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How to Market Yourself to an MBA Admissions Committee [#permalink]

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FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Market Yourself to an MBA Admissions Committee
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MBA admissions
can feel pretty daunting – especially when you consider some of the leading schools’ acceptance rates (Stanford GSB says its rate is typically 5-7%, for example). From GMAT scores to letters of recommendation and those often-imposing MBA essay questions, it’s not only important to have everything in place before the deadline, but also to differentiate yourself from other applicants in the process.

To get into your dream business school, therefore, you’ll need to take the right approach. You can get some guidance on application dos and don’ts by attending an admissions fair – such as the QS World MBA Tour – but, for now, here are three pointers raised by admissions staff attached to leading schools, from an interview series on TopMBA.com:

Make your MBA essay stand out

When it comes to an MBA application’s essay questions, Stanford GSB’s MBA admissions director, Lisa Giannangeli, explains that, “you don’t need to have accomplishments or feats that are unusual or different from your peers…If you concentrate your efforts on telling us who you are, differentiation will occur naturally.”

It seems wise, therefore, to ensure your MBA essay captures who you really are. From the values and experiences you hold, to why you believe an MBA is right for your future.

Research the specific MBA program to which you are applying

If you don’t research the specific MBA program to which you’re applying properly, you’re sure to be found out sooner or later, as Renice Jones, assistant director of graduate recruitment and admissions at York University’s Schulich School of Business, points out:

“One mistake that applicants make is not doing enough research to ensure that the program will fit with their career goals.”

Adequate research isn’t just about impressing the MBA admissions panel with knowledge of their program. It’s also very much in your interests to find out whether the school matches what you’re looking for.

Don’t overlook the importance of recommendation letters

The recommendation letter requirements of an MBA application are an opportunity for you to select recommenders who can speak to your accomplishments and corroborate what you are saying about yourself.

With this in mind, it’s worth having an informal chat with your chosen recommenders when asking them to furnish you with a written blessing, as Duke Fuqua’s director of marketing and recruitment, Allison Jamison, says:

“Share with them why you are seeking an MBA – if they understand what your goals are, they are better equipped to provide supporting anecdotes in their write up.”



Looking to speak directly with admissions directors and representatives of the world’s top business schools? Attend a QS World MBA Tour event in one of 23 cities across the US and Canada. Manhattan Prep instructors will be in attendance in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, San Diego, Palo Alto, London, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, NYC, and Chicago. By attending, you can also get free advice on your MBA admissions strategy and will become eligible for QS’s exclusive MBA scholarships!

To reserve your free place at the event, register online today.

This article is adapted from an original published on TopMBA.com.

The post How to Market Yourself to an MBA Admissions Committee appeared first on GMAT.
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GMATPrep Reading Comp: Tackling a Tough Passage (part 5) [#permalink]

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New post 14 Sep 2016, 15:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMATPrep Reading Comp: Tackling a Tough Passage (part 5)
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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Welcome to the final installment of our series on tackling a tough reading comp passage from the GMATPrep® free exams! If you’re just joining us now, go all the way back to the first installment and work your way through to this one.

Make sure you keep part 1 of the series open; it contains the full text of the passage.

Here is the final problem for the passage:

“According to the passage, comparable worth principles are different in which of the following ways from other mandates intended to reduce or eliminate pay inequities?

“(A) Comparable worth principles address changes in the pay schedules of male as well as female workers.

“(B) Comparable worth principles can be applied to employees in both the public and the private sector.

“(C) Comparable worth principles emphasize the training and skill of workers.

“(D) Comparable worth principles require changes in the employer’s resource allocation.

“(E) Comparable worth principles can be used to quantify the value of elements of dissimilar jobs.”

Step 1: Identify the question

The language according to the passage signals that this is a Specific Detail question. These questions essentially ask you to find the answer that matches a certain detail in the passage.

Step 2: Find the proof.

Where does the passage talk about the differences between CW and other mandates that are also intended to address pay gaps?

The passage introduces other mandates in the third paragraph. Starting with the second sentence of paragraph three:

“Because of the principles driving them, other mandates that can be applied to reduce or eliminate unjustified pay gaps between male and female workers have not remedied perceived pay inequities satisfactorily for the litigants in cases in which men and women hold different jobs. But whenever comparable worth principles are applied to pay schedules, perceived unjustified pay differences are eliminated. In this sense, then, comparable worth is more comprehensive than other mandates.”

Step 3: Predict an answer.

So, what are the differences? The other ones don’t work as well for pay gaps between male and female workers holding different jobs, whereas CW does work.

Do you need to go further in the passage or is this enough? You can’t know until you check the answers for a match. If none match, then you can continue further in paragraph three to see whether there are other differences.

(Why aren’t I suggesting that you find all of the differences first? Time! Once you can predict a potential answer, see whether it’s there. If not, then you can decide whether to predict another potential answer or whether you’re sick of this question and want to guess and move on. Image

Step 4: Find a match in the answers.

Dive in!

 “(A) Comparable worth principles address changes in the pay schedules of male as well as female workers.”

This choice does mention male and female workers…but “changes” in the pay schedules aren’t the issue. Gaps are the issue. This one isn’t a match.

“(B) Comparable worth principles can be applied to employees in both the public and the private sector.”

This part of the passage didn’t mention public vs. private. I do remember reading about public and private in the first paragraph…but for now, this one isn’t a match. If I don’t find a better answer, I might come back to this one and look at paragraph one.

 “(C) Comparable worth principles emphasize the training and skill of workers.”

Hmm. This isn’t a match to what I just read, but I do remember reading that skills are what you actually measure when the jobs are dissimilar. So this at least seems to go along with the general way that CW works. I’ll leave it in for now.

“(D) Comparable worth principles require changes in the employer’s resource allocation.”

This is not a match for the part I just re-read. And I don’t remember reading about this in general. The previous answer was more promising.

“(E) Comparable worth principles can be used to quantify the value of elements of dissimilar jobs.”

This one reminds me of (C). Both seem to be about how comparable worth is able to fix pay gaps even for people in different kinds of jobs.

So I do need to read a little bit later in this paragraph to see how this part is described.

“Neither compares tasks in dissimilar jobs (that is, jobs across occupational categories) in an effort to determine whether or not what is necessary to perform these tasks—know-how, problem-solving, and accountability—can be quantified in terms of its dollar value to the employer. Comparable worth, on the other hand, takes as its premise that certain tasks in dissimilar jobs may require a certain amount of training, effort, and skill; may carry similar responsibility; may be carried on in an environment having a similar impact upon the worker; and may have a similar dollar value to the employer.”

CW does examine training and skill levels. It uses that examination to try to quantify the value of different jobs to the employer. That matches answer choice (E). Answer choice (C) is very tempting, but it says that CW emphasizes training and skill levels. CW is not trying to say that people should be better trained to have higher skills. It just examines these things in an effort to try to figure out how much the job is worth to the employer.

The correct answer is (E).

That was a tough one. We had to review a good portion of the third paragraph, and even then, at least one wrong answer was still pretty tempting.

You made it! Congratulations. Now, glance back through these five installments and write down your two or three major takeaways for tackling challenge RC. What do you want to make sure you do (or don’t do) in future? Image

Key Takeaways for Challenging RC
(1) You don’t need to understand every last detail of this passage. RC is an “open book” test: the passage is always sitting right there. Figure out the big picture, and worry about the details later, once you actually get a question about something specific. (By the way: how often did knowing the main idea help you on all of the specific questions for this passage? Go take a look.)

(2) Follow the process. Don’t skip steps! If a particular question is just too hard, that’s okay; guess and move on. But if you are going to answer a question, follow the process.

(3) Think about where you are in the verbal section and how your time and mental energy are doing. On a long and challenging passage, you might decide to bail on one question so that you can spread that time over other questions. (Remember that roman numeral question—the first one we did? Ugh.)

(4) An answer to my question in the first takeaway: the main idea alone could help you to eliminate wrong answers on every single one of these questions. See how useful that is? Image

* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.

Can’t get enough of Stacey’s GMAT mastery? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously.

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Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post GMATPrep Reading Comp: Tackling a Tough Passage (part 5) appeared first on GMAT.
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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Here’s How to Study with the Manhattan Prep GMAT App [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2016, 09:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Here’s How to Study with the Manhattan Prep GMAT App
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Download now free!

Are you wondering where the Manhattan Prep GMAT App fits into your study routine? You shouldn’t just use it to work through lengthy sets of questions. There are better resources for that, such as the Manhattan Prep Strategy Guides and the Official Guide to the GMAT. Instead, think of the app as a way to turn down time into study time: every time you’d otherwise be idly surfing the Internet or playing mobile games, load up the app and do a few minutes of review. Or, add a quick 10 or 15 minutes of problems to your daily routine — think of it as the GMAT equivalent of flossing your teeth. With a little preparation and creativity, you can use the app to efficiently target critical GMAT skills.

Don’t go straight to the questions.

Once you download the app, start by reading the articles in the ‘How to Study’ tab under ‘The GMAT’. Also, read the articles listed under ‘Strategies: Optimize your Performance’ from the Home screen. Chances are, one or more of the issues described there will apply to you. If you read about how to study effectively right now, you’ll learn much more from the problems you do next.

