Category Archives: Test Prep Advice
October 21, 2014
First off, congratulations to all of the R1 applicants to Michigan Ross School of Business who received an invitation to interview yesterday! MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon discusses the subject of retaking the GMAT in …
First off, congratulations to all of the R1 applicants to Michigan Ross School of Business who received an invitation to interview yesterday! MBA admissions director Soojin Kwon discusses the subject of retaking the GMAT in her latest blog post, noting that the question also frequently comes from candidates who have already submitted an application.
Perhaps not surprisingly, her answer to whether someone should retake the GMAT is, “It depends.” The tried-and-true advice is to aim for a score in the 80% range, which at Michigan Ross is 650-750. But, 10% of Ross admits have scores below 650, and Kwon explains what an applicant would need to have in order to counterbalance a low score.
That 10% looked something like this:
- had undergrad/post-undergrad records that demonstrated solid academic achievement including in quantitative skills and/or they took post-undergrad courses to demonstrated quantitative ability;
- had a strong track record of professional achievement that demonstrated an ability to contribute to class discussions;
- submitted essays that were well thought-out and well-written with rec letters that demonstrated a fit with Ross’ collaborative, initiative-taking community; and
- solidly reinforced all of the above in their interview. If you look like this, then you may be fine. Keep in mind that there may be many other applicants who look like this.
If applicants wish to retake the GMAT exam and can get their scores submitted to Michigan Ross reasonably close to the application deadline, Kwon says the program will consider the updated score. However, a new score won’t change an admissions decision once it has been made.
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October 10, 2014
According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States, 60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) …
According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States, 60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score.
This represents a slight uptick from Kaplan’s 2013 survey, when 57% said an applicant’s Integrated Reasoning score was not important. Despite that finding, Kaplan’s survey also finds that 50% of business schools pinpoint a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a strong score overall.
And because GMAT takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on the Quantitative, Verbal or Analytical Writing Assessment sections of the exam.
Brian Carlidge, executive director of pre-business and pre-graduate programs at Kaplan Test Prep, says the current lack of emphasis on the IR section may be due to the fact that applicants in 2012, 2013, and 2014 probably submitted scores from the old GMAT, since scores are good for five years.
The tide will likely change though as more applicants submit scores from the current iteration of the GMAT with the IR section. For that reason, Kaplan advises MBA applicants to continue preparing for and doing well on the IR section.
“Similar to how not scoring well on Integrated Reasoning cannot be masked by good performance on other sections because it receives its own separate score, doing well on Integrated Reasoning can set you apart from other applicants in a positive way,” says Carlidge. “Use it to your advantage.”
For the 2014 Kaplan survey, admissions officers from 204 business schools from across the United States – including 11 of the top 30 MBA programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report – were polled by telephone between August and September 2014.
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July 31, 2014
You can’t avoid it. Every exam prep checklist has it, and every experienced tutor will advise you to do it: STUDY! Yes, we all hate to have to do it, but it really is the key to your success on every exam you’ll have to take.
But, the fact is, even after you’ve studied all you can for whatever test you have coming up, you’re not guaranteed success. You might have heard stories of a classmate who crumbled under the pressure of studying for a test, or who slept right through his alarm on the morning of the test, or who ran out of energy and collapsed right on top of her desk during the exam. It really could happen to anyone.
Before you panic about the chances of this happening to you, we’ve got good news! Our friends at Magoosh put together an Exam lifehack infographic to make sure you safely avoid any test-day nightmares. The infographic includes study tools and tips you probably didn’t consider before but that are crucial to keeping you sane all the way up to your test date. So, take some time to browse their list of exam lifehacks and master the 18 unexpected tips you’ll need for a higher test score.
July 16, 2014
If you’re an international student applying to business schools in the U.S., you’ve probably asked yourself this question: what TOEFL score do I need to get in? You might have heard that making it to …
If you’re an international student applying to business schools in the U.S., you’ve probably asked yourself this question: what TOEFL score do I need to get in? You might have heard that making it to the 100’s will guarantee you admission, but you’ve also had friends who reached that score and were turned down from schools. Confused yet? We’d be too!
But before you give up hope, our friends at Magoosh TOEFL have good news for you! They’ve just released a new infographic that shows what TOEFL scores you’ll need to get into top graduate schools in the United States. It’s based off their research on the minimum scores required at top schools as well as what other students at those schools score on average. That means you now have a place to start and a goal to aim for when you decide to take the TOEFL. Cue sigh of relief!
July 14, 2014
The Graduate Management Admission Council, in partnership with Wiley, is making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more convenient. The best-selling Official Guide for GMAT Review series is adding online content, videos and a …
The Graduate Management Admission Council, in partnership with Wiley, is making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more convenient. The best-selling Official Guide for GMAT Review series is adding online content, videos and a study tool, allowing b-school applicants to access hundreds of real, retired GMAT questions both in book form and online to customize their own question sets.
“The Official Guide for GMAT Review has been a consistently popular trade publication since the first edition was published in 1978,”says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC vice president, product management. “Now, we are making studying for the GMAT exam easier and more flexible, as people can both annotate the book and customize question sets with the new, online component.”
Joan O’Neil, VP and managing director at Wiley, calls the partnership with GMAC ideal, adding “We are excited to see how the new online aspects and tools evolve so we can continue to bring the best content and value to our customers.”
The 2015 series will contain the same content as the Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition, and the Official Guide for Quantitative Review, Second Edition, and the Official Guide for Verbal Review, Second Edition, along with access to exclusive online content including videos and a study tool that allows users to customize practice sets by question format and difficulty level.
“We see our role as giving candidates the best opportunity to perform to the best of their ability on the GMAT exam. Publishing the Official Guide is part of that mission as the series offers more retired practice questions than any other product on the market. The online enhancements made to the 2015 edition are the first of many improvements, and we plan to update the Guides on an annual basis,” Sarathy says.
The 2015 series is available at bookstores worldwide and at the mba.com/store.
June 25, 2014
Prospective business students taking the GMAT exam will now be able to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admission Council has announced. The score reporting feature …
Prospective business students taking the GMAT exam will now be able to preview their unofficial scores before deciding whether to report or cancel them, the Graduate Management Admission Council has announced.
The score reporting feature is available to all test takers and will take effect at all 600 test centers around the world that administer the GMAT exam beginning on Friday, June 27, 2014.
“We are pleased to offer this feature as part of our efforts to make preparing for and taking the GMAT exam easier,” says Ashok Sarathy, GMAC’s vice president of product management. “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.”
Test takers are given the option of reporting or canceling their scores immediately after taking the test and before leaving the test center.
Under the new process, test takers will see their unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether to accept them. If they do not make a choice, their scores will be canceled.
In addition, test takers who decide to cancel their scores at the test center will be able to reinstate them within 60 days of the test date for a $100 fee. After that, scores will not be retrievable.
If there were two things I would recommend to test takers to get the most out of this new feature, says Sarathy, they would be:
- Know what score you’re willing to accept so that when asked whether your wish to send your scores or cancel them, you have already considered your answer.
- Understand that you have 60 days to reinstate a score you might have canceled but decide later that you want to send.
Analytical Writing Assessment scores are unaffected by the change. They are not included on unofficial score reports available immediately but are reported on official score reports delivered within 20 days.