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You Can Afford College! A Guide to Scholarship Resources [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2015, 13:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: You Can Afford College! A Guide to Scholarship Resources
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Cost is one of the most prominent reasons that high school students choose not to apply to college. After nearly nine years helping students get into college, I can confidently say that you can afford college! There are many sources of financial aid—money that organizations and the government give or lend to you to help you pay for higher education—including grants, loans, work study, and scholarships. Scholarships are attractive because they don’t have to be repaid. Let’s explore the broad spectrum of scholarship resources.

There are scholarships for all types of students. They may be granted to members of certain religious, ethnic, age, gender, or regional groups. They may be awarded based on interest in a certain subject, volunteerism, for athletic and academic aptitude. Because there are so many scholarships out there, your scholarship search will probably be the most daunting aspect of securing scholarships.

It’s useful to start your search on a scholarship-specific search engine. (Using a mainstream search engine, like Google, may return several million results.) Some top scholarship search engines are CollegeBoard.com, fastweb.com, CollegeNET.com, scholarships.com, and ScholarshipMonkey.com. CollegeBoard’s scholarships only include scholarships from reputable and established organizations. CollegeNET.com offers peer-voted scholarships that aren’t based on traditional factors such as GPA or income, in addition to the search engine. Fastweb contains the most up-to-date scholarships, as they update their databases daily! Explore these sites to determine which yields the best results for you.

Millions of students rely on these scholarship search engines, so you should also supplement your search with more personally-tailored resources. You will find school-specific scholarships and fellowships at your target colleges, so make sure to familiarize yourself with their sites. Prospective post-graduation employers that interest you may offer scholarships; many organizations also offer scholarships to children of employees. Your high school guidance counselor will also receive scholarship information that may be more aligned to your community.

When you’ve identified scholarships to apply to, there are several factors to keep in mind. Start looking for scholarships early and continue to search for them [even after you’re enrolled in college]. Take some time to learn about each organization that is awarding the scholarships you’re applying to, so that your essays are personally tailored to each.

Remember, there’s a scholarship for everything, so never assume you can’t afford school!

Need some help with your college application? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Dakotah Eddy is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant, and the Assistant Director of Admissions Consulting. She received both her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Cornell University (Go Big Red!), with the aid of several scholarships, grants, fellowships. She enjoys creating: from culinary masterpieces, to wearable art, to tech solutions.

 

 

The post You Can Afford College! A Guide to Scholarship Resources appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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The University of Rochester (Simon) Drops Price: What this Means for Y [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: The University of Rochester (Simon) Drops Price: What this Means for You
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One of the recurring, and quite frankly most surprising, themes we’ve seen in recent posts on MBA discussion boards is the discussion of costs of programs. Many students are setting a budget first and then applying to schools in that budget range. Why is that so surprising? Well first of all, students have typically chosen to attend the best school they get into and then plan on figuring out the budget issues later through a combination of loans, scholarships or their own cold, hard-earned cash.

From the perspective of someone who has helped dozens of students with the application process over the last few years (and being a budget conscious consumer in their own right), it is actually very encouraging to see this since it will probably help students be much more realistic in their school choice, and raise their probabilities of being accepted to good, cost-effective programs.

Secondly, the ROI of a student’ s MBA program investment has a lot of variability based on things like the job market in two or more years, the chosen field the student goes into and also what a student should expect to make ten or more years after graduation.

The downside of a budget first approach is that students could turn down great opportunities at amazing schools because they are looking to save a few thousand dollars on the program cost. This, at the end of the day, will not move the needle on your ROI calculation as significantly as budget conscious students might be hoping for.

Schools that are typically ranked outside of the top ten are trying to take advantage of these budget-conscious students by offering more competitive scholarships, and in the case of the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School, actually dropping the cost of tuition. They plan to reduce tuition and fees from about $106,500 to $92,000 for the entire 2-year MBA program.

According to Andrew Ainslie, Dean of the school, there is a correlation between the ranking of a business school and its price. “The higher rank the school, is the higher the price. And the lower ranked the school is, the lower the price.” It seems Rochester felt they had to get their costs more in line with their peer schools instead of raising their tuition 3-5% as they have the last few years.

The good news is there is now an industry-wide discussion about the constant increase in pricing of MBA programs and if it will have a significant impact on demand. To see MBA costs significantly outpacing inflation doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s certainly refreshing to see a school actually look at the cost of the program and find a way to lower costs than to raise them. Andrew Ainslie added, “Industry really wants us to keep producing M.B.A. students, but we seem to be getting less and less interest from potential students.” Perhaps this will help make students more aware of the school and increase applications.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

By Michael Trudeau, an MBA admissions consultant for Veritas Prep.

The post The University of Rochester (Simon) Drops Price: What this Means for You appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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SAT Tip of the Week: Math Traps [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2015, 12:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: Math Traps
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You’re near the end of the last math section on the SAT. You’re feeling confident; you’ve answered every question so far, and you only have a couple of questions left to answer. You know that you’re so close to that dream score you’ve been pushing for. You glance at the clock: four minutes remaining. You take a quick look at the third to last question:

 

 

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The question seems simple enough. If the can is eight inches tall, then four of the pencils cannot fit entirely inside the can. You circle D and move on, since you only have a few minutes left to answer the last two questions.

Unfortunately, if you choose D as the answer, you’d have missed one and a quarter points, which is enough to knock you out of the percentile you may have been aiming for. Newsflash: this seemingly simple math problem is a trick question! But before you groan and say to yourself, “How am I supposed to know when an SAT math question is just plain easy and when it’s a trap?”, heed this simple rule of thumb: on the SAT, trick questions tend to appear near the end of the section, say about the last 5-6 problems.

So, although you may be able to do math questions at the beginning of the section in less than thirty seconds, if you do a problem at the end of the section easily and in little time, chances are you fell for a trap! In fact, if a problem at the end of the section seems strangely easy, an alarm bell should go off in your head.

Be sure to always pause and consider the question carefully, instead of circling the first plausible answer. Also, be sure to always give yourself extra time for the end of the section, since you’ll need to spend a couple of minutes on the tricky problems to avoid traps. Let’s take another look at that problem.

One great way to deal with geometry-based questions at the end of the math section is to draw on the provided diagrams as you think your way through the problem. In other words, thinking visually. Doing will help you consider possible solutions you may otherwise overlook, such as in our tricky problem. So, let’s start by “drawing” the nine inch pencil in the tin can:Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearly, the pencil sticks out of the can. But, seeing the pencil sticking nearly straight up from inside the can gives me a new idea: What if the pencil were tilted? Couldn’t a pencil longer than eight inches fit inside the can? And if so, what would be the longest possible length of a titled pencil that could fit entirely inside the can?

To get a better grasp of this idea, I would draw the longest possible tilted line that fit inside the can, meaning a line starting in a bottom corner of the can, and stretching to the top corner, like so:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, the line that represents the longest possible length of a pencil that fits entirely inside the can is also the hypotenuse of a right triangle with side lengths of 6 inches and 8 inches. Because I can identify the side lengths of this triangle as multiples of the lengths of a 3-4-5 triangle, I know the hypotenuse is 10 inches, meaning that any pencils less than or equal to 10 inches long can fit inside the can. Therefore, my answer is B, only two of the pencils cannot fit entirely inside of the can.

The more tricky math questions you practice working through, the better you will become at spotting traps and using strategies like drawing on the figures. Consider signing up for the SAT question of the day to keep sharpening your skills!

