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Should You Take Additional Courses Before Applying to Business School? [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Should You Take Additional Courses Before Applying to Business School?
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There are many touchpoints in the MBA application process. From the GMAT to the essays to the resume, each aspect plays an important role in gaining admission into your target program, as well as prepares you to flourish in Year 1 as a student. No application package is perfect and many candidates recognize holes within their profile that cannot be addressed entirely through the aforementioned typical application points.

Additional coursework is a great way to address problem areas in your profile and show the admissions committee how committed you are to improving yourself and gaining admission to their program. Now taking additional coursework is not something every candidate should pursue or, for that matter, will even make an impact given their profile, so let’s take a look at a few scenarios that do make sense.

Low GPA

This is one of the most obvious areas where additional coursework clearly makes sense for a candidate. A low GPA can be safely assumed to be one that is significantly lower than the average GPA listed in a program’s class profile. Your GPA is used as a measure of your aptitude by admissions committees and is viewed in combination with your GMAT, so if your GMAT score is also below the average of your target program, then additional coursework should be strongly considered.

Transcript Outliers

Do you have those one or two classes where your score was less than satisfactory on your transcript? Non-passing or really low grades on your transcript can be a red flag for admissions, especially when they are analytical courses. Re-taking these courses via a community college or online program can address many concerns AdComms may have about your academic record.

No Analytical Background

Are you an incoming MBA “poet?” MBA programs tend to be diverse with applicants coming from all personal, professional, and geographic backgrounds. Many applicants apply with no track record in business anywhere on their record, which sometimes can be a cause for concern for AdComms.

Prep for Year 1

MBA programs are known for being very analytically focused during the first year as students navigate core courses. Classes like accounting, finance, and statistics can represent a challenging academic start to business school for students with little or dated experience in these areas. If this scenario aligns with your background, then you may want to consider some additional coursework prior to matriculation to prepare for the rigors of Year 1 of business school.

Considering applying to MBA programs? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTubeGoogle+ 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 of his articles here.

The post Should You Take Additional Courses Before Applying to Business School? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Studying Abroad [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2015, 12:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Studying Abroad
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So you’ve chosen your study abroad program, and now you want to figure out what to do (or not do) while you’re away. Studying abroad can be one of the most fantastic and eye-opening adventures of your college experience, but it can also be the most intimidating. With four or more months in a totally new environment, you’ll want to balance your time so you make the most of it, while avoiding common pitfalls.

Things you want to DO while studying abroad:

  • Absorb the local culture. I know: this is a broad to-do. However, it’s probably the most important! We humans are creatures of comfort, and it’s easy to get sucked into old habits of what you used to do in your home country. Explore your new neighborhood, your abroad university campus, and public transportation. Embrace your new home and friends, and don’t worry too much if you make mistakes: you’ll catch on.
  • Maintain a budget. Especially if you plan on traveling to other countries and cities, you may break the bank sooner than later. Use tickets stubs and receipts as personal souvenirs rather than more expensive and [possibly] useless items. Find cheap flights and trains. If you’re stationed in one country, you might even get a part-time job to help cover some of your food and entertainment costs. That will also help you immerse yourself in the culture!
Things you DON’T want to do while studying abroad:

[*]Don’t assume people speak English. While it’s true that English is the lingua franca of academia and business—the language that people turn to when communicating and doing commerce across borders—you shouldn’t rely on that fact to get around. Taking a language course is often a required part of abroad curriculum, but even if it’s not a requirement, try speaking in the local tongue when you can. Locals will respect you more if they see your effort! I also had a translation app on my smartphone just in case.[*]Don’t book all of your extra trips ahead of time. It can be quick and inexpensive to get to nearby countries and cities on weekends, but don’t plan everything too far ahead. I went to an abroad program that provided students an easy way to plan and purchase our trips well in advance of departure from the U.S.; but when I arrived abroad, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room for spontaneity, and booking trips with my new friends. Also, last-minute bookings can still be cheap for hostels and budget airlines.[*]Don’t only hang out with students from your home country. Similar to the first “do” item, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the full experience of being abroad. Sticking too close to comfort might make you closer to your friends, but not closer to a memorable cultural experience. If you want to hang out with people from home, you might as well have stayed there![/list]
Need help prepping your college application? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Dakotah Eddy is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant, and the Assistant Director of Admissions Consulting. She received both her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Cornell University (Go Big Red!), and studied abroad on Semester at Sea. She enjoys creating: from culinary masterpieces, to wearable art, to tech solutions.

The post The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Studying Abroad appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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Applications to Business Schools on the Rise: What This Means for You [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2015, 15:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Applications to Business Schools on the Rise: What This Means for You
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According to a recent report from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 57% of business schools said their applications to full-time MBA programs increased from last year. Additionally, compared with ten years, ago 60%t of full-time schools report receiving more applications.

For those paying attention to the improvement in the US economy since the recession shouldn’t be surprised. Gregg Shoenfeld, the director of management education research at GMAC, noted, “There is a cyclical trend in US application volumes that mirrors the economy. For example, application volumes grew tremendously until the recession, and then we saw a drop.” This may run counter to some common theories that as the economy worsens students head to school, since their careers may hit a roadblock and t may feel like it is the right time to escape from the job market for two years and tune up their resume with an MBA, then hit the job market as it (hopefully) rebounds.

What does this mean for applicants? Well obviously as the number of applications goes up, the more competitive the process becomes. Schools will have far more choice when it comes to who they admit and who they turn down. Students that felt they were shoo-ins for a top ten program might have to make sure they have a good set of “safety” schools where they can also apply. Also, scholarships will become more scarce as schools have more opportunities to invest their dollars among more students. Additionally, schools might look to increase the cost of tuition as demand increases, and expect students to shoulder a heavier debt after graduation.

There was plenty of other interesting news from the 2015 Application Trends Survey:

  • Programs in the Northeast are actually seeing declining applications – more so than any other region in the U.S. 52% of programs in the area reported a decrease in application volume compared to only 44% of schools reporting an increase in applications.
  • Applications for flexible and online MBA programs grew this year, however they remained flat for executive and part-time MBA programs, compared to in 2014.
  • There is increased demand for specialized Masters programs in Finance, Marketing, Communications and Accounting.
  • Demand for schools in the South is growing the fastest out of all regions in the US. This group of schools had the largest percentage of schools reporting an increase in applications (68% of programs).
  • Application volume is up in the West. More full-time MBA programs report increases (64%) rather than decreases (32%) in application volume.
  • 50% of online MBA programs in the United States reported increased application volume in 2015 compared with 43% last year.
*The Application Trends Survey is the 16th annual survey by the GMAC. The survey looks at data from 641 graduate business programs at 306 universities around the world. Included in the survey are 426 MBA programs, 196 specialized business master’s programs and 18 doctoral programs. Schools are located in 42 states in the US and 35 countries.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

By Michael Trudeau, an MBA admissions consultant for Veritas Prep.

The post Applications to Business Schools on the Rise: What This Means for You appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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5 Ways You Can Pay for Your MBA [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 5 Ways You Can Pay for Your MBA
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Seeking higher education is anything but cheap, especially if you’re going for your MBA. But even though an MBA is going to cost a pretty penny, depending on where you decide to go, think of it as an investment in yourself and in your future. Your future MBA can help you land a well-paying job at a Fortune 500 company or inspire you to start your own business. If you’re thinking about going back to school to obtain your MBA, here are some tips on how to pay for it:

 

Personal Resources

If you have a few years to plan and you’ve always known that you wanted to pursue your MBA, you might want to start putting money away now before you even apply. Many people pay for their MBA with their own money. Here’s a tip: think about opening a 529 in your name to help save. Not only will your investments grow tax free (as long as you use it to pay for your education) you’ll also potentially get a state tax deduction (make sure to check with your tax advisor).