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iOS – ‘How to Study’ Screen

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Android – ‘How to Study’ Screen



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iOS – ‘Optimize your Performance’ Screen

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Android – ‘Optimize Your Performance’ Screen

Now, check out some Quant problems.

On the Quant section of the GMAT, it’s much easier to memorize the content than to figure out how to use that content to solve a problem.

That’s why so many students tell me that they know the math and can solve single problems easily while studying, but that they seem to fall apart on test day or when doing longer problem sets. The GMAT App can help you practice approaching problems, though. Wait until you’re somewhere that you can’t take notes while working, like on the bus or waiting in line. Open a set of Quantitative Reasoning questions — the ‘Foundations of Math Skills’ drill is great — and just think through how you’d solve each question. Don’t worry about actually doing the math in your head, since calculating in your head on the GMAT is rarely a good idea! And don’t worry about getting the right answer. Just read the question carefully, check out the answer choices, and think through the logic involved in solving it. Then, use the explanation to confirm or change your reasoning. This will force you to slow down and think carefully about problems before you start doing math, which is a huge advantage on the GMAT.

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iOS – ‘Questions Categories’ Screen

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Android – ‘Questions Categories’ Screen

Try using random sets of Quant questions from the app to identify math concepts, too. Flip through a set of questions, and just categorize them, rather than solving: is this a rates & work question? Is it a weighted averages question? Is it testing inequalities, or positives and negatives? For a more advanced challenge, identify all of the problems that let you use Choosing Smart Numbers or Backsolving. To really hone your critical thinking skills, open up the ‘Basic Math Quiz’ under ‘Quiz Me’ on the Home screen and see how many problems you can solve with no scratch paper at all. This will force you to look for the simpler solution, which the GMAT really rewards! Every single problem in the Basic Math Quiz can be answered without scratch paper, and without doing an unreasonable amount of math in your head.

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iOS – ‘Basic Math Quiz #1’ Screen

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Android – ‘Basic Math Quiz #1’ Screen

The app is built to help you retain information.

Spaced Repetition helps you form longer-lasting memories in less overall study time. It works like this: if you’ve just learned

something new, revisit it frequently and test your knowledge. Once you know it well, revisit it less often. If you test yourself on topics you’ve studied after longer and longer periods of ‘forgetting’, you’ll get better and better at recalling that information when you need to. Here’s how you use the app to practice this approach.

As you do a question set for the first time, mark each question as ‘Know’, ‘Somewhat Know’, or ‘Don’t Know’. Every other day or so, review your ‘Don’t Know’ questions. Once you remember the information, upgrade that question to Somewhat Know. Review your Somewhat know questions about once a week, and if you still understand the question after a week, upgrade it to ‘know’ and study it once a month or so. Mark these sessions on your calendar ahead of time so you won’t forget to revisit old questions! You can also use the ‘Bookmark this Question’ feature to mark particularly interesting questions, and revisit them regardless of whether you know them well.

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iOS – ‘Bookmark this Question’ Screen

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Android – ‘Bookmark this Question’ Screen

It’s not all about Quant.

The GMAT App is a great excuse to spend a little time on Verbal every day. That’s true even if you’re already great at Verbal! Challenge yourself to really understand Reading Comprehension problems by reading the entire passage without taking notes, then answering the Main Idea question without looking back at the passage. Or do a couple of quick Sentence Correction problems while you’re waiting in line. Many of my students choose to prioritize Quant over Verbal, because they start out with a much lower Quant score. However, because fewer GMAT test-takers have excellent Verbal scores, a very high Verbal score really sets you apart from the crowd. The GMAT App can be a laid-back way to get a few minutes of Verbal practice on a regular basis, and move your Verbal score from ‘good enough’ to ‘awesome’.

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iOS – Verbal Question Screen

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Android – Verbal Question Screen



In conclusion, here’s a quick list of our best GMAT App study recommendations.

If you have ideas of your own, share them in the comments! Image

  • Use the app for short, frequent, varied study sessions. Use other resources for longer sessions.
  • Read the included articles and spend some time exploring the app before you start doing questions.
  • Use the app to target specific skills. For instance, you can practice identifying Quant problems that let you use Smart Numbers or Backsolving, or practice doing Reading Comprehension without taking notes.
  • Take advantage of the built-in categorization features to practice Spaced Repetition.
  • Study a bit of Verbal every day, even if you already have a great Verbal score.

    Download now free!

    Chelsey CooleyImage
    is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington.
     Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170/170 on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here.

The post Here’s How to Study with the Manhattan Prep GMAT App appeared first on GMAT.
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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Everything You Need to Know About Time Management – Part 2 of 3 [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2016, 09:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Everything You Need to Know About Time Management – Part 2 of 3
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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


Welcome back! In the first part of this series, we established some overall principles for time management on the GMAT:

  • Why is time management so important on the GMAT?
  • Know (generally) how the scoring works
  • When solving problems, follow two principles
Today, we’re going to dive into per-question timing.

4. First, train per question: Develop your “1 minute time sense”

In order to maximize your score on the GMAT, you have to make good decisions about when to keep going on a particular question and when to stop. In order to do that, you need to have a very rough sense of how long you are spending.

Here’s the basic idea: on the GMAT, one minute is enough time to get oriented on a question and make a good decision as to whether things are going well enough to warrant investing more time. It’s also enough time to realize that things are not coming together and this time would be better spent on some other question.

But you’re not going to want to check the clock every minute during the test. You’ll drive yourself crazy before the test is over! So how do you know that it’s been roughly a minute since you started working on this question? You’re going to develop something we call the one-minute time sense.

[Note: you do not need to time yourself when you are just reading / studying or doing non-GMAT-format practice. Just learn at a pace that’s appropriate for you. Only use this 1-minute time sense when you are doing Official Guide or other GMAT-format questions.)

Why are we focused on one minute?

The 1-minute mark is the half-way point for Quant, CR, and some RC questions. If you’re actually going to finish this question around 2 minutes, then by the 1-minute mark, you’ve got to understand the question and have a plan for how to move forward. If so, then it’s smart to invest another minute or so on this problem.

If you don’t understand it, or if you don’t have a good plan for solving the problem, then move to educated guessing (if you see a good path for that) or just guess outright and move on.

On SC and some RC questions, the 1-minute mark is approximately the three-quarter point. If you’re on track on these, you should have eliminated at least some answer choices by 1 minute. Further, you should know that you’re close to done. If not, guess randomly from among the remaining choices and move on.

In all of those scenarios, you’re making the best decision based on the current circumstances. In other words, you’re maximizing your ROI (return on investment). When it’s worth it to invest more time, you do so. But when it’s not, you actually have the presence of mind (and the discipline!) to pull back and allocate that time elsewhere. You’re exhibiting strong executive reasoning skills—and that’s really what the GMAT is testing, at heart.

Okay, so how do we develop this one-minute sense?

Grab your phone and pull up whatever stopwatch / timer function you have. Play around with it. Does it have “lap” timing? (Note: on some phones, you may not see the “lap” button until you start the timer. Then, the start button turns into a lap button.)

If your phone doesn’t have a lap button, then search for a stopwatch app that does allow lap timing.

When you push the lap button, the timer will mark the time at which you pushed the button but the timer will keep running. You can do this multiple times to get a bunch of time intervals.

Find something non-GMAT-related that engages your brain fully: write up a memo for work, do some research, read something in The Economist, and so on. Set up your stopwatch but cover the timer itself so that you can’t see what it says. Start working, but push the button every time you think one minute has passed. After some number of times (5, 8, 11? whatever!), stop and check your data.

If you’re within 20 seconds on either side (40 seconds to 1 minute 20 seconds), you’re fine. If you’re consistently too fast, then try the exercise again, this time telling yourself to push the button at what feels like 1 minute 15 seconds. If you’re consistently too slow, push the button when you feel like it’s been only 45 seconds. Do this a few times a day for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and after a week or two, you’ll get yourself pretty consistently into a “good enough” time range.

How do I practice this on GMAT questions?

Glad you asked. Set yourself up with a set of 4 quant or CR questions (it’s best to start with 2-minute-average questions when you’re still getting used to this).

Start your timer (remember to cover up the actual time) and dive into the first problem. When you think it’s been about a minute since you started, push that lap button. When you’re done with the problem, push the lap button again (pretend it’s the real test: when you’re done, you have to click next and confirm to move on to the next question, so pretend that’s what you’re doing here).

Repeat until you’re done with the problem set, then analyze. Looking back over the whole set, did you make good decisions about when to keep going and when to let go? Wherever you think you didn’t, figure out what decision you should have made instead and what, specifically, should have prompted that decision. Next time you face a similar scenario, you’ll be able to make a better decision. We call this maximizing your ROI on the test; read more about how to do this here.

Sometimes, you’ll decide that you don’t know how to really do a problem, but you do think there’s a way to narrow down the answer choices before you guess. Educated guessing can be a great way to improve the odds that your guess ends up being correct (as long as you don’t spend too much time making this guess).

Check out these two articles for more: Educated Guessing on Quant and Educated Guessing on Verbal.

Spend 2 to 3 weeks internalizing and practicing these time management concepts. If you’re in one of our classes, come back to the third part of this series about a week before your second practice CAT.

In part 3, we’ll discuss how to manage your time across an entire section of the GMAT. Image

Can’t get enough of Stacey’s GMAT mastery? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously. 

