Well, if you’re a GMAT student, you can think about what the odds mean in terms of probability and you can watch the announcers miss Critical Reasoning lesson after Critical Reasoning lesson. For example:
Probability
Before the last piece of confetti hits the turf on Sunday, oddsmakers will have posted their odds on next year’s winner. For example, New England and Seattle might open at 4:1, Green Bay might come in at 7:1, etc. And while you might look at those odds and think “if I bet $100 on the Packers I’ll win $700!” you should also think about what those mean. 7:1 for Green Bay is really a ratio: 7 parts of the money says that Green Bay will not win, and 1 part says that it will. So that’s a good bet if you think that Green Bay has a better than 1 out of 8 chance (so better than 12.5%) to win next year’s Super Bowl. And if those are, indeed, the odds (4:1 for two teams and 7:1 for another), Vegas is essentially saying that there’s a less than likely chance (1/5 + 1/5 + 1/8 = 52.5% chance that one of those two teams wins) that someone other than Green Bay, New England, or Seattle will win next year.
So consider what the probability of those bets means before you make them. Individually odds might look tempting, but when you consider what that means on a fraction or percent basis you might have a different opinion.
Probability #2
As you watch the Super Bowl, there’s a high likelihood that at some point the screen will start showing a line indicating the season-long field goal for either Steven Hauschka or Stephen Gostkowski (the Seattle and New England kickers…there’s a huge probability that someone named Steve will be incredibly important in this game!). And the announcers will use that line to say that it’s likely field goal range for that team to win or tie the game.
Where’s the flawed logic? If that’s the longest field goal he’s made all year, is it really likely that he’ll make another one from a similar spot with all that pressure? Or, in the case of a low-scoring game like many predict between these two elite defenses, how likely is either kicker to make two consecutive field goals from a relatively far distance?
Sports fans are pretty bad with that probability. Say that a kicker has been 70% accurate from over 50 yards. Is it likely that he’ll make two straight 50-yard field goals on Sunday (assuming he gets those attempts)? Check the math: that’s 7/10 * 7/10 or 49/100 – it’s less than likely that he makes both! Even a kicker with 80% accuracy is only 8/10 * 8/10 = 64% likely to make two in a row…meaning that fail to perform that feat 1 out of every 3 times he had the chance! Think of the probability while announcers talk about field goals as a near certainty on Sunday.
Critical Reasoning
The announcers on Sunday will try to use all kinds of data to predict the outcome, and in doing so they’ll give you plenty of opportunities to think critically in a Critical Reasoning fashion. For example:
“For the last 40 Super Bowls, the team with the most rushing yards has won (some massive percent) of them; it’s important for New England to get LeGarrette Blount rolling early.”
This is a classic causation/correlation argument. Do the rushing yards really win the game? It could very well be true (Weaken answer!) that teams that build a big lead and therefore want to run out the clock run the ball a lot in the second half (incomplete passes stop the clock; runs keep it going). Winning might cause the rushing yards, not the other way around.
Similarly, the announcers will almost certainly make mention at halftime of a stat like:
“Team X has won (some huge percentage) of games they were leading at halftime, so that field goal to put them up 13-10 looms large.”
Here the announcer isn’t factoring in a couple big factors in that stat:
-A 3-point lead isn’t the same as a 20-point lead; how many of those halftime leads were significantly bigger?
-You’d expect teams leading at halftime to win a lot more frequently; based on 30 minutes they may have shown to be a better team plus they now have a head start for the last 30 minutes. Over time those factors should bear out, but in this one game is a potentially-flukey 3-point lead significant enough?
Regardless of how you watch the game, it can provide you with plenty of opportunities to outsmart friends and announcers and sharpen your GMAT critical thinking skills. So while Tom Brady or Russell Wilson runs off the field yelling “I’m going to Disneyland!”, if you’ve paid attention to logical flaws and probability opportunities during the game, you can celebrate by yelling “I’m going to business school!”
Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!
By Brian Galvin
]]>How is it that you can confidentially answer question after question while obviously missing quite a few questions that felt “easy?”
