This post is part of a series on preparing to get an MBA. To see all the posts, click here.
The GMAT is a great exam. In today’s post, I’ll briefly review the two main sections: the quantitative section (commonly called “the math section”) and the verbal section (commonly called “English”). There are a lot of great resources out there for studying, so I’m not going to talk a lot about specifics. Instead, I’ll tell you what your general strategy should be.
First things first…
The first you’ll want to do for the GMAT is go to mba.com. Take one of the free practice tests. Here’s a link to the specific page. Do this first to experience the test and understand what your starting point is. This will help you choose schools. Also, you’ll see where your weak points are and what you need to work on the most.
The Quantitative Section (Math)
The GMAT’s math section was made by geniuses. It does an excellent job of testing your quantitative skills. Here’s how it works. There are about 100 simple math concepts you need to learn. These are not hard. You probably learned them all before you were 16 years old. They include addition, fractions, basic algebra, and geometry. You might not remember everything, though. So your first step is to learn the concepts. Here’s a good site.
That’s not the smart part. The smart part is that now you need to apply these math concepts in creative ways. You’ll need to take practice tests and study a lot.
The Verbal Section (English)
The GMAT’s English section has three sections. Here’s the basic strategy for each.
Reading: Read the first and last sentence of each paragraph and skim the middle of each paragraph. Do this to get a general idea. Then, identify the question type. If the question type is easy for you, look carefully for the answer. If it’s a hard question type, decide if the question is also hard. If it is, just guess and move on.
Analyze an Argument: The key here is to identify the conclusion and the reasons for that conclusion. The questions are going to be about missing reasons or missing conclusions, so if you understand the argument, then you can decide what’s missing.
Analyze a Sentence: For these questions, you need to learn agreement between nouns and verbs. (When a verb should have an “s” and when it shouldn’t.) This idea will help you eliminate many choices. The next step is to understand the basic ways parts of speech (like adverbs and adjectives) work. After that, you need to study which prepositions go with with words.
Last week, I reviewed how to choose a business school. You learned about how to find a good school, how to determine the cost, what to think about the location, and how much to value job placement.
So, let’s say you’ve decided on a few schools that you like. What happens next? This week, you’ll learn about all the steps between choosing a good school and getting accepted. In future weeks, I’ll write about each step in detail.
The first thing you’ll need to do is take the GMAT. The GMAT is a great test that does a really good job of testing your ability to think well. There are two main parts: the analytic section (math) and the verbal section (English). Start by going to mba.com and taking a practice test to check your level. Then start studying to get better. 700 is the magic number for getting into any school, but this is always just one part of the application. Other things matter too.
In your essays, you need to prove to the school that you have a great future. If you convince them that you’re going to be a CEO, you’ll get accepted. Answer their questions honestly and have other people look at your essays. But remember the goal is to make them confident about your future. Tell them your goals. Tell them why you’ll be successful. And tell them why their MBA will make a difference.
The final step will be the interview. Visit clearadmit.com for some great advice and reports from previous applicants. The general advice is the same as for the essays. You need to tell them two basic things: why they should choose you and how their MBA will help you. Prepare 10 stories that demonstrate your positive characteristics and be ready to use them as examples for different questions.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll talk about each step in greater detail.
Are you thinking about getting an MBA? An MBA can help your career, but the challenge of getting into an MBA program is huge. You should find good schools, take the GMAT, apply to the programs, and interview. Only then will you (hopefully) get accepted.
In today’s lesson, I’ll briefly review how to choose a school and share some good resources. If you’d like some personalized help getting into an MBA program. Contact me here.
Here are the things to think about when choosing a school:
School Quality: The most important thing is that you learn some good things and expand your network.
As you’re looking at schools, make sure they have a good program for your business area (marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, etc.). Check out the networking opportunities because those are often more important than the classes. Finally, try to learn what the environment is like. Some places are very competitive. Some places are very friendly. Choose a place you think you’d like to be.
Rankings are a great place to start looking. Here’s the link you need:
Click on a school to see more details about it. You can also find rankings by specialty. For $30, you can access even more information. You should pay the $30. The rankings are really great.
Next, you really need to visit the website of the school to learn more.
After checking out the rankings and visiting some school websites, go here next:
They have their own rankings and detailed descriptions of many schools. They also have great resources for the whole application process.
But school quality is only part of your decision, you should also think about these things.