Image
Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Time Management – Part 2 of 3 appeared first on GMAT.
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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We’re Teaching a GMAT Class at Google Atlanta [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2016, 10:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: We’re Teaching a GMAT Class at Google Atlanta
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We’re hosting a GMAT Class at Google’s corporate offices in the heart of Atlanta’s vibrant midtown district. At Google Atlanta, southern charm and hospitality meet a cutting-edge space. What better environment in which to master the GMAT? You’ll learn with Googlers from Chris Gentry, a standardized testing whiz and proud native Atlantan with a 99th-percentile 770 on the test. He has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Clemson and a JD from Emory Law, but he uses neither because he loves teaching. The class will run on Thursdays from October 6 to December 8 from 6:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you want to try it out with zero obligation, you can swing by the first class session for free. Want a sneak peak of the space? Check out the video tour below. We hope to see you there, Atlanta!

Register here.




The post We’re Teaching a GMAT Class at Google Atlanta appeared first on GMAT.
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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Manhattan Prep and mbaMission: Better Together [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2016, 15:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Manhattan Prep and mbaMission: Better Together
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Don’t have GMAT tunnel vision.


You want to go to business school, and not just any business school, but a top program. You’ve done your homework, and you know that you need a top-flight score to get there. You also know that Manhattan Prep is the best way to go if you’re serious about your GMAT prep. You take our course, crush the test, and move on to next steps…but then you realize that the next steps aren’t simple and they each beg their own questions. Now you’re overwhelmed with the rest of your applications and searching frantically for answers.

Getting into a top business school requires more than just an excellent GMAT score; it requires an excellent application as a whole. Selecting the right schools, strategically crafting your essays, perfecting your resume, securing the best possible recommendations, handling interviews, and every other piece of your MBA applications demand the same amount of care and preparation as your GMAT prep.

So go all in.

Here at Manhattan Prep, we’re proud to offer bundled service packages with our exclusively recommended partner: leading MBA admissions consulting firm mbaMission. Now, you can bundle and save up to $450 on your MBA application journey.

Why mbaMission?

In 2008, Based on Manhattan Prep client feedback, we chose to exclusively recommend mbaMission to students seeking to hire an MBA admissions consultant. We initially recommended ten firms, then short-listed four. Ultimately, the name that kept coming up over and over again as the best experience for our students was mbaMission. Since 2008, our firms have worked side-by-side and share values and a commitment to excellence.

Add Pre-Application, 1-School, or 3-School admissions consulting services to your GMAT Course and leave nothing to chance on your quest to attend a top business school. Manhattan Prep and mbaMission: Better together. Image

For package options, what’s included, FAQs, and pricing, go here.

mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world.

The post Manhattan Prep and mbaMission: Better Together appeared first on GMAT.
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Everything You Need to Know About GMAT Time Management – Part 3 of 3 [#permalink]

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Are you ready for the third and final installment of our Time Management series?

In the first part of this series, we established some overall principles for time management on the GMAT:

(1) Why is time management so important on the GMAT?

(2) Know (generally) how the scoring works.

(3) When solving problems, follow two principles.

In the second part, we talked about per-question timing:

(4) First, train per question: Develop your “One-minute time sense”

Today, we’re going to graduate to per-section timing. Let’s do this!(5) Second, manage an entire section using benchmarks

The GMAT doesn’t time you per question, of course. You’ll need to manage your 75 minutes (each) across 37 Quant questions and 41 Verbal questions.

On most questions, you’re going to spend somewhere between one minute and three minutes.

You’ll also likely have a few on which you guess immediately (because the question is a big weakness for you or looks horrible for some other reason).

And you’ll hopefully prevent yourself from spending much longer than three minutes on any one question, since that’s usually a big waste of time. (Think about it: there is a faster solution but you aren’t finding it. Better to let that one go!)

So how do you balance all of that to come out to two minutes on average? We’re going to use our scratch paper to help us keep track.

GMAT scratch paper is a bound booklet of five sheets of legal-sized paper (that’s the overly long paper often used for legal documents). This yellow graph paper will be laminated, so you’ll use a special marker to write on it. (If you’re in one of our classes, then you received your very Test Simulation Booklet as part of your books and other materials. You can also purchase a Test Simulation Booklet right on our website!)

While the booklet technically has 10 faces (front and back of five pages), the first page has a bunch of writing and instructions on it, so in practice you’ll have nine faces on which to write. You can have only one booklet at a time, but you are allowed to exchange the booklet for a new one during the test. Ask for a new booklet during each break so that you start Quant and Verbal with a clean slate.

Quant Section Timing

When each new section of the test begins, you will have a 1-minute “section” that provides instructions for how to take the test (how to select answers and so on). You, of course, won’t actually need to read these instructions; you’ll already be prepared. Image

Instead, you’re going to use that 1 minute to set up your scratch paper. (Note: you cannot set up your scratch paper during the break; you are not allowed to write anything or even sit in the testing room during your break.)

Here’s what to do:

Image

Flip the booklet over (so that you’re on the very last page), and write “0” or draw a smiley face or whatever message you like in the lower-right corner. This is where you’ll be done with the Quant section! Draw two lines to split the page into quadrants.

Then move to the second-to-last page and write “8” in the lower-right corner. Again, split the page into quadrants.

Keep doing this, counting up by multiples of 8 and working from the back of the booklet to the front. On the very first page (the one on which you write 64), split the page into five boxes, not four.

As you take the test, the number in the corner of each page tells you approximately what the clock should read when you’re done with that page. If you’re within three minutes in either direction, you’re fine.

If you are more than three minutes behind (e.g., you get to the number 40 but you only have 36 minutes left on the clock), then somewhere in the next set of four, choose a hard question on which to bail immediately. As soon as you see that it’s testing a topic you don’t like, or the wording is confusing, or whatever, guess your favorite letter and move on. Boom! Now you’re within three minutes again and can continue normally.

(By the way, what is your favorite letter, A, B, C, D, or E? If you don’t have an immediate answer, pick one anyway. Congratulations, you now have a favorite letter! Whenever you need to guess randomly, always pick that same one. If you have eliminated that letter via educated guessing, then pick from among the remaining answers.)

If you discover that you are more than three minutes ahead (e.g., you get to the number 40 but you still have 45 minutes left on the clock), then work more methodically. Make sure that you are actually writing all of your work down. Don’t rush so much that you start making a bunch of careless mistakes!

Practice setting up your scratch paper this way during your practice tests. You’ll need to be able to set it all up in one minute (it’s harder than it sounds!) and you’ll need to practice how to react appropriately if you discover that you’re too far ahead or behind.

Verbal Section Timing

The different Verbal question types have different average time lengths, so tracking your timing is not going to be as clean as it is on Quant.

Here’s how to set up the scratch paper for Verbal:

Image

Since the Verbal questions have different averages, you’re going to do more problems before you check the time. This allows you to better balance across the different kinds of questions you’ll see on the test.

This time, you’re going to use only the last five pages of your booklet. You’ll count up by multiples of 15, and you’ll do eight questions on each page (nine on the first page).

We have to account for one more thing: the time it takes to read passages for Reading Comprehension problems. We typically see four passages on the test. The timing shown here assumes that you will start one new passage on each of the first four pages. In other words, you will start one passage somewhere in the first nine questions. You’ll start the second passage somewhere in the next eight questions. And so on.

The test could, though, space out the passages differently. So here’s what you’re going to do. Every time you start a new passage, draw a dot on your hand with your pen. (Yes, your hand, not your scratch paper. As you turn the pages, you lose the ability to see at a glance how many passages you’ve done so far.)

At the end of the first page, you should have 1 dot and be pretty close to 60 minutes left. At the end of the second page, you should have two dots and be pretty close to 45 minutes left. And so on. If your dots are on track and you find yourself more than three minutes ahead or behind, take the same kind of action that you would take for Quant in that circumstance.

But if the dots are not on track, adjust your expectations accordingly. Let’s say that you get to the end of the second page, where you’re supposed to have two dots and 45 minutes left…but you have three dots already on your hand. You might only have 41 minutes left, but that’s okay because you started an extra passage. You don’t need to guess immediately on one of the questions in the next set.

If, on the other hand, you have only one dot on your hand at the supposed-to-have-45-minutes-and-two-dots mark, then you would want to have more than 45 minutes left—closer to 48 or so. You’ll need more time later on because you still have three passages to come. If you actually have only 44 minutes left at that point, time to guess randomly on an upcoming hard question.

One last note for Verbal: on the graphic above, we show the ABCDE written out for each question. If you prefer, you can write out the letters just once vertically and then continue tracking your work on subsequent problems to the right (without repeatedly writing the letters). Just continue to use your symbols to eliminate or circle the empty spaces that represent A, B, C, D, and E.

You will definitely need to practice this setup multiple times before you get into the real test. Use this procedure on all of your practice CATs from now on. You can also use this whenever you do problem sets. Make Quant problem sets in multiples of four from now on and Verbal problem sets in multiples of eight.

Then, analyze your timing both globally and per-question. Where did you make good decisions? Where should you have made different decisions? Figure out exactly how you should have known to make that different decision so that you can re-train yourself for next time and master time management on the GMAT.

