GMAT Tip of the Week: Test Day Should Not Be Labor Day

GMAT Tip of the Week: Test Day Should Not Be Labor Day

As we head into the Labor Day weekend here in the U.S., it seems a fitting time to talk about labor.  Precious few people consider the GMAT to be a labor of love; to most aspiring (and perspiring?) MBAs, the GMAT is a lot of hard work.  And while, to earn the score that you’re hoping for, it’s likely that you’ll have to put in a good amount of sweat and a few tears (but hopefully no blood…), it’s important to recognize that test day itself should not be a Labor Day!

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Prep
6 Great Ways to Research MBA Programs and Boost Your Chance of Admission

6 Great Ways to Research MBA Programs and Boost Your Chance of Admission

One of the biggest complaints admissions committees have with submitted packages is the lack of school-specific references within an application. MBA programs are looking for applicants to showcase why their school is uniquely tailored to help the applicant reach their development goals – what schools receive instead are ill-tailored, non-customized packages that don’t distinguish one candidate from the next.

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Thou Shalt Not Repeateth Thyself in Thine MBA Application Essays

Thou Shalt Not Repeateth Thyself in Thine MBA Application Essays

Schools have gotten increasingly stingy over the years on how much information they are willing to accept from applicants. Partly due to the increase in applications to top schools (making it onerous to review everyone’s application in full), and partly due to the wide range of responses schools were receiving (making it difficult to compare applicants), the overall application, including the essay word counts, has been trimmed.

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Our Thoughts on Berkeley Haas' MBA Application Essay for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on Berkeley Haas' MBA Application Essay for 2015-2016

Early Thoughts on Berkeley Haas 2015-2016 Essay Questions

Application season at the Haas School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. Haas has three required essays, so keep in mind how you plan to balance out your narratives across them all.

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Oh, the Place You'll Go! How to Choose Your Study Abroad Program

Oh, the Place You'll Go! How to Choose Your Study Abroad Program

Congratulations–you’ve decided to study abroad! (If you haven’t yet, read my previous article for 9 good reasons you should take the plunge.) The next step is to decide where to go. If you still aren’t sure, here are a few tips:

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Filed in: College
99th Percentile GMAT Score or Bust! Lesson 6: Practice Tests Aren't Real Tests

99th Percentile GMAT Score or Bust! Lesson 6: Practice Tests Aren't Real Tests

Veritas Prep’s Ravi Sreerama is the #1-ranked GMAT instructor in the world (by GMATClub) and a fixture in the new Veritas Prep Live Online format as well as in Los Angeles-area classrooms.  He’s beloved by his students for the philosophy “99th percentile or bust!”, a signal that all students can score in the elusive 99th percentile with the proper techniques and preparation.   In this “9 for 99thvideo series, Ravi shares some of his favorite strategies to efficiently conquer the GMAT and enter that 99th percentile.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Prep, GMAT Tips
SAT Tip of the Week: Making the “Order of Difficulty” Rule Simple

SAT Tip of the Week: Making the “Order of Difficulty” Rule Simple

The concept of “Order of Difficulty” is something that can be extraordinarily helpful to any SAT test taker. In general, the SAT orders its questions from easy to hard and on the surface, it seems to be a pretty simple concept (this information is readily available on the College Board’s website). While this is extremely important and helpful to know, it is even more essential to analyze and understand how to use this to your advantage. So let’s talk about the “Order of Difficulty” and how you can benefit from it come test day:

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Think Like Einstein to Answer GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions

Think Like Einstein to Answer GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions

I recently read Manjit Kumar’s, Quantum, which is about the philosophical disagreement between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein with respect to the nature of reality.  In high school physics, we learned about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which posits that we can never know both the position and the momentum of an electron with absolute certainty. The more precisely we measure an electron’s position, the less we know about its momentum, and vice versa.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
Our Thoughts on Yale SOM's Application Essay for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on Yale SOM's Application Essay for 2015-2016

Application season at the Yale School of Management is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay question. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach this year’s single essay prompt from Yale:

The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impacts on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent (500 words maximum).

