Meet the Guy Who Passed 60 out of 61 Case Interviews (You Can Too!)

No time like the present to revisit one of our most popular admissions episodes of all time!

If you missed it the first time around, stop whatever you are doing and listen to our interview with Victor Cheng, former consultant and interviewer at McKinsey and author of Case Interview Secrets.

Click here to listen to the show!

*Theme music is courtesy of

Related Links:

• MBA In Sight: Focus on Management Consulting, Accepted’s free guide to b-schools for management consultant wannabes. 
• Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng
• Which B-Schools Send Grads Into Consulting?

Related Shows:

• How to Become a Management Consultant
• An Inside Look at INSEAD
• The Facts about Financial Services

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Are you a future management consultant? Learn how to research & identify the best MBA programs to apply to!

Stanford GSB Class of 2015 Profile

Here’s a glance at Stanford GSB’s class of 2015 (from Stanford’s website):

Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business! Click here to learn more!• Total applicants: 7,108
• Total new students: 406
 Women: 41%
 International students: 35%
 U.S. minorities: 21%
 Range of years of work experience: 0-12
 Average years of work experience: 4
 Average GMAT: 732
 Complete GMAT range (lowest and highest scores): 550-790 (note that there were no perfect scores)
 Advanced degree holders: 15%
 Undergraduate majors:

-  Business (14%)
-  Engineering, math, or natural sciences (35%)
-  Humanities or social sciences (51%)

 Industry experience:


Are you looking to join the next Stanford GSB class? Join us for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business, to learn key strategies to help you get accepted!

Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

Register now: Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business

Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business! Click here to learn more!

The Goals Essay: Writing Nitty-Gritty

Click here to download your complete copy of Why MBA!

They key is to “read” not just the words but the tone of the question.

“Goals Essay – Writing Nitty-Gritty” is excerpted from the special report, Why MBA? To download the entire free special report, click here.

Short- and long-term goals

Before you start drafting your goals essays, work out three levels of goals: short-term, intermediate, and long-term.  It helps to have this whole picture in your mind regardless of where you’ll “zoom in” for a particular essay.  Short-term is immediately post MBA to about two years later; intermediate is about two to five years post MBA; and long-term is the rest.  Usually essays ask for short- and long-term goals, but you’ll need intermediate as the bridge between them.

Short-term goals are the most specific, for obvious reasons – they’re closer in time and they’re also the direct link to the MBA program.  As you describe successive steps, use less and less detail in each, because the further out you project, the less certain things are.  Don’t go beyond what’s practical, e.g., describing in detail what you’ll be doing in twenty years.  Adapt each phase to reality too.  If your targeted industry (say, healthcare) is in great flux, that point should be reflected in your goals.

Responding to specific goals questions

Different sets of essay questions will emphasize different aspects of the goals; they’ll require different lengths and have different tones.   Some are open; other are focused and directed.  They key is to “read” not just the words but the tone of the question.  Anecdotally, I’ve noticed a trend toward short, focused goals essay questions; there are fewer 1,000 word goals essays, fewer essays asking for your “vision.”  Most want the facts, straight.

Read the question carefully, and emphasize in your essay what the question emphasizes (e.g., short-term or long-term equal or do they just mention post-MBA goal?).  In other words, be guided by the question.  That doesn’t mean you can’t bring in other elements, but they should support your main points.

Often the question asks why you want an MBA or want to attend the particular program.  Link these points directly to your goals.  If you can weave in your school visit and/or interactions with students and alumni, great!

Get clear, practical guidelines for answering the MBA goals essay question. Click here to download our free report.

Cindy Tokumitsu By , author and co-author of numerous ebooks, articles, and special reports, including Why MBA and Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One. Cindy has advised hundreds of successful applicants in her fifteen years with

UNC Kenan-Flagler Announces New Online Master of Accounting Program

Fore more info about UNC Kenan-Flagler click here!


UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School just announced its plan to launch Accounting@UNC, an online version of its top-ranked Master of Accounting (MAC) Program. The 15-month online MAC program, which will commence July 2015, will use the same faculty and career placement approach, as well as the same admissions standards and curriculum, as the 12-month residential MAC program. Included in the 15 months is a three-month internship and a number of face-to-face immersion phases, including orientation, recruitment, and leadership development.

“With a long tradition of excellence in accounting education and one of the very best accounting departments in the world, UNC Kenan-Flagler is uniquely positioned to offer the premier online MAC program,” said UNC Kenan-Flagler dean, Douglas A. Shackelford. “Demand for hiring our MAC graduates has never been stronger, with 98 percent having accepted employment offers by graduation. Historically, firms have wanted to hire more of our graduates, but space constraints prevented us from increasing the program’s size. Technology now lets us increase access to a UNC education for even more talented people and meet the demand from companies who want to hire them.”

And according to Jana Raedy, associate dean of the MAC Program, the masters in accounting isn’t just for business majors. “History and English majors, please apply. We value liberal arts education and it benefits our graduates’ long-term career success as they move into positions of leadership,” said Raedy.

