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Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs

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MBA Blogger
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Joined: 09 Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Concentration: Finance, Healthcare
GMAT Date: 08-09-2014
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New post 23 Aug 2014, 13:00
FROM TexasWannaBeCali: The Results are In
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First of all, I want to thank everyone that took the time to wish me luck on the GMAT today! Pulling That MBA Trigger, Top Dog MBA, Naija MBA Gal, MBA on my Mind, SciMBAGNPTH, and The MBA Journey. You guys don’t even realize how special all your posts and comments made me feel, y’all rock!!

I ended up scoring a 680 today (45Q, 38V). Not quite as high as expected, but my optimism that I can do better the next time around is slightly outweighing my disappointment. Sorry for the football analogy I’m about to make to all of you non football fans, but in taking the GMAT exam day, I felt like a rookie drafted in the 1st round playing in their first regular season NFL game. 1st round because I know that I’m not only qualified to take this exam but also have the ability to achieve a high score, but a rookie, a first timer, nonetheless. No matter how well you know the playbook, how hard you practice in training camp or how great you play during the preseason scrimmage games, there’s nothing like playing in a real game for the very first time, just like being able to regurgitate every quant formula and SC rule, studying every waking moment, and acing the mock exams, is in no comparison to the experience of going against the GMAT itself, decked out in a helmet and pads, running at you full speed when it really counts.

My achilles heel was exactly what I knew it would be, what I told myself on the drive to the testing center not to let happen, what ultimately did happen on BOTH sections, I FREAKING RAN OUT OF TIME! *facepalm* I’m a terrible guesser so I’m pretty sure in my mad dash to just finish, I for sure got every single question wrong.

As I am determined to apply to programs this Fall and want to submit the strongest profile possible, I plan on retaking the exam within the next 1-2 months to get that 720. I know I have quite the uphill battle, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes. It’s crazy just how much clearer my mind is now that I have taken the exam. Maybe it’s false confidence, but I know what areas I struggled in and how I can improve strategy wise, so hopefully a few more weeks of preparation will get me in the 700 club. As an underrepresented minority, I know a 680 would probably be an adequate score to get me into most of my program choices, but because I’m also a young applicant, I feel like I need a high GMAT score to prove I should be accepted now rather than later.

This time today, I thought I would be gearing up for the next step of the application process with maybe only spending Saturdays in the library essay writing, but at least having Sundays of NFL Football to look for to, but as we all know, plans don’t always go accordingly. No worries, Sundays will still be football day, I can’t give that up for anything, but I will definitely have to schedule out a solid plan to juggle a crazy Q4 to meet expectations at work, commitments with my volunteer projects, attending information sessions, GMAT studying, and of course updating this oh so wonderful blog.

And for any of you just starting out, I have listed the important things I’ve learned from my GMAT studying thus far. If I’ve even helped one person see things a bit more clearly, I have done well.

1. Timing is key

This was probably my biggest mistake, I waited really late in the game to start making sure I could solve most problems in the given time constraint. This will HAVE to be improved.

2. Learn what works for you

I absolutely love reading the Share GMAT Experience forum on GMAT Club. I’ve found alot of the tricks and tips that people used to get those top scores very helpful, but make sure you remember that everyone is different, and you must assess your own personal strengths and weaknesses in order to score high as well. Some people are just naturally gifted and need only a few materials for prep, and some people may be weak in a subject that you are not or vice versa. Definitely read advice from others, but never take it as the end all be all.

3. You will spend a good amount of money

This might not apply to everyone, but for me, I know I spent alot of money on not just paying for the exam, but also in all my prep materials, and probably a lack of research of my own fault on what I should be using that led to overbuying. I tend to operate under the assumption that I have an endless supply of money in my bank account, so I never really plan out things before I buy them, I just spend and hope for the best. Now don’t get me wrong, most of the materials I purchased definitely helped me in one way or another, but I probably could’ve gone with less options if I knew what I know now, then.

4. Stay organized

Kind of going along with the previous bullet point, I was very disorganized in my studying. What I thought was a good plan, really was just a big mess. I would set a schedule but never follow it, had spreadsheets and notes and scratch work everywhere. The key to staying organized for me was using online question banks. I used Magoosh for a majority of my studying, which I loved because not only did they have video explanations for each problem, but I could also track what questions I missed, how long I took to complete, difficulty level and the subject material it covered all in one place. When the time came to start assessing my weakness, this was a tremendous help. My work in the OG books on the other hand, while I loved how they were accurate representations of what questions on the GMAT would be like, I failed at keeping my error log filled out and organized and never really went back to review the ones I missed.