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Catching Sneaky Remainder Questions on the GMAT

Catching Sneaky Remainder Questions on the GMAT

One of my favorite topics to teach is remainders. We learn about remainders in grade school and when I introduce the topic in class, the response is often amused incredulity. It isn’t hard to see that when 16 is divided by 7, the remainder is 2. How can it possibly be the case that something we learned in fifth grade is included on a test that helps determine where we go to graduate school?

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
How to Compare Effectively During the GMAT

How to Compare Effectively During the GMAT

A lot of GMAT test takers complain about insufficient time. This is understandable as far as the Verbal section is concerned. We all have different reading speeds and that itself accounts for a lot of time issues in the Verbal section. Obviously then there are other factors – your comfort with the language, your comprehension skills, your conceptual understanding of the Verbal question types, etc.

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Our Thoughts on Stanford GSB's Application Essays for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on Stanford GSB's Application Essays for 2015-2016

Application season at Stanford GSB is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: 10 Must-Know Divisibility Rules For the GMAT (#3 Will Blow Your Mind!)

GMAT Tip of the Week: 10 Must-Know Divisibility Rules For the GMAT (#3 Will Blow Your Mind!)

You clicked, didn’t you? You’re helpless when presented with an enumerated list and a teaser that at least one of the items is advertised to be – but probably won’t be – mind-blowing. (In this case it kind of is…if not mind-blowing, it’s at least very powerful). So in this case, let’s use click bait for good and enumerated lists to talk about numbers. Here are 10 important (and “BuzzFeedy”) divisibility rules you should know heading into the GMAT:

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3 Bad Reasons to Pursue an MBA Degree

3 Bad Reasons to Pursue an MBA Degree

Obtaining an MBA degree is one of the most transformative experiences that a businessperson can undertake. Many articles are written that tout the value of this degree, with current MBA students and alums reflecting on the beneficial impact business school has had on both their professional and personal lives and all of the good reasons one should pursue an MBA. But is this degree for everyone?

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Should I Take the GMAT or the GRE?

Should I Take the GMAT or the GRE?

I currently work at a top business school and am therefore able to keep my finger right on the pulse of b-school trends. Earlier this week, I had a discussion with our Director of Admissions about the GRE. It seems that over the past several years, there has been a subtle migration away from GMAT exclusivity among the top b-schools for several reasons.

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Our Thoughts on Ross' MBA Application Essays for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on Ross' MBA Application Essays for 2015-2016

Application season at the University of Michigan’s Ross MBA program is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

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SAT Tip of the Week: TRYangles!

SAT Tip of the Week: TRYangles!

Triangles are one of the first shapes that we learn in elementary school, and yet they are often the source of much consternation on the SAT.  Though there is much to know about trigonometry that can require complex and intricate calculations, the knowledge of triangles required for the SAT is actually quite concise.  Here is a quick review of the basics of triangles and how they might be used on the SAT.

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Create Breakthrough MBA Application Essays with Mini-Stories

Create Breakthrough MBA Application Essays with Mini-Stories

In many of the great business school application essays, candidates who are able to leverage creative writing tactics as the baseline for their essay responses create breakthrough essays. Now business school essays should remain polished and professional, but breakthrough essays tend to create a compelling and visual portrait of the situation and circumstances addressed with a response to an essay prompt.

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Should I Take the GMAT Multiple Times?

Should I Take the GMAT Multiple Times?

We often get asked by clients how many times they should take the GMAT before they move on to other components of the application.  Of course this largely depends on your score, but if you find yourself disappointed with your initial test results, you will generally want to try again.

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Our Thoughts on NYU Stern's MBA Application Essays for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on NYU Stern's MBA Application Essays for 2015-2016

Application season at the NYU Stern School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions.

Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

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Finding the Product of Factors on GMAT Questions

Finding the Product of Factors on GMAT Questions

We have discussed how to find the factors of a number and their properties in these two posts:

Writing Factors of an Ugly Number

Factors of Perfect Squares

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Small Numbers Lead to Big Scores

GMAT Tip of the Week: Small Numbers Lead to Big Scores

The last thing you want to see on your score report at the end of the GMAT is a small number. Whether that number is in the 300s (total score) or in the single-digits (percentile), your nightmares leading up to the test probably include lots of small numbers flashing on the screen as you finish the test. So what’s one of the most helpful tools you have to keep small numbers from appearing on the screen?

