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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem on the GMAT, Part 1 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem on the GMAT, Part 1
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

Manhattan GMAT has developed a special process for Sentence Correction (SC). Some students and classes have seen it, but here we are sharing it publicly! Read on and let us know what you think.

The Five Steps for Sentence Correction

  • Take a first glance.
  • Read the sentence.
  • Find a starting point.
  • Eliminate 
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4.
As with any process, you will sometimes decide to deviate for some good reason. For most questions, though, you will follow this basic process.

1. Take a First Glance

The idea here is to take a “holistic” glance at the entire screen: let your eyes go slightly out of focus (do NOT read!), look at about the middle of whatever text is on the screen, and take in three things:

– the problem type (in this case, SC)

– the length of the whole sentence

– the length of the underline (or the length of the answers)

This first glance will help you formulate a plan of attack.

2. Read the Sentence

Next, read the sentence as a complete sentence, not just a collection of potential grammar issues. Pay attention to the overall meaning that the sentence is trying to convey.

3. Find a Starting Point

4. Eliminate Answers

When you spot something you know is wrong, immediately cross off answer (A) on your scrap paper. Check that same issue (and only that issue!) in the remaining answer choices; eliminate any answers that repeat the error.

5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4

SC is a bit annoying in that your initial starting point often will not allow you to cross off all four wrong answers. You usually have to find multiple starting points.

Once you have dealt with one issue, return either to the original sentence or to a comparison of the answer choices, wherever you left off.

What to Do When You Are Stuck

In general, once you get stuck, give yourself one shot to “unstick” yourself. Try comparing different answers to see whether anything new pops out at you. If not, guess and move on.

Half the battle on the GMAT is knowing when to stop trying. Set explicit “cutoffs” for yourself—rules for when to let go—and stick to them!

Next Steps

Got all of that? Good!

In the second and third parts of this series, I will give you some drills that you can use to build the different skills needed to get through an SC problem. Until then, go ahead and practice the overall process until you internalize the different steps. Good luck!
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Professor Profiles: John Morgan, University of California, Berkeley, H [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: John Morgan, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on John Morgan from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

John Morgan has been teaching at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business since 2002. He won the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2006 and was the first recipient of the Oliver E. Williamson Award in 2014. In an admissions podcast (“Game Theory and Strategy”), Morgan discussed how he has grown his “Game Theory” course, which studies how nations and industries interact strategically with each other. Morgan, who has served as the Oliver E. and Dolores W. Williamson Chair of the Economics of Organizations since 2006, recommends that all Haas MBA students take the course, which is designed to cover all functions and industries, in their last semester at the school so that they apply the “mind-set to think strategically” to what they have learned in the program. Morgan expects the teams in his class to be ready to defend their strategies, but plenty of laughter is part of the course as well—as it reportedly is in all Morgan’s courses. An alumna previously commented via Twitter: “Loving John Morgan’s Disruptive Technologies seminar. Great comedic timing.”

For more information about UC Berkeley Haas and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Quit My Job to Study for the [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Should Quit My Job to Study for the GMAT

The GMAT score is the sole piece of data that is truly consistent from one candidate to another. Therefore, many MBA applicants place undue emphasis on it, when the test is only one of several important aspects of a person’s application. In extreme cases, some candidates even consider quitting their jobs to focus on the GMAT full time—not a great idea!

Why is leaving your job to focus on improving your GMAT score not ideal? Quite simply, it sends the message that you are incapable of managing what thousands of other MBA candidates can manage quite well. In your application, you will need to account for any time off; if you honestly admit that you quit your job to study for the GMAT, you will place yourself at a disadvantage relative to others who have demonstrated that they can successfully manage their work, study, and possibly volunteer commitments simultaneously. By taking time off, you will send the (unintended) message that you cannot achieve what many other applicants do unless you have an uneven playing field. This is not a message you want to send your target academic institution, which wants to know that you can handle the academic course load an MBA requires, not to mention a job hunt, community commitments, and other such responsibilities.