Loans

If you haven’t been saving all along and are ready to go to school this year, you’ll have to go with the old standby of loans. Loans are common with students seeking higher education since it allows them to borrow money needed for school and then pay it back later when they are making a much higher salary. There are federal and private loans that are available for students and depending on what you qualify for, each one has a different interest rate and payback program. You might even still be able to convince your parents to cosign your loan and help get yourself a better interest rate.

Scholarships

There is a lot of free money out there – you just have to apply for it for your chance to gain some of it. Not all scholarships are from schools; many charitable organizations still give money at the graduate level, especially if you are an under-represented minority in business school. All you have to do is research these scholarships to find out which ones you are eligible for.

Military and Public Service Programs

There are a variety of military and public service programs out there that will help MBA students pay for school. U.S. Military veterans have several options, as well as those who work in the nonprofit/public sector.

Alternatives

Many startups are entering into the MBA loan space. Places like Sofi and Upstart might be good options to check out. Also, your current or future employer might have a program to fund your education.

Remember, no matter how you pay for it, business school can be expensive. So before you go, make sure you figure out your expected return on this major investment. Do plenty of research to not only understand the tuition costs of the program, but also the cost of living of where your school is located. Also, take a look at the career reports from your target schools to try and figure out what your expected salary will be after graduation. Will it all be worth it? Only you can decide.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

By Michael Trudeau, an MBA admissions consultant for Veritas Prep.

The post 5 Ways You Can Pay for Your MBA appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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SAT Tip of the Week: How to Choose and Use Essay Examples (Like “The H [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2015, 13:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: How to Choose and Use Essay Examples (Like “The Hunger Games”)
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I’ve decided that I want to use The Iliad and One Hundred Years of Solitude as essay examples. What’s the best way to apply these to prompts?

I can’t give you detailed, example-specific help with your question for two reasons:

1) I have not read The Iliad.

2) I have not read One Hundred Years of Solitude.

 

Fortunately, for the purposes of your SAT essay, that doesn’t really matter. Because you don’t know exactly what question you’ll be asked on your official test day, it doesn’t make sense to use up your study time coming up with specific ways to apply two specific essay examples. You’ll prepare yourself much more effectively by developing your ability to apply several examples to many different prompts in many different ways.

Let’s take The Hunger Games, a trilogy I’m pretty sure you’re at least reasonably familiar with, as an example. (Warning: spoilers!)

The first step is to check that you know your example in pretty deep detail. Do you know all the character’s names? Do you remember all the major plot points? Do you know the title and the author? If the answer to any of these questions is no, consider choosing a different example.

The second step is to check whether your example is “rich” enough to apply flexibly. For instance, if you tried to use “Humpty Dumpty” as an example, you’d quickly find that the story just doesn’t give you enough interesting material to work with. (Yes, from the nursery rhyme with a crown and king’s men and a wall. Yes, I know you wouldn’t actually use this as an example. That’s not the point.)

Humpty falls off a wall and can’t be fixed – and that’s all that ever happens. You can’t learn anything substantial about privacy, community responsibility, honesty, the value of work, the implications of changing technology, or the importance of education from Humpty’s story. The Hunger Games, by contrast, is remarkably rich: the story touches on countless themes including class, poverty, work, determination, honesty, secrets, selflessness, love, hate, family, technology, good and bad decisions, and community. You have plenty to write about.

The third step is to decide whether the example is tone-appropriate. Definitely avoid examples that are highly controversial or potentially offensive. Then, steer away from pop culture and personal anecdotes unless you’re confident that you can discuss them seriously. In most cases, classic books just sound more impressive as examples than young adult fiction novels. (Note: In a real essay, I wouldn’t recommend using The Hunger Games as an example. I’m just using it here because it’s so widely known.)

All that’s left is to get good at applying your chosen example flexibly. Recognize that a rich story can be applied to many different SAT prompts in many different ways, since SAT prompts are vague and rich stories give you so much material to work with. Here are some past official SAT prompts that The Hunger Games could fit into:

Should people pay more attention to the opinions of people who are older and more experienced?

No. President Snow was older and more experienced than Katniss, however his opinions about how the world should work were selfish and unjust.

Is it better to be idealistic or practical?

Idealistic. Panem would never have changed if the rebels had not clung to their ideas about how the world SHOULD be, instead of how the world WAS. Ideals led them to victory and to a better society.

Should books portray the world realistically or idealistically?

Idealistically. The Hunger Games isn’t realistic at all, but we learn a lot from it — the value of honesty, the importance of friends and family, the benefits of hard work, etc.

Are people too materialistic?

Yes. Materialism in The Capitol blinded Capitol citizens to what really matters: justice, community, morality, and humanity.

 Is learning the result of experiencing difficulties?

Yes. Through all the obstacles she faced, Katniss learned a lot about herself — how gentle and kind she really was, what kind of significant other she needed in her life, etc.

Is creativity the result of closed doors?

Absolutely. Katniss learned to hunt as a result of a serious obstacle she faced growing up (lack of food).

Can dishonesty be appropriate in some circumstances?

Yes. It would have been counterproductive and foolish for Katniss to reveal to the districts of Panem how traumatized, emotionally broken, and fearful she was. Her “lie” to the people of Panem enabled a revolution that brought about a better society.

Is success the result of being extremely competitive?

No. The revolution survived because the rebels were desperate to create a more equal and compassionate society, not because the rebels wanted bragging rights for having won a war.

I could fill pages and pages with more examples. To answer a prompt about privacy, all I need to do is think of an instance in The Hunger Games in which someone kept a secret. To answer a prompt about adversity, I just need to think of a single instance in which a Hunger Games character was faced with a problem. There are so many secrets and so many conflicts/problems in the trilogy that I should have no trouble finding plenty of examples of both.

There is no single perfect way to apply an example to a prompt, and there is no single perfect example for a prompt. A rich storyline can adapt to almost any prompt – the trick is just to choose examples with rich content, and to recognize just how broad and vague SAT topics really are.

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on 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 SAT Tip of the Week: How to Choose and Use Essay Examples (Like “The Hunger Games”) appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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How “Back to the Future” Can Help Your GMAT Score! [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2015, 17:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How “Back to the Future” Can Help Your GMAT Score!
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As a social media user, you’re probably very away that today – October 21, 2015 – is “The Future,” the day from Back to the Future II when Marty McFly and Doc Brown (along with a sleeping Jennifer) visit Hill Valley 30 years in the future. And while we don’t yet have hoverboards and while the bold prediction that the Cubs will have just won the World Series seems to be slipping away, the Back to the Future trilogy does offer some incredibly valuable GMAT lessons. How can Marty McFly help you better understand the GMAT and increase your score?

1) The Space-Time Continuum

Throughout the Back to the Future series, Doc Brown was keenly aware of the impacts that any slight alteration to the past would have on the future (as it turns out, stopping your parents from meeting or allowing the scores of all future sporting events to fall into the hands of your family’s mortal enemy could have disastrous results!). The GMAT works on a similar premise: because the GMAT is adaptive, each question impacts the future questions you will see – the events are connected and sequential. Which means:

A) You can’t go back and change your answers. That would violate the “Space-Time Continuum” nature of the GMAT (changing #5 would mean that questions 6-37 would all be different, so it’s just not an option). And THAT means that you have to make good decisions in real-time – you need to double-check for careless errors before you submit, because if you realize later that you blew it, that question is gone.