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Rita Pearson, an 99th percentile SAT instructor for Veritas Prep.

The post SAT Tip of the Week: Math Traps appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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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Advice for Determined Re-applicants: Part 2 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2015, 14:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Advice for Determined Re-applicants: Part 2
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Before you dive in, take a look at Part 1 of this post!

If you have decided to give it another attempt at a school where you were rejected, one of the most valuable things you can seek is feedback on why you didn’t make the cut last time. Some schools will actually provide this information if you ask for it, so don’t be shy about reaching out to them.

If you are applying to a school in the top 10, you may not be able to get specifics from the admissions teams on why you didn’t get in, due simply to the number of applications they receive, but you can still seek this information from outside sources by confiding in a colleague or contact who has their MBA or perhaps some insight into the process.

At the very least, you should sit down with your application and try as objectively as possible to see where you may have come up short. If you have trouble finding such shortcomings, it may simply be the case that there were too many applicants similar to you in the pool last year, and the resulting mathematical odds did not go your way.

Assessing your weaknesses is critical to a reapplication, since you may find favor with the same admissions committee that rejected you in the past if you can somehow inoculate the concern. Of course there are the obvious weaknesses such as a sub-par GMAT score or low GPA, or perhaps you went to a low-ranked state college (nothing you can do about that now of course except to maybe take a course or two at a better school).

The tricky part comes in the more subtle components of the application. Perhaps your career vision was not clearly connected to what you did in your past, or maybe you failed to convey a passionate, compelling case for why you need the MBA.

Often, it comes down to a failure of message. It could be that the overall picture you painted was not articulated in a way that captured the attention of the committee. How was your fit with your target programs? Was there something in your application that communicated a poor match with their culture or curriculum? These are the questions that can truly drive you crazy, since it’s largely guesswork, but they are vital to consider.

Once you have some clear thoughts on why you didn’t get in, you can then formulate a fresh approach to your current application. Don’t forget that of primary concern to the admissions committees will be what you have accomplished since the last application that now makes you a better candidate. If you can clearly articulate such achievements, you will give the admissions committees a compelling reason to let you in this year.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

Bryant Michaels has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons. See more of his articles here.

The post Advice for Determined Re-applicants: Part 2 appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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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Read the Last Piece First on the GMAT! [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Read the Last Piece First on the GMAT!
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When I was in grad school, I had a writing teacher who insisted on reading the last page of a novel before she read the first. Her reasoning was that she was starting a kind of journey, and she was curious to know where she’d be going before she could decide whether she wished to embark. Now, as a devoted reader, I couldn’t find this strategy more abhorrent. Uncertainty and mystery are integral parts of the pleasure of reading fiction. Why ruin it?

However, when it comes to the GMAT, I am quite content to ruin the suspense of a question in favor of deriving a more convenient and efficient means of solving it. Interestingly, it turns out that when a question offers multiple bits of information, starting with the last piece can often be a way of dramatically simplifying the problem.

Take the following problem that a tutoring student of mine encountered on her GMATPrep test:

Mary’s income is 60 percent more than Tim’s income, and Tim’s income is 40% less than Juan’s income. What percent of Juan’s income is Mary’s income?

A) 124%

B) 120%

C) 96%

D) 80%

E) 64%

She approached the question like many test-takers would: she started with the first piece of information, and called Mary’s income $100. And then she got stuck. She realized that Tim’s income isn’t $40 here, as $100 is more than double $40, so clearly Mary’s income would not then be 60% greater than Tim’s (though Tim’s would have been 60% less than Mary’s.) So then, I suggested, why not start at the end?

The last person mentioned here is Juan, so let’s call Juan’s income $100. She then knocked out the remaining calculations in about 30 seconds. If Juan’s income is $100, and Tim’s income is 40% less than Juan’s, than Tim’s income would be $60. And if Tim’s income is $60, and Mary’s income is 60% more than Tim’s, Mary’s income would be 60 + 60% of 60 = 60 + 36 = 96. (Or 1.6 * 60 = 96.) If Mary’s income is $96 and Juan’s is $100, then clearly, Mary’s income is 96% of Juan’s, and the answer is C. Not bad.

Let’s try it again on another question:

In a certain region, the number of children who have been vaccinated against rubella is twice the number who have been vaccinated against mumps. The number who have been vaccinated against both is twice the number who have been vaccinated only against mumps. If 5000 have been vaccinated against both, how many have been vaccinated only against rubella?

A) 2500

B) 7500

C) 10000

D) 15000

E) 17500

First, note that this is a classic overlapping sets questions, so let’s set up a simple matrix:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

But now, let’s start by inserting the last piece of information we’re given. 5000 have been vaccinated against both, so that goes in the Mumps/Rubella Vaccine cell. Now we’ve got:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we’ll work backwards. We’re told that the number that have been vaccinated against both (5000) is twice the number that have been vaccinated against only mumps. So the number that have been vaccinated against only mumps must be 2500. Now our table looks like this:

Image

 

 

 

 

 

Now we know that 7500 people have been vaccinated against Mumps. Last, we’re told that the number vaccinated against Rubella is twice the number that have been vaccinated against Mumps, which means that 15,000 people have been vaccinated against Rubella. If 15,000 total have been vaccinated against Rubella, and 5000 of those have been vaccinated against both, then, according to our table, 10,000 have been vaccinated against only Rubella. So C is our answer.

Image

 

 

 

 

 

Takeaway: The GMAT question writer is going to provide information to you in a very strategic way. If the most useful piece of info comes at the end of a lengthier question, the question will be harder if you start at the beginning. So be like my zany grad school teacher and start at the end. It may ruin the suspense, but as a consolation, you’re more likely to get the question right, and I’m guessing that’s a trade-off most of us are more than happy to make.

*GMATPrep questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here.

The post Read the Last Piece First on the GMAT! appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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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4 Easy Ways to Develop Relationships with Your Professors [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2015, 13:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 4 Easy Ways to Develop Relationships with Your Professors
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College can be demanding in a number of ways. There are the social demands that can take up large swaths of time in the evening, academic demands, the more existential demands with regard to what path you will follow in your studies and beyond. But – besides all that – there is the added demand to be noticed among the potentially hundreds of students a professor may teach. The benefits of developing a relationship with professors are numerous, from potential connections to job providers within your field, to having a person to heap praises on you (I am speaking of the dreaded letters of recommendation). Recommendations are needed by the fistful when students get to the place in their studies when they start applying for grants, internships, fellowships, and higher degrees. These pesky pieces of paper are the bane of many student’s existence and are especially tricky to obtain if you are not a student who easily forms relationships with teachers and other mentor figures. For those who may not have their professors on speed dial, here are some tips for how to develop a relationship with professors.

1. Connect with a professor you actually respect.

Ideally, the professors that you end up forging a connection with will be renowned in their field, but if professors really rub you the wrong way, it will be extremely difficult to maintain any kind of meaningful relationship with them. It is likely that all the faculty in your program are pretty good at what they do, so allow the natural compatibility that helps all relationships form to act in the realm of professor-students relationships as well.

2. Connect with a professor whose field of study interests you.

One of the best resources that professors can offer beyond advice and letters of recommendation is an opportunity to connect you to work in their field, either by employing you directly or connecting you with others in the field who may need interns or employees. For this reason it is extremely important to connect with professors whose work you find interesting. Having access as an undergraduate to someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about a field of study is extremely helpful, especially for those interested in a field that could involve undergraduate research, as it creates a built in mentor who you can aid in research and who can help you in doing your own independent investigations.

