Different Learning Styles in Students

There are many different learning styles and various models that break down learners into different categories. Learning about the different learning styles can help you to identify your own strengths and weaknesses and shape your study habits into the best fit for you. Trying several different types of learning style break-downs can help you to see different sides of your learning abilities and creating a unique picture of your preferences.

The VAK Model
The acronym VAK stands for visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Visual learners learn best through sight and may respond particularly well to flow charts, images, and other visual representations. Visual learners study best by arranging material in diagrams and other visual methods.

Auditory learners often have the easiest time in the traditional classroom or lecture as they learn best by hearing information. Auditory learners may find that reading aloud is a good study method.

Kinesthetic learners learn by doing–these learners may be well suited to the science classroom and enjoy experiments and projects. Anything that gets them involved in the process will help them to learn best.

Anthony Gregorc’s Learning Styles
Gregorc breaks down learners into four district categories based on two perception styles and two ordering styles. The former is either Abstract or concrete. Abstract learners perceive information in terms of ideas, theories, and emotions, whereas concrete learners learn and understand best by using their five sense.

The ordering styles are sequential and random, sequential learners order information in linear patterns whereas random learners process chunks of information and don’t need them in any specific order. Together, the four learning styles are concrete random, concrete sequential, abstract random, and abstract sequential.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
One of the most well-known and in-depth learning style tests is the Myers-Briggs. Taking the test can help you to identify how you learn, how you work with others, and how you best understand the world. There are sixteen different types, made up of four letters each and combinations of the eight different factors.

The first letter is E versus I, standing for extrovert versus introvert. This means where you get your energy: Es get their energy from being social and spending time in group settings. The second letter is similar to the concrete versus abstract of the Gregorc styles. N stands for intuition and S stands for sensing. Someone who is an N will tend to see the world in abstract sense, using their intuition, or sixth sense, to understand information. An S, like the concrete learner, will be more comfortable using the five senses.

The third letter is a T or an F standing for thinking or feeling, whether you make decisions primarily with your head or your heart. The final letter is J or P for judging or perceiving a J will tend to schedule and stick to a plan whereas a P will be more spontaneous and enjoy leaving all of their options open. All together, your Myers-Briggs type would appear as ENTP, INFJ or any of the other sixteen combinations.

Understanding your learning style and how you best process information and work with others can be hugely beneficial during your education. Knowing yourself will allow you to design a study plan, schedule, and set goals that are the best possible fit for how you learn.


Memorization Tips and Tricks

Knowing how to quickly and effectively memorize information can make life a lot easier for students. Memorization techniques can help when it comes to studying for tests, quickly processing information, and learning how to learn better for the future.

Word Games
Many students find that creating acronyms or acrostics can be a useful tool to memorize sets of information. Acronyms are words created from the first letter of a series of terms to help jog your memory. The goal is to memorize the word and be able to write it down to help you to remember the rest of the terms. Acrostics are sentences created from the first letters of a series of terms, memorize the sentence and them fill in the correct words when you need to recall information. Which works best for you is a matter of personal preference and whether or not the terms you’re memorizing lend themselves better to a single word or a memorable sentence.

Recopying and Repeating
Two easy ways to help information stick is to recopy and repeat. Some students learn well by rewriting the important parts of their notes. Even if you generally use the computer for note taking, writing out information by hand often helps it to stick in your mind a little better. Similarly, reading through notes or sections of a textbook aloud can help to solidify the information. You may feel silly reading to yourself aloud, but you also may find it helps the information sink in better.

Pace Yourself
Spending time studying at a steady pace is typically a better way of memorizing information than trying to cram for a test the night before, or even just a couple days before. Reviewing information over time and going back over information on separate occasions can help to commit it to memory.

Work with a Friend or Group
Memorizing information with a friend, classmate, or study group can be helpful to many students memorizing information. The group can work together to come up with ways to memorize information and share their own tricks for studying and memorizing terms and information. Working as a group and then going over information alone can help students to learn information and memorize for the test.

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The Benefits of Personal Goal Setting

Setting personal goals is an important skill to develop as a student and continue to hone throughout college and your career. While everyone’s goals are different and what works for one person may not work for everyone, there are some basic tips that can help you to follow through on your personal goals.