5. Quality over Quantity

I’ve been studying since the middle of May for the GMAT. I know so embarrassing. But I probably didn’t really start effectively studying until the middle of July. I mean, I was definitely “studying” for hours in the library before then, but I can honestly say that comparing my productivity from study sessions back then to now, there is a world of difference. Practicing 1000s of problems does not make you any more prepared for the test than practicing 200 problems and using the rest of the time to make sure you understand not only what you’re doing, but also why.

6. I’ve gained some serious face fat.

Like OMG no kidding you guys. When  I selected “yes” to take the first optional break after IR and my photo popped up on the screen, I was scared by what I saw, the straight on headshot of my face with incriminating evidence of one too many twizzlers during GMAT studying. YIKES!!

I apologize for the lengthy post. Definitely was not my intention, my fingers just can’t stop typing sometimes. But I’m off to give my brain a much needed rest. I’ll be at the pool tomorrow for the first time since beginning of July.. woohoo.. so my plan is to resume studying after the Labor Day weekend. I need some me time, before I can dive back into all that again. My apartment needs to be cleaned badly, errands I’ve been neglecting need to be ran, and shopping needs to be done. And if any readers out there have been successful retakers, would love to hear from you!! Damn GMAT… when will you stop consuming my life.

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MBA Blogger
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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
Posts: 0
Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 12-30-2014
GPA: 3.03
WE: Marketing (Other)
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New post 24 Aug 2014, 03:29
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FROM MBA on my Mind: July has slipped by and how?
 

July hasn’t been particularly productive for me. I had a ton of stuff planned and I managed to do only 60%, which means the unfinished business is going to spill over to August. I REALLY need to step on it! GMAT preparation is going so-so, had a 2 week pause in the prep, though (Which I know I am going to pay for). Oh and I might have a suicidal streak in me because, looks like I will have to schedule my GMAT for the 24th of September, which incidentally coincides with my Kellogg Round 1 deadline! What’s an admission season without some drama eh? I have a plan though. Wish me luck, Guys?

I have frozen on my two recommenders. Recommender number 1, the Ex-CEO of my previous company. I spoke to him last week and he was on board. He didn’t flinch when I told him there’d be 6 – 7 schools! I am so grateful, because he is a super busy person. Recommender number 2, the COO of my company. Well, after my Mum and Dad, he is my biggest mentor and cheerleader. It is soo reassuring and humbling, when you have people you’ve worked with rooting for you. You stop being super critical of your self and think, okay maybe, I won’t suck so much at business school and that MAYBE I will bring something valuable to the table.

On to the realm of essay strategies. I have taken Koodzi’s advice and always carry a ‘Black book of Essay Ideas’ on my person. It has been so helpful, especially for me, inspiration has this uncanny ability of striking at odd times. So, yes I have some good stories to work with. I start my sessions with the admission consultant from the 5th of August, I will keep you guys posted on how that progresses.

So, I have done some research and some heavy, heavy reflection and have decided to add Texas ( McCombs) to my school mix to offset the removal of either Cornell or Haas (Or both). Haas, like Stanford is a long shot for me and their low acceptance rates is really terrifying. Cornell, I haven’t really dug too much into. I want to make an informed decision, so I will have a chat with my admissions consultant and do some serious research! More on my final decision in the next post!

Your thoughts, guys?

 

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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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Joined: 24 Nov 2013
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Location: India
Concentration: Marketing, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 12-30-2014
GPA: 3.03
WE: Marketing (Other)
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New post 24 Aug 2014, 03:29
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FROM MBA on my Mind: A brief intermission & a B School Tally Entry
It is great to be back to the blogosphere, I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms. But things are quite lull ‘ed’ out here at the moment, aren’t they? I am sure everyone is working their butt off on GMAT prep and their applications.

A lot has happened since my last post. Exciting stuff, for the most part ! Work-wise things have been cra-aa-zzy (the good kinda crazy), our business so far has been bootstrapped, but with rapid expansion on the cards, the hunt for other avenues of funding has become imperative . So, over the past couple of months we’ve approached various angel investors to pitch our idea. A couple of leads went through to the second round of discussions, so my life of late, has become a frenzy of financials, business models and investor pitch presentations. It’s amazing how this experience has stretched my mind and given me feedback on the skills I need to hone, at business school of course. Great bits of content to inject into my essays.

Speaking of essays, I have started out with my admissions consultant. My immediate, Short-term and Long-term MBA goals have crystalized into something concrete, waiting to hear comments on that, at the same time I have gotten a couple of success, leadership and ‘why MBA now’ accounts to work with.