Regardless of the admissions committees’ perception of taking time off, we believe a calm and methodical approach is your best bet. By furthering your career as you study, you will maintain a sense of balance in your life. On test day, you will have a far better chance of keeping a level head, which will ensure that you will do your best—and of course, this was the whole point all along.
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Alumni Generosity and Research-to-Practice at Dartmouth Tuck [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Alumni Generosity and Research-to-Practice at Dartmouth Tuck
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth has approximately 10,700 living alumni. Although that figure may sound small compared with the overall Dartmouth College alumni base of 83,000 individuals, numerous students and graduates we have interviewed report that Tuck has an active and close-knit alumni community. Through their continued involvement with the school as mentors, visiting executives, recruiting contacts, and internship providers, Tuck alumni maintain an open channel between the MBA program and the business world. The Tuck students with whom we have spoken cannot say enough about the strength of student-alumni interactions, emphasizing that the vitality of Tuck’s close-knit community endures long after graduation.

One second-year student shared that he had had pretty high expectations with regard to the school’s alumni network “but still underestimated how strong the network can be.” He explained, “The connections were instant. I received same-day responses, all the time. There is a strong pay-it-forward mentality and a genuine interest in seeing people from Tuck do well. Alums go out of their way to help with networking, job preparation, anything.”

Tuck alumni also stay connected to the school through its annual fund-raising campaign. The school reportedly boasts the highest giving rate of all U.S. MBA programs. Tuck noted that its giving rate is “more than double the average giving rate of other business schools” in an August 2015 news article on the school’s website, and in an August 2016 article, the school boasted, “More than two-thirds of Tuck’s [alumni] gave to their alma mater this year, continuing the school’s tradition of unparalleled alumni loyalty and participation.” This pattern continued in 2017, when more than two-thirds of the Tuck alumni pool donated to the school, for the 11th year in a row. In 2018, Tuck set a new record when it raised $51.3M from its alumni. In April 2018, the school launched a new capital campaign titled “The Tuck Difference: The Campaign for Tomorrow’s Wise Leaders.” The fundraiser is part of the larger university’s $3B campaign, for which Tuck has set an investment target of $250M. As of September 2020, the campaign has raised more than $196M.

Tuck takes pride in not only its active alumni pool, but also its close-knit community and small faculty-to-student ratio. The school’s Research-to-Practice Seminars complement these characteristics and allow incoming students to quickly get acquainted with the Tuck culture. An article on the school’s Tuck Today website explained that “International Entrepreneurship” was the first of several such seminars designed to give students insight into a real-world business issue. The seminars were conceived as a key component of the school’s strategic five-year plan, called “Tuck 2012.” The courses bring together a small group of second-year students with top faculty for a “deep dive” into a specific topic. Research-to-Practice Seminars that have been offered in the past include the following:

  • “Corporate Takeovers”
  • “Deconstructing Apple”
  • “Management of Investment Portfolios”
  • “Marketing Good and Evil: Consumer Moral Judgment and Well-Being”
  • “Strategy in Innovation Ecosystems”
  • “Time in the Consumer Mind”
For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at Dartmouth Tuck or one of 16 other top business schools, please check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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How to Show Rather Than Tell and Write with Connectivity in Your MBA A [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Show Rather Than Tell and Write with Connectivity in Your MBA Application Essays
You may have heard the old journalistic maxim “Show, don’t tell,” which demands that writers truly illustrate the actions involved in an event or a story rather than simply stating the results of what happened.

Here is an example of “telling” (results oriented):

“I arrived at ABC Bank and took on a great deal of responsibility in corporate lending. I managed diverse clients in my first year and earned the recognition of my manager. Because of my hard work, initiative, and leadership, he placed me on the management track, and I knew that I would be a success in this challenging position.”

In these three sentences, the reader is told that the applicant “took on a great deal of responsibility,” “managed diverse clients,” and “earned recognition,” though none of these claims are substantiated via the story. Further, we are given no real evidence of the writer’s “hard work, initiative, and leadership.”