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You're Not in High School Anymore: 3 Ways to Effectively Study in College

You're Not in High School Anymore: 3 Ways to Effectively Study in College

I remember when I received my first syllabi during my first week of college, I was amazed to discover that most of my professors would be determining grades based solely on two tests: the mid-term and the final. A few professors also included homework or participation points, but these were negligible compared to the tests; at most, they counted for 15% of the final class grade. And in fact, some of my professors –  especially those teaching the large lecture classes, which tended to have 100 + students –  didn’t even assign homework. In other words, my professors left it entirely up to us students to figure out how we wanted to learn, memorize, and review new material to prepare for the major tests.

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Filed in: College
5 Reasons That Studying for the GMAT Sucks

5 Reasons That Studying for the GMAT Sucks

Let’s face it. Except for the folks who write the test and prepare you for the test, no one really loves the GMAT. Any anyone who tells you otherwise either scored an 800 with no prep or is lying.

But self-inflicted misery loves company, so in no particular order, let’s take a look at some of the things that suck and more importantly, how to cope:

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Prep
Your Reapplication Strategy for MBA Programs: Part II

Your Reapplication Strategy for MBA Programs: Part II

Before you start, take a look at Part I of this series.

When reapplying, one of the most valuable things you can utilize 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 back 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.

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Your Reapplication Strategy for MBA Programs: Part I

Your Reapplication Strategy for MBA Programs: Part I

So, you got dinged last year from your dream school(s) and instead of settling for your second or third choice (or fourth or fifth as may be the case), you have decided to hold fast to your MBA dream and re-apply to the same school(s) again this year.  Recognizing you are likely scarred, but smarter, there are still a few things you should know before diving in.

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SAT Tip of the Week: How Are These Strategies Relevant to the Rest of My Life?

SAT Tip of the Week: How Are These Strategies Relevant to the Rest of My Life?

Q: Studying for the SAT feels so useless. I know this will help me score higher on this test, but ten years from now I won’t really care about PIN, TAC, WYPAD, misplaced modifiers, or order of difficulty. Why should I even care about any of this? Why is the SAT testing me on things I’ll never actually have to know? Am I the only one who thinks this whole exercise is just a huge waste of time?

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3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Crafting Your MBA Applications

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Crafting Your MBA Applications

Applying to business school is one of the most involved application processes in graduate education. Other programs focus on standardized tests, or your academic record and others your professional accomplishments but business schools evaluate all aspects of a candidate’s profile. With so much on the table for evaluation it can be easy for an applicant to come up short in one or more different areas.

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How to Solve Relative Rate of Work Questions on the GMAT

How to Solve Relative Rate of Work Questions on the GMAT

Today, we look at the relative rate concept  of work, rate and time – the parallel of relative speed of distance, speed and time.

But before we do that, we will first look at one fundamental principle of work, rate and time (which has a parallel in distance, speed and time).

Say, there is a straight long track with a red flag at one end. Mr A is standing on the track 100 feet away from the flag and Mr B is standing on the track at a distance 700 feet away from the flag. So they have a distance of 600 feet between them. They start walking towards each other. Where will they meet? Is it necessary that they will meet at 400 feet from the red flag – the mid point of the distance between them? Think about it – say Mr A walks very slowly and Mr B is super fast. Of the 600 feet between them, Mr A will cover very little distance and Mr B will cover most of the distance. So where they meet depends on their rate of walking. They will not necessarily meet at the mid point. When do they meet at the mid point? When their rate of walking is the same. When they both cover equal distance.