One culprit is the subtlety of the official GMAT questions overall. No other questions do as good a job of luring you into confidently choosing the wrong answer. This can happen on problem solving, but today I would like to focus on Data Sufficiency.
I sometimes refer to Data Sufficiency as “the Silent Killer” because the very structure of the Data Sufficiency question invites you to choose the wrong answer. This is because you do not know that you have forgotten to consider something. There are no values in the answer choices to help you see what you might have overlooked. That is why the person choosing the incorrect answer is often more confident than is the one who got the question right.
As you can see it is often difficult to gauge how you are doing on Data Sufficiency. And because the Quantitative section adapts as a whole, missing these data sufficiency questions results in the computer selecting lower-level questions in problem solving. So the problem solving questions may have seemed easier because they actually were at a lower level.
This is a pattern that I have seen repeated many times on practice exams. Students miss mid-level data sufficiency questions in the first part of the exam. This results in lower level questions being offered, and the student keeps missing just enough problems (of both Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving) to keep the difficulty level from increasing.
The result? A quant section that felt comfortable because most of the questions were below the level that would really challenge the student. This may be what happened to you.
How to avoid this fate:
With Data Sufficiency questions there are no answer choices to provide a check on your assumptions or calculations. You must be your own editor and look for mistakes before you confirm your answer. Fortunately, there are several things you can do:
Think with your pen. Do not presume that you will remember what the question is asking, the facts you are given, or the hidden facts that are implied by the question stem. Note these things on your scratch paper so that you do not forget them. It may seem unnecessary to write “x is integer” or “must be positive” but just think of how dangerous it would be to forget this information!
Do your work early. Rewording the question is a great way to make data sufficiency more fool-proof. For example, it is much easier to comprehend the question “Is x a multiple of 4” than it is to wrestle with the questions “Is x/2 a multiple of 2?” Think about what the question is really asking and re-word it when you can.
Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!
David Newland has been teaching for Veritas Prep since 2006, and he won the Veritas Prep Instructor of the Year award in 2008. Students’ friends often call in asking when he will be teaching next because he really is a Veritas Prep and a GMAT rock star! Read more of his articles here.
As an example, remember open-book tests. These tests always seemed easier when they were discussed in theory than when they were attempted in practice. An open book test must necessarily test you on more obscure and convoluted material, otherwise the test becomes too easy and everyone gets 100. Closed-book tests, by contrast, can concentrate on the core material and gauge how much preparation each student has put in. Adding more tools only serves to make the test more difficult in order to overcome these enhancements.
With a calculator, asking you to calculate the square root of an 8 digit number or the 9^{th} power of an integer is trivial if you only have to plug in some numbers. However, if you need to actually reason out a strategic approach in your head, you have accomplished more than a thousand brute force calculations would. On the GMAT, the mathematics behind a question will always be doable without a calculator, but the strategy chosen and the way you set up the equations will generally be the difference between the correct answer in two minutes and a guess in four.
Let’s look at a question where the math isn’t too difficult, but can get tedious:
Alice, Benjamin and Carol each try independently to win a carnival game. If their individual probabilities for success are 1/5, 3/8 and 2/7, respectively, what is the probability that exactly two of the three players will win but one will lose?
(A) 3 / 140
(B) 1 / 28
(C) 3 / 56
(D) 3 / 35
(E) 7 / 40
This is a probability question, and therefore we must calculate the chances of any one event occurring. However, the question is asking about several possibilities, specifically any occurrence where two players win and the third loses (think of any romantic comedy). This means that we have to calculate several outcomes and manually add these probabilities. This is entirely feasible, but it can be somewhat tedious. Let’s look at the best way to avoid getting bogged down in the math:
Firstly, the three players’ are suitably abbreviated as A, B and C (convenient, GMAT, convenient). We therefore want to find the probability that A and B occur, but that C does not occur (denoted as A, B, ⌐C). This represents one of our desired outcomes. However, this is not the only possibility, as any situation where two occur and the other doesn’t is acceptable as well. Thus we can have A and C but not B (A, ⌐B, C), or B and C but not A (⌐A, B, C). The sum of these three outcomes is the desired fraction, so only some math remains.