B) You can’t afford a disastrous start. It’s not that the first 10 questions matter exponentially more (as the old myth goes), but they are slightly more important if only for this reason: a strong early performance means that you’re seeing harder questions once you’re in your groove, and a poor early performance means that you’re seeing easier questions and have a much lower margin for error. Throughout each section you’ll make a few mistakes and you’ll hit a lucky guess or two.

If you’ve done well and avoided careless mistakes early, then your mistakes and lucky guesses will be on harder questions. If you haven’t, then those mistakes come on easier questions and pull down your score all the more. It *is* possible to recover from a poor start…it just requires you to be a lot closer to perfect and that can be hard to do on test day. Please note: you don’t need to get all 10 right to consider it a good start!  6 or 7 will probably put you on a track you’re happy with; the key is to just make sure you’re not making too many silly mistakes early and missing the questions that you should get right.

2) Save the Clock Tower! 

Back to the Future taught a generation the importance of timeline, and that’s critical on the GMAT. You need to be mindful of time and ensure that you have enough to finish each section. Just like in the movies, where mismanagement of time and unforeseen events created precarious situations (would Doc get the wire connected before lightning struck? Would Marty get to that point at the proper time? Would Doc reach Clara before the train tumbled off the cliff?), the GMAT offers you plenty of opportunities to waste time and get off schedule (and maybe your score falls off a cliff, or you’re the one stuck in the past…an era when master’s degrees were far from the norm).

You need to conserve time on the test so that you don’t find a catastrophe waiting at the end. Which means that sometimes you have to let a hard problem go so that it doesn’t suck up several minutes of your time (even if the hard problem seems to be calling you “chicken”!). Like Marty should have done in most time-travel situations, have a plan for how you’ll address events in a timely fashion and stick to it. If you want to have 53 minutes left after 10 questions and you have 51, know that you’ll probably have to guess soon to get back on track.

3) Find Your Skateboard

1985 was easy for Marty, like a 400-500 level GMAT problem. If he needed to quickly get from one place to another, he’d hop on his skateboard and grab the back of a truck. But 1955 and 2015 were quite different – there weren’t conventional skateboards for him to use, so he had to improvise either by breaking a scooter in two or learning how to handle a hoverboard.

The GMAT is similar: the tools you’ll use to solve problems (find skateboard, let a Tannen chase you, veer off at the last second leaving him to crash into a pile of manure) are extremely similar, but just different enough that it may not be obvious what to do at first. Your job as you study is to learn how to look for that “skateboard.”

On exponent problems, for example, the key is almost always getting the given information to a point where you can perform the rules you know. And since those rules are almost always requiring you to deal with exponents with the same base and that the terms are being multiplied or divided, your “finding the skateboard” process usually involves factoring non-prime bases into prime factors and factoring addition and subtraction into multiplication. Much like Marty McFly in a new decade, you’ll find yourself seeing slightly-familiar, but yet totally different situations on the test – your job is to focus more on the similarity and seek out a couple steps to get it to where the rest is rote.

4) Be a Man (or Woman) of Action

In the original Back to the Future, you saw how the entire future changed with just one action: the ever analytical and incredibly intelligent George McFly just wasn’t a confident or action-oriented man, and so despite Marty’s best efforts to talk him up to Lorraine and to get him to be a bit more debonair, the McFly family future was fading quickly. Until…George had the opportunity to stop analyzing and just “do,” telling Biff to “get your damn hands off” Lorraine and ultimately punching Biff in the mouth. From that point on, the George-and-Lorraine romance was on (again?) and the future was just a matter of density. I mean…destiny.

If you’re reading a blog post about the GMAT you’re certainly not the type that Principal Strickland would call a slacker, but there’s a good likelihood that you’ll perform on test day like the “old” George McFly: intelligent and capable, but timid and over-analytical. Particularly with the timed nature of the GMAT, you often just have to go with an instinct and try it out, whether that means writing down an equation and then double checking that you like your math (as opposed to reading the question again and again) or testing your theory that you’re allowed to cross-multiply there (test it with small numbers and see if you get the answer you should).

The biggest mistake that the truly-capable make on the GMAT is one of paralysis by analysis; they’re afraid to put pen to paper to “try something” and then they become acutely aware of the time ticking past them and panic all the more. Avoid that trap! Be willing to try, to take action, and you’ll find that – like the owner of  DeLorean time machine – you have plenty of time.

On this 30th anniversary of Marty’s journey to the future, plan for your future 30 years down the road. The way you study for the GMAT, the way you manage your time and confidence on the test – they could have a major impact on what your future looks like. Heed the lessons that Doc and Marty taught you, and you could leave the test center saying, “Roads? Where I’m going, we don’t need roads,” of course because most elite b-school campuses are all about sidewalks.

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 and Google+, and Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

The post How “Back to the Future” Can Help Your GMAT Score! appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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The Ideal MBA Candidate: How YOU Can Become One [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2015, 11:02
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: The Ideal MBA Candidate: How YOU Can Become One
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What makes the ideal business school student? Is there even such a thing? Well the folks who bring you the GMAT wanted to find out. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) asked 650 graduate business school programs what make the ideal applicant for their school. Each school listed three adjectives to describe that applicant, and their responses might surprise you: the most common responses were “motivated,” “driven,” and “experienced.” What do business schools mean when they talk about these qualities? Let’s break down each one:

1) Motivated

Schools know that business school can be as challenging, or as “easy” as a student wants it to be. This isn’t like undergrad where there is a significant importance placed on grades. Many schools don’t even give out letter grades anymore or ask their students not to disclose their grades to recruiters in the name of collaboration. Therefore, schools know they need students who are able to stay self-motivated despite the constant sources of distraction.

2) Driven

Similar to motivated, schools look for students with a serious drive, especially because a large part of the success of a particular business school is tied to the success of its students. Driven students become driven alumni, who become successful and give back to the school through donations of time or money, by recruiting new graduates and giving other alumni opportunities. They become the school’s best marketing tool.

3) Experienced

At this point you are probably familiar with the idea of the case method in business schools. Part of the reason this method is very useful for teaching in business schools is because it relies on the students’ experiences to augment and draw real life parallels to the case being discussed. Students with little experience will not be able to contribute as much to the discussion with this teaching style.

Additionally, full-time programs noted how important the ability to collaborate was. While part-time programs valued work experience and specialized programs such as Masters of Finance or Masters of Accounting look for academic and analytic skills (which makes sense since these programs tend to cater to recent college grads who might not have had a full-time job yet), full-time programs require much more collaboration between their students as these students will be spending a lot more time together both in and out of the classroom.

What does this mean for applicants? Well, assuming you have some of these qualities, you are in good shape. What you need to do is make sure the fact that you possess these assets comes out clearly in your essays, resume and interviews, and don’t forget to make sure to have examples ready to showcase how you have demonstrated them. If you think you don’t possess these qualities, now is the time to start beefing up your experience to grow them – whether it is through your work or in a volunteer role, you will undoubtedly be a better applicant if can prove you are developing. It’s also important to think about what makes an unideal business school student. While this is probably a long list, make sure to think of the qualities business schools are not looking for in a candidate so that you can avoid demonstrating in your application.

What do you think? Does this sound like you? Are you the ideal business school student?

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

By Michael Trudeau, an MBA admissions consultant for Veritas Prep.