The GMAT prep is going full swing. I will have a post specifically on my preparation strategy and material in another post. You won’t believe what’s keeping me motivated, it’s Facebook feeds and Instagrams from all my target schools. The class of 2016 is having it’s orientation and the social media is flooded with pictures of clam bakes (that’s right, a clambake dinner on the frickin’ beach – Yale SOM), barbecues, mock classes (Ross) and meets . I WANT to be doing those things next fall! LET’S DO THIS!

So, My business school Tally board is about 90% done with the completion of the ‘ROSS’ section. Michigan Ross is a school I connected with way back in November, 2013. Extremely friendly current students, they went out of their way to answer all my questions thoroughly. A fantastic school, Marketing and Social Enterprise have a special focus. My experience in the past few months with prepping for discussions and meetings with Angel Investors and VC’s has been an eye opener and has left me with a yearning  for an understanding of the dynamics of social Impact funding, I have been consciously looking for a ‘VC and Social Impact funding exposure’ feature in my target schools, – Kellogg, Stanford and Ross tick that box for me!

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Ross on the B school Tally Board. I am loving their new & improved website.                                                    http://michiganross.umich.edu/

Grantmeadmission and Texaswannabecali , guys CRUSH the GMAT ! Make me proud !! :D

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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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New post 24 Aug 2014, 09:53
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FROM Scott Duncan: Profile Building: How to Write Better Essays
Pictured above: My writing tools of the trade – Whiskey, pen and paper. Old school, I know.

Well, it’s certainly been a while since I’ve posted. Much like GrantMeAdmission, work for me has been crazy. The good news is I have been on vacation for the better part of a week and a half, albeit with very sporadic internet. Really puts a damper on blog posting…

In the past few weeks I have realized why I was so optimistic about the essay plan I posted a while back. Unlike many of you, I already have weeks of upfront work complete. In fact, since I applied last year, I actually feel well ahead of the essay game. I already know what I want the adcom to think about me, and I already have a plan to communicate these concepts through my essays.

However, last year I wasted a ton of time doing informal brainstorming (procrastinating) when what I really needed was a systematized approach to honing my message to the adcom. I thought that I would stumble upon my message through the process of writing the essays. This was a huge mistake. Your essays are a tool to deliver your message clearly and concisely, not the other way around.

Doing the hard work first will save you time in the long run, and will build a foundation for both your essays and interviews. However, it’s definitely not easy, and doing a deep, introspective dive into my career, my motivations for going to b-school, and my greatest successes and failures did not come naturally to me.

So grab a glass of whiskey/wine/beer/poison of choice and get ready to understand yourself.

THE PROCESS
There are a few overarching concepts that every aspiring applicant needs to communicate in their application. These include:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork
  • Sense of community/service
If you can think of any more, please let me know since I would love to keep this list fresh.

Your application is an exercise in marketing, and these concepts need to be demonstrated consistently throughout your application. So, wouldn’t it make sense to build the foundation of your application using these attributes?

Here’s what I did:

I made a table with four columns like the one below:

Attributes
Stories
Meaning
Essays

The leftmost column I labeled “Attributes.” This is where I listed out the various points or features I wanted to communicate in my essays. I started out by listing the concepts I listed above.

Attributes
Stories
Meaning
Essays

Leadership

Innovation

Teamwork

Etc…

I labeled the second column “Stories.” I thought back over the past few years and wrote down any stories that I could potentially tell that illustrated the attributes I listed in the step before. Anything goes – you can refine your stories later if some have more promise than the others so don’t limit yourself. You may be surprised to see what comes rushing back into your memory if you approach this exercise unconstrained. I came up with as many stories as I could for each attribute.

Attributes
Stories
Meaning
Essays

Leadership
Story showing leadership 1

Story showing leadership 2

Innovation
Innovation Story 1

Innovation Story 2

Innovation Story 3

Teamwork
Teamwork Story 1

Teamwork Story 2

Teamwork Story 3

Etc…






The third column I labeled “Meaning.” For every story, you now have to dig even deeper (uncomfortable, I know). Why is this important? What value does this add to your essay/entire application? Every story needs to earn its place in your application, so this needs to be powerful stuff in order to make the cut. Does this story line up with the message you are trying to drive home to the adcom?

Eventually you will find that some stories have more substance than others, but don’t skip this step unless the story shows absolutely no promise. Again, there is value in the process. In a way you are sifting through the stories of your life in search of a few nuggets of gold. These are the stories that will make it into your essays.

