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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Botched the Interview [#permalink]
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03 Feb 2018, 14:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Botched the Interview

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.
Maybe you are among the unlucky applicants who were/are on the outside looking in this year, shaking your head trying to understand why you did not get into an MBA program. As you look back and assess where you went wrong, you may narrow your focus and reexamine your interviews. After all, you were invited to interview but were rejected thereafter, so there must be a causeandeffect relationship, right? Your rejection must mean that everything was at stake during those 30 to 60 minutes and that your interviewer just did not feel that you are of the caliber preferred by your target school, right? Wrong.
Bruce DelMonico, the Yale School of Management (SOM) assistant dean for admissions, explained to mbaMission that the school uses a “consensus decisionmaking model [in which] we all need to agree on an outcome for an applicant [to be accepted].” Each file is read multiple times. With the need for a consensus, we can safely conclude that the committee is not waiting on the interview as the determinant. There is no postinterview snap judgment but rather serious thought and reflection by the admissions officers.
Although we have discussed this topic before, it is worth repeating that no simple formula exists for MBA admissions and that the evaluation process is thorough and not instinctive/reactive. Yes, a disastrous interview can certainly hurt you—but if you felt positively about your interview, you should not worry that you botched it and that this was the determinant of the admissions committee’s decision.
mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our FREE Interview Primers, which are available for 17 topranked business schools.
mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a fulltime 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 30minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.
The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: I Must Have Botched the Interview appeared first on GMAT.

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Manhattan GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 137

Does the GMAT Really Just Test Your TestTaking Skills? [#permalink]
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06 Feb 2018, 13:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Does the GMAT Really Just Test Your TestTaking Skills?

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.
There are a lot of things the GMAT can’t measure. It can’t measure your intelligence, your value as a person, or your ability to succeed. But is it really just about your testtaking skills? And if you’ve always done poorly on tests, are you doomed to GMAT failure?
The first time I really studied for a standardized test, I resented having to learn the “tricks.” By “tricks,” I mean things like plugging in the answer choices or picking the most “boring” answer on a Verbal problem. In my mind, the test wasn’t rewarding me for being good at math or good at English. It was just rewarding me for memorizing a bunch of silly, useless testtaking tricks that I’d never use anywhere else. And that didn’t seem right to me.
Now that I’ve been teaching standardized tests for close to a decade, I think about them a lot differently. I now think that the GMAT does do a very good job of measuring certain testtaking skills. If you reduce those skills to “silly, useless tricks,” you’re selling yourself and your learning short.
My mistake, when I started studying, was to think that admissions committees cared about whether I was great at math and English. Sure, the schools you’re applying to would like you to be comfortable with numbers and with formal, written English. That’s one reason that you need a basic level of math and verbal skill to succeed on the GMAT.
However, the content on the GMAT doesn’t go beyond a highschool level. That means that just about everyone who’s applying to business school, even those of us who hate math or grammar, can learn all of the math and grammar that the GMAT asks for. (And if you’re struggling to get started, why not check out Foundations of GMAT Math and Foundations of GMAT Verbal?) In that sense, the GMAT is a fair test: it doesn’t expect you to understand concepts, like quantum physics, that ordinary people can’t wrap their heads around.
When I resented having to learn “testtaking tricks,” I mistakenly thought that the test really wanted to evaluate my math and English skills, but the “tricks” were muddling everything up. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The tricks are the test, and succeeding on the “tricks” means developing testtaking skills that matter in business school.
Take estimation, for instance. Every time you estimate the answer to a Quant problem, you’re demonstrating two skills. First, you’re demonstrating that you know how to estimate. We aren’t born with that ability. But the ability to estimate is vastly more useful in life (and in business school) than the ability to, say, algebraically solve for the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle. Second, you’re demonstrating that you know when to estimate, and when you really need an exact answer. That kind of highlevel decisionmaking—how precise of an answer do I really need?—is a hallmark of people who are great at solving problems in general, not just on the GMAT.
Or think about time management. A lot of people will make GMAT time management sound like a trick: “you’ll get a higher score if you take more time on the first ten questions.” “You should never skip more than three questions in a row.” However, the reality is that there isn’t just one simple trick to managing your time on the GMAT. Good time management requires strong executive reasoning skills. Someone who successfully manages their time on the GMAT is someone who can make difficult decisions, with limited information, while under stress, even though the consequences of those decisions aren’t immediately obvious. Doesn’t that sound like the kind of person who would succeed in business school?
Sure, the GMAT isn’t really about math or English. But that doesn’t mean it’s just about how good you are at taking tests. It’s really about a whole constellation of skills, some of which you already have, and some of which you’ll need to develop. They include:
There are dozens of other life skills that will help you on the GMAT. (And the GMAT, in turn, will help you develop many of these skills!) We’re not talking about tricks like “always guess C” or “pick the shortest answer choice” here—we’re talking about testtaking skills that will actually serve you well in business school and beyond. So take some time to cultivate them, and don’t get too bogged down in learning more and more GMAT content. Once you’ve studied the basics, it’s really more about what you do with your knowledge than about how much you know.
Want more guidance from our GMAT gurus? You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here.
[b]Chelsey Cooley is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. [/b]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 GRE prep offerings here.
The post Does the GMAT Really Just Test Your TestTaking Skills? 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 GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 137

Know the GMAT Code: Work Backwards on Problem Solving Problems (Part 1 [#permalink]
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06 Feb 2018, 13:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Know the GMAT Code: Work Backwards on Problem Solving Problems (Part 1)

Guess what? You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free—we’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.
Do you know how to work backwards on Problem Solving problems? More important, do you know when to work backwards—and when not to? To get a really high score on this test, you’ve got to Know the Code in order to get through the questions efficiently.
I’ve got two Problem Solving problems for you to try from the GMATPrep® free question set. On one, working backwards is a great option. On the other…not so much. If you think you already know this strategy, test out your skills by trying both Problem Solving problems and articulating (out loud, so you know that you really know it!) how to know where you can work backwards and where you shouldn’t try.
If you don’t already know how to work backwards, just go ahead and try both problems however you’d like and then we’ll learn all about this strategy.
Ready? Set your timer for 4 minutes and…Go!
“*If (2x)(2y) = 8 and (9x)(3y) = 81, then (x, y) =
“(A) (1, 2)
“(B) (2, 1)
“(C) (1, 1)
“(D) (2, 2)
“(E) (1, 3)”
If x2 = 2y3 and 2y = 4, what is the value of x2 + y ?
“(A) –14
“(B) –2
“(C) 3
“(D) 6
“(E) 18”
Okay, what do you think? Don’t just keep reading. Take a stand now—even if you’re not sure, just guess. (That goes for your actual answers and what you think re: when to work backwards.) Making yourself take a guess invests you more in the outcome—and helps you to better retain what you’re about to learn.
Let’s do this!
We’re going to do the first one first. Glance at the problem. Problem Solving. Exponents. Glance at the answers…pairs? Is this like coordinate plane or something?
Read. No, it’s not actually geometry—it’s just writing the x and y answers this way. Jot down the given equations.
Note that I didn’t repeat the parentheses in the equations when I jotted this down because I’m confident that I won’t make a mistake by removing them. (Though I could make a different mistake!) If you aren’t confident about that, then keep using the parentheses.
All right, let’s think about what we’ve got here.
Variables in the exponents. I can solve algebraically by getting the bases on each side to be equal and then dropping the bases and setting the exponents equal to each other. Anything else?
Glance at those answers again. There’s something pretty awesome about them.
First, the answers actually give you the possible values for the only two variables in this problem, x and y. This is the classic sign that you can work backwards, if you want to: The answer choices give you the actual value for at least one discrete variable in the problem.
But, in this case, it gets even better! In order to work backwards, you have to have that first criterion (actual value for one discrete variable), but there are additional criteria that make the problem easier to do this way. First, the values should be “nice” numbers—they’re not too hard to plug back into the problem. In this case, the possibilities are 1, 2, and 3…as nice as it gets.
Second, tell me what the possible values for x are.
Check it out! Although there are 5 answer choices, there are only 2 distinct possibilities for x: 1 or 2. Just try them both and you’ll be done in about 1 minute.
212y = 8
2y = 4
y = 2
For the first equation, when x = 1, y = 2, which matches answer (A). Is that actually the correct answer?
Try the numbers in the second equation to see. If they work, answer (A) is correct. If they don’t, then x must equal 2, and you’ll have to plug into one of the two equations to find out what y equals.
9x3y = 81
9132 = 81
9×9 = 81 CORRECT!
The pairing (1, 2) does work for the second equation, so the correct answer is (A).
You can of course also solve this problem algebraically, and the algebra is not super hard on this one. But given that you only have to try a maximum of two numbers—and that those two numbers are 1 and 2—working backwards should still be a serious consideration.
Since I told you at the beginning that only one problem could be done by working backwards, you now know that you can’t use this technique for the second one. Why? Use what you’ve learned so far to articulate the answer to my question, then join me next time, when we’ll dive into the full solution!
Key Takeaways for Knowing the Code on Problem Solving Problems (1) If the answers give you possible values for (at least) one discrete variable in the problem, then you can work backwards. Should you? If the numbers are also “nice” numbers for the problem, then you should seriously consider it.
(2) Practice working backwards enough that you learn how to spot other signs that working backwards is a great strategy for a particular problem. In this case, the paired answers meant that we had to try only 2 (really easy) numbers—doesn’t get a lot better than that. Even if you felt fine doing this one algebraically, that lesson is a great lesson to learn so that you know how to spot this characteristic on harder Problem Solving problems in future.
(3) Turn that knowledge into Know the Code flash cards:
* 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.
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 wellknown 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: Work Backwards on Problem Solving Problems (Part 1) 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 GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 137

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist is Not a Flood! [#permalink]
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15 Feb 2018, 11:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist is Not a Flood!

What have you been told about applying to business school? With the advent of chat rooms, blogs, and forums, armchair “experts” often unintentionally propagate MBA admissions myths, which can linger and undermine an applicant’s confidence. Some applicants are led to believe that schools want a specific “type” of candidate and expect certain GMAT scores and GPAs, for example. Others are led to believe that they need to know alumni from their target schools and/or get a letter of reference from the CEO of their firm in order to get in. In this series, mbaMission debunks these and other myths and strives to take the anxiety out of the admissions process.
Have you heard the following admissions myth?
When a school that has placed you on its open waitlist says that it wants no more information from you, this is some kind of “test,” and you should supply additional materials anyway.
As we have discussed in the past, this is patently not true. Similarly, when programs tell their waitlisted candidates they are open to important additional communication, such applicants should not interpret this to mean constant communication. The difference is significant.
As is the case with any open waitlist situation, before you do anything, carefully read the waitlist letter you received from the admissions office. Frequently, this will include an FAQ sheet or a hyperlink to one. If the school permits candidates to submit additional information but offers no guidance with respect to quantity, this does not mean that you should start flooding the committee with novel information and materials. If you have another potential recommender who can send a letter that highlights a new aspect of your profile, you can consider having him/her send one in, but you should not start a lobbying campaign with countless alumni and colleagues writing on your behalf.
Similarly, you could send the school an update email monthly, every six weeks, or even every two months—the key is not frequency or volume but materiality. If you have something important to tell the admissions committee that can help shape its perspective on your candidacy (e.g., a new project, a promotion, a new grade, an improved GMAT score, a campus visit), then you should share it. If you do not have such meaningful information to share, then a contrived letter with no real content will not help you. Just because you know others are sending letters, do not feel compelled to send empty correspondences for fear that your fellow candidates might be showing more interest. They just might be identifying themselves negatively via their open waitlist approach.
Take a step back and imagine that you are on the admissions committee; you have one candidate who keeps you up to date with a few thoughtful correspondences and another who bombards you with empty updates, emails, and recommendations that do not offer anything substantive. Which candidate would you choose if a place opened up in your class? When you are on the open waitlist, your goal is to remain in the good graces of the admissions committee. Remember, the committee members already deem you a strong enough candidate to take a place in their class, so be patient and prudent, as challenging as that may be.
mbaMission offers even more interview advice in our FREE Interview Primers, which are available for 17 topranked business schools.
mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a fulltime 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 30minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. Click here to sign up today.
The post MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: The Open Waitlist is Not a Flood! 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 GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 137

How to Turn GMAT Word Problems into Equations [#permalink]
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15 Feb 2018, 11:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Turn GMAT Word Problems into Equations

Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.
GMAT word problems, like the ones from the Official Guide to the GMAT, usually come with explanations. A lot of those explanations start by turning the word problem into equations. Starting with the equations can make an explanation easy to understand: if the equations match up to what the problem says, then the explanation makes sense.
Unfortunately, it can also make an explanation look like a magic trick. When you had to do the problem, how on earth were you supposed to think of the right equation? What makes an equation the right one, anyways?
In simplest terms, an equation is just two pieces of math with an equals sign in between them.
5x + 10y = 500
In GMAT word problems, those two pieces of math have to match up with something in the real world. In fact, they both have to match up with the same realworld thing. The two sides of the equation have to talk about the exact same thing in two different ways.
For example, suppose that a school play makes a total revenue of $500. You can express the revenue using the number 500.
Another way to express the revenue is to split it up by ticket types. For instance, if the only types of tickets sold were children’s tickets and adult tickets, then this is also a good way to express the revenue:
revenue from children’s tickets + revenue from adult tickets
We now have two ways of describing the exact same thing, so we can create a good equation:
revenue from children’s tickets + revenue from adult tickets = 500
Depending on what information the problem gives you, this probably isn’t a very useful equation. Most GMAT equations are more complex. For instance, the problem might tell you that x children’s tickets were sold, and that each one cost $5. y adult tickets were also sold at $10 each. That gives you another way of writing out the total revenue:
5x + 10y
Because 5x + 10y describes the same thing (total revenue) as the number 500, this is a good equation:
5x + 10y = 500
This might seem basic. And it is! But it’s often the most basic things that are the toughest to really understand. When you write an easy equation, it might just seem obvious, and you can’t really explain why you wrote what you wrote. That makes it hard to handle much tougher equations that do require a lot of thought and explanation.
Let’s create an equation from some more complicated text.
Jordan planned to fold exactly 10 paper roses per day between now and his mother’s birthday in order to complete her birthday gift. Instead, he only folded an average of 7 roses per day until the very last day, when he had to fold 43 roses in one day to finish the gift. How many roses did Jordan fold in total?
In order to create an equation, we’ll have to find two different ways of talking about the same value. In this case, the number of roses that Jordan folded would be a good value to work with: it’s right there in the question.
One way to talk about the total number of roses is by looking at Jordan’s original plan. If he planned to fold 10 roses per day, then one way to write the total number of roses is:
10(days)
Now, let’s find another way to describe the total number of roses. When Jordan actually started folding roses, he did one thing until the last day, and then did something different on the very last day. That gives us a good way to divide up the number of roses:
roses folded before the last day + roses folded on the last day
On the last day, he folded 43 roses. Before the last day, he folded 7 roses per day, or a total of 7(days – 1) roses. So, here’s a second way to write about the total number of roses:
7(days – 1) + 43
Since we now have two ways of talking about the total number of roses, we can put an equals sign between them and create an equation.
10d = 7(d – 1) + 43
If you solve that equation, you’ll find the number of days Jordan spent on the project, which will let you calculate the number of roses. (It’s 120).
Let’s do one more. This time, you’ll need two equations.
Marisha recently completed a 300mile road trip at an average speed of 50 mph. For the first part of the trip, she drove at a speed of 40 mph. For the second part of the trip, she drove at a speed of 70 mph. How many hours of the trip were spent driving at 70 mph?
We could start by finding two different ways to talk about the total distance, or two different ways to talk about the total time. (We can’t start with the speed, because you can’t just do arithmetic with speeds—going 40 mph and then 70 mph isn’t the same thing as going 110 mph!)
We already know one way to express the total distance: 300 miles.
Another way to express the distance would involve splitting the trip into two parts:
distance of the first part + distance of the second part
We don’t know exactly how long the two parts of the trip were, though, so we’ll need to find a way to describe them in terms of what we do know.
If Marisha drove at 40 mph for the first part of the trip, then the total distance she covered was as follows:
(40 mph)(hours for first part of trip)
And if she drove at 70 mph for the second part of the trip, the distance she covered was as follows:
(70 mph)(hours for second part of trip)
So another way of writing the total distance is like this:
(40 mph)(hours for first part of trip) + (70 mph)(hours for second part of trip)
We now have two different ways of writing the total distance, so we have an equation!
(40 mph)(hours for first part of trip) + (70 mph)(hours for second part of trip) = 300
However, we aren’t quite finished. We have two variables, so we’ll need a second equation. That’s where the total time comes in. One way to express the total time is by just giving the number of hours: 6 hours. The other way is by splitting it up into two parts:
hours for first part of trip + hours for second part of trip = 6
Now we have a system of equations! It looks like this:
40x + 70y = 300
x + y = 6
The first equation gives two ways of talking about the total distance of the trip. The second equation gives two ways of talking about the total time of the trip. By combining them, it’s possible to solve. (The answer to the question is 2 hours.)
Try reframing how you think about equations in GMAT word problems. The right equation is always right for a reason—because both sides of the equation talk about the same realworld quantity. You don’t have to come up with that equation instantly, either. It’s okay to build an equation up from smaller pieces, just like we did here.
Want more guidance from our GMAT gurus? You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here.
[b]Chelsey Cooley is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. [/b]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 GRE prep offerings here.
The post How to Turn GMAT Word Problems into Equations 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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How to Turn GMAT Word Problems into Equations
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