Category: New York Times

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!)


The New York Times reports that although the percentage of high school students completing a rigorous curriculum rose from 5 percent in 1990 to 13 percent in 2009, test scores have remained about the same from year to year.

What does this suggest? Probably that many of those advanced courses are not as advanced as they claim. There is no evidence that students are mastering more content than previously. One of the main culprits, unsurprisingly? The College Board’s Advanced Placement program, in which more students than ever before now participate, and in which more students than ever before fail the A.P. test.


Over at the New York Times’ college admissions blog “The Choice,” the deans of admission at Penn and Michigan reveal how they consider test scores on a college application.

The Takeaway:

  • SAT and ACT scores aren’t everything, though they are important. Admissions counselors go over scores quickly, and there are no minimum cutoff points.
  • In order for your application to be competitive, you’ll want to aim for the scores of a college class’s middle 50 percent test range.
  • Academic grades are as, if not more important than test scores.

On August 1st, it’s coming: the revised GRE.

The Good: The new GRE will more accurately measure test-takers’ skills that they will need in graduate school. This means no more analogies, but much more reading comprehension. (Check out the linked Times article for sample questions.) And students will be allowed to use calculators. Test-takers will also be allowed to return to previous questions on each section, and even skip questions.

The Bad: It’ll be harder, and 30 minutes longer, for a total of 3 hours and 45 minutes. But that’s why we’re here for you!

Stay tuned for everything you’ll need to know to conquer the new GRE.


You’ve got a few months off which means, yes, more work. But trust us, you want to do it now before the chaos of senior year takes over your life.

Here are six tips from the NYT’s Choice blog for working on your college essay over the summer:

1. Clear your head. Find some solitude and have a good think.

2. Ask yourself exploratory questions in order to find your essay topic. E.g. What has been the hardest thing I have ever had to face? What is the reason I wake up in the morning? etc.

3. Write it down. Wherever you go, carry a pen and paper in case inspiration strikes.

4. Learn how to tell a story. Your essay should be a story rather than a dry explanation–you want to keep those admissions counselors engaged.

5. Chill. This is summer, remember, so put down the laptop and go outside for a few hours.

6. Own your essay. Don’t let anyone else write it for you; colleges want to hear yourvoice. If you think of your essay as a means of self-expression, you might even have some fun.

And the best piece of college essay-related advice your faithful blogger has: Don’t start by trying to answer their question, whatever it is. Start by figuring out what you want to tell colleges about yourself–then, adapt it to the specific prompt. Good luck, and happy writing! (If you’re in the Seattle area and need help, check us out!)

Yes, according to The New York Times. The master’s is currently the fastest-growing degree, and is on its way to becoming the entry degree to a wide variety of professions, especially now that degrees are specific and utilitarian (think supply chain management) and often with internships built in.

So why the trend? Some blame the devaluing of the college degree. As colleges turn out more grads than the market can hire, a master’s becomes almost essential if you don’t have a Bachelor’s from a highly elite undergrad institution.

It’s not exactly bad news for the universities, for whom master’s programs tend to be unfunded (unlike the PhD track) and therefore cash cows. For students, some of the programs provide direct access to potential employers, who draw from the programs they know to provide effective job training.

Some worry that the trend signals a shift in graduate work from an intellectual pursuit to job training. But in an age when grad-school-as-intellectual-pursuit is landing students hardly any jobs, this shift seems practical. In fact, it seems to yours truly that the only graduate degree worth pursuing at this point is one that has a reasonable chance of helping students obtain a job that will allow them to pay off the debt accrued in grad school.

Amidst the recent flurry of articles about the crushing debt and terrible job market associated with law school, prospective law school students may find themselves thinking: Should I even bother?

Well, yes–that is, if and only if you are passionate about the law, and think you will be able to gain admission to a relatively high-ranking law school.

Don’t go to law school just because you’ve graduated from college and don’t know what to do with yourself. Law school costs about 60k a year, or 180,000 total, and there’s no reason to accumulate that kind of debt unless you know there’s at least a decent chance you’ll be able to pay it off.

That leads to our second point: Do try to get into the best law school you can, especially in this legal job market. All law schools cost about the same (that 60k a year), and the better the law school, the higher the chance you have of obtaining a decent job after graduation, and therefore of paying off that fairly massive student debt. This is why it’s crucial  to achieve the highest LSAT score you can–because law school admissions is based almost entirely on GPA and LSAT scores.

One sidenote: There’s a current movement in the U.S. to reduce law school to two years rather than three, which would decrease the cost and the time spent in school before you can get a job. At the moment, the most prestigious of these accelerated J.D. programs is probably Northwestern’s.