Write Your Goals Down
Take time to think about your goals and put them down on paper. This will help you to focus and identify priorities, isolating your top personal goals for the next week, next year, and next five years. Being able to see these mapped out can help many students to focus and feel good about meeting their future personal goals.

Break Your Goals Down Into Manageable Steps
A big life goal, like being a lawyer, can seem overwhelming when you’re in high school and looking just at that end goal. When you break it down into pieces, it seems a lot more manageable. For example, you could set a goal to keep a certain GPA in high school and perform well on your SATs so you can get into your first choice college with a great pre-law program. At that point, your goal becomes doing well and studying for your LSATs so that you can get into your first choice law school. Then your goal will shift to law school and passing the bar. Broken down into steps, your goal will help you track your progress and keep your dream in sight.

Make Yourself Accountable
Sharing your goals, whether big or small, with a trusted friend, teacher, or family member is a great way to keep yourself on track. Knowing that someone else is aware of your goals and rooting for you to make them happen can provide a great dose of encouragement. When you feel that you have someone to update on your progress, it makes it more exciting as you make progress.

Continue to Adapt
While goal setting is important, it’s also a good idea to revisit your goals every so often and make sure they’re still a good fit. There’s no shame in adjusting your goals as you grow and learn more about yourself and who you want to be as a student and as a person. Changing goals is a natural part of goal setting.


GMAT Study Tips

There are many different ways to study for the GMAT. As with any important test, you will want to think about the methods that have worked for you in the past and come up with a combination of the different approaches to create a plan that will work for you. Combining a few of the many strategies is a good way to ensure that you are well prepared for GMAT test day.

Online GMAT Test Prep
Online test prep is a great way to study for the GMAT on your schedule. Online test prep can fit into anyone’s hectic life and allow you to work at a pace that’s right for you. The GMAT is taken on the computer, so studying online is another way to get used to the format and comfortable with the test’s look. There are great options for online test prep available today and students are walking away feeling well-prepared for the exam.

Practice Tests
One of the most important ways to prepare for the GMAT is by taking practice tests. Practice tests allow you to get a feel for the way the test works and how you will work best on test day. Feeling comfortable with the format of the test, a new thing for many test takers, and allow test-takers to feel more confident on test day. Practice test scores can also help you to identify areas that need more work and narrow your focus when you go back to your other methods of studying for the GMAT.

For many people, flashcards are a useful study tool. There’s a reason flashcards have been a mainstay of studying since grade school, they work. Flashcards are good to help you learn new terminology and master new information in a quick and easy way. Flashcards are also great for people who are studying on the go because they can go with you to work, to school, or even on public transportation for your commute.

Test Strategies
Learning some basic test taking strategies can be extremely helpful for the GMAT. Learning how to work through questions, read questions quickly and accurately, and work through process of elimination the answers can help you on test day. Time management is another important skill for the GMAT and practicing skills can make a big difference in your final GMAT scores.

Combining several study methods as you prepare for the GMAT is a sure way to learn information and be sure that you go into the test prepared and confident.


Top 10 MBA Programs in the World

The Financial Times ranks the top MBA programs in the world each year. Many of these top schools are located in the United States, while others on the list are located in the United Kingdom, France, Singapore and China. For students looking for an international experience, there are many excellent options located all over the world.

1. The London Business School ranks as the world’s top MBA program. Tuition for the London Business School is 49,900 British pounds sterling or approximately $78,850 US dollars. This tuition is for the entire 15-21 month program and includes reading materials.

2. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School ranked second on the Financial Times list of top MBA programs. The MBA program costs $46,600 per year.

3. Harvard Business School at Harvard University in Massachusetts costs $46,150 per year.

4. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in California also ranks as one of the best MBA programs in the world and costs $51,321 per year.

5. Instead, sometimes called The Business School of the World, has one campus in Fontainebleau, France, and another campus in Singapore. The MBA program costs 52,000 euros, approximately 68,800 US dollars.

6. Columbia University’s Columbia Business School in New York costs $49,728 per year.

7. IE Business School in Spain costs 53 200 euros, approximately 70,380 US dollars.

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management costs $48,650 per year.

9. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business costs $49,020 per year.

10. Hong Kong UST Business School in China ranks as the tenth best MBA program in the world and costs $53,900.

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The Top 10 MBA Programs in the United States

The top 10 MBA programs in the United States are ranked by US News and World Report each year and while the same schools often place near the top, the order does frequently change from year to year. The following are the rankings of the best programs in the United States from 2010. Each school’s tuition is listed at the 2009-2010 cost for a full-time student. Choosing the right school requires research about the program, but looking into the top universities can be a great place for potential MBA candidates to start.

1. Harvard University’s Business School tied with Stanford University for the top program in 2010. Harvard costs $46,150 per year.
2. Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business tied with Harvard for the top program in 2010. Stanford costs $51,321 per year.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Sloan School of Management costs $48,650 per year.

4. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management costs $49,074 per year.

5. University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business costs $49,020 per year.

6. University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School costs $46,600 per year.

7. Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business tied with the University of California Berkeley on the list of top MBA programs. Dartmouth costs $47,835 per year.

8. University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business tied with Dartmouth College on the list. In-state tuition is $36,472 per year, making it the best value on the list for California residents. Out-of-state tuition is $45,672 per year.

9. Columbia University’s Columbia Business School tied with New York University and costs $49,728 per year.

10. New York University’s Stern School of Business tied with Columbia University and costs $43,100 per year.


The Average Cost of MBA Programs in the United States

Earning a Masters in Business Administration can be an important step in your career. For professionals in business, finance or other related fields, it can be a step towards significant career advancement. Earning an advanced degree can also be a serious investment that often requires significant planning and budgeting to make it a reality.

An MBA program has its straightforward costs, such as tuition, but it has other costs as well. You will not typically be able to work full-time during an MBA program and must consider the loss of income during the time period as part of the cost.

The average cost of an MBA program in the United States is between $40,000 and $60,000 per year and the standard program is two years. Many schools help students to budget actual costs by laying out not only the cost of tuition, but the cost of supplementary materials as well. For example, Harvard Business School costs $48,600 in tuition each year along with an addition $4,650 program support fee that covers textbooks and web-based program materials.

The majority of people entering business school have some work experience. This will be helpful in guiding them towards the right program and giving them support as they make decisions to advance their career within a company or look for a new job. Some employers will be able to provide financial assistance to employees whose careers warrant the investment in an advanced degree.

Working professionals may want to consider programs that cater to people with full-time jobs that cannot afford to take the time off to complete a degree full time. Another alternative is to look into accelerated programs that focus on a heavy course load in a shorter period of time to help shorten the period of time when students must go without a full salary.

Making the decision to go to business school is an important decision and an investment in your future career and potential earnings. Depending on your projected career path, earning the degree is an investment that stands to quickly pay for itself.


How to Get a Killer Letter of Recommendation

Getting a killer letter of recommendation can be a valuable addition to your college or grad school applications. While you cannot dictate exactly what will go into your letter of recommendation, there are many ways to ensure that you will get the best letter of recommendation possible.

Selecting the right person to write a letter of recommendation is an important decision that deserves some thought. Try to select people that have been important to you during your education. People who know you well will have more to say than a teacher or professor who knew you only through one class. Select your guidance counselor only if you had a close relationship during your high school years. A teacher who was a mentor throughout high school or a professor who served as your adviser throughout college will be in a good position to write a good letter of recommendation.

In addition to choosing someone who knows you well, you may consider subject areas. For example, if you are applying to medical school, your undergraduate biology professor would be a better choice than your French professor. For undergraduate applications, most students will want to consider variety. Choose teachers who know you in different contexts and will be able to speak to your different skills and strengths. You want your letters of recommendations to make a cohesive picture of you as a student and as an individual.

It is always a good idea to give the people you select plenty of time to write the letter of recommendation. Make time to go see them in person to ask if they would be willing to write the letter in the first place. Discussing it in person will give you a chance to let them know more about your goals and why it would mean a lot to you to receive their letter of recommendation. Planning ahead will ensure that they have time to write the letter you deserve. Follow up with a reminder visit, phone call, or email if you or your guidance counselor have not received the letter within a week or two of the deadline.