Good luck and happy studying! Image

Can’t get enough of Stacey’s GMAT mastery? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously. 

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Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post Everything You Need to Know About GMAT Time Management – Part 3 of 3 appeared first on GMAT.
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Take 50% off our GMAT® App before Halloween ends! [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2016, 15:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Take 50% off our GMAT® App before Halloween ends!
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There are two things more horrifying than the living dead:

Kill two werewolves with one silver bullet by redeeming this special, limited-time offer!

Here are the details:

  • You take 50% OFF and pay just $19.99 (regularly $39.99).
  • You dispel your GMAT demons.
  • This offer expires at the strike of midnight on Halloween!
You’re still here? That’s terrifying!

Redeem now!

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

The post Take 50% off our GMAT® App before Halloween ends! appeared first on GMAT.
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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Breaking the 700 Barrier – Part 1: The GMAT Mindset [#permalink]

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New post 11 Nov 2016, 15:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Breaking the 700 Barrier – Part 1: The GMAT Mindset
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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

The top 10 US b-schools now have average GMAT scores in the 700 to 730 range. That’s 90th percentile or higher—in other words, really high scores!

So, if you want a 700-level score, what does it take to get yourself into that range?

We’ll talk about what you need to do, but we’re also going to talk about what you need to NOT do. A lot of people harm their own chances (unknowingly!) by following paths that have very little chance of raising them to the 700 level.

And one caveat: I can’t guarantee that, if you follow what I say, you’ll get yourself into the 700+ range. By definition, only 10% of all GMAT test takers score in that range. What I can guarantee is that you’ll maximize your chances. Image

What is the GMAT really about?
The GMAT is ultimately a test of your business mindset. Yes, you have to know math formulas and grammar rules and other things—but these are just the surface level of the test. The makers of the GMAT (aka GMAC) are most interested in how you think.

What does that mean? Read this.

Seriously, go read it right now, then come back here. I’ll wait.

What did you learn? How does that change your understanding of what you need to do in order to do well on this test?

In short, the GMAT is a test of how flexibly you think and how well you make various decisions—including the decision not to work on a particular problem at all. If you’re going to hit a 700+ level on this test, you’ll need to employ a business mindset, both while you’re taking the test and while you’re studying.

Myths of the GMAT & The GMAT Mindset
Myth #1: I need to get a high percentage of the questions on the test correct in order to get a high score.

Let’s talk a little about what you’re not trying to do. First, it is not the case that your goal is to get all or most of the questions right. You’re going to answer approximately 60% of the questions correctly—whether you end up at a 500 or 600 or 700 level.

Think about how weird that is: the test is not scored based on percentage or number correct! It is not the case that a higher score means you got more right than the person sitting next to you.

That’s just bizarre! How can you get a better score if you got about the same number right?

In school, everyone took the same test, so the only way to differentiate was by the number each person answered correctly. But on the GMAT, everyone takes a different test. The GMAT is a computer adaptive test: it actually changes based on how you’re doing. It adapts to you while you’re taking it!

Think of it this way: if I’m trying to figure out at what level you’re capable of scoring, and I have a bunch of questions at different difficulty levels, one way to accomplish my goal is the following:

  • I give you a problem. You get it right.
  • I think, hmm. So you can do that one, can you? Well, how about this one? And I give you a harder one.
  • You miss that one, so now I have a hypothesis: your scoring level is somewhere between the first one and the second one. So I give you a third problem that’s in the middle somewhere to see how you do on that one.
  • Basically, the test is triangulating based on what you can do and what you cannot do. (And it’s actually even more complicated than what I described above, but that’s good enough for our purposes.)
So, myth #1 busted: Your goal is not your school goal to get most of the test right. That’s impossible, because the GMAT is explicitly trying to find the level at which you cannot answer questions correctly. And it will, even for someone scoring in the 99th percentile. Image

Myth #2: The earlier questions on the test are particularly important.

When someone grasps how the test really does work, the next question I hear is, “Oh, so the earlier questions are super important! They ‘set’ your level or your trajectory, right?”

Actually, that’s another myth. I understand why it arose; I thought the exact same thing when I first started learning about adaptive tests. As I dug more into the complex theory that governs adaptive tests, though, I realized both why people intuitively think that and why it’s not correct.

Still, I run into this myth all the time, so I’m here to tell you: There’s something else going on.

The GMAT is what’s called a “Where you end is what you get” test. You could lift your score up to a 51 (the very top score for quant or verbal) by the middle of the section, but if your performance has dropped to the 40-level by the time that section ends, then your score is going to be 40. It’s not going to be an average of 40 and 51. It’s just a straight-up 40.

Here’s what happens to someone who believes “the earlier questions are more important” myth:

  • “I’m still early, so I’ve got to get this right. Hmm. I’m not really sure how to do this one. Maybe if I try it this way…” 4 minutes later, I have an answer.*
  • I do this for the first 5 or 7 or 10 questions in the section.** By that time, I’m significantly behind on time.
  • For the last 5 to 10 questions in the section, I have to rush and guess just to finish on time.
  • My score tanks at the end. And where you end is what you get (henceforth known as WYEIWYG). Image
*By the way, spending a bunch of extra time doesn’t even guarantee that I’ll get it right. In fact, if I need 4 minutes to answer a problem that’s supposed to average 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the problem type), then my chances of getting it right actually decrease. Something’s wrong if I need that much time—there’s something that I don’t really know how to do, or it wouldn’t take me that long.

**Think about what it would take to answer the first 5 or 7 or 10 questions in a row correctly. The first question is going to start out somewhere in the mid-range (around 50th percentile). You get that right, and you’re going to get a harder one. And then you keep doing that, problem after problem. Before too long, the questions you’re getting are up in the stratosphere!

So, myth #2 busted.

Now, if you know how to answer stratosphere-type questions correctly and in normal time, then you’re going to get a great score on the GMAT…in which case, “make sure to get the early questions right” isn’t even a strategy you need. You just already know how to do these questions, even the super hard ones. That’s maybe 0.5% of the population. For the rest of us, this just isn’t going to happen.

The test writers are actively going to give you things that are too hard or will take too long to do. They want to see whether you have the presence of mind to recognize that this question is a bad question for you—your ROI (return on investment) potential is too low. And they want to know whether you have the discipline to walk away from a low-opportunity question.

In other words, they want to know how good of a business person you are! Your ultimate goal is not to get everything right. Your ultimate goal is to demonstrate your “business mindset.”

Make your own choices as you take the exam, deciding as you go what is and is not promising enough to warrant your precious time and mental energy. Do not become a victim of the “first 5/7/10 questions” myth! Remember WYEIWYG.

In other words, use your business mindset to help you maximize your ROI on this test. Join us next time, when we’ll talk about what it really takes to get a 700 score. Image

Can’t get enough of Stacey’s GMAT mastery? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously. 

Image
Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post Breaking the 700 Barrier – Part 1: The GMAT Mindset appeared first on GMAT.
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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Last Minute Tips for Getting Accepted to B-School in Round 2: Facebook [#permalink]

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New post 18 Nov 2016, 07:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Last Minute Tips for Getting Accepted to B-School in Round 2: Facebook Live
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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

You want to enroll in business school next year, but your applications and GMAT score are far from complete—maybe you haven’t even started. Round 2 MBA deadlines are fast-approaching, and now is the time to make the mad dash to meet them. If you miss Round 2, then Round 3 deadlines are still an option as well, but are they advisable?

Where do you even begin to start tackling applications and GMAT scores when you realize late in the game that next year must be your year to earn your MBA?

We’ve got some thoughts on that.

Join us live on the Manhattan Prep GMAT Facebook page next Wednesday, November 16 at 1:00 PM Eastern for a special presentation on last-minute tips for getting accepted to business school. The presentation will be given by two experts on MBA admissions and the GMAT, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask them any questions you have.

Meet the experts:

Liza WealeImage
is a Senior Consultant with mbaMission. Liza attended MIT Sloan for her MBA and joined Bain & Company after graduation, where she worked with clients across industries, while also guiding her associate consultants through the MBA admissions process. Liza later served as executive director of Kaplan Test Prep’s GMAT and GRE business lines, where she led all strategic, marketing, and curriculum development efforts. Her true passion lies in helping people market themselves in their MBA applications.

Joe MartinImage
not only has a 99th percentile GMAT score (an eye-popping 790), but also 99th percentile scores on the LSAT and GRE as well. He’s what we call a “triple threat” in test prep. Joe majored in astrophysics at Colgate University, where he lead tutoring sessions for his peers. Now, Joe has found his dream job teaching full-time, serving as an Instructor Manager, and helping to develop Manhattan Prep’s interactive video lessons, or “Interact.”

So, join us on Wednesday, November 16 live on the Manhattan Prep GMAT Facebook page for a special opportunity to harness the wisdom of Liza and Joe. Even if you’re not in a rush to apply this year, feel free to tune in for future reference. We hope to see you there! Image

TL;DR: 

What: Last Minute Tips for Getting Accepted to B-School in Round 2 or 3: Facebook Live

Where: Manhattan Prep GMAT Facebook page

When: Wednesday, November 16 at 1:00 PM Eastern

mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a full-time and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30-minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Sign up today at www.mbamission.com/manhattangmat.