Here is an example of “showing” (action oriented):

“Almost immediately after joining ABC bank, I took a risk in asking management for the accounts left behind by a recently transferred manager. I soon expanded our lending relationships with a children’s clothing retailer, a metal recycler, and a food distributor, making decisions on loans of up to $1M. Although I had a commercial banking background, I sought the mentorship of our district manager and studied aggressively for the CFA exam (before and after 14-hour days at the office); I was encouraged when the lending officer cited my initiative and desire to learn, placing me on our management track.”

In this second example, we see evidence of the writer’s “great deal of responsibility” (client coverage, $1M lending decisions) and “diverse clients” (a children’s clothing retailer, a metal recycler, and a food distributor). Further, the candidate’s “hard work, initiative, and leadership” are clearly illustrated throughout. The second example paragraph is more interesting, rich, and humble—and more likely to captivate the reader. By showing your actions in detail, you ensure that your reader draws the desired conclusions about your skills and accomplishments, because the necessary facts are included to facilitate this. Essentially, facts become your evidence!

Similar to showing instead of telling, “connectivity” is another important element of professional writing. Simply put, an adept writer ensures that each sentence is part of a chain—each sentence depends on the previous one and necessitates the next. With this linkage in place, the central idea is constantly moving forward, giving the story a natural flow and making it easy to follow. Although you do not need to write at the same level as a professional journalist, you should still embrace this concept, because it is central to excellent essay writing. With a “connected” MBA application essay, you will grab and hold your reader’s attention.

You can test your essay’s connectivity by removing a sentence from one of your paragraphs. If the central idea in the paragraph still makes complete sense after this removal, odds are you have superfluous language, are not advancing the story effectively, and should revise your draft.

Try this exercise with a random selection from the New York Times:

“For many grocery shoppers, the feeling is familiar: that slight swell of virtue that comes from dropping a seemingly healthful product into a shopping cart. But at one New England grocery chain, choosing some of those products may induce guilt instead. The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you. These included V8 vegetable juice (too much sodium), Campbell’s Healthy Request Tomato soup (ditto), most Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen dinners (ditto) and nearly all yogurt with fruit (too much sugar).”

If you were to delete any of these sentences, you would create confusion for the reader, proving that each sentence is connected and vital.
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How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem on the GMAT, Part 2 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem on the GMAT, Part 2
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

In Part 1 of this article, we talked about the five-step process to answer Sentence Correction (SC) problems:

  • Take a first glance.
  • Read the sentence.
  • Find a starting point.
  • Eliminate
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4.
If you have not already learned that process, read Part 1 before continuing with this article.

Drills to Build Skills

How do you learn to do all this stuff? You are going to build some skills that will help at each stage of the way. The drills are summarized in this post; if you want the full description of each, check out the original article on the Manhattan GMAT blog.

Drill Number 1: Take a First Glance

Open up your Official Guide (OG) and find some lower-numbered SC questions that you have already tried in the past. Give yourself a few seconds (no more than five!) to glance at a problem, then look away and say out loud what you noticed in those few seconds.

As you develop your First Glance skills, start to read a couple of words: the one right before the underline and the first word of the underline. Do those give you any clues about what might be tested in the problem? For instance, consider this sentence:

Xxx xxxxxx xxxx xx and she xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxx xxxxx.

I have a strong suspicion that this problem might test parallelism, because the word and falls immediately before the underline. When I read the sentence, I will be looking for an X and Y parallelism structure.

Drill Number 2: Read the Sentence

Take a look at some OG problems you have tried before. Read only the original sentence. Then, look away from the book and articulate aloud, in your own words, what you think the sentence is trying to convey. You do not need to limit yourself to one sentence. You can also glance back at the problem to confirm details.

I want to stress the “out loud” part; you will be able to hear whether the explanation is sufficient. If so, try another problem.

If you are struggling or unsure, then one of two things is happening. Either you just do not understand, or the sentence actually does not have a clear meaning, and this is precisely why the choice is wrong! Decide which you think it is, and then check the explanation.

Next Steps

Spend some time drilling these skills for steps 1 and 2. Then come back here to join us for the third part in this series, in which you will learn two more drills for the later steps of the SC process.
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Professor Profiles: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Bruce Greenwald, Columbia Business School

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Bruce Greenwald from Columbia Business School.

