Articles published in 2010

Thursdays With Ron Comes to YouTube

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At Manhattan GMAT, we take pride in the quality teaching of our instructors. In fact, we value their Socratic method so much that for a long time we have been worried about posting videos, which are a decidedly not interactive media (unlike our classes).

However, to show our continuing commitment to preparing our students for the GMAT, we have been hosting a live free study hall series called “Thursdays with Ron:” every other Thursday, our instructor, Ron Purewal, hosts a free 1.5 hour long session. Anybody can submit questions ahead of time, and Ron chooses some questions to answer. The event itself is interactive (in fact, you can submit your own questions and sign up to attend the next study hall session here) and therefore continues to help students in the way that we feel best suits their needs: having them actively participate.

Still, in 90 minutes of lesson, there are some sections that help you understand certain aspects of the GMAT better, without requiring too much additional interaction. We’ve found those highlights of our Thursdays With Ron series, and we’ve posted them in easily digestible chunks on our youtube channel. Below is a sample of one of the most popular videos, in which Ron explains a new way to easily find the point of a reading comprehension passage:

How Much Should You Spend Studying for the GMAT?

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The GMAC recently released some interesting charts on how much time GMAT students spend studying. Not surprisingly, those who spend more time studying tend to score higher “ up to a point. But is it really all about hours you spend with your GMAT book open? How do you structure the time you spend studying so that you get the most out of it? Our instructors, Stacey Koprince and Dan Gonzalez, had some feedback about the GMAC’s report. Read more

Inverted Sentences: Pronouns and Subject-Verb Agreement

This post is inspired by a question suggested by a student (keep the requests coming!), who recently asked me about various issues with pronoun case. I’m going to address the student’s specific question but also expand on the topic a bit. The issues discussed here are advanced issues; you likely don’t need to worry about these if your goal score is 650 or lower.

BusinessWeek Rankings: Are There Really Winners and Losers?

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Our friends over at MBA Mission were excited to see the new BusinessWeek Rankings come out, although they made sure to point out that rankings aren’t nearly as important as fit when it comes to choosing the best business school for you. Check out the rest of their blog, and find the original posting of their article here: mbamission.com/blog

The New Section on the GMAT: An Analysis

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The GMAC has recently announced that it will be giving students who are taking the GMAT between Nov 19 and Nov 24 a sneak peek at some of the new question formats. (If you’re taking your GMAT then, though, don’t worry “ they’re experimental questions only and they come at the very end of your test, so they don’t count towards your overall score!)

What is helpful, though, is that the GMAC has also posted ten sample questions of what the new section of the GMAT might look like. Remember, these questions are not even necessarily what GMAC is going to add to the test in 2012. Current test takers should only regard this information with interest, and perhaps a little relief.

In fact, our instructor Stacey Koprince points out that current students can totally ignore these new developments, unless they happen to be interested. Future test-takers who are thinking a couple of years out may want to take a look at the new types and decide whether they think they prefer the “old school” test questions or whether they prefer these new-fangled types; that might help them make the decision about whether to get the study ball rolling sooner. (Still plenty of time though.)

That being said, we asked Chris Ryan to examine the questions and tell us what he thought:

How to Make Educated Guesses on Verbal

This article was written by our very own instructor, Stacey Koprince. If you’re looking for more great resources and advice, check out our free resources section.

The Economist Ranks Booth Number One

It’s officially fall, and you know what that means: falling leaves, Halloween candy, and business school rankings are all on their way. Just this week, the Economist released their ninth-annual business school rankings. How did your target schools fare?

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business took the number one spot, following by Dartmouth’s Tuck, Berkeley’s Haas, Harvard Business School, and IESE Business School. Rounding out the top 10 were IMD, Stanford, Wharton, the HEC School of Management in Paris, and York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Several factors pushed Booth to the top of the list. First of all, their career services were ranked the highest of any program globally, and they placed grads in all sectors examined by the Economist. That’s a powerful pitch in a still-tough job market. The school also has a good bit of cash on hand, thanks to a \$300 million donation made in 2008 by alum David Booth. Students are also positive about their overall experience, the writers report.

So how did the Economist arrive at these rankings? Here’s how the magazine describes its methodology: The Economist ranks full-time programmes on their ability to provide students with the things that they themselves cite as most important. It weights each element according to the average importance given to it by students surveyed over the past five years. That means 4 factors typically dominate the selection process:

• – opening of new career opportunities and/or furthering of current career
• – personal development and educational experience
• – increase in salary
• – potential to network

The Economist reports most students want to see more opportunities to network with alumni. In sorting through 19,000 questionnaires’ worth of comments, they found students repeatedly calling for more opportunities to network with alumni.

Finally, a caveat: The Economist based these rankings on information about the class of 2009. It’ll be interesting to see the Bloomberg Businessweek findings in November, which draw on data from the class of 2010.

