ACT Vocabulary Tricks and Tips

ReflectingStudying vocabulary should be on your schedule of things to do as you prepare for the English and Reading sections on the ACT. Numerous lists are available online that feature words commonly seen on the test.

Fortunately, there are many simple tricks and techniques to help you learn and remember ACT vocabulary words and definitions.

Personalize Your Flashcards
Flashcards are a traditional tool for students who are learning vocabulary for the ACT. But you can make your flashcards more effective by taking them a step further. Include the word, its definition, and a personalized sentence on each flashcard. For instance, if you’re learning the word “cunning,” you may create a sentence about your little sister such as, “My sister is cunning about stealing cookies out of the cookie jar.” The word “cunning” means “crafty” or “clever.” You’re more likely to remember a word and its definition when you study it in a personalized context.

The creators of the ACT are interested in measuring your understanding of words and how they are used as opposed to just the number of words you’re able to memorize, so it’s important to thoroughly understand each word you learn.

Expand Your Reading List
Another successful strategy to use when learning vocabulary for the ACT is to read a wide variety of material. For instance, if you usually limit your recreational reading to fiction, try reading some biographies or articles in science or nature magazines, or choose a subject you want to learn more about, such as an animal, a country, space travel, the Industrial Revolution, or a famous individual in history. You are more likely to be an active reader when delving into a subject you’re curious about.

When you vary your reading material, you are exposing yourself to larger amounts of unfamiliar vocabulary. As you read, make a list of the words you don’t know and look up the definitions later. Try to determine the definition of a word by looking at the context in which it’s used, then check the dictionary to see if you were right.

Use New Words on a Daily Basis
As you are focusing on learning ACT vocabulary, try using some of your newly acquired words in your daily life. Saying a word aloud in the correct context is an excellent way to solidify it in your memory. You could do this in your classes at school, during club meetings, or at home with your family. In addition, try including a few of the words in papers and other assignments for your English classes. Why not score some extra points on your schoolwork as you prepare for the English and Reading sections on the ACT?

Play Word Games
Playing word games is one of the best ways to prepare for the ACT. There are many online games that ask you to match a definition with the correct word or vice-versa. Some games test your speed at unscrambling letters to make a word that pairs with a definition. Various types of word games can be played by two or more people, so you can get together to play a game with a few friends who are also preparing for the ACT. Making the learning process fun with colorful graphics, music, and exciting challenges helps you add to your growing supply of words.

Take Several Practice Tests
Another effective way to prep for the Reading and English sections on the ACT is to take practice tests. This helps you to figure out which skills you’ve mastered as well as the ones that need work. If you’re worried about these two sections on the ACT, completing practice questions can make you feel more prepared on test day.

Our instructors achieved extremely high scores on the ACT, so when you study with us, you have access to the proven tips and tricks used by our instructors to learn ACT vocabulary. But the ACT tutors at Veritas Prep are more than experts at helping you learn ACT vocabulary: we can also teach you strategies you can use on all parts of the exam. Take advantage of our free trial class to become familiar with the material on the ACT and discover what our instructors at Veritas Prep can do to help you succeed on test day.

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

Applying to Business School with a Gap in Employment on Your Resume

Successful ApplicantOne of the biggest red flags Admissions Committees encounter during the business school application process is an employment gap on an applicant’s resume. This is unfortunate because for those afflicted, this is often an area that is usually out of the applicant’s control.

Most people are not looking to have an employment gap on their resume, and such periods of joblessness are usually the result of a series of unfortunate events. This problem was much bigger during the global economic crisis a few years back, but the effects of this event still remain on many resumes.

If you have a work gap on your resume, know that it is not the end of the world and that you are not alone on this front – how you mitigate this blip on your resume will be more important to MBA programs than the gap itself – however, don’t completely ignore this issue altogether. Do not treat a gap in employment as something that will not be a concern for the Admissions Committee.

At the very least, if it is a material employment gap, this issue should be addressed in the optional essay. As with most topics you discuss in your optional essay, your explanation and clarification of the employment gap should be concise and to the point. Admissions Committees are not looking for a long-winded string of excuses here – be direct, take ownership of the incident, and identify lessons you learned from it, if appropriate.

Another way to confront an employment gap is through one of the more traditional MBA application essays. If the reason behind the gap or the results of the gap have had a profound impact on your life or career (and it makes sense given the essay prompt), it may be appropriate to take a deeper dive into your situation. A full-blown response like this requires a more nuanced degree of thoughtfulness, so it will be key to do some self-reflection and really identify the underpinnings of your employment gap.

The business school interview represents another area where your employment gap can be addressed by a member of the Admissions Committee. This is probably the most direct way your employment gap will be explored. Keep your explanation simple and avoid making excuses or blaming others. A major mistake many in this position make is disparaging an old employer or an ex-boss. This may actually come across as unprofessional and it generally leaves a bad impression on the interviewer.

Do not let a past employment gap set the tone for your future success at business school. Be prepared to address your history, and take ownership of it in a way that positions yourself for success in the MBA application process.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

How to Choose a College Major

GMATOur college admissions consultants at Veritas Prep are experts at helping students navigate their way through the admissions process. We help students with everything from filling out college applications to crafting a convincing college essay. Of course, once a student is accepted into a college, they must choose a major.

We’ve found that there are many students who wonder how to choose a college major. One student may have so many interests that they don’t know where to focus their studies. Another student may not know how to translate their interest in one subject into a future career. Fortunately, there are many helpful tips for students wondering how to pick a college major.

Identify Interests
Is it a passing interest or an enduring one? Generally, most high school students can put each of their interests into one of those two categories. Some students can recognize an enduring interest right away. For instance, one student might remember being interested in science ever since the first grade – they always enjoyed collecting data, performing lab experiments, and making observations in science classes. This student knows that they’d like to translate their love of science into a career.

Alternatively, there are other students who need to examine several of their interests in order to find an enduring one. One student may love caring for animals but also relishes spending time working at an uncle’s law firm as an office assistant. This student needs to compare their level of interest in each of these activities to figure out which one appeals to them the most. Once a student pinpoints their enduring interests, it’s time to do some online research.

Research Occupations
There are many websites that provide students with examples of occupations within a particular field. The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is one of the most valuable resources available to high school students. Also, online research makes it possible for a student to learn the details of specific occupations. Salary, opportunities for promotion, and average hours worked are all facts included in a job’s profile.

It’s a good idea for students to keep a list of pertinent questions handy so they can take a good look at the viability of a particular career. All of this research enables a student to choose a major with coursework that prepares them for a desirable occupation.

Talk to Professionals in Various Fields
Talking with a professional who works in a particular occupation can be very useful to a student who is looking for a major. For instance, the student with a passion for science may want to talk with a science teacher at a local elementary school. They can find out what the instructor likes and dislikes about the work. Plus, they can ask the teacher about daily responsibilities and how to get students interested in a lesson. The science teacher can offer a personal perspective on the occupation that can’t be found via online research.

Participate in Volunteer Work
Students wondering how to choose a college major based on an interest may want to engage in some volunteer work. For example, a student who thinks they want to major in veterinary medicine may want to ask a local vet if they can volunteer at their office. This gives the student a chance to talk with the vet and observe the daily activities of a veterinary practice. The time spent volunteering can either strengthen a student’s interest in a certain activity or persuade them to examine other interests.

Meet With a College Counselor
Meeting with a college counselor is helpful even if a student is still undecided on a major. This professional has experience with students who are wondering how to pick a college major out of all of the options available. They will be able to offer simple strategies for how to evaluate various interests. Once a student decides on a major, the counselor can direct them toward the next step of officially declaring the major and beginning on a specific path of study.

Contact Veritas Prep today and we can assist you with the college admissions process, SAT and ACT preparation, and much more. Give us the opportunity to prep you for a successful four years in college!

Do you need more help navigating the college admissions process? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

Get Ahead of the GRE With Math Tutoring

ProfessorThe Quantitative Reasoning portion of the GRE has two sections with 20 questions in each. You are given 30 minutes to complete each of these sections. If you feel a little uncertain about this portion of the exam, getting a GRE math tutor can prove helpful in a variety of ways.

Focus on Your Weakest Skills
When you study with a GRE math tutor, you can start strengthening your weakest skills right away. Part of the Veritas Prep tutoring program involves evaluating your skills for every section of the GRE. If the results of your evaluation, or practice test, reveal that you need to sharpen your algebra skills, then your tutor will incorporate that into your customized study plan. Alternatively, if your results reveal that you are highly skilled in the area of geometry, then less time will be spent reviewing that particular topic. Following a specially-designed study plan allows you to get the most out of every tutoring session.

Learn Strategies to Solve Math Problems
Studying with an experienced GRE math tutor gives you the opportunity to learn solid strategies to use on the Quantitative Reasoning section. One valuable strategy is to draw illustrations for geometry problems instead of trying to mentally juggle all of the important elements of a question. Seeing an illustration can help you arrive at the correct answer more quickly.

You can use your scrap paper for writing the steps of algebra problems as well, so if you make a mistake, you can look at the steps to find the error. Another valuable strategy is to scan each math problem and eliminate answer options that are obviously wrong. Right away, this makes seemingly complicated math questions easier to handle.

Practice With an Experienced Instructor
When you work through practice geometry, data analysis, algebra, and arithmetic problems with a tutor, you’ll be getting the guidance you need to master each skill. For example, if you arrive at the incorrect answer to a practice algebra problem, your tutor can review each step with you to reveal where you went wrong. More importantly, your tutor can give you pointers that help you to avoid making the same mistake on similar math problems.

The tutors at Veritas Prep achieved high scores on the GRE, so when you study with us, you’re getting strategies straight from experts. Also, we take the time to match you with a tutor who is familiar with your learning style. This makes your tutoring sessions even more productive.

Get Support When Preparing for the Exam
You’re likely to have a lot of questions as you prep for the Quantitative Reasoning section of the GRE. In fact, questions may come up on a daily basis. Maybe you’ll think of one while you’re driving, sitting at work, or having lunch with a friend.

One option is to write down those questions and ask them during your next tutoring session. But if you’re preparing for the GRE with Veritas Prep, you could also email your questions to us. We provide our students with prompt answers so they can continue on the right track with their study efforts. Online support combined with quality instruction and study resources make our GRE tutoring services second to none.

Accountability Counts
Preparing with a math tutor can give you an extra element of accountability. You’ll spend a lot of time working with your tutor and studying independently for the Quantitative Reasoning section of the test. This makes you accountable to both your tutor and to yourself. You truly want to perform at your best on the exam so your efforts, as well as your tutor’s, pay off in the end.

When you make the decision to study with a tutor for the Quantitative Reasoning section, you’ll want to partner with the best. Our GRE study program provides you the advantages you need to achieve a high score on the test. Our experienced tutors understand what it takes to prepare for this exam and will be there to offer you encouragement at every step. We are so sure of the quality of our GRE tutoring courses that we back them up with a guarantee. We are invested in your success! Contact our offices to arrange for a knowledgeable GRE math tutor today.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Converting Your SAT Score to an IQ Score

QuestioningWhen you hear the words “SAT score,” it probably brings to mind senior year, percentiles, college applications, and lots of studying. But have you ever considered SAT scores vs. IQ scores? Does your SAT score have anything to do with your IQ? 

What Does the SAT Measure?
There are many helpful study tips to take advantage of when you’re preparing for the SAT. But have you ever paused to consider what the SAT actually measures? The Reading, Writing & Language, Math, and Essay sections on the SAT are designed to gauge how ready you are for college-level work.

For instance, the Reading section tests your reading comprehension skills, including your ability to recognize an author’s tone and determine the meaning of various words in context. Alternatively, the Math section tests your skills in geometry, algebra, data analysis, and more. Naturally, most college admissions officials want to select applicants who they believe will thrive in their academic endeavors, and a student’s SAT score is one factor in an admissions official’s decision.

What Is Your IQ?
Your intelligence quotient, or IQ, is another type of measurement. An IQ test measures things like your ability to use logic, your verbal reasoning skills, spatial awareness, and visual abilities. Basically, your IQ score shows how versatile of a thinker you are and how good you are are problem-solving. According to Mensa, the high IQ society, a “genius” IQ is generally one that’s 132 or higher. Someone with average intelligence typically has an IQ between 85 and 114.

SAT vs. IQ Scores
There is one major difference to point out when considering SAT vs. IQ scores: the SAT measures a person’s knowledge of certain subjects, while an IQ test measures a person’s general thinking abilities. You can take steps to practice for the SAT and improve your score, but you can’t study for an IQ test. Additionally, many colleges require students to submit an SAT score (or ACT score) along with their applications, but do not ask for an IQ score submission. 

SAT-to-IQ Conversion
There are SAT-to-IQ conversion charts and calculators online that ask you to plug in the scores you received on the Verbal and Math sections of the SAT. Within seconds, the conversion calculator displays an IQ connected with your total SAT score.

There is usually a disclaimer attached to the results reminding you that the number you see is only an estimate of your IQ. But are these figures really accurate? It depends. Scores on some versions of the SAT have been shown to strongly correlate with IQ scores, but for more recent test-takers, that’s not necessarily the case.

Also, it’s important to consider whether your SAT scores paint an accurate picture of your abilities. Perhaps you were sick on test day and weren’t able to stay focused on the work, resulting in an inaccurate SAT score. Also, some individuals feel a lot of pressure when taking standardized tests, so their test score may not be a true reflection of their abilities. These factors and others can have a big effect on a person’s SAT scores, meaning that even if you can convert your SAT score to an IQ, the result might not be accurate.

Preparing for the SAT
If you want help studying for the SAT, we have what you need at Veritas Prep! Each of our SAT instructors scored in the top one percent themselves, so when you take our SAT prep courses, you are learning test-taking strategies from individuals who’ve conquered the exam. In addition to practical advice about the SAT, our instructors provide you with encouragement as you work your way through our study resources that address all parts of the test.

