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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

My Own RC tips for GMAT

GMAT RC tests you on 4 passages with about 14- 16 questions i.e 30% of the verbal section. Most students find this section quite time consuming and boring. In such a situation, though the section is scoring once you gain insights into these simple tips outlined below, it can slow you down on the test if you do not use the right approach.
   As the name suggests, Reading comprehension is reading the given passage, understanding it and answering the questions that follow, sounds simple we have done it since our school days. Why then does this simple exercise bog you down - most complain “I don’t understand what I’m reading”, this can be main reason why you just tend to lose interest, most of the RC passages are attempted through guesswork which can go against your score.  How then does one develop this interest in reading, as a human nature we read what we like or understand, hence what is very important is building familiarity with the topics or the subject matter that is tested.
 As for GMAT, we can draw a list of subjects that are tested of you as a test taker:
·         
       US History
·         Life Sciences
·         Minority related topics like women issues or Native Americans
·         Business related topic based on economics ,finance etc

So we have one part of the puzzle here, can reading such topics help then - subscribe to American publications of news – Washington post, national geographic etc does help here.
What else can help here – Categorisation of the passages that I read will be next tip:
Typically, passages are broadly classified as (for the purpose of RC)
·         Narrative/Descriptive
·         Factual
·         Assertive
·         Argumentative

Is it possible to draw some correlation between the 2 points discussed above subjects and the type of passages , you sure can ..
We can easily link the subject to the type of passage –for e.g History passages typically tend to be either factual or narrative or Life science passages are mostly factual
 this is not a rule but it can be used as a tip – as you solve more RC’s you will be able pull in more such correlations

What can help next – wouldn’t it plain and simple if someone just gave out the types of questions that would appear on the RC section. Here’s a hint , you very can find out these yourself

From the above tips – we can easily link the 3rd aspect i.e the types of questions but before we  get there
Let us look at the anatomy of any passage in general , what do you find 3 main parts:
Introduction --à Body  à Conclusion
Or in technical jargon   Main point , Scope and the Tone of the passage

So , while reading the passage If you can identify these 3 aspects then you are almost there since most questions on RC revolve around these 3 aspects .  When you read the passage however vague the subject at hand , look for these 3 pointers and you are sure to have hit the jackpot on your answers to the RC questions .

NOW the big finale , let us link all the three tips we discussed above
SUBJECTS TESTED  -à  TYPES of PASSAGES -à TYPES OF QUESTIONS
Yes , it was that simple , you can draw your own list of types of question s from the above equation
  For e.g  HISTORY Passage -  FACTUAL – types of questions will be more on the scope i.e direct data type of questions like  “ as per line 8 what is meant by “   
Like wise use your judgement and as you solve more and more RC’s try and figure out how you correlate these above 3 tips .

Last but not the least , attempting RC’s needs you to have good speed techniques .

Having built familiarity with the subjects helps greatly as suggested in the first tip.

Next use the 3 S’ technique Scan , Skip and Skim  .

SCAN – Give the passage one read , a must do – it is worth the time
SKIP  It is best to skip unnecessary details especially in descriptive /narrative passages
SKIM  for the 3 things – Main point ( first 2-3 lines) , Scope ( bandwidth of the passage )and Tone ( last few lines in the conclusion)

Use these strategies and watch your score on the RC section acing !!



