. Probably, therefore, some substance in the tranquilizer inhibits fertility. In evaluating the argument, it would be most useful to determine which of the following? (A) Whether there are more collared female rhinoceroses than uncollared female rhinoceroses in the park. (B) How the tranquilizer that is used for immobilizing rhinoceroses differs, if at all, from tranquilizers used in working with other large mammals (C) How often park rangers need to use tranquilizer darts to immobilize rhinoceroses for reasons other than attaching radio collars (D) Whether male rhinoceroses in the wildlife park lose their collars any more often than the park’s female rhinoceroses do (E) Whether radio collars are the only practical means that park rangers have for tracking the movements of rhinoceroses in the park First, we need to break down the argument to find the premises and the conclusion:
(A) Whether there are more collared female rhinoceroses than uncollared female rhinoceroses in the park. Even if there are more collared female rhinoceroses than uncollared females, this does not affect the argument’s conclusion. This answer choice talks about collared females vs. uncollared females; we are comparing the fertility of recollared females with that of uncollared females. Anyway, how many of either type there are doesn’t matter. So, whether you answer “yes” or “no” to this question, it is immaterial. (B) How the tranquilizer that is used for immobilizing rhinoceroses differs, if at all, from tranquilizers used in working with other large mammals. This option is comparing the tranquilizers used for rhinoceroses with the tranquilizers used for other large mammals. What the conclusion does, however, is compare collared female rhinoceroses with uncollared female rhinoceroses. Hence, whether you answer “very different” or “not different at all” to this question, in the end, it doesn’t matter. (C) How often park rangers need to use tranquilizer darts to immobilize rhinoceroses for reasons other than attaching radio collars. This answer choice can be evaluated in two ways:
This answer choice is comparing the frequency of tranquilizers used on male rhinoceroses with the frequency of tranquilizers used on female rhinoceroses. What the conclusion actually does is compare collared female rhinoceroses with uncollared female rhinoceroses. Hence, whether you answer this question with “more frequently” or “not more frequently,” it doesn’t matter. (E) Whether radio collars are the only practical means that park rangers have for tracking the movements of rhinoceroses in the park. This option is comparing radio collars with other means of tracking. What the conclusion does is compare collared female rhinoceroses with uncollared female rhinoceroses. Hence, whether you answer this question with “there are other means” or “there are no other means,” again, it does not matter. Note that only answer choice C affects the conclusion – if you answer the question it raises differently, it affects the conclusion differently. Option C would be good to know to evaluate the conclusion of the argument, therefore, the answer must be C. Now try this question on your own: Following several years of declining advertising sales, the Greenville Times reorganized its advertising sales force two years ago. Before the reorganization, the sales force was organized geographically, with some sales representatives concentrating on citycenter businesses and others concentrating on different outlying regions. The reorganization attempted to increase the sales representatives’ knowledge of clients’ businesses by having each sales representative deal with only one type of industry or of retailing. After the reorganization, advertising sales increased. In assessing whether the improvement in advertising sales can properly be attributed to the reorganization, it would be helpful to find out each of the following EXCEPT: (A) Two years ago, what proportion of the Greenville Times’ total revenue was generated by advertising sales? (B) Has the circulation of the Greenville Times increased substantially in the last two years? (C) Has there been a substantial turnover in personnel in the advertising sales force over the last two years? (D) Before the reorganization, had sales representatives found it difficult to keep up with relevant developments in all types of businesses to which they are assigned? (E) Has the economy in Greenville and the surrounding regions been growing rapidly over the last two years? We hope you will find this post useful to evaluate the “useful to evaluate” questions! Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! The post Evaluating “Useful to Evaluate” Critical Reasoning Questions on the GMAT appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 7 Quick Takeaways From the New 2016 U.S. News & World Report College Rankings 