It’s important to know that your tutor is behind you 100 percent. We’ll evaluate the results of your practice SAT to find out where we can be of the most help. And we have several options to choose from when it comes to SAT prep, providing both online and in-person courses, because we know that high school students are busy people who need a study program that fits with their schedule. Private tutoring is another option if you like to learn one-on-one.

Feel free to check out our video tutorials to get some valuable SAT tips right away: These tutorials are just a preview of what we can do to boost your test performance. Email or call Veritas Prep now to start preparing for excellence on the SAT!

Still need to take the SAT? Check out our variety of free SAT resources to help you study successfully. And be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How to Use a 1-Year MBA Program to Make Your Career Switch

MBA Admissions1-year MBA programs represent a great opportunity to secure a graduate business education at an accelerated pace. This program format has long been a staple in Europe, with venerable programs like INSEAD establishing a successful track record of success in producing top flight candidates via their accelerated curriculum.

The 1-year program has taken a bit longer to gain steam in the United States, but largely pioneered by Kellogg’s 1-year program, this format has begun to pick up in popularity in the U.S. as well.

The benefits of these 1-year programs are obvious to interested students – the ability to shave a year off of one’s time away at business school is attractive to many MBA applicants. This shorter program format also typically comes with a reduced price tag and a much lower opportunity cost, allowing students to get back into the work force much faster.

Time and money aside, most applicants are primarily considering business school for career reasons. The ability to pursue desired career opportunities, which are directly provided by their business school, tends to be the leading decision driver for those interested in a 1-year program. Given the shorter timeline of a 1-year program, it has largely been seen as an ideal choice for MBA candidates seeking to remain in the same industry or with the same employer. For those seeking to make a career switch post-MBA this program may not be ideal, but it certainly presents some opportunities.

For more traditional MBA feeder industries like management consulting and investment banking – where recruiters are looking more for raw talent and intellectual horsepower than for work experience – having pre-existing industry experience is less important. The key loss here is the inability to test out an industry through internships prior to accepting a job, which many MBA candidates on the traditional 2-year track have the opportunity to do. Also, the reduced opportunities to secure a job offer, given the 1-year program’s tendency to focus only on full-time employment, puts an intense emphasis on making the most of the chances a 1-year business school student does have.

Many 1-year MBA programs do offer in-term internship opportunities that give interested students the chance to test out industries and jobs in other fields. The key for 1-year students is to really come into business school with a plan. By understanding the limitations of the 1-year program, students can better plan paths to achieve their post-MBA goals. The clearer one’s goals are prior to matriculation, the more realistic it will be to make a career switch after graduation.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

ACT English Tips to Improve Your Score

writing essayIn the English section on the ACT, you have 45 minutes to finish all 75 multiple-choice questions. This section tests your grammar and punctuation skills. Also, you have the opportunity to showcase your skills when it comes to understanding sentence structure.

There’s also a Reading section that evaluates your comprehension skills with 40 multiple-choice questions in 35 minutes. But with a little preparation and some useful strategies, you can improve your score on both the ACT English and Reading sections.

Read the Entire Passage
Most students understand the importance of reading all of the passages included on the ACT Reading test, as this section includes questions designed to measure how well you can understand and interpret the text. But it’s just as important to fully read the passages on the English section of the test.

The English section is made up of five passages containing underlined phrases. You’re given several alternative options for each underlined phrase. Your job is to choose the one that’s a better fit for the sentence. You also have a “no change” option if you think the sentence is correct as it is.

One of the most valuable ACT English tips to keep in mind is to read the entire passage instead of just the underlined phrase. Other sentences in the passage can give you clues about the correct answer. The ACT instructors at Veritas Prep can help you boost your score on the English section by guiding you through practice English questions. We’ll provide you with strategies on how to evaluate the options to arrive at the correct answer. Each of our instructors scored in the top one percent of ACT test-takers, so when you study for the ACT with Veritas Prep, you’re working with someone who has mastered the material!

Be on the Lookout for Parallel Structure
Looking for parallel structure in the sentences of each passage can help you to find the correct alternative to an underlined phrase. If an underlined phrase isn’t parallel with the rest of the sentence, then it needs to be replaced with one of the answer options.

An example sentence might be, “Philip enjoys reading, horseback riding, and to swim.” This sentence is not parallel because it contains mixed verb forms. The correct version of this sentence is, “Philip enjoys reading, horseback riding, and swimming.” Philip’s third hobby, “swimming,” should have the same verb form as his first two hobbies. Reading articles in science magazines, online newspapers, and other publications can help you become familiar with parallel structure. The more reading you do, the easier it will be to recognize a passage with sentences that are not parallel in form.

Look for Subject and Verb Agreement
One of simplest tips to remember when completing the ACT English section is to look for agreement between the subject and the verb of a sentence. If the subject of a sentence is singular, then its verb should also be singular. The same goes for plural subjects and plural verbs.

Consider All of the Answer Options
This is a necessary addition to any list of ACT English tips. Understandably, many students are anxious or nervous on test day. Most want to jump right in and get started on the questions. Because of this nervousness, a student may skim passages, glance at the answer options, and choose one that looks like the obvious answer. This is a trap you want to avoid. Take the time to look at all of the answer choices before selecting one. The most obvious answer is not always the right one.

Read the Corrected Sentences to Yourself
Once you choose an alternative option for an underlined phrase, it’s a smart idea to insert it into the sentence and quietly read it to yourself. This can help you to determine whether the changed sentence flows or sounds clunky. If the sentence doesn’t sound right in your mind, it is worth your time to go back and reconsider the option you selected.

At Veritas Prep, we offer a free online ACT prep seminar that gives you the chance to see what our study program is all about. We give you the guidance you need for tackling the ACT Reading and English sections as well as the rest of the exam. Students who work with us prep for the test using the most effective study materials and resources. Our professional instructors are not only experts on the ACT, but they recognize the value of providing lots of encouragement to their students. And you have the option of either taking an online class or participating in one of our in-person courses. Either way, we’ll give you the preparation you need to excel on the ACT!

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

How the SAT Works: Format Breakdown and Function

SAT Scantron TestIf you’re a junior or senior in high school, you’re probably planning to take the SAT. You know that the SAT is a standardized test taken by students across the country, and you know that college officials look at SAT scores when evaluating student applications. But have you ever taken a really close look at the parts of this well-known exam? Learning what’s on the new SAT and how the SAT works is an important first step in preparing for the test.

What Is the Purpose of the SAT?
The questions on the SAT are meant to reveal what you learned in your high school classes, so you should find that you’re already familiar with the types of material on this exam. In addition, the test is a way to evaluate whether you’ll be successful in your college courses. Of course, a high SAT score isn’t a guarantee of success in college, but the test serves as a way to measure your academic abilities.

The SAT Format
Reading, Writing & Language, and Math are the three tests that make up the SAT. There is also an optional Essay section. You have 65 minutes to complete the Reading section and 35 minutes to complete the Writing & Language section. In addition, you receive 80 minutes to complete the Math questions. As for the essay, you are given 50 minutes to write it.

The Reading and Writing & Language tests are multiple-choice. The Math test has multiple-choice questions as well as grid-in questions. Grid-in questions require you to figure out the answer to a math problem instead of selecting an answer option. The entire SAT takes about three hours and 50 minutes to finish. The total test time varies depending on the amount of breaks you’re given during the exam. You’re able to take the SAT either on paper or digitally.

The Reading Section
Taking a closer look at an SAT breakdown detailing the types of questions in each section can help you perform well on the test. The Reading section includes vocabulary in context, detail, function, inference, analogy, author technique, and main idea questions. After reading each passage, your job is to answer several multiple-choice questions about what you have read. This section has a total of 52 questions.

The Math Section
The SAT format for the Math section starts students off with relatively easy problems and gradually increases in difficulty. Geometry, trigonometry, algebra, and data analysis are all topics covered by questions in the Math section. You can use a calculator on some portions of the Math section but not others. There are 58 questions on the Math test.

The Writing & Language Section
There’s a Writing & Language section on the new SAT, as well. You’ll find several shorter reading passages here that are accompanied by questions. For each question, choose the answer option that corrects a grammar, punctuation, or structure error within the passage. Some questions include a “no change” option, which you should select if there is no error present. There are 44 questions in this section.

The Essay
The SAT essay gauges your ability to analyze the author’s argument, using evidence to support your points. You’re not called upon to agree or disagree with what the author is trying to convey. You have 50 minutes to write the essay. Though this is an optional part of the test, it’s a chance to highlight your ability to write an organized, thoughtful essay. Additionally, many colleges require their applicants to write this essay, so you will want to check with the schools you are interested in applying to.

Preparing for the Test
Now that you know the SAT breakdown and how the SAT works, you must make sure you’re prepared to dive in on test day. The tutoring program at Veritas Prep can provide you with simple strategies that help you navigate all sections of the exam. Each of our instructors has already proven their mastery of the test by earning a score in the 99th percentile on the SAT, so when you work with a Veritas Prep tutor, you’re studying with the best! We’ll have you take a practice SAT and look at your results to see where you can improve.

To make your tutoring sessions as effective as possible, we’ll match you with an instructor who is familiar with your learning style. Our online and in-person courses are designed to give you the resources you need to highlight your skills on the SAT. Call or email Veritas Prep today to learn more!

Still need to take the SAT? Check out our variety of free SAT resources to help you study successfully. And be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How to Successfully Ask for an MBA Admissions Deferral

AdmissionA deferral is when an applicant is admitted to an MBA program they plan to attend but they desire to delay their matriculation to a later date due to some sort of extenuating circumstance. (This is different than the official deferred enrollment programs that are offered at some schools, such as the HBS 2+2 Program, which you can read about here.)

A big part of applying to business school is affirming why right now is the ideal time for you to pursue your MBA, so when a candidate asks for a deferral, it kind of flies in the face of that statement. As such, deferrals are often difficult to secure at most top MBA programs.

Generally, when deferrals are secured at top schools, it is due to personal illnesses, deaths or illnesses in the family, or military deployment – essentially, extreme circumstances that are outside of the control of the admit. Financial or work related deferrals are more commonly requested, but they are also less commonly approved. If you feel that you really need a deferral for one of these reasons by all means request one, just know the odds of the deferral being granted will not be in your favor.

If you are going to make the request to have your business school admission deferred, see if you can have a conversation about your situation with the Admissions Committee in-person, or at least on the phone, rather than over email. This will add a personal element to your request and increase the chance that the Admissions Committee will make their decision in your favor.

It also helps if you can position the reason for your deferral as a once in a life time opportunity while reaffirming your commitment to pursuing an MBA at that particular school the following year, and reminding the Admissions Committee of how you will be able to offer more to the student community upon your eventual matriculation. Remember this is a difficult decision for the Admissions Committee as well. If the school admitted you, then they are invested in you becoming a part of their community, so engaging in discussions around a deferral is equally challenging for the Admissions Committee.

Make sure to follow up your conversation with the Admissions Committee via email, and include a special thank you for their consideration as well as a reminder of the above notes, as this request is ultimately outside of the typical application process. The best thing you can do when engaging in the process of requesting an MBA deferral is to be humble. Remember, you are making a BIG request that the school does not need to grant you. Being humble and appreciative of the consideration you are receiving can only help your chances.

It is important to enter this process understanding the limited odds you have to actually secure a deferral, so follow the tips above to increase your chances, and make sure you are properly evaluating whether the alternative to matriculating in the year you applied is worth the overall hassle.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

Tips on How to Start College on the Right Foot

roomateExcitement, nervousness, and curiosity are just three of the emotions felt by a college freshman in late summer. Most students who are preparing to start college want to do everything they can to set a positive tone for the school year. Fortunately, there are several steps that students can take to accomplish this goal. Take a look at some practical tips for how to start college on the right foot:

Walk the Campus
It’s important for new students to arrive early to each class on the first day. This gives them the opportunity to choose a seat and relax a little bit before class begins. So a few days before school starts, it’s a good idea for students to get a campus map and walk to the buildings where their classes will be held. It may also be helpful to make notes on the map regarding the route. Knowing exactly where to go can reduce a student’s stress level on the first day of class.

Create a Study Schedule
Creating a study schedule is one of the most effective tips for starting college on a positive note. Once a student receives their course schedule, it’s time to create a study plan. Ideally, a student should dedicate the same amount of study time to every course. But once school starts, students may have to adjust their study schedule to focus more time on challenging courses.

It’s important for students to make efficient use of the free time they have during weekdays. For instance, say a student has just two classes on Monday and Wednesday that both take place in the morning. This gives them the opportunity to schedule study time on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Not surprisingly, a student’s study schedule may experience frequent adjustments throughout the semester.

Record Important Dates
Lots of students who are starting college have a full schedule of courses, sports activities, club meetings, and social events. As a result, they can sometimes lose track of important dates related to various assignments, tests, etc.

One of the most helpful tips for starting college on a good note is to compile all critical dates in one place. Students can use their smartphone, a wall calendar, or even a desk calendar to help them in this process. After getting a syllabus from each professor on the first day of class, students can transfer the important due dates onto their virtual or paper calendar. With a quick check of the calendar, students can see quiz and test dates as well as due dates for papers. Those who get organized at the beginning of the school year are setting themselves up for academic success!

Get to Know Professors
Students wondering how to start college on the right foot can make a point of introducing themselves to their professors. Whether a class is held in an auditorium with 100-plus students or takes place in a small classroom with 12 individuals, it’s a good idea for students to get to know their professors. A student may go up to their professor after the first class, give their name, and ask a question about a chapter in the textbook. As a result, the professor knows who the student is and will likely recognize them again if they want to discuss a quiz grade or ask for clarification on an assignment.

Professors appreciate students who are diligent about their work and ask questions that can help them get more out of the course material. Students who start college with enthusiasm are putting themselves in the right state of mind.