Wednesday, 17 July 2013

GMAT Test Takers for EMBA

   
Top of Form
The GMAT™ has long been used to give business schools valuable insight into a candidate’s suitability for an MBA degree, but it isn’t a requirement for all programs. Today, more and more admissions committees are looking at other evaluation tools for measuring their candidates’ potential. So, for those EMBAs that no longer require the GMAT™, what are program directors looking at instead?
What is the GMAT™?
If you are only just getting acquainted with the term GMAT™, it might help to get an understanding of what the acronym stands for. The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT™) is a three and a half hour test (four with optional breaks included) that assesses a business school candidate on four key areas: Analytical Writing, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal skills. Tasks involved include analyzing an argument, multi-source reasoning and graphics interpretation, data sufficiency and problem solving, reading comprehension, critical reasoning and sentence correction. As Frank Crooks, Director of the Executive MBA at John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, says: “the GMAT™helps us assess a candidate’s ability to deal with quantitative subjects and their aptitude for writing exams.”
According to Jane Delbene, Director of Marketing for the Graduate Management Admission Council, (GMAC), the organization that owns the GMAT™, the test was specifically designed to help business schools assess and select qualified candidates wishing to attend graduate business and management programs. “Admissions teams meet an astounding number of impressive and accomplished professionals every day, but not all will have what it takes to succeed in the classroom. That’s where the GMAT™ comes into play,” Delbene says. “The GMAT™ measures a candidate’s higher-order reasoning skills, which includes analytical and critical reasoning. These are paramount to success in the business world and the business school environment. So, regardless of your age, background and experience, which are factors that cannot be objectively assessed, the GMAT™ is a reliable and extremely precise indicator to schools that an individual has what it takes to be successful on a program.”
Additionally, Delbene says the GMAT™ is an important tool for business schools to compare students around the world using the same evaluation. “This also assures students their cohort has been consistently and objectively selected using a standardised measurement tool,” she says. For Executive MBA candidates who have been out of the academic world for some time, Delbene adds that taking the GMAT™ is valuable practice and almost a crash course to help students prepare for what lies ahead.
Value for schools
At The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, all applicants must submit a GMAT™ score (no minimum score is required) as part of their application unless granted a waiver. “GMAT™ scores provide the admissions committee with information about an applicant’s ability to succeed in an academically rigorous program,” explains Bernie Zanck Bernie Zanck, Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the Executive MBA Program - Europe, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “We look at all aspects of a candidate’s background, knowledge and experience. Senior level managers, usually with 12 or more years of management experience may be granted an exemption from the GMAT™ requirement. Examples might include CEOs, Managing Directors, CFOs, and Division Heads. 
“A waiver may also be considered for a candidate whose work experience and training indicate a high level of quantitative and analytical skill and an ability to apply those skills to a rigorous and analytical MBA program,” Zanck says. “Examples might include: Treasurer or Chief Accounting Officer, or a CFA, or a candidate possessing another advanced degree or diploma in a quantitative field. The criteria above are not meant to be exhaustive and candidates who believe they are able to provide evidence of a similar quality not listed are encouraged to speak to an admissions representative,” he says.
At the University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, GMAT™ scores are required for some candidates applying to the Executive MBA Worldwide Program, including those with less than 10 years of professional work experience or with an undergraduate degree in an area with little quantitative coursework.
“GMAT™ scores are one of the many different tools we use to evaluate candidates,” explains Assistant Dean, William T. Valenta, Jr. “Compared with other evaluation tools, GMAT™ scores give us a fairly good indication of a candidate’s academic ability. After all, they will be completing a rigorous program based upon master’s level coursework. Additionally, the GMAT™ is another opportunity for the best qualified candidates to separate themselves from  the competition.”
A holistic approach
While the GMAT™ provides these three schools with valuable insight into a candidate’s suitability for their Executive MBA programs, many other business schools around the globe no longer use the test as a measure for success. So what do they look for instead? IE Business School is just one of the schools who no longer require a GMAT™ score of their candidates. “The emphasis during the admissions process is on the professional experience of each candidate,” says Natalie Beamer, Admissions Assistant for Premium EMBA Programs. “We focus on building classes of students who have outstanding career development, an interest in entrepreneurship, excellent intrapersonal skills and strong objectives with leadership potential,” she says.
The GMAT™ isn’t usually part of the selection process at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management either. “The Telfer Executive MBA program focuses on creating a cohort of talented individuals who will both actively contribute to and benefit f rom the Telfer learning environment,” says program Director, Sophia Leong. “We do this by judiciously evaluating candidates based on business talent, personal ambition and organizational responsibility. We follow a rigorous selection process that brings together the best possible group of candidates who will foster a high impact, practical and relevant experience. We use case studies as well as other evaluation techniques to ascertain the potential candidate’s candidacy. This has allowed us to open the door to a broader range of Executive MBA candidates who have the experience and capacity to do the program.”
At the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, EMBA candidates are evaluated on a variety of components including transcripts, work experience, letters of recommendation and the admission interview but the GMAT™ is not a requirement.
“Although the W. P. Carey School of Business recognizes the value of standardized testing in the admissions process, we feel the breadth and depth of experience that our applicants bring to the table can be measured in multiple ways,” says Ruthie Pyles, Director of Admissions and Recruitment for MBA programs.
"Taking a holistic approach, the committee will not only evaluate the academic strengths of the applicant, but will also determine the synergies between the applicant and the strengths and culture of the program. Our executive cohort is extremely diverse, and it would be difficult to predict if adding this one component would significantly affect that diversity,” Pyles says.
The holistic approach is also favoured by the admissions committee at Athabasca University “There really isn’t one key indicator we use to predict whether or not an applicant will be a good fit,” says Deborah Hurst, Associate Dean for the Faculty of Business and Program Director of the Executive MBA. "Significant management experience is what we’re looking for and we also focus on ensuring our students are at a stage in their careers where they can truly apply what they are doing back to their own workplaces. We don’ t just want student s to learn the theory of leadership; we want them to be leading teams and organizations as they learn. The GMAT™ can be a good indicator of a student’s ability to learn at a master’s level, but it ’s not a solid indicator for these other experiences.”
Alternative testing
At one of the top business schools in the world, the GMAT™ has been replaced with an in-house test. Candidates applying to INSEAD’s Executive MBA program no longer need to present a GMAT™ score (although scores are still accepted), but rather the results of the INSEAD EMBA test.