Bruce Greenwald has been a fixture at Columbia Business School (CBS) since the early 1990s, and until recent years, he taught the popular “Economics of Strategic Behavior” course in the full-time MBA program (he continues to teach this course in the school’s EMBA program, in addition to teaching the EMBA course “Globalization and Markets and the Changing Economic Landscape”). Greenwald has also taught the “Value Investing” and “Value Investing with Legends” courses in the MBA program for years. Students in CBS’s Value Investing Program, in which Greenwald has served as a faculty co-director, are primarily the ones who get to enjoy his classes.

Those with whom mbaMission spoke espoused enthusiasm for Greenwald’s intense depth of knowledge and his connections to top-notch guest speakers, whom he brings to campus to address his classes. On the CBS Peer Course Review site, a former student of Greenwald’s once summed up the instructor’s popularity by stating, “Greenwald has the ability to make something complex seem simple and easy to understand.” Greenwald has also served as the director of the school’s Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing. In addition to his efforts at CBS, Greenwald has served as a senior advisor at First Eagle Investment Management since 2011.

For more information about CBS and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Managerial Experience [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Have No Managerial Experience
Formal managerial experience is not a prerequisite for admission to a top MBA program—a truth some applicants may find ironic. Keep in mind that an MBA education is for individuals who aspire to become managers and is not exclusive to those who already are managers. If you are fretting about the fact that you have not had any subordinates to date and believe that having overseen a staff is a prerequisite to gaining admission to a top program, you are adhering to a myth and can stop worrying. Instead, think about the ways you have excelled in your position and made the most of the leadership opportunities before you.

For example, consider the numerous investment banking analysts who apply to MBA programs each year. While analysts are at the bottom of the banks’ organizational charts and therefore do not have staffs to manage, they still have demanding jobs and must perform exceptionally well each day to succeed. Most analysts can tell the story of thriving in an ultracompetitive environment and thus reveal their professional excellence via their resumes, essays, and recommendations. And even if most analysts do not have staffs of their own, ample opportunities still exist for senior analysts to train and mentor newer analysts. So, even without a title and a staff, investment banking analysts can find ways to demonstrate their leadership and de facto management skills. And we imagine that with sufficient reflection and brainstorming, you can, too.
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Sustainability MBA at Duquesne University and Social Impact MBA at Bos [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Sustainability MBA at Duquesne University and Social Impact MBA at Boston University
Appealing to professionals at all stages of their careers, Duquesne University’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business offers an accelerated, 12-month MBA Sustainable Business Practices program with an integrated focus on sustainability and the environment. With core course work centered on such focus areas as “Business Ethics and Global Responsibility,” “Managing People for Sustained Competitive Advantage,” and “Strategic Innovation Management,” students gain exposure to the basic problems and frameworks of sustainable development beyond conventional notions of “green” business. In addition, the program includes global study trips, in which students have traveled to such countries as Peru, Denmark, Spain, and Estonia, to examine global sustainability practices firsthand; two required sustainability consulting projects with sponsoring nonprofit or governmental organizations; and a capstone practicum course that challenges students to develop strategy and management skills.

A bit farther east, the Boston University Questrom School of Business has offered a Social Impact MBA (formerly the Public & Nonprofit MBA) since 1973, specifically designed to cultivate business management skills that can make a real difference in the world. According to the school’s website, the program gives students “the opportunity to gain crucial business skills that allow [them] to create positive social change.”

Standing at 44th among U.S. MBA programs in the The Economist’s 2019 rankings, Questrom exposes students to a robust general management core curriculum and also offers specialized courses and resources targeting the governmental, public, and private nonprofit sectors. Elective courses include “Sustainable Energy Business Models and Policies,” which features 13 speakers from different areas of the sustainable energy business; “Behavior Change Practicum,” in which students work in teams to provide business solutions to real-life organizations; and “Social Impact Seminar,” an action-based learning experience in which student teams are paired with client companies from foreign countries to produce recommendations for their businesses.
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Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA App [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Explaining Your Contribution and Using School-Specific Info in MBA Application Essays
Many business schools use their essay questions as an opportunity to ask about the unique contributions you will make to their particular program. Unfortunately, candidates often make the mistake of thinking that a bland summary statement like “I will bring my leadership skills to XYZ School” will sufficiently express their intended contribution. One reason we prefer to work with business school candidates “from start to finish” is so we can prevent such problems. Simply relating a story about a past experience and then repeating the main point does not demonstrate that you can or will make a meaningful contribution to the school. Ideally, you want to go further, explaining how you would apply and use your experience and skills while at the school in a way that would offer some benefit to others, thereby demonstrating a true understanding of your fit with that particular program.