3. Don’t just go to office hours if you have a question about class materials (though definitely go to office hours if you have questions about class materials).

Office hours are built into a professor’s schedule so that students can have access to the faculty one on one. Utilize this time! Certainly go if you’d like clarification on a topic from the lecture, but also just go and chat! Ask the professor about their research, ask what is hard and what is rewarding about their field, ask what advice they would give themselves at your age. People love to talk about themselves, so this will not be an inconvenience. This is also a great opportunity to talk about your own personal goals and ask for advice on how to achieve them. These conversations not only demonstrate that you are passionate enough to make time to talk, but will also give the professor things to chat about should you need to ask them for a letter of recommendation.

4. Follow up.

In general, this little networking trick is a great way to stay present in a person’s experience. If you have a good conversation with a professor, or you enjoyed their class, or you are just feeling a bit sycophantic, send your professor an email. Sending something short and kind, even something as short as, “Thanks for making the time to chat with me today. I really appreciated your insights” can go a long way toward starting a relationship with a professor. Don’t be afraid to follow up, as long as you aren’t asking for anything specific, most people are happy to receive kind follow up emails. A nice follow up can also help to establish a correspondence which can be useful should you actually need something like a recommendation or advice on where to apply for a job.

These are all pretty straight forward techniques, but don’t be afraid to use them. Professors are paid, often quite generously, to be available to students. So ask for help, ask for guidance, and make yourself known. It will be extremely beneficial down the line and will make the time when you need advice, recommendations, or referrals much easier.

Need help prepping your college application? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT.

The post 4 Easy Ways to Develop Relationships with Your Professors appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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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Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in a TV Studio [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2015, 14:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in a TV Studio
Image
When you think of online classes, what do you picture? For most of us, the best part of an online class is the having the chance to sit on the couch in your pajamas eating Cheetos while learning the basics of managerial accounting. Well, some bad news for those folks. Harvard Business School has launched HBX Live, “a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of HBS’s famed case method in a digital environment.”

Nitin Nohria, the Dean of Harvard Business School noted, “HBX Live will help us deliver on our promise of lifelong learning by giving us a new way to engage students and alumni—not just here in Boston, but around the globe—as their professional and educational needs evolve over the course of their careers.”

So what is it exactly? Well it all starts with the Live Studio located at a public broadcaster close to Boston. In the studio a “high-resolution video wall mimics the amphitheater-style seating of an HBS classroom, with up to 60 participants displayed on individual screens simultaneously.” Classes use still and roaming cameras to give students the feel of being in a real life classroom where they can look at the professor and other students with ease.

So far 20 professors have taught a class in the studio and 96% of alumni who took part in the first session said they were eager to participate in it again.

Historically, online classes have had a negative connotation, especially because they are most closely associated with programs that are purely online. Online programs have come under tremendous scrutiny from not only students and educators, but regulatory bodies, government departments and even Congress. Their effectiveness is questionable and their future is very much in doubt. However, HBX Live is obviously something different and as technology improves and the way in which students learn evolves, this can be a really valuable tool in a school’s tool kit.

How and why will HBX Live be a valuable tool? Imagine how much easier schools will be able to reach students and alumni. Whether you are in Boston or Beijing, you can get the same experience as someone sitting in a classroom. Giving students an opportunity to still attend class while away on study abroad or working at an internship will create more learning opportunities for students.

How helpful would it be for a student on an internship across the world to dial in for a class in the evening and put into practice what they learned the very next day? Putting together custom programs for alumni will become easier and more engaging, helping schools provide enhanced services to their alumni and giving alumni a reason to stay in touch with the school.

So will the HBX Live studio be the new way of teaching in business school, or just a neat trick for niche classes or one-off events? We’re not sure, but you should probably leave the Cheetos alone in either case.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

By Michael Trudeau, an MBA admissions consultant for Veritas Prep.

The post Harvard Business School Launches Virtual Classroom in a TV Studio appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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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GMAT Tip of the Week: What To Do When The GMAT Gets All Netflix On You [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2015, 13:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: What To Do When The GMAT Gets All Netflix On You
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Picture this: a friend texts you and asks, “Do you want to get a pizza and watch a movie after work?”. Do you find that odd at all?

But now picture this: that same friend asks, instead, “Do you want to get a pepperoni, mushroom and olive pizza with white sauce on thin crust from Domino’s and watch a Critically-Acclaimed Inspiring Underdog movie on Neflix after work?”. That’s strange, right? And why is that? Because it’s so specific.

Well, on the GMAT you’ll often see questions that ask for something oddly specific; “What is the value of x?” is pretty normal, but “What is the value of 6x – y?” is the equivalent of the specific pizza and odd Netflix category question. Why did they ask that? Often that’s a clue, and if you notice that clue it will help you better set up the problem. Consider this example:

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Reflect on what this question is asking about. Not x. Not y. But to paraphrase Netflix, “a partially coefficiented combination of additive variables with a strong horizontal lead.” 6x – y. That’s oddly specific, so your first inclination should be, “Is there an easy way to get 6x – y?” as opposed to, “Let’s start solving for x” (which of course you can’t do here…that’s why E is a trap answer choice).

With that in mind, even if you’ve forgotten (or temporarily blanked on) some exponent rules, you should immediately be thinking, “I have 2x – how does that become 6x,” and, “Where does the subtraction come from?”.

The 6x, of course, comes from breaking 27 down into 3^3, so that you have (3^3)^2x, which then becomes 3^6x. And then with that, you have a fraction:

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And that’s where the subtraction comes from. When you divide two exponents of the same base, you subtract the exponents, so now you have your 6x – y ready to go. Of course, from there, you need to get a base of 3 on the other side of the equation, so you can express 81 as 3^4, and now you know that 6x – y = 4, answer choice B.

Most importantly here, when the GMAT asks you an oddly-specific question in the vein of the oddly-specific Netflix category, you should seize on that specificity. Very frequently on the GMAT, it’s easier to solve for that oddly-specific combination of variables than it is to solve for any of the individual variables themselves!

On Problem Solving questions this can save you plenty of time, taking that extra few seconds to ask yourself how you’d arrive at that specific combination. On Data Sufficiency, this practice can be even more a matter of correct or incorrect. Data Sufficiency problems often give you sufficient information to arrive at the oddly-specific combination from the question stem, but insufficient information to determine any of the individual components. Imagine this problem as a Data Sufficiency problem:

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Here, as you know from above, Statement 1 is sufficient, but if you go into the problem trying to solve for the variables individually, you’ll likely think that you need Statement 2 so that you can plug the value of y back into Statement 1 to supply the value of x. That way you’ll have the entire picture filled in: x = 1, y = 2, and 6x – y = 4.

But you don’t NEED Statement 2, so on a question like this the GMAT will punish you for not seeing that Statement 1 alone is sufficient. And it’s only sufficient because of that oddly-specific question stem. Check out this follow-up question (with a similar setup, but variables changed to a and b since the actual numbers will change):

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Here you cannot use Statement 1 to get directly to the oddly-specific question stem. You can get to 4a – b = 4, but that doesn’t tell you about 6a – b. So here, the answer is C because you need Statement 2 so that you can solve for each variable individually.