Tuition: Most schools charge $30,000-$60,000 per year.
Rent: If you visit http://craigslist.com, you can choose your desired city and quickly see what it will cost to rent an apartment while you’re in town. You can choose the size you need and see what the recent prices are.
Car: The second most important thing is a car. A car can easily cost $10,000/year because you’ll need to buy gas, insurance, etc. Yes, you can sell it later, but not for as much as you paid for it. Plan for at least $5000 per year if you need to buy a car.
Other Costs: For other costs, if you visit http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/, you can compare the cost of living in different cities.
Location: Choose a school in a place you’d like to live. New York might be too expensive. North Carolina might be too boring. Minnesota might be too cold. All three of those places have amazing schools, but the place matters.
Location is also very important for networking. Think of the local business people you’re likely to meet while studying. For example, Michigan is very near many car companies. If you’re in the supply chain business, they might be excellent for you to learn from. On the other hand, maybe you’d prefer to study in Hong Kong if you’ll be doing business in Asia.
Opportunity Cost/Length of Program: You can complete an MBA in one year. Two years is normal, but it might not be worth it.
Job Placement: The best schools work very hard to get you a good job. But this might not be important to you if you’re planning to return to your country or are being sponsored by your company.
In future weeks, I’ll review the application process for getting into an MBA program.
(1) To delay: To put off, to wait until later
I delayed doing that report because I wanted to watch a movie.
The project was delayed because we couldn’t get the supply fast enough.
(2) Gratification: Feeling happy about something you did
I get a lot of gratification from giving a good presentation.
(3) Never ending: Something that will always be true
Paying taxes is never ending. The government always wants more.
1. In the video, how long should the child wait?
a. 1 minute
b. 5 minutes
c. 10 minutes
2. What can you do to be more successful?
a. Work even when you can do something fun now
b. Eat more sweeties
c. Wait for good things to come to you
3. Does the child in the video get two sweeties?
By Jeremy Schaar
Here’s a simple question that determines how successful you’ll be in life.
Are you able to say no to one good thing if it means a better good thing later? Think about these choices.
For a child, would you like one cookie now, or two cookies later?
For a student, would you like to meet your friends now, or get a better score on a test?
For a worker, would you like to read articles online, or work for a bonus?
These are choices we really make. It’s easy to understand that people who can wait for better things will have better things.
This idea is called “delayed gratification”.
In a famous study, shown in the video above, a child is offered a sweetie (or a marshmallow, cookie, etc.). The adult tells the child that if they wait, they can have TWO sweeties. Children who wait are usually more successful later in life.
Sometimes these studies make me feel bad. I feel like my whole life was determined when I was four years old. But that’s not true. Success isn’t a yes or no question. Success is doing things you’re proud of. It’s a process. It’s never ending.
What this idea shows us is that if we can wait through some bad things, we’ll be able to do more things we’re proud of. For your own growth, stop checking Facebook and just work a bit harder. Delay good things now, and you’ll get better things later.
(1) Goods: Products
You can buy any good you want at Walmart. They sell just about everything.
(2) Wages: The money workers are paid
Wages need to go up if we’re going to get the best workers.
(3) Market research: Trying to learn how people feel about something
Before introducing a new shampoo, we do market research to create the best package.
1. Which three things does Ford think are key to success in business?
a. Fast production, low costs, high wages
b. Good product, low costs, high wages
c. Dependable product, low costs, high wages
2. Why does Ford say people wanted faster horses?
a. They didn’t know well what they wanted
b. What they wanted didn’t exist
c. Market research is never good
3. What did Ford Motors make?
a. Great cars
c. High wages
By Jeremy Schaar
Today on the blog, I’ll present some great quotes from Henry Ford. You’ll be motivated and learn some vocabulary. You’ll also have some quotes that you can use in your next presentation or report.
There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible. –Henry Ford
In this quote, Ford gives strategy advice for industrialists. He says to make great stuff, keep costs low, and pay your workers a lot of money. Industrialism is businesses that manufactures something. Goods are products. Wages are the money workers get.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said “faster horses.” –Henry Ford
People can’t tell you what they want. You need to learn that by yourself.
Steve Jobs often said something similar. He said that Apple didn’t do market research because people don’t know what they want. It’s the job of the businessman to figure out what people want.
A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. –Henry Ford
This means that a business needs to create something of value. It’s possible to just focus on profits, but Ford doesn’t think it’s a good idea. You need something more.