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Our Thoughts on Kellogg's MBA Application Essays for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on Kellogg's MBA Application Essays for 2015-2016

Application season at the Kellogg School of Management is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

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6 Steps to Gaining Financial Stability During College

6 Steps to Gaining Financial Stability During College

College is expensive. Unless you’re a full-scholarship student, you’re paying for college independently or with the help of your family. Textbooks can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars, study abroad programs demand high fees up front, and even basic living expenses, like groceries, can become a financial drain. Though I’m fortunate to receive a lot of financial aid and scholarship support, I still find myself needing to keep close track of everything I spend in order to stay financially stable. It took me about three years to finally get the hang of it. Here’s what I’ve learned:

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Filed in: College
GMAT Tip of the Week: Eazy E Shows You How To Take Your Quant Score Straight Outta Compton And Straight To Cambridge

GMAT Tip of the Week: Eazy E Shows You How To Take Your Quant Score Straight Outta Compton And Straight To Cambridge

If you listened to any hip hop themed radio today, the day of the Straight Outta Compton movie premiere, you may have heard interviews with Dr. Dre. You almost certainly heard interviews with Ice Cube. And depending on how old school the station is there’s even a chance you heard from DJ Yella or MC Ren.

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8 Steps to Success: How to Pass Your College Classes

8 Steps to Success: How to Pass Your College Classes

College classes are similar to high school classes in many ways, but a few key differences—the amount of control you have over your own education, the lack of close supervision by instructors, the and the academic intensity of your in-class hours—can make the transition from high school to college difficult for some students.

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Filed in: College
Thoughts on MIT Sloan's Application Essay for 2015-2016

Thoughts on MIT Sloan's Application Essay for 2015-2016

Application season at MIT Sloan is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay question. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

There is only one essay question for MIT Sloan so it is critical that applicants make the most of the limited real estate available here.

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SAT Tip of the Week: More Fun Breaking Down the March 2016 Test

SAT Tip of the Week: More Fun Breaking Down the March 2016 Test

The new SAT will be available in March 2016. The motivation behind changing the test was to offer a more accurate reflection of student’s ability and their intelligence, in addition to testing on material that is comparable to what is learned in school.

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The Importance of Estimation on the GMAT

The Importance of Estimation on the GMAT

In the first session of every new class I teach, I try to emphasize the power and effectiveness of estimating when dealing with potentially complex calculations. No one ever disputes that this is a good approach, but an unspoken assumption is that while you may save a bit of time by estimating, it isn’t absolutely crucial to do so. After all, how long does it take to do a little arithmetic? The problem is that, under pressure, hard arithmetic can cause us to freeze. To illustrate this, I’ll ask, “quick, what’s 1.3 divided by 3.2?” This is usually greeted by blank stares or nervous laughter. But when I ask “okay, what’s 1 divided by 3?” they see the point: trying to solve 1.3/3.2 won’t just be time-consuming, but can easily lead to a careless mistake prompted by arithmetical paralysis.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
Our Thoughts on the Harvard Business School Application Essay for 2015-2016

Our Thoughts on the Harvard Business School Application Essay for 2015-2016

Application season at Harvard Business School is officially underway with the release of the school’s 2015-2016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts.

There is only one essay question for HBS so it is critical that applicants make the most of the limited real estate available here.

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3 Essential Things You Should Do Your Freshman Year

3 Essential Things You Should Do Your Freshman Year

The first semester of college is one of the most unique experiences in the world. For many students, it is their first time living on their own. There are a ton of new opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. For many, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the incredible events and offerings at their school. While there is no way to fully prevent that feeling, here are three things to focus on in the first semester to make sure you are taking advantage of your first year at school.

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Filed in: College
Identifying the Paradox on GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions

Identifying the Paradox on GMAT Critical Reasoning Questions

Let’s take a look at a very tricky GMAT Prep critical reasoning problem today. Problems such as these make CR more attractive than RC and SC to people who have a Quantitative bent of mind. It’s one of the “explain the paradox” problems, which usually tend to be easy if you know exactly how to tackle them, but the issue here is that it is hard to put your finger on the paradox.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Jim Harbaugh Says Milk Does A GMAT Score Good

GMAT Tip of the Week: Jim Harbaugh Says Milk Does A GMAT Score Good

Someday when he’s not coaching football, playing with the Oakland Athletics, visiting with the Supreme Court, or Tweeting back and forth with Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, Jim Harbaugh should sit down and take the GMAT.

Because if his interaction with a young, milk-drinking fan is any indication, Harbaugh understands one of the key secrets to success on the GMAT Quant section:

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