More often than not, when the GMAT asks for an oddly-specific combination of variables it provides a way to arrive at it. So pay attention to the question itself: if it’s asking for something out of the ordinary or oddly specific, see that as a thinly-veiled clue that allows you to be the Confident GMAT Problem Solver With Excellent Think Like The Testmaker Skills En Route To A 700+ that you know you can be.

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

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Tackling the Tricky “Best Answer”: 3 Steps to Succeed on the ACT Readi [#permalink]

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New post 09 Oct 2015, 15:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Tackling the Tricky “Best Answer”: 3 Steps to Succeed on the ACT Reading
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Unlike the ACT Math, in which there is only one correct possibility, the ACT Reading will present multiple interpretations of a passage that are defensible. Rarely will one choice distinguish itself as the clear solution or, in the language of the exam, as the “best answer.”

Obviously, in literature classes, there really are no “best answers” for interpreting subjective art, poetry, and prose. But as far as the ACT Reading is concerned, here’s a simple formula for determining the correct multiple choice:

1. Identify which is wordier: the question or the possible answers?

If the question is longer, jump to 2A. If the possible answers are longer, jump to 2B.

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2A. Simplify the question.

*This sample question is excerpted from Passage 5.B of the ACT’s Sample Reading Questions. The original passage can be found here. Try it out for practice!

Distill the original question into its most significant question words. In this example, the question is very specific about the comparison. In this example, the correct answer will very specifically relate the narrator’s expectations to reality— be wary of options that open with the wrong claim, such as “similar,” but follow-up with a soundproof justification for why the expectations are dissimilar from reality.

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2B. Simplify the multiple choice.

*This sample question is excerpted from Passage 5.A of the ACT’s Sample Reading Questions. The original passage can be found here. Try it out for practice!

Before reading too deeply into the nuances of A, B, C, and D, break them down into their core essences (ideally 4-8 words). Using the example above, which best describes the transition? A description to a reflection? Or an overview to an explanation? The “best answer” will usually be the most apt summary of a passage, even in the simplest of terms.

3. Check your work

Confirm that all parts of the multiple choice selection are accurate. For instance, using the example question provided for 2B: If A, “a description of events,” was the best general summary, read the whole of option A to verify its accuracy.

If “a description of events leading up to sudden action by the narrator to a reflection on the intentions and meanings behind that action” is 100% correct, great! Bubble it in on the answer sheet.

If it’s not— in this case, the passage might not reflect on the meaning behind an action— don’t bubble it in. An answer must be 100% correct to be the “best answer.” If any part of a multiple choice selection is fallible, the whole thing is wrong. (One bad apple spoils the bunch.)

Just try again with another simplified summary!

For more tips on acing the ACT and getting into the most competitive universities in the nation, check out our free online ACT resources, and be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Madeline Ewbank is an undergraduate at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she produces student films, interns for the Department of State, and teaches ACT 36 courses. She is excited to help students achieve their college aspirations as a member of the Veritas Prep team.

 

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Manipulating Standard Formulas on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Manipulating Standard Formulas on the GMAT
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We know the formula we need to use to find the sum of n consecutive positive integers starting from 1. The formula is given as n(n+1)/2.

So the sum of first four positive integers is 4 * (4 + 1)/2 = 10.

This might seem a bit cumbersome, since it is easy to see that 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, but we know that the formula comes in very handy when n is a large number. For example, the sum of first 50 positive integers = 50 * 51/2 = 1275. Obviously, this will be a lot harder when done the “1 + 2 + 3 + 4 … + 49 + 50” way.

Now the question is, how do we adjust the same formula to find the sum of consecutive integers which do not start from 1?

Say, how do we find the sum of all positive integers from 8 to 20? The formula assumes a starting point of 1, so then we insert only the last number, n. How do we manage the 8? Let’s try to figure it out

Say the sum of first 20 positive integers = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + …. + 19 + 20 = 20 * 21/2

(1 + 2 + 3 +… + 7) + (8 + 9 +10 + … + 19 + 20) = 20 * 21/2

We need the value of the part in red, let’s call it the required sum.

(1 + 2 + 3 +… + 7) + The Required Sum = 20 * 21/2

Note here that we know the sum of 1 + 2 + 3 + … + 7 = 7 * 8/2

So, 7*8/2 + The Required Sum = 20 * 21/2, therefore the Required Sum = 20*21/2 – 7*8/2

To get the sum of consecutive integers from 8 to 20, we find the sum of all integers from 1 to 20 (using the formula we know) and subtract the sum of integers from 1 to 7 out of it (using the same formula).

To generalize, the sum of all positive integers from m to n is given as:

n(n+1)/2 – (m-1)*m/2

Let’s look at a question based on this concept:

If the sum of the consecutive integers from –40 to n inclusive is 356, what is the value of n?

(A) 47

(B) 48

(C) 49

(D) 50

(E) 51

If you are thinking that we haven’t gone over how to adjust the formula for negative numbers, you are right, but what we have discussed is enough to solve this question.

Numbers around 0 are symmetrical. So 1 and -1 add up to equal 0. Similarly, 2 and -2 add up to equal 0, and so on…

-40, -39 … 0 … 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 …

The sum of all numbers from -40 to 40 will be 0. Or another way to look at it is that 0 is the mean of all numbers from -40 to 40. So the total sum of these numbers will also be 0.

The given sum is actually the sum of numbers from 41 to n only.

We know how to calculate that:

n(n+1)/2 – 40*41/2 = 356

n(n+1) = 2352

From the options, we see that n cannot be 49 or 50 because the product of 49*50 or 50*51 will end in 0, so plug in n = 48 to check whether 48*49 is equal to 2352. It is, therefore our answer is B

(Had we obtained a lower product than required, we could have said that n must be 51. Had we obtained a higher product than was required, we could have said that n is 47.)

Another method:

Use the concept of arithmetic mean and ballpark. The mean of numbers from 41 to 47 or 48 or 49… will be somewhere between 44 and 46.

Let’s estimate the number of integers we need to get the sum of about 356. Each additional integer is quite large (more than 45) therefore, a difference of about 10-15 in the sum due to the various possible values of the mean will be immaterial.

45*7 = 315

45*8 = 360

This brings us very close to the value of 356.

Assuming there are 8 integers, their values will be from 41 to 48. The average of these 8 numbers will be 44.5. The total sum will be 44.5 * 8 = 356. It matches, so our answer is still B.

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog!

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Roomie Etiquette 101: How to Establish Respect and Friendship With You [#permalink]

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New post 12 Oct 2015, 13:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Roomie Etiquette 101: How to Establish Respect and Friendship With Your New Housemate
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You’ve emailed with your new roommate over the summer but now it’s real. After you set up your twin bed and photomontage on the wall, you hear the door open and a female voice yells “hey there!” from the living room.

The roomie has arrived.

You exit your bedroom for the official meet and greet. You’re excited. The start of a beautiful friendship! As you begin this new journey in a shared living space, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind to ensure your roommate feels appreciated and respected. Here are just a few…

RESPECT. You’re used to dumping dirty dishes into the sink and watching your little brother rinse them before loading the dishwasher. College life is quite different. Sure, dump the dishes, but have common courtesy for your new housemate and hand wash them before bed. It may take an extra ten minutes, but you, and your roomie, will be happy to wake up to an empty sink and clean smell in the kitchen. This applies to all common areas like the living room (take your belongings back to your room – no one wants a sweatshirt graveyard!), as well as the bathroom. Try not to dominate this intimate shared space with multiple hair and body products. Keep a few things in the shower, but store excessive items in your room.