We’ll get to the last column in a minute…

Writing out the attributes/stories/meanings for each of the high-level concepts was only the first step. Think about all of the categories that business schools typically look into when you are applying. Strengths, weaknesses, successes, failures, leadership experiences, teamwork experiences, international experiences…this list goes on and on.

The next step is to write out a separate Attribute/Stories/Meaning table for each of these categories.

For example, take the “Strengths” category. In the Attributes column, list out every strength you think you have. Then, like before, list out stories that really illustrate those strengths. And finally, force yourself to explain on paper why this is important to communicate to the adcom, and how each story describes its respective attribute.

Again, don’t limit yourself. This is your brainstorming process, so if you can think of a different category from the ones I listed above, go for it and make an ASM table for it. And let me know what categories you come up with too.

Finally, it’s time to look at that last column. The last column is titled “Essays.” By now you should know what your essay topics are, and it is in this column that you list out which essays each story could potentially apply to. I used a short code for each essay: something like: Kellogg – Challenge or MIT – Self Rec. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just enough to note your thoughts down. As you are brainstorming stories, it may become obvious that some stories are a great fit for one of the essays you know you will be writing. If that’s the case, you may want to make a note in the essays column as you go along so that you don’t forget – you will be spending a lot of time on these tables!

That’s it! This is a simple process but it’s grueling. I spent about two weeks on this, revisiting the tables every day as I came up with more categories and attributes, and adding more stories to the list as they came to mind.

Now that I’m in the essay writing phase, I revisit my tables every time I write, which is at least once per day. I’m hoping that this keeps me on topic and allows me to deliver a very concise message this application year. I hope it can help you do the same, too.

What do you think? Too structured? Helpful? Let me know in the comments below:

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The post Profile Building: How to Write Better Essays appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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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New post 24 Aug 2014, 09:53
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FROM Scott Duncan: How to Help Your Recommenders Write Great Letters of Recommendation
Writing letters of recommendation is not easy. Anyone who has started their “Personal Recommendation” Essay for MIT Sloan should be well aware of this! Remember, yourrecommenders really do want to help you, and if you have chosen the right people they will feel a ton of pressure and ownership over the end result. They know how important this is for your future, and that they can have a significant impact on your application. Compound this with the fact that the Letters of Rec often ask deep, probing questions, and that each letter has to be tweaked for every school, and you can understand why this is such a difficult task (and why anyone who has agreed to write for you is doing you a huge favor). Wouldn’t you want to make this as easy as possible for them?

How I Briefed My Recommenders
I put a “Recommender Packet” together for each of my potential recommenders so that they would have something to refer to throughout the process and to keep them focused.

The “Thank You!” Page
This is what the first page looked like:

Thank You!
Dear [name], Thank you so much for agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for me. I greatly appreciate the time and effort you are putting into this. I put together some guidelines for you since I know that writing a letter like this is not exactly easy. I also hope that this will cut down on the total amount of time you have to spend writing. Your letter of recommendation is a very important part of my application. It is one of the few ways that the admissions board can gauge the character of the individual behind the application, instead of just relying on test scores, a resume, and a list of extracurricular activities. Your perspective will definitely add a lot of value. So thank you once again, you are doing me a huge favor! -Scott [Phone]

 

The “Big Picture” Page
On the second page, I listed my b-school thesis statement. It’s kind of like my elevator pitch – a concise statement of why I want a MBA, and how getting an MBA will help me achieve my goals. I also described in detail my overall strategy and some of the attributes that I wanted to express in my application: innovation, leadership, teamwork, hands-on product development experience etc. This was to help them understand the image of myself that I am trying to present to the Adcom. It’s worth noting that some of my recommenders are more well-versed in what B-Schools are looking for than others. With this in mind, for some of my recommenders I omitted the strategy section and description of the attributes that make up a good application.

The Brainstorming Worksheet
On the third page, I gave them a worksheet that outlined the same process that I posted before for brainstorming writing topics, with the personal attributes you want to communicate to the Adcom as the foundation. Some of your recommenders may request that you fill this sheet out yourself and provide them with examples of stories they could tell to back up any points they try to make in their letters. Mine recommenders did, and I’m providing them with ideas for stories that I know I will NOT be using in the rest of my app. I want to avoid overlap. In addition, I’m giving them just enough info to get them thinking – a few words to jog their memories on an event. Otherwise, I’m afraid that with too much information, their writing will not develop a unique voice or provide the outside perspective that a successful letter needs to deliver.

The Questions
It wasn’t until this point that I listed the questions my recommenders needed to answer, broken down by school. I also included information about the steps they would need to take to submit the letter, whether or not they would need to fill out any additional information like a leadership grid, and word limits.