Our staff at Veritas Prep understands the importance of starting college on the right foot. We prep high school students for college by teaching them effective strategies they can apply on any section of the SAT or ACT. We also review practice tests with them to pinpoint skills that need improvement. This enables them to submit their best performance on the SAT or on the ACT, which can expand their options when it comes time to apply to college.

Our admissions consultants have firsthand experience with what college officials across the country are looking for when they evaluate student applications. We use our expert resources to help students as they prepare to send applications to the top colleges in the United States. We are proud to offer students knowledgeable online instruction, expert guidance, and much more as they pursue their goal of higher education.

Do you need more help navigating the college admissions process? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

How to Start Studying for the GRE

GMAT PracticeMost students who intend to go to graduate school understand that taking the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is an important step in the process. But, many of them wonder how to start studying for the GRE. At Veritas Prep, we offer online courses that help students prepare for this critical exam. Here are some valuable tips for students as they begin the process of studying for the GRE.

Complete a Practice Exam
Students who are wondering how to start studying for the GRE can take a step in the right direction by completing a practice test. Doing this allows them to see the type of material that’s on GRE. For example, they can get a sneak preview of the types of geometry and algebra questions on the Quantitative section of the exam. Also, students have their reading comprehension and vocabulary skills tested in the Verbal Reasoning section.

The Analytical Writing section requires students to write two essays. One of them is an issue piece while the other is an argument essay. After finishing a practice GRE, students can look at the results of the test to gain insight on what skills they need to improve.

Identify Weaknesses and Strengths on the GRE
Students working with one of our Veritas Prep instructors have the advantage of reviewing the results of their practice test with an expert. A student who needs to brush up on his geometry skills can learn lots of practical tips from his instructor to make geometry questions more manageable. Alternatively, a student who needs help in the area of reading comprehension can garner strategies from her instructor that serve to simplify lengthy written passages. Practice test results are invaluable for a student who wants to make the most efficient use of his or her study time. Practice test results also reveal a student’s strengths. Understandably, this portion of the test results can give some students a much needed confidence boost!

Implement Test-Taking Strategies
Taking more than one practice test is valuable for students who sign up for the GRE. Studying tips and strategies learned at Veritas Prep can be put into practice. One test-taking strategy involves eliminating answer options. Since many of the questions on the GRE are in multiple choice form, this strategy can prove very useful on test day.

For example, there are several questions in the Verbal Reasoning section that ask students to identify the pair of words that would make the most sense if plugged into a particular sentence. A student starts by reading the sentence and then looks at all of the answer options. In many cases, a student will see a pair of words that have nothing to do with the subject matter in the sentence – this answer option can be eliminated right away. Eliminating options helps students to focus their concentration on the most valid choices.

Enhance Study Time Using Various Resources
When studying for the GRE, students can use aids to help them strengthen various skills. For instance, it’s a good idea for students to make flashcards to learn vocabulary words found in the Verbal Reasoning section of the test. A student must find lists of vocabulary words that are likely to be on the GRE. Next, he or she creates a flashcard for each unfamiliar word and its definition. Students who quiz themselves every day with five or ten flashcards are able to absorb a reasonable number of new words each week.

Newspapers and magazines are other study aids that help students to prep for the GRE. Students who get into the habit of reading newspaper and magazine articles are likely to encounter some of the vocabulary words they are learning for the GRE. Seeing these words in context is tremendously helpful to a student who is trying to remember them for the test. Geometry and algebra textbooks are other examples of useful study aids. Students can complete various exercises in the textbook to sharpen their skills in these areas.

Finally, our instructors can be invaluable to students preparing for the GRE. Studying tips, strategies, and encouragement are just three of the things that we offer to our students at Veritas Prep. We are happy to answer questions about our services and encourage students to contact our team with inquiries about our online GRE prep classes. Students who sign up with Veritas Prep are giving themselves an advantage on the GRE.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Learn from the First Moon Landing: Avoid Using Technical Details in Your MBA Essays

ToBoldlyGoThe new movie, Hidden Figures, rightly shines light on the roles played by the mathematicians who helped the United States catch up to Russia in the Space Race and eventually land on the moon in 1969. This accomplishment was politically significant at that time as it was a show of technological prowess between the bitter Cold War rivals.

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Most of us are familiar with this quote and can still hear the words clearly in our heads. We can also vividly recall astronaut Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon and planting an American flag.

These iconic words and images are what the general public recalls of this event, and what inspires young kids growing up today to dream of becoming astronauts or scientists. The breakthrough mathematical, technological, and research milestones that were necessary to reach this point, however, are only recalled by a limited audience (even though they created the foundation for this defining moment).

Just like the mathematical accomplishments highlighted in Hidden Figures were long forgotten by society, technical details that you mention in your business school essays may be hard for the Admissions Committee of your dream school to grasp. Let’s examine two key ways you can avoid this problem:

Create interest with highlights that appeal to the senses.
Applicants from technical fields are often so immersed in their specializations that industry jargon litter their essays; they forget to write these terms with context that non-industry readers will be able to appreciate.

One way to avoid this issue is to quantify this technical language in terms of monetary equivalents (e.g. dollar amounts), percentages or ranks to show scale of responsibilities and accomplishments. However, making the leap towards using imagery in your writing that complements these achievements will make your essays even more powerful. Always use the opportunity your MBA essays give you to show how your work has impacted other people. For instance, you can share how your accomplishments in the workplace have helped people learn new skills, save time, or be safer, rather than simply listing your technical day to day activities.

Make your story more relatable by sharing your relationships.
No matter what blockbuster movie you see – whether it’s about an inter-galaxy war or an animated underwater adventure – interpersonal relationships always drive the story. Even historical accounts of world events or biographies take cinematic license to play up personal aspects of the protagonists’ life stories. Thus, when you write your essays, be aware that mentioning relationships is one way to make your stories come to life.

Readers are interested in humans, so detailing relationships you have made while in the workplace will help your profile become more relatable and display empathy towards others. This can be done by describing the way you have handled challenges on projects or how you have collaborated with others towards shared accomplishments — these stories should not be ignored. Rather than utilizing all the essay space you are given for the financial details of the deal you executed or the legal intricacies of the contract you negotiated, make sure you share how you grew from these experiences. You could also include the lessons learned and how these experiences have helped you become a better leader, or simply a better person.

Follow these tips and your MBA application essay will become a more compelling and relatable piece to read.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! And as always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Written by Edison Cu, a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for INSEAD. You can read more articles by him here

Can I Apply to College as a High School Junior?

walking studentThe traditional path to college involves four years of high school. Most people picture college-bound high school Seniors going to prom, attending parties, and spending a lot of time with their friends. But what about high school students who have different plans for themselves?

Some ambitious students might ask, “Can you apply to college as a Junior in high school?” The answer is yes. You can apply to college during Junior year. Discover some important details for students who want to forgo their Senior year in high school and move straight on to college:

What to Do Before Applying to College as a Junior in High School
Whether a student is a Senior or a Junior, they must fulfill the same requirements when submitting applications to colleges. Juniors in high school have to pay special attention to the various deadlines of the colleges they are applying to. This means they have to make a detailed timeline that allows them to take the SAT or ACT in plenty of time to submit their scores by the required deadline.

In addition, the student must submit an application, official transcripts, an application essay, letters of recommendation, as well as any other materials required by college admissions officials by the advertised deadline. It’s a good idea for high school Juniors to look at the specific application materials required by the colleges they are applying to. Generally, students can find a list of required materials on a college’s website. Having this information helps a Junior to create a reliable timeline of things to do.

Who to Talk to Before Applying to College as a Junior in High School
Juniors in high school who are applying to college may feel overwhelmed by all they have to do in order to achieve their goal of getting into school early. One tip is to enlist the help of a high school counselor. This professional can handle the logistics involved with helping a Junior apply to college.

In addition, our online college admissions consultants at Veritas Prep have the know-how and resources to assist ambitious high school Juniors who want to start their college career early. Our consultants have worked in the admissions offices of the country’s top colleges, so they know the ins and outs of the admissions process. Students who sign up with Veritas Prep benefit from the experience of our consultants.

The Advantages of Applying to College as a Junior
One of the main advantages of applying to college as a Junior in high school is that students can begin delving into the subjects they are most interested in. For instance, a Junior who is anxious to start on the path toward becoming a physician doesn’t need to delay those plans for an additional year – they can simply skip Senior year in high school and start on that path. Another advantage is that the person will likely graduate from college sooner than expected. This gives the individual more time to spend on their chosen vocation. Most Juniors who apply to college are anxious to get started on their future plans.

The Drawbacks of Applying to College as a Junior
A drawback of applying to college as a Junior in high school is that a student doesn’t have an opportunity to include more accomplishments in their college applications. Alternatively, a Senior in high school has the chance to improve their final grade point average, take extra courses, and participate in more extracurricular activities. In addition, a Senior in high school can learn new strategies from Veritas Prep and retake the SAT or ACT to earn a higher score, whereas a Junior is on a tight schedule to prep for these exams. They must prepare by taking practice tests and then register to take the actual test. The student’s SAT or ACT scores must be submitted to colleges without delay.

So can you apply to college as a Junior in high school? Yes, you can, and our capable staff at Veritas Prep stands ready to assist you in accomplishing that goal! From SAT and ACT tutoring to college admissions consulting, we are ready to be of help. Contact our team today to learn more about our services designed to assist ambitious students like you!

Do you need more help navigating the college admissions process? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

How Late is Too Late? Late College Applications and Admission

Six WeeksMost high school seniors who want to apply to college start the process around September or October. If they want their application considered for early decision, they start the process even sooner.

The deadline for regular-decision college applications usually falls from January to mid-February. But what if a student misses the regular-decision deadline? Take a look at some considerations for students who want to submit a late college application as well as a few common reasons behind this decision:

Reasons Why Students Are Late in Submitting College Applications
Some high school students choose to direct all of their efforts toward improving their performance in second-semester courses. They want to present an impressive academic record to college officials. This sometimes causes them to miss regular application deadlines to colleges. As a result, they must submit a late college application to several schools.

Another reason why some students find themselves looking for colleges with late deadlines is because they were thinking about taking a gap year. Unfortunately, by the time they made the decision to start college, the regular application deadline had passed. Other students submit late applications to colleges because they focus all of their attention on gaining admission into one particular school. If they don’t get into that school, they must start applying late to other colleges.

Regardless of a student’s reasons, there are still options for those who miss the regular-decision deadline. At Veritas Prep, our online college admissions consultants are experts at guiding students through the process of applying to colleges. We provide them with transcript evaluations, tips on letters of recommendation, suggestions regarding extracurricular activities, and much more!

Submitting Applications to Colleges with Late Deadlines
One of the first things a student in this situation must do is find colleges that accept late applications. Fortunately, there are many late-admission colleges for students to choose from. Individuals who are submitting a late college application have to meet all of the same requirements as students who apply during the regular or early application periods. Students who need help with tuition costs must take note of the deadlines related to financial aid packages. In addition, students who are looking at late college application deadlines should inquire about the available student housing. Sometimes, all of the housing is taken by the time a student’s late application is accepted.

Rolling Admissions vs. Late Admissions
Some students have the impression that rolling admissions and late admissions are the same thing. This is not true. A college that participates in rolling admissions doesn’t have a concrete deadline for applications. They are accepted until every space in the freshman class is filled. Alternatively, late-admission colleges have a concrete deadline for students who apply after the regular-decision deadline has passed. A student who applies via rolling admissions is taking the risk that there will still be available spaces whenever their application arrives at the school.

How to Make a Late Application Stand Out to College Officials
An impressive admissions essay can help a student’s late application stand out from the crowd. At Veritas Prep, our professional consultants assist students with the prep work necessary to create an essay that is sure to be memorable to college officials. We give students writing strategies they can practice to make their essay all the more convincing.

Our consultants worked in the admissions offices of top colleges across the country. As a result, they know what college officials are looking for when reading a student’s essay. A student who participated in some special extracurricular activities during their second semester in high school can highlight those on a late application. A student who dedicates their time and energy to a few extracurricular activities is sure to be a standout in a crowd of late applicants.

Our staff at Veritas Prep has the experience and know-how to help students whether they are looking at late college application deadlines or regular-decision admissions. Students may want to try our College Chanculator to get an idea of their chances of getting into a specific college or university based on their qualifications. We have a variety of resources designed to make the college application process easier for students. Contact Veritas Prep and get started on the path to college today!

Do you need more help navigating the college admissions process? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

4 Things to NOT Do When Waiting On an MBA Admissions Decision

08fba0fOne of the most nerve-racking times for MBA applicants is not before they submit their applications, but rather, is while they are waiting to hear back from their dream schools after they have sent in their application components.

In fact, I firmly believe that more strange activity and anxiety manifests during the two months applicants spend waiting on their admissions decisions than during any other time of MBA application process. With this in mind, it is important to maintain your composure AND your sanity when handling your post-submission moves.

Let’s explore a few things to avoid while you are waiting to receive your MBA admissions decision:

1) Read Message Boards:
Online message boards and forums are often a good source of information from other like-minded individuals experiencing similar situations to yours during the application process. On the negative side, however, message boards can also encourage and exacerbate a fair amount of anxiety when it comes to waiting for your official admissions decision. Sometimes message boards become bastions for fear mongering and misinformation, and when coupled with the stress of the application process, this can manifest into some really irrational thoughts and behavior. I highly recommend avoiding these boards if possible while you are waiting on an admissions decision, especially around decision days when programs release their application decisions.

2) Unnecessarily Contact the Program:
MBA admissions committees evaluate all touchpoints they have with a candidate. So just because your application has been submitted does not mean the non-application evaluation period is over. Avoid the temptation to call into the admissions offices of the business schools you have applied to asking questions about decision timelines or other publicly-available information.

Keep in mind, MBA admissions officers receive tons of outreach from candidates all over the world, so although you think your question is unique and necessary, more than likely it is not. Use your discretion here when deciding whether to reach out or send additional information to schools, but keep in mind that a major part of being a good business person is judgment – make sure you use good judgement in deciding whether or not that outreach is truly necessary .

