News, advice and resources for business school applicants


Test tips from leading prep firms for applicants studying for the GMAT.  If you know your strengths and weaknesses, browse by test section: AWA, Quant and Verbal.

GMAT Tip: 3 Essential Critical Reasoning Strategies

thinking_reasoningApproximately one-third of the GMAT Verbal problems you see will be of the Critical Reasoning variety, in which you read a paragraph (or two short paragraphs representing a dialogue) of up to 125 words and then answer a question based on it. While the general instructions are relatively straightforward, there are three things you must do in order to succeed on these problems.

1. Select the only correct answer.
The official instructions for Critical Reasoning read: “For these questions, select the best of the answer choices given.” This wording can cause some real problems for examinees who interpret it very literally. Why? Because looking for “the best” answer implies that there may be more than one “good” answer. That’s dangerous in practice, because you could look at the right answer and think “I get why that’s better than mine (but mine is still good)” and therefore overlook a fatal flaw in your thinking. This is risky on test day because it leads to your spending energy ranking or otherwise comparing answer choices more subjectively when, in reality, there is only one correct answer and the other four are definitely incorrect. Continue reading…

posted in: GMAT - Verbal | 0 comments

GMAT Tip: 3 Things to Know about GMAT Accommodations

Disability_symbols_16For a long time, testing accommodations were something to be kept secret. Test takers didn’t want schools to know they received accommodations. The process to apply for accommodations was not well publicized, and misinformation about the required documentation and when it needed to be submitted was rampant. Today, we’ll provide some valuable information for candidates who are thinking about seeking accommodations on test day.

To make the GMAT more accessible to test-takers with disabilities, the Graduate Management Admission Council provides the following accommodations: additional testing time, additional or extended rest breaks, allowance of a medical device in the testing rooms, a trackball mouse, a test reader who can read the questions to the test-taker, a recorder to record test taker responses, enlarged font on the PC monitor, and a sign language interpreter. Test centers in the U.S. are also outfitted with door frames, bathroom stalls, and adjustable desks to accommodate test-takers with special needs. Continue reading…

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GMAT Tip: 3 Things to Know About Picking a GMAT Test Center

map-pin-location.jpg.crop_displayLast week, we covered five often-overlooked things to think about before you show up at your GMAT test center, one of which involved the location and accessibility of the place itself. This week, we want to drill down and offer some more pointers on the facility factor. Not all GMAT test centers are created equal, so read on for some quick tips to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success on test day!

1. Size Matters. You would never buy a car or house by just looking at a picture and name. You have to take it for a test drive and see if it’s right for you. Just like cars, test centers come in a variety of makes and models. They can have as few as 2 or as many as 15 work stations, and they can offer up to 15 other exams (in addition to the GMAT). While the number of work stations might not seem relevant (you only need one!), remember there is only one proctor who has to keep tabs on everyone. Chances are you’ll get a quicker response to requests for a new noteboard or tissues if there are fewer candidates in the room. Continue reading…

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GMAT Tip: 5 Things to Consider Before Test Day

computer labSo you’ve decided that business school is for you, and you’ve taken the first step towards your graduate degree: you’ve signed up for the GMAT exam! Some folks might argue that’s the toughest part. Others might say it’s the preparation: do you sign up for test prep or commit to self study? Both are significant projects that, if executed properly, will result in a score that you can brandish on social media and brag about to business schools. There are, however, a handful of smaller things to consider and prepare for that you might not have thought of yet. Read on and make sure your test day runs as smoothly as possible.

1. Double check your identification. When you registered for the exam, you had to create an account and then proceed with test registration. Like most people, you probably glossed over much of the fine print and legalese. It’s very important, though, to ensure that the identification you bring to the test center EXACTLY matches the name you registered under. If it doesn’t, this could prove to be a costly mistake. Candidates are routinely turned away and prohibited from testing if their identification doesn’t match the name on the exam registration. Basic guidelines can be found here, but when in doubt give GMAT customer service a ring. Continue reading…

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Your GMAT Pacing Plan: The Study Phase

Making Notes from Book ca. 2000

The following article comes from Veritas Prep.  Since its founding in 2002, Veritas Prep has helped more than 100,000 students prepare for the GMAT and offers the highest rated GMAT Prep course in the industry.

