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mbaMission Admissions Consultant
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B-School Chart of the Week: February 2015 Social Currency Rankings [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: B-School Chart of the Week: February 2015 Social Currency Rankings
Rankings come in all shapes and sizes, but can any ranking truly capture social cachet? For a different perspective on the value of an MBA, we turn to the New York Times society pages, in which the editors select and profile promising couples. Each month, we dedicate one B-School Chart of the Week to tallying how alumni from top-ranked business schools are advancing their social currency ranking.

With the end of February, our year-to-date total of New York Times wedding announcements climbs to 95 celebrations, 23 of which included mention of at least one MBA. Despite the Valentine’s Day romance, February proved a slow month for winter matrimonies, with just 46 couples braving the cold to say “I do.” Of those, we counted 12 with business school credentials.

Columbia Business School (CBS) and Harvard  Business School (HBS) tied for the most newlywed mentions in February, with each school appearing four times. CBS thereby takes the overall lead for the year, boasting ten appearances in the society pages so far—twice as many as HBS.

Mimi Hoesley, a global strategy manager with Net-a-Porter.com, and Benjamin Slater IV, a senior analyst at Tipp Hill Capital Management, were among the CBS alumni mentioned last month. Other marriages of note for February included that of HBS alumni Mary Ellen Hammond and Andrew Mondi. In addition, the Stanford GSB, Chicago Booth, and Wharton all made their first 2015 appearances in the NYT announcements.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: From Philly to Florida for Wharton’s Beach W [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: From Philly to Florida for Wharton’s Beach Week
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

Each spring, between finals and graduation, second-year students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania prepare to reenter the “real” world by retreating to South Beach in Miami, Florida, where they partake in almost a week’s worth of partying, relaxing, and beach-going. The week’s events are organized, but not funded, by the Wharton Graduate Association (student association). In recent years, more than 400 students have taken part in Beach Week. Activities offered during the 2014 Beach Week included multiple pool parties, a beachpicnic, a daytime boat cruise, and a pub crawl in South Beach.

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at Wharton and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson Coll [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College
MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, may be small, with more than 2,100 undergraduates and approximately 300 full-time MBA students at its F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, but it has built an outstanding reputation for entrepreneurship that far exceeds its size. Babson has been ranked number one in entrepreneurial education for 20 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report and as one of the top business schools for MBA pay by Bloomberg Businessweek, in addition to being described as an “entrepreneurial powerhouse” by Forbes. The school is home to the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, named in honor of the co-founder of Home Depot who is also a Babson alumnus. The center offers various resources for students looking to start their own businesses, including the Global Entrepreneurs Monitor, the Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices Project, and the John E. and Alice L. Butler Venture Accelerator Program. As part of their hiring requirements, each member of Babson’s faculty has firsthand entrepreneurial experience, offering students a cross-disciplinary curriculum based on real-world business decision making. Babson’s Signature Learning Experiences, for example, give students the opportunity to develop hands-on entrepreneurial skills by testing ideas and formulating business models.
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Friday Factoid: Student and Faculty Research at Tuck [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Student and Faculty Research at Tuck
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College is known for its close-knit community and small faculty-to-student ratio. The school’s research-to-practice seminars complement these characteristics. An article on the school’s Tuck Today Web site explains 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 15 second-year students with top faculty for a “deep dive” into a specific topic. Research-to-practice seminars that were offered in 2014–2015 include the following:

  • “Corporate Takeover”
  • “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 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Awesome, I Can Write My Own Rec! [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Awesome, I Can Write My Own Rec!
Getting to write your own recommendation letters can seem like a blessing. Suddenly, you have the power to control an aspect of the application process that was previously out of your hands. So, your downside risk in these letters is mitigated and your upside is infinite, right? Well, not quite.

Admissions committees are not seeking blustery rave reviews but instead want recommendations that are detailed, personal, intimate and sincere. Can you really write about yourself with dispassionate veracity? And even if you are a master of “dispassionate veracity,” are you able to capture the subtleties that make you stand out? For example, let us say that among the many important things that you do at work, you also perform thoughtful acts without even realizing their significance—for example, you take new team members out to lunch. While you may regard “closing the big deal” as significant, others may appreciate and admire the small but significant act of inviting newbies to lunch, which helps to forge team unity. Unfortunately, you may lack the objectivity necessary to ensure that this positive detail is included in your letter.

