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Category: GMAT

College graduates planning to apply to business school must first take the GMAT, or Graduate Management Admissions Test. Programs like the Harvard Business School, Tusk School of Business, and the Columbia Business School require GMAT scores as part of the application process and review applicants in rounds. Depending on the school, the deadlines for each round vary, but the deadline for consideration in the first round is generally in early fall of each calendar year with deadlines for other rounds staggered over several months.

Taking the GMAT is different than the ACT or SAT. Because the test is taken through a computerized system, you must simply make an appointment at an authorized testing facility during a test session and reserve a seat. It also doesn’t rely on your skills as a student or measure your intelligence level. Instead, the GMAT tests your basic knowledge and reasoning capabilities, giving the advantage to students who are able to quickly and strategically answer questions.

There are three sections of the GMAT: a two-part Analytical Writing Assessment that requires an essay, a Quantitative section comprised of math questions, and a 75-minute Verbal section. Students are subjected to a severe penalty if sections are not completed within the allotted time period. Unlike other standardized tests, the GMAT’s multiple-choice sections are computer adaptive, meaning the test actively reacts to your test performance and adjusts the difficulty of questions accordingly.

As with many standardized tests, test scores and results for the GMAT will not be ready for a few weeks after the test, so you should allow for a couple of months between your GMAT test date and the application deadline for your preferred MBA program. It’s common knowledge that admissions departments at major business schools prefer candidates that apply during the first round, so if you want to hit those early fall deadlines, taking the GMAT sooner rather than later is a good idea.

Sandweiss Test Prep offers customized GMAT preparation tutoring for college graduates planning to apply to a business school. Click here to enroll in a GMAT preparation tutoring before the fall application deadline!

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Getting ready for college is a big task, and certainly important—but getting into grad school can be equally as important and much more difficult. Depending on the type of program you’re pursuing, there’s likely a test you’ll need to take as part of the admission process. Whether it’s the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT, Sandweiss Test Prep can help you get ready for the entrance exam. The farther in advance you start preparing for grad school, the better off you’ll be. Here are a few tips on getting ready for grad school:

Applying for Graduate School

Research schools in depth

The school you choose is a huge next step in life—and can play a big part in helping you get off on the right foot for your future career. Go beyond the program’s website. Visit the school, talk to professors, talk to students and graduates, if possible. Learn what others, including potential future employers, think of the program you’re considering.

Gather your recommendations

As we move farther down the life path, recommendations bear more and more weight. Getting into grad school is perhaps one of the first steps in life where it’s crucial to have solid, non-familial, professional recommendations. Most graduate programs want recommendations from professors, but letters from internship advisors and workplace supervisors can also be helpful.

Know your deadlines!

We can’t reiterate how important this is. The process can take upwards of six months, so your research should be started at LEAST a year away from when you’re intending to start grad school. Set calendar reminders in advance just to be sure you don’t miss anything.

Present yourself for the task at hand

If you’re applying for law school, present yourself as someone who would make a good lawyer—and leave out the stuff that doesn’t relate. Admissions officers go through a LOT of applications—and don’t have time for fluff. Get down to business, explain and show why you’re a good fit—and leave the rest out.

Be prepared for your entrance exam

Just because a task is difficult doesn’t mean it needs to be stressful. By preparing as much as possible, your entrance exam doesn’t need to cause anxiety or add stress to your life! Sandweiss Test Prep can provide you with free diagnostic testing, full length prep courses, and private tutoring  to help you prepare for your exam and put a little sanity back in the craziness of the grad school application process.

After Acceptance

Once you are accepted to graduate school, there is still plenty to do before classes begin. Here are a few tips to help you excel, whether you are fresh from undergrad or going back to school after spending time in the workforce:

Have all of your documents prepared ahead of time

Financial aid and student forms all need to  be ready to file before the semester begins. Play it safe by making an appointment with your advisor to go over your scholarship and/or loan agreement forms. Failing to have any one of these complete before the semester begins can create serious problems when starting grad school.

Review ahead of time

As an incoming student, you should be able to access the syllabi and textbooks before classes begin. Use this time to get ahead of the curve. Familiarize yourself with the major themes you’ll be studying, read over the table of contents in your textbooks and review the professor evaluations from previous students to learn what your instructors will be expecting of you.

Get organized

Organization is key both to survive grad school to use the materials you create later on in your portfolio. You will need to get your act in triple-A shape right away to stay on top of your workload and manage priorities. And in the long run, you’ll want to have everything organized in such a way that you can easily pull out your prior work when updating your portfolio or resume.

Study to learn

The point here is not to cram for the highest grade possible and then forget everything as you move on, but to learn and retain information that you will be using for the rest of your professional life. If cramming helps you to retain information, great; but remember that you are no longer studying just to ace the next test, but to prepare yourself for a career.

Whether you are wrapping up undergrad or going back to school after some time in the workforce, best of luck on your search for graduate school. We’ll be here for you when it’s time to prep for your entrance exam!

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From Kiplinger, five graduate degrees that tend to pay off in the end:

  1. M.D.    Physicians’ incomes range from about $188,000, on average, for family practitioners to more than $485,000 for orthopedic surgeons. As the population ages, job prospects for physicians will continue to be robust.
  2. Master of Public Health.    Average income: $90,970. As the health care industry changes and expands, MPHs will be increasingly sought after.
  3. Doctor of Pharmacy.    Average income (pharmacist): $106,630. We all still and will continue to need medication, as well as help navigating the changing health insurance landscape.
  4. M.B.A.    Here’s a degree that’s necessary for hiring within certain firms. Some companies will even pay for their employees to get an MBA. Job growth for business management analysts should be strong over the rest of this decade.
  5. Lawyer.    In particular, jobs at big private firms, where new lawyers earn a median annual salary of $160,000. In our supersaturated legal job market, these jobs are harder to come by than ever.

Next June, an integrated reasoning section will be introduced to the GMAT. The new section will replace one of the essays, and will be heavy on data interpretation. The test will still take three and a half hours, and the verbal and quantitative sections will remain the same.

Head over to the New York Times to try your hand at the four new question types: multi-source reasoning, graphics interpretation, two-part analysis, and sorting tables.

(And don’t forget that several b-schools are starting to accept the GRE!)