Let’s do them in order. For (A, B, ⌐C), we take the probability of A, multiplied by the probability of B, and then multiplied by the probability of 1-C. If the chances of C are 2 / 7, then the probability of them not occurring must be the compliment of this, which is 5 / 7. The calculation is thus:
1 / 5 * 3 / 8 * 5 / 7.
In a multiplication, we only care about multiplying the numerators together, and then multiplying the denominators together. There is no need to put these elements on common denominators. The math gives us:
(1* 3 * 5) / (5 * 8 * 7). This is 15 / 280.
There is a strong temptation to cancel out the 5 on the numerator and on the denominator to make the calculation easier, but you should avoid such temptation on questions such as these. Why? (I’m glad you asked). If you simplified this equation, you would get the equivalent fraction of 3 / 56, which is easier to calculate, but since we still have to execute two more multiplications, we will end up adding fractions that have different denominators. This is not a pleasant experience without a calculator, and likely will cause us to revert to our common denominator for all three fractions, which is 5 * 8 * 7 or 280. Additionally, now that we’ve calculated it once, we don’t need to worry about the denominator for the following fractions, it will always be the same. Let’s continue and hopefully this strategy will become apparent.
The next fraction is (A, ⌐B, C), which is equivalent to
1 / 5 * 5 / 8 * 2 / 7. Note that ⌐B is (1 – 3/8)
Executing this calculation yields a result of 10 / 280.
Finally, we need (⌐A, B, C), which is equivalent to
4 / 5 * 3 / 8 * 2 / 7. Note that ⌐A is (1 – 1/5)
Executing this last fraction gives us 24 / 280.
Once we have these three fractions, we must add them together in order to get the probability of any one of them occurring (“or” probability, as opposed to “and” probability”). This is simple because they’re all on the same denominator, so we get 15 / 280 + 10 / 280 + 24 / 280 which is 49 / 280.
Now that we have this number, we can try to simplify it. 49 is a perfect square that is only divisible by 1, 7 and 49, whereas 280 has many factors, but one of them fairly clearly is 7. We can thus divide both terms by 7, and get 7 / 40. Since the numerator is a prime number, there is no additional simplification possible. 7 / 40 is answer choice E, and it is the correct pick on this question.
Had we simplified each probability as much as possible, we would have ended up with 3 / 56, 2 / 56 and 3 / 35. While the addition would not be impossible, it would become much more difficult. In fact, to correctly add these numbers together, you’d have to put them on their least common multiple, which would be 280 again. There is usually no point in simplifying fractions in questions like this because they must usually be recombined at the end. Save time and don’t convert once only to convert back.
The math on this question is not difficult, but having to add together multiple fractions and simplifying expressions can be quite time-consuming. With a calculator, you could simply add the decimals together, regardless of their fractional equivalents. However, the GMAT doesn’t allow you that shortcut on test day (unless you approximate in your head), so you must find a better tactic. The difference between solving all the questions and running out of time on the math section is often the approach you take on each question. Keep up a consistent strategy and you’ll solve a large fraction of the questions you face on test day.
Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!
Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam. After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since.
]]>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 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.
]]>1. Experience new surroundings. If you’re like the great majority of undergraduates (or incoming undergraduates), you haven’t traveled much before, much less on your own. Far too many students never study abroad simply out of a fear of, or distaste for, intense unfamiliarity. Don’t be scared of the fact that you may not have done anything like this before; the study abroad program will help you adjust to your new surroundings, you can work with the students you travel with to learn new things together, and friends and family back home are just a phone call away. If you’re anything like the overwhelming majority of study abroad students I know, once you actually arrive, you’ll find it a lot more fun than daunting.
2. Study abroad teaches self-confidence and independence. There’s something about surviving for months in a completely foreign place that makes the whole world, including your own country, considerably less intimidating.
3. Routines can get monotonous. Keep yourself engaged with the learning process and avoid burning out by spending a semester doing something completely new and different.
4. It may never again be this easy to travel. The future you could have a family, a demanding job, pets, and other responsibilities that (while wonderful) can serve as serious obstacles to travel. As an undergraduate, you have the time and the freedom to see the world. Make the most of it while you can.