UNC Kenan-Flagler already has a successful track record when it comes to online degree programs, in particular with its MBA@UNC program which launched in 2011 with 19 students and currently has 550 enrolled students.


3 Keys to Dominating GMAT Integrated Reasoning

What should you make of the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section? Two years after its introduction, there’s still no great answer to that question. Business school admissions offices still aren’t giving all that much weight to your IR score. And yet, you have to post one. If the first 30 minutes of your GMAT are going to be spent muddling through this challenging section one way or the other, you might as well do as well as possible on it, right? Whether you’re an IR pro or you dread this section like the plague, here are three tips to help you navigate the otherwise murky waters of GMAT Integrated Reasoning:

1. Focus on the Quant and Verbal Sections

I know it may seem a little weird for me to start an article about how to improve your Integrated Reasoning score by telling you to focus most of your study time on the other sections of the test. But hear me out. The reality is that most of core math and verbal concepts you’ll see in Integrated Reasoning questions are the same as what’s tested elsewhere on the GMAT. Granted the questions formats are a bit more convoluted, but the core competencies are the same.

Consider this example from the Veritas Prep website:

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Blog Post - Image 1

What do you notice? Looks like a run-of-the-mill distance/rate/time problem like you’d expect to see on GMAT Problem Solving, doesn’t it? (Here’s an article that shows you a shortcut for solving problems like this). Sure, you have to figure out what all those different answer choices mean with respect to Crew Alpha and Crew Zeta. But solving the actual problem itself isn’t all that hard, and it’s the type of thing you should be studying for the GMAT quant section anyway. Whether a Table Analysis question asks you to calculate a percent increase/decrease or a Two-Part Analysis question asks you to identify an author’s assumption, it’s all stuff you should already know how to do if you’ve adequately prepared for the other sections of the exam.

2. Know When to Cut Your Losses

Let’s be honest: The hardest part about GMAT Integrated Reasoning for most students is time management. You have 30 minutes to answer 12 questions, which only leaves 2.5 minutes per question. But unlike normal GMAT problem solving, each IR question has multiple parts! How can you possibly be expected to finish them all?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to. When it comes to the Integrated Reasoning section, quality is more important than quantity, meaning that you don’t have to answer every question correctly to get a good score. In fact, you can get quite a few wrong and still get an above-average score. Here’s a short video about the important tradeoff between “time”and “accuracy”that you need to constantly juggle on the GMAT, and it applies just as much to IR as it does to the other sections:

So what does this mean for you? Learn when to cut your losses. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and don’t spend much time on questions that give you particular difficulty. If Multi-Source Reasoning questions always take you the longest and you never seem to get them right anyway, for example? Consider skipping one or two of them altogether and save the time for questions you have a better chance of getting right. Learn to speed up when you see questions you can tackle quickly, and slow down when you need extra time to figure something out. And like with GMAT Reading Comprehension, don’t waste time reading every single thing in the prompts. If you truly want to boost your IR score, sometimes less really is more.

3. Reading Comprehension is the Key

GMAT Integrated Reasoning is as much about understanding what the question is asking as it is about actually solving questions. As I mentioned in point #1, the math and verbal concepts tested in IR aren’t all that hard (or, at least, they’re not new). The difficulty is with the way the questions are asked. So take your time. Read the questions for “Big Picture”understanding like you would a Reading Comprehension passage. Don’t get lost in the details, but rather spend some time getting your mind around the interplay among the content in the different tabs and what information each table or chart is presenting. Toward that end, always start by reading titles and captions, because they create the framework within which everything else in the question works. And always, always read the questions closely and look for tricky wording that’s meant to throw you off.

Consider this sample Table Analysis question, also from the Veritas Prep website:

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Blog Post - Image 2 Let’s look specifically at Statement #4. Here it is again in case it’s too small for you to read in the graphic above:

“No orange-scented bathroom cleaner sold more units in 2009 than in 2010.”

Notice that I’ve already taken the liberty of sorting the table by “Fragrance”since the statement is asking about “orange-scented”bathroom cleaner.

So what do you think? Is the statement True or False? At first glance, it would seem to be False. After all, the “Unit Sales”columns for all of the orange fragrance products show positive percent change, meaning they did sell more units. Right? But wait. What do the numbers in the “Unit Sales”columns represent? Upon a closer reading of the caption under the table, it’s clear that the numbers represent 2010 numbers as compared to 2009. And because Statement #4 is expressed in the negative, it’s actually TRUE that “no”orange-scented bathroom cleaners sold more units in 2009 than in 2010 because the positive growth numbers in the table indicate that more were indeed sold across the board in 2010, without exception.

I know it can be tricky, but that’s the point: Pay as much attention to the wording of the questions and prompts as you do to the actual math and verbal being tested, and it will serve you well.

Got GMAT Questions? Visit GMAT 101 for advice.

Brett Ethridge is the founder of Dominate the GMAT, a leading provider of GMAT courses online and topic-specific GMAT video lessons. He has taught the GMAT for 10 years and loves working with students to help them achieve their highest potential. Brett is an entrepreneur, a triathlete, and an avid Duke basketball fan.