CONNECT. It is not always going to be easy, but if you find yourself looking to your roomie for companionship, be honest and transparent. Living together often ends in naturally finding out a lot about the person. To start off on the right foot, ask your new housemate questions about their interests and passions. You can offer your own stories of family, friends, or girlfriend/boyfriend experiences. Storytelling is valuable when it comes to relating to one another. You are bound to find common ground and connecting in this way can solidify your friendship early on.

ACTIVITIES. Try to find an activity on campus to help create a bond that can carry over to your living space. It is helpful to find something that will give you and your roommate an opportunity to shine. Are you creative? Attend the Fall Arts display that demonstrates new artists. Is your roomie an avid snowboarder? Ask if he/she would want to join the on campus ski/board club … and if they would be open to teaching you! Selecting a few common activities helps keep the roommate relationship strong throughout the academic year.

Living with a stranger can be hard. But if you connect and show respect, you’ll find ease in co-habitating with your roommate and perhaps even find a lifelong friend.

Do you have questions about college admissions or your application?  Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

By Shay Davis

 

 

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Should You Seek an MBA Overseas? [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Should You Seek an MBA Overseas?
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If you are a US citizen trying to decide where you want to get your MBA degree, it can be tempting to think about schools outside the USA. After all, the world knows no boundaries thanks to technology and a global marketplace. Spending a couple of years in Spain, England or Asia also sound like nice places to see new things and meet new people while you sharpen your business acumen. And since most programs at reputable business schools are in English, you won’t face the language barrier that may have stopped you otherwise.

While there may be many enticing reasons to matriculate outside the US, there are several factors to consider in making sure it is a good decision. First and foremost, you need to assess your short and long term career goals. Do you plan to live and spend the bulk of your career overseas? If so, this actually may be a good option for you, since the reputations of schools outside the US carry the most gravitas in the region where they are located.

Much like a top regional school in the US, many programs in Europe and Asia are best known by employers who are located nearby. Certainly there are a handful of schools across the pond whose renown extends globally, but for the most part, just like in the US, these schools are limited and very selective.

Even if you can get admitted to an LBS or an IE, however, it still does not mean that it’s the best place for you to go to school. Remember that business degrees are fairly sticky, meaning that graduates tend to stay and work within an 8 hour car drive of their chosen MBA program’s home base. This means your post-MBA network will be concentrated in a geographic region nearby the school. If you plan to stay in this area, then getting an MBA there is a good plan. If you plan to return to the US, however, it may not be as wise.

Additionally there are the economic differences. Many people don’t realize that accounting standards are completely different in the US and elsewhere, which could make a finance career more challenging if you go to school in one place and work in another. Finally, there are all the visa issues to think about. If you can’t find a sponsor company or are otherwise unable to obtain the rights to work within the network of your chosen institution, you could be setting yourself up for challenges when trying to get a job post-MBA.

Getting an MBA outside the US may seem glamorous, but it’s not the same thing as studying abroad. It’s more akin to “going all in” on your chosen region. If you plan to work in the US, even if it’s for an internationally established corporation, it might be just as beneficial for you to participate in a global study experience or even an international internship instead of committing your entire two years to a market where you don’t plan to work long term.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

Bryant Michaels has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons. See more of his articles here.

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How to Make The Most Of Your Senior Year at College [#permalink]

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New post 13 Oct 2015, 13:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: How to Make The Most Of Your Senior Year at College
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After three arduous years of work at a college, many young people see their final year of college in much the same way that they saw the final year of high school: an opportunity to make up for the merrymaking they didn’t get to in their previous years. This is a natural instinct, and there will certainly be time to indulge in some of the new privileges that your early twenties provide, but the senior year of college is also the transition point from having a clear structure, support system, and road map for how to accomplish whatever goals a student might have, into the wide world where all of these things become less available. For this reason, the most important thing to do your senior year is to develop a plan for the years to come and start using the resources of the college to set that plan in motion. Here are some useful questions to ask to help you make the most of your senior year in college.

What’s Next?

For many students, the answer is more education, whether that is in the form of graduate school, a fellowship, or some occupation-specific training program. For whatever the next leg of your journey is, make sure that you set yourself up with all the tools necessary to succeed. Make sure that all necessary transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation happen early. Getting recommendation letters is a pesky step that is required by most schools and fellowships and professors are getting A LOT of requests for letters. Ask professors early, and as soon as you receive the parameters of the recommendation send them to the person writing the recommendation. It is terrible to wake up one morning and realize that you may miss your deadline because you are waiting on a professor, who you have little power to cajole into working any faster, to give some necessary piece of the puzzle.

How do I get there?

The process of getting fellowships and getting into grad schools is pretty straightforward, but what if your goal is to get your feet wet in the working world? Your school can provide you with great tools in order to accomplish this goal as well. Ask advisors if the university has any partnerships with companies in the field in which you wish to work. If there are former students that work at an institution, reach out. No need to be pushy, a statement that you are a student that loves the organization and would like to someday be involved will suffice. Nothing is a guarantee, but it is good to lay the groundwork for applying to an institution when you still have the luxury of the support provided by the school. Another great tool is an internship. Internships are a divisive topic, as asking people to work for free in the hope that they will someday be able to work for pay can be problematic, but while in school, internships can often be applied for credit and thus provide some compensation beyond the experience of working in the field. Internships are also a great way to get your foot in the door with an organization and to develop the occupational skills and the relationships to increase the probability of getting hired out of school. If you are in a field like math or computer science, you can likely forego the unpaid step and get right into the field, but it’s still not a bad idea to try a paid internship as a way for you to take a trial run of the job.

What do I need?

This topic has already been broached in the previous sections, but figuring out what the institution of learning you are a part of can provide you to help you make the transition to the next chapter of your life is vital. It may be that there are postgraduate research grants that are available to you, or there may be job fairs that are organized by the school. The school might have contacts with recruiters if you are in a field that is highly recruited, and there could be many more helpful postgraduate tools that your school provides. The school WANTS you to be successful and make a ton of money so that they can pester you for donations for the rest of your life, so ask them for help! It is not imposing on anyone to be very clear about your needs and ask for the tools to have them met.

Of course in your final year you want to make the most of the social connections you have formed and the carefree nature of having your basic needs met by an institution, but it’s also important to start planning for the vast future outside of school. Whether it is by solidifying relationships with professors in order to prepare for letters of recommendation or applying for internships to give you the connections to have a job waiting for you after school, make sure to use your senior year to create a roadmap for life beyond your school.

Do you have younger friends who need help with their college applications? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT.

 

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SAT Tip of the Week: Getting Comfortable with “No Error” Answers on th [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2015, 11:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: Getting Comfortable with “No Error” Answers on the SAT
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I always pick too many or too few “no error” answers on the writing section. How do I get better at this? How many “no error”’s are there in each section? Help!

This is a pretty common issue. Plenty of students get nervous when they see no-error questions, and begin to notice errors that don’t actually exist. Others choose “no error” too often because they miss errors that do exist.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to overcome this problem. The best way to avoid it is to become really good at noticing the grammar mistakes that appear on the SAT. Fortunately, there aren’t many types of grammar mistakes – about thirteen, depending on how you count them – to keep track of. The Veritas Prep Writing 2400 curriculum covers all of them. Once you’re comfortable with all thirteen, you’ll be able to move through the writing section more decisively since you’ll never encounter a type of error you haven’t seen before.

