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Harvard Business School Admissions Director on GMAT vs. GRE

dee_leopoldHarvard Business School (HBS) has stated publicly for some time that it accepts both the GMAT and the GRE and does not prefer one over the other. In a bid to be even more transparent on the issue, HBS Admissions Director Dee Leopold devoted a recent post on her Director’s Blog to the matter.

To substantiate the claim that the school is agnostic in terms of a preference between the two tests, Leopold chose to reveal exactly how many applicants submitted each type of test score, along with how many of those applicants were ultimately admitted and matriculated. While the vast majority of applicants opted to submit GMAT scores, the percentage of matriculating admits as compared to total applicants broken out by test were within close range. Continue reading…

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The Economist Group Launches $25,000 MBA Scholarship Contest

econonmist_gmat tutorThe Economist Group’s business education division, Which MBA?, yesterday launched its second Brightest Minds MBA Scholarship Contest, which will award a $25,000 scholarship to the prospective MBA or EMBA student who scores highest on a simulated GMAT exam.

The first Brightest Minds MBA scholarship ran earlier this year, drawing more than 4,500 entrants, The Economist Group reports. The winner, Rishabh P. from India, is currently applying to several business schools, with plans to begin an MBA program in fall 2015. Continue reading…

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GMAC Adds Online Content, Resources to Its GMAT Review Series

gmatThe Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), in partnership with Wiley, is enhancing its Official Guide for GMAT® Review series with added online content, videos and a unique study tool that lets users customize their own practice question sets, the council announced today.

The enhancements to the Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2015 are designed to make studying for the GMAT exam easier and more convenient, according to GMAC, which owns and administers the business school entrance exam. GMAC has published 13 previous editions of its Official Guide for GMAT Review, giving business school applicants access to hundreds of real, retired GMAT questions. The 2015 series is the first to combine questions in both book and online form. Continue reading…

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GMAT Test Takers Can Now Preview Scores Before Reporting or Canceling Them

test takingProspective applicants to business school who take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will now have the ability to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which owns and administers the exam, announced yesterday. This new score reporting feature, available to all test takers, will go into effect at all 600 test centers worldwide that administer the exam beginning tomorrow.

“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president of product management, said in a statement. “The new score reporting feature gives test takers more certainty and control in the testing process and in how their scores are reported to schools.” Continue reading…

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GMAC Introduces New Online Prep Tool for GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Section

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), which owns and administers the GMAT, has introduced a new web-based resource to help prospective test-takers prepare for the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section added to the exam in 2012.

The Official GMAT® Integrated Reasoning Prep Tool, which launched on April 21st, includes 48 items and answer explanations from the IR section of the GMAT and sells for $19.99. It is the only dedicated Integrated Reasoning prep tool available that contains retired Integrated Reasoning items, according to GMAC. Continue reading…

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Economist Unveils New GMAT Tutor App for Android

The Economist today unveiled an Android version of its GMAT Tutor app, which gives prospective MBA applicants a way to prepare for the GMAT exam anytime and anywhere.

Previously available only for iPhone, the new Android version of the app provides all the same features and convenience as the iPhone version, including thousands of test questions and multiple full-length practice exams, the freedom to study for as little or as much time as you have available for any given session and the ability to move seamlessly from the mobile app to the desktop site for features such as one-on-one tutoring. Continue reading…

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MBA Gender Gap Attributable to GMAT Test Score Gap?

Recent data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), which owns and administers the GMAT, has revealed that women appear to underperform men by about 20 points on the exam – a finding that has led some to question whether and how much the exam itself may contribute to the fact that women continue to remain a minority of business school students.

According to GMAC’s data for the 2011-12 testing year, the mean total score on the GMAT for men was 557, compared to a mean total score for women of 536 – out of a possible 800. Lee Weiss, Kaplan Test Prep executive director of graduate programs, told the Financial Times that he thinks the 20-point difference could have a lot to do with why women are still significantly underrepresented in MBA programs (in contrast to education programs in general). Continue reading…

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Few Business Schools’ Admissions Decisions Hinge on GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score, Survey Finds

A majority of business school admissions officers report that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score, according to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep.

In its 2013 survey of business school admissions officers, Kaplan found that 57 percent of MBA programs say that they do not place significant weight on the scores applicants submit for the GMAT’s new IR section, which was launched in August 2012. However, the survey did find that more than half (51 percent) of MBA programs list a low overall GMAT score as “the biggest application killer” for prospective applicants. Continue reading…

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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:

WHY THE ESSAY?

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.

AN ESSAY, NOT A GROCERY LIST

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…

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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…

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New, Free Interactive Learning Platform Helps Students Prepare for GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section

GMAT test prep firm Manhattan Prep this week launched a beta version of a new integrated digital learning platform to help students prepare for the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section of the exam. Added in 2012, GMAT’s IR section requires test-takers to analyze complex, real-world data. The video-based GMAT INTERACT for Integrated Reasoning, available for free, features an on-screen tutor engaging students as if they were receiving private tutoring.

“We looked at video courses and other digital-learning technologies and realized that nothing was able to capture the real benefits of the connection between a teacher and a student,” Noah Teitelbaum, Manhattan Prep executive director of academics, said in a statement. Continue reading…

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