The Checklist
And finally, on the last page I added a checklist with check boxes so big they would have no choice but to complete it. I wanted to make sure that my recommenders were going through their letters and asking the same questions I was asking myself for my essays.   Some of the questions I asked were:

Does the letter of recommendation:

  • Recommend me without a doubt?
  • Give an example of how I am innovative?
  • Demonstrate my leadership ability?
  • Demonstrate my teamwork ability?
  • Demonstrate that I am part of the community at work and beyond?
  • Mention at least one criticism that can be easily addressed by getting an MBA?
  • Demonstrate a strength in quantitative and analytical abilities?
  • Use specific and detailed examples and back up any points with proof?
  • Support that my career goals are achievable and realistic?
  • Avoid generalities?
And that was it! Overall the idea was well received by my recommenders, and I hope that it saved them some time and frustration.   Would you like a copy of the grid I used to brainstorm my essays and help my recommenders brainstorm their own? Leave a comment below:

 

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The post How to Help Your Recommenders Write Great Letters of Recommendation appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 25 Aug 2014, 08:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: 5 Tips on Getting a 700+ on the GMAT
So I have taken the GMAT twice and gotten a 710 twice. My splits were (Q49, V38) and (Q47, V41). This blog post is going to…Image
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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Joined: 01 Sep 2013
Posts: 311
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
GPA: 3.7
WE: Corporate Finance (Aerospace and Defense)
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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2014, 03:01
FROM Grant Me Admission: Introducing TheEngineerMBA
*Hello everyone! I’m happy to introduce TheEngineerMBA, who will be a recurring guest writer on GrantMeAdmission. The hope is that the blog will appeal to larger…Image
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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New post 26 Aug 2014, 04:00
FROM Pro GMAT: Change in the Game Plan
Hi Guys,  Its been a while since  I’ve posted my last blog. Yes, I was super busy with official work as well as some mind-blowing results of my practice tests and others. But, now it feels great after putting my thoughts again … Continue reading →Image
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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New post 26 Aug 2014, 11:00
FROM Naija MBA Gal: Mixed feelings
The essays are coming up well. actually, better than well. I can report progress on Stanford, Booth and Wharton essays. Sloan is on a different wavelength but I am certain I will tackle it within the next few days. I’ll get into more details on my approach (more or less; the things that are working […]Image
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2014, 04:00
FROM Grant Me Admission: What MBA Blogs does an MBA Blogger read?
What blogs do I read? Let’s examine some of my currently favorite MBA bloggers!     MBA on My Mind: Road to Business School Still at…Image
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New post 27 Aug 2014, 05:32
FROM My MBA Journey: Nail the Basics
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Does math make you cringe? I usually don’t mind math. I know, it’s weird. But really, I can do math. The highest score on my ACTs was in the math category. I took AP Calculus in high school and did well. In college I got a 4.0 in calc my freshman year at a school where 80% of the student fail at least one math class…I can do math. But, leave it to the GMAT to give me run for my money at math. I am realizing I’m going to need to spend a little extra time studying Quan. So far, here are a few tips I’ve discovered throughout my studying.

1. Know the basics

It sounds really simple, but it’s true. Relearn the basic math equations you learned in high school. Refresh yourself in geometry. When hearing rumors about the GMAT and it’s difficulty level, I thought I’d be dealing with Calc 3 type of material. Instead most of the questions are based upon general equations, but the questions have a spin on them. You’re never going to be able to answer the question if you don’t know the basics. Invest the time in memorizing common equations and geometry figures.

2. Identify the question

This seems like another no brainer, but it’s important. Some of the questions don’t ask for an answer. Seriously. Instead some of the questions ask “if you knew this piece of information, or this piece, both or neither-could you answer the question.” So instead of answering the original question, look for what they are asking for. You might not have to solve for x. Often you won’t be able to, or you won’t have enough time to.

3. Watch your timing

Time management is one of the most difficult things on this test. Generally you have just under 2 minutes to answer each question. The questions aren’t timed individually, but if you want to stay on track a general rule is to use 2 minutes per question. This is especially difficult for the Quan section. Often the problems are complicated or require calculations. Use your time wisely. What I often tell myself is I know I can answer this correctly, but I need a little more time. Usually the opposite is true. Most students get the questions wrong that they take a long time to answer. If you are getting behind in the test you might have to consider strategically guessing on a few problems to catch up.