Finally, don’t be shy about telling the person writing your letter of recommendation more about what you want to convey in your application. You can frame this more as a discussion about your future goals, but it is also a way to help them know how to best frame your letter. Your teachers and professors want to write the best letter possible, so giving them more information is always appreciated. You can also let them know that they can always ask if they have questions as they write your letter. Let them know that you appreciate their work and be sure to thank them and keep them updated on your application process. These are often the people who you want to remain engaged in your education and to keep as mentors in the future.

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Top 10 Tips for Time Management in Business School

Time management is essential for success in business school. By applying these tips, you can establish organizational and time management techniques that will work for you.

1. Keep calendars that make sense for you. By now, you should have a good sense of your work habits, potential trouble areas, and how you best manage information. For more visual people, this may mean having a large wall calendar where you can keep track of classes, assignments, work, and blocks of study time.

2. Write everything down. While students today have many options for electronic calendars and organizers, there is value in keeping traditional to-do lists. Get in the habit of writing down a daily schedule and goals for the day that you can check off as they get done. The act of writing down priorities will help focus your mind on the present.

3. Remember what works. Think about your high school and undergraduate years, particularly if you have been out of school for a few years. Remembering the study habits that worked for you then can help you translate them into time management skills that will work now.

4. Learn to prioritize from the moment you are given an assignment. As you do this, it will become second nature to order your work. This mental exercise will help you throughout business school and in your career.

5. Break everything down. Courses in business school are often built around one or more large assignments that can seem overwhelming at first. Focus on breaking each assignment into manageable pieces and set your own deadlines to stay on track.

6. Tune into your natural clock. While much of the real world operates from nine to five, in business school, it’s important to know when you are at your best. Schedule blocks of study time and classes for the time of day when your brain is engaged. For some people this will mean studying in the morning, for others, night classes and studying at night will make more sense.

7. Fight procrastination. Procrastination is the enemy of any student. In business school, it is even more important to banish it from your study habits. Make “do it now” your mantra and whenever you are tempted for put off an assignment until later, remember that in the time you spend procrastinating, you could already be halfway done.

8. Have a work space. Set aside an area, a private office or just a corner of your room, to use only for schoolwork. You will get in the habit of focusing when you are at your desk and relaxing when you are not.

9. Make time for breaks. Taking time to relax and participate in activities you enjoy can help you to perform better academically too. Breaks will keep you from getting over-stressed.

10. Ask for advice. Don’t forget to use your professors as a resource. They can be a great source of time management and study tips. They will often be happy to offer their advice.


GMAT Analytical Writing Section

The Analytical Writing Assessment is one of the three parts of the GMAT exam. It is designed to test critical thinking skills and to measure the test taker’s ability to communicate information effectively. GMAT test prep is important to get test takers prepared to handle each of the Analytical Writing Assessment sections. Online test prep is often a particularly good option as it allows individuals to make their own schedule and complete GMAT test prep whenever they have free time.
The Analytical Writing Assessment is divided into two 30-minute essays. The first is the Analysis of an Issue and the second an Analysis of an Argument. Each essay is deigned to gauge the test taker’s ability to write analytically and present cohesive ideas. While the essay topics generally cover topics related to business, they should not require any prior knowledge of the subject. Taking GMAT practice tests is a great way to become familiar with the type of essay prompt that will appear on the exam.

The Analysis of an Issue section requires test takers to analyze an issue and form a point of view. There is no correct answer to this section and it is important to consider perspectives. The essay should express an articulate, thought-out position on the given issue. Test takers should draw from their own experiences, reading, and prior knowledge base t back up their opinion.

The Analysis of an Argument section tests the ability to read and critique an argument that is given in the prompt. Test takers should not bring their own views into this essay, but simply analyze the opinion that is given in the argument. The essay should consider what assumptions have been made in the argument and cite any information that could weaken the argument.

It is important to manage time effectively throughout the exam to be sure that you have time to complete each essay to the best of your ability. Preparing for the Analytical Writing Assessment can be challenging, but with the right GMAT test prep plan, you can enter the exam feeling ready to handle any essay prompt with ease.


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