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Do You Know the 5 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Fifteen? [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2015, 17:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Do You Know the 5 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Fifteen?
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I didn’t exactly pick up the freshman fifteen—the weight gain that so many new students experience in their first semester of college—but I did certainly gain at least a freshman seven or ten, and didn’t shake it off until halfway through my sophomore year.

I was luckier than many of my classmates in that I am naturally thin and I actually like working out, but there are still plenty of things I wish I had done in order to stay fit. Here are 5 different ways to avoid those extra pounds your first year of college:

1. Recognize that just because you’re at a buffet doesn’t mean you have to try every item on the menu. Meal plans mean dining halls, and dining halls mean food set up to feed thousands of students quickly and cheaply. Eating everything you see behind the counter is tempting, but all that will accomplish is 1) expanding your waistline, and 2) getting you more tired of the food earlier in the semester.

2. Sign up for a physical education class, if it’s available. Two out of my three workouts every week are scheduled P.E. courses that I’m getting graded for. If I wasn’t in those classes, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have gotten beyond a single workout each week. They’re short, free (usually), worth an easy (if small) GPA boost, and great motivation to actually haul your tail to the gym.

3. Find out if your university gives you a free gym membership. If so, use it—even if only because affordable gym memberships are hard to come by.

4. Put mealtimes into your schedule, and stick to it. College schedules are often less regular than high school schedules, so the shift away from regular mealtimes can be jarring for both your routine and your metabolism. Eating constantly is hard habit to notice, an even harder habit to break, and an easy way to eat far more than you mean to.

5. Buy healthy choices. For any meals you eat outside of the dining halls: Healthy food is both worth paying for and worth walking to the grocery store for. Buying five bags of Cheetos for dinner from your in-dorm stop-n-shop does not count as dinner, and deep down you definitely know that.

Be sure to keep these things in mind, and you’re bound to stay clear of those extra (sneaky) lbs freshman year. Happy snacking!

Are you starting to think about applying to college? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

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.

 

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College Decisions And Neapolitan Ice Cream [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 09:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: College Decisions And Neapolitan Ice Cream
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If you’re anything like me, the world is full of too many universities to choose from. I investigated hundreds of colleges in my research, contacted thirty, visited twenty, and eventually applied to ten. I spent months determining the proper formula of schools to apply to: how many was too many? Did I apply to enough options?

With all of these thoughts running through my mind, I developed a formula to assemble the perfect range of colleges on your application list and, borrowing a metaphor from my favorite college admissions guidebook – it’s as simple as Neapolitan ice cream. First though, you need to understand what the “Middle 50%” means.

THE MIDDLE 50%

These are statistics provided by every university that can be found online or on their admissions page. It represents the average range for ACT/SAT scores of accepted students. It’s also an extremely useful tool for determining the likelihood of your admission. For instance, my score on the ACT was a 33. One of my safety schools was the University of Washington (click on the “Achievement” tab to view Middle 50%); I knew it was a safety school, because most accepted students had an ACT score between 25 and 31. My score was higher, so I knew that my chances of admission were higher. Some schools might offer variations on this statistic. I also applied to Reed College, whose average ACT score is 31. This was close to my number, so I knew that it classified as a compromise school for me. Now, let’s have some ice cream!

CHOCOLATE = REACH SCHOOLS. The Middle 50% of admitted students’ test scores are higher than your own OR the admissions rate is at/below 15%. These are the colleges that everyone and their sister want to attend. It’s a highly desirable academic environment with competitive admissions. Scholarships might be difficult to receive given the high volume of applicants.

VANILLA = COMPROMISE SCHOOLS. The Middle 50% of admitted students’ test scores match your own.

These are colleges are still great schools that anyone would be happy to attend, but they’re slightly less competitive and less prestigious than reach schools. Scholarships are handed out to students of merit more frequently.

STRAWBERRY = SAFETY SCHOOLS. The Middle 50% of admitted students’ test scores are lower than your own. These colleges are significantly less competitive in their admissions and most often large public schools or small, local private schools. Depending on your interests, this might also be a community college. Merit-based scholarships are more readily available to students with competitive applications.

Use these classifications to balance your college application list. Aim to perfectly divide your options into thirds between chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry schools. If you apply to three schools, hit one of each. If you apply to nine schools, include three of each.

Strawberry schools are extremely important to pay attention to, and perhaps one of the most important elements of your college search. In April, they’ll give you a variety of options with better financial aid (at least in my experience) than your vanilla and chocolate choices. Too many students apply to strawberry schools that they aren’t really interested in attending; this is a fatal mistake.

The goal is to have a wide array of options when it is time to make the final decision and ample choices to find the closest (and most realistic) fit of financial aid, academic rigor, class sizes, location, and personal interest— so it’s possible to attend the best university for you. Best of luck with your applications!

Do you need help crafting your college applications to your chocolate schools? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Madeline Ewbank now happily attends Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Her favorite things about her college decision are its proximity to improv theater, free student admission to the Art Institute of Chicago, and the opportunity to teach ACT 36 classes just 5 minutes from campus. She is excited to help students achieve their college a

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Percents Are Easy, Words Are Hard [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2015, 17:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Percents Are Easy, Words Are Hard
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Pop quiz: 1) Your restaurant bill came to exactly $64.00 and you want to leave a 20% tip. How much do you leave? 2) You’re running a charity half-marathon and your fundraising goal is $6000. You’ve raised $3300. What percent of your goal have you reached? 3) Your $20,000 investment is now worth $35,000. By what percent has your investment increased in value?

[Answers: $12.80; 55%; 75%]

 

If that was easy for you, good. It better have been. After all, you’re applying to graduate school and that’s maybe 6th grade math in three real-life contexts. Percents are not hard! But percent problems can be. And that’s what savvy GMAT test-takers need to learn:

On the GMAT, percent problems aren’t hard because of the numbers. They’re hard because of the words.

Consider two situations:

1) A band sells concert t-shirts online for $20 each, and in California, web-based sales are subject to a 10% sales tax. How much does a California-based purchaser pay in sales tax after buying a t-shirt?

2) At a concert in California, a band wants to sell t-shirts for $20. For simplicity’s sake at a cash-only kiosk, the band wants patrons to be able to pay $20 even – hopefully paying with a single $20 bill – rather than having to pay sales tax on top. If t-shirts are subject to a 10% tax on the sale price, and the shirts are priced so that the after-tax price comes to $20, how much will a patron pay in sales tax after buying a t-shirt?

So what are the answers?

The first, quite clearly, should be $2. Take 10% of the $20 price and there’s your answer. And taking 10% is easy – just divide by 10, which functionally means moving the decimal point one place to the left and keeping the digits the same.

The second is not $2, however, and the reason is critical to your preparation for percent questions above the 600 level on the GMAT: the percent has to be taken OF the proper value. Patrons will pay 10% OF the before-tax price, not 10% of the after-tax price. $20 is the after-tax price (just as $22 is the after-tax price in the first example…note that there you definitely did not take the 10% of the $22 after-tax price!). So the proper calculation is:

Price + 10% of the Price = $20

1.1(P) = 20

P = 20/1.1 = 18.18

So the price comes out to $18.18, meaning that $1.82 is the amount paid in tax.

While the calculation of 20/1.1 may have been annoying, it’s not “clever” or “hard” – the reason that many people will just say $2.00 to both isn’t that they screwed up dividing $20 by 1.1, but instead because they saw a percent problem with two numbers (10% and $20) and just “calculated a percent.” That’s what makes the majority of GMAT percent problems tricky – they require an attention to detail, to precision in wording, for examinees to ensure that the (generally pretty darned easy) percent calculations are taking the percent of the proper value.