5. Financial aid … Abroad! If you qualify for financial aid, you may receive financial support to study abroad. Even if you don’t, it may still be cheaper to travel now than to travel later in your life. You only need to worry about sorting out accommodation, transportation, and other logistics for one person, and your student status makes you eligible for plenty of deals, scholarships, and discounts that can ease the strain on your wallet.
6. Study abroad helps you get to know your classmates better. Being thrown into a new environment with others just as excited, confused, and nervous as you are creates plenty of opportunities for teamwork, socializing, and new friendships.
7. Study abroad exposes you to new types of people. Reading about a culture will never compare to immersing yourself in it. They say that travel and tolerance go hand in hand because travel, by exposing you to different types of people, helps you to better understand the common thread of humanity we all share.
8. You’ll learn to better appreciate and contextualize the place you come from. It’s difficult to understand the uniqueness of your home community until you’ve had to personally face the fact that only your tiny corner of the world lives and thinks the way you do.
9. Today’s rapidly globalized world increases the value of international experience. It is becoming increasingly necessary for all of us to regularly deal with people, institutions, and ideas from other parts of the world. As a result, the ability to do so is increasingly valuable.
You’ll have a great story to tell–not just to friends and family, but also to future employers, supervisors, and professors. Study abroad helps to differentiate you from others in your classes and applicant pools, and serves as a strong resume booster. Safe travels!
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 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.
]]>Make A Decision
If you were fortunate enough to get into multiple programs then it is time to make a decision. Pay attention to deadlines and deposit dates as each school has a different policy and timeline for each stage of the process. Evaluate your options and make the best decision for you. But don’t forget about the other schools, so make sure to remain professional and notify the other schools of your decision.
Determine How You Will Pay for School
Some students will not only receive admission but also scholarship news from their target schools. This is great news and will help to lessen the burden for those lucky students. There are also outside scholarships available from corporations, civic groups, and philanthropic organizations. So do your due diligence and make sure you are not missing any opportunity to get school paid for. Financial Aid for domestic admits is also another option, so make sure to fill out the necessary forms provided by the school. Don’t fret if you did not receive scholarship money at the time of admission as many schools still have dollars available for students before, after, and during their time in business school.
Address Any Gaps
Are you weak analytically? Need to start making contacts in the Private Equity industry? Take this time to start mitigating some weaknesses before business school. Take an MBA Math course, start networking in your industry, and figure out what ways you can set yourself up for success once you start school.
Plan Your Move
Determine when you plan to pause your professional career for your academic career to move to campus. This also involves notifying your employer that you will be pursuing your MBA. You should find the time that makes the most sense at your organization. For some admits it’s right away and for others its much closer to the start of school, do what makes sense for your situation.
Relax
Finally, you have worked so hard over the last year. Now it is time to relax. Find some time before school starts to engage in some fun, relaxing activities to help you mentally and physically prepare for your upcoming business school experience.
Congratulations!
Want to craft a strong application? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on 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.
]]>The exciting thing is that pre-thinking is useful in Quant too. If you take a step back to review what the question asks and think about what you are going to do and what you expect to get, it is highly likely that you will not get distracted mid-way during your solution. Let’s show you with the help of an example:
Question: Superfast train A leaves Newcastle for Birmingham at 3 PM and travels at the constant speed of 100 km/hr. An hour later, it passes superfast train B, which is making the trip from Birmingham to Newcastle on the same route at a constant speed. If train B left Birmingham at 3:50 PM and if the sum of the total travel time of the two trains is 2 hours, at what time did train B arrive at Newcastle?
Statement I: Train B arrived at Newcastle before train A arrived at Birmingham.
Statement II: The distance between Newcastle and Birmingham is greater than 140 km.
Following are the things that would ideally constitute pre-thinking on this question:
- Quite a bit of data is given in the question stem with some speed and time taken.
- Distance traveled by both the trains is the same since they travel along the same route.
- We could possibly make an equation by equating the two distances and come up with multiple answers for the time at which train B arrived at Newcastle.
- The statements do not provide any concrete data. We cannot make any equation using them but they might help us choose one of the answers we get from the equation of the question stem.