The post Last Minute Tips for Getting Accepted to B-School in Round 2: Facebook Live appeared first on GMAT.
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New Location: New Jersey! Be a part of our inaugural Jersey GMAT class [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 09:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: New Location: New Jersey! Be a part of our inaugural Jersey GMAT class.
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Just call us New Jersey Prep!

Okay, maybe don’t do that. Actually, please don’t do that; it will cause all sorts of branding confusion.

What you can do is tell all of your friends that we’re now offering classes at Rutgers Business School in Newark, New Jersey.

It might not be a total re-brand, but it should be a welcome development for Northern Jersey residents who are looking to ace the GMAT.

We’re proud to present our very first New Jersey GMAT course.

It’s being taught by 99th percentile GMAT scorer and MIT Sloan MBA alumnus Eric Caballero. Students credit his high-energy teaching style with making class time fly, and his intelligence and effectiveness with helping them reach their target scores.

When: Mondays from Nov. 28, 2016 to Feb. 13, 2017 from 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST

Where: Rutgers Business School: 1 Washington Park, Newark, NJ 07102

Interested? You can attend the first session for free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Try it for Free.

Don’t live in Jersey? Frankly, it’s amazing that you’ve read this far. But more importantly, we’ve got classes all over. Find a course near you hereImage

The post New Location: New Jersey! Be a part of our inaugural Jersey GMAT class. appeared first on GMAT.
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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Great News! Interact Honored by Wharton, QS as Top Innovative E-Learni [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2016, 08:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Great News! Interact Honored by Wharton, QS as Top Innovative E-Learning Platform
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Check out our free Interact™ demo here.

We started our week in Philadelphia. No, we weren’t eating cheesesteaks or trying to steal the Declaration of Independence—we were at the Reimagine Education Conference & Awards 2016!

Our on-demand, innovative e-learning platform for the GMAT and LSAT, Interact™, was shortlisted for the Digital Content Award, which recognizes innovative digital learning solutions. We put a lot of thought and hard work into figuring out what students needed in a self-study platform, and we’re thrilled that our efforts were recognized.

The Reimagine Education Conference & Awards are organized by career and education network QS in collaboration with the esteemed Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. Created to reimagine traditional, expensive, sometimes inaccessible education, the Awards honor “innovative education pedagogies enhancing learning and employability.” Their panel of 40 elite judges and group of distinguished speakers include innovators from organizations such as Google, Microsoft, and Harvard.

Out of 527 submissions, Interact was one of 120 shortlisted projects.

Noah Teitelbaum, our VP of Instruction & Customer Experience, traveled to Philadelphia to give a talk on Interact to the Awards judges and global audience. He certainly impressed them with his passion for great teaching. Image

Interact from Manhattan Prep is quite exciting! @ReimagineHEdu #ReimagineEdu @manhattanprep pic.twitter.com/UqGLhsNFFh

— Arditodesio Company (@jetproptheatre) December 5, 2016

Ingredients of #great teachers:

1. Connection
2. Enthusiasm
3. Challenge

Great teachers matter a lot @ManhattanPrep#ReimagineEdu #EdTech

— Theo Lynn (@theolynn) December 5, 2016

Interact was created to immerse students in an engaging, self-paced learning experience. We eschew the stale, linear model of traditional video lessons; instead, we sought to create an intuitive platform that would allow students to authentically connect with teachers during entertaining lessons (there are even a couple of sock puppets involved).



How? Well, we used real teachers behind and in front of the camera—our awesome instructors, in fact, who have all gotten 99th percentile scores on the tests they teach. They guide you through multifaceted lessons that engage your whole brain, giving you the skills you’ll need before, during, and after the test.

Interact tailors itself to you, making it truly interactive.

If you get something right, you may be led to a tougher problem. If you get something wrong, we might guide you through a detailed lesson. This allows you to experience the expertise, empathy, and guidance you’d receive from a seasoned teacher during an in-person class.

It’s kinda like the choose-your-own-adventure of test prep.

Interact covers every topic on the exam. For the GMAT, you can purchase Verbal Only or Quant Only if you need help only on a particular section. For the LSAT, you can purchase Logic Games Only, Logical Reasoning Only, or Reading Comprehension Only.

We’re proud of Interact—it’s come a long way, just like us. We’re grateful that Reimagine Education sees potential in the platform, and we look forward to stretching the boundaries of edtech for years to come. Image

Get free trials of Interact here:

The post Great News! Interact Honored by Wharton, QS as Top Innovative E-Learning Platform appeared first on GMAT.
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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GMAC News: New “Lifetime Limit” on GMAT Attempts [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2016, 08:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAC News: New “Lifetime Limit” on GMAT Attempts


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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

This past Friday, GMAC hosted its biannual Test Prep Summit at its headquarters in Reston, VA. (Really: it’s annual, but they skipped a year last year.) I was there and have various tidbits and scoops to share with you. Image

Integrated Reasoning
We spent a lot of time talking about the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the test. The section has been out long enough now (June 2012) for the early test-takers to have completed graduate school. GMAC conducts extensive validity studies on all parts of its tests and IR is scoring well. In other words, performance on IR does actually correlate to performance in b-school, so IR is a valid test to help schools evaluate candidates.

Schools have slowly started to use IR more (the first year, I think everybody ignored it, schools and students alike!). We’ve heard that the most common usage is as an extra data point: a plus in your column if you have a high score and a minus if you have a low score. (As a reminder: this section is scored from a low of 1 to a high of 8. The median score is between 4 and 5, so a 6 is a good score and a 7 or 8 is a very good score.)

My guess is that the validity data will encourage schools to continue the current trajectory, paying more and more attention to IR. The bad news: yes, this means you should be taking IR more seriously than you might have thought you needed to. The good news: the IR section tests the same underlying material (quant, CR-type reasoning, executive decision-making) as the rest of the test. The only true “extra” is how to handle the four question types that are specific to the IR section.

Also: I know many people don’t like or are intimidated by the IR section, but a lot of that is simply that you haven’t really seen this kind of thing before. You just need to study it enough that it feels normal. Imagine what the Quant and Verbal sections of the test would be like if you’d never seen any kind of multiple-choice math question or any Reading Comp passage, ever. It would feel very weird and annoying. (Even more so than it already is. Image
)

Note for anyone who wants to go into management consulting or investment banking: these industries tend to ask for GMAT scores* when recruiting on b-school campuses—and some of the big-name firms have reported that they are also paying attention to the IR scores. This makes sense, since the IR section is testing exactly the kind of analytical skills that an analyst or consultant needs to use all day long. So if you aspire to work in these fields, make sure you set aside enough time during your studies to perform well on the IR section, too.

[*p.s. Just a note: I haven’t heard these types of firms ask for your “GMAT or GRE” scores. To date, my students tell me that they’re asked specifically for their GMAT scores, period. Just something to think about if you want to go into one of these fields.]

8-Test Lifetime Limit
GMAC has announced that it will shortly impose an 8-test lifetime limit on the GMAT. This will help them to curb abuses by people who are taking the test 5 times a year, every year, for some nefarious purpose (very, very few of these people send even a single score report to a school). In the past, people have been caught taking the test repeatedly in an attempt to memorize questions and then sell them to aspiring test takers. I’m assuming this is the kind of security issue that the new policy is meant to combat.

GMAC has crunched the numbers and determined that 8 tests is the right threshold to minimize the impact on legitimate students—most people over that threshold in the past five years are people they suspect of taking the test for not-the-right-reasons.

If you are worried about this, take heart: there will be an appeals process, in case a legitimate student really does get caught up in the new limit. I imagine that some people are already in the 5 to 7 test range and will now be really worried; if you are a legitimate student, it’s okay! You will have to jump through some hoops to show them that you are a legitimate student, but assuming you are, you will be able to take the test again.

For others who aren’t that far down the path yet, I will say: it’s still totally okay to take the GMAT multiple times, but it’s also wise to make sure that you’re prepared as best you can be. I’ve talked to a lot of students who take an official test after having studied only a week or two—because they just wanted to see what the experience was like. Use GMATPrep for that (GMAC’s official free practice test) and save the real test for a legitimate attempt. It’s fine to have a “dry run” attempt after you’ve been studying for a while but before you feel you’re totally ready to hit your goal—that’s still only one test.

Executive Assessment
The Executive Assessment (EA) is GMAC’s new test (launched March 2016) for Executive MBA (EMBA) programs. A seventh school, University of Virginia Darden has started using the EA, joining the six founding members: CEIBS (China European International Business School), Chicago Booth, Columbia, University of Hong Kong Business School, INSEAD, and London Business School.

At the summit, GMAC confirmed that geometry will not show up on the EA. Yay! There are also plans to release practice questions and practice tests early in 2017, hopefully in the first quarter. If you are planning to take the EA before then, take a look at our article summarizing our best guesses regarding what the EA does and does not test (and, therefore, how to prep for it).

GMAC also provided more in-depth details as to how the EA works as an adaptive test. It’s not question-adaptive, the way that the GMAT is. The Integrated Reasoning section is given first because it combines both math and verbal skills. After that, you’ll do the Verbal section in two groups of 7 questions each. The difficulty level of the first batch of 7 questions will be chosen based on how you did on verbal-based IR questions. Then, you’ll receive another set of 7 questions chosen based on how you did in the first batch of Verbal questions. The same thing will happen with the Quant section (the final section on the EA).

