Six Predictions for 2012

What do you know… Another year has already gone by. We’re so full of opinion and points of view here at Veritas Prep that we thought we should commit ourselves to another round of prognosticating about what the coming year will bring in the worlds of standardized tests and grad school admissions. It will be fun to check in at the end of the year to see how we did.

Without further ado, here are six things that we predict will happen in 2012:

The iPad will become so commonplace as an admissions tool that it will cease to be a news story.
In the past year we have seen top programs such as MIT Sloan and UCLA Anderson adopt the iPad as the platform on which admissions officers review applications. We think that reviewing and sharing applications electronically (on the iPad or through some other means) is such a no-brainer that other schools will follow suit. School administrators tend to be a conservative lot, but now that a couple of dominoes have fallen (and assuming that MIT and UCLA don’t scream, “We made a mistake! These are terrible!”), we expect others will start to fall quickly.

2012 will be a weak year for international applicant volume at U.S. business schools.
We’re cheating here a bit since we have communicated directly with multiple top MBA programs that have told us that their international application numbers are down significantly compared to last year. Some have theorized that these applicants are waiting to apply in Round 2 (or even later) than in Round 1, but we consider this to be hope more than anything else. After years of rapid growth in international application volume, American business schools are likely going to see a double-digit year-over-year decline as these applicants increasingly consider more local, cheaper, and faster (often one year instead of two) programs. Even the top-ranked schools won’t be immune.

The percent change in year-over-year GMATs taken will spike in May this year as examinees attempt to avoid the Integrated Reasoning section.
Note that we’re not officially endorsing this philosophy, but we do expect that more students than usual will stake their claim to May test dates, fearing the fatigue factor that may come with taking the Integrated Reasoning section before the multiple choice quant/verbal sections of the GMAT.  Furthermore, marketing gurus at test preparation companies have a little bit of an incentive to push this thinking over the next 10 weeks or so: “Register for a class now and avoid the (insert terrifying adjective here) IR section!”  Our advice remains the same: take the GMAT when you’re ready for it and remember that the Integrated Reasoning skills and concepts are nearly identical with those on the quant/verbal sections, so it ought not be too much new information to study, and could actually help you warm up for that type of thinking on later sections.  But if you do feel ready in May, it’s never too soon to claim your GMAT score and get to work on the rest of your applications (as this week’s second-round-scramblers can attest!).

Non-traditional MBA programs will grow in number and in application volume.
Today there are far more options for people pursuing a graduate management degree than there were just ten years ago. More universities are collaborating with one another to build special programs, others are launching accelerated JD/MBA programs, and still others have recently announced degree options beyond the traditional MBA (such as Yale’s recently announced Master’s in Management degree). Other prominent business schools, such as UNC’s Kenan-Flagler, have put their weight behind making the online MBA a more legitimate option. We expect this proliferation will continue, and more applicants will pursue these less traditional degrees in the coming year.

Veritas Prep’s blog will feature some unique number properties take on the 2/29 date on Leap Day.
Let’s face it:  at least one of our bloggers likes gimmicky what’s-in-the-news posts, particularly as they pertain to GMAT-style math. The presence of a 29th (prime number!) on 2/29 (229 is also prime!) that happens only 1/4 of the time (the GMAT loves fractions and ratios) and adds a 366th day to the year (you should immediately recognize that 366 is divisible by both 3 and 6)… well, that’s too much to resist!  As, we suppose, you’ve already seen in this paragraph.

February will seem to drag on a lot longer than usual this year.
The Mayan calendar will prove to be correct… Something unusual will happen in 2012!

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