Category Archives: GMAT
October 30, 2012
According to a recent poll of 265 business school admissions officers, early opinion of the GMAT’s newly introduced Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is decidedly mixed. As a new season of applicants prepares to submit the …
According to a recent poll of 265 business school admissions officers, early opinion of the GMAT’s newly introduced Integrated Reasoning (IR) section is decidedly mixed. As a new season of applicants prepares to submit the first set of applications with GMAT scores that include the IR section, Kaplan Test Prep‘s 2012 survey reveals that more than half of MBA programs still aren’t sure how important IR scores will be in the evaluation process.
While 54% responded “undecided” to the question “How important will a student’s Integrated Reasoning score be in your evaluation of their overall performance on the GMAT?”, 22% say IR scores will be important, and 24% say IR scores will not be important.
The four question types found in GMAT Integrated Reasoning ”“ table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning and two-party analysis ”“ feature scatter plots, sortable tables, and multi-tabbed data. Such question types, introduced in the new section in June, 2012, are novel compared to the formats traditionally seen on graduate school-level admissions exams such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT.
Among the major findings:
- In Kaplan’s 2012 survey, 41% said IR would make the GMAT more reflective of the business school experience, a big drop from the 59% who answered that way in Kaplan’s 2011 survey.
- Those who weren’t sure if IR would make the exam more reflective rose from 37% in 2011 to 49% in 2012.
- Admissions officers who said IR would not make the exam more reflective increased from 5% in 2011 to 10% in 2012.
- Somewhat similarly, 54% “do not know” if Integrated Reasoning makes the GMAT more reflective of work in business and management after business school; 36% say it does; and 10% say it doesn’t.
“Schools generally prefer to gather performance data on a new test or test section before fully incorporating it into their evaluation process,” says Andrew Mitchell, director of pre-business programs at Kaplan Test Prep.
“Not all applicants in 2012 will submit GMAT scores with an IR component,” Mitchell adds. “We can expect that, as more data is available, schools will determine clear policies, in which Integrated Reasoning may play a key role. In the meantime, GMAT test takers should not take GMAT Integrated Reasoning any less seriously than the Quantitative or Verbal sections.”
Mitchell notes that because test takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance can’t be masked by stronger performance on other sections of the test.
September 26, 2012
The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner of the GMAT exam, has announced that last year was a record year for the exam. Volume for the 2012 testing year (July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012) was up 11 percent from the prior year, and eight percent higher than the previous record of 265,613 in 2009.
A total of 286,529 GMAT exams were taken, with 831,337 score reports sent to 5,281 graduate business and management programs around the world ”” all historic highs, says GMAC.
The record volume partially reflects increased interest in the exam brought on by the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section on June 5, 2012. Historically, test volume rises just before changes are made to a standardized exam as test takers opt for a familiar format at the transition.
GMAT testing outside of the United States continues to grow quickly. Tests taken by non-US citizens rose 19 percent in 2012 and represented 59 percent of global GMAT volume.
Chinese test takers, the second-largest citizenship group after the US, represented 20 percent of global testing. In 2012, the number of exams taken by Chinese citizens increased 45 percent to 58,196 exams. Meanwhile, Indian citizens, the third-largest citizenship group, took 30,213 GMAT exams, a figure that increased 19 percent in 2012.
The percentage of exams taken by women hit 42.9 percent in 2012””a record for the third straight year.
“Today’s global students ”” who may be a citizen of one country, study in second and choose to work in a third ”” recognize the significance and the superiority of the GMAT exam in gaining admission to the best management programs around the world,” says David Wilson, GMAC president and CEO.
“Business and management skills are needed more than ever in an ever increasing variety of organizations. Business schools have responded by offering a deeper portfolio of programs to meet these diverse needs,” Wilson adds.
July 2, 2012
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com Once you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ve got your work cut out for you. MBA applicants need to fit studying for the …
This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA blog on U.S.News.com
Once you’ve decided to pursue an MBA, you’ve got your work cut out for you. MBA applicants need to fit studying for the GMAT and developing essays in with other personal and professional commitments. If you’re planning to apply to business school in the fall, now is the time to come up with a game plan for completing the admissions components within a schedule that doesn’t necessitate sleepless nights and a jumbo bottle of Maalox. The best way to do this is to put together your MBA application timeline months before your target deadlines.
Allot time for essays and the GMAT: We’re slightly more than three months away from Round One at most schools. If you haven’t started your applications and are wondering if you still have time, it depends. Among the factors you should weigh: how much time you have in your schedule, how difficult it is for you to write essays, and how focused and motivated you are. In general, three to four months is enough time to submit several applications in the first round. You’ll be working hard, but that is a realistic timeline.
The amount of time MBA aspirants will spend on their applications will vary, depending on writing abilities and general work efficiency. That said, plan to spend between 40 and 60 hours preparing four to eight applications. Non-native English speakers will also likely need to allot more time on their applications, particularly on writing, revising, editing, proofing, formatting, and inputting essays.