After completing a lot of SAT practice tests, I began to develop a mental checklist of possible errors. Today, whenever I run into an Identifying Sentence Errors question that doesn’t have an easily noticeable error in it, I go through my checklist: Subject-verb issues? Awkwardness? Is it a complete sentence? Misplaced modifiers? Is there anything wrong with the pronouns? If I still can’t find an error, once I’ve finished my checklist, I circle “no error” and move on.

I’ve found that there are usually a few “no error” answers in each section, but that’s a very, very vague estimate. Some sections might have only one, and other sections might have more. Instead of keeping count of how many “no error’s” you’ve circled, just take an extra moment to double (and triple) check any question you’re tempted to circle “no error” for. If you still don’t find something, be confident enough in your abilities to choose “no error” and move on.

The key to this is practice, which will help you get good enough at the grammar concepts on the SAT to be able to (1) have a harder time convincing yourself of errors that don’t actually exist, and (2) be better at catching real errors when they appear.

Best of luck!

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament.

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Applying to Business School with No Work Experience [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2015, 11:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Applying to Business School with No Work Experience
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This time of year is replete with many young candidates who want to apply to business school directly out of undergrad.  Is this possible? In some cases, yes it is.

First, you must recognize that business schools are unique compared to other graduate schools in that they generally require real world experience prior to matriculation. If you think about law school, medical school or just about any other occupational education, it is most common to simply take on the degree as a continuation of your current academic career. As a potential applicant to business school, however, you likely have noticed most schools have an average work experience figure approaching 5 years.

The business school experience relies heavily on peer-to-peer interaction, and bringing a skill set with you to school becomes as useful to your classmates as the professors themselves. Much of the work in business school is accomplished in teams, so imagine a team of six freshly minted undergrads who have never worked in the “real world” being charged with solving some kind of business problem on a project team. Schools have found things go much better when students leverage everything they learn in the classroom with everything they have learned on the job.

Still, there are a handful of newly degreed students who successfully navigate the admissions process each year. Most often, these are students with exceptional core qualifications (think high GMAT, high GPA, strongly involved), and also some demonstrable leadership experience. More often than not, they also have some significant work experience already under their belt, whether it be from an internship, having started their own successful company while still a student or job outside of school. It doesn’t have to be a paid job either—if you have achieved something remarkable as a volunteer, it can also impress the admissions committee.

The key is demonstrating a strong vision for your post-MBA career, a plan  for achieving your goals that is mature, and a compelling reason why now is the best time for you to return to school without first “earning your chops” with a couple of laps around the block.

Some schools are more amenable to applicants without prior experience than others. Make sure you investigate this with the admissions office before you apply. Still other schools have special programs designed specifically for younger students.

Good examples include the HBS 2+2 program (where you are accepted to HBS as a rising senior in college or MS candidate, but go on to work for two years before you matriculate), and the Yale Silver Scholars program (where you also are accepted as a senior in college, but start the MBA program immediately and then work an extended internship before returning for the balance of the program). These programs are highly competitive, but offer an opportunity to get started on your MBA journey before the average applicant.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us onFacebookYouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

Bryant Michaels has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons. See more of his articles here.

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The Importance of Catching Details on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: The Importance of Catching Details on the GMAT
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In our everyday lives, we all understand that attention to linguistic detail is important. When my wife tells me I need to pick up my daughter, I don’t unconsciously filter out minor elements like where my daughter is or what time I’m supposed to get her. Similarly, if you were on the phone making plans with a friend, you’d never hang up before knowing what you’d made plans to do.

Details aren’t just important – almost every conversation we have would be totally incoherent if we didn’t pay attention to them. And yet, for whatever reason, on the GMAT, we have a tendency to skim over these very same details without absorbing them. This tendency, I find, is particularly pronounced on Critical Reasoning questions. Take this question, which I reviewed with a student the other day:

Citizens of Parktown are worried by the increased frequency of serious crimes committed by local teenagers. In response the city government has instituted a series of measures designed to keep teenagers at home in the late evening. Even if the measures succeeded in keeping teenagers at home, however, they are unlikely to affect the problem that concerns citizens, since more crimes committed by local teenagers take place between 3p.m. and 6p.m.

Which of the following, if true, most substantially weakens the argument?

A) Similar measures adopted in other places have failed to reduce the number of teenagers on the streets in the late evening.

B) The crimes committed by teenagers in the afternoon are mostly small thefts and inconsequential vandalism

C) Teenagers are much less likely to commit serious crimes when they are at home than when they are not at home

D) Any decrease in the need for police patrols in the late evening would not mean that there could be more intensive patrolling in the afternoon

E) The schools in Parktown have introduced a number of after-school programs that will be available to teenagers until 6 p.m. on weekday afternoons.

My student broke down the argument quickly. He saw that the conclusion was that the city’s plan to keep teenagers at home in the late evening was unlikely to be successful because most teenage crimes were committed earlier in the day.

When I asked him to reiterate what the fine citizens of Parktown were concerned about, he shrugged and said ‘crime.’ Of course, this wasn’t wrong, per se, but it was incomplete. When I followed up and asked what kind of crime they were worried about, he was puzzled at first. It wasn’t until I asked him to reread the first sentence of the argument and to pay very close attention to adjectives that it clicked.

The citizens were worried about serious crime. And this makes sense. If someone told you that the neighborhood you were about to move in to had a very high crime rate, your reaction would not be the same if those crimes consisted largely of jay-walking as it would if you discovered that those crimes were more serious offenses. I then asked him to reread the sentence at the very end of the passage. This time, he got it.

While it’s true that the majority of crimes were committed between 3 and 6 pm, the argument doesn’t specify what kinds of crimes were committed during these hours. It’s this gap between the crimes that the citizens were concerned about – serious ones – and the crimes we’re given evidence about – all crimes – that is the key to this question. If the teenagers are jay-walking in the early afternoon, but engaging in far more damaging behavior in the evening, the plan to impose the curfew still makes sense, even if, technically, those jay-walking offenses constitute a majority of the crimes committed.

Now let’s go to the answer choices:

A: We’re trying to weaken the idea that the plan won’t work. If the plan didn’t work in other places, that certainly doesn’t weaken the idea that the plan won’t work in Parktown. A is out.

B: This looks good. Even though the crimes committed between 3 and 6 constitute a majority of the total crimes, these crimes are trivial. The citizens of Parktown are worried about serious crimes, which, if they’re committed at night, the curfew would help prevent. B is the correct answer.

C: This does nothing to address the core issue of the argument, which is that the plan won’t work because most crimes are committed before the curfew takes effect.

D: While decreasing the need for police patrols is a laudable objective, this isn’t relevant to the argument. Moreover, if the police patrols weren’t more available in the afternoon, when most crimes are committed, there’s certainly no reason to have more confidence that the curfew would be effective.

E: I am a fan of after-school programs, but the availability of such activities sheds little light on whether the curfew will work. After all, if teenagers are determined to commit crimes in the afternoon, the fact that they could join the Glee Club if they want to is unlikely to serve as an effective deterrent to whatever mischief they had planned.

Takeaway: Typically, when we talk about modifiers, we’re doing so in the context of Sentence Correction, but modifiers are no less important in Critical Reasoning. Information about “what kind,” “where,” and “when,” will be absolutely crucial to assessing any argument we encounter. If a modifier is present in the argument’s conclusion, but not in the argument’s premises, that is something we want to note. We make the effort to pay attention to these details when dealing with the mundane activities of our everyday lives, so let’s not neglect those same details on the GMAT.