One of the greatest challenges you’ll face on the GMAT is that of time.  It’s not just that the pace-per-question metrics are aggressive – you’ll have a hair over 2 minutes per problem on the quantitative section and about 1:50 per question on the verbal – but you’ll also have to deal with the Computer-Adaptive-Testing reality that you’ll only see each question once, and you can’t skip a problem or return to it later. Continue reading…

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6 Essential GMAT Study Strategies


The following is a guest post from Veritas Prep. 

If you’re researching business schools and admissions strategies here at Clear Admit, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll be taking the GMAT sometime in your future.  And that means you’ll need to study for the GMAT.  Since not all study plans are created equal, here are 6 strategies to help you optimize that process.

1) Focus on deep understanding and application, not just on knowledge.

The GMAT testmakers say over and over again that the GMAT is a test of higher-order reasoning – and that’s not just a buzzword!  In academia, higher-order thinking/reasoning is defined as the actions that come after someone remembers and understands information.  It’s things like applying, synthesizing, and creating using that knowledge and understanding.  So if much of your academic past has focused on cramming and short-term memory – and let’s face it, we’ve all done it more than we’d like to admit to our parents and professors – you’ll need to study differently to ace the GMAT. Continue reading…

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Sign Up for a Veritas Prep GMAT Course and Receive Three Free Clear Admit Guides

veritasFor a limited time, we are offering our Resume, Recommendation, and Financing Guides for free to anyone who signs up for GMAT classes or tutoring with Veritas Prep.

Since running its first class in 2002, Veritas Prep has helped more than 100,000 students prepare for the GMAT. The company was the first in the industry to require that all GMAT instructors score in the 99th percentile or above on the official GMAT—a standard that most other competitors still can’t match. After clearing this hurdle, every potential instructor must pass a rigorous evaluation and training program before earning the privilege of leading a Veritas Prep GMAT course.

To get your free Clear Admit guides, you must click this link to sign up for a GMAT class or tutoring with Veritas Prep. After your purchase, email and include your Veritas Prep purchase confirmation number. Veritas Prep representatives will give you a code you can use to download your free guides from our shop.

Learn more about Veritas’ GMAT offerings or sign up for a course or tutoring now!

posted in: Clear Admit Products, GMAT, GMAT Tips, Strategy Guides | 0 comments

Admissions Tip: Planning for the GMAT

Admissions Tip: Planning for the GMAT

For all you “early birds” who are planning to apply to business school this fall, we wanted to offer a few tips on managing your time as it relates to the GMAT exam.  Because this is an important element for many applicants in determining at which schools they will be competitive, it’s best to prep intensively and get this out of the way early in the process.

You should ideally be finished with the GMAT by mid-summer.  The reason for this is that you will want to reserve the months of August, September and October for essay writing, school visits, managing your recommenders and other miscellaneous application-related tasks.  The last thing you want to be doing in September is juggling the demands of GMAT prep alongside your MBA applications, your responsibilities at work, your extracurricular involvements, etc. Continue reading…

posted in: GMAT Tips, Planning Tips | 0 comments

Analysis of an Argument Essay

Today’s GMAT article comes from Manhattan Review GMAT Prep UAE, a provider of GMAT Prep courses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, among others. In this article, they reveal Manhattan Review’s six best points on the GMAT essay.

The GMAT is an odd test. Unlike in the LSAT, the least important section, the essay, comes first, not last. However, though it’s true that business schools don’t pay as much attention to the essay score as to the overall verbal and quantitative score, this doesn’t mean that the essay is of no importance at all. You need to take it seriously and write as good an essay as you can.  Here are six points to guide you:


It is important to keep in mind what the essay is and what it isn’t. The essay isn’t a newspaper Op-Ed. It isn’t a definitive statement on a critical issue of the hour. It isn’t even an essay that you write for your professor. Consider: You only have 30 minutes to think about, plan out, write and proof your essay. So there’s a limit to what you can say and how effectively you can say it. The purpose of the essay is to enable the schools to verify that you really wrote the essays that you submitted with your application. If you sent in a beautifully crafted, eloquent essay but only managed an illiterate, ungrammatical and perfunctory essay in the GMAT the school will wonder whether someone other than you wrote your application essays. The GMAT essay does not have to astound anyone with its brilliance. It just has to be good enough to make sure that the school admissions officers don’t start to entertain doubts as to your authenticity as a writer. Keep this in mind though: While a poorly written essay could harm your cause, a well-written, perhaps even outstanding one won’t advance it very much. The score the business schools continue to be guided by is the main quantitative and verbal score. An adequate score for the essay will suffice. An inadequate score will hurt.