Hot off the presses, the muchawaited U.S. News & World Report college rankings have arrived for 2016, and in stunning news…well, there’s not much stunning news. Princeton hasn’t gone the way of ITT Tech (New Jersey’s Ivy remains #1 for the sixth straight year), and the biggest “out of nowhere” story is that Villanova, now ranked 50th for national universities, took that perch having been reclassified from a “regional university” in years prior. Still, there are always interesting trends and takeaways to be had from the slowchanging, wellrespected rankings. Here are seven that caught our team’s eye: 1) The Central (Time)ization of Higher Ed. The typical Harvard/Princeton/Yale top 3 was cracked by a school outside the Eastern time zone…and no, it wasn’t Stanford. The University of Chicago moved up from 4th to tie for 3rd (with Yale), moving the nation’s “medal podium” slightly west this year. This continues a big surge for U. Chicago in recent years, having moved up from as far back as 9th in 2010. Another big mover was Rice, jumping from 18th to 15th. The sum? A total of 6 schools – U. Chicago, Northwestern, Rice, Notre Dame, Washington University St. Louis, and Vanderbilt – in the Central Time Zone made the Top 15. (Alas, those Centraltimers celebrating the notion of having 40% of the Top 15 should be careful: because of ties, a total of 18 schools can consider themselves in the Top 15, as well.) 2) USC beats UCLA In the rankings’ most dynamic intracity rivalry, USC finally moved a step ahead of UCLA, staying at 23 while the Bruins dropped eversoslightly to 24th. Last year the rivals were locked at 23, whereas the previous year saw UCLA a spot head of USC. The other major intracity rivalries stayed static, with Harvard safely above MIT, U. Chicago safely over Northwestern, and Columbia comfortably ahead of NYU. 3) It’s Good to Be A Bostonian… Boston University and Northeastern each cracked the Top 40 this year (tied at 39), bringing the number of Boston schools with that distinction to 7. Harvard and MIT stayed in their usual Top 10 places, with Tufts (27th), Boston College (31st), and Brandeis (34th) also staying in that Top 40. 4) …or an Upstate New Yorker While Columbia leads the way for all New Yorkbased schools at #5, four other New York schools make the Top 40, with three of them coming from upstate. Cornell, naturally, leads that group at #15, and both the University of Rochester (32nd) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (39th, in Troy), also earned that distinction. 5) The Public Option With the exception of UCBerkeley, each of the 22 schools with a Top 20 designation is a private school with a stated price tag of over $43,000. But once that list gets into the 20s, plenty of public schools with instate tuition costs under $20,000 enter the mix: Berkeley, UCLA, Virginia, Michigan, and North Carolina all make the Top 30, with William & Mary, Georgia Tech, UCSanta Barbara, and UCIrvine ranking in the Top 40 at less than half the tuition cost of their private counterparts. 6) For Better Or Worse, Your Test Scores Will Matter In the standard table view, the US News & World Report shows four statistics: tuition cost, undergraduate enrollment, SAT scores, and ACT scores (the range for the 25th percentile through the 75th percentile). And as you scan down the list, you’ll fisand that you have to get all the way to the 20thranked school (Emory) to find a middle 50% ACT range that isn’t entirely in the 30s (Emory’s is 2933), and that only one of the top 15 schools (Dartmouth) has a middle 50% SAT range that includes scores below 1350. As long as there are rankings that are based on quantitative data, standardized test scores will be a major way for schools to rise (or fall) in those rankings. It therefore follows that admissions officers will be looking for applicants whose stats can help them rise, so prospective students to highlyranked schools should take their test preparation seriously. 7) Money Matters, Too Seven of the Top 10 ranked schools are also in the U.S. News’ 2015 rankings for largest university endowments. When you see that Princeton has access to over $20 billion and Harvard holds over $36 billion, is it any wonder that these schools consistently top the U.S. university rankings? We’ll give a special shout out to Johns Hopkins, which managed its Top 10 ranking despite having “just” $3.4 billion in its coffers! Whether you think that’s puny or not, the fact is that all of these schools have the means to hire brilliant professors and give them access to worldclass tools and facilities… Here’s hoping that they continue to invest in improving access to education and finding endless advances in all disciplines. Do you need help with your college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! By Scott Shrum and Brian Galvin. The post 7 Quick Takeaways From the New 2016 U.S. News & World Report College Rankings appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Canceling and Rescheduling Your GMAT Exam: What to Know Before You Cancel 