3) Slack Off at Work:
For many business school applicants, it is easy to slack off on day-to-day work activities during MBA application season and divert all of one’s energy to crafting the perfect application, but anything can happen once an MBA application is submitted. Once you send your application to your schools of choice, it is a great time to double down on tasks in the office. Also, if you are not admitted to your school of choice, you may need to stay at your company longer than expected, in which case, you will want to continue to position yourself for success in your current role (especially if you plan to reapply to business school in future application cycles).

4) Get Into Trouble:
This probably goes without saying, but keep yourself out of trouble while you are waiting for you MBA admissions decision to arrive. Post-application-submission is not the time to completely let loose. Keep your social media account clear (and private) and avoid any other problematic activity – it would be a shame to lose an admission to your dream school based on poor post-submission behavior.

Remember, maintain your composure and positive behavior during that dreaded post-submission waiting period to avoid compromising a potential admission.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

The New SAT vs. the ACT: A Simple Test Comparison

Law School Images“Are ‘SAT’ and ‘ACT’ the same thing?” If you’ve been thinking about this question, you’re not alone. Many high school students are curious about the similarities between these two tests and how different they really are.

A quick SAT-to-ACT comparison can help you to decide whether to take the new SAT, the ACT, or both.

Scoring
The scoring scales for the ACT versus new SAT are very different. The highest score you can earn on the ACT is a 36. There are four sections on the ACT, and you receive a raw score for each section, which is changed into a scaled score ranging from one to 36. Your final score is the average of your four scaled scores. On the other hand, the highest score you can achieve on the new SAT is 1600. You receive a subscore for each section of the new SAT, and your final score is the sum of your subscores.

Math Questions
When making an SAT-to-ACT comparison, you’ll find that both tests include questions on advanced math concepts such as geometry and trigonometry as well as algebra. Of course, knowledge of arithmetic is necessary on both tests. One difference between the two Math sections is that you’re given 60 minutes to complete 60 questions on the ACT and 80 minutes to complete 58 questions on the new SAT. You’re also allowed to use a calculator throughout the Math section on the ACT, but your calculator use is limited on the new SAT.

Science Questions
One major difference in the new SAT versus ACT test is that there’s no specific Science section on the new SAT. However, some of the skills you use in science class are tested in other sections on the new SAT. For instance, in the Math section you’re often asked to analyze the information given on a chart or graph, and the Reading section contains passages that cover science-related topics. The ACT does have a section of Science questions – earth science, chemistry, and biology are among the sciences found on the ACT. You must answer a total of 40 questions in 35 minutes in the Science section of the ACT.

Reading Questions
When making an SAT-vs.-ACT comparison, you’ll see that the Reading sections on both tests share a lot of similarities. The Reading sections on both exams feature several passages accompanied by questions. The SAT has five passages, while the ACT has four. In addition, the two tests share many of the same question types. For instance, they both have main idea, detail, vocabulary-in-context, and inference questions. In addition to those, the new SAT has data reasoning, technique, and evidence support questions. You’re given 35 minutes to finish 40 questions on the ACT and 65 minutes to finish 52 questions on the new SAT Reading section.

Writing and English Tests
There is a Writing & Language section on the new SAT that requires you to improve on phrases found within the given passages. There may be grammar or punctuation errors in the passage or problems with sentence structure. You’ll read the passage and select the better options for the underlined phrases.

The ACT has an English section with passages that also contain underlined phrases. Your task is to find a better alternative to the phrase or, in some cases, select the “no change” option. Once again, there may be grammar errors or problems with punctuation, sentence structure, or organization. You are given 45 minutes to finish 75 questions in the English section on the ACT and 35 minutes to complete 44 Writing & Language questions on the new SAT.

The Essay
When it comes to the essay on the ACT vs. new SAT, both tests make this section optional. For the new SAT Essay section, you’re required to analyze an argument and offer evidence as to why the author’s argument is valid or invalid. Alternatively, the ACT Essay section presents you with three different perspectives on a particular issue, and your job is to evaluate each of them. On both essays, your score depends on your ability to organize your thoughts, present evidence, and convey your ideas in a clear way.

Are “SAT” and “ACT” the same? In some ways, the answer is “yes,” but in many others, the answer is “no.” Regardless of which test you take, our professional instructors can help you practice for it. Look at our video tutorials and sign up for our in-person or online test prep courses today!

Want to learn more about how the SAT and ACT differ? Attend one of our upcoming free live online SAT vs. ACT workshops to determine which exam is right for you. And be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Sample GRE Questions

tutoringStudents planning to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) need to make sure they are ready when test day arrives. At Veritas Prep, we know that practice exams are valuable resources for students. Completing a set of GRE example questions serves many purposes. For one, answering GRE prep questions allows a student to see the topics that will appear on the GRE – test sample questions serve as a preview of the exam.

Today, students have the convenience of finding GRE practice questions online. Take a look at some examples:

The Verbal Reasoning Section
These GRE practice test questions include reading comprehension, sentence equivalence, and text completion question types. The reading comprehension portion of the test includes several written passages. Students answer various questions based on the information in a passage by choosing from a set of multiple choice answer options. After reading a lengthy passage, students may be asked about the theme of a passage or the intent of its author. Or, they may be asked about the implied meaning of a passage or the reasons behind a statement.

Alternatively, the sentence equivalence portion of the test asks students to choose two words that would correctly complete each sentence. For example:

Example 1: The artist known for her picturesque landscapes once commented that she ____ nature. 
A) idolizes
B) abhors
C) reveres
D) despises
E) detests
F) scorns
Answers: A, C

Example 2: A student who tries to cram for a biology final exam in one night will become _____ because it’s impossible to learn an entire course in so little time. 
A) exacerbated
B) inspired
C) exasperated
D) lethargic
E) complaisant
F) dispassionate
Answers: C, D

The text completion questions feature a passage consisting of four or five sentences. There may be one or several blank spaces in the passage. Students have a choice of three or more options for each blank. If a student is not sure about the definition of a word, sometimes looking at a word’s prefix can offer clues. Our professional instructors provide tips to students who need help on this or any other section of the GRE.

Example: The horse and rider emerged from the woods and cantered up a hillside ______ by the moon. The horse made a sharp turn sending the rider tumbling to the ground. The rider slowly stood up, cursing under his breath. He was ______ at his lack of talent as an equestrian.
A) ill-lighted:abhorred
B) illuminated:vexed
C) darkened:appalled
D) enlightened:humiliated
E) obscured:angered
Answer: B

Looking for GRE practice questions online can be helpful when reviewing for the analogy section. In this section, students choose the pair of words that is most similar to the pair of words in the example. One of the strategies we teach our students is to determine the relationship between the words in the example to arrive at the correct answer option. For instance:

Example: ASSAUGE : SORROW 
A) counsel : exacerbate
B) withhold : appreciation
C) companionship : loneliness
D) endear : criticize
E) console : aggravate
Answer: C

The Quantitative Section
There are a variety of math questions in this section of the GRE. Practice test questions may challenge a student’s algebra, geometry, arithmetic, or data analysis skills.

Example 1: Which of these numbers is the average of the first ten even numbers?
A) 9
B) 13
C) 11
D) 16
E) 15
2+4+6+8+10+12+14+16+18+20=110/10
Answer: C

Example 2: (12/3) x (8/4) =
A) 18
B) 10
C) 8
D) 12
E) 14
Answer: C

Example 3: If 8t + 5t +2t + 4t=114, then 5t + 3= 
A) 20
B) 33
C) 25
D) 32
E) 40
Answer: B

The Analytical Writing Section
This section requires students to write both an issue and an argument essay. Students receive a prompt for both essays. A sample prompt for the issue essay may ask students whether they agree or disagree with the idea of paying high school students for perfect attendance. Alternatively, a sample prompt for the argument essay may center on the argument of legalizing medical marijuana. Regardless of what side a student takes, he or she should create a well-organized essay and a convincing argument.

We are experts at helping students prepare for the GRE. Test sample questions are easier to manage when students partner with one of our online instructors. Email or call us to find out more about our prep classes for the GRE. Our helpful team at Veritas Prep gives students the tools to succeed on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Everything You Need to Know About GMAC’s New Common Letter of Recommendation

GoalsLetters of recommendation are the one key part of the MBA application process that most applicants have little to no control over. Of course you can influence the quality of your recommendation through your performance leading up to the ultimate request, but the actual delivery is totally out of your control.

What further complicates the recommendation process for many is the fact that applicants also have to deal with two, three and sometimes four recommenders for an application season, or even for a single application. For some the process can be simple, but for others it is more difficult, especially with recommendations often coming from busy senior management members.

The level of anxiety MBA candidates have over letters of recommendation is often through the roof! But fear not – the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) has heard your pleas. GMAC, better known as the organization that administers the GMAT exam, has recently introduced a Common Letter of Recommendation (LOR).

The main goal of this new initiative is to save recommenders and applicants time during application season. The Common LOR will offer recommenders a single recommendation form with a common set of questions. GMAC also offers an application system that houses these LOR responses for each participating school so each recommendation is in one central location, making updates or edits a breeze.

The Common LOR assessment grid is based on 16 leadership competencies which are grouped in five categories: Achievement, Influence, People, Personal Qualities, and Cognitive Abilities.  The form also includes three more qualitative and open-ended recommendation questions that are very similar to other independent LOR questions asked by MBA programs in the past. These questions are based on the applicant’s overall performance, comparative performance, and required development in an organization.

There are currently only a handful of schools that are part of the common LOR form, with some business schools (like Michigan Ross, Cornell Johnson, and Columbia) using the entire form, and other schools (such as Stanford, NYU Stern, Darden, and Berkeley Haas) using just the recommendation questions. GMAC is still trying to evangelize the Common LOR to the remaining MBA community, which will take some time as the form has not been available for long.

As more business schools begin to utilize the GMAC’s Common LOR form, make sure you stay abreast of the latest and greatest information, as this form can certainly save all those who are involved in the recommendation process tons of time.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

ACT Registration Checklist and Testing Dates

ChecklistCompleting the ACT registration process is the first step toward sitting down to take the test. Having a checklist of things to do can help you to organize the process.

Learn about the steps you need to take, as well as some important things to consider, before you sit down to register for the ACT.

Create a Student Account Online
ACT registration can be accomplished very easily by visiting their official website, ACT.org. After creating an account, it takes about 40 minutes to complete the registration forms. There is a test fee that you can pay with a credit card via a secure payment system. Also, you must upload a photo of yourself during ACT test registration. This photo is used for identification purposes and will be put onto the ticket that you’ll take with you to the testing center.

Special Accommodations for the Test
If you have a disability, it’s possible to get special accommodations for the ACT. For instance, if you’re visually impaired, you may be able to arrange for a magnifying device or a reader. During the registration process, you have the chance to express the need for special accommodations. After registration is complete, you will receive an email explaining how to request testing accommodations. You must then work with the officials at your school to secure accommodations for the ACT. You will have to submit proof of a disability along with other documentation. Your school must submit the actual request for accommodations to ACT testing officials.

The Writing Test
The writing test on the ACT is optional. During registration, you can specify whether you want to take it. If you change your mind later about taking the writing test, you can log onto the website and make this adjustment. Keep in mind that you must make the change before the late registration deadline connected with your test date. There is an additional fee for the writing test.

Choose a Test Date and Location
You’ll have the opportunity to choose a test date as well as a testing center located near you. On the website, there is a chart that displays upcoming test dates as well as corresponding ACT registration dates. The ACT registration dates are the deadlines for anyone who wants to take the test on a particular day. It’s possible to register for the test after the deadline passes, but the ACT charges a late fee for that service. The test center locator on the website makes it simple for you to find a location that is convenient. Your test date and location will be confirmed after you finish the ACT test registration process.

Arranging for the Delivery of Score Reports
As part of your testing fee, the ACT sends your score report to four colleges. You can specify these colleges during test registration. You have the option of sending your score report to more than four colleges, but there is a fee for each additional request.

Preparing for the Test
After going through the process of ACT registration, your next step is to prep for the test! That’s where we can help. At Veritas Prep, our talented instructors can provide you with tools that enable you to highlight your skills on the ACT. We’ll guide you through taking a practice ACT to reveal both your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the material on this test. In addition, we’ll pair you with an instructor who knows how to convey lessons with your learning style in mind. We’ll help you improve your test performance by giving you strategies to use on every section of the ACT.

When you sign up with Veritas Prep, you get to study with an instructor who scored in the 99th percentile on the test, so the study tips you receive are coming from someone who has taken and conquered the ACT! Our team is proud to provide quality ACT tutoring both online and in person. We use proven study resources in our classes so you know you’re getting practical information you can use on the test.

If you’re looking for the best in ACT prep, send us an email or give us a call today. Let Veritas Prep play a part in your victory on the ACT!

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

What Subjects Are on the GRE Exam?

SAT/ACTWhat subjects are on the GRE? Many students are aware of the standard Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, but may not know as much about the GRE subject tests. These tests reveal a student’s skills and knowledge in a specific subject. Here, you can discover more about the seven GRE subject tests offered to students who plan to apply to graduate school, as well as what subjects you can expect to find on each test.

Mathematics
About 50 percent of the mathematics test consists of calculus questions. The questions cover both integral and differential calculus. A student must be prepared to apply calculus concepts when completing this section. Students will also encounter basic, linear, and abstract algebra questions. They must understand systems of linear equations, characteristic polynomials, group theory, and number theory among other concepts. Other test topics include geometry, statistics, probability, and algorithms.

There are a total of 66 multiple-choice questions on this test. Students preparing for the mathematics test can benefit from the knowledge and experience of our professional instructors at Veritas Prep. In our online courses, we teach students effective test-taking strategies and tips that help them approach the GRE subject tests with confidence.