Example 1:

“My experience as a stand-up comedian will allow me to bring humor to the Wharton environment.”

With this statement, the MBA admissions committee is left wondering, “How exactly will this applicant bring humor to the environment? Does this person really know what our environment is about?” In contrast, consider our next example.

Example 2:

“My experience as a stand-up comic will prove particularly useful at Wharton, a dynamic environment where I will be constantly joining new and energetic study teams. I anticipate using my sense of humor to create more relaxed team environments, helping everyone feel comfortable contributing, though I will use my humor judiciously, such as to diffuse tense moments during late-night study sessions, rather than as a distraction. I believe my skills and experience being funny on stage will also allow me to play an important role in the Wharton Follies.”

In this example, the writer has applied their personal experience and intended contribution directly to the Wharton experience and has thereby shown a clear connection with the school, proving that the candidate truly identifies with it and accurately understands its nature.

At times, candidates also tend to unintentionally describe their personal experience with a specific MBA program in a vague and general manner. Because they are writing from memory and discussing their authentic experience, they do not realize that they are not being specific enough. Consider the following example:

“During my visit to Cornell Johnson, I was struck by the easygoing classroom discussion, the warmth of the professors, and the time spent by the first-year student who not only toured the facilities with me but also took me out for coffee and asked several of his colleagues to join us.”

Although these statements may in fact be true, the text contains no Cornell-specific language. If the Yale School of Management, Michigan Ross, or the name of any other school were substituted for Cornell Johnson here, the statement would not otherwise change at all, resulting in a weak and generic essay.

In contrast, the following statement could refer only to UVA Darden:

“While on Grounds, I was impressed by Professor Robert Carraway’s easygoing and humorous style as he facilitated a fast-paced discussion of the ‘George’s T-Shirts’ case. Although I admittedly felt dizzied by the class’s pace, I was comforted when I encountered several students reviewing the finer points of the case later at First Coffee. I was impressed when my first-year guide stopped mid-tour to check in with her learning teammate and reinforce the case’s central point. It was then I recognized that this was the right environment for me.”

If you were to substitute the Darden name and even the professor’s name with those of another school and professor, the paragraph would no longer work. Including the Darden-specific information regarding the day’s case, First Coffee, and learning teams ensures that these sentences have a sincere and personal feel and shows that the candidate truly understands what the school is about. This is necessary to craft a compelling personal statement that will catch the admissions committee’s attention.
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How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem on the GMAT, Part 3 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem on the GMAT, Part 3
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.

In Part 1 of this article, we talked about the five-step process to answer Sentence Correction problems, and in Part 2, we discussed some drills to build the needed skills. Make sure to read both of those before continuing with this third article in the series.



Drill Number 3: Find a Starting Point


Once again, open up your Official Guide and look at some problems you have done before. This time, do not read the original sentence. Instead, cover it up.

Compare the answers, and try to articulate all the things that the problem is testing. Note that you can tell what is being tested even if you cannot tell how to answer. For example, you might see a verb switching back and forth between singular and plural. If the subject is not underlined, then you have no idea which verb form is required, because you literally have not even seen the subject. You do, though, know that subject-verb agreement is at issue.

Drill Number 4: Eliminate Answers

Once again, this drill involves problems you have already done. (Sensing a pattern? We learn the most when we are reviewing things we have already done!) This time, though, you are going to get to use the whole problem.

Right after you finish a problem, add the following analysis to your review:

(1) Why is the right answer right? Why is each of the wrong answers wrong?

(2) How would you justify eliminating the right answer? What is the trap that would lead someone to cross this one off?

(3) How would you justify picking any of the wrong answers? What is the trap that would lead someone to pick a wrong answer?