After signing up for the GMAT, you should dedicate two or three months to study and preparation. But as test day approaches, what if a situation arises that is going to prevent you from taking the test? Fortunately, it’s possible to cancel your GMAT test appointment and reschedule. Check out the important details that go along with canceling and rescheduling GMAT appointments before you act. Common Reasons Why People Need to Cancel Their GMAT Appointments Some people have to cancel their appointment to take the GMAT due to family obligations that come up – perhaps they have to attend a funeral or a family member unexpectedly goes into the hospital. Others cancel their test date because they don’t feel prepared to take the GMAT. These are just a few of the numerous reasons why people cancel. No matter the reason, there are steps to take when canceling your appointment that may help you minimize the cancellation fee you have to pay. Steps to Take for GMAT Cancellation The first step to take in the cancellation process is to go to the official GMAT website. When you signed up to take the GMAT, you opened an account that provides you with a lot of helpful information. You are able to cancel as well as reschedule GMAT appointments through your account. The cost of taking the GMAT is $250 – if you cancel seven days or more before your scheduled test date and time, you’ll receive a refund of $80. However, if you cancel within seven days of your test day, you don’t receive any refund. Furthermore, if you’re a noshow on test day, you don’t get any type of refund. So if you decide not to take the GMAT, cancel early, if possible, in order to get at least some of your money back. How to Reschedule Your Test The process of rescheduling the GMAT is a lot like signing up for your original testing appointment. You have to choose the date, time, and location that are best for you. Since you already have an account on the official GMAT website, it takes a little less time to reschedule than it did to make the original appointment. Details on the GMAT Reschedule Fee Once again, timing plays an important role when you want to reschedule GMAT appointments. If you reschedule more than seven days before the original date for the test, then there is a GMAT reschedule fee of $50. However, if you reschedule within seven days of the original test date and time, there is a $250 fee. Note that you can’t reschedule within 24 hours of the test. Ensuring That You’re Ready to Take the Test If you cancel your GMAT appointment because you don’t feel prepared, there are things you can do to remedy the situation. At Veritas Prep, we have a GMAT curriculum that reveals what the creators of the test are really looking for. Of course, you must have knowledge of geometry, algebra, reading comprehension, and so forth, but you must also approach the test as if you were a business executive. In short, you have to use your higherorder thinking skills to tackle each section of the GMAT. In our prep courses, we teach you to think like the testmaker so you will use the right kinds of skills on this challenging exam. Our thorough program of study covers each section and topic on the GMAT, enabling you to walk into the testing location with a sense of confidence on test day. Practice With Seasoned GMAT Experts As with most tests, it’s a smart idea to complete practice questions so you know what you’ll encounter on test day. Taking a practice GMAT can be daunting to someone who plans to prepare alone for this exam, but our instructors have achieved scores on the GMAT that place them in the 99th percentile. This means we can look at the results of your practice test and provide you with solid guidance on how you can improve in your weakest subjects. Our instructors know firsthand about the subtleties of the GMAT. Working with Veritas Prep means you get an inside scoop on what you need to do to achieve your best score. We have a few instructional options for you to choose from when it comes to studying for the GMAT. You can learn the strategies you need to know either online or in person. Contact us today and let us play a part in your GMAT success! Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! The post Canceling and Rescheduling Your GMAT Exam: What to Know Before You Cancel appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: LesserKnown Facts That May Contribute to College Acceptance 
Most collegebound high school students know the basics when it comes to college acceptance criteria. They understand that college admissions officials look at a student’s grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities. But there are some lesserknown factors that can affect a student’s college acceptance chances. Consider just a few examples: Studying Overseas College admissions officials take notice of high school students who have studied overseas. A student who has spent time overseas has experience with other cultures. Plus, it’s very likely that the student is fluent in one or more foreign languages. This type of experience and knowledge appeals to colleges looking to fill their freshman class with students who have a unique perspective on the world. In addition, a student who has studied overseas may be able to get credit that counts toward fulfilling a college’s foreign language requirement. Knowledge of a School A student’s knowledge of a school can affect their college acceptance chances. College officials appreciate when a student takes the time and effort to learn about the history of their school. In order to get this type of knowledge, a student can ask questions during a campus tour as well as read about the traditions of the school. In short, a student who knows more than what is displayed on a school’s website is going to get the attention of college officials during an interview. A Record of Taking on Challenging High School Courses College officials look at whether applicants challenge themselves in high school. In some cases, a student who takes