Train The Brain, Nail The GMAT [Or GRE]

Listen to the show!What do sports and graduate admissions test have in common? More than you’ve ever imagined.

Have a GMAT or GRE coming up? Listen to our talk with Brett Ethridge, founder and CEO of Dominate the GMAT and Dominate the GRE for invaluable test prep insights and advice – – and a healthy dosage of sports allegories.

00:02:45 – How Brett got involved in test prep. (The honest answer.)

00:05:51 – The online education style at Dominate the GMAT.

00:08:23 – What happens when a student at Dominate the GMAT is just not picking up the info.

00:10:27 – Looking for test prep? Dominate the GMAT’s unique value.

00:14:44 – Comparing the GRE and GMAT.

00:17:20 – GMAT vs. GRE: Which test to pick!

00:28:21 – Brett’s top test prep advice. Prepare to un-teach.

00:33:44 – A surprising tip for raising your GMAT score.

00:39:13 – How much time to do you need to study to increase your score by 50 points?

00:43:18 – “Get dressed up” and other final words of advice.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of

Related links:

• Preparing for the GMAT: Video Tips to Live By
• Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT

Related shows:

• How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions
• To GRE or Not To GRE? That Is The Question
• The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree
• The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well
Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT on What MBA Applicants Need to Know

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Watch our webinar and learn Your 3-Part Game Plan to Dominate the GMAT

Does UCI’s 5+2 For PhDs Add Up?

Choosing a Ph.D Program: 3 Tips - Download your free copy today!It’s no secret that the academic job market for humanities PhDs is, euphemistically, challenging— and PhD programs are beginning to make some tough choices, including limiting program sizes at some institutions.

With the average time-to-degree in the humanities stretching to nearly a decade (and many students taking much longer than that), UC Irvine has a new proposal to shorten degree times: doctoral study capped at 5 years (with a more generous funding package, including summer support), followed by a two-year, teaching-intensive post-doctoral position.

The 5+2 program will begin in two Irvine departments this fall—philosophy and visual studies. The university anticipates that more departments will follow. (With the new funding structure in place, philosophy experienced an increase in yield from 40 to 75%; visual arts’ yield stayed flat at 40%.)

This move follows an MLA report last year that called for shorter PhD programs and better funding packages, along with stronger career preparation.

Critics of UCI’s plan have voiced concern about both sides of the proposal—the 5-year PhD, because they worry it will put limits on complex dissertation projects and shut out people who might need more time, such as students with families or those from disadvantaged backgrounds; and the 2-year postdoc, because they are concerned that it could contribute to the growing “adjunctification” of the university by creating a new pool of low-paid lecturers (while taking jobs away from experienced non-tenure track lecturers).

While these are certainly valid concerns (particularly the concerns about adjuncts) this seems like a step worth trying— especially the proposal for a better-funded, 5-year doctorate. Given the state of the job market, it does not make much sense to spend 10+ years in a PhD program, amassing debt while writing a dissertation that might never translate to a job. A program that allows students to complete their dissertations faster (with better financial support) and also attempts to provide opportunities for professional development sounds like a step in the right direction. (The problem of universities relying so heavily on contingent faculty will require different solutions!)

Plott Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions  - Download your guide today!

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your grad school applications.

Related Resources:

Choosing a PhD Program: 3 Tips
• PhD Funding Disparities
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?

How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions

Listen to the show!If you could pick one person to provide insight into graduate admissions, who would it be? A dean of admissions, of course!

Applicants, rejoice! The guest on this week’s show is a former dean of graduate admissions who has reviewed and signed off on over 45,000 applications.

Tune in to our enlightening conversation with Carol Drummer for an insider’s perspective on important graduate admissions questions: Who should go to grad school? How to show fit in an application? How to get accepted even with grades that are nothing to brag about?

00:01:25 – Featured Question: Does “element X” equal automatic rejection?

00:04:58 – Carol’s route to graduate admissions via a wine and cheese party.

00:09:47 – The formula for calculating if grad school is right for you.

00:15:01 – Differences in applying for different specialties/ fields and showing fit in your application.

00:21:36 – How even an applicant with non-impressive stats can impress the adcom.

00:25:05 – The #1 application killer.

00:27:35 – Best way to approach the SOP: Tell a story!

00:32:55 – Advice for selecting a strong recommender.

00:35:36 – What to do when your recommender says, “You write it, I’ll sign it.”

00:39:28 – When helicopter parents hover over grad school applicants.

Click here to listen to the show! *Theme music is courtesy of

Related links:

Carol Drummer’s Bio Page
“What Next….” Is Graduate School For You?
Making Friends with the GRE: How To Overcome Test Anxiety and Perform at Your Best
Kisses of Death for Your Grad School Application

Related shows:

• Admissions Straight Talk: Interview with Dr. Drew Appleby
• To GRE or Not To GRE? That Is The Question
• Is a PhD a Good Idea?
• Non-Academic Careers for PhDs: A Talk with Dr. Paula Chambers
• Which Graduate Schools Should You Apply To?

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!
Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide

Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella

Read more about Jessica here!You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point:

When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she just published her first novella!

Based on a death penalty trial that she worked on as a law student,  A Trial for Grace explores the complicated question of guilt and innocence. It’s available for Kindle (and Kindle apps).

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko
• 5 Ways To Start Your Med School Personal Statement
• So You Didn’t Get Into Law School…