This is but one simple example, but our point is that you probably will not know what important elements are missing from your recommendation letter if you write it yourself. So, when you approach your supervisor for a recommendation, go in ready to push back a bit if he/she ask you to write your own letter. Some individuals may be busy or lazy, while others may think that they are doing you a favor by giving you control. Be prepared to impress upon all your recommenders that you cannot help yourself but that they can. After all, that is why you are asking for their input in the first place!
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MBA News: Entrepreneur MBAs Discuss the Value of Student Networks [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Entrepreneur MBAs Discuss the Value of Student Networks
Most aspiring MBAs already understand the value of a wide alumni network, but those who hope to establish a new venture before graduating (or soon after) should also be aware of the importance and power of one’s MBA student community while still in the program. London Business School (LBS) alumnus Nitzan Yudan, who contributed to mbaMission’s “What I Learned At…” series in 2014, recently told the Financial Times how he benefitted from the input and assistance of his fellow LBS students while developing his company, FlatClub. The premise of FlatClub is to assist individuals in providing and/or finding accommodations for medium-term stays in cities like New York and London while remaining within a specific alumni circle. While at LBS, Yudan launched the company among fellow students—and saw the listed apartments expand from the initial five to 70 in two weeks. Today, approximately 10% of LBS’s alumni and students use FlatClub. “The hardest challenge of an entrepreneur is doing the first sales,” Yudan told the Financial Times. “LBS provided me with these.”

Vikas Narula, a graduate of the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, had a similar experience when establishing his venture Keyhubs, a management software and consulting company. He received seed funding with the help of a classmate and reached out to his entire class via email for support and feedback—decisions that helped him successfully launch the company. Indeed, Narula explained to the Financial Times that one of his tips for MBA students and candidates is to reach out, as he did: “I wanted to be sure that they [fellow classmates] were aware of my work, as they could become customers or might know people in their network who would make good customers.”
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Monday Morning Essay Tip: Pluralizing Nouns Whenever Possible [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Monday Morning Essay Tip: Pluralizing Nouns Whenever Possible
One way to conserve words in your MBA application essays and short-answer responses is to pluralize nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

“A manager with an MBA can ascend the corporate ladder faster than a manager who lacks an MBA.” (18 words)

Now consider this version, in which many of the singular nouns have been pluralized:

“Managers with MBAs can ascend the corporate ladder faster than managers without MBAs.” (13 words)

As you can see, the same idea is presented in both sentences, but one sentence has five fewer words than the other. Given that essays can include dozens or even hundreds of sentences, pluralizing wherever possible is helpful in meeting word count requirements.
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MBA News: Financial Times Examines MBA Salary Gender Divide [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Financial Times Examines MBA Salary Gender Divide
A new comparison conducted by the Financial Times probes the divide between genders in MBA graduate salaries around the world. According to the salary information the publication compiled, women receive an average 87% rise in salary within four to five years of enrolling in an MBA program, whereas men experience an average 96% increase within the same time frame. The differences vary by continent—for example, the pay gap between male and female MBAs three years after graduation in North America is 13%. This percentage is highest in Africa and South America, where it is 36% in both. The region with the smallest gap is Oceania—11%.

Another angle on the salary gap that the Financial Times highlights is the pre-MBA salary differential. In North America, for example, the disparity between men’s and women’s salaries before earning a business degree is 7%, compared with the 13% seen within three years of graduation. The largest shift between the two figures is in Africa, where the pre-MBA gap is 16%, and the post-MBA gap is 36%. Interestingly, in Asia, the difference between men’s and women’s salaries actually decreases from 17% before business school to 12% after. In addition, the Financial Times reports that nearly 50% of the women in the survey held professional level jobs, while the men tended to occupy director or senior executive positions.
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MBA News: Stanford GSB Tops U.S. News & World Report 2016 MBA Rankings [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA News: Stanford GSB Tops U.S. News & World Report 2016 MBA Rankings
U.S. News & World Report released its 2016 rankings of graduate business schools today, and gone is the previous three-way tie for the top position. Rather than sharing the number one slot, the Stanford Graduate School of Business now claims that honor on its own, with Harvard Business School and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School at second and third, respectively.

The Darden School at the University of Virginia, which moved from 11th to tenth, represents the only other change within the publication’s top ten. Formerly tied with the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Darden traded places with New York University’s Stern School of Business, so that Stern and Michigan Ross now share the 11th slot. Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business shifted upward slightly from 14th position to tie with the Yale School of Management at 13th.

The majority of movement in the U.S. News top 20 occurred among the schools ranked in the high teens. UCLA Anderson and Cornell Johnson each moved up one spot, the former shifting from 16th to 15th, and the latter from 17th to 16th. The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School likewise rose one position, from 19th to 18th, while both the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business fell two spots, from 15th and 18th, respectively, to 17th and 20th. Emory University’s Goizueta Business School slipped from the top 20 altogether (now tied with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business at 21st), making room for Washington University’s Olin Business School to move in at 19th.