They’re logic puzzles that require a bit of of arithmetic, not simple arithmetic problems that just test your ability to divide by 10 absent critical thought. So as you approach GMAT percent problems, remember that the math should be the easy part. GMAT percent problems are often more about reading comprehension and logic than they are about multiplication and division.

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 and Google+, and Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

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Complicated GMAT Work-Rate Questions Made Easy! [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Complicated GMAT Work-Rate Questions Made Easy!
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Today, we will take up a gem of a work-rate question from our own curriculum. Its basics lie in a post on joint variation that we discussed many weeks ago. Here is a quick recap of the actual methodology:

If 10 workers complete a work in 5 days working 8 hours a day, how much work will be done by 6 workers in 10 days working 2 hours a day?

Here is what it looks like:

 

10 workers……………..5 days …………….. 8 hours ……………1 work

6 workers………………10 days …………… 2 hours …………… ? work

We need to find the amount of work done, so we start with the work done in the first case and then multiply it by the respective ratios:

Work done = 1 * (6/10) * (10/5) * (2/8) = 3/10

We multiply by 6/10 because number of men decreases from 10 to 6. The work done will reduce, so we multiply by 6/10 (the fraction less than 1).

We also multiply by 10/5 because number of days increases from 5 to 10. Because of this, the work done will increase, so we multiply by 10/5 (the fraction more than 1).

We also multiply by 2/8 because number of hours decreases from 8 to 2. Because of this, the work done will decrease, hence, we multiply by 2/8 (the fraction less than 1).

So the process is super simple – start with what you need to find out, say x, and multiply it by the ratio of each thing that changes from A to B. Whether you multiply by A/B or B/A depends on whether with this change increases or reduces x. If x increases, you will multiply by the fraction that is greater than 1, however if x decreases, you will multiply by the fraction that is less than 1.

On this same concept, let’s look at the question:

16 horses can haul a load of lumber in 24 minutes. 12 horses started hauling a load and after 14 minutes, 12 mules joined the horses. Will it take less than a quarter-hour for all of them together to finish hauling the load?

Statement 1: Mules work more slowly than horses.

Statement 2: 48 mules can haul the same load of lumber in 16 minutes.

Let’s see what data we have in the question stem:

16 horses …….. 24 mins ………. 1 work

12 horses …….. 14 mins ………. ? work

Work done = 1*(14/24)*(12/16) = (7/16)th of the work

We multiply by 14/24 because if the time taken to do the work decreases, the work done will also decrease. 14/24 is less than 1 so it will decrease the work done.

We also multiply by 12/16 because if the number of horses decreases, the work done will also decrease. 12/16 is less than 1 so it will decrease the work done.

All in all, we now know that 12 horses complete 7/16th of the work in 14 mins. So there is still 1 – 7/16 = 9/16 of the work left to do.

Now let’s review the two statements.

Statement 1: Mules work more slowly than horses.

This statement doesn’t give us any figures, so how can we analyse it mathematically? What we can do is find the range in which the time taken by all the horses and mules together will lie according to this statement.

Case 1: When mules work at a rate that is infinitesimally smaller than the rate of horses.

In this case, 12 mules are equivalent to 12 horses. So we have a total of 12 + 12 = 24 horses working together to complete (9/16)th of the work.

16 horses …….. 24 mins ………. 1 work

24 horses ……… ? mins ………. 9/16 work

Time taken = 24*(16/24)*(9/16) = 9 mins

Since the mules are slower than the horses, the time taken to complete the work will be more than 9 minutes. How much more than 9 minutes, we do not know. Now look at the flip side:

Case 2: When the mules work at a rate close to 0.

If the mules work slower, time taken will be more till the point when mules work so slowly that they do almost no work.

16 horses …….. 24 mins ………. 1 work

12 horses ……… ? mins ………. 9/16 work

Time taken = 24*(16/12)*(9/16) = 18 minutes

Therefore, depending on how fast/slow the mules are, the time taken to do the rest of the work could be anywhere from 9 minutes to 18 minutes. Therefore the time taken could be either less or more than 15 minutes – this statement alone is not sufficient.

Statement 2: 48 mules can haul the same load of lumber in 16 minutes.

We now know exactly how fast the mules are, so this must be sufficient to say whether the time taken to do the rest of the work was less or more than 15 minutes – we don’t need to actually find the time taken here – therefore, the answer is B, Statement 2 alone is sufficient.

However, if you would like to find out for practice, just find the equivalence between the horses and the mules first.

To haul the load in 16 minutes, we need 48 mules

To haul the load in 24 minutes, we need 48 * (16/24) = 32 mules

So 32 mules are equivalent to 16 horses (because 16 horses haul the load in 24 minutes). This means that 2 mules are equivalent to 1 horse, and 12 mules are, therefore, equivalent to 6 horses.

So now, in effect we have a total of 12 + 6 = 18 horses, and the situation now becomes this:

16 horses …….. 24 mins ………. 1 work

18 horses ……… ? mins ………. 9/16 work

Time taken = 24*(16/18)*(9/16) = 12 minute – less than a quarter-hour to finish the work.

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 and 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!

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How to Network Properly to Help Get You Into Business School [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2015, 14:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How to Network Properly to Help Get You Into Business School
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Every touchpoint in the MBA application process can have an impact on a candidate’s results. Leveraging interpersonal relationships or outreach for access, awareness and information is a great way to improve your chances at gaining admission.

Taking advantage of the various touchpoints during business school application season – such as information sessions, open houses, and school visits – is a value-added strategy. The key with all of these interactions is to go beyond the typical levels of engagement and work towards cultivating a real relationship with the relevant party. Let’s explore a few different stakeholders that could help you improve your odds of admission into your dream school:

Admissions:

Developing a relationship with a representative from admissions is a great way to secure some valuable information about the application process – this information can help you optimize your application when it comes time to pull together your package for submission. Alternatively, developing a relationship with members of the admissions team that you may have met can help you secure a valuable advocate among the decision makers during the review period. Creating an honest and open dialogue about your interest in the program is key to making this happen. Patience is paramount – types of relationship do not appear over night so try and bridge the gap with admissions as early in your admissions journey as possible.

Current Students:

Always a good source of info, as they have already achieved exactly what you are striving to do – lean on them for their knowledge. Current students can also provide the most current references to life on-campus, so make sure you leverage these conversations to inform the content and reference points utilized in your essays and interviews. Also, in some instances the admissions team will connect with current students on their feelings on an applicant. This usually stems from on-campus events where admissions is able to track prospective applicants and current students who have attended the event.

Alumni:

Networking with alumni is often the easiest of the stakeholders to gain access to. Depending on your location and the size of the school’s network, many alumni can even be found right in the corporate directory of your current employer. Leveraging friends and other members of your personal network to connect you with graduates of your school of interest is another strategy that can help you source this network. Alumni often remain big program cheerleaders years after leaving campus and can add tons of value by providing insight into the culture of the program. Depending on the nature of your relationship with the alumni they are often very helpful when it comes to essay reviews as well.

Make the most of your personal and professional relationships during MBA application season and add an insider’s perspective to your application.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on 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 of his articles here.

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Get Ahead: Steps to Success for Early College Applications [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2015, 12:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Get Ahead: Steps to Success for Early College Applications
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Students around the country are jumping into the college application process – selecting schools, writing essays and requesting letters of recommendation. There are many steps involved, and the entire process gets condensed into an even shorter timeframe when you plan to submit early applications.