4. Replicate test conditions

Most of the time study as if you are taking a real test. Don’t get me wrong, you need time to absorb and learn the material During that time you will need extra time to understand strategies. However, if you are taking a practice test, or working on a set of problems act as if you are taking a real test. Time yourself and don’t take breaks. DO NOT use a calculator. Mental math capabilities is a big part of this test. I would actually recommend specifically working on your mental math skills using timed sessions that evaluate timing and accuracy. Manhattan GMAT has a great tool for this. http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2012/05/09/everyday-ways-to-improve-your-mental-math-skills/

Well, that’s all for today. Let me know if you have any questions about these tips. And if you have any best practices for studying, send them my way!

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 27 Aug 2014, 05:32
FROM My MBA Journey: What’s the Magic Score?
 

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We’ve all done it. Researched the average GMAT score of the school you’re interested in and then cringed. How can I ever get into that school? I’m nowhere near the average score. I need a miracle. They must only admit geniuses. I wonder what the average IQ score is for admitted students.

But what score do I really need anyway? Do I need to have a higher than average score because I’m younger than the average applicant? Would a higher than average score help because I don’t have experience in consulting or corporate finance.  I read a great article today that gave a great perspective about average GMAT scores.

If you can tackle the GMAT, schools will assume you will succeed in their programs. A promise of success is a factor in the evaluation process. If you cannot reach the average score, don’t let it keep you from applying. Harvard admits students who have scores in the 500s. I wouldn’t say this is very common, but if you have a great application, interview well and have relevant work experience, a low GMAT score might not be limiting.

I’ll end with a blurb from an article from Manhattan GMAT. You can read the full article here: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/2014/08/08/what-is-a-good-gmat-score/?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Learn+More&utm_content=08%2F18%2F2014&utm_campaign=GMAT_Newsletter_81814

“Seriously, consider who’s telling you that you don’t actually need these crazy high scores. I work for a test prep company; our whole reason for existing (and making money!) is to help people get higher scores. If even I’m telling you that you don’t need a 750 or a 50 or 51 on quant, then believe it!”

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2014, 02:00
FROM Pro GMAT: Change in the Game Plan
Hi Guys,  Its been a while since  I’ve posted my last blog. Yes, I was super busy with official work as well as some mind-blowing results of my practice tests and others. But, now it feels great after putting my thoughts again … Continue reading →Image
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2014, 04:00
FROM Naija MBA Gal: Presentations rock
Caffeine is my new best friend and Booth rocks for giving me the opportunity to create an awesome presentation. If consultants have a language it’ll be presentations and I’m very fluent in that language if I have to say so myself. However, I am aware that some people do not have the same love for […]Image
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2014, 09:01
FROM Scott Duncan: Risk Management: Why I’m adding four more schools to my list
Wow, I am feeling the pressure now. With less than five weeks from now until the last of my Round 1 deadlines, I’m officially stressing out.

Last week, I had a discussion with the resident Venture Capitalist/Expert on all things business school at my job. An HBS grad himself, he has a pretty good handle on how things work.

The conversation went something like this:

Him: “So where are you applying this year?”

Me: “Uh, HBS, Kellogg, and MIT Sloan…”

Him: “And what happens if you don’t get in to any of them???”

Me: “…”

I wish I could say I had a good answer for him, but I didn’t. And after a humbling application year last time around, I’m not sure I would want to apply a THIRD time in the event that I didn’t get into any of the schools I wanted. It looks like I need a few more “shots on goal,” to borrow his expression on why I need to expand the list of schools I’m applying to.

The Old Plan:
As of last week, I was only planning on applying to three schools, all round 1:

  • HBS
  • Kellogg
  • MIT Sloan
It’s admittedly a pretty ambitious list. Seeing as HBS accepts 12% of applicants, MIT accepts 13% of applicants, and Kellogg accepts ~20% of applicants, even if I were a STELLAR candidate, the odds are not in my favor. I figure that if I look at the probability of getting into just ONE of the three schools, my odds of getting in are still no better than 50/50 (Yeah, I made a spreadsheet – just like for everything else). I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full kind of guy, but I would also like to be a little more certain that I won’t have to do this again next year.

The New Plan:
I have expanded the list to seven schools, all of which had a location I liked or a known strength in entrepreneurship:

Round 1:

  • HBS
  • Kellogg
  • MIT Sloan
  • Wharton
Round 2:

  • Tuck
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCLA
I was planning on applying to HBS/Kellogg/Sloan in round 1 anyway, so all I’m doing is adding the Wharton application. Since the recommendation questions are the same for Wharton as HBS and Kellogg, it’s not really taxing my recommenders that much more.

