How Meaningful Is The GMAT?

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Can the GMAT predict the future?

The GMAT is important for b-school admissions. But does it predict success beyond that? GMAC never claimed that it does, and according to research from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the answer is no: their data suggests that the GMAT is not predictive of employability.

Their study is based on a review of Rotman MBA grads’ admission files and employment outcomes over several years. They analyzed numerous factors, including students’ performance on admission interviews, their undergrad GPAs, their TOEFL scores, their Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) scores, their years of pre-MBA work experience, etc.  Each of these elements was found to be more meaningful for candidates’ future employability than their GMAT scores. For example, a strong AWA or admissions interview was found to be predictive of future employment success, while 10+ years of work experience proved to be a warning sign, with these candidates more likely to be unemployed 3 months after graduation.

Because of the significance of rankings that use GMAT scores, such as US News, the GMAT can take on an outsized importance, with schools often reserving scholarship funds for high scorers in a bid to boost their averages.

With this research in hand, Rotman plans to consider a range of factors as it builds its class—particularly achievements and qualities, such as communication skills, that indicate that a candidate has strong potential for success both in b-school and in his/her future career. While Rotman will continue to use the GMAT in admissions, and the admissions office will make sure that Rotman’s average GMAT does not dip below 660, the admissions staff will place increased emphasis on factors such as the AWA and the interview, especially when awarding scholarship funds."Your 3-Part Game Plan To Dominate the GMAT - watch the webinar today! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The GMAC, the GMAT, and the MBA Degree 
• Low GMAT Score? Don’t Panic…Yet.
• Handling a Low GMAT Quant Score

Tips For Video MBA Essay Questions

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Schools are seeking to see how you present yourself visually and with little time to prepare or polish answers.

Worried about being literally on stage? Here are my tips if you need to respond to a question in a short 1-2-minute video.

First, realize that these video essays, like the written ones, are attempts to get to know you. Unlike the written word, however, the schools are seeking to see how you present yourself visually and with little time to prepare or polish answers. They are testing articulation and presence in a way that essays can’t and at much less expense than interviews. In that sense, these videos are a pre-interview screening device in addition to a way to learn more about your likes and dislikes, achievements, dreams, goals, and challenges.

And while you may not be able to prepare for a specific question, you definitely can and should prepare.

You need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. No body language. No facial expressions. No audience energy. Zero feedback. It’s just a dumb machine. Having created videos for Accepted, I found the experience very unnatural, but I think/hope I’ve gotten better with practice. You can too.

Until the questions become known, practice answering different essay questions in the announced time limit and then view the video. Here are a few sample questions to get you started, but I may update this list as we get more information from the schools:

• What do you do for fun?
• What are your passions, interests, and hobbies?
• If you could travel across the United States in a car with anyone, whom would you choose to travel with and why?
• What would you do on a rainy Sunday afternoon?
• How have you handled a difficult interaction? What did you learn from it?
• Describe a difficult professional decision you had to make.  What were the consequences, and what, if anything, did you learn?

If you are really nervous about the video exercise or about speaking in public, consider joining Toastmasters and forcing yourself to speak publicly. You will improve your “presence” and gain confidence. Both will help you with your video interview, any admissions interview, job interviews, and required public speaking.

So beyond preparing and simply getting comfortable with the format or anticipated questions, when it comes time for the real thing, do the following:

1. Dress neatly. Follow any dress guidelines the school provides. Women, put on make-up and jewelry lightly. If you wonder if your attire is too revealing, it is.  Men, have a hair-cut and shave. Make sure beard or mustache, if you have, are trimmed and neat.

2. It should go without saying, but keep your language clean — no profanity.

3. Think for a few seconds before you reply and then minimize pauses that we tend to fill with “ums” and “uhs.” They don’t contribute to “presence.”

4. If you tend to perspire, put on the air conditioning so the room is cool.

5. Sit up straight and lean a little bit forward.

6. Remember to smile. I put a smiley face next to the camera.

And two final points:

1. Schools want to accept students who reflect well on them.
2. You’ll do great!

If you would like help with your video essay, Accepted’s experienced MBA admissions experts, who have been prepping and critiquing MBA applicants for almost twenty years, are more than happy to help you.Listen to our podcast with Niki Da Silva as she discusses MBA Video EssaysAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips [a free guide]
• Videos: MBA Admissions Tips
MBA Video Essay Essays: How They Work and How to Ace Them

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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…

Snag Your Seat At Harvard Business School!

If you’re aiming to attend Harvard Business School in 2016, then you’ll want to check out our recent webinar, Get Accepted to Harvard Business School.

Watch the webinar!In her presentation, Linda Abraham, CEO & Founder of, offers important advice on how to gain a competitive edge to a top b-school in general, and Harvard Business School in particular.

View Get Accepted to Harvard Business School now!

Watch the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy