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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Reapplicants Shouldn’t Reapply
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27 Jul 2018, 10:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Reapplicants Shouldn’t Reapply

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.
You applied to business schools once and did not get in. It took a lot of effort and caused a lot of heartache. Now what do you do? You cannot apply to those schools again, can you? What would be the point? They already rejected you once, so they will definitely do the same thing next time, right? Not quite so.
Remember, MBA admissions committees are governed by selfinterest. Simply put, the schools want the best candidates out there. If you are among the best candidates, why would any admissions director think, “Well, this is an outstanding candidate who can add something special to our school and has unique potential going forward, but he applied last year, so we’ll just forget about him.” Indeed, the reapplication process is not a practical joke or a disingenuous olive branch to those permanently on the outside. If the schools were not willing to admit reapplicants, they would not waste time and resources reviewing their applications.
Although many candidates fret about being reapplicants, some admissions officers actually see a reapplication as a positive—a new opportunity. Soojin Kwon, the managing director of fulltime MBA admissions and student experience at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, told mbaMission, “They are certainly not ‘damaged goods.’ We have had many successful reapplicants join our program after they’ve spent a year strengthening their candidacies.”
Meanwhile, the Yale School of Management’s assistant dean and director of admissions, Bruce DelMonico, noted, “I can certainly bust [that] myth. Our admit rate for reapplicants is actually the same as it is for firsttime applicants. It’s important, though, for reapplicants to explain to us how their candidacy has improved from the previous time they applied. Reapplicants need to make sure they enhance their application, rather than just resubmitting the same application.”
In short, reapplicants, you have no reason to believe that you only have one chance. Like any competitive MBA applicant, continue to strive and achieve; if things do not work out this time, they just might the next time.
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.
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Manhattan GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 176

The GMAT’s GMASKs
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27 Jul 2018, 13:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: The GMAT’s GMASKs

You can and should murder me for that pun.
But first, a question. What is a simplified way of writing 3x + 3x + 3x?
Tough question. You might not have seen something like that before. How are you supposed to know what to do?
Easier question. What is a nice, simplified way of writing x + x + x?
You probably got this one easily. x + x + x is just 3x.
Not even an issue, right? But what’s the difference between these two things, really? If I add three of the same number, the outcome should always be three times that number. 2 + 2 + 2 is 3(2) = 6. x + x + x = 3x.
So 3x + 3x + 3x = 3(3x), which, using my exponent rules, equals 3x+1 (because 3(3x) can be written as 31(3x)).
This is an example of one of the GMAT’s favorite moves: making you think you don’t know how to do something because they’ve put something that looks weird onto a process that you know how to do.
I call these ‘GMAT masks.’ They’re disguises, nothing more. They are Batman’s cowl and Clark Kent’s glasses, except instead of hiding superheroes, they hide, y’know… math and stuff. They’re designed to blind you to rules you know and processes you can do.
Here’s another example I use in my classes.
Put a minute on the clock and try to simplify the following:
(xy)/(√x + √y)
Maybe you were able to do this, in which case you probably were able to see through the GMAT’s disguise. But most students struggle to get through that.
Try another. Give yourself a minute to simplify:
(x² – y²)/(x+y)
How’d you do? A lot of people get this one in about 15 seconds (if you haven’t, brush up on your common quadratics forms! This is one of the GMAT’s favorites).
You might have recognized that the numerator could be simplified to (x+y)(xy). Then the (x+y) canceled out of top and bottom, leaving you with just (xy). But what about that first expression? The one you probably didn’t see how to simplify when given a minute?
Turns out, it’s the exact same problem.
Try it again. Specify what you did in the second, easier problem and try to replicate that same logic on the first.
Maybe you realize that (xy), though it doesn’t appear in the most common form of a difference of squares, can be written as ((√x)² + (√y)²).
This makes it look much more like the standard form of a difference of squares! We can now write it as (√x + √y)*(√x – √y). And then the (√x + √y) cancels on top and bottom, leaving just (√x – √y).
How about:
(32x – 52x)/(3x + 5x)
Same logic. Different mask.
This is partly why I warn my students that it’s not enough to just memorize a flashcard. It’s one thing to know the most general appearance of formula, and another thing to be able to recognize that it should be used when it has a mask on.
What is x if x² = 430?
What is x if x² = 36?
If on the second you remembered to say ‘+/ 6’ but on the first you just said ‘415’ you fell for a GMAT mask. It’s like the least fun Halloween costume ever.
You’re used to solving the second equation, and you had ‘+/ 6’ drilled into you after all the times you forgot about it (and maybe you just did! Hey, don’t forget that on the GMAT, numbers can be negative unless specified otherwise). But 430 is weird. That’s a number we don’t deal with daytoday, unless we happen to be God, and we’re counting all the stars for fun. So sometimes we let the appearance shake us.
This doesn’t just happen in GMAT Quant. The Verbal section is full of masks. Masks are the fluff in Sentence Correction that separate singular nouns from plural verbs. They’re the arguments in Critical Reasoning that seem to be about different topics but are all actually about rates and totals, or questions of causation, or sample biases. They’re in Reading Comp, because in all the myriad of topics in the passages they give you, they keep asking about the same stuff.
This is why on the GMAT, you have to review questions and specify the processes you used. Even on an easy question, you think you understand perfectly.
You know that 60/12 is 5. But why? How deep can you get with that? If you can explain to me why 60 is divisible by 12 in terms of prime numbers—which are the heart of divisibility—you’ll be much closer to being able to explain to me how (60 * 35) is divisible by 28. If you can explain that, you can explain how 60! is divisible by 115, even though those numbers look so much more disgusting. But really? it’s all the same mask.
60 is divisible by 12 because the prime factors of 12, 2*2*3, are also in the prime factorization of 60 (which are 2*2*3*5).
(60*35) is divisible by 28 because the prime factorization of 28, 2*2*7, is also in the prime factorization of 60*35 (which is (2*2*3*5*5*7).
60! is divisible by 115 because the prime factors of 115, (11*11*11*11*11), are also in the prime factorization of 60 (which is… well, it’s a very long list, but 60! = 1*2*3*4*5…*58*59*60, and 11 shows up 5 times in that product string, at 11, 22, 33, 44, and 55).
How do you get good at seeing through masks? You have to really pinpoint why you’re doing process—even on an easy question where it seems obvious—and work to understand questions and concepts at their deepest level, not just at a superficial familiarity. And when something looks just weird, run through your rolodex of commonly tested rules or formulas and see if you can’t spot which one seems to ‘line up’ best with the situation at hand. Perhaps you’ll realize what you have in front of you is just a regular old process trying to disguise itself.
Look past the masks, and you’ll often find the same old friends underneath. Superman’s glasses weren’t ever that effective a disguise, anyway.
Want some more GMAT tips from Reed? Attend the first session of one of his upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously.
Reed Arnold is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York, NY. He has a B.A. in economics, philosophy, and mathematics and an M.S. in commerce, both from the University of Virginia. He enjoys writing, acting, Chipotle burritos, and teaching the GMAT. Check out Reed’s upcoming GMAT courses here.
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Manhattan GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 176

Take Ownership of Your PostMBA Goals and Show Their Attainability
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13 Aug 2018, 13:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Take Ownership of Your PostMBA Goals and Show Their Attainability

When admissions officers read your MBA application, they want to feel inspired by your personal statement; they want to know that you have a strong sense of purpose and will work energetically to attain your objectives. Thus, you must ensure that you are not presenting generic or shallow postMBA goals. Although this problem is not industryspecific, it occurs most often with candidates who propose careers in investment banking or consulting but do not have a true understanding of what these positions entail.
For example, a candidate cannot merely state the following goal:
“In the short term, when I graduate from Wharton, I want to become an investment banking associate. After three years, I will be promoted to vice president, and then in the long term, I will become a managing director.”
This hypothetical candidate does not express any passion for his/her proposed course, does not show any understanding of the demands of the positions, and does not explain the value he/she could bring to the firm. To avoid these kinds of shortcomings, conduct this simple test when writing your personal statement: if you can easily substitute another job title into your career goals and the sentence still makes perfect sense (for example, “In the short term, when I graduate from Wharton, I want to become a consultant. After three years, I will be promoted to vice president, and then in the long term, I will become a managing director.”), you know you have a serious problem on your hands and need to put more work into your essay.
To effectively convey your postMBA goals, you need to truly own them. This means personalizing them, determining and presenting why you expect to be a success in the proposed position, and explaining why an opportunity exists for you to contribute. For example, a former forestry engineer could make a strong argument for joining an environmental impact consulting firm. (Note: This candidate would still need to explain why he/she would want to join one.) Similarly, a financial analyst in the corporate finance department at Yahoo! could connect his/her goals to tech investment banking. Although the connection need not be so direct, especially for candidates seeking to change careers, relating your past experiences and/or your skills to your future path is still extremely important. This approach will add depth to your essay and ensure that the admissions committee takes you seriously.
While some candidates struggle to effectively convey their postMBA goals, many also have difficulty defining their longterm goals. Although shortterm goals should be relatively specific, longterm goals can be broad and ambitious. Regardless of what your short and longterm aspirations actually are, what is most important is presenting a clear “cause and effect” relationship between them. The admissions committee will have difficulty buying into a longterm goal that lacks grounding. However, do not interpret this to mean that you must declare your interest in an industry and then assert that you will stay in it for your entire career. You can present any career path that excites you—again, as long as you also demonstrate a logical path to achieving your goals.
For example, many candidates discuss having ambitions in the field of management consulting. Could an individual with such aspirations justify any of the following longterm goals?
 Climbing the ladder and becoming a partner in a consulting firm
 Launching a boutique consulting firm
 Leaving consulting to manage a nonprofit
 Leaving consulting to buy a failing manufacturing firm and forge a “turnaround”
 Entering the management ranks of a major corporation
The answer is yes! This candidate could justify any of these longterm goals (along with many others), as long as he/she connects them to experiences gained via his/her career as a consultant. With regard to your goals, do not feel constrained—just be sure to emphasize and illustrate that your career objectives are logical, achievable, and ambitious.
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 Take Ownership of Your PostMBA Goals and Show Their Attainability appeared first on GMAT.

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Manhattan GMAT Online Marketing Associate
Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Posts: 176

A Memorizable List of GMAT Quant Content (Quantent)
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13 Aug 2018, 13:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: A Memorizable List of GMAT Quant Content (Quantent)

Even though there’s no “new math” on GMAT Quant, there is still a ton of content to keep on our radar. And just like the tragic studying for a vocab test, we’ll have to learn 200 different things, even though the test is going to only ask us 31 of those things (because we don’t know which 31 things we’ll get asked on our test day).
How are we going to keep all that stuff in our brain at once? It takes most students at least a couple weeks to cycle through 200 different GMAT Quant problems, so by the time you’re doing the 200th problem, it’s usually been a few weeks since you’ve seen the content on the first 10 problems.
In order to take quicker laps around the GMAT Quant universe, you want to make some of your practice feel like you’re studying for a vocab test. We can take a lap through 200 vocab flashcards much more quickly than we can through 200 GMAT Quant problems.
Instead of having vocab flashcards with Word on one side and Definition on the other, we’ll have GMAT Quant flashcards that have Topic/Stimulus on one side, and First Move/First Thought on the other.
If Pavlov can get dogs to salivate in response to a bell, we can get ourselves to break a number down to primes in response to ‘divisibility language.’ But we’ll have to outdo Pavlov, or at least outdo his dogs, by learning way more than just one stimulus/response pairing. Are you all ready to outdo Pavlov’s certaintobedeadbynow dogs?!
(Moment of silence: I hope in doggy heaven, every time the bell rings, you really do get a treat.)
In the rest of Part 1 (of this 2part post), I’ll get you started with a baker’s dozen topics. Next month, we’ll finish off the list.
Your job: if you see anything you don’t already know with the ease/certainty of a famous actor’s name/face, then commit that fact to flashcard. Quiz yourself on those flashcards at least three times a week. Add your own flashcards as you review problems you’ve tried and see moves you wish you had made, or number properties you wish you would have inferred.
Let us know if you have any questions.
DIVISIBILITY on GMAT Quant #1 Move: If we see x is divisible by y, x is a multiple of y, y is a factor of x, x/y is an integer, then we break these numbers down to primes.
Divisibility means “the numerator has at least the primes in the denominator.”
“x is divisible by 45” = x has at least 3 * 3 * 5 in it.
“x is not a multiple of 12” = x either has fewer than two 2’s or doesn’t have a 3, or both.
“36 is a factor of 8x” = 2*2*2*x2*2*3*3 = 2*2*2*x2*2*3*3 = 2x3*3 = x has at least 3*3 in it.
#2 Move: If we see a multiplication cluster + integer, then we think about the logic of multiples and ask, “What are both quantities divisible by?”
If we see 14x + 35, we think “both 14x and 35 are divisible by 7,” so 14x +35 is divisible by 7.
a multiple of 7 + a multiple of 7 = a multiple of 7
If we see 7! + 15, we think “both 7! and 15 are divisible by 5,” so 7! + 15 is divisible by 5.
STATISTICS on GMAT Quant If we’re talking median,
 arrange everything in ascending order
 odd number of data points → median is the middle data point
 even number of data points → median is the average of the two middle data points
If we’re talking average,
 calculate sum (remember… Sum = Avg * # of things)
If we’re talking standard deviation,
 we need to know how far each data point is from the average and how many data points there are
 adding outlier data points (towards or beyond the current extremes) will increase SD
 adding center data points (on or near the average) will decrease SD
ODDS/EVENS on GMAT Quant #1 Thought: even * anything = even
#2 Thought: Remember or derive the E/O rules for addition/subtraction/multiplication
E +/ E = E E * E = E
E +/ O = O E * O = E
O +/ O = E O * O = O
Usual #1 Move: Take anything with an even coefficient and translate that quantity into E.
3x + 4y is odd → 3x + E = O → 3x = O – E → 3x = O → x = O
Dealing with division facts: If we see “x/y is even,” we write, xy = Even, and then multiply y to the other side to get x = Even (y). This tells us that x is even (we know nothing about y).
Useful Shortcut: If something has an even coefficient, we won’t learn whether that variable is even or odd. The even coefficient will “hide” which type it is.