If you plan on applying to any schools for early deadlines, keep reading for some helpful information and tips for success! First, there are two different kinds of early applications:

Early Decision

  • This is a binding application, which means that if you are accepted, you are obligated to enroll there for your freshman year.
  • You can only apply to one school under an Early Decision deadline.
  • You may apply to additional schools, but if you are accepted to a school through Early Decision, you should withdraw your applications to other schools.
  • A great choice for students who have a clear choice for their top school and want to find out sooner than later if they are admitted.
Early Action

  • You can apply to more than one school through Early Action.
  • This is not a binding application, which means that if you are admitted, you can choose to accept or deny the offer.
  • A great choice for students who want to indicate to a few different schools that they are his/her top choice, but don’t want to commit to an Early Decision application at just one school.
Now that we’ve gone over the types of early applications, let’s dive into some steps to success for submitting early applications.

  • Do your research & finalize your college list. First things, first. You should finalize your list of top choice schools and do some research to find out which schools accept early applications. Then, you need to dig deeper. Go on a college tour if you are able and haven’t already! Learn as much as you can about each of your top schools. If you are submitting early applications, it means you really want to attend that school, so do your due diligence to determine if each of your top schools are places you can truly see yourself next year.

[*]Make a plan. This is a tedious, but necessary step. Take a look at the early applications you are submitting and all of the required elements for each application. Make a plan for tackling these applications so that you aren’t crunched for time a week before the deadline.[/list]

[*]Get moving! It’s time to make things happen! Since you are going to be on a tighter timeframe than regular deadlines, you should start moving down your checklist with vigor! Reach out to the people who you’d like to write your recommendations and get them started on that process. Make sure you’ve built a good relationship with the college counseling department at school so you have no trouble obtaining official transcripts. Double-check to make sure that all of your test scores have been submitted to your top schools.[/list]
Good luck!

Need help prepping your early college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Laura Smith is Program Manager of Admissions Consulting at Veritas Prep. Laura received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, followed by a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA.

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How to Solve Tough GMAT Quant Problems by Blending Strategies [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2015, 15:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: How to Solve Tough GMAT Quant Problems by Blending Strategies
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I wrote a post a few weeks ago in which I discussed the importance of blending strategies on certain questions. It’s a mistake to pigeonhole a complex problem as one in which a single tool will be most effective. By test day you will have cultivated a veritable Swiss army knife of strategies and you want to be able to switch from one to another seamlessly.

This philosophy came to mind the other day when a student sent me the following official problem:

For a certain art exhibit, a museum sold admission tickets to a group of 30 people every 5 minutes from 9:00 in the morning to 5:55 in the afternoon, inclusive. The price of a regular admission ticket was $10 and the price of a student ticket was $6. If on one day 3 times as man regular admissions tickets were sold as student tickets, was the total revenue from ticket sales that day?

A) 24,960

B) 25,920

C) 28,080

D) 28,500

E) 29,160

Oh boy. There’s a lot going on here. So let’s start by simply finding the total number of tickets sold. We know that every 5 minutes, 30 tickets are sold. We know that there are twelve 5-minute increments each hour, so 12*30 = 360 tickets are sold each hour. We see that the museum will be open for a total of 9 hours, so a total of 9*360 = 3240 tickets are sold during that time.

We’ve got two different kinds of tickets – general and student. The general tickets were $10 and the student tickets were $6. And we know that 3 times as many general tickets were sold as student tickets. So the tickets were overwhelmingly for general admission. If they were all for general admissions tickets, we know that the revenue would have been 3240*10 = 32,400. Because 25% of the tickets were sold for $6, we know that the correct answer will be a bit below this value. If we were short on time, E would be a pretty reasonable guess.

But say we’ve achieved a level of mastery where we don’t need to guess. Hopefully, you recognized that if the ratio of general tickets to student tickets is 3:1, we’re dealing with a kind of weighted average, meaning we can use a number line to find the average overall ticket price, which will be much closer to $10 than to $6. So we know the average price is greater than $8, as this would be the average price if the same number of both kinds of tickets were sold. What about $9? On the number line, we’ll have the following: 6——–9—-10.

9 is three units away from 6 and one unit away from 10, thus yielding our desired 3:1 ratio. Now we know that the average price is $9 per ticket.

So all we have to do is calculate 3240 * 9, as 3240 tickets were sold for an average of $9 each, and we have our answer. That math isn’t too bad, but we can incorporate a couple more useful strategies to save some time. We know that 3000*9 = 27,000, so clearly 3240*9 is greater than 27,000. Now we can eliminate A and B from contention.  Next, we can see that going from right to left, the first non-zero digit of 3240*9 will be 6, as 4*9 = 36. Among C, D, and E, the only answer choice that has a 6 in the tens place is E, which is our answer.

Takeaway: In a single question, we ended up doing a bit of estimation, using the answer choices, employing some rudimentary logic, and using the number line to simplify a weighted average. Just as important as what we did do, is what we avoided doing – a lot of grinding calculation.

We cannot emphasize this enough: the Quant section is not a math test. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate fluid thinking under pressure. So when you’re doing practice questions, work on employing every tool in your Swiss army knife of strategies. By the day of the test, the more fluidly you can switch from one tool to another, the better you’ll be able to handle even the most challenging problems.

*GMATPrep question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here.

The post How to Solve Tough GMAT Quant Problems by Blending Strategies appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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Business Schools Expanding Opportunities for Women [#permalink]

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New post 27 Oct 2015, 18:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Business Schools Expanding Opportunities for Women
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Leadership of the business world and business schools came together at the White House in August to address the need for policies and programs that work to create opportunities for women and work better for families as a whole. From this meeting, an outline of the best practices discussed emerged to guide business schools in better meeting both current and future needs of students.

 

 

Four key areas are addressed by the agreed-upon plan:

1) To ensure access to business schools and careers for females

2) To create an educational experience to prepare female students to enter the modern and future workplaces as leaders and achievers

3) To create and maintain career services which go beyond traditional student services and schooling

4) To create examples of how organizations should utilize educational opportunities for women

In response, several schools announced actions they will undertake to further these goals. For example, Columbia Business School announced they will demonstrate their commitment through specific actions such as:

  • Faculty Research and Leadership on the State of Diversity in Business – Conducting cutting-edge research on gender equality and its implications on business.
  • Community Support from the Ground Up – Support for various student groups focused on diversity
  • Being Part of A Culture-Changing Network – Partnering with equality group such as Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Initiative
Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School said, “Columbia Business School has long believed that empowering women to reach their full professional potential will create tremendous value for the global economy and society at large. Stemming from this belief, we are excited to work with the White House to expand opportunities for women in the 21st century executive workforce.”

This increased focus on women in business school is no surprise as more and more companies are looking to further diversify their workforce and expecting business schools to offer them a more diverse talent pool. What does this mean for applicants? Well, female applicants should definitely consider applying early and often to schools. You should also expect more scholarship dollars to be available.

Don’t forget to also search for scholarships from outside the schools – while non-profits typically are the best source, don’t be surprised to see more companies trying to fund students’ scholarships. Many companies want to get in early on recruiting diverse talent and will provide more than just dollars, but also mentoring, training and early access to interviews.

As a female student, when you are at business school, also expect to see even more demand from recruiters than usual. Companies have typically held special programs targeted to recruiting female candidates. For example, consulting firms often will have special lunches and case prep workshops for women. Imagine getting the chance to learn from the pros all the inside secrets to cracking those really tough case interview. Make sure to take advantage of these! They will definitely give you a leg up in the interview process.