Mind you, the thinking about the statements helping us to arrive at the answer is just speculation. The answer may well be (E). But all we wanted to do at this point was find a direction.
The diagram given above incorporates the data given in the question stem. Train A starts from Newcastle toward Birmingham at 3:00 and meets train B at 4:00. Train B starts from Birmingham toward Newcastle at 3:50 and meets train A at 4:00. Let x be the distance from Birmingham to the meeting point.
Speed of train A = 100 km/hr
Speed of train B = Distance/Time = x/(10 min) = x/(1/6) km/hr = 6x km/hr (converted min to hour)
If we get the value of x, we get the value of speed of train B and that tells us the time it takes to travel from the meeting point to Newcastle (a distance of 100 km). So all we need to figure out is whether the statements can give us a unique value of x.
By 4:00, train A has already travelled for 1 hour and train B has already travelled for 10 mins i.e. 1/6 hour. Total time taken by both is 2 hrs. The remaining (5/6) hrs is the time needed by both together to reach their respective destinations.
Time taken by train A to reach Birmingham + Time taken by train B to reach Newcastle = 5/6
Distance(x)/Speed of train A + 100/Speed of train B = 5/6
x/100 + 100/6x = 5/6
3x^2 – 250x + 5000 = 0
3x^2 – 150x – 100x + 5000 = 0
3x(x – 50) – 100(x – 50) = 0
(3x – 100)(x – 50) = 0
x = 100/3 or 50
So speed of train B = 6x = 200 km/hr or 300 km/hr
Statement 1: Train B arrived at Newcastle before Train A arrived at Birmingham.
If x = 50, time taken by train A to reach Birmingham = 50/100 = 1/2 hour and time taken by train B to reach Newcastle = 100/300 = 1/3 hour. Train B takes lesser time so it arrives first.
If x = 33.33, time taken by train A to reach Birmingham = (100/3)/100 = 1/3 hour and time taken by train B to reach Newcastle = 100/200 = 1/2 hour. Here, train A takes lesser time so it arrives first at its destination.
Since train B arrived first, x must be 50 and train B must have taken 1/3 hour i.e. 20 mins to arrive at Newcastle. So train B must have arrived at 4:20.
This statement is sufficient alone.
Statement 2: The distance between Newcastle and Birmingham is greater than 140 km.
Total distance between Newcastle and Birmingham = (100 + x) km. x must be 50 to make total distance more than 140.
Time taken by train B must be 1/3 hr (as calculated above) and it must have arrived at 4:20.
This statement is sufficient alone.
Answer (D)
So our speculation was right. Each of the statements provided us relevant information to choose one of the two values that the quadratic gave us.
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!
]]>Some will say it’s a heinous act committed by serial cheaters. Others will say it’s a minor violation and that “everybody does it.” And still others will say it’s an inadvertent mistake that happened to run afoul of a technicality. What does it mean for you, a GMAT aspirant?
Be careful about honest mistakes that could be construed as cheating!
While the NFL isn’t going to kick the Patriots out of the Super Bowl, the Graduate Management Admission Council won’t hesitate to cancel your score if you’re found to be in violation of its test administration rules. So beware these rules that honest examinees have accidentally violated:
1. You cannot bring “testing aids” into the test center.
Don’t bring an Official Guide, a test prep book, or study notes into the test center with you. You may want to have notes while you’re waiting to check in, but if you’re caught with “study material” in your hands during one of your 8-minute breaks – which has happened to students who were rearranging items in their lockers to grab an apple or a granola bar – you’ll be in violation of the rule, and GMAC has cancelled scores for this in the past. Don’t take that risk! Leave watches, cell phones, and study aids in your car or at home so that there’s no chance you violate this rule simply by having a forbidden item in your hand during a break.
2. You cannot talk to anyone about the test during your administration.
You’ll be at the test center with other people, and someone’s break might coincide with yours. Holding a restroom door or crossing paths near a drinking fountain, you might be tempted to socially ask “how is your test going?” or sympathetically mention “man these tests are hard.” But since those innocent phrases could be seen as “talking about the test” you would technically be in violation of the rule, and GMAC has cancelled scores for this in the past. Your 8-minute break isn’t the time to make new friends – don’t take the risk of being caught talking about the test.