GMAC also emphasized that, though the EA looks and feels a lot like a shorter version of the GMAT, it’s not just a “mini-GMAT.” The GMAT is a much longer and a much more precise test—it’s designed to help schools evaluate you against other applicants as well as predict your chances of success in b-school.

The EA, on the other hand, is what’s called a “readiness” test: it’s designed to assess whether your fundamental Q and V skills are good enough for you to start your EMBA program. Presumably, the schools will use it at two levels: they’ll want to see a “good enough” score to know that you won’t crash and burn as soon as school starts, and they might use the results to recommend certain pre-term courses that will get you ready to start—maybe you need a math refresher course or a tutorial on data and graph interpretation, for example.

Anything Else?
Just one: I’ve asked them (again Image
) to please release a Focus product for Verbal. GMAC currently has a GMAT Focus product for the Quant section and it’s one of the best study tools available: it’s a 24-question adaptive quant section. It’s literally the only adaptive study tool that’s not a full-length practice test.

I keep emphasizing that word adaptive because that’s the key feature. The best practice is practice that mimics the format of the real test, but it takes 3.5 hours to take a practice test and sometimes…I’m just not ready for that. But I still do want to get very GMAT-like practice.

GMAT Focus is made for just this situation. It allows you to get additional, CAT-like practice in shorter bursts, so you can iterate more (take a Focus, analyze it, then set study priorities for the next week before you do it all over again—and take a full CAT 2 or 3 weeks from now).

On a per-question basis, Focus is more expensive than other official products, and there’s only a max of 4 before you see repeated questions, so I would save it for later in your studies—when you know all the math you want / need to know and are really looking to put your skills together in timed, adaptive conditions. Bookmark the store link I gave above and keep this in your back pocket—you’ll want to use it when the time is right.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Questions? Comments? Let us know below or contact our Student Services team (gmat@manhattanprep.com) for additional help. Image

Can’t get enough of Stacey’s GMAT mastery? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously. 

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Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

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Mind the Gap: How the Skills Gap Is Affecting Employment and Education [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2016, 23:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Mind the Gap: How the Skills Gap Is Affecting Employment and Education
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If you’ve spent any time poring over job listings recently, you may have noticed a trend: despite the fact that there are a ton of openings, it can seem impossible to secure an interview or even a response from most companies. The jobs are there, but somehow you’re still looking for one; so, what’s the missing link?

Businesses really are looking to hire new employees, but it’s been proving difficult to find people who have what it takes to do those increasingly high-skill jobs. Employees can’t keep up with the skills they’re expected to possess, which are always changing, and in turn, companies have to halt growth while they search for potential hires who they feel can get the job done. This phenomenon is referred to as a “skills gap,” and it’s been widening for years alongside the advance of technology and its ties to the ever-evolving workforce.

This past July boasted the most job openings ever recorded in a month in the U.S. since the year 2000; there were 5,788,000 openings and 5,084,000 people hired.

That seems like good news at face value, but it’s actually a result of the skills gap’s habit of ruining employment opportunities. Less people were hired because companies have been lengthening the hiring process rather than providing promising employees with the training they need to acquire new skills. Obviously, this hurts the economy, but it’s particularly frustrating for people who find that their breadth of knowledge is insufficient, forcing them to catch up or face a long job search.

The Skills Gap Misery Index uses data to tangibly measure the effect that the skills gap has on the U.S. workforce by proving the amount of “misery” it’s caused over the years with both employers and employees. The current SGMI is 138.2, which means that the gap is 38.2% wider than it was in 2001, when the data was first measured. Clearly, we’re pretty miserable at the moment. Image

According to the Wall Street Journal, 73% of CEOs claim the skills gap is a “key concern” that undoubtedly affects the future growth of their business. The gap is especially prevalent in the tech world, where advances are constantly being made to render formerly-impressive skills obsolete, like a new iPhone after six months. Since the existing amount of digital data is doubling every two years, there’s been a huge increase in demand for skilled employees in fields like data science and analytics, which were once niche areas but are quickly becoming integral to all industries.

This bubble chart by UpScored shows the top 30 skill gaps in technical roles:

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To help bridge the gap, companies like Microsoft have been investing in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, confirming its crucial role in the development of the skills necessary to succeed in today’s workforce. Learning skills through higher education like the ones illustrated in the bubble chart can greatly increase your worth in the job market.

After all, employers are consistently looking for highly-educated employees. According to Fortune, there is a “vast pay gap between those with advanced degrees and those without, as well as [a] growing emphasis employers place on higher education for hiring and promotion.” Their study determining the best graduate degrees for jobs was based on a combination of outlook for job growth, median pay, and job satisfaction/stress. The result?

Graduate degrees in STEM fields dominated the rankings, with starting salaries ranging from $68k to $117k.

With 27% of employers now hiring employees with master’s degrees for positions that used to require only a 4-year degree, higher education has become increasingly important in the workforce. It’s not just mid-level positions that are at stake—46% of employers are looking to hire better educated candidates for entry-level jobs.

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MBAs in High Demand
Investing in a master’s in a STEM field isn’t the only way to go when considering your future employment opportunities. There’s also the MBA, whose graduates earn an average of 75% more than non-MBAs—and that’s just in general. MBAs from the top schools can augment their earnings to 138% more than their pre-MBA salary levels. This is a process that plays out over the entirety of your career; 20 years after completing their program, MBA grads can expect to be around $2.57 million better off than non-MBAs in terms of salaries, bonuses, etc.

Beyond the financial gains, an MBA helps you develop business skills and connections that can make it easier to find an amazing job after graduation. According to this graduate of both Harvard and Stanford, a top MBA can provide you with “the habit of thinking strategically…the desire to think big, the ambition to do something that matters, and the self-confidence to launch yourself into achieving it,” as well as “deep friendships with so many bright, driven, ambitious people.” The possession of those skills and resources is invaluable in a job candidate—simply having that network of trusted b-school associates can open up job opportunities and collaborations that would never be possible otherwise, making you see your MBA’s return on investment for your whole career.

Yes, a master’s in something like Computer Science and an MBA from a great school are pretty big investments in and of themselves. But as employers continue to hold out for highly-skilled candidates, the skills gap will widen and employees will be expected to learn more than they already know.

Pursuing higher education is a way to secure your future in an uncertain workforce.

Hiring practices may be changing, but the value of a graduate degree has only been increasing. Choosing to go after a master’s degree or MBA definitely takes a lot of hard work and preparation. We know that you may not have time to attend an in-person class, might prefer learning in an interactive way, or maybe you work best in a 1-on-1 setting—that’s why we offer test prep options for all kinds of people looking to invest in their future. As the skills gap widens, we’re choosing to think big and plan ahead for the many students who will seek out higher education.

We hope to see you in class soon! Image

Show the skills gap who’s boss by taking the first steps toward higher education. We offer:

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Announcing Our Very First Miami GMAT Course! [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 11:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Announcing Our Very First Miami GMAT Course!
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We’re taking our talents to South Beach.

Don’t be fooled by our name. We may have started in Manhattan, but now we offer classes pretty much everywhere!

Instructor Daniel Fogel has been teaching courses in Boston, but lately he had been considering a winter retreat. So, we sent him to Miami! He’ll be teaching our very first Miami GMAT course there starting on January 23.

It might be a bit harder to focus on your GMAT studies amid the white sand, art deco, and world-class nightclubs, but don’t worry. Daniel is a master at guiding students through the process.

Here’s what you need to know:

When

Mondays, Jan. 23 – March 20, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Where

The Mutiny Hotel on the Bay, 2951 Bayshore Drive, Miami, FL 33133

Join us for our very first GMAT Course in Miami!

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The difference is Manhattan Prep, Lebron.

Don’t live in Miami and feeling left out? Don’t worry. We have GMAT Complete Courses all over.

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Beginning Your B-School Application Year: Facebook Live [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 11:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Beginning Your B-School Application Year: Facebook Live
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Your New Year’s resolution was to get into business school. January will be over before you know it, though. Have you assessed your MBA profile yet? Scheduled your GMAT test date?

Don’t worry; you haven’t fallen too far behind schedule, but if you want to stay ahead of the curve, it is time to start thinking seriously about beginning your b-school application year.

We’ve teamed up with our exclusive MBA admissions partner, mbaMission, to bring you a one-of-a-kind presentation that answers all of your application questions—and introduce our new and exciting offering, exclusively for Manhattan Prep students!

Join us live on the Manhattan Prep GMAT Facebook page next Tuesday, January 24 at 6 p.m. EST for a special presentation on assessing your MBA profile and conquering the GMAT in 2017. The presentation will be delivered by an MBA admissions expert and a GMAT pro, and you will have the opportunity to ask them any questions you have.

Meet the experts

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mbaMission Senior Consultant Liza Weale attended MIT Sloan for her MBA and joined Bain & Company after graduation, where she worked with clients across industries, while also guiding her associate consultants through the MBA admissions process. Liza later served as executive director of Kaplan Test Prep’s GMAT and GRE business lines, where she led all strategic, marketing, and curriculum development efforts. Her true passion lies in helping people “market” themselves in their MBA applications.