You are probably already doing the first one, but most people skip the second and third steps. The first is important, but you can learn more! When you learn how you (or someone) would fall into the trap of thinking that some wrong answer looks or sounds or feels better than the right one, you will be a lot less likely to fall into that same trap yourself in the future.



Next Steps


Practice these steps until they start to feel like second nature to you. At the same time, of course, learn the grammar rules that we all need to know. Put both pieces together, and you will master sentence correction!
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Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago Booth Sc [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Luigi Zingales, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Luigi Zingales from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Luigi Zingales is known on the Chicago Booth campus for his charm, sense of humor, and humility. But students with whom mbaMission spoke also call him an innovator, citing as evidence his perspective on the discount rates used to evaluate the future cash flows of new and risky ventures (i.e., his ability to mathematically explain why some firms deserve a 30%–50% discount rate). Zingales’s novel approach to solving the mortgage crisis has been profiled in The Economist, and Bruce Bartlett of the National Review Online called his book Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists: Unleashing the Power of Financial Markets to Create Wealth and Spread Opportunity (coauthored with Raghuram G. Rajan; Crown Business, 2003) “one of the most powerful defenses of the free market ever written.”

Zingales is currently the Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at Chicago Booth, as well as a Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow. In addition, he became faculty director of the school’s Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State in 2015. During the 2019–2020 academic year, Zingales taught such courses as “The FinTech Revolution” and “Crony Capitalism.” His students call him an “emerging finance superstar”—significant praise, considering the company he keeps at Chicago Booth.

For more information about Chicago Booth and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Campus Facilities and Development at Duke Fuqua and MIT Sloan [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Campus Facilities and Development at Duke Fuqua and MIT Sloan
The Fuqua School of Business is located on Duke University’s West Campus near the intersection of Science Drive and Towerview Drive. Students often congregate in the Fox Student Center, a 70,000-square-foot facility that was built in 2002. Linking the main wings of the school and featuring a café, enormous windows, and a spacious indoor winter garden, the Fox Student Center is the hub of the school. Students can eat breakfast and lunch there, grab a coffee, conduct team meetings, or just take a breather between classes or during the 15-minute break in each class period.

In August 2008, Fuqua opened the 91,000-square-foot Doug and Josie Breeden Hall, the “new front door of the School for students and visitors,” as it was described in the student newspaper, the Fuqua Bulletin. Named after former dean Douglas Breeden (2001–2006), the building boasts a three-story atrium, two auditoriums (which seat 126 and 146 people), the expanded Ford Library, three 70-seat lecture rooms, and a suite of team rooms.

All told, Fuqua’s campus covers nearly 500,000 square feet, with 58 team rooms, 10 classrooms, and 7 seminar rooms. In 2015, the school undertook a major renovation project for the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center, turning it into the JB Duke Hotel. The hotel, which officially opened in January 2017, encompasses the Thomas Executive Conference Center as well as more than 90,000 extra square feet, including nearly 200 hotel guest rooms—some of which are occupied by the school’s executive students, who stay at the hotel during their residencies at Fuqua. The hotel is connected to the main Fuqua campus by a footbridge.

In 2006, MIT’s then-president Susan Hockfield announced a major campus development program that would invest approximately three-quarters of a billion dollars in new and renovated facilities on the school’s 154-acre Cambridge campus, and which included the Sloan School Expansion. This expansion added a new classroom building, E62 (address: 100 Main St.), with approximately 210,000 square feet of space that houses 210 offices, 6 classrooms, more than 35 group study rooms, a dining area, an Executive Education suite, lounge areas, and new, usable outdoor spaces. It was completed in time for the start of classes in fall 2010 and dedicated in May 2011, to coincide with MIT’s 150th anniversary. Another MIT Sloan building, E52, was closed for construction in 2013 and reopened in January 2016. The building features many of the school’s administrative offices, a conference center, and the Department of Economics.