increasingly difficult courses each year is more likely to get a college acceptance letter than a student who excels in classes that are relatively easy. Students who take challenging courses are showing an enthusiasm for learning and a willingness to expand their skills. Colleges want students who are excited about growing academically. A Strong Admissions Essay High school students know that writing an admissions essay is a step on the road toward a university acceptance letter. But some students neglect to give this essay the attention it deserves. The admissions essay gives college officials the opportunity to get to know a student in a personal way. For instance, sometimes, students are called upon to write about the biggest influence in their lives. A student’s description of this person can reveal a lot about their level of maturity and goals for the future. A sincere, wellwritten essay can play an important role in a student’s college acceptance. A History of Community Service Students are aware that college admissions officials take a close look at an applicant’s extracurricular activities. Officials like to see students who participate in activities that give them the opportunity to practice their leadership skills. They also appreciate students who serve their community. This may mean volunteering at a local homeless shelter or helping to collect food and clothing items for a local organization that provides hurricane relief. The length of participation in community service is something that college admissions officials look at as well. Positive Items on Social Media Today, many high school students have a lot of experience with social media. Chances are good that they have more than one account where they post photographs and communicate with friends. It’s not out of the question for admissions officials at a college to go online to look at an applicant’s communications via social media. Students who have questionable items on their social media pages may leave college admissions officials with the wrong impression. When it comes to college acceptance, information on the Internet can work either for or against an applicant. Students who are applying to college should make sure that all of the items they put on social media are appropriate. At Veritas Prep, we provide students with a variety of services as they make their way toward college. We offer SAT and ACT prep courses taught by professional instructors who’ve mastered these tests. Also, we provide advice and tips to students regarding their college application. Our consultants worked in the admissions offices of some of the country’s best colleges. In short, we know what college admissions officials are looking for! Contact our offices today and let us know how we can help you on your journey toward higher education. Do you need help with your college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post LesserKnown Facts That May Contribute to College Acceptance appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Is 730 the New 700 for Top MBA Programs? 
For many years, a score of 700 on the GMAT represented the threshold that aspiring MBAs targeted to be competitive applicants to business school. This score served as the proverbial goal post for many applicants seeking admission to top programs, as well as a way to better position themselves for postMBA employment opportunities in feeder industries like consulting and investment banking. As applications to top MBA programs around the world have become increasingly more competitive, standards for admission have also risen, with the brunt of this competition being felt through rising GMAT scores. Over the last five years, top programs like Stanford, Kellogg, and Wharton have reported record GMAT scores, with some programs even experiencing doubledigit growth in a single year. This GMAT arms race from top business schools has accentuated the race for top talent that is currently underway in the competitive world of business school admissions – GMAT scores play a huge role in MBA rankings, which probably is the driving force behind this trend. As this paradigm shifts, applicants must shift their expectations, as well. For many of the top programs, the former target score of a 700 is now almost 30 points lower than the average GMAT score of these same schools today – a change that has occurred in less than ten years. The GMAT remains just one piece of the admissions puzzle, albeit an important one, with other aspects of an applicant’s profile holding considerable weight, as well. As such, it would be wise for aspiring MBAs to align their expectations with the new GMAT world order. Keep in mind that when it comes to GMAT averages, some people will score below the average and some will score above the average for each school, so there is certainly wiggle room here (in fact, most top programs still have 80% ranges that include the old 700 benchmark). As you create your target school list, make sure you are identifying programs that not only align with your development needs, but also match up with your candidate data points. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more articles by him here. The post Is 730 the New 700 for Top MBA Programs? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 