MBA News: Jain Leaves for INSEAD & Darden Starts a Global Exec MBA Program

Today, we’re debuting a new feature”the MBA news roundup! Aspiring business school students should know what’s going on at their target schools. So we’ll be collecting big stories from around the web on a semi-regular basis to keep you updated.

In this installment:

UVA-Darden is launching a new Global Executive MBA program. Dean Robert F. Bruner promises: This new MBA format will deliver the Darden Experience for which we are so well-known but in an international format. The program will enhance the skills of high-potential executives who need to be ready on day one to do business in any market around the globe. More info is available here and here.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports Dipak Jain”formerly the long-time dean of Kellogg”will take over in March at INSEAD.

Nitin Nohria, the incoming dean at Harvard Business School, recently spoke to the Boston Globe about his ambitious goals for his tenure. Just to start with, he expects more from the school than just bouquets and butterflies.”

Also at HBS: The alumni bulletin has an interesting update on the school’s new executive MBA program for health care administrators. It’s designed to develop the strategy, leadership, finance, and operations skills that senior health-care professionals need to transform care delivery in their organizations.

Stanford is launching a new 20-week Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, aimed at engineers, inventors and others working in Silicon Valley.

For the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, Ross has released a fascinating study about how Twitter can help upstarts compete with bigger firms.

And finally, the Economist has released its MBA rankings. See a breakdown here.

Did we miss anything major? Let us know in the comments!

What’s the Best Way to Study?

At Manhattan GMAT, we spend a good deal of time thinking about education. We’re committed to the highest quality of teaching, and we’re always interested in the latest pedagogical developments. And so, lately, this interesting article from the New York Times has been making the rounds in our office.

The piece contends that much of the conventional wisdom about study habits has little basis in reality. For example, it’s often assumed students should commit to a particular workspace. But recent research has found individuals actually remember more material when they alternate rooms while studying. It’s also more helpful to work on a range of distinct (but related) skills in a single study session, rather than narrowing your focus to one topic. What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting, says one scientist.

What do our instructors say? Stacey Koprince tells us:

We’ve known for a long time that making multiple “connections” while studying helps us to store and retrieve information more effectively. It’s fascinating that the researchers have extended this to the physical location in which you make the connections – apparently, we even make connections based upon things we see around us while we’re studying the information.

In fact, these findings support advice we already give students: Vary how you study within a single study session, and study via many shorter study sessions rather than a few long ones. As the article points out, musicians do a combination of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work when they practice, while athletes’ workouts typically mix strength, speed and skill drills. Stacey recommends:

Do some reading in a certain area, or watch a short lesson, then do some practice problems that touch on the same material (but may also include other things), then spend some time reviewing those problems. During your review, go back to any necessary sources when you need to check or refresh something; the more you do this, the more connections you’ll make. Once or twice a week, do a mix of random problems (and more often as you get closer to the test); this allows you to practice figuring out what’s in front of you in the first place.

Stacey did find one of the article’s points a bit dubious, however”the suggestion that there may not be different learning styles.

The one thing that I’m a bit skeptical about is the proposal that there might not be different learning styles. From personal experience, I know that I learn certain things better in certain ways. Recently, I took a French immersion course (3 to 5 hours of French every day for three weeks). When we reviewed vocabulary orally, I didn’t retain anywhere near as much as I did when the teacher gave us a hand-out or I looked up the word myself. It was mostly new information and I personally make much better connections when I see new info written down. On the other hand, because I know English grammar so well, I was able to base my French grammar connections on similarities and differences between the two languages; here, I benefited more from an oral discussion because I could ask immediate questions to clarify my understanding (and so make better connections).

There you have it: Train like an athlete, but base your studies on your unique needs.

Friday Fun: Fashionistas Storm HBS

People often associate business school degrees with a handful of traditional fields, such as consulting. But according to this piece at Page Six Magazine, the growing fashionista crowd at Harvard Business School is demonstrating you don’t have to be Michael Bloomberg to go for an MBA.

Take Olga Vidisheva, a 25-year-old model and current MBA candidate. She attended Wellesley, did two years at Goldman Sachs, and then decided finance wasn’t for her. She applied to HBS, specifically aiming to change careers to fashion. Her plan seems to be paying off, as evidenced by her summer spent interning with Chanel’s marketing department. And she’s not alone. We’ve already covered HBS alums Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank, who founded Gilt Groupe. Other startups have followed, including FashionStake, a site that allows you to invest in newbie designers; Birchbox, which sends monthly beauty samples to members; and Rent the Runway, which rents designer dresses.

Ultimately, only 3 percent of Harvard grads go on to retail careers, as opposed to 57 percent working in finance or consulting. But sartorially-inclined students report the program is becoming the place for fashion”and they ought to know what’s in vogue!