Physics
This test challenges a student’s understanding and application of the principles of physics. There are 100 multiple-choice questions on the physics test. A student’s prep work should include studying topics such as electromagnetism, classical mechanics, atomic physics, quantum mechanics, and special relativity. Knowledge of calculus, coordinate systems, partial differential equations, and vector algebra is also helpful when completing questions on the physics test.

Biology
Questions on cellular and molecular biology make up the first section of the biology test. Cell structure, cell function, genetics, DNA, and plant and animal viruses are all topics in this section. The second section on this test is all about organismal biology. Many of the questions concern animal and plant reproduction and development. Other questions relate to the instincts of animals and how plants and animals interact with their environment. There are also questions on fungi and its life cycle.

The third section on the biology test contains questions about ecology and evolution. Students are tested on behavioral ecology and ecosystems, as well as evolutionary processes. The instructors who teach our GRE subject test prep classes at Veritas Prep use high-quality resources to guide students as they study the various topics covered on the biology test.

Chemistry
The 130 questions on this test focus on a variety of chemistry skills. The test covers analytical, organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. Some physical chemistry questions focus on the three laws of thermodynamics. There are organic chemistry questions that test a student’s skills with organometallics and various functional groups. Questions on physical chemistry and organic chemistry make up the bulk of this test. Veritas Prep’s instructors help students practice for all of the topics on this challenging test.

Biochemistry
Questions on biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics are all a part of this subject test. Students use their problem-solving skills to answer many of the 170 questions on this test. They are presented with diagrams and experimental results and must choose the correct multiple-choice option based on the data they are given. Thermodynamics, kinetics, the cell cycle, chromosomes, and genome maintenance are some of the topics that students can expect to encounter on the biochemistry test.

English
The English test gives students an opportunity to display their knowledge of great works of literature. The 230 questions on this test challenge students to identify literary movements or may ask what time period a particular short story, novel, or poem belongs to. Some of the questions are factual while others are analytical. Students should be skilled at analyzing works of literature to identify genre or references made within a piece of writing. In addition, they should be knowledgeable about literary criticism.

Psychology
There are 205 multiple-choice questions on the psychology test. The questions are designed to test a student’s ability to analyze relationships, apply psychological principles and draw conclusions based on research data. Some of the topics found on the psychology test include memory, perception, behavioral neuroscience, abnormal psychology and the history of psychology.

Our helpful staff is glad to supply additional information to students who want to know what subjects are on the GRE. They are welcome to contact Veritas Prep regarding our GRE subject test prep courses. There are also helpful answers on our frequently asked questions page. We are proud to give students the tools they need to find success on these critical tests!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Online Biology Tutoring

i-have-no-idea-what-im-doing-science-dog1As a high school student, it’s likely that you will take several natural science courses before graduation. Biology is just one example of a natural science. Animals, plants, cells, genetics, and evolution are a few of the topics contained in the curriculum of most high school biology courses. If you’re taking an AP biology course, then you’re studying these topics and others in an in-depth way. Plus, you’re receiving your lessons at a faster pace than students taking typical biology classes.

Taking advantage of biology tutoring online can be helpful to any student tackling this challenging branch of science, especially those in an AP course. Tutoring can also help those who plan to take the AP Biology exam. Earning a high score on this exam may help you receive college credit and serves to impress college admissions officials. If this is your goal, studying with a biology tutor online could be a smart choice.

Choosing the Best Study Environment
When studying with an online biology tutor, you can decide where to learn your lessons. This is an ideal situation if you like to have more control over where and how you learn. You may want to study in your room at home so you’re completely at ease in the environment. Or maybe you focus better when you’re at the library – many libraries have private study rooms you can reserve for a specified amount of time. Learning in a relaxed environment can help you to maintain your focus throughout your biology tutoring session.

Preparing for Each Tutoring Session
It’s a good idea to do some prep work before getting your instruction online. Biology tutoring sessions are much more effective when you have a plan for what to discuss with your instructor. One tip is to prepare a list of questions you have about recent lessons in biology class. Your tutor can help to clear up confusing points and offer a different perspective on difficult topics.

Another tip is to have your homework assignments with you to ask for assistance with challenging problems. Your online biology tutor will likely be able to suggest a different approach to puzzling questions. Taking a fresh approach to these questions can sometimes make them a lot more manageable.

Setting Goals for Biology Class
You probably have some specific goals you want to achieve in your biology class. For instance, you may set a short-term goal of getting an A on your next paper or quiz. Also, you may have a long-term goal of earning a score of at least 95 percent on the final exam.

Working with a biology tutor online means you have someone to share your goals with. Once you tell your tutor your goals, you will be accountable to someone besides yourself. Your tutor can provide you with specific ways to achieve your goals as well as give you plenty of encouragement along the way. Partnering with a tutor can help you excel in your biology class and reach your goals.

Taking Advantage of Additional Study Resources
An experienced tutor can give you suggestions for books, magazines, articles, and other publications that can enhance your knowledge of biology. When you study with one of our biology tutors online, you will be studying with someone who mastered the subject, and the professional tutors at Veritas Prep can provide you with plenty of suggestions when it comes to informative reading materials that can boost your performance in biology. In addition, our tutors are able to share the ways they enhanced their own knowledge while becoming experts on the subject!

At Veritas Prep, we can assist you with achieving any of your objectives when it comes to the study of biology. If you are reviewing for the AP Biology exam, we have tutors who can practice with you until you feel confident about taking the test. We can provide you with proven strategies to use on the tests and quizzes you tackle in your high school biology class. And we are available to prep students for the SAT subject test in biology as well as the AP Biology exam. Call us today and give the talented instructors at Veritas Prep the opportunity to study with you as you master the subject of biology.

How to Turn Your Negative Thoughts Into MBA Success

MBA EssaysAre your doubts about business school and thoughts of impending failure creeping in? Well, the good news is that this can work in your favor, according to best-selling author and Wharton’s top rated teacher, Adam Grant. In his book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Grant shares one approach of those challenging the status quo: defensive pessimism.

The good news is that negative thoughts can be channeled positively. Feeling worried and imagining all the things that can go wrong with future plans can actually help you approach potential challenges with defensive pessimism.

In the case of your MBA applications, an effective way to use this anxiousness is by diligently covering all your bases – taking care to go through the list of tasks you need to accomplish and finding the right steps to take before officially submitting your application. Converting a realistic assessment of your candidacy into actionable plans can help turn your anxiety into motivation and focus.

In my nine years of working with clients who have diverse backgrounds and personalities, I have helped applicants who have varying levels of available time and effort to put into their business school applications. Time and again, those who made the most progress were the ones who could motivate themselves, reflect honestly, and take the following incremental steps towards their MBA goals:

Have Appropriate Fear
Professional sports coaches often talk about having “appropriate fear,” or the need for a team to respect their opponents and guard against complacency. Similarly, in the case of your own MBA applications, being conscious of timelines and honestly assessing how much time each application step takes will help keep you on track towards your end goal. This will  also allow you to you remain engaged with the tasks on hand, and not feel like you can magically finish them perfectly in one sitting.

Procrastinate Strategically
Another tip from Grant is to procrastinate strategically through actions such as taking a break in the middle of the brainstorming or writing process. I agree with this and have seen the benefits of clients first writing down initial ideas (even just bullet points) for their MBA application essays, and then letting their thoughts marinate while they take a break.

Coming back to an essay later on helps applicants reflect on what they have just written and better relate ideas with their underlying values and future goals, or even come up with better examples to use. The key is to take the break in the middle of the task (and not for too long) and to not use it as an excuse to delay getting started!

Welcome Criticism
Much of the stress from MBA applications comes from criticisms, whether from family, friends, or from your likely worst critic, yourself.

How you handle these criticisms will be the difference between defensive pessimism and harmful pessimism. You can let doubts about your worthiness as a candidate paralyze you, or be in total denial of critique regarding your profile and miss out on dealing with obvious blind spots. Alternatively, you can honestly appraise your perceived weaknesses and take the opportunity to address them with thoughtful reflections and powerful examples.

Use the steps above to help turn your business school worries into powerful motivation to keep you on track toward application success.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! And as always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Written by Edison Cu, a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for INSEAD. You can read more articles by him here

Common Traits of SAT Writing Prompts and How to Best Prepare

SAT WorryOn the optional SAT Essay section, you have 50 minutes to analyze the argument an author puts forth in a passage. The content of the given passage remains a secret until you see it on test day, but you do have an opportunity to learn about SAT Essay prompts as you prep for the test. Studying the elements of SAT writing prompts can help you lay the groundwork for a stellar essay.

Elements of the SAT Essay Prompt
All of the optional SAT Essay prompts adhere to the same basic template. First, the prompt instructs you to consider how the author of the passage uses evidence (examples or facts) to support their claims. Secondly, you’re asked to consider the author’s idea development as well as how they connect their claims with evidence. Third, you must consider the author’s use of elements such as their word choice to enhance their ideas. Though these are the basic elements of all SAT writing prompts, the passages vary from one exam to the next.

What to Expect in the Passage Given for the SAT Essay
The practice Essay prompts that are available reveal some of what to expect on the actual test. For example, one practice prompt may ask you to analyze a portion of a speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. on the injustice of the Vietnam War. Another may be a prompt connected to a passage from a book written by President Jimmy Carter, asking you to analyze his argument against the industrial development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Other passages available for students to use to practice their writing skills before taking the SAT are pieces written by contemporary authors such as Paul Bogard and Eliana Dockterman. But keep in mind that when responding to every SAT Essay prompt, the content of the passage is not as important as the quality of the author’s argument.

Preparing to Write Your Essay
The best way to prepare for the new SAT Essay is to practice writing essays with sample SAT writing prompts in mind. Also, get into the habit of jotting down notes as you read the passage. These notes can help you to include evidence that supports your analysis of the author’s argument.

Creating an outline before writing your practice essay is another effective way to prepare for this task. The typical outline features four parts: an introductory paragraph that includes your thesis sentence, a paragraph offering specific examples that support your thesis, a third paragraph covering details of how these examples support your thesis, and a concluding paragraph restating your thesis. Dedicating several minutes to creating an outline for your essay is worth your effort. If you happen to lose your train of thought while writing the actual essay, you can look at your outline to get back on track.

The Ingredients in a High-Scoring SAT Essay
In addition to studying the available SAT Essay prompts, it’s a smart idea to read several essays that received high scores. The new SAT Essay rubric reveals the specific features an essay must have in order to earn a high score. Write your essay using a practice prompt, then evaluate your piece using the rubric to get an idea of how you would have scored. By doing this, you can determine what needs to be put into and left out of your essay in order to earn a high score.

Want to practice with the best? The SAT instructors at Veritas Prep are experts at crafting high-scoring essays. We hire tutors who scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT, so you’ll have access to teachers who know tips and tricks to simplify the essay-writing process. We’ll critique your practice essays and provide you with strategies for crafting a solid analysis of the passage.

We also offer free tutorials to give you an idea of how we can help you prepare for the SAT Essay section as well as all other parts of the test. And when you sign up with Veritas Prep, you can take advantage of either online or in-person courses for your convenience. Give us a call and let our instructors give you the advantage on the new SAT Essay section!

Still need to take the SAT? Check out our variety of free SAT resources to help you study successfully. And be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

GMAT Sentence Correction: How to Tackle Inverted Sentence Structures

GMAC Jobs PollOne of the challenges test-takers encounter on Sentence Correction questions is the tendency of question writers to structure sentences in a way that departs from the way we typically write or speak. Take a simple example: “My books are on the table,” could also be written as “On the table are my books.” If you’re like me, you cringe a little bit with the second option – it sounds starchy and pretentious, but it’s a perfectly legitimate sentence, and an example of what’s called “inverted structure.”

In a standard structure, the subject will precede the verb. In an inverted structure, the subject comes after the verb. The tipoff for such a construction is typically a prepositional phrase – in this case, “on the table,” followed by a verb. It is important to recognize that the object of the prepositional phrase, “table,” cannot be the subject of the verb, “are,” so we know that the subject will come after the verb.

Let’s look at an example from an official GMAT question:

The Achaemenid empire of Persia reached the Indus Valley in the fifth century B.C., bringing the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and southern Indian alphabets.

(A) the Aramaic script with it, from which was derived both northern and
(B) the Aramaic script with it, and from which deriving both the northern and the
(C) with it the Aramaic script, from which derive both the northern and the
(D) with it the Aramaic script, from which derives both northern and
(E) with it the Aramaic script, and deriving from it both the northern and 

The first thing you might notice is the use of the relative pronoun “which.” We’d like for “which” to be as close to as possible to its referent. So what do we think the alphabets were derived from? From the Aramaic script.

Notice that in options A and B, the closes referent to “which” is “it.” There are two problems here. One, it would be confusing for one pronoun, “which,” to have another pronoun, “it,” as its antecedent. Moreover, “it” here seems to refer to the Achaemenid Empire. Do we think that the alphabets derived from the empire? Nope. Eliminate A and B. Though E eliminates the “which,” this option also seems to indicate that the alphabets derived from the empire, so E is out as well.

We’re now down to C and D. Notice that our first decision point is to choose between “from which derive” and “from which derives.” This is an instance of inverted sentence structure. We have the prepositional phrase “from which,” followed immediately by a verb “derive or “derives.” Thus, we know that the subject for this verb is going to come later in the sentence, in this case, the northern and southern alphabets.  If we were to rearrange the sentences so that they had a more conventional structure, our choice would be between the following options:

C) Both the northern and the southern Indian alphabets derive from [the empire.]

or

D) Both northern and southern Indian alphabets derives from [the empire.]

Because “alphabets” is plural, we want to pair this subject with the plural verb, “derive.” Therefore, the correct answer is C.

Takeaway: anytime we see the construction “prepositional phrase + verb,” we are very likely looking at a sentence with an inverted sentence structure. In these cases, make sure to look for the subject of the sentence after the verb, rather than before.

