Prepare as you might for a standardized exam, your test-day strategy will factor heavily into your outcome. Anthony Russo, a senior at Summit High School in New Jersey, has taken the SAT five times. He shared that the difference between his lowest and highest test scores could be explained by test prep and strategy.
“Taking Manhattan Review’s test prep course initially raised my SAT score by 60 points,” Russo shared. “But more than that, my private tutor gave me a plan for approaching the test more tactically.” Want to boost your SAT score just by shifting your behavior? Here are a few ways to maximize your test-taking potential. These tips have helped students, including Anthony, enhance their performance to achieve results in the 98th and 99th percentiles.
- Set the right pace. Think of the SAT like a long race, each question a short hurdle bringing you closer to the finish line. Stopping too long on one question can prove disastrous for the long haul. Each question is worth the same number of points. If a question becomes too time-consuming, don’t stumble and lose your stamina. Move on to the next question, and go back to re-try the most confusing questions. Continue moving forward, answering as many questions as you can with confidence. Accuracy will prove a much more effective tool than speed.
- Start with the easiest questions. Keeping with the SAT-as-a-marathon mentality, everything starts off easiest. Your mind is still fresh, plus the SAT is organized in order of difficulty. As you begin with the easiest questions, calibrate your pace to match the level of difficulty. Don’t allow yourself to become mired down early in the game. Don’t skip around, creating a confusing and disjointed course to follow. Knock out the easiest SAT questions first and stay focused for the more challenging questions to come.
- Never question common sense. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t just choose option B and hope for the best. Use logic to answer the harder questions by turning your guess into a formidable hypothesis. Eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can. As long as you are able to eliminate at least one wrong answer, you should make a guess instead of skipping the question. If you can’t make an educated guess, go ahead and skip the question. You don’t want to roll the dice on SAT questions when you are penalized for wrong answers.
- Master the material with test prep. Cramming won’t work. To prepare for the SAT – as with the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and TOEFL – strategic test prep brings the best results. At Manhattan Review, we offer a range of prep test courses customized to the learning needs of each student. Before making flashcards and memorizing countless math formulas, try the most efficient and effective study methods. Limit your studies to what actually shows up on the SAT, and you’ll conquer the curriculum in no time.
- Practice, practice, practice. We offer plenty of SAT practice tests because they are a sure-fire way to increase SAT scores. Develop test-taking strategies like internalizing your pace. Continue taking practice tests until you finish all SAT questions comfortably and with time leftover.
Anthony summed it up best, saying, “You want to find your test-taking comfort level before you go into the exam. Manhattan Review’s SAT practice exams made finishing the test easier. It probably helped too that I knew more of the answers.“
Now more than ever, students are opting to pursue a specialized MS degree as opposed to a traditional MBA. Many universities are responding to this demand by offering programs in finance, supply chain management, management, accounting, marketing analytics and others. Why the rise?
A Bloomberg Businessweek (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-21/the-booming-market-for-specialized-masters-degrees) article cites the boom in these specialized degrees as a direct result of the high cost, time, and work experience needed to complete a tradition MBA program.
Schools such as Maryland’s Smith and Michigan’s Broad are working on their fifth and seventh MS program, respectively.
Which program would you choose? And why?
Doing the appropriate research prior to your MBA Admissions Interview is of utmost importance.Here are three solid keys to ace your face-to-face!
- Know how you fit the program
Chances are you have already demonstrated your interest in the particular program in your application and essay – so go over those again. Refresh your memory on why your professional and educational background matches the school’s methodology, strengths and career opportunities. Dig out your old essays and re-read them from beginning to end. This solid written document will remind you of why you were interested in the school in the first place. Remember that there will be some hard questions about why this program is the right fit for you – ex: If you were accepted to this school as well as your other top choices, why would THIS MBA Program suit your professional needs best? Be prepared with an answer.
It is important to remember that you might not have much time with the interviewer and the interview might be cut short and asked more specific questions about how you will contribute meaningfully to the program. Dig deep for this research by talking to current and former students who are involved in a club or extracurricular that you are interested in. A little contact can go a long way and shows that you have done your homework.
- Know yourself
This is hugely important. You can talk about the school for hours, but how your personality would add to the patchwork of students for a particular admission cycle. Once a Harvard applicant who had listed singing as her passion was asked to singe DURING the interview. This unique skill can be just enough to push the needle for admission, so have a strategy about how much you want to share and when. Be prepared with a list of your top five skills, experiences, accomplishments and have examples ready to back up your point. In addition, don’t forget to drill on the common questions like: what are your weaknesses, what are your plans for right after graduation, your personal contributions to a team environment and explaining a career change.
