The GMAT, the GRE, and the Guy Who Knows them Well

Click here to listen to our conversation with Arthur Ahn!If you have the GMAT or GRE in your future, then you’ve most certainly heard of Kaplan Test Prep. Trying to figure out which test to take? Getting ready for test day? This podcast episode is for you!

Listen to the full recording of our podcast interview with Arthur Ahn, Senior Manager, Product Development at Kaplan Test Prep for the GRE and the GMAT for some great insight into test prep, test taking and what matters to admissions committees.

00:01:00 – Linda answers the oft-asked question: “I got accepted to School X. Should I attend?”

00:05:03 – The test prep biz: Instructing students, but not as the enemy.

00:06:23 – What Kaplan offers future GMAT and GRE test-takers.

00:08:28 – GMAT vs GRE: Differences in prepping & test taking.

00:16:04 – Why a low GRE score is the biggest application killer (by far).

00:22:31 – Is it the total GRE Score, or section scores, that make it or break it.

00:28:32 – Arthur’s top 3 GRE prep tips.

00:30:34 – How to make the big GMAT vs GRE decision.

00:34:20 – Too early to assess: Do applicants with lower scores have a better chance of admissions with one test over the other?

00:39:12 – Why most b-schools don’t really care yet about GMAT IR section scores.

00:47:25 – Last minute advice for exam takers.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Kaplan Survey: Two Years After its Launch, a Majority of Business Schools Still Not Sold on the Importance of the GMAT’s® Integrated Reasoning Section; Most Deem it Unimportant, but Students Ignore it at their Own Risk
• What’s the Biggest Graduate School Admissions Application Killer? A Low GRE® Score, According to Kaplan’s 2014 Survey of Admissions Officers
GRE® Test Takers Are Successful in MBA Programs
•  www.kaptest.com
Kaplan GRE Prep on Twitter
• Kaplan GMAT Prep on Twitter

Related Shows:

• Bruce DelMonico on The Yale School of Management
• Chris Ryan of Manhattan GMAT on What MBA Applicants Need to Know
• Kisses of Death for your Grad School Application

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GMAT Grammar Time: The Complete Consort Dancing Together

Need more GMAT tips?

The good news: This is a “dance” you can learn!

The GMAT Verbal section overall tends to focus less on individual words and more on the meanings of whole sentences.  When comparing the GRE vs the GMAT, vocabulary is essential on the GRE, but students need worry considerably less about vocabulary on the GMAT.  If GRE Verbal tests words, GMAT Verbal tests sentences.

The GMAT Sentence Correction expects you to recognize well-constructed sentences.  What is a well-constructed sentence?  The title, a line from the fourth of the Four Quartets by TS Eliot, gives Eliot’s rather fanciful description of a well-constructed sentence.  Let’s be a little more practical.

Of course, good grammar is essential.  The GMAT will expect you to have subjects and verbs agree, to use correct tenses, and to recognize the difference of that vs. which.  Every nugget of grammar has to be correct, but that’s just the start.

By way of analogy, part of a city planner’s job is to make sure every traffic light in a city is working, but getting each individual light working is only part of the challenge.  An effective city planner has to think about “higher level” issues — timing of the lights, patterns of congestions, etc.  How does the whole picture of city traffic, the “complete consort,” fit together?

Similarly, the GMAT expects you to analyze sentences not just at the level of grammar but at the higher levels of syntax and meaning.  Parallelism is a perfect example.  It’s hard to define parallelism precisely because it higher level — we can put individual words in parallel (noun, verbs, adjectives, etc.) or, as is much more typical for the GMAT, we can put entire phrases and clauses in parallel.  If we have structure such as “not only [phrase #1] but also [phrase #2]“, it’s not enough that each individual phrase be free of grammar mistakes —- the two phrases must “match” (e.g. both participial phrases, or both infinitive phrases).  Parallelism is about whether different parts are “dancing together.”

A very different issue of words “dancing together” concerns idioms. How important are idioms for GMAT Sentence Correction?  Very!  Here, we mean idioms in the sense of which words “belong” with each other.  For example, we would say “an ability to do X”, not “an ability for doing X” or “an ability in doing X.”

Higher level issues extend to logical problems, such as misplaced modifiers or pronouns with unclear antecedent.  Finally, the sentence overall must be work rhetorically — it must be unambiguous yet succinct, overall making a direct and powerful statement.  That, indeed, is the “complete consort dancing together”!

Part of achieving a good score on the GMAT entails mastering this hierarchy of sentence-construction skills.  How you learn this stuff?  It’s important to find a tried and true GMAT study schedule, and to avail yourself of the best GMAT material.

It’s important to read high-brow material, such as the Economist magazine.  With good materials and practice, this is a “dance” you can learn!

MBA 5 Fatal Flaws

MagooshThis post was written by Mike McGarry, resident GMAT expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.

Related Resources:

• That GMAT Score: Implications for Your MBA Application, free webinar
• The GMAT Score Preview and Application Boxes
• GMAT vs. GRE: Harvard Business School Weighs In

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Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

Stranger Things Have Happened!

How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low StatsHBS published their class of 2016 profile and if you look closely, you’ll find something very strange…

Someone was admitted with a 510 GMAT score!

While this probably WON’T happen to you (we need to be realistic!), it sure is nice to know that anything is possible in the world of MBA admissions. You just gotta give it your all!

Learn how to present yourself spectacularly, despite your low scores, when you attend our upcoming webinar, How to Get Accepted to Top B-Schools with Low Stats!

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST

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Save my spot! Accepted.com: Helping You Write Your Best

The GMAT Score Preview and Application Boxes

Linda Abraham on the GMAT Score PreviewMBA applicants, pay heed: two major b-school admissions topics have been on Linda’s mind and in this week’s episode of Admissions Straight Talk, she shares the word.

Listen to the full recording of the show for some very important advice about the GMAT score preview and the growing significance of short application questions.

00:01:30 – The new GMAT score preview feature.

00:02:48 – Ravi’s mistake and 4 decisions to make before test day.

00:09:37 – The shrinking MBA application and the increasing importance of  short answers and boxes.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

•  Preview Your GMAT Score (from the official website of the GMAT)
•  The GMAT in MBA Admissions: Fact and Fiction
•  Get Accepted to Harvard Business School
•  Get Accepted to Stanford Graduate School of Business

Related Shows:

• GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep
• How to Edit Your Application Essays
• Linda Abraham on Overcoming Weaknesses

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Got GMAT Questions? Visit GMAT 101 for advice.