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

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

3 Things to Avoid When Applying to Business School as a Consultant

MBA AdmissionsOne of the biggest industry feeders to top MBA programs, year in and year out, is consulting. Consultants often come to business schools with an impressive list of client experiences, analytical skills, and business presence.

Now, given the surplus of candidates applying from this applicant pool, application season can be very competitive. This competitiveness makes it even more important for consultants to avoid the following issues when applying to MBA programs:

1) They Have No Clear Need for an MBA
A career in consulting presents many opportunities to develop a myriad of skills. Consultants are regularly poached to work with some of the top companies in the world, as well. The challenge sometimes for consultants applying to business school then is properly communicating why they actually need an MBA.

This may come across as a little odd, given that one would assume if you are applying to business school you should have this detail mapped out, but sometimes a candidate’s rationale can seem muddled in their application. In a weird way, business schools want to feel like they are needed by the applicant, and if there is not a clear opportunity to add value to a person’s life post-MBA, that can be problematic for a candidate applying from such a competitive applicant pool.

2) Using Too Much “We” and Not Enough “I”
One of the great advantages of working in consulting is the teamwork-oriented work culture the industry is known for. As MBA programs move increasingly towards a more collaborative approach to learning, the ability to work with others becomes more and more valued. However, given their predominantly team-based work, many consultants struggle to communicate their individual contributions to the greater good of a company. As such, resumes and essays often read as too much “we” and not enough “I,” thus making it difficult for the Admissions Committee to discern the true impact the individual applicant has had during their career.

3) Minimizing Accomplishments
Consultants can drive huge impact for clients and their firms on almost every project they work on. This exposure to top companies and major projects on a consistent basis can sometimes make it difficult for consultants to properly contextualize the impact of their work. Avoid minimizing your accomplishments by focusing on your own individual contributions, not just through quantitative numbers but also through qualitative experiences. Focus on highlighting your most impactful moments while contributing a holistic view of your work to best inform the Admissions Committee of your accomplishments.

Follow the tips above to avoid wasting all of the great experience you have developed as a consultant when applying to business school.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

How to Prepare and Practice for the GRE Verbal Reasoning Section

stressed-studentThe Verbal Reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) challenges a student’s reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sentence completion skills. Our talented instructors at Veritas Prep teach students how to prepare for GRE Verbal Reasoning questions. There are several practical strategies available to students that can help them conquer even the most difficult questions in this section.

Check out some valuable tips that students may use to prep for the Verbal Reasoning questions on the GRE:

Complete One or More Practice Exams
Taking a practice test is an important step in preparing for the GRE. Verbal Reasoning practice questions give students a sneak preview of what to expect on the test. Furthermore, students can look at the results of a practice test to determine which skills they need to work on.

Some students may do well on the reading comprehension questions, but need a little help with questions that involve analogies. Other students may experience success with questions that involve antonyms and synonyms, but have trouble with questions that ask them to identify the main point of a written passage. Our Veritas Prep professional instructors are able to provide students with techniques on how to improve specific skills tested in the Verbal Reasoning section.

Put Tips and Strategies Into Practice
After working with a Veritas Prep instructor for a time, it’s a good idea for students to take another practice test. This helps them get into the habit of using our strategies on the GRE. Verbal practice questions are much easier to handle when a student employs our strategies.

One example of an easy test-taking strategy is to look at the question, as well as all of the answer options before reading a passage. Skimming the question and the answer options gives a student an idea of what to look for in the passage. Perhaps the question concerns the main idea of the passage or asks a student to notice something about its supporting details. Our instructors are experts at providing strategies that help students pinpoint the most important parts of a passage.

Another simple strategy can be used on sentence completion questions in the GRE Verbal section – look through all of the answer options and eliminate choices that are obviously incorrect. In addition, it’s helpful to plug each answer option into the sentence and read it to see if it makes sense. Students who want to take advantage of these and other strategies for the GRE are encouraged to contact our offices to sign up for a prep course today.

Read Magazines and Newspapers
Reading magazines and newspapers is another way for students to prepare for the GRE. Verbal practice questions require a student to be familiar with a lot of vocabulary words. A student who reads magazine and newspaper articles is likely to encounter some of the same vocabulary words that appear on the GRE. Art, science and news magazines are ideal choices for students who want to see these vocabulary words in context. Seeing unfamiliar vocabulary words used in context is an effective way of retaining a word as well as its definition.

Students who study online with Veritas Prep are giving themselves an extra advantage on the GRE. Verbal prep exercises can help them to feel less anxious about the test. Our team uses effective study resources to help students thoroughly prepare for the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE.

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Your ACT Is Done: Now What? How and When ACT Scores Are Available

Letter of Recommendation“Are ACT scores out yet?” “Are ACT scores posted online?” These are just two of the many questions that you and other high school students may have after taking the ACT. Naturally, most students want to know when ACT scores are available as well as how to send them to their preferred colleges. We can help you get the answers to these pertinent queries and others relating to ACT score reports.

How to Get Your Scores
Are ACT scores posted online? The answer is yes! In order to register for the test, you had to create a student account at the official website, ACT.org. This same account gives you access to your test scores. In addition to online access, you will get a score report in the form of a PDF via your student account. Remember that those who have taken the ACT view scores through their secure online account – the ACT doesn’t deliver scores via email, fax, chat, or telephone.

When Will My ACT Scores Be Available?
Normally, your composite score for the multiple-choice sections of the test can be viewed within two weeks after your test date. After getting your composite score, it takes approximately two more weeks to get your writing score. When ACT test results for the writing portion of the test are available, you’ll be notified via your online account. Keep in mind that the ACT’s official time frame for releasing a student’s scores is between two and eight weeks, so if your scores aren’t available within two weeks after the test, try checking back in another week or two.

What Can Delay the Arrival of My ACT Scores?
These are the basics on when ACT scores are available, but there are some circumstances that can delay the arrival of your scores. For example, a rescheduled testing date may mean that your scores are made available later than expected. Inaccuracies on your test forms can also cause a delay in the arrival of your scores. That’s why it’s so important to fill out the test forms completely and as instructed. Of course, you can contact those who administer the ACT via their website if you have any questions.

Sending Scores to Colleges
The most important people who will see your ACT scores are admissions officers, so you’ll want to make sure that your preferred colleges get them as well. During the test registration process, you can arrange for your test scores to be sent to four colleges. Make sure that you enter the correct college codes as you move through the process so there won’t be any delays in the delivery of your score reports.

Retaking the ACT
If you decide you want to retake the ACT, you’re allowed to do so as many times as you want. But before signing up to take the test again, make sure that you have a good reason to think that you’ll do better the second time. For example, perhaps you were sick on test day and felt that your illness affected your performance. Or maybe you felt unprepared for a particular section of the test and you want to review some things before giving the test another try. As far as ACT scores are concerned, colleges only consider your highest score on the test, so it can’t hurt to study up and try again.

Starting Off on the Right Foot
Whether you plan to retake the ACT or you’re taking it for the first time, our instructors are here to help! We give you strategies you can use on all sections of the test, including the essay. We guide you in taking a practice ACT, then review the results with you. This is an effective way to focus your efforts on the subjects that need the most work. You’ll be paired with a Veritas Prep instructor who is familiar with your learning style, making each of your tutoring sessions all the more productive. We use professional study materials and resources in our online and in-person courses. When you study with us, you receive the tools you need to master the ACT on test day.

If you want to know more about the study program at Veritas Prep, check out our ACT trial class. You’ll learn about the subtleties of the ACT and get valuable tips from an experienced instructor. And be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

Know Before You Go: What to Expect When You Go to a College Admissions Interview

InterviewFor some students, attending a college admissions interview is part of the process of getting into a school. An admissions interview gives college officials the chance to learn about the goals and qualifications of a student. In turn, it gives a student the opportunity to express their great interest in studying at that particular school. Not surprisingly, students can expect to answer lots of questions during this meeting. That’s why it’s a good idea for them to study practice questions for college interview day.

Though no two interviews are exactly alike, there are some questions that are commonly asked by college officials. Students may want to take note of this collection of typical school interview questions so they can prepare to offer sincere, intelligent answers:

A Student’s Choice
“Why do you want to attend our school?” This is one of the most common admissions interview questions. A student should be as specific as possible when answering this question. For instance, a student who plans to study business may point out that the school has solid relationships with several companies that offer internships to students. Perhaps this student wants to work as an intern for one of those companies. Another student might express the desire to learn from a world-renowned biology professor who teaches at the college.

Students would be wise to go online and visit colleges’ websites to find out more particulars about the schools prior to visiting them. Information on a school’s website can help students answer any number of good college interview questions.

Our admissions consultants at Veritas Prep are available to help students in a variety of ways as they move toward acceptance into college. Our consultants have practical experience with the admissions process and know what college officials are looking for in a potential student. We review college applications and suggest changes that focus the spotlight on a student’s talents and achievements.

Personality Questions
An individual can learn a lot about a student by asking personality-related interview questions. College officials may ask about a student’s strengths and weaknesses. When answering this question, a student should place the focus on their strengths. It’s also a good idea for a student to offer examples of how they are trying to improve in weaker areas. For instance, a student may say that they have some challenges delegating tasks as the leader of a team project for school. The student could add that they are taking a course on leadership and reading a few specific books written by successful leaders to learn some helpful strategies.

Interviewers may also ask students to choose adjectives that are self-descriptive. Students should be honest when selecting these adjectives. Remember that an ambitious student can be confident without sounding arrogant.

Questions About a Future Career
Many school interview questions have to do with a student’s plans after graduation. Officials want to know how a student will use their college education in a future career. As an example, a student who plans to study art history may use the knowledge learned in college courses to prepare for a career as the curator of an art museum. Another student may explain that earning a marketing degree will prepare them to start their own retail clothing business. Once again, a student must be as specific as possible in answering questions about a future career.

A Student’s Questions
After answering a lot of good college interview questions, students often get the chance to ask some of their own. Students can prep for this portion of the interview before the meeting by coming up with a few questions about the school. They may want to ask about the various resources available in the library for individuals studying a particular subject. Students sometimes ask about the services offered by the school’s career resource center. Lots of students inquire about opportunities to study abroad for a semester.

Interviewees should ask about two or three things that aren’t covered on the school’s website. Students who ask thoughtful questions are likely to be remembered by college officials as the admissions process moves on.

Students who’d like the assistance of a professional Veritas Prep consultant when applying for college can contact us via email or phone. Our knowledgeable consultants offer tips and advice to students so they can make the best possible impression on college admissions officials.

Do you need more help navigating the college admissions process? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

What is an Average GRE Score?

GMATIndividuals who want to take the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, must do a lot of prep work. Most students have many questions about the test, among them: What is the average GRE score? They want to know so they have an idea of the scores other students around the country receive. Take a look at some average GRE scores, and learn how our talented team at Veritas Prep helps students to highlight their academic skills on this test.

What Is the Average GRE Score?
Before looking at the average scores on the revised GRE, it’s helpful to know the scoring range for each section of the test. A student can receive a score of anywhere between 130 and 170 on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative sections. On the Analytical Writing section, students can score from 0 to 6 points, in half point increments. On the GRE, average scores are as follows: 150.2 points for the Verbal Reasoning section, 152.5 points for the Quantitative section, and 3.5 points for the Analytical Writing section.

Most schools display the average test scores of their applicants on their official websites. Students who visit the website of a particular school to read its admission guidelines can often find out the average GRE scores of students who gain acceptance into the institution. This is a good way for a student to find out what he or she needs to achieve on the GRE in order to make it into a particular graduate school.

Growing Stronger in Every Subject on the GRE
Taking a practice test is one of the most effective ways of finding a student’s strengths and weaknesses on the GRE. With the help of his or her instructor, a student is able to pinpoint skills that need improvement. This prevents a student from devoting too much study time to skills that he or she already knows.

Once a student realizes what needs improvement, he or she can receive guidance from a Veritas Prep instructor regarding how to sharpen those skills. In many cases, our instructors provide students with a whole new way to approach a reading question or a math equation. Not surprisingly, many students continue to practice the skills they learn at Veritas Prep all of the way through graduate school! Once students begin to strengthen specific skills for the GRE, they gain a new sense of confidence and a more positive attitude toward the test.

Strategies and Tips for the GRE
We understand that most students want to excel on the GRE. Average scores are seen as a baseline by ambitious students who want their graduate school application to stand out in a crowd. The strategies our instructors share with students help them to complete the test in the most efficient way possible.

For instance, we teach students how to filter out the most significant parts of a written passage so they can determine the correct answer option. We also offer students strategies that assist them in simplifying complicated math equations. We guide students in learning how to jot down an outline that includes elements that will help them to create two organized essays for the test. Our professional instructors are very familiar with the GRE, so they are able to convey tips to students based on their own test-taking experiences.

The Night Before the Test
Veritas Prep students benefit in a number of different ways from our GRE prep courses as well as our first-rate study resources. But, there are additional things they can do to feel ready for the test. For instance, the evening before the test students can be sure to eat a nutritious dinner with plenty of protein as well as fruits and vegetables. A healthy meal the night before the test can set the stage for a successful test day. Also, students are wise to get to bed early so they feel well-rested the next day. Trying to cram information the night before the GRE is non-productive and adds to a student’s stress level.

Students can contact our staff by telephone or email to find out more about our GRE prep services. We are glad to offer more information about our online or in-person courses. At Veritas Prep, we want all of our students to perform at their very best on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How Long Should Your Harvard Application Essay Be?

Harvard Business SchoolHarvard Business School has really gone out of its way to present itself in opposition to the stodgy, elitist image it tends to hold in the MBA world. Through the use of its blog and a more simplified application and essay format, HBS has taken a much more casual approach to letting candidates tell their story during this year’s application season.

This approach has primarily manifested itself through the school’s choice to only offer one essay prompt in their application. As opposed to other MBA programs that require applicants to write two, three, and sometimes even four essays, Harvard’s sole essay requirement puts a lot of pressure on applicants to make the most of the limited word count they are given in this one chance to impress the Admissions Committee.