You know that you’re not a cheater, but as most New Englanders feel today it’s very possible to be considered a cheater if you end up on the wrong side of a rule, however accidentally. Learn from the lessons of test-takers before you: avoid these common mistakes and ensure that the score you earn is the score you’ll keep.
Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!
By Brian Galvin
]]>• Talk to a counselor. If you anticipate needing financial aid or scholarships, talk to a counselor, preferably at the university you plan to attend (or the one you hope to be admitted to). Learn about the school’s financial aid and scholarship policies. Does the school itself offer scholarships? If you receive an outside scholarship, will it reduce your financial aid award by an equivalent amount (meaning that you see no difference in your fees)? If the latter is true, for instance, a student receiving a lot of financial aid might not want to spend time applying to small scholarships. Scholarship applications can take a lot of time and effort; the last thing you want to do is invest heavily in a scholarship application, only to find that you can’t actually benefit from the scholarship.
• Know the deadlines. If your school of interest offers scholarships, peruse the school website to find out if those scholarships have special deadlines. For example, USC’s Trustee scholarship requires students to submit their admission applications earlier than the normal admission application deadline. Mark any special deadlines on your calendar to be sure you don’t miss them; school scholarships are more than worth the extra work.
• Have a work-study plan. Think long and hard about how much you’re willing to work during your undergraduate career. Too many students send their SIR’s (statements of intent to register) to expensive schools they can’t quite afford, assuming that they’ll simply get a job once there in order to offset the costs, and end up with heavy student loans. Getting, keeping, and regularly working a job is a lot harder than it sounds, especially for students with little to no prior work experience. Working long hours can exhaust you, or can detract from your social, academic, or extracurricular undergraduate experiences. Before planning to get a job while at school, put together a balance sheet to see how many hours you’d need to work to make up the difference—and decide whether you can actually commit to those hours.
• Foresee your expenses. Come up with a four-year financial plan, and note any potential changes to your financial changes or aid package. Are you guaranteed a four-year scholarship, or are you relying on aid which will change depending on your school’s finances and your parents’ income level? If your financial aid offer decreases, are you willing to take on loans; and if not, do you have other options to afford tuition? Are you willing to graduate early by a semester or two in order to save the tuition money? If so, are there community college classes in the area that can help you finish your major and graduation requirements more quickly? Plan ahead to avoid a budget crises down the line.
Remember that advanced planning can set you up for financial success in college. Best of luck to you in your application process!
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 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.
]]>Every year many applicants are faced with a similar dilemma. Round 3 has long been a cautiously avoided application round for most applicants. It is in fact the round where the least spots are typically available so the apprehension has merit. However, there are reasons why an applicant may still want to apply in round 3.
Age
For some candidates, age is a factor. The average age range for most schools is between 26 and 28. If a prospective applicant is well over the average age at a target school then delaying an entire year can raise even more questions for admissions. The older an applicant is, the more they have to prove to admissions that the program can add value to their career.
Timing
For other candidates, employment issues present round 3 as a realistic option. Turmoil at work, recently getting fired, or plain old discontentment in a current career path can warrant a last minute application from a candidate. The timeliness of the application round can make round 3 more attractive in atypical situations.
Qualifications
Finally, an impressive set of qualifications can make round 3 and frankly any round attractive to candidates with impressive profiles. Candidates with strong GPAs, GMAT scores, and blue chip resumes can often still be competitive even with the limited spots left in round 3. If the candidate’s application measurables align with or exceed target school class profile numbers then round 3 becomes a realistic option. In situations like this round 3 is not as far fetched as it seemed, and it may even make sense to apply in this round for the truly qualified.
Don’t automatically eliminate round 3 as a potential option as the situations above suggest round 3 may just be your best chance at admissions success.
We wanted to find a way to take out the risk in applying in Round 3 to top MBA programs, so whether you decide to apply in Round 3 or defer to Round 1 next fall, Veritas Prep’s Round 3 Guarantee has you covered every step of the way!
Want to craft a strong application? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on 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.
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