Category Archives: General

Should You Retake the GMAT?

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com While I occasionally hear tales of MBA applicants offered admission in a top business school with a 640 GMAT score, the truth is that  accepting students …

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.com

While I occasionally hear tales of MBA applicants offered admission in a top business school with a 640 GMAT score, the truth is that  accepting students with stellar scores of 700 or higher is more the norm at the most competitive programs.

Before you start to panic and become hung up on achieving the highest score possible, or fixate on the average GMAT score reported by the schools, I urge test-challenged clients to focus instead on aligning their scores within the 80 percent range, which schools usually list within their admitted class profile.

Many experts in the test prep industry advise all students to plan on taking the test twice. If your score after the first attempt is already at or above your goal, you can always cancel the second sitting. Remember, top schools want to see scores in the 80th percentile in the quantitative section. So if you score 100 percent in verbal and low in quantitative, you would want to retake the exam, especially if you don’t have a strong quantitative background outside of the GMAT.

[Learn about ways to fix a low GMAT score.]

There is absolutely no reason to retake the GMAT when you score over 700, test prep company Magoosh says emphatically. You’ve already proven you can handle the quantitative component of the curriculum, so turn your focus toward ensuring all of the other parts of your application are as strong as possible.

Keep in mind that this high number is primarily for those targeting a top-tier MBA program. If you scored a 680, the decision to retake should be carefully considered, as you may be better off focusing on your essays or coaching recommenders instead. Applicants looking at programs in the top 20 or 50 should check the average scores of admitted students to determine their personal target GMAT score.

If illness, nerves, exhaustion, or simply a lack of adequate preparation resulted in a low score, then a second attempt becomes a necessity. Repeat test-taking, with additional preparation, typically results in a higher score as students become familiar with the experience, and therefore, less stressed out.

[Learn to dodge your fear of failure when applying to business school.]

Although the Graduate Management Admission Council allows you to take the test as many times as you like, you must wait 31 calendar days before retaking the exam. Make sure to check your target schools’ application deadlines in order to allow enough time to send in your final scores.

Applicants self-report their highest score, and it’s worth noting that the admissions committee doesn’t have an issue with students taking the exam more than once. In fact, committees may look positively on the dedication you’ve shown to improve upon your prior performance. Mind you, I’m talking about a score report with two or three scores, max – not one that shows you’ve sat for the GMAT seven times.

After your first test, it’s time to go over your entire GMAT performance to determine your weaknesses and double-down in those areas as you resume your studies. Don’t completely ignore the sections you did well on, however. You wouldn’t want to improve in one area but do worse in another the next time.

If you studied alone or took a class for your initial preparation, you might consider studying one on one with a GMAT tutor for the second go-round. A test prep expert can work around your schedule and tailor the curriculum to your needs.

Finally, some people aren’t natural test-takers and have a less-than-optimal performance no matter how well they know the material. One of the primary causes is stress under pressure, and it may help to watch this video tour of the GMAT Test Center and detailed explanation of all procedures to increase your comfort levels about what to expect.

If that familiarity still isn’t enough to calm your nerves come test day, consider using relaxation techniques such as meditation and visualization to reduce test anxiety. Also, taking the GMAT in the same center will help you feel more comfortable with the test-taking process and any logistics that may have thrown you off the first time.

Business school hopefuls can be incredibly hard on themselves when they make mistakes on the GMAT, but each error is a learning opportunity and a chance to improve. So don’t become discouraged if your first score isn’t where you’d hoped. Relax, and think of it as a dress rehearsal for a stellar performance to come.

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INSEAD Inaugurates Leadership Development Center

INSEAD inaugurated its landmark, S$55 million Leadership Development Centre in Singapore last week, completing the third phase of the school’s major Asia campus expansion. This year marks INSEAD’s fifteenth anniversary in Singapore at the same …

INSEAD inaugurated its landmark, S$55 million Leadership Development Centre in Singapore last week, completing the third phase of the school’s major Asia campus expansion. This year marks INSEAD’s fifteenth anniversary in Singapore at the same time as the country celebrates its own fiftieth year of independence.

INSEAD Leadership Center SingaporeThe 10,000 square-meter center will raise capacity by 50% to meet growing demands for management and leadership education in Asia, and significantly increase the number of students, executives, top scholars and practitioners on-site.

Annually the Asia campus will welcome 500 MBA students, 5,000 executives, 90 Global Executive MBA students, and 200 participants enrolled in the Master of Finance program.

“The Leadership Development Centre is a significant milestone for INSEAD in our continued global growth and commitment to providing relevant and locally-driven business education across Asia, and globally,” INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov said at the inauguration ceremony, held January 15th-16th.

The Singapore campus is currently home to 63 permanent faculty hailing from 22 countries, and there are over 7,000 INSEAD alumni living and working in the Asia Pacific region. The expansion will allow the campus to build its complement of world-class faculty to 70, which translates into expanding research in areas such as emerging markets, Asian business leadership, global strategy and other areas of critical importance to the region.

“At the core of INSEAD’s global offering is the large number of permanent faculty present on each campus, highly localised research and diverse mix of nationalities and cultures represented on each programme,” says Andreas Jacobs, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the school, who believes these characteristics are what sets INSEAD apart from other business schools with outposts abroad.

“For companies and individuals to have an edge in today’s rapidly evolving global business environment, access to insights into the Asia Pacific region is vital,” adds Michael Pich, Dean of Executive Education. “INSEAD’s continued investment in Asia, home to many of today’s key emerging growth markets, helps businesses identify, understand and leverage the changing opportunities and challenges these markets present.”

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When Your B-School Rejection Makes the News

A popular MBA applicant blogger this season who goes by the moniker Grant Me Admission woke up to a huge surprise earlier this week when he found out the profile about his journey to b-school …

A popular MBA applicant blogger this season who goes by the moniker Grant Me Admission woke up to a huge surprise earlier this week when he found out the profile about his journey to b-school originally published on Poets & Quants had found its way to Fortune online.

Over the past few months, readers of his blog have followed along as he decided to retake the GMAT after scoring 710, mulled over the mistakes he made last year applying to Tuck School of Business, and fell in love with Kellogg School of Management. We also felt his pain upon receiving ding after ding from all five of the schools he applied to this season during Round 1.

While wading through brutal anonymous comments likely required cultivating an especially thick skin, Grant also found much to gain from hearing these fresh perspectives. The plan now, he says, is to complete his post mortem on why he didn’t get into business school, do some serious self-reflection, and see how plans to go to a top school fit in with all that.

As any applicant will tell you, applying to an MBA program is seriously hard work. And with acceptance rates at the best schools as low as they are, applicants need to make sure every aspect of their package is as polished as humanly possible. Take a look at the original article as well as his reaction post. It really is illuminating for many b-school hopefuls out there.

You may also be interested in:

Should You Consider Applying in Round 3?

How to Cope with B-School Rejections

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Strong Job Market Predicted for 2015 B-School Graduates

What turned out to be a strong job market for business school and management degree graduates in 2014 should continue into 2015, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council‘s (GMAC) Year-End Poll of Employers, released …

What turned out to be a strong job market for business school and management degree graduates in 2014 should continue into 2015, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council‘s (GMAC) Year-End Poll of Employers, released Wednesday.

This year’s hiring outlook holds steady for 2015 graduates as nine out of ten employers planning to hire business school graduates expect to maintain or increase the number of job openings for these hires compared with 2014.

“The solid job prospects for b-school talent seen over the past several years and again reflected in this poll, give prospective students good reason to consider pursuing these degrees as part of a strategy to drive their career goals,” says Rebecca Estrada Worthington, GMAC’s Survey Research Manager.

The poll of 169 employers in 33 countries, conducted in late 2014, serves as an early view into the 2015 job market for MBA, master of management, accounting, finance, and other specialized business master degree-holders.

The greatest hiring demand for b-school talent remains recent MBA graduates, while the largest increase in hiring demand is projected to be for Master in Management talent, as reflected in the eleven percentage point increase in firms who hired this category of graduates in 2014.

“Our data show that even in the depths of the recession, business and management degrees can provide a measure of job protection and opportunity. Today, in a recovering global economy, management degrees can be a powerful driver of confidence and provide fuel for an individual’s career growth,” Estrada Worthington says.

The annual Year-End Poll of Employers provides an early look at hiring plans. For a copy of the poll report, go to gmac.com/employerpoll.

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