- Know the school
Much like you prep for the particular program, you need to know the school. What is their history of admitted students? Do they value innovation, leadership, teamwork and challenging conventional thinking? Many school claim they do this, but find articles and information about how they are practicing what they preach. Knowing how they define their core values and how your admission will contribute to that shows that you have done your appropriate homework and are ready for a well-rounded MBA Admissions Interview.
Now go do the research, hone your talking points and nail that interview! Email us for a free MBA candidacy evaluation.
Applying for a business school is quite daunting and it is hard to know what the admissions committee of a prospective business program wants from you as an applicant. This is an obvious statement but one that has been tackled by Melissa Korn of The Wall Street Journal. Last year, she interviewed Derrick Bolton, Assistant Dean and M.B.A. Admissions Director at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and asked a lot of questions about what he and his colleagues look for in an applicant. We included parts of the interview below as well as highlight some important points to keep in mind.
(The original WSJ interview can be found here.)
WSJ: Do you check out the GMAT score and if it’s below a certain number, put that application aside?
Mr. Bolton: That would rob us of a lot of talent. The GMAT is helpful in terms of understanding how someone can perform in the first year, but that’s one small piece of the overall M.B.A. We [look at candidates] holistically [academic, professional, personal]. That depends on the candidate being authentic with us, which I recognize is hard because it takes a degree of self-confidence to be able to tell your story to total strangers.
- Notice while the GMAT is important, it is not the end-all, be-all; admissions looks at all the things you have demonstrated and see if you are fit for the program.
WSJ: What do applicants worry about too much?
Mr. Bolton: They worry most about scores, they worry about essays. I think they should spend more time thinking about references. They often think about it from the perspective of, ‘I need to pick three references who show different aspects of my personality,’ not from the perspective of, ‘I need to pick three people who are going to be my strongest advocates.’
- Mr. Bolton stresses the importance of your references and what they say. They can support you 110% and are able articulate that well on paper, but if they all say the same thing then it will not count for much. Each reference should be able to tell the admissions committee different reasons why they are rooting for you.
For more expert opinions and advice, contact Manhattan Review today.
Manhattan Review provides its students with topnotch prep courses that will allow students to tackle the challenges found in the GMAT. For young and aspiring entrepreneurs, entry into a top business school is vital to their future success. You have us on your side and quite frankly, our courses are more than capable of pushing you over the top. Assistance like that is valuable and necessary if you want to enter one of the ten toughest business schools in the country:
|School name (state)||Full-time applicants||Full-time acceptances||Full-time acceptance rate||U.S. News rank|
|Stanford University (CA)||6,618||466||7.0%||1|
|Harvard University (MA)||9,134||1,013||11.1%||1|
|University of California—Berkeley (Haas)||3,444||420||12.2%||7|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)||4,490||599||13.3%||4|
|New York University (Stern)||4,416||601||13.6%||11|
|Columbia University (NY)||6,669||1,062||15.9%||8|
|Dartmouth College (Tuck) (NH)||2,744||492||17.9%||9|
|University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)||6,442||1,209||18.8%||3|
|Yale University (CT)||2,823||539||19.1%||10|
|Northwestern University (Kellogg) (IL)||5,305||1,119||21.1%||4|
If the school you were seeking a nod from was not on this list, you can expect a 50-50 chance of getting accepted. While that may seem low to you, it does not beat the extremely low acceptance rates that Stanford University, Harvard University, and UC-Berkley are known for. Manhattan Review’s founder, Prof Dr. Joern Meissner, received his Ph.D in Management Science from Columbia University, which currently boasts an acceptance rate of 15.9%. With this in mind, you can use years of knowledge and prep expertise collected by him and his staff to assist you in preparing for the business world.
Much of the information above can be found in the original U.S. News article here.
For more information on a Free admissions consultation and GMAT preparation, contact Manhattan Review today.
Not everyone studies for the GMAT or approaches it in the same way, so we at Manhattan Review have come up with a list of helpful tips and strategies anyone can use to come out at the top.
- Practice with a time limit
The GMAT is timed so it is best to work problems under a time constraint. In doing so, you will learn how to effectively manage your time. While studying without a time limit is sensible, you cannot hope to accurately gauge how you will perform “under the gun” if your practice sessions do not closely mirror the real thing.
- Complete every question
We cannot stress this enough! You will be penalized more for not writing down an answer than you would writing down a wrong one. If you cannot solve/answer a question within a reasonable amount of time – i.e., two minutes – skip it, make note of it, and then move on to the rest. If you have managed your time correctly you should be able to go back and complete any missed questions.