*GMATPrep question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

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By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Your GMAT Verbal (Donald) Trump Card [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2015, 13:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Your GMAT Verbal (Donald) Trump Card
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The general consensus coming out of this week’s Democratic debate for the 2016 U.S. Presidency was this: the Democrats were quick to defend and agree with each other, particularly in contrast to the recent Republican debates in which the candidates were much more apt to attack each other.

The Democrats discussed, but the Republicans DEBATED, fiercely and critically. And – putting politics aside – one of the main issues on which those Republican candidates have attacked each other is “who is the more successful CEO/entrepreneur?” (And the answer to that? Likely Wharton’s finest: Donald “You’re Fired” Trump.)

So as you watch the political debates in between GMAT study sessions, keep this in mind: on the GMAT verbal section, you want to think more like a Republican candidate, and if possible you want to think like The Donald. Trump thinking is your Trump card: on GMAT verbal, you should attack, not defend.

Why?

Because incorrect answers are very easy to defend if that’s your mindset. They’re wrong because of a small (but significant) technicality, but to the “I see the good in all answer choices” eye, they’ll often look correct. You want to be in attack mode, critically eliminating answer choices and enjoying the process of doing so. Consider an example:

From 1998 to 2008, the amount of oil exported from the nation of Livonia increased by nearly 20% as the world’s demand soared. Yet over the same period, Livonia lost over 8,000 jobs in oil drilling and refinement, representing a 25% increase in the nation’s unemployment rate.

Which of the following, if true, would best explain the discrepancy outlined above?

A) Because of a slumping local economy, Livonia also lost 5,000 service jobs and 7,500 manufacturing jobs.

B) Several other countries in the region reported similar percentages of jobs lost in the oil industry over the same period.

C) Because of Livonia’s overvalued currency, most of the nation’s crude oil is now being refined after it has been exported.

D) Technological advancements in oil drilling techniques have allowed for a greater percentage of the world’s oil to be obtained from underneath the ocean floor.

E) Many former oil employees have found more lucrative work in the Livonia’s burgeoning precious metals mining industry.

The paradox/discrepancy here is that oil exports are up, but that jobs in oil drilling and refinement are down. What’s a Wharton-bound Trump to do here? Donald certainly wouldn’t overlook the word “Critical” in “Critical Reasoning.” Almost immediately, he’d be attacking the two-part job loss – it’s not that “oil jobs” are down, it’s that oil jobs in “drilling AND refinement” are down. Divide and conquer, he’d think, one of those items (either drilling or refinement) is bound to be a “lightweight” ready to be attacked.

Choice A is something that you could talk yourself into. “Hey, the economy overall is down, so it only makes sense that oil jobs would be down, too.” But think critically – you ALREADY know that the oil sector is not down. Oil exports are up 20% and global demand is soaring, so these oil jobs should be different. Critical thinking shows you that the general economy and this particular segment are on different tracks. Choice A does not explain the discrepancy.

Choice B is similar: if you’re looking for a reason to make it right, you might think, “See, it’s just part of what’s going on in the world.” But again, be critical. This is a bad answer, because it overlooks information you already have. Livonia’s oil exports are up, so absent a major reason that those exports are occurring without human labor, we don’t have a sound explanation.

Choice C hits on Trump’s “divide and conquer” attack strategy outlined above: if a conclusion to a Critical Reasoning problem includes the word “AND” there’s a very high likelihood that one of the two portions is the weak link. So fixate on that “and” and try to find which is the lightweight. Here you see that the oil is being exported from Livonia, but no longer being REFINED there. Those are the jobs that are leaving the country, and that explains why exports could be up with employment going down.

Choice D is tempting (statistically the most popular incorrect answer choice to this problem, with Trump-like polling numbers in the ~25% range). Why? Because you’re conditioned to think, “Oh, they’re losing jobs to technology.” So if you’re looking to find a correct answer without much critical thought and effort, this one shines like a beacon. But get more critical on the second half of the sentence: it’s not that technology makes it easier to obtain oil without human labor, it’s that technology is allowing for more drilling from the ocean. But that’s irrelevant, because, again, Livonia’s exports are up! So whether it’s Livonia getting that seafloor oil or other countries doing so, the fact remains that with oil exports up, you’d think that Livonia would have more jobs in oil, and this answer doesn’t explain why that’s not the case.

Here it pays to be critical all the way through the sentence: just because the first few words match what you think you might want to hear, that doesn’t mean that the entire statement is true. Think of this in Trump terms: Megyn Kelly might start a sentence with, “Mr. Trump, you’re arguably the most successful businessman of your generation,” (and you know Trump will love that) but if she follows that with, “But many would argue that your success was largely a result of your father’s money and that your manipulation of bankruptcy laws is unbefitting of an American president,” you know he’d be in attack mode immediately thereafter. Don’t fall in love with the first few words of an answer choice – stay ready to attack at a moment’s notice!

And choice E is similarly vulnerable to attack: yes some oil employees may have taken other jobs, but someone has to be doing the oil work. And if unemployment is up overall (as you know from the stimulus) then people are waiting to take those jobs, so the fact that some employees have left doesn’t explain why no one has filled those spots. When Donald Trump had to surrender his post as the star of The Apprentice, Arnold Schwarzenegger was ready to take his place; so, too, should unemployed members of the labor pool in Livonia be ready to take those oil jobs, absent a major reason why they wouldn’t, and choice E fails to present one.

Overall, your job on GMAT Verbal is to be as critical as possible. You’re there to debate the answer choices, not to defend or discuss them. As you read the conclusion of a Critical Reasoning problem, you want to be scanning for a “lightweight” word or phrase that makes it all the more vulnerable to attack. And as you read each answer choice, you shouldn’t be quick to see the good in the sentence, but instead you should be probing it to see where it’s weak and vulnerable to attack.

Let the answer choices view you as a bully – you’re not at the GMAT test center to make friends. Always be attacking, always be looking for words, phrases, or ideas that are an answer choice’s undoing. Trump logic is your Trump card, take joy from telling four of five answer choices “You’re Fired.”

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and Twitter!

By Brian Galvin.

The post GMAT Tip of the Week: Your GMAT Verbal (Donald) Trump Card appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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7 Formulas for Tackling Three Overlapping Sets on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 7 Formulas for Tackling Three Overlapping Sets on the GMAT
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In a previous post, we saw how to solve three overlapping sets questions using venn diagrams. Today, we will look at all of the various formulas floating around on three overlapping sets. Most of these are self explanatory but we will look into the details of some of them.