Offerend through testprep company Prep-Zone, the test retains key elements from the GMAT's multiple-choice quantitative and verbal sections while introducing a mini-case analysis delivered via a 30-minute presentation. Prep-Zone co-founder and INSEAD alum Mícheál Collins says the test was designed to better align with the skills needed of the business school’s EMBA program. “We realized that to properly gauge the preparedness of a candidate, their sense of business should be tested as well as their cognitive st rengths. Hence we added the case presentation to the test and removed the essay writing part,” he explains. The INSEAD EMBA test is administered regularly on each campus and is combined with a panel interview.

Source: TopMBA

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

5 Ways Not Lose Your Sanity While Studying for the GMAT


Every person’s “GMAT story” is unique.

1. Taking a Class

I’ve read in storybooks that some people scored a 700 right off the bat on their diagnostic test without ever cracking a book. I’ve heard of others who simply read GMAT books and prepared on their own and got the score they desired. For the vast majority of us humans, a GMAT preparation class is necessary for one simple reason: it helps you to structure your studying and stick to a designated plan, complete with a weekly check-in with a brilliant instructor to guide you and answer your study questions. Not to mention, if you are in line with all the other competitive MBA candidate hopefuls, you will be inspired to stay current on the homework assignments in order to be relatively stable when called upon in class or showing your answers on practice questions. Overall, the MBA class is a safe space to make mistakes, practice mental math and re-learn 7th grade math concepts (remember those isosceles triangles?), improve your grammar, and accomplish the core task at hand: surviving the GMAT.

2. Timing

Taking the GMAT is kind of like having a child, there is no “perfect time” to do it. There will always be a major project or proposal at work, vacations you want to take, and unpredictable life events that steal our attention. No matter what, if you are studying correctly for the GMAT, you will be setting aside a significant amount of your time on a weekly basis to give all you have to the GMAT. For me personally, I chose Saturday classes because my regular work week was too unpredictable for me to commit to an evening class. My Saturday class became my ritual every week, and as best as possible, I adhered to the syllabus in order to tackle GMAT studying in chunks, rather than cramming or dragging it out for longer than necessary. I devoted 15-20 hours per week to study quant most mornings before work, and study verbal several evenings during the week. I took the weekend to take practice tests or do long problem sets, as well as sit in on my weekly class. If I had time during my lunch break, I would even listen in to online study session webinars that my test preparation company provided. All in all, breaking up my studying into multiple times throughout the day helped me concentrate in smaller doses rather than studying 4 or 6 hours straight and losing focus.

3. Controlling Your Emotions

The GMAT nearly “got to me” on several occasions. Whether from exhaustion or frustration or sheer sadness at the riddance of my normal social life, there were many times that I found myself in tears after a bad practice test or studying a certain topic multiple times only to find myself stillmissing questions on problem sets. As an A-student all of my life who was used to studying hard before tests and performing well, the GMAT really threw me a curve ball with its adaptive test methodology. There were several practice tests, for example, where I was in the 75-80% percentile range on quant through question 30, and then would miss 5 of the last 7 questions to end up in the 30% range. On my first official GMAT test, I scored 110 points lower than my last practice test—110 points. I quite literally almost blacked out in the testing center when I saw my score. However, despite these experiences, I had to force myself to get back on the horse, continue studying, and achieve my goal which I knew was within reach.

4. Your Support Network

The people you surround yourself with during GMAT studying are extremely important to your overall sanity and long-term test success. There are three types of support you need:
  1. People who care about your GMAT success—These are your friends who understand your goals and level of commitment. They may be taking the test at the same time or have taken it before. Your parents most likely fall into this category. They want you to succeed, understand your frustrations, encourage you, and tell you to keep going when you want to quit.
  2. People who could care less about your GMAT success—These people are the ones who encourage you to go away for a beach trip in the middle of your study sprint and want you to go out on Saturday nights instead of staying in and studying. It is wise to politely decline their text message, email, and phone invitations about 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, you should go out with them for your own personal wellbeing. Being around people whose face would not change if you told them you got a 300 or an 800 score can be liberating.
  3. People who you do not know but commiserate with you and the GMAT—These individuals are strangers who you can find on the world wide web. I referenced many study support sites, mainly the blog onGMATClub.com, to hear honest GMAT stories and struggles from people all over the world taking the test. There are inspiring stories with titles such as “From 450 to 780,” and ones less positive but that are real and let you know you are not alone in your frustrations.

5. Take Time to Celebrate

Your GMAT studying process is designed for you to reach your goal score. While you are on your way to that ultimate success, you should reward yourself by celebrating the small stuff. If you finally nail your timing on quant in a problem set, take an evening off to get together with friends. When you first score in your goal range on a practice test, treat yourself to a pedicure or great meal out. And finally, have something really freaking fantastic lined up for you at the finish line. My first test, which as mentioned did not go so well, at least resulted in a big group dinner right afterwards so that I was with my support network. The day after my second test, which was a personal success, I took off on a vacation to Israel, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey. These were things I could look forward to throughout my GMAT journey. Celebrating your short-term and long-term achievements along your study route will definitely help keep your mind in check.
Good luck studying!
Source: Beat the Gmat