E62 is described on the MIT website as “the ‘greenest’ building at MIT.” A student from the Class of 2012, the first class to enter Sloan after the new building opened, described E62 to us at mbaMission as “the social hub at Sloan. It’s where students meet to socialize, eat—the cafeteria provides some of the best food in the neighborhood—and work on class projects. It’s probably one of the more significant things Sloan has done recently, as it provides the ideal networking space not only for students but also for the many professionals who come to check out the new building and recruit MBAs. The new building really adds to the Sloan experience, and I can’t imagine life before it!”

For a thorough exploration of what Duke Fuqua, MIT Sloan, and other top business schools have to offer, please check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Well, I Had My Chance on the GMAT
You finally took the GMAT, and though your score was not bad, it was not what you had hoped—not your ideal score, but certainly not so low that you unquestionably need to try again. So, when you have a score that is just below where you think you should be, should you retake the test? The truth is that you risk very little in taking the GMAT a second—or even a third—time in pursuit of a better outcome.

Simply put, you do not need to worry if you do worse on your second try. Your target school will not average your score down or consider only your lower score. In fact, no matter how you perform the second or third time you take the exam, your target program will consider only your highest score. This essentially eliminates any risk to you or your candidacy in taking the GMAT more than once. So, if you score a 700 on your first test and a 670 on your second, you are better off than if you had scored a 690 on both.

Dartmouth Tuck, for one, tacitly encourages multiple attempts at the GMAT by allowing applicants to report all valid scores from the previous five years. Tuck will consider an applicant’s best performance on each section of the GMAT (Verbal and Quant), even if the individual scores are from different tests, but will not combine scores to consider a new total score.

So, relax and take the test again if you have time and—more importantly—feel that you can do better. However, if you do not believe you would improve your score, retaking the test, especially more than twice, is pointless.
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Wishing You a Happy New Year! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Wishing You a Happy New Year!
[url=https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/end-new-year-calendar-5853891_1280.jpg][img]https://www.mbamission.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/end-new-year-calendar-5853891_1280-300x201.jpg[/img][/url]
As we turn the page on 2020, we all look forward to a brighter 2021. At mbaMission, we are thankful that we have been able to help many who have been dislocated by the pandemic—as well as many others—to find acceptances and scholarships in what is shaping up to be the most competitive MBA application year ever. We are proud of the company we keep, maintaining our place as the best reviewed admissions consulting firm on GMAT Club and Poets&Quants and the exclusive partner of the world’s leading GMAT prep firm, Manhattan Prep. We never take for granted all of the hard work that has gotten us here. For almost two decades, we have put our clients first—and we will continue to lead in 2021!

Looking forward, we already have clients signing on for the 2021–2022 application season. It may seem early, but now is the time to make the most of your application year! By taking action now, you can dramatically improve your chances of gaining admission to a top MBA program in the coming years. Here are a few ways we can help:

[list]
[*]Join us on [b]January 18[/b] for a free webinar, [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/details/26394/]No Stone Unturned: Your 2021/2022 MBA Application Starts Now![/url][/b], during which we will help you create your ten-month (and beyond) timeline, explain the factors admissions officers evaluate candidates on, and teach you how to assess your own quantitative and qualitative factors to anticipate how you will be viewed by the admissions committees.

[/*]
[*]Download our free [url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/insider-s-guides][b]Insider’s Guides[/b][/url] and [b][url=https://shop.mbamission.com/collections/international-program-guides?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--gsmWNo36t9H4c0ihCEXO0rTrrtp6Q99pBWbBYj49wca-wSDdl-luSVRuD4xDAQMifxEh6]International Program Guides[/url][/b] to learn tons of information about your possible target schools.

[/*]
[*][url=https://www.mbamission.com/consult/mba-admissions/][b]Sign up for a free consultation[/b][/url] to discuss your profile and goals with one of our admissions experts.[/*]
[/list]
We are eager to form productive partnerships and to make the coming year one of significant professional and personal advancement. All of us at mbaMission wish you a happy, prosperous, and (most importantly) healthy new year!
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Columbia Business School’s Financial Studies Program and Increasingly [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Columbia Business School’s Financial Studies Program and Increasingly Flexible Curriculum
Already well known as a finance powerhouse, Columbia Business School (CBS) stepped up its finance game in 2010 with the establishment of the Program for Financial Studies. This umbrella initiative connects faculty who approach financial studies from a variety of disciplines with students, alumni, and external organizations. The program’s main goals are to support research, to enhance the CBS finance curriculum and related resources, and to create opportunities for the exchange of ideas between CBS students and faculty and members of the external finance community. The program’s recent studies have included “ABC Coalition Game: Relationships and Bargaining,” “Amazon: Taking on India,” and “Anheuser-Busch InBev and ZX Ventures: Thirst for Self-Disruption.”