The AACSB International announced the publishing of these best practices on their website. The AACSB is the accrediting body of over 700 institutions and has a membership of over 1,450 business schools worldwide.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

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Does the GMAT Even Really Measure Anything? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2015, 16:00
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Does the GMAT Even Really Measure Anything?
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At some point, in pretty much every class I teach, a student will ask me what the GMAT really measures. The tone of the question invariably suggests that the student doesn’t believe that the test accurately assesses anything of real significance, that the frustrations and anxieties we endure when preparing for the exam are little more than a form of admissions sadism.

When it comes to standardized testing, a certain amount of cynicism is understandable – if person A has a better grasp on the fundamentals of geometry and algebra than person B, why on earth would we conclude on that basis that person A will be more likely to have a successful career in a field totally unrelated to geometry and algebra?

Of course, I have my stock answer: the test is designed to reward flexible thinking, to provide feedback on our ability to make good decisions under pressure. And though I do believe this, I’m also well aware that tests have their limitations. There are many incredibly talented and intelligent people who struggle in the artificial conditions of a testing environment, and no 3.5 hour exam will be able to fully capture an individual’s potential. At some level, we all know this. It’s why the admissions process is holistic. Still, your GMAT score is important, so I thought it worthwhile to do a bit of research about what the data says regarding how well the test predicts future success.

In 2005, GMAC issued a report in which it examined data from 1997-2004 about the correlation between GMAT scores and graduate school grades. The report summarizes a regression analysis in which researchers generated what they term a “validity coefficient.” A coefficient of “1” would mean that the correlation between the GMAT and graduate school grades was perfect – the two variables would move in lockstep. According to this report, any coefficient between .3 and .4 is considered useful for admissions.

The GMAT’s validity coefficient came out to .459, suggesting that the test does, in fact, have some predictive value, and this predictive value seems to be superior to other variables that admissions committees consider. The validity coefficient for undergraduate grades, for example, was .283. (And when the variables are combined, the validity coefficient is higher any individual coefficient.) So is that the end of the story? Can I rebuff my students’ complaints about standardized testing by sending them an abstract of this report? It’s not quite that simple.

In the conclusion section of the paper, we’re offered the following: “When examining the validity data in this study, one should recognize that there is a great deal of variability across programs and that the relative importance for each of the investigated variables differs for each program. This is to be expected.”

So one interpretation of the data is that the GMAT does a pretty good job of predicting how well students will do in their MBA programs. But if you’ve been studying for the GMAT for any length of time, hopefully your “correlation is not causation” reflex was triggered. What if students with higher GMAT scores attend more selective schools and then it turns out that those selective schools have more lenient grading policies because they figure that the necessary vetting has already been performed? In this case, the correlation between GMAT score and grades wouldn’t be shedding much light on how well the test-takers would perform academically, but rather, would be providing information about what kinds of programs test-takers would eventually attend.

Moreover, one could argue that looking at the correlation between GMAT scores and grad school grades is of limited usefulness. Schools no doubt hope their students do well in their classes, but it stands to reason that admissions decisions are also informed by predictions about what prospective students can contribute to the school’s community, as well as what kind of future career success these students can expect after they graduate. What, then, is the correlation between graduate grades and career success beyond the classroom? And how would we even begin to measure or define “success”? These are complex questions with no good answer.

Furthermore, while the paper appeared statistically rigorous to me, amateur that I am, we still have to consider that it was commissioned by GMAC, the company that administers the test, so there is a conflict of interest to bear in mind.  A recent article by the Journal of Education for Business questioned the results of the earlier research and insisted that the section of the GMAT that best predicted conventional managerial qualities, such as leadership initiative and communication skill, was the Analytical Writing section, the component of the test that admissions committees care about least and that had the lowest validity coefficient, according to the earlier paper.

Needless to say, though I found these papers interesting, they provided me with no definitive answers to offer my students when they ask about what the GMAT really measures. And, paradoxically enough, this is something we should find encouraging. If the GMAT were measuring any kind of fixed inherent quality, there’d be little point in prepping for the test. But if the test requires a unique skillset, that skillset can be mastered, irrespective of how directly applicable that skillset will be to future endeavors. Pragmatically speaking, the thing that matters most is that admissions committees do care about the GMAT score. So my ultimate message to my students is this: stop worrying about what the GMAT measures, and instead, harness that energy to focus on what you need to do to maximize your score.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here.

The post Does the GMAT Even Really Measure Anything? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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SAT Tip of the Week: Learn to Read Again [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2015, 16:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: Learn to Read Again
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I loved to read as a kid.  Getting lost in great book that took me to another world or time was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Do you remember the first book you ever read? Maybe it rhymed and had to do with pork products dyed a crazy shade of green? Unfortunately, as you get older and have to read certain books because they’re required, as opposed to you choosing them, it can suck a little bit of the fun out of it. When it comes to the SAT, you’ve probably noticed that the selected passages are about less than exciting and stimulating. Let’s take a look at a few tips to make getting through reading passages a little easier:

1) Prepare for Blah Blah Blah.

Let’s face it, if all reading passages read like Harry Potter, chances are you might not have the challenges you do with passages on 17th century Victorian governesses or what it’s like to be a warden in an 18th century military hospital. How can you prepare yourself for passages that would make you choose to watch paint dry?

Start by forcing yourself to read articles on topics that aren’t necessarily of interest. Not a sports fan? Try essays on the “moneyball” trend of using statistics in baseball. Not an economics fan? Pick up The Economist and learn about other global economies, trends and challenges. Your end goal isn’t necessarily to be an expert on the future growth potential of Philippines, but being able to skim and article and know that the country’s GDP has steadily grown in recent years, it’s the world’s largest producer of coconuts and pineapples and one of the United Kingdom’s largest trading partners might all be strong evidence that could come in handy as you’re tackling questions.

2) Read like you’re reading your Twitter feed, not instructions on how to win backstage passes to meet One Direction.

Granted, not every passage is going to be able to be summarized in fewer than 140 characters, but it’s important to do an initial read that allows you to recognize transitions, recognize scope, tone and purpose. If speed reading isn’t a strength, practice and improve your technique as you’re reading less-than-scintillating passages (per Tip #1).  As you’re speed reading, you’ll be processing multiple words at a time as opposed to reading each word individually.

Think about your Facebook feed. You can likely skim your news feed and get a good idea about what your friends are up to in under a minute, but if a particular post or photo catches your eye, you might stop and read it more carefully and comment.  That’s the difference between speed and active reading.

3) Know your question types & strengths.

The good news about reading passages is you get all the questions at once, and each question is weighted equally. Whether you read the passage before the questions or skim the questions before foraging for answers, the questions aren’t changing. There will be some that ask you about specific line references or meanings of words in context. These are typically easier (and quicker) to answer. There will be questions that test your recollection and comprehension of information that is directly stated as well as questions that ask you identify cause and effect or draw conclusions. These questions are often a little more involved.

However, since each question is weighted equally, play to your strengths and tackle the questions that are easier first (usually those line reference or vocab based questions). Save the more involved question for the end.  The more you familiarize yourself with how these questions are structured and some general strategies, the better equipped you’ll be to actively read and know where to look in the passage for evidence.

Take some time to now to strengthen your reading speed and ability to prioritize, and remember to treat SAT reading passages differently from your leisure reading.  A little extra attention before test day will pay dividends in the future.