In round 2, I have added Tuck, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. I hear great things about Tuck’s culture, and after living in the Northeast my whole life, going to LA or Berkeley where it doesn’t snow would be a nice change. I was really looking forward to getting my apps out of the way in round 1, but it just doesn’t make sense with how selective all of these schools are.

I’m hoping that this strategy spreads the risk out over the top-10/top-20 schools a little bit better, and makes the workload easier than last year, when I applied to five schools in round two. I don’t think I could repeat that again – especially if I didn’t get in.

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The post Risk Management: Why I’m adding four more schools to my list appeared first on Scott Duncan.
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2014, 23:01
FROM TexasWannaBeCali: On the Run
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Big thanks to everyone for the encouraging words on my The Results are In post!! You guys keep me going I swear. It’s amazing how one goal can unite so many different people who whole heartedly support each other no matter what. If I get nothing else out of this experience, I have learned just how amazing this world is and how many even more amazing people exist within it.

This week off from GMAT studying was much needed, my brain was definitely in need of a break. But unfortunately all good things must come to an end as I will be back in the library starting Saturday morning *insert dark storm cloud over my life*. In the mean time, I have used this time off from GMAT prep to work on other parts of my application. I finished my first updated resume draft, registered for some information sessions, marked my calendar through Jan 2015 with dates of events, potential campus visits, progress goals, and deadlines (i managed 2 free weekends until 2015…good bye social life sigh), and even started writing some essays. I’ve also gotten back into my healthy eating regimen, been extremely focused at work, cleaned my apartment and just feel a bit more relaxed in general, so I’d say it’s been a very productive week.

I like to believe I’m a good writer and usually get my best material when just ranting away so tonight I spent about 2 hours letting the sentences flow as I typed drafts for the “career goals” and “why this program” essays, but man did I not realize how difficult word limits are. After typing everything I could think of, not only was I already past the word limit, but I also failed to really even answer the question. My goal for the exercise wasn’t really to write an actual first essay draft by any means, I just wanted to get some practice in and have a starting point that I could add to and edit frequently, but I’m sad thinking about how I’ll have to delete alot of the material I came up with. Me and my thoughts…we have such a tight bond, I hate letting go lol. I know the primary purpose to word limits is not just to create separation anxiety for folks like me or prohibit applicants from boring adcoms to death with endless pages about themselves, but to challenge us to tell a story effectively AND efficiently, so I’m glad I started this exercise now. With having to allocate another month to GMAT studying, I’ll definitely have to pull double duty when it comes to writing essays so the sooner I start, the better because I obviously need alot of work.

It definitely felt good though to finally start putting my thoughts down on paper instead of just letting them continue to float around in my head. It’s really made this journey that much more real. My brain tends to explode at least once per day just thinking of everything I have to do before deadlines come up, so maybe now that I’ve gotten the essay ball rolling, it’ll only explode once every 3 days… doesn’t hurt to dream right?

I hope everyone else’s essays are going well!  I know alot of you are R1 applicants, so I know by now, y’all have some good stuff ready to submit!! All the best :)

 

 

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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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2014, 08:01
FROM Pro GMAT: Winter is Coming
Its very dark out tonight, with few resources of light. But I need to reach the destination somehow. Woods have a smell of winter already in its air. The nights are becoming colder and longer. The only source of heat … Continue reading →Image
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2014, 11:01
FROM TopDogMBA - A Reapplicant's Tail: With a little help from my friends
My interview with Accepted.com is finally live!

Another busy week for me, juggling work and home commitments and still trying to find time for MBA applications. Just like the rest of you I know!

I’m really starting to feel positive about my applications for MIT Sloan, Wharton and INSEAD. I have drafts for pretty much every bit of each application, some have been drafted several times with my consultant and are now starting to sparkle!

I’ve also recently started worrying about moving words on my resume – whether deleting a comma here will change the whole sentence and lose its impact. Yep, there’s definitely a familiar feeling to it all!

If you’re in the same position, this is the time to pull in favours from friends (and friends of friends) who have b school experience, and to reach out to existing students through the admissions office, student clubs etc. Try to find someone who has something in common with you and can help review your work and keep your sense of perspective.

I’m so grateful for my friends (and supportive wife) (and dog!) during this process. I hope I’m doing their valuable feedback justice, as well as helping you in some way to keep rocking.

And, in case you missed the subtle link above, my Accepted.com interview also just went live. Go check it out and learn a bit more about me, your prospective classmate :)

Dig deep folks – Round 1 is coming round the corner!