U.S. News & World Report (2016)

  •  Stanford GSB
  •  Harvard Business School
  •  UPenn Wharton
  •  Chicago Booth
  •  MIT Sloan
  •  Northwestern Kellogg
  •  UC-Berkeley Haas
  •  Columbia Business School
  •  Dartmouth Tuck
  • UVA Darden
  •  NYU Stern (tie)
  •  Michigan Ross (tie)
  •  Yale SOM (tie)
  •  Duke Fuqua  (tie)
  •  UCLA Anderson
  •  Cornell Johnson
  •  UT Austin McCombs
  •  UNC-Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler
  •  Washington University Olin
  •  Carnegie Mellon Tepper
 
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Mission Admission: Considerations for a Part-Time MBA [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Mission Admission: Considerations for a Part-Time MBA
Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

This time of year, we tend to get an increasing number of questions about part-time MBA programs. So, we thought we would take a look at some of the pros and cons of this option.

As for the pros, the one that business school candidates cite most frequently is that the part-time MBA involves a limited opportunity cost. Unlike a full-time MBA student, a part-time one does not miss out on two years of salary (and, in some cases, retirement savings) and can still earn raises and promotions while completing his/her studies. Furthermore, firm sponsorship seems to be more prevalent for part-time MBAs, so candidates who have this option can truly come out ahead, with a free education and continued earning throughout. Beyond the financial rationale, many part-time MBA students see an academic advantage; they can learn both in the classroom and at work and can then turn theory into practice (and vice versa) in real time, on an ongoing basis. Of course, a cynic might add that another pro is that part-time MBA programs are generally less selective. So, a candidate who may have had difficulty getting accepted to a traditional two-year program may have a better chance of being admitted to a well-regarded school in its part-time program instead.

As for the cons, many part-time MBA candidates feel that the comparative lack of structure means that networking opportunities within the class are more limited. While one part-time student could complete a school’s MBA program in two years, another might complete it in five. As a result, with candidates progressing through the program at such different paces, students will not likely see each other regularly in the same classes, at the same social events, etc. In addition, in a traditional MBA environment, academics always come first; in a part-time environment, work typically comes first, and academics must come second (or even third, after family). In other words, the full-time program generally involves greater intensity with regard to the classroom experience, given that it is the primary focal point of students’ lives. Another thing to consider is that some MBA programs do not offer their “star” faculty to part-time students (something that candidates should definitely ask about before enrolling) and offer limited access to on-grounds recruiting.

With this post, we are not trying to offer a definitive “answer” or present a bias for a particular kind of program but are simply trying to present some objective facts for candidates to consider as they make informed choices for themselves.
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MBA Career Advice: Fun with Behavioral Questions 3 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: MBA Career Advice: Fun with Behavioral Questions 3
In this weekly series, our friends at MBA Career Coaches will be dispensing invaluable advice to help you actively manage your career. Topics include building your network, learning from mistakes and setbacks, perfecting your written communication, and mastering even the toughest interviews. For more information or to sign up for a free career consultation, visit www.mbacareercoaches.com.

As part of our ongoing series, here are 10 more interesting behavioral questions. Remember, don’t try to prepare or memorize answers for every single one. Instead, have fun coming up with creative ways to map your own experiences to these questions. We recommend doing it with friends. It will make it far easier for you to avoid taking yourself too seriously. Have fun!!!

10 more interesting behavioral questions

  • Can you tell me a time when you were able to effectively “read” another person and guide your actions by your understanding of their individual needs or values?
  • Tell us about a time you did something purely altruistic without expecting anything in return.
  • Tell me a time in which you felt it was necessary to change your actions in order to respond to the needs of another person.
  • Tell us about a time you supported a colleague at work through a challenging situation either personal or professional.
  • How do you effectively manage your organization and planning when you are short on time?  Be specific.
  • Describe the most creative work-related project you have carried out and explain why you thought it was creative.
  • Tell me about when you had to overcome a challenging circumstance that was beyond your control.
  • Tell us about a time you failed to accomplish something you set out to do. How did you recover?
  • How have you effectively acted on a piece of challenging feedback?
  • Tell me about a time you sought out and managed an important mentor.
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Professor Profiles: Saras D. Sarasvathy, UVA’s Darden School of Busine [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Professor Profiles: Saras D. Sarasvathy, UVA’s Darden School of Business
Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a school, but the educational experience at the business school is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Each Wednesday, we profile a standout professor as identified by students. Today, we focus on Saras D. Sarasvathy from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration.