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Joanna Graham

The post SAT Tip of the Week: Learn to Read Again appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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3 Ways to Stay Out of Trouble Your Freshman Year of College [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2015, 08:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 3 Ways to Stay Out of Trouble Your Freshman Year of College
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Freshman year of college is an entirely new experience, one replete with many highs and many lows. One of these lows is a new form of peer pressure that may be a little different than what one experienced in high school. For the first time in many people’s lives, they are on their own. This independence comes with a lot of benefits, but can also be potentially detrimental if not balanced well.

One of the virtues of independence is not having to work on anyone else’s schedule, which for some freshmen can be a tricky thing to balance. With no one checking on your every move, it might be easy to slip into a pattern of skipping classes, staying out late, and not doing the work you should. One reason a lot of these things happen is that friends and other external influences might try to convince you to engage in certain activities that might not be in your best interest. While some of these things might seem fun in the short term, the novelty will soon wear off and your academic well-being will suffer.

To avoid falling into this common situation freshman year, here are some wise moves to make.

1. Pick friends with similar interests

Try to find a group that has commonalities with yourself. Whether that is studying, sports, or anything else if you feel you share a common bond. Feeling like you “belong” is a great way to get acclimated to college. If you feel an urge to change your behavior or alter how you speak to fit in, that setting probably is not conducive to your success or well-being in college.

Additionally, if you find a group that cares about you, they won’t want to see you struggle or fail, which means that they will be completely understanding if you have to turn in early or not go out one night to prep for a big test.

2. Stay in some nights

In college there is something going on every night. While at first it might feel fun to try and experience it all, this can be overwhelming and actually diminish the enjoyment you get from each individual outing. If something that is normally exciting becomes routine, it can very easily lose its appeal. Additionally, if you are out every night it is very hard to excel in school and really succeed in a learning environment.

One way to cope with the constant pressure from friends and the atmosphere to go out is to designate certain nights as stay in nights. No matter what is going on, you have a deal with yourself to stay in and possibly get to bed early or catch up on some work. This enables you to keep a schedule and a good balance between school and fun, making each night you do go out that much better because it feels rewarding.

3. Get involved on campus

If you find something that you are passionate about that will keep you busy, you will most likely stay out of trouble. If it is an activity or sport, often your focus will motivate you to stay away from partying too hard so that your performance doesn’t suffer. Similarly with clubs that are more academic based, you will want to be rested and have a sharp mind to be part of the team or show your leadership. Getting involved on campus is a great way to stay busy and avoid peer pressures of your first year.

College is an incredible amount of fun, it is just about making sure you can temper the balance between all of the different pressures, and making sure that other people don’t run your own college experience.

Are you uncertain about your college application? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Jake Davidson is a Mork Family Scholar at USC and enjoys writing for the school paper as well as participating in various clubs. He has been tutoring privately since the age of 15 and is incredibly excited to help students succeed on the SAT.

 

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Breaking Down the UCLA Extension Program [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Breaking Down the UCLA Extension Program
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A new resource has recently gained prominence in the business school application process amongst enterprising MBA candidates. With candidates always looking for an edge during application season, the UCLA Extension has provided a nice option for students looking to improve their chances of admission.

So what is the UCLA Extension, you ask? Well, the UCLA Extension is a continuing education program that allows interested students to take an array of courses online or in-person. This program is specifically designed with distance learners, working adults, and other non-traditional learning arrangements in mind. For many business school applicants, the UCLA Extension offering represents the perfect resource to address concerns within their candidate profile.

UCLA Extension courses can be used in a few different cases for applicants, including to address a low GPA, prove the student’s ability to handle analytical coursework, correct any transcript outliers, or just prepare the student for the rigor of the MBA core curriculum.

Now that the offering and reasons for utilizing the UCLA Extension are clear, let’s discuss some of the best courses to consider. With hundreds of online courses offered via the program, interested candidates should not have a hard time finding some to take. The convenience of these online classes will allow many students to simultaneously complete their application while taking targeted coursework in an area of need.

All of your favorite business classes are here, but interested candidates should focus on the more analytical classes offered through the UCLA Extension. I would suggest classes such as Managerial Accounting, Basic Managerial Finance, Introduction to Statistics and Quantitative Methods, and Principles of Micro/Macroeconomics as good places to start. Generally the classes commonly described as “soft skills” are better left for the traditional classroom environment, and not to showcase your pre-MBA academic aptitude.

UCLA’s Extension Program is not the only academic program that offers this type of coursework, so make sure to conduct an exhaustive search to identify the program that makes the most sense for you and your application needs.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on 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 of his articles here.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Trick or Treat [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2015, 15:01
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Trick or Treat
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One of the most dreaded things about the GMAT is the time-honored “Testmaker Trick” – the device that the GMAT question author uses to sucker you into a trap answer on a question. You’ve done all the math right, but forgot to consider negative numbers or submitted the answer for x when the question really asks for y. The “Testmaker Tricks” are enough to make you resent the test and to see it in a derogatory light. This is a grad school test, not Simon Says! Why should it matter that Simon didn’t say “positive”?

But as we head into Halloween weekend, it’s an appropriate time for you to think back to the phrase that earned you pounds and pounds of candy (and maybe tons if you followed Jim Harbaugh’s double-costume strategy): Trick or Treat.

In a GMAT context, that means that on these challenging questions, what tricks one examinee is the “treat” or reward for those who buy into the critical thinking mindset that the GMAT is set up to reward. The GMAT testmakers themselves are defensive about the idea of the “trap” answer, preferring to see it as a reward system; the intent isn’t to “trick” people as much as it is to “treat” higher-order thinking and critical reasoning. Consider the Data Sufficiency example:

Is x > 3z?

(1) x/z > 3

(2) z > 0

Here the “trick” that the testmaker employs is that of negative numbers. Many people will say that Statement 1 is sufficient (just multiply both sides by z and Statement 1 directly answers the questions, x > 3z), but it’s important to remember that z could be negative, and if it were negative you’d have to flip the sign, as you do in an inequality problem when you multiply or divide by a negative. In that case x < 3z and the answer is an emphatic no.

Now, those test takers who lament the trick after getting it wrong are somewhat justified in their complaint that “you forgot about negatives!” is a pretty cheap trick. But that’s not the entire question: Statement 2 exists, too, and it’s a total throwaway when you consider it alone. Why is it there? It’s there to “treat” those who are able to leverage that hint: why would it matter if z is greater than 0? That statement provides a very important clue as to how you should have been thinking when you looked at Statement 1.

If your initial read of Statement 1 – under timed pressure in the middle of a test, mind you – had you doing that quick algebra and making the mistake of saying that it’s sufficient, that’s understandable. But if you blew right past the clear hint in the second statement, you missed a very important opportunity to seize the treat. To some degree this problem is about the math, but the GMAT often adds that larger degree of leveraging hints – after all, much of business success comes down to your ability to find an asset that others have overlooked, or to get more value out of an asset than anyone else could.

So as you study for the GMAT, keep that Halloween spirit close by. When you miss a problem because of a dirty “trick,” take a second to also go back and see if you missed a potential treat – a reward that the GMAT was dangling just out of reach so that only the most critical thinkers could find it and take advantage. GMAT problems aren’t all ghosts, goblins, and ghouls out to frighten and trick you; often they include very friendly pieces of information just disguised or camouflaged enough that you have to train yourself to spot the treat.

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 and Google+, and Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

The post GMAT Tip of the Week: Trick or Treat appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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