 

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2014, 04:00
FROM GNPTH: 1st Step to my target GMAT score!!
               After a month and half into my preparation, I took a mock test yesterday (31st August 2014). I didn’t take mock test at the beginning of my preparation, since I know where I stand in GMAT, from my previous test. But I would recommend the people who start their GMAT journey for the first time to take a mock before they dive into intense preparation.

This would help them to know where they stand, what and where to improve, and what section to focus more during the preparation.

I tried to replicate the exam center experience at my home. Since Ganesh Chartuthi festival is going on, there was lot of noise outside, which I couldn’t control. I skipped the AWA section, randomly marked the entire IR section as I did not prepare for both as of now. When I completed my mock test, the score read 650. The split was Q45 and V34. I was bit shocked seeing my Quant score, but was happy that I got 34 in Verbal without any preparation.

NOTE: I wrote GMAT a year ago. So I still know the basic concepts in the verbal part.

Overall: Little satisfied with my preparation as of now.



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Here is my section wise analysis.

Quant:

                I spent nearly 25 minutes in the first 10 questions; as a result I was able to get 7 correct in those 10. And for next 10 questions, I spent nearly 20 Minutes and I got 7 correct again. When I was done with 20 questions and 45 minutes. There was a brief power cut in my place. Curse you, power department. And I thought that, the timer would have stopped as there was no response.

                Once the power came, I resumed my test. But to my shock, the timer did not stop, and it was showing only 12 minutes and I had to attend remaining 17 questions. I managed to answer at least next 4 out 5 questions correctly. But due to time shortage, I planned to finish the test instead leaving some questions unanswered. I randomly marked C for all the remaining 11 questions, due to this I got only 1 question correct and rest 10 questions wrong.  And I didn’t even have time to randomly mark the last question.

Here is split for PS & DS.

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But when I saw 45 in Quants. I felt like “Not bad for randomly marking 11 questions”.

Now I need to focus on the question types which I got wrong and need to maintain my accuracy in the question types which I got correct.  I would be considering those 10 question types in my weaker section, since I got them wrong too due to my timings.

Overall: Memorize, Rinse and Repeat all the topics in Quants. That will be my mantra from now on as far as Quant section is considered. My Target score in Quant is 51. Now I see need to improve 6 points in it. I will try achieving it.

Verbal:

                As I did not start my preparation for verbal section, I thought let me take it. So that I can see where I stand in verbal, and to see where to improve. I was really shocked to see the raw score of 34. But I was happy.

It was good start; I took more time to attend the first 10 questions as I did in Quants. As a result I got 8 questions correct. Followed by 6 correct answers in next 10. I was well within the timing for verbal.

 To my surprise when I was analyzing my mock, I found that I got all the questions correct in Critical Reasoning.  I came across 4 hardest CR question and I took almost 3 minutes for each. But somehow got all of them correct. As usual Sentence correction and Reading comprehension is my weaker sections. I got 50% of questions wrong in both of these sections.

Here is the section wise split,



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I’m starting my verbal preparation from tomorrow (2nd September 2014). As per my initial planning, I will be starting with Critical reasoning. I hope to improve in all 3 sections.

I target atleast 740, for top MBA program; I need a score closer to that, since I belong to INDIAN-IT category. I know I would need to put hell lot of efforts to reach that goal. A 90 point improvement is what I need. And I still have 2 full months of preparation.

Software Analysis:

                I used Veritas Prep mock test this time. I initially planned to take up Magoosh, but I thought, since I have completed all the homework problems in Veritas prep. I shall use Magoosh to practice on quiz and learning mode instead of wasting the question in mock test, as both Practice test and quiz are from same pool in Magoosh.  But Veritas prep mocks have different pool of questions for Mocks.

                I liked the dashboard which showed, when I finished my test. It was showing all the following details.

  • Score Balance.
  • Overall pacing summary.
  • The individual pacing charts for IR, Quant, & Verbal with few tips on how to make timing strategies.
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   4. Competitiveness at top-ranked MBA program with comparison to my current mock score.

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I feel, there is hell lot of work to do now, I hope to reach my target score.

Concentrate and Consolidate is the mantra here!!. I want to stay ahead and reach my target school.



See you guys later in another post. And thanks for spending your value time in my blog J.

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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2014, 07:01
FROM Naija MBA Gal: Half-way Mark
According to my initial plan, I should be completely done with my applications and just be putting finishing touches on my essays. But I am not. However, I am happy to say that my application for two out of the four schools I am applying to is ready. Essays are out for a final review, recommenders […]Image
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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Re: Directory of MBA Applicant Blogs   [#permalink] 06 Sep 2014, 07:01

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