 

 

 

There are two basic formulas that we already know:

1) Total = n(No Set) + n(Exactly one set) + n(Exactly two sets) + n(Exactly three sets)

2) Total = n(A) + n(B) + n(C) – n(A and B) – n(B and C) – n(C and A) + n(A and B and C) + n(No Set)

From these two formulas, we can derive all others.

n(Exactly one set) + n(Exactly two sets) + n(Exactly three sets) gives us n(At least one set). So we get:

3) Total = n(No Set) + n(At least one set)

From (3), we get n(At least one set) = Total – n(No Set)

Plugging this into (2), we then get:

4) n(At least one set) = n(A) + n(B) + n(C) – n(A and B) – n(B and C) – n(C and A) + n(A and B and C)

Now let’s see how we can calculate the number of people in exactly two sets. There is a reason we jumped to n(Exactly two sets) instead of following the more logical next step of figuring out n(At least two sets) – it will be more intuitive to get n(At least two sets) after we find n(Exactly two sets).

n(A and B) includes people who are in both A and B and it also includes people who are in A, B and C. Because of this, we should remove n(A and B and C) from n(A and B) to get n(A and B only). Similarly, you get n(B and C only) and n(C and A only), so adding all these three will give us number of people in exactly 2 sets.

n(Exactly two sets) = n(A and B) – n(A and B and C) + n(B and C) – n(A and B and C) + n(C and A) – n(A and B and C). Therefore:

5) n(Exactly two sets) = n(A and B) + n(B and C) + n(C and A) – 3*n(A and B and C)

Now we can easily get n(At least two sets):

6) n(At least two sets) = n(A and B) + n(B and C) + n(C and A) – 2*n(A and B and C)

This is just n(A and B and C) more than n(Exactly two sets). That makes sense, doesn’t it? Here, you include the people who are in all three sets once and n(Exactly two sets) converts to n(At least two sets)!

Now, we go on to find n(Exactly one set). From n(At least one set), let’s subtract n(At least two sets); i.e. we subtract (6) from (4)

n(Exactly one set) = n(At least one set) – n(At least two sets), therefore:

7) n(Exactly one set) = n(A) + n(B) + n(C) – 2*n(A and B) – 2*n(B and C) – 2*n(C and A) + 3*n(A and B and C)

You don’t need to learn all these formulas. Just focus on first two and know how you can arrive at the others if required. Let’s try this in an example problem:

Among 250 viewers interviewed who watch at least one of the three TV channels namely A, B &C. 116 watch A, 127 watch C, while 107 watch B. If 50 watch exactly two channels. How many watch exactly one channel?

(A) 185

(B) 180

(C) 175

(D) 190

(E) 195

You are given that:

n(At least one channel) = 250

n(Exactly two channels) = 50

So we know that n(At least one channel) = n(Exactly 1 channel) + n(Exactly 2 channels) + n(Exactly 3 channels) = 250

250 = n(Exactly 1 channel) + 50 + n(Exactly 3 channels)

Let’s find the value of n(Exactly 3 channels) = x

We also know that n(At least one channel) = n(A) + n(B) + n(C) – n(A and B) – n(B and C) – n(C and A) + n(A and B and C) = 250

Also, n(Exactly two channels) = n(A and B) + n(B and C) + n(C and A) – 3*n(A and B and C)

So n(A and B) + n(B and C) + n(C and A) = n(Exactly two channels) + 3*n(A and B and C)

Plugging this into the equation above:

250 = n(A) + n(B) + n(C) – n(Exactly two channels) – 3*x + x

250 = 116 + 127 + 107 – 50 – 2x

x = 25

250 = n(Exactly 1 channel) + 50 + 25

n(Exactly 1 channel) = 175, so your answer is C.

Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and Twitter!

Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog!

The post 7 Formulas for Tackling Three Overlapping Sets on the GMAT appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog.
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Should You Take Additional Courses Before Applying to Business School? [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Should You Take Additional Courses Before Applying to Business School?
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There are many touchpoints in the MBA application process. From the GMAT to the essays to the resume, each aspect plays an important role in gaining admission into your target program, as well as prepares you to flourish in Year 1 as a student. No application package is perfect and many candidates recognize holes within their profile that cannot be addressed entirely through the aforementioned typical application points.

Additional coursework is a great way to address problem areas in your profile and show the admissions committee how committed you are to improving yourself and gaining admission to their program. Now taking additional coursework is not something every candidate should pursue or, for that matter, will even make an impact given their profile, so let’s take a look at a few scenarios that do make sense.

Low GPA

This is one of the most obvious areas where additional coursework clearly makes sense for a candidate. A low GPA can be safely assumed to be one that is significantly lower than the average GPA listed in a program’s class profile. Your GPA is used as a measure of your aptitude by admissions committees and is viewed in combination with your GMAT, so if your GMAT score is also below the average of your target program, then additional coursework should be strongly considered.

Transcript Outliers

Do you have those one or two classes where your score was less than satisfactory on your transcript? Non-passing or really low grades on your transcript can be a red flag for admissions, especially when they are analytical courses. Re-taking these courses via a community college or online program can address many concerns AdComms may have about your academic record.

No Analytical Background

Are you an incoming MBA “poet?” MBA programs tend to be diverse with applicants coming from all personal, professional, and geographic backgrounds. Many applicants apply with no track record in business anywhere on their record, which sometimes can be a cause for concern for AdComms.

Prep for Year 1

MBA programs are known for being very analytically focused during the first year as students navigate core courses. Classes like accounting, finance, and statistics can represent a challenging academic start to business school for students with little or dated experience in these areas. If this scenario aligns with your background, then you may want to consider some additional coursework prior to matriculation to prepare for the rigors of Year 1 of business school.

Considering applying to MBA programs? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTubeGoogle+ and Twitter!

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.

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The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Studying Abroad [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2015, 12:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Studying Abroad
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So you’ve chosen your study abroad program, and now you want to figure out what to do (or not do) while you’re away. Studying abroad can be one of the most fantastic and eye-opening adventures of your college experience, but it can also be the most intimidating. With four or more months in a totally new environment, you’ll want to balance your time so you make the most of it, while avoiding common pitfalls.

Things you want to DO while studying abroad:

  • Absorb the local culture. I know: this is a broad to-do. However, it’s probably the most important! We humans are creatures of comfort, and it’s easy to get sucked into old habits of what you used to do in your home country. Explore your new neighborhood, your abroad university campus, and public transportation. Embrace your new home and friends, and don’t worry too much if you make mistakes: you’ll catch on.
  • Maintain a budget. Especially if you plan on traveling to other countries and cities, you may break the bank sooner than later. Use tickets stubs and receipts as personal souvenirs rather than more expensive and [possibly] useless items. Find cheap flights and trains. If you’re stationed in one country, you might even get a part-time job to help cover some of your food and entertainment costs. That will also help you immerse yourself in the culture!
Things you DON’T want to do while studying abroad:

[*]Don’t assume people speak English. While it’s true that English is the lingua franca of academia and business—the language that people turn to when communicating and doing commerce across borders—you shouldn’t rely on that fact to get around. Taking a language course is often a required part of abroad curriculum, but even if it’s not a requirement, try speaking in the local tongue when you can. Locals will respect you more if they see your effort! I also had a translation app on my smartphone just in case.[*]Don’t book all of your extra trips ahead of time. It can be quick and inexpensive to get to nearby countries and cities on weekends, but don’t plan everything too far ahead. I went to an abroad program that provided students an easy way to plan and purchase our trips well in advance of departure from the U.S.; but when I arrived abroad, there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room for spontaneity, and booking trips with my new friends. Also, last-minute bookings can still be cheap for hostels and budget airlines.[*]Don’t only hang out with students from your home country. Similar to the first “do” item, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the full experience of being abroad. Sticking too close to comfort might make you closer to your friends, but not closer to a memorable cultural experience. If you want to hang out with people from home, you might as well have stayed there![/list]
Need help prepping your college application? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Dakotah Eddy is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant, and the Assistant Director of Admissions Consulting. She received both her bachelor’s degree and MBA from Cornell University (Go Big Red!), and studied abroad on Semester at Sea. She enjoys creating: from culinary masterpieces, to wearable art, to tech solutions.

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The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Studying Abroad   [#permalink] 20 Oct 2015, 12:01

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