The structure of CBS’s core curriculum has also evolved—the school’s first year was at one time very rigid, and first-year students took all core courses with their cluster unless they were able to pass an exemption exam. Students complained, however, that this inflexible system meant they could take only one elective course their first year, which could put them at a disadvantage when competing for summer internships. For example, previously, a CBS student who accepted a summer internship at a bank may have completed only one finance elective by the end of their first year, but that student’s counterparts on the internship from other schools may have taken two or three—potentially putting the CBS student at a disadvantage with regard to being considered for a full-time job at the end of the internship. So, after an intense process of research and evaluation, CBS launched a more flexible core curriculum in 2008.

Five years later, in 2013, CBS implemented further changes to its core curriculum, including an increased emphasis on cross-disciplinary thinking and even more flexibility. The revamped core courses make greater use of online teaching tools in an attempt to “free up more classroom time for deeper dives and discussions,” as a 2013 Poets&Quants article explained. In the second term of the first year, students can pick three full-term electives and three half-term electives, replacing the school’s previous “flex-core” configuration and allowing students to better prepare for summer internships. In addition, students may take exemption exams in areas in which they are already proficient, thereby accessing the option to replace core courses with electives. This revised curriculum was developed in response to student feedback that a full term was not needed to cover the “core” elements in certain courses, and the change has given students significantly more flexibility in the first year.

CBS has attempted to find a middle ground where students learn what the school considers fundamentals while having the latitude to specialize, and anecdotally, students have responded favorably.

For a thorough exploration of what CBS has to offer, download a free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School or one of our 16 other complimentary Insider’s Guides.
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“Lead” versus “Led” and Not Overusing Techniques in Your Application E [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: “Lead” versus “Led” and Not Overusing Techniques in Your Application Essays
A common mistake we see in our clients’ MBA application essays is the misuse of the verb “lead.” A deeply entrenched and widespread misunderstanding seems to exist as to which spelling connotes present tense and which connotes past tense. One of our consultants even had a client raise their voice in passionate defense—of the wrong usage! In case you are not completely confident about this word yourself, we hope this blog post helps clear up the issue for you.

Lead or Led?

  • Lead—verb, present tense, rhymes with “seed”—refers to actively and presently guiding others.
“In my current position as managing director, I lead a team of six analysts in completing market analysis.”

 

  • Led—verb, past tense, rhymes with “bed”—refers to the act of having guided others at an earlier time or at some point in the past. “Led” is both the past tense and the past participle of “lead.”
“As part of my first job after college, I led two summer interns in a competitive assessment” and “I have led multiple teams of salespeople during my five years at the firm.”

 

Confusing the spelling and/or pronunciation of this verb’s different tenses is a simple mistake but one that stands out clearly to admissions professionals who have probably seen this verb more times in the past year than most people do in a lifetime! So, pay close attention to which is which, and be sure you are using the correct version every time.

Another essay-related issue encountered by some applicants is changing the structure from one essay to the next. For example, a candidate might choose to use a quote at the beginning of an essay to create a sense of urgency:

“This cannot be fixed. This cannot be fixed!” I stared blankly at the broken machinery and knew that the next few hours would be crucial…

 

Using this kind of attention-grabbing technique can certainly be effective, but you should never use any technique more than once in an application. By starting more than one essay in the same manner, you are essentially telling the admissions reader that you understand how to use a gimmick but not how to tell a compelling story in your own way. This is also a quick way to lose your reader’s interest! Be sure to vary your approach in each new essay within a single application. Presenting your ideas in fresh and different ways will help catch the admissions committee’s attention with each introduction and, indeed, each essay.
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