ImageJoe Martin is a GMAT instructor at Manhattan Prep. He has earned not only a 99th percentile GMAT score (an eye-popping 790), but also 99th percentile scores on the LSAT and GRE. He is what we call a “triple threat” in test prep. Joe majored in astrophysics at Colgate University, where he led tutoring sessions for his peers. Now, Joe has found his dream job teaching full time, serving as an instructor manager, and helping to develop Manhattan Prep’s interactive video lessons, Interact™.

So, join us live on the Manhattan Prep GMAT Facebook page on Tuesday, January 24 for a special opportunity to harness the wisdom of Liza and Joe. Even if you’re not in a rush to apply this year, feel free to tune in for future reference. We hope to see you there!

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Update: Best News! Wharton, QS Honor Interact™ with Digital Content Aw [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 11:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Update: Best News! Wharton, QS Honor Interact™ with Digital Content Award
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Check out our free Interact™ demo here.

We have some exciting news to share with you from the Reimagine Education Conference & Awards 2016:

Our e-learning platform, Interact™, won the Digital Content Silver Award, which recognizes it as one of the most innovative e-learning platforms of 2016! We put a lot of thought and hard work into figuring out what students needed in a self-study platform, and we’re thrilled and humbled that our efforts were honored so highly.

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The 2016 Digital Content Silver Award, Wharton-approved.

Reimagine Education is organized by career and education network QS in collaboration with the esteemed Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management. Created to rethink the traditional education model, the Awards honor “innovative education pedagogies enhancing learning and employability.” Their panel of 40 elite judges and group of distinguished speakers include innovators from Google, Microsoft, Harvard, and more.

Out of 527 submissions, Interact was named among the top 3 Digital Content projects.

By granting Interact the Digital Content Silver Award, the panel singled out the platform as one of the top three most innovative e-learning projects of 2016 among 527 total submissions. The Digital Content Award is granted to “the project that…creates the most compelling, detailed, informative digital content, with an interface and medium designed to support learners everywhere.” Winning projects are those that have demonstrated a “clear causal link” between their content and improved learning outcomes.

Interact™ 101

Interact was created to immerse students in an engaging, self-paced learning experience. We reject the stale, linear model of traditional video lessons; instead, we’ve created an intuitive self-study experience that allows students to authentically connect with teachers through entertaining lessons (there are even a couple of sock puppets involved).



How? Well, we used real teachers behind and in front of the camera—our awesome instructors, in fact, who have all gotten 99th percentile scores on the tests they teach. They guide you through multifaceted lessons that engage your whole brain, giving you the skills you’ll need before, during, and after the test.

Interact tailors itself to you, making it truly interactive.

If you get something right, you may be led to a tougher problem. If you get something wrong, we might guide you through a detailed lesson. This allows you to experience the expertise, empathy, and guidance you’d receive from a seasoned teacher during an in-person class.

It’s kinda like the choose-your-own-adventure of test prep.

Interact covers every topic on the exam. For the GMAT, you can purchase Verbal Only or Quant Only if you need help only on a particular section. For the LSAT, you can purchase Logic Games Only, Logical Reasoning Only, or Reading Comprehension Only.

We’re ecstatic that Wharton and QS have named Interact as one of the most innovative e-learning platforms of 2016. What’s next for Interact? We’ll continue to make it even better. Image

Try Interact for free!


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Ace the GMAT Essay? No, Thanks! [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 12:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Ace the GMAT Essay? No, Thanks!
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We all know that the GMAT essay is scored separately and that the schools don’t care as much about the essay score. We also know we have to write the essays first thing, before we get to the more important Quant and Verbal sections (or even IR), so we don’t want to use up too much brain-power on the essay. Still, we can’t just bomb this section; the schools do care about the essay somewhat. So how do we do a good enough job without expending so much energy that we’re negatively affected during the multiple-choice portion of the test?

We need to develop a template, an organizational framework on which to hang our writing. The template will not, of course, tell us exactly what to write. For that, we need the actual essay prompt, which we won’t see until we take the test. We can, however, determine how to organize the information ahead of time, as well as the general kinds of messages we need to convey at various points throughout.

The template should tell us:

  • how many paragraphs to use
  • the primary purpose of each of those paragraphs
  • the kinds of information that need to be conveyed in each paragraph
The template will vary a little bit from person to person; the important thing is to have a consistent template for yourself that you’ve worked out in advance of the official test.

As a general rule, essays should have either four or five paragraphs total. The first paragraph is always the introduction, the last paragraph is always the conclusion, and the body (middle) paragraphs are for the examples we choose to use.

Each paragraph should contain certain things; these are listed in the below sections. The information does not need to be presented in the given order below, though; just make sure that each paragraph does contain the necessary information in some sort of clear and logical order. In addition, the information listed below is the minimum necessary info; you can certainly add more where appropriate.

Brainstorming
First, read the essay prompt. It will look / feel just like the Critical Reasoning arguments we see on the Verbal portion of the test, so tackle it in the same way! The argument will most closely resemble Assumption Family arguments, so find the conclusion and make sure you understand how the author is trying to support his / her conclusion. Next, brainstorm any assumptions* that you can think of and jot these down (or type them into the essay response area).

*Note: if you haven’t started studying CR Assumption Family questions yet, assumptions are unstated pieces of information that the author is assuming must be true in order to draw his/her conclusion.

Next, articulate flaws. Any assumptions are automatically flaws, because the author hasn’t established that those assumptions are, in fact, true. You may also think of other flaws along the way.

Finally, pick your two or three best flaws; these will form the basis of your essay.

This whole process should take roughly 3 to 4 minutes. Many people find this the hardest part of writing an essay; you can practice by opening up the essay chapter of your Official Guide book and simply brainstorming for one essay prompt. Don’t write the whole essay—just do the brainstorming portion once a day (only 5 minutes out of your day!) for a week or two and you’ll become much more skilled at this step.

First Paragraph
  • summarize the issue
  • state a thesis
  • acknowledge that the other side does have some merit
  • introduce your examples
  • 3 to 5 sentences total
First, briefly summarize the conclusion of the given argument in one to two sentences. Make sure to write using your own words (don’t simply quote the exact language from the essay prompt, though using the same word here or there is fine).

The first paragraph should also contain a thesis statement. The thesis is typically one sentence and conveys to the reader your overall message or point for the essay that you wrote. For the argument essay, you can write most of your thesis sentence before you get to the test! You already know that the argument will contain flaws, and that you will be discussing how those flaws hurt the author’s conclusion. Guess what? That’s always your thesis!

“While the argument does have some merit, there are several serious flaws which serve to undermine the validity of the author’s conclusion that XYZ.”

DON’T USE THAT EXACT SENTENCE. They’re going to get suspicious if hundreds of people use the same sentence. (Besides, that’s my sentence. Come up with your own! Image
)

Note the opening clause: While the argument does have some merit. This is what’s called acknowledging the other side. We don’t say, Hey, your argument is completely terrible! There’s nothing good about it at all! We acknowledge that some parts may be okay, or some people may feel differently, but our position is that the flaws are the most important issue (that is, our thesis is the most important thing).

Notice one other thing that I don’t say: I don’t say I think. I state my thesis as though it is fact and reasonable people surely agree with me. That’s a hallmark of a persuasive essay.

Finally, the first paragraph needs to introduce whatever examples we’re going to use in the body paragraphs below. Don’t launch into the examples fully; that will come later. Do, though, mention the two or three flaws that you plan to discuss in the essay.

Body Paragraphs
Each flaw gets its own paragraph, so you’ll write either 2 or 3 body paragraphs of 4 to 6 sentences each. (I personally pick my 2 best flaws, so I write 2 body paragraphs. Remember, we just need to be good enough!)

Your goal here is to support your thesis statement. In each paragraph:

  • introduce one flaw (don’t repeat the exact language from the prompt)
  • explain why it is a flaw (how does this make the conclusion less likely to be true?)
  • suggest ways to fix the flaw (you’re fixing the flaw, not changing the conclusion; what could the author do to strengthen his/her argument?)
For example, let’s say that an argument claims that firing half of a company’s employees will help the company to reduce costs and therefore become more profitable. What’s the conclusion, what supports that conclusion, and what assumptions is the author making?

While it’s certainly true that chopping half of your payroll will reduce costs, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the company will become more profitable! That loss of personnel may negatively impact revenues, reduce productivity, hurt morale of the remaining employees, and so on. The author is assuming that no such adverse effects will result from this action; that’s a flaw in his/her thinking.

The author of such an argument could bolster the claim by, for example, presenting evidence that half of the employees are truly dead weight and firing them wouldn’t affect the company adversely. (Don’t worry about whether this is likely, whether such evidence actually exists, or even whether this is the best way to improve profitability. Your job is only to strengthen the author’s existing argument a little bit. If the author could actually produce evidence showing that there wouldn’t be adverse effects from such layoffs, then his conclusion would be strengthened. Period.)

Conclusion Paragraph
  • re-state your thesis (using new words)
  • re-acknowledge the other side (using new words)
  • briefly summarize how your examples supported your thesis (using new words)
  • 3 to 4 sentences
Are you noticing a theme within the above bullet points? Basically, the conclusion paragraph isn’t going to contain much new information. It’s a conclusion; the major points should already have been made earlier in the essay. What you’re doing now is tying everything together in one neat package: yes, the other side has some merit, but here’s my point-of-view and, by the way, I proved my case using examples X and Y.