POSITIVE/NEGATIVE on GMAT Quant #1 Thought: Keep track of possible words with “pos, neg” or “+, ”
#1 Move: Use the pos/neg properties of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to eliminate possible words.
x+y > 0 (at least one positive … eliminate neg/neg)
x+y
xy > 0 (x > y … eliminate neg/pos)
xy
xy > 0 or x/y > 0 (same sign … must be pos/pos or neg/neg)
xy
Useful Shortcut: If something has an even exponent, we won’t learn whether that variable is positive or negative. The even exponent will “hide” which type it is.
DECIMALS on GMAT Quant #1 Move: Clean it up by multiplying by a power of 10.
If we see 0.0045, we write 45 * 104
#2 Move: Line up the decimals, add zeros where necessary, then remove the decimal.
If we see 1.2/.03, we write 1.20/0.03 = 120/3 = 40.
UNITS DIGITS on GMAT Quant #1 Move: Write out the pattern for that units digit. Example: What’s the units digit of 6345?
Write out the pattern for powers of 3 (the patterns are either a constant digit, a cycle of 2, or a cycle of 4).
3¹ ends in 3
3² ends in 9
3³ ends in 7
34 ends in 1
—————
35 ends in 3
36 ends in 9
37 ends in 7
38 ends in 1
Since every power that’s a multiple of 4 will end in 1, 344 = ends in a 1.
So 345 = ends in a 3, so the units digit of 6345 is 3.
EXPONENTS/ROOTS on GMAT Quant #1 Move: If any of the bases aren’t currently prime, break the bases down to primes.
If we see 14x * 10y * 85 = 2³² * 5z+1 * 74
Then our next move is: 2x 7x * 2y 5y * (2³)5 = 2³² * 5z+1 * 74
#2 Move: If the problem involves addition or subtraction, we need to factor something out.
If we see 2³² – 230
Then our next move is: 230 (2² – 1) = 230 (3).
INEQUALITIES on GMAT Quant #1 Thought: Watch out for negatives! (When we multiply or divide by a negative, we have to flip the sign. We shouldn’t multiply or divide by variables unless we know their sign.)
#2 Thought: If it deals with exponents and inequalities, try fractions between 0 and 1, and maybe also fractions between 1 and 0 (numbers between 0 and 1 are the only numbers in the universe where x²
#3 Thought: If we have two inequalities, line up the inequality sign and add them to each other.
ALGEBRAIC STORY PROBLEMS on GMAT Quant #1 Thought: Should I just backsolve, rather than translating the story into variables/equations and trying to solve that way?
#2 Thought: If I’m going to translate, let me do so carefully.
is (or any other verb) → “=”
of → “multiply”
percent → /100
“There are” → the coefficient goes on the 2nd thing
(“There are 2/3 as many boys as girls” → B = 2/3 G)
LINEAR ALGEBRA on GMAT Quant #1 Thought: Am I solving for one variable or two (a “Combo”)?
We can solve systems of equations by substitution (isolate some variable or expression in one equation and then substitute the other side of the equation into the second equation).
Or we can solve systems of equations by elimination (stack the equations on top of each other, scale one or both of them up so that the coefficient of one of the variables is the same number, then add or subtract the two equations in order to eliminate the samenumbered variable).
Solving for a Combo, like “What is 3x + 2y?” means that instead of trying to get x = ___ , y = ____ and then plugging those values in for x and y, we should be trying to get 3x + 2y = _____.
TRAP AWARENESS on GMAT Quant When the two DS statements show you a pair of equations with the same two variables, the answer is almost never C (we refer to that as “the C trap”).
Sometimes, it’s NOT solvable (the answer is E) because the two equations are actually the same equation, if we simplified or scaled them up/down.
What’s the value of x?
1) 3x + 2y = 40
2) 9x – 120 = 6y
(Answer: E)
Other times, it’s solvable with only one statement (the answer is A or B) because one of the statements gives us an equation that we could manipulate into showing us the value of the Combo we’re looking for.
What’s the value of 3x + 2y?
1) 9x – 120 = 6y
2) 5x + 4y = 12
(Answer: A)
More to come next month!
Want some more GMAT tips from Patrick? Attend the first session of one of his upcoming GMAT courses absolutely free, no strings attached. Seriously.
Patrick Tyrrell is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Los Angeles, California. He has a B.A. in philosophy, a 780 on the GMAT, and relentless enthusiasm for his work. In addition to teaching test prep since 2006, he’s also an avid songwriter/musician. Check out Patrick’s upcoming GMAT courses here!
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A Memorizable List of GMAT Quant Content (Quantent) &nbs
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