But wait, what word count? The last few years, Harvard has also done away with adding a word count to their essays, putting the decision of length for the school’s only essay in the hands of the applicant. I know this is HBS, and like most applicants you will probably want to share as much of your story in this essay as possible to convince the school of your merits, but this essay is more about how you can effectively communicate a response to an open-ended question in a concise and compelling fashion than it is about cramming every detail of your professional and personal life into one essay.

The best way to do this is to answer the question asked and only the question asked. Harvard is looking to get a response to the question they have asked for a reason – if they wanted additional information from you, they would have asked or will ask in other stages of the application process (through the application form, interview, etc.). As such, you’ll want to keep your response to this essay short.

Avoid responses that stray above 1,000 words and settle into the 500-750 word range, instead. An essay that is 1,000 or more words is almost a whopping 15-minutes when read aloud! Keep in mind the school’s guidance: “don’t overthink, overcraft, and overwrite.” This is literally the approach you should take here. HBS receives almost 9,000 applications every year – that is a lot of reading, so the further you stray over 1,000 words, the more of a disadvantage you put yourself at.

If you are struggling keeping your essay concise, make sure you are avoiding answering traditional MBA essay topics that are not actually being asked in the prompt. Often applicants get nervous if they do not have the opportunity to formally communicate common business school information like “Why HBS?” or “Why MBA?”. Avoid this temptation and respond to the prompt in a concise, authentic, and compelling fashion to give yourself the best chance of success in crafting your Harvard application essay.

For more tips on applying to Harvard Business School, check out our Essential Guide to Top Business Schools.

Applying to Harvard or other business schools? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

Pre-Calculus Tutoring for High School Students

stressed-studentThe study of pre-calculus introduces high school students to a variety of topics, including functions, sequences, series, and more. If you’re a student taking a pre-calculus course, it’s likely that you’ll move on to a more challenging level of calculus with each passing year. You may even continue to take these classes right through college. Pre-calculus tutoring can prove very helpful as you go about learning the fundamentals of this type of math.

Review some specific ways you can benefit from studying with a pre-calculus tutor to discover why it could be right for you:

Build a Solid Foundation
When it comes to this type of math, pre-calculus tutors can help you to build a solid foundation of understanding. For instance, you and your tutor can discuss daily lessons from your high school class to make sure you understand all of the concepts. You have the chance to ask your tutor questions about chapters in the textbook, tricky topics, and specific exercises. The answers you receive may make a puzzling lesson easier to understand. When you study with a pre-calculus tutor, you are establishing a strong foundation of understanding that you will need for success as you progress in the study of calculus.

Get Help With Homework Assignments
It’s not unusual for high school students who are taking pre-calculus to have difficulty completing all of the problems in a homework assignment. Fortunately, if you’re working with a tutor, you have someone you can partner with to solve challenging problems contained in your homework. Furthermore, your tutor can practice various types of pre-calculus problems with you to ensure that you understand the concept behind each problem. It’s important that you understand the lessons as well as the homework assignments given to you in your pre-calculus class. Each lesson conveyed by your teacher builds on skills you learned in previous lessons.

Approach Exercises in an Effective Way
Another excellent benefit of pre-calculus tutoring is that you are able to learn what you need to know in the most effective way for you. Experienced pre-calculus tutors understand the importance of conducting a tutoring session in a student’s own learning style. Your Veritas Prep pre-calculus tutor will take the time to become familiar with your learning style, so when you need an explanation of a difficult concept or you encounter an especially challenging problem, your tutor will know the most effective approach to take with you. When lessons are delivered to you in your learning style, it adds value to all of your tutoring sessions.

Learn What to Expect in AP Calculus
You may be working your way through a pre-calculus class with plans to take an AP calculus course later on in high school. This makes it all the more critical that you fully understand the material in your pre-calculus class. A professional tutor can help you to gain that level of understanding of the subject. In addition, you may want to take the AP Calculus AB or BC exam at a future date, and a tutor can help you reach and succeed at that goal. Achieving a high score on an AP exam can impress college officials who are looking for motivated students. Also, in some cases, a high AP exam score can earn you college credit, leaving room in your schedule for other interesting courses.

Study With an Experienced Instructor
At Veritas Prep, our capable tutors are our most valuable resources. We can help you do your best work in your high school pre-calculus class or prep you for the AP Calculus AB or BC exam. We hire tutors who have mastered the subjects they teach, so you know you’ll be working with a pre-calculus tutor who has navigated their way through the subject of calculus from the bottom up! Having confidence in your tutor is another factor that lends to the effectiveness of your sessions.

We have an appealing selection of tutoring options available to you at Veritas Prep. Choose the option with the amount of instructional hours that will help your achieve your goals for pre-calculus and calculus, and choose your setting, too, since we offer both online and in-person tutoring services. Contact us via email or phone today to start studying pre-calculus with the experts.

Do you need more help preparing for college? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

The International Learning Opportunities Available to You in Business School

Passport Number 2Business schools have placed an increasing emphasis on global training to prepare students for the international nature of business today. To do this, schools have implemented a diverse set of programs aimed at the global business landscape. Let’s explore a few different program options currently available for students interested in cultivating a deeper understanding of international business:

Study Abroad
One of the best ways to immerse oneself in an international market is to study abroad. Taking part in a study abroad program will not only allow you spend some time in an international market to better understand its customs and business culture, but it will also allow you to study business more in a more formal setting. In addition, the networking opportunities available via study abroad programs can help students cultivate a strong international network of like-minded business professionals.

International Immersion Programs
The second-best option to studying abroad is engaging in an international-themed business immersion, such as a global lab program. These programs offer tailored training on specific topical areas, and often in collaboration with a specific business in-country. They also often include an in-country component where students actually spend time in the country they are studying solving a specific business problem or learning more about the region through company visits, alumni chats, and government briefings.

Language Study
Another great way to prepare for a career in international business is to learn or refine your skills in a foreign language. Many programs now offer training in a foreign language, either through a sponsoring undergrad program or an external company like Berlitz. For students interested in studying abroad, language study can be a natural precursor to this. For many international, post-MBA roles, a competency in a foreign language can be a requirement, so spending time developing this skill can be very advantageous for the recruiting process.

International Classes
In recent years, business schools have done a great job increasing the amount of coursework they offer (and sometimes even require) around international business. These classes can provide some nice academic training and knowledge in key functional areas like international marketing, international finance, and global markets. Taking international courses during your time at business school can help prepare you for a career working abroad or in international-themed roles at a global company.

Business schools offer a wealth of international learning opportunities – make the most of your two years pursuing your MBA by preparing for a changing global marketplace.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

3 Common Mistakes MBA Applicants Make Choosing Essay Topics

Law School Applicant SurveyOne of the most undervalued steps in the business school essay-writing process is to make sure it the essay ties in with each component of the MBA application – the essays, CV, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GMAT scores. In the process and stress of making the major life decision of attending business school, many applicants often anchor their essays by one of the common factors below, and thus, lose out on presenting a stronger overall profile.

Let’s examine these mistakes one by one:

Professional Domain
A candidate’s pre-MBA industry, company, and job function are all important, so it is understandable that these may become top of mind when brainstorming for examples and highlights to include in your essay. When it comes to the MBA essay, however, it is always best to consider mixing in different elements of your life experiences – ones that would help complement your resume and not just elaborate on what the reader will already glean from it.

Extracurricular activities, especially those that are not related to your profession, help show a multidimensional personality, so it would be wise to discuss the ones you are involved with in your essays. For instance, an accomplished banker with excellent academics may be better off sharing leadership experiences with his mountain hiking group rather than detailing how he was able to do well in the CFA exams. In this case, valuable space in the essays can be better used to show additional dimensions to the applicant’s profile.

Most Performed Activity
Another common error, especially when creating your resume and even preparing for your interview, is to focus on the activities you perform most frequently. As critical as operational and maintenance tasks are, it would be better to play up more attention-grabbing tasks. For example, it would be better to showcase how you led the financial review for your company’s new distribution model or new product lines than to describe the regular payroll disbursements you assist with.

In short, when asked to describe what you do, it is not always best to prioritize your activities by the number of hours you spend on them. Instead, choose the ones that would be the most exciting to discuss, and the ones that will highlight more of your strengths.

Technical Accomplishments
Applicants from technical fields typically want to share their most technically challenging work. Sharing complexity does demonstrate deep expertise, and that your company trusts you to take on tremendous responsibilities, however you must also consider if there are better examples that would better showcase your experiences with collaboration and leadership.

Remember, the MBA is geared towards developing your ability to work with people, whether it is through motivating teams of people, mentoring individuals, or managing challenging relationships. Thus, details on your technical accomplishments should be shared in a way that is understandable to non-industry readers. Details on these more technical achievements should be descriptive enough to show impact and expertise, but concise enough that you still have room to display the key transferable skills you learned from this accomplishment, such as leadership and teamwork.

Following the tips above should help you decide how to use the limited space in your MBA application package and present a complete picture of your unique personality.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! And as always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Written by Edison Cu, a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for INSEAD. You can read more articles by him here

Investing in Success: The Best In-Person or Online GMAT Tutors Can Make a Difference

ProfessorMaking sure that you’re ready to take the GMAT requires study, time, and effort. Earning a high score on the GMAT can help to impress admissions officials at preferred business schools. One way to make the studying process easier is to work with a private GMAT tutor. A tutor can help you prep for the test in a variety of ways. Naturally, you want to find the tutor who can be the most help to you. Discover some of the qualities to look for when there’s a GMAT tutor needed to complete your study plan.

Knowledge of All Aspects of the GMAT
The best private GMAT tutor has more than just general advice regarding the GMAT. The person has thorough knowledge of the exam and its contents. There are several parts to the GMAT, including the Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. A qualified tutor will have plenty of tips to share that can help you to navigate all of the sections on the GMAT.
Plus, an experienced tutor will be able to evaluate the results of your practice GMAT to determine where you need to focus most of your study efforts. This puts the element of efficiency into your test prep.

The GMAT instructors at Veritas Prep achieved scores on the exam that placed them in the 99th percentile, so if you work with a Veritas Prep tutor, you know you’re studying with someone who has practical experience with the exam. Our tutors are experts at describing the subtle points of the GMAT to their students.

Access to Quality Study Resources
If you want to thoroughly prepare for the GMAT, you must use quality study materials. At Veritas Prep, we have a GMAT curriculum that guides you through each section of the test. Your instructor will show you the types of questions on the test and reveal proven strategies you can use to answer them correctly. Of course, our curriculum teaches you the facts you need to know for the test. But just as importantly, we show you how to apply those facts to the questions on the exam. We do this in an effort to help you think like a business executive as you complete the GMAT. Private tutoring services from Veritas Prep give you the tools you need to perform your best on the exam.

Selecting Your Method of Learning
The best GMAT tutors can offer you several options when it comes to preparing for the exam. Perhaps you work full-time as a business professional. You want to prepare for the GMAT but don’t have the time to attend traditional courses. In that case, you should search for an online GMAT tutor. As a result, you can prep for the GMAT without disrupting your busy work schedule. At Veritas Prep, we provide you with the option of online tutoring as well as in-person classes. We recognize that flexibility is important when it comes to preparing for the GMAT, and we want you to get the instruction you need to earn a high score on this important test.

An Encouraging Instructor
Naturally, when you take advantage of GMAT private tutoring services, you will learn information you need to know for the test. But a tutor should also take the time to encourage you as you progress in your studies. It’s likely that you’ll face some stumbling blocks as you prepare for the different sections of the GMAT. A good instructor must be ready with encouraging words when you’re trying to master difficult skills.

Encouraging words from a tutor can give you the push you need to conquer especially puzzling questions on the test. The understanding tutors at Veritas Prep have been through preparation for the GMAT as well as the actual test, so we understand the tremendous effort it takes to master all of its sections.

If you want to partner with the best GMAT tutor as you prep for the test, we have you covered at Veritas Prep! When you sign up to study for the GMAT with Veritas Prep, you are investing in your own success. Give us a call or write us an email today to let us know when you want to start gearing up for excellence on the GMAT!

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

3 Things to Avoid When Crafting a Thank You Note

writing essayKnowing how to write a great thank you note will really come in handy during your business school journey – you’ll send them to recommenders to thank them for writing your letters of recommendation, to school representatives you encounter during campus visits, and to company representatives you meet during corporate presentations while at school. There are definitely some things you should avoid doing, however, when crafting these notes.

(Before diving into what not to do, be sure to take a look at Part 1 of this lesson: 3 Ways to Write a Successful Thank You Note.)

Do not copy and paste thank you emails and send them to multiple people. This should be a given, but unfortunately, I don’t think it is. When you copy and paste, the format of your email sometimes gets messed up, but you won’t realize it. Only the reader will notice, and it just looks tacky if the only thing you changed is the recipient’s name. This also goes back to authenticity – it’s hard to create an authentic email if you end up sending the same message to multiple people.

Do not add people on LinkedIn. This is especially true for admissions officers (and corporate recruiters once you start interviewing for internships and jobs). Admissions officers do not want to be connected to thousands of prospective students who they may or may not remember, and who may or may not end up at their school. If you have a really great conversation with an alumnus or a current student, feel free to ask them in person if it is alright to add them on LinkedIn. Chances are they will say yes, but they will appreciate the gesture before you just go home, find them on the internet, and add them into your network because you think they have something to offer you.

Do not freak out if they don’t respond to you. The people you are meeting are incredibly busy. Put yourself in their shoes – if you met them on the road, it is very likely that they have other events and cities that they are traveling to before going home to get back to their work and catch up on everything that happened since they left.

Next time you go to a recruiting event, keep in mind the conversations you are having and make sure to follow these tips as you write those thank you emails. Good luck in the admissions process!