The other piece of this puzzle is, of course, the GMAT. Have you completed the GMAT and are you satisfied with your score? If you still need to take the GMAT, you may have a lot of work ahead of you, as applicants typically devote at least 100 hours to test preparation. Depending on where you are in the process, you may have to take a prep class and perhaps take the test more than once. If this is the case, Round One may not be a realistic option.
Structure your work sessions: Some people work most efficiently when they can break up tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces, while others prefer to devote several hours to their writing in one sitting. MBA applicants should be aware of the way they work most effectively and structure their writing and editing sessions accordingly.
I’ve had candidates call me a week before applications are due, planning to take the week off of work, deprive themselves of sleep, and devote all of their time to writing essays to submit in the first round. They figure that 100 hours of work should do the trick. While that may be plenty of time, I’m a big believer that the time should be spread out. Because this is such a personal, soul-searching process, sometimes you just need to call it a night and sleep on it””tough to do when you only have a week.
I typically recommend that candidates allocate two to three hours each time they sit down to work on their essays, particularly for the first few drafts. Essays should be approached holistically; you won’t have a compelling final product if you snatched 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there to cobble together that “knowledge into action” essay for the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.
Conversely, most applicants should also avoid the “marathon session.” Few people are still sharp or creative eight hours into a writing and editing session. If you need to make up for lost time, try breaking it up with a session in the morning and another in the evening.
Allow some distance: Applicants should also build several weeks for reflection and feedback into their MBA timeline. If you can come back to your essays days later with fresh eyes, you’ll often think of a better example or more inspired language to illustrate a certain point. This won’t happen if you’re forced to work at warp speed.
Distributing your writing and editing over a reasonable period also makes it easier for friends, family, or colleagues to provide feedback. It’s unfair to ask someone to turn around comments in a 24-hour period, so provide them with a few days to give you their critiques. Leave yourself adequate time to reflect upon and incorporate their feedback.
We’re just getting into the thick of things for most schools. If you’re planning to apply this year, now is the time to get started: on GMAT prep, writing essays, selecting recommenders, or just generally piecing together your strategy. The b-school application process is stressful, but careful planning will make the experience manageable and help you channel your energies into continually improving your candidacy until the moment you submit your applications.
April 30, 2012
Has the increase in business schools accepting the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an admissions alternative swayed prospective applicants away from the GMAT? Not so much, a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey reveals. Just 16% …
Has the increase in business schools accepting the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as an admissions alternative swayed prospective applicants away from the GMAT? Not so much, a recent Kaplan Test Prep survey reveals.
Just 16% of prospective MBA students said they considered taking the GRE route. Of the 84% who said they never considered taking the GRE instead of the GMAT, 60% said the primary reason was because some or all their target schools only accept the GMAT; 19% said it was because they felt applicants who submit a GMAT score have an admissions advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score; and 8% said it was because they thought they’d do better on the GMAT than on the GRE.
Lee Weiss, director of graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep, says students reporting that they never considered the GRE due to it not being accepted at their target schools may have skewed the numbers out of a lack of information. Many of them would be surprised to know that most, if not all, of the business schools they plan on applying to accept the GRE in addition to the GMAT, Weiss adds.
“However, it’s still a smart business school admissions strategy to take the GMAT if you are only applying to business school, and not considering applying to graduate school too. According to a separate Kaplan survey of business school admissions officers, applicants who submit a GMAT score have a slight admissions advantage over applicants who submit a GRE score.”
Kaplan Test Prep believes an increasing number of business school will accept the GRE in the years to come, though applicants who submit a GMAT score may continue to hold an advantage, especially because the GMAT is adding an Integrated Reasoning section in June to reinforce its status as the best predictor of student success in business school. Kaplan will continue to track this trend.
Meanwhile, ETS announced last week that starting in July 2012, anyone taking the GRE will be able to take advantage of a new option called ScoreSelect, which allows test-takers to decide which test scores to send to the institutions they designate, so they can send the scores they feel reflect their personal best.
April 30, 2012
Aside from manipulating the GMAT’s favorite numbers (72, 64, etc.), one of the calculations you’ll do most often when working through GMAT problems is dividing and multiplying by five. It’s common in the real world, too. As …
Aside from manipulating the GMAT’s favorite numbers (72, 64, etc.), one of the calculations you’ll do most often when working through GMAT problems is dividing and multiplying by five. It’s common in the real world, too. As with most common calculations, there’s a better way to do them than long division or traditional multiplication.
For both division and multiplication, the key concept here is that 5 is simply 10 divided by 2. So, anywhere you see a 5 in an equation, you can substitute (10/2). You won’t always want to do that, but in some cases, I guarantee you that working with 10s and 2s is preferable to working with 5s.
Using that trick, consider multiplying 36 and 5. (If you automatically know that, work through the example with a less common number, like 47.) Using the trick outlined above, 36(5) = 36(10/2). You now have two options: you can multiply 36 and 10 and then divide by 2, or divide 36 by 2 and then multiply by 10. Either way, both steps are quite simple.
This is an excerpt from a longer article by Jeff Sackmann, originally published at GMAT Hacks. Jeff has created several valuable GMAT-preparation resources, including Total GMAT Math and Total GMAT Verbal.
Interested in reading more? Click HERE to see more test prep advice.