This is an essay, not an office memorandum, an e-mail or a grocery list. It has to read like a narrative, like a logical progression of an argument. There can be no bullet points; numbered paragraphs; headings; underlined words; abbreviations such as w/out or b/c; colloquialisms; acronyms; Internet slang such as LOL, IMHO, P2P, B2B, FWIW and OTOH. All sentences must include at least one noun and one verb. Memorize words that allow you to transition from one paragraph to another such as “however,” “on the one hand” and “on the other hand,” “moreover,” “furthermore,” “in addition,” “consequently,” and “it is possible.”

Avoid inserting yourself into the essay as much as possible. There is no need for such expressions as “I think” on “In my opinion,” or “I don’t agree.” Such terms are redundant. You are the one writing the essay. The reader knows this; he or she doesn’t need to be told.

Continue reading…

posted in: GMAT - AWA, GMAT Tips | 0 comments

The Top 5 Strategies for GMAT Problem Solving (Part 2)

Today’s GMAT article comes from Manhattan Review Asia, a provider of GMAT private tutoring in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore, among others. In this article, they reveal Manhattan Review’s best 5 strategies how to tackle GMAT Problem Solving questions. In fact, the article is so detailed that we had to split it into two parts. If you have missed the first part of this post, you can find it here.

4.  Skipping the Algebra
The most effective way to solve problems quickly is to make up numbers. Problems involving ratios and percentages are very susceptible to solution by this method. You can of course solve such problems using algebra, but it takes so much longer.

Consider a question of the form “There are three times as many third-graders as fourth-graders at a picnic. There are also twice as many first-graders as there are second-graders. If there are four times as many third-graders as there are second-graders, what percentage of the total number of children at the picnic comprises fourth-graders?” This is a classic GMAT-style question. The quickest way to solve it is to pick arbitrary but simple numbers. Let’s assume that there are 20 fourth-graders at the picnic. That means that there must be 60 third-graders. That in turn must mean that there are 15 second-graders. Which means that there are 30 first-graders there.

Continue reading…

posted in: GMAT - Quantitative, GMAT Tips | 0 comments

The Top 5 Strategies for GMAT Problem Solving (Part 1)

Today’s GMAT article comes from Manhattan Review Asia, a provider of GMAT Prep courses in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore, among others. In this article, they reveal Manhattan Review’s best 5 strategies how to tackle GMAT Problem Solving questions. In fact, the article is so detailed that we had to split it into two parts.

As with every type of question on the GMAT, the biggest challenge to answering Problem Solving questions is figuring out how to get to the right answer in the minimum amount of time. If we had half an hour for each question, we would all be scoring in the 99th percentile. We don’t have half an hour. So forget pride. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are at math. If you can get to the right answer without crafting elegant equations doing fancy algebra, go for it! At some point in the test, a question will stump you. That’s when you’ll be thankful for all of those precious seconds you saved by skipping elaborate calculations. Here are five tips on how to improve your Problem Solving skills and have fun on the test:

  1. Go slower in order to go faster
    It is absolutely essential that you take the time to read the question very carefully. Don’t make assumptions; don’t jump to conclusions; don’t take it for granted that the question is asking the same thing as similar questions asked you in the past. Draw a diagram; write out as clearly and as free of confusion as possible who did what in the past and who is doing what at the moment. It may seem as if you are losing time, but you are not. You are saving yourself precious minutes that you would lose by failing to read the question properly and answering what you haven’t been asked. The strategy is: Get the right answer on the first try, not on the fourth try. Before test-day, practice sketching problems out. Continue reading…

posted in: GMAT - Quantitative, GMAT Tips | 2 comments

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