Saras D. Sarasvathy
(“Entrepreneurial Thinking,” “Starting New Ventures,” “Markets in Human Hope,” and “Ethics”) wrote her dissertation at Carnegie Mellon on entrepreneurial expertise and has parlayed that into a specialization in the area of “effectuation,” which examines the creation and growth of new organizations and markets. Her book Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009) examines the way entrepreneurs think. In addition to serving on the editorial boards of Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and the Journal of Business Venturing, she acts as an advisor to education programs on entrepreneurship in Asia and Europe. In December 2010, Darden awarded Sarasvathy a Wachovia award for excellence in research development. Earlier, in September 2007, Fortune Small Business magazine named Sarasvathy one of 18 top professors in the field of entrepreneurship.

Students we interviewed feel that Sarasvathy, who has been an associate professor at Darden since 2004, is one of the up-and-coming scholars of entrepreneurship in the world. One alumnus described her to mbaMission as “very encouraging, supportive. She allows people to share ideas rather than looking for the right answer.” Another told us that he found himself in her “Starting New Ventures” class by mistake; he had lingered too long in the classroom after his previous class had ended and was still there when Sarasvathy’s class began. He was so impressed by her teaching that he added her course to his schedule, even though he was already overloaded. He found even at that first lesson that she “challenged conventional beliefs,” and he was “impressed at her insights and the way that she articulated basic assumptions to bring out the less obvious, deeper levels.”

For some interesting perspectives on entrepreneurship and business, see Sarasvathy’s presentations on BigThink at https://bigthink.com/sarassarasvathy.

For more information about UVA Darden and 15 other top-ranked business schools, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Your Dream MBA: 5 Steps to Getting In Webinar Series [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Your Dream MBA: 5 Steps to Getting In Webinar Series

Join mbaMission and three other leaders in the MBA admissions space—Manhattan GMATPoets & Quants, and MBA Career Coaches—for an invaluable series of free workshops to help you put together a successful MBA application, from your GMAT score to application essays to admissions interviews to post-acceptance internships. We hope you will join us for as many events in this series as you can.

These live webinars are held on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. EDT.

Please sign up for each session separately via the links below—space is limited.

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Beyond the MBA Classroom: Stanford GSB Brown Bag Lunches [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Beyond the MBA Classroom: Stanford GSB Brown Bag Lunches
When you select an MBA program, you are not just choosing your learning environment but are also committing to becoming part of a community. Each Thursday, we offer a window into life “beyond the MBA classroom” at a top business school.

During Brown Bag Lunches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), company founders or experienced alumni come to chat with students, or students share information with one another about fields with which they are familiar. All the attendees bring their own lunch. One first-year student told mbaMission, “These are a great way to get exposure. In the student-run panels, students host a presentation for their classmates about an industry they have worked in. These lunches are open to all students, in all fields of interest. Because everyone knows each other well, people are much more willing to help each other out and teach each other, which is great.”

For in-depth descriptions of social and community activities at the Stanford GSB and 15 other top MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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Diamonds in the Rough: University of Southern California’s Marshall Sc [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Diamonds in the Rough: University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business
MBA applicants tend to overvalue rankings and so can overlook some strong business schools that might be a good fit. In this series, we profile amazing programs at schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Learning to put business strategies into a global context is more than just a specialization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. As part of the first-year MBA core curriculum, Marshall offers a comprehensive program in the spring semester called Pacific Rim International Management Education (PRIME). Students enrolled in PRIME participate in a team project focused on a specific country, industry, and company. The team projects are a capstone of the students’ first year, a reflection of Marshall’s overall emphasis on case study teaching methods and participatory learning. In addition, students are required to partake in a ten-day overseas trip at the end of the spring semester, during which they complete an on-site presentation to companies and organizations located in the Pacific Rim, Latin America, or Europe. Cities visited in the past include Kyoto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Guangdong, Shanghai, Beijing, Hanoi, Bangkok, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Moscow.
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Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: Friday Factoid: Charity Auctions at MIT Sloan
Twice a year, in the fall and the spring, MIT Sloan students organize charity auctions. Each “ocean” (the 60-person cohort with which students take their first-semester core classes) selects a charity to support and identifies items to be auctioned, such as lunch with a professor, a home-cooked meal by a student, and more unusual offerings, like having a professor chauffeur you to class in his classic car. First-year oceans compete to see which one can raise the most money, and second-year students organize a similar auction. All together, the auctions raise tens of thousands of dollars each year for such charities as the California Wildfires Fund, Children of Uganda, Pencils of Promise, Bridge over Troubled Waters, and the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.

As you submit your application to Sloan, you may want to onsider what you can offer up for auction and start preparing to bid!

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at MIT Sloan or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.
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GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 3 [#permalink]
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FROM mbaMission Blog: GMAT Impact: How to Solve Any Sentence Correction Problem, Part 3
With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan GMAT’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 four 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 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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