Before you go into the real test, you should have a fully developed template, so that all you have to do is come up with your two examples, and then hang your words onto your framework. This doesn’t mean pre-writing and memorizing actual sentences, but do know in general the kinds of points you want to make in each paragraph. Practice with the above as a starting point until you develop something with which you’re comfortable. Don’t forget to leave some time to proof your essay; it’s okay to have a few typos, but systematic errors will lower your score. Image

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Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post Ace the GMAT Essay? No, Thanks! appeared first on GMAT.
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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Know the GMAT Code: Story Problems [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 12:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Know the GMAT Code: Story Problems
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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

How are the GMAT test writers going to hide information in plain sight and get you to fall into traps?

Try out this problem in our Know the Code series and then we’ll dig in to figure out what’s going on. Note: this one’s from the GMATPrep© free practice problems.

“*A certain group of car dealerships agreed to donate x dollars to a Red Cross chapter for each car sold during a 30-day period. What was the total amount that was expected to be donated?

“(1) A total of 500 cars were expected to be sold.

“(2) 60 more cars were sold than expected, so that the total amount actually donated was $28,000.”

(If you are new to Data Sufficiency, start here and come back to this article later.)

Ready?

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1-second Glance. DS. Wall of words! Story—will need to translate.

Read. Put yourself in the story. You’re coordinating all of these donations. This group agreed to donate x dollars per car sold during a certain period.

Then, there’s some curiously-worded language: they’re asking for the amount expected to be donated. That’s weird—what would a problem normally ask for?

Most problems would ask for the amount that was actually donated. So, presumably, the amount actually donated does not match the amount expected to be donated. We’ll need to keep these two different amounts straight, so factor this into your notes.

Jot.

$x / car

C = # of cars expected

Total expected donation = xC

Reflect. Briefly: what could change in this scenario to create a difference between total actually donated and total expected to be donated?

The amount, $x, donated per car sold could change; maybe the dealerships change their pledge?

It could also be the case that they expect to sell a certain number of cars in the given period, but they might end up selling a different number.

Let’s look at the first statement.

“(1) A total of 500 cars were expected to be sold.”

This is half of the equation but indicates nothing about the dollar amount donated per car. Without any information about the money, it’s impossible to figure out the total amount that was expected to be donated.

Statement (1) is insufficient; eliminate choices (A) and (D).

“(2) 60 more cars were sold than expected, so that the total amount actually donated was $28,000.”

Here’s where it gets interesting. The information here is more convoluted—be careful.

If C is the # of cars expected to be sold, then the actual number of cars sold is C + 60. If the per-car donation is still $x, then we can write a new formula for the amount actually donated—and this figure is provided in the statement, too!

Total amount actually donated = ($x / car)(number of cars actually sold)

28,000 = x(C + 60)

This information is for the actual amount donated, not the expected amount—and the problem asks for the expected amount. Can you do anything with this to figure out x and C?

There is another formula, but that one has three variables: T = xC, where the T is the total expected donation. There isn’t a way to manipulate the two equations to solve for a single numerical value for T.

Statement (2) is not sufficient; cross off answer (B).

Finally, put the two statements together. Now, you have C = 50 and 28,000 = x(C + 60). Plug in and you can solve for x. (Don’t actually solve—this is DS!)

If you have x, can you do anything else? Yes! Statement (1) still tells you C! Multiply those two together to get the desired value: T = xC.

The correct answer is (C).

When you go through this solution, the question seems pretty straightforward. But it would be easy, during the stress of the test, to fall into a couple of different traps.

First, if your notes aren’t totally clear about the “expected” stuff vs. the “actual” stuff, it would be easy to conclude that statement (2) is sufficient on its own, leading you to incorrect answer (B). That’s where the Reflect stage is so important—if you can establish ahead of time that these two scenarios exist, you’ll be more likely to keep the information straight when you get to statement (2).

Second, once you do put the two statements together, you have to do a sort of double-loop: first, you use the two statements to realize that you can solve for x, and then you have to remember that one of those two pieces of information actually did give you C in the first place. The trap: you already used the given information from the two statements and, since there isn’t anything new elsewhere to use, you think that that’s it—you can find x, but that’s not enough by itself.

How to avoid that trap? Two things. First, write out your work fully and carefully. Second, know what you need to find before you start to solve.

If you have C = 50 written right there, clearly, on your scrap paper and you’ve just said to yourself, “The two together will be sufficient if I can find both C and x,” then you can say to yourself right up front, “Oh, I already have C! Great, all I need to do is find x.” When the two statements together give you x, voila: you’re done.

Key Takeaways for Knowing the Code
(1) For story problems, put yourself in the story. Pay attention to unusual language cues and take the time to Reflect on what they mean. That 15 or 30 seconds is well spent if you avoid traps or careless mistakes later on!

(2) Write everything down carefully. Before you evaluate a piece of information, remind yourself what you would need to find in order to say that the info is sufficient.

(3) Turn any knowledge you gain into Know the Code flash cards:

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* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC. Image

Can’t get enough of Stacey’s GMAT mastery? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously. 

Image
Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT  for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post Know the GMAT Code: Story Problems appeared first on GMAT.
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

_________________

http://manhattangmat.com

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When Will I Be Ready to Take the GMAT? [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2017, 10:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: When Will I Be Ready to Take the GMAT?
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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

How long do I need to study for the GMAT? When will I be ready? How much time per week do you think I need to invest?

These are the questions I get over and over and over, particularly from students who haven’t started studying yet. They’re usually trying to figure out whether or not they can manage class, and they’re on the verge of a mild freak out.

You want the quick, bullet-point answer?

OK, here ya go. We offer a nine session class (typically once a week), and we say you’ll probably want 2-3 weeks following the class to finish up studying. That’s assuming that you do all of the homework, and that’s also assuming that the homework takes you five to ten hours to complete between sessions.

Now, here’s the longer answer that you’re not going to like.

I can’t answer those questions for you. Like, at all. Everybody is different and there is no magic bullet, one-size-fits-all plan to studying for the GMAT. I can make a prediction for you based on your current life schedule and your previous academic habits. But what it really comes down to is: How much do you want it? Seriously. That’s the number one determining factor of how long it will take. If you’re not sure that you want to go to B-school and you’re just checking out your options, chances are, you’ll drop out of class. Truly. It happens all the time. And that’s okay! But why invest a lot of time, money, and effort towards something that you maybe would give a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10? If that’s you, that’s cool. Stop reading now and go grab a latte with all the money you’ll save from not taking class at the wrong time. We’ll be here for you when you’re ready.

If, however, you know you want to make this life change, then here are some questions to help you figure out when you’ll be ready:

Do you have a full-time job?
If so, it’s going to be relatively harder for you to find time and energy. Therefore, it will take you longer to study. For example, you might study after work 2-3 times a week for an hour and a half, and once on the weekend. You MUST give yourself days off – from both work and studying – or you will burn out. You might end up needing several months after class is over to catch up on homework and feel ready.

Have you not done math since 11th grade?
If you’re out of college and you haven’t done math for a while, it will take you longer to study. You’ll need to invest a lot of time up front learning foundational math skills. What I DON’T recommend is trying to study math on your own first before enrolling in a class or getting a tutor. I’ve seen people do that a million times, and 990,000 of them end up giving up and not taking the GMAT at all. (Figure out that percentage as a quick math check!) Math is too overwhelming, and frankly, too complicated to teach yourself! You need someone to guide you EVEN MORE at the beginning. Once you have your foundation, you can work on it on your own. But that will take time. Probably more than that 5-10 hours a week I quoted you up top.

Do you have family obligations?
Kids? Friends? Relationships? Refer to question #1. Life takes time and energy, so again, it will take you longer to study. But, the good news is, these people who take your time and energy, can also GIVE you time and energy, through their love and support. Make sure you tell the right people what you’re doing and how they can help. Very often, family members and friends don’t even know what a challenge it is to go from a 560 to a 720, and so they don’t understand what you need. Spell it out for them. Set your study schedule and have them help you stick to it! And on the flip side, don’t tell those family members or friends who won’t actually support you. You know who those people are. Just be ready to side-step them for the next few months.

Now, if you don’t have a job, are independently wealthy, are a math genius, and don’t have any obligations that eat up your time — tell me how you did that because clearly I am living the wrong life!! The truth of the matter is that most of you reading this will answer yes to one (or more!) of these three questions, so take heart that you are all in the same boat. Thousands of people manage to find the time to study and do well on the test every year, and you can be one of them. Take the anxiety you feel about finding that time, and channel it into creating a study schedule that is realistic and that you can stick to. If you’re not sure how to do that, start here. Know that the road will be at least several months long, or possibly even a year long. And that’s okay. But go into it with realistic expectations. This will be hard and it will take a while. But if you really want it, it will be worth it. Image

Want some more GMAT tips from Elaine? Attend the first session of one of her upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously.

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Elaine Loh is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Psychology and a desire to teach others. She can’t get enough of standardized tests and has been a test prep tutor and teacher for over half her life. Check out Elaine’s upcoming GMAT courses here.

The post When Will I Be Ready to Take the GMAT? appeared first on GMAT.
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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Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

When Will I Be Ready to Take the GMAT?   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2017, 10:01

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