Resources for GMAT Preparation and MBA Admissions
Austin GMAT Review offers the best GMAT prep course in Central Texas. Our goal for you, our student, is to not only achieve your best possible GMAT score, but also win admission into the business school of your choice. Here we offer information and news for prospective GMAT test-takers and MBA candidates.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Sep 27 2017 03:53PM
After you take the GMAT and achieve a solid score, it’s time to begin completing applications for your target business schools – including rounding up the people who will write your recommendation letters.
Admissions Committees want to hear from your current or former boss, and usually someone else who has observed you from a managerial standpoint. It’s never easy to start a conversation with, “Um, Boss, I am going to leave the company, and I would love for you to write the recommendation that allows me to do so.” Even if you have a supportive manager, or you plan to return, or you’re pursuing a part-time or executive-level program, you are still asking a big favor.
In the past, if you were applying to more than one business school, you had to ask an even bigger favor – “Will you write multiple recommendations for me?” Each school asked similar but different questions of recommenders, and often with different word counts and restrictions. One school might allow an entire recommendation letter to be submitted, while another might restrict the recommender to online boxes with strict word counts. ... That was then, but luckily for you, this is now.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Jul 10 2017 01:00PM
If you took the GMAT on or before July 10, 2017, you took the exam in the following order: Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal. Today, you have the choice to rearrange the exam sections more in an order to your preference. You may decide to start with the AWA section, or you may choose to begin with the Verbal or Quantitative sections. You will make the section order selection at the test center, just before you start the GMAT, so choose wisely.
The test requires four hours of intense concentration. Your ability to focus may peak anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, and as fatigue, hunger, or stress sets in, that focus may waiver. This is why I believe that the order of your exam sections might be used as a strategic advantage, if you go in prepared.
Here's my opinion on some simple strategies to adopt (and check back with me in a year, after I get more feedback from my students).
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Jun 7 2017 09:00AM
I come from a career in science and technology. Yet I believe that the highest quality education – GMAT preparation being no exception – is found in an ancient method dating back to Socrates: the classical, in-person, professor-explaining-right-to-you classroom.
Technology is a beautiful thing, and like the GMAT itself, which is a computer adaptive test, GMAT prep can be positively enhanced by technological advances. For example, GMAC’s test-prep software provides you with hundreds of questions almost instantly. If it’s been a long time since you have worked with math, I recommend watching Khan Academy videos to brush up on foundational topics.
The modern classroom is no longer equipped with chalkboards and No. 2 pencils. Yet one educational tradition is still fresh: the ideal setting for optimized learning is one in which teacher and student are fully present, the teacher focused on conveying both knowledge and illumination to the student, the student focused on understanding.
Here are six reasons why, in the end, online GMAT prep is not as effective as classroom preparation in getting you ready for the exam.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Jun 6 2017 04:52PM
It’s time to suit up and go out to meet school representatives. The good news is that MBA admissions teams are traveling to Texas cities this summer. The bad news is that fewer out-of-state schools seem to be making Texas a destination this year. Take advantage of every opportunity to make connections.
While getting a great GMAT score helps demonstrate that you’re ready for rigorous classes, meeting school representatives is a good way to show them that you’re a class act all the way.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., May 2 2017 01:00PM
The makers of the GMAT devote parts of The Official Guide for GMAT Review to clarifying common misconceptions. For example, many test-takers believe, erroneously, that the first 10 questions of the exam count the most toward your final total score. (In actuality, the score is calculated from the difficulty of all of the questions that you answer; the exam's algorithm adjusts the level of difficulty as you go along.) This bad piece of advice, among many others, continues to be passed around on Internet forums, and the more that it's repeated, the more it's believed.
Where do these myths come from? Mostly from people's desire to discover a magic key to unlocking the exam's secrets, while reassuring themselves that they can beat the GMAT. And once repeated or copied without scrutiny by enough people on the forums, the myths attain a certain level of permanence.
Time to bust some insidious myths (other than the ones GMAC has already clarified). In this article, I debunk three myths that keep popping up more persistently than the Easter Bunny.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Jan 24 2017 02:00PM
Over the last couple years, the makers of the GMAT have instituted changes making it easier for you, the test-taker, to pick and choose your best GMAT score to send to business schools. Not only that, but you can make a low score disappear by canceling within 72 hours after taking the exam. Due in part to these test changes, the mean total GMAT score for U.S. test-takers rose 10 points in two years, from 532 in 2014 to 542 in 2016.
Last month, however, the GMAT introduced another change – you can now only take the exam eight times overall. If you were planning to take the GMAT for the first or second time, do not take your preparation lightly. Make every attempt count.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Nov 11 2016 06:02PM
Happy Veterans Day! My military students sometimes joke that my GMAT course may be tough, but hey, it’s no Ranger School. Having taken on extremely challenging training and circumstances, it’s no surprise that military students and veterans bring dedication and resolve to the not-always-easy pursuit of a high GMAT score. As a teacher, I am proud to serve those who serve our country.
For this Veterans Day, we asked two of our former GMAT students from the U.S. Army – Nicole, a former current operations officer and project manager now studying at Yale School of Management, and Steve, a captain and former company commander who is currently pursuing his MBA at Emory University's Goizueta Business School – to share their advice on pursuing admission to top MBA programs while in the military. Whether you’re in the military or not, I think that their perspectives are of value to all of us.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Aug 16 2016 09:00AM
People just starting their GMAT preparation often ask me what book I most recommend. With all the books on the market, and all the marketing hype, I understand why people are confused. I suspect that they hope there’s a confidential manual used by the Secret League of GMAT Gurus (SLOGG), and I’ll break the SLOGG Code of Silence. Well, there’s no need for secrecy: The Official Guide for GMAT Review is the best book for your GMAT preparation. I’ll even go a step further – if you value your time, don’t waste it on other books.
I use The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2016 (OG 2016) as the main reference book for Austin GMAT Review’s GMAT course. However, the book is not perfect. Read on for my overall assessment.
By Ajay Amar, Ph.D., Jun 15 2016 04:36PM
In the race to apply to business school, summer is the time to shift into high gear. You may feel like the checkered flag just waved as you cruise out of the GMAT testing center - especially if you glided past a 700 - but you are not at the finish. If you haven't yet researched your schools and how they fit with your candidacy and career goals, then consider that a black flag. Time to pull over and figure out where you're going.
Let me put it this way: What is the point of racing to complete a school's application by Round 1 or Round 2, only to find out that you are on the wrong racetrack ... that the program cannot deliver what you seek to achieve your goals?
Luckily for you, MBA admissions teams from all over the world stop in Texas as part of their own race to recruit the best and the brightest. Below are some the events where you may meet with business school representatives and find out about their programs.
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