- Focus on the problem at hand
You must not think about a question you had to skip over or the upcoming Integrated Reasoning section or anything else for that matter; focus only on the problem you are currently tackling. This will allow you to think clearly, answer properly, and assist you with pacing.
This is but a small number of strategies to assist you with the GMAT. For more detailed information, contact Manhattan Review today.
While the total volume of people taking the GMAT over the last year fell marginally from the year before, and again from it’s all-time high in 2009, the percentage of those test-takers who were women or from racial minorities grew significantly in the 2010-2011 GMAT season.
Below are some of the most significant shifts in the test taking population from 2011:
The percentage of female test takers increased for the sixth consecutive year to 41%, which is up from 39% just two years earlier. The fastest growing group to mention in the GMAT pipeline is the under 24 year old population, which has exploded since 2007 – reflecting the push for those seeking post-graduate degrees to do so more quickly than in the past, mainly due to the abysmal job market.
These changes reflect the larger trend in higher education for an increasing amount of minority and international students to apply and be accepted to post-graduate programs across the globe.
For MBA applicants, it is already well known that obtaining their advanced degree will be costly and most likely require some combination of loans, financial aid and personal investment.
Some employers still fund or at least partially fund their employees graduate business education, however the number of companies still practicing this has dwindled in lieu of the our current economic state. Unlike a lot of private undergraduate schools, the offers of MBA scholarships based on merit are much harder to come by. While many student loan brokers are willing to approve much larger amounts of money for graduate students than undergraduate, it is important to know that there ARE scholarships out there, if you are willing to do some in depth research into a lot of different organizations, both public and private.
With the economy in stasis, an increasing number of professionals looking to return to school to get advanced business degrees are unwilling to give up their current positions when finding a new job after their graduation is no longer assured.
Executive MBA programs, offer an excellent alternative to traditional full time MBA educations- where they would be expected to leave their current roles, and then hope that they will be able to find better positions after completing their post graduate education.
Part time programs take about 1-2 additional years to complete versus full-time two year MBA’s. Many believe that the job security they are afforded and ability continue earning an income during the degree, is well worth it.
The diversity of programs offered for EMBA students is growing as well, since an increasing number of applicants for EMBA programs are no longer having their education paid for by their employers. Now they are free to make the decision of where to attend themselves. This means finding new and innovative ways to attract students, like increased offerings of electives in growth areas like entrepreneurship and leadership workshops.
|Business Week ranked the best EMBA programs of 2011|
|IE Business School||4|
|Ohio State (Fisher)||14|
EMBA programs will no doubt continue to gain in popularity as more and more working professionals will be expected to have advanced post graduate degrees to remain competitive in their chosen career fields.
Deciding to reapply to a MBA Program from a school from which has previously rejected your application should never be undertaken lightly. There is usually a good reason (or a few) why you were not accepted to a particular business school program.
- Fact: Applying in different years or semesters to the same school will NOT significantly alter your chances of acceptance. While there are slight variations in the acceptance rates from year to year, overall competition to graduate programs is increasing exponentially.
It is also important to keep in mind that merely having been rejected once before immediately puts you at a disadvantage in comparison with other applicants in your pool. Reapplying without making significant changes and improvements to your application and profile, as a student is a waste of time and money.
Admissions boards will often scrutinize a student who has previously applied more harshly than others simply on the basis of precedent. They will want to see exactly how you have improved your candidacy, spelled out clearly, with detailed anecdotes and progress from your last application.
Above all, be sure that you are objectively evaluating your reasons for reapplication. Applications are expensive and time consuming and you ARE at a distinct disadvantage, having previously been rejected.
In order to ensure that you are accomplishing this effectively, stick to these three main rules if you do decide to reapply to an MBA program:
- Make significant changes to your previous application- in form and content
- Use only specific examples and anecdotes when detailing your achievements or skills.
- Attempt to identify the parts of your application that were the weakest (the reasons for your rejection) and address how you have overcome or improved on them.
For more information, please read our MBA Admissions Rejection Analysis.
- Pace It to Ace It – Test Taking Tips for the SAT
- Specialized Business MS Degrees on the Rise
- Three ways to ace your MBA Admission interview through proper prep
- Applying for an M.B.A.: Reading Between the Lines
- The Ten Toughest Business Schools to Enter
- Basic Strategies to Conquer the GMAT
- The Profile of the 2011 GMAT Test Taker Demonstrates Growing Diversity.
- Business School Scholarship Application Advice
- The Changing Face of Executive MBA programs
- Business School Reapplication: To do, or not to do?