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Colleen Hill is a Veritas Prep consultant for the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. You can read more articles by her here

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Practice: Sample Questions and Prep Tips

QuestioningOn one section of the GMAT, you’ll encounter Integrated Reasoning questions. These questions test your ability to solve problems using several forms of data. Though you’ve found plenty of advice on studying for the GMAT, you may feel a little concerned about these particular questions. Consider some information about the nature of these questions, then learn how to prep for them with our help.

Take a Timed Practice Test
One way you can get GMAT Integrated Reasoning practice is to take a timed practice test. When you take the entire test or a set of GMAT Integrated Reasoning practice questions, you get an idea of what to expect on test day. More importantly, your results will reveal which skills need improvement.

Timing yourself is an important factor when taking a practice test. You get just 30 minutes to complete the 12 Integrated Reasoning questions on the GMAT. Establishing a reasonable testing pace can lower your stress level and help you to finish all of the questions in the allotted time. At Veritas Prep, we have a free GMAT test that you can take advantage of for this purpose.

Get Into the Mindset of a Business Executive
Taking the GMAT is one of the steps necessary on your path to business school, so it makes perfect sense that the GMAT gauges your skills in business. One of the best prep tips you can follow is to complete all GMAT Integrated Reasoning sample questions with the mindset of a business executive. Think of the questions as real-life scenarios that you will encounter in your business career. Taking this approach allows you to best highlight your skills to GMAT scorers.

Become Familiar With the Question Formats
As you tackle a set of GMAT Integrated Reasoning sample questions, you’ll see that there are a few different question formats – Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Multi-Source Reasoning, and Table Analysis are the different types of questions on the GMAT.

The Graphics Interpretation questions feature a chart, graph, or diagram. For instance, you may see a question that features a bar chart that asks you to answer two questions based on the data in the chart. Other graphics you may see include scatterplots, pie charts, bubble charts, and line charts.

Two-Part Analysis problems involve a chart with three columns of data and accompanying questions. One tip to remember about these questions is that you have to answer the first question presented before you tackle the second one because the answers will work together in some way. Multi-Source Reasoning questions contain a lot of data. These questions test your ability to combine the data contained in different graphs, formulas, and diagrams to arrive at the correct answer choice. Table Analysis questions ask you to look at a table that may contain four or more columns of data. You have to examine this data closely to answer the questions.

Practice Working With Different Types of Graphs and Diagrams
Effective GMAT Integrated Reasoning practice involves learning the details about the different types of graphs, charts, and diagrams featured on the test. Financial magazines and newspapers are great resources for different graphics that you may see on the GMAT. Take some time to make sure you understand the purpose behind various graphs and charts so you feel at ease with them on test day.

Work With a Capable Tutor
When studying for the section on Integrated Reasoning, GMAT practice questions can be very useful. Another way to boost your preparation for this section is to partner with an experienced tutor. The instructors at Veritas Prep follow a thorough GMAT curriculum as they prep you for Integrated Reasoning questions as well as the other questions on the exam. We provide you with proven test-taking strategies and show you how to showcase what you know on the GMAT. With our guidance, you can move through each section of the test with confidence.

The professional tutors at Veritas Prep have the skills and knowledge to prepare you for the section on Integrated Reasoning. GMAT questions in all of the sections are easier to navigate after working through our unique GMAT curriculum. We offer both online and in-person courses, so you can choose the option that best suits your schedule. Contact our offices today and get first-rate prep for the GMAT!

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

3 Ways to Write a Successful Thank You Note

HandshakeThe University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business recently hosted hundreds of prospective students through their Up Close Diversity Weekend and Women in Leadership Conference events. I spoke with a handful of excited prospective students and most of them remembered my name and found ways to email me thank you notes, which was great – definitely write thank you emails! But there are ways to write and not to write these important emails, so listen up.

Whenever you meet a school representative at an event – whether that be an admissions officer, alumni, or a current student – you should always send them a note to say thank you. It is a good idea to get in the habit of doing this now because once you get to business school, you will also need to send thank you notes after conferences, corporate presentations, coffee chats, etc., and if you can get the hang of crafting these quickly now, it will only save you time later.

Here are a few tips to writing a successful thank you note:

Do write meaningful thank you notes. The people you meet are likely meeting dozens of other prospective students too, so be sincere and authentic in your communications. Don’t say thank you because you have to, but make the content of your email somewhat substantial. Make sure to ask good questions and get to know the people you’re chatting with so you can have something to write about in your follow up email.

Do include the details of how you met. Because they are meeting so many others, include how and where you met, and a little bit about what you talked about. You can do this by saying something along the lines of, “It was so great to meet you during dinner at the Up Close Weekend and hear more about your project work with the Business Impact Group.” It is helpful to include this so that they remember who you are and can match the name from your email to the face they spoke with at the event.

Do ask a follow up question, but only if your conversation prompted one. If not, don’t feel compelled to ask anything. Sometimes it is best to end the email with saying you’ll be in touch, rather than ending on a question.

If you had a conversation about a certain club on campus that sounded interesting to you but you don’t remember the name, however, feel free to ask and see if you can get in touch with someone from that club. For example, a question such as, “You mentioned the new club on campus that works on consultant teams with social enterprises. I’d love to learn more about that. Can you please remind me of the name, and possibly put me in touch with someone involved with that club?” would be appropriate to ask in your thank you email and show that you were truly interested in the conversation you had with that person.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to quickly write a successful thank you email that may make a big impact on the way you are viewed by a school.

Stay tuned for our next article, 3 Things to Avoid When Crafting a Thank You Note.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Colleen Hill is a Veritas Prep consultant for the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. You can read more articles by her here

The Online GRE Math Study Guide: Help and Practice Tips for the GRE Math Section

books_stackedThe Graduate Record Exam (GRE) contains three parts; the Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections. The Quantitative section of the GRE tests students on a variety of math skills. Many students contact our staff at Veritas Prep when they want a little help preparing for this section of the test. Our knowledgeable instructors use first-rate study resources to guide students through the process of preparing for the Quantitative, as well as the other sections on the test.

Check out this GRE math study guide for tips that can simplify questions in the Quantitative or math section:

Take Practice Exams
When it comes to GRE math practice, online exams can prove very useful to students. Taking a practice test lets a student know what types of problems to expect on the actual test, and the results of a practice test reveal what a student needs to work on. Students who have this information are better able to make efficient use of their study time. Our instructors review practice tests with students and suggest specific ways that they can improve on various skills. Our Veritas Prep instructors partner with their students to provide the best GRE math prep available!

Plugging in the Numbers
One of the easiest strategies that students can use when tackling the Quantitative section of the GRE is to approach a problem starting with the answer options. For instance, an algebra question may come in the form of an equation that asks a student to find the value of X. A student can plug each of the answer options into the equation in place of X. The number that completes the equation is the correct answer option. This strategy proves especially helpful when a student works a problem in the traditional way and finds that his or her answer is not one of the answer options.

Eliminating Answer Options
Students looking for GRE math help should endeavor to simplify each problem as much as possible. For example, after looking at a question and considering all of the multiple choice answer options, a student may notice that one or two of the answer options are obviously incorrect. The student can cross out or eliminate these answer options. This leaves the student with fewer options to consider and makes the problem more manageable. This test-taking technique can also be used on multiple choice questions in the Verbal Reasoning section of the GRE.

Getting Into the Habit of Using Scrap Paper
Students should get into the habit of writing out all of the steps of a math problem on a sheet of scrap paper. This is one of those GRE math tips that many students are aware of, but decide not to put into practice; however, this tip can save a student a lot of time if there is a mistake somewhere in a problem. If a student’s answer is not displayed in the list of answer options, he or she can refer to the scrap paper and review the various steps of the problem. In addition, students should use scrap paper for drawing shapes referred to in a math question. Seeing a shape can sometimes prompt a student to figure out an answer more quickly than trying to visualize the shape.

Reviewing High School Math Problems
For students who want more GRE math practice, online exercises for high school students are an option. Many of the geometry and algebra skills tested in the Quantitative section are skills students learned in high school.

In addition to going online to complete practice math questions, a student can look in traditional math textbooks designed for high school students. This sort of prep helps students become familiar with working the steps of an algebra equation or successfully completing a geometry problem. Our professional instructors offer guidance and encouragement to students as they work their way through practice problems. We provide students with individualized help, so they can see great improvement as test day approaches.

Finally, students interested in learning the details about our services can look at our FAQ page to find helpful answers. We offer online courses that are convenient for individuals with busy school or work schedules. Veritas Prep has the best GRE math prep courses for students who want to enjoy success on the GRE!

Want to jump-start your GRE preparation? Register to attend one of our upcoming free online GRE Strategy Sessions or check out our variety of GRE Course and Private Tutoring options. And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter!

How Many Letters of Recommendation Should You Submit with Your MBA Applications?

RecommenderThere are many facets of the typical business school application. Application components like one’s GMAT score, resume, and essays always garner a strong amount of attention from applicants year in and year out. These components tend to have a pretty straightforward submission process. When it comes to procuring letters of  recommendation, however, both the formal and informal submission processes may be less clear.

The formal recommendation process is a bit more straightforward than the informal process, so let us start there. Letters of recommendation require you to identify recommenders whom you feel can accurately speak to your work and contributions in an organization. Their recommendations are then formally submitted through the school’s application tool, and the Admissions Committee reviews them as part of your overall application assessment.

Now here is where things get tricky – most schools strongly discourage additional recommendations. I would guess the reason is because most admissions departments are already overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork and communication they receive from applicants, and anything additional might be tough for them to maintain, track, and evaluate. Also, more practically, allowing for additional recommendations would create an uneven playing field for MBA candidates – some applicants would submit additional letters of recommendation while others would not be able to (for a variety of reasons).

Now, not all schools have this policy and some even welcome additional recommendations, so read the fine print and identify whether there is an opportunity for you to send in additional letters of recommendation or not. If this option is available to you, using your discretion will be key. This should not be seen as an opportunity to just submit more of the same types of recommendations. If you are going to submit an additional letter of recommendation, it should really be a “letter of support”.

These additional recommendations should only be submitted if they are coming from highly visible, impactful, or unique people. The best examples of this are alumni or high-profile individuals who can speak to your business potential. Alumni tend to be a group that the Admissions Committee likes to hear from – alumni letters of recommendation should generally be submitted directly by the alumnus and be short and to the point.

As for letters of recommendation from high-profile people, these are far less well-received, especially if the person doesn’t have much of a relationship with the applicant. In most cases, if the relationship was actually strong, the person probably would have already been the applicant’s main recommender.

However, if the relationship is legit and if the person has considerable sway with the university, the program, or in the general business community, this type of recommendation can be really positive. The business school admissions process is very holistic, so schools will take information like this into consideration.

Now, if you are just not a qualified applicant, even the best of recommendations will not save your candidacy. For those fringe candidates, however, a great letter of recommendation can make or break an application.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on FacebookYouTubeGoogle+ 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 articles by him here.

How to Study Abroad in College

study aboard girlHigh school seniors who are researching colleges are smart to look at all that a school has to offer. Most students look at the specific study programs offered by a college, as well as its campus activities and various academic resources. Also, many students like to find out if a college offers opportunities to study abroad. College students can learn a lot by spending a semester or more living and studying in another country.

Consider some helpful information for students who want to know how to study abroad in college:

Conduct a Search for Colleges That Offer Students the Chance to Study Abroad
Fortunately, there are many opportunities for today’s college students who want to study abroad. High school seniors who are thinking about studying abroad, but are still unsure, should go ahead and apply to colleges that offer the option. That way, if they do decide to study abroad, they’re at a school that can make that happen.

Often, colleges that offer this study opportunity provide information on their website. Some schools create short videos that give students a quick look at their international programs. Student testimonials can also help prospective students decide whether to participate in the program.

Our professional consultants at Veritas Prep help students to apply to colleges that offer invaluable opportunities, including the chance to study abroad. We have inside knowledge regarding what college officials are looking for as they evaluate students’ applications, letters of recommendation, essays, and other materials.

Tips for Deciding on a Location
England, Ireland, Australia, China, Africa, and Italy are just a sampling of the places that college students go to study for a semester or more. With all of the possibilities, it can be difficult for a student to decide where they want to go. One tip is to think about whether they want to study in a country with English as its native language. Of course, this is a moot issue if a student is traveling to a country to learn and practice a foreign language. But if a student is not studying a foreign language, they may feel more at ease in an English-speaking country.

Living arrangements are another consideration. Some study programs require students to live with host families, while others require them to live in dormitories. Students should consider whether they would be comfortable with the specified living arrangements during their stay.

Another thing to consider is how far a student wants to travel away from home. Some students want to be able to travel home fairly quickly, while others want to go to more remote locations. Many of the answers to these questions depend on a student’s personal preferences.

Benefits of Studying Abroad in College
Taking courses while living in a foreign country allows students to experience different cultures. Many students sign up for college study abroad programs because they want to learn about the arts, cuisine, and customs of people living in a particular country.

Another benefit of studying abroad is the opportunity to explore various interests that may lead to a future career. For example, a student who spends a semester studying in Kenya may feel inspired by seeing the various forms of wildlife there. As a result, the student might decide to pursue a career as a wildlife conservationist. And on a practical note, one of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is earning credits that count toward graduation.

When to Study Abroad in College
Some students who participate in study abroad travel to a foreign country during the regular school year, while others go during the summertime. The timing depends upon the study programs offered by a college. A student has to consider their own individual situation to determine the best time to study abroad. College students who participate in these programs are often willing to forgo their summer vacation or miss school activities during a semester so they can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

No matter where you choose to study, our team at Veritas Prep can help you get there. We provide students with assistance throughout the process of applying to college. We also have services for students who want to prep for the SAT. Our online SAT tutors teach students using first-rate study resources and test-taking strategies. Contact our Veritas Prep offices today and let us help you achieve your goal of attending college and earning a degree.

Do you need more help with your college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!