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Fridays from the Frontline: GMAT Anticipation and Regret

This week in the business school blogosphere, applicants are gearing up to take the GMAT or contemplating what went wrong for them last time. Meanwhile current students prepare to enter the business world, and alumni look back on their time in business school.

Scheduled to take the GMAT next week, Naijambagal shares his advice on GMAT test-taking, which comes down to knowing the material, doing practice questions, reviewing your mistakes and not getting nervous.  The last one is easier said than done!

Grantmeadmission has some similar thoughts about where he went wrong in his GMAT prep the last time around, including not keeping track of his mistakes, and spending too much time studying test material rather than doing actual practice questions.

More on the GMAT theme: Efessay offers us a quantitative GMAT lesson on probability questions and the difference between independent and mutually exclusive events. He also gives some examples of real-life GMAT questions, including the following:

“There are five married couples at a dinner party. If the chef selects only three out of the ten guests to taste-test his food, what is the probability that none of them are married to each other?”

Check out his page to see how to do the calculation and whether you got the right answer.

Sun Tzu once said that “every battle is won before it is fought.” Likewise, preparation is everything in the MBA admissions game. Grantmeadmission lays out the advice he would have given himself two years ago to improve his business school application. This includes increasing his impact at work, “conquering” the GMAT, getting involved in more extracurricular activities, researching his target schools, and trying to stay ahead of schedule.

Switching gears to the essay section of the application, Scottgduncan reveals that last year he applied to five schools and wrote over 30,000 words in application essays, the equivalent of a small novel! He fills us in on how he managed the ridiculous workload.

Scottgduncan also shares the full text of his MIT essay from last year, which simultaneously shows his ability to think on his feet while setting him from the stereotypical engineering applicant. His interviewer “absolutely loved” the essay.

Among current business school students, Mbareapplicant84 shares the unfortunate news that he did not receive an offer from McKinsey. Nevertheless, he enjoyed being a part of the interview process, which included making a PowerPoint about the person he most admires. He wishes well to everyone who did make the cut.

Also at UCLA Anderson, Sarah Wolf shares her thoughts on the 2014 Forte Women’s MBA Conference. Her big takeaway is that women do not need to act like “one of the boys” in order to succeed in the business world. Rather, they can use their “differing perspectives and values” to help shift the culture.

Finally, Timbob101 meets up with a diverse group of fellow HBS admits in London.

In alumni news, West Point graduate Ben Faw debunks some common myths about Harvard Business School, including the idea that students there all work on Wall Street and only care about making money. He also stresses the importance of actually attending business school rather than studying independently, and argues that you should focus on the things you really care about rather than trying to do everything; there just isn’t enough time in the day.

Also, Kellogg ’14 graduate Westlin Hatch shares how he launched an iPad note-taking app that now has over a 1,000 downloads, and got Kellogg classes to put their case studies online instead of printing them out.

Lastly, Lifeintransitmba meets up with Bain Capital in Chicago.

That’s everything for this week. Good luck with your applications, and be sure to tune in next week for more news from the business school blogosphere!


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