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Ross has minimal case method, is that right for me? Take the test!

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Joined: 22 Aug 2014
Posts: 157
GRE 1: Q170 V170
GPA: 3.7
Ross has minimal case method, is that right for me? Take the test!  [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2018, 18:20

Posted from Ivy Admissions Group.

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Business schools can be separated academically into two separate categories: majority case-method programs and non-case-method programs. In the former category are schools like Darden, INSEAD, Berkeley Haas, UNC Kenan-Flagler and, of course, Harvard Business School, which pioneered the case method of MBA instruction by borrowing the Socratic dialogues used to teach at Harvard Law School. Schools that are non-majority-case-method incorporate more traditional lectures, team-based projects, and experiential learning, in addition to case-method classes. The average MBA program teaches 30% of its classes in the case method.

Case method courses are very different than traditional lecture-based classes. To prepare for a case method class, students are given a bound document (a “case”) presenting a roughly 10-page overview of a business problem faced by a team, firm, or industry followed by a series of quantitative and qualitative exhibits that an MBA might need to analyze the problem and find a solution. The goal of the case is to simulate as accurately as possible what it would feel like for the student to experience the business problem themselves, by placing the student in the role of the “case protagonist” from whose vantage point the story is told. The day of the class discussion, students normally meet with discussion groups to go over the study questions and try to anticipate where they believe the case conversation will go.

The actual class is a real pressure-cooker. The professor usually leads off by “cold-calling” (i.e. involuntarily selecting without prior warning) one student, often one specifically chosen for their relevant prior professional experience, and grilling them on what they would do in that situation. Other students are brought in to reveal different facts, challenge different perspectives, offer analysis, and argue out the correct course of action. Students need to be ready at a moment’s notice to agree or disagree with the other voices, forcing everyone sit on their edge of their seats, paying close attention.

Sometimes professors will reveal incremental data on what intermediate steps the actual case protagonist took and what results they achieved. The professor will then ask individuals whether this new information changes their perspectives and how.

Very often the case protagonist him or herself will sit in on the class (they find the conversations useful too!) and use the last part of the session to describe what happened, respond to individual students, and take questions. The result is a thrilling class experience where students develop intuition for handling emerging business problems, practice communicating their ideas articulately, and get comfortable leading through uncertainty.

The question is, is a case method program right for you?


Test Yourself

Below I’ve posed a dozen statements. If you disagree with the statement, give yourself 1 point, if you’re neutral 2 points, and if you agree 3 points. At the end, tally your score.
  • I want to develop my public speaking skills
  • I think reasonably quickly on my feet
  • I want to be a general manager or CEO one day
  • I am confident that I can teach myself finance out of a text book
  • I have a “big personality”
  • I prefer short stories to long technical readings
  • Academic learning is a top-3 priority for me
  • I want to really get to know my peers
  • I think diverse perspectives lead to better answers
  • I not that excited to hear about faculty research
  • The best way to learn something is to do it
  • I want my peers to take class seriously

12-18 Points:

ROSS IS A FIT! Avoid the case method. Apply to schools that are majority lecture based like Carnegie Mellon Tepper, USC Marshall, UCLA Anderson, Vanderbilt Owen, Michigan Ross, and Oxford Said.

19-23 Points:

Choose a program with a mix of teaching styles, including team and experiential-based learning. Examples for this category include Northwestern Kellogg, MIT Sloan, Duke Fuqua, Georgia Tech, SMU Cox, NYU Stern, and Georgetown McDonough. If you're still curious about case method classes, you consider trying out HBX CORe, which does a decent job at simulating the section experience.

24-30 Points:

Apply to programs with a moderate mix (but not a majority) of case-method classes. Examples include Dartmouth Tuck, Stanford GSB, Columbia Business School, UPenn Wharton, and Yale SOM. If you're worried about case-method classes, you can dip your toe into subjects like leadership, ethics, and marketing, where the case method is easier to grasp, while sticking to traditional methods for learning finance and accounting.

30+ Points:

ROSS IS NOT A FIT! Definitely apply to majority-case-method program. These include schools like HBS, UVA Darden, INSEAD, Berkeley Haas, IESE, University of Western Ontario Ivey, and UNC Kenan-Flagler. Here is where you will really thrive.

Nate | Want to know your odds of admission? Get our free assessment here.

Apply to business school like you're running for office. You're the candidate. We're your campaign managers.

Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 27 Mar 2016
Posts: 330
Location: United States (CO)
GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
GPA: 3.69
WE: Analyst (Consulting)
Re: Ross has minimal case method, is that right for me? Take the test!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2018, 04:55
Very helpful post thank you! What percent of classes on average do the schools in each category, except for the 4th which is 100% case, teach with the case method do you think?
Current Student
Joined: 06 Oct 2015
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing
Schools: Ross '18 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V42
GPA: 3.52
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
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Re: Ross has minimal case method, is that right for me? Take the test!  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 12:20
Nate, sorry to say, but your post is an absolute sham. I just can't fathom why some people feel that need to spread so much misinformation about programs they (you) are seemingly completely unfamiliar with.

First of all, somewhere between 50 and 75% of my classes at Ross over the past two years were case based. For the classes that weren't case based, many relied on experiential learning, like MAP and Turnaround Management. Outside of case studies and MAP, there were a few classes that were lecture based (e.g., Valuations) but even these classes relied on group assignments that are invariably structured as cases. Teaching classes outside of the traditional case method doesn't mean that the class lacks discussion and competing viewpoints, it means that the instructor has the flexibility to tailor his or her teaching method based on the topic.

Second, as I'm sure readers of your post will realize, your test is a total farce. If prospective students feel that "the best way to learn something is to do it" they should get their butts to Ross so that they can go through MAP, join one of the 7 investment funds, run a business through the Living Business Leadership Experience or start their own business with the help of the Zell Lurie Institute. The majority (or all) of your other questions are really not specific to any single method of teaching.

To all prospective applicants at Ross, I loved my two years and can't imagine attending any other program. Please visit next fall to see for yourself!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Ross has minimal case method, is that right for me? Take the test! &nbs [#permalink] 09 Jul 2018, 12:20
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Ross has minimal case method, is that right for me? Take the test!

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