2010 Business School Rankings

Choosing a good business school is an important decision for your education and career. It is important to take time to learn about various programs and review all of the information and rankings available. US News & World Report and Business Week are two reliable sources that rank the top business schools each year.

In 2010, Harvard Business School at Harvard University and Stanford University’s tied for first on the US News and World Report list. Third place went to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and fourth to Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The University of Chicago’s Booth School and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School tied for fifth place on the list of top business schools.

Business Week also provides rankings of the best business schools in the United States, as well as the top international programs and part-time options. Business week ranked University of Chicago’s Booth School first, Harvard Business School second and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School third. Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania came in fourth on Business Week’s list and the University of Michigan’s Ross School placed fifth.

The Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario ranked first in Business Week’s list of top international business schools. Business Week also ranked the best part-time MBA programs with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts coming out on top. Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School placed first on this list in 2009. There are many excellent part-time programs that are designed to fit into each student’s unique situation and schedule. Through these programs, it is possible for students to continue to work or have a family while they are earning their MBA.

Admissions for the top business schools are extremely competitive. It is important to prepare an application that sets you apart from the pool of applicants. For business school applications it is important to highlight your unique experiences in work, education, and even travel. These are things that will shape how you perceive business and how your MBA will fit into your career plan.

Performing well on the GMAT is key for people who want to attend a top business school. The GMAT, in combination with the undergraduate transcript and work experience, will help to determine where you will be accepted. A solid GMAT test prep program will prepare you to excel on the GMAT. When preparing for the test, online test prep programs are a great option for people with full time jobs and hectic schedules. GMAT practice exams will help test takers to prepare for the unique format of the GMAT.

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GMAT prep: No calculator? No problem!

One big difference between the GMAT and other standardized tests is that calculators are not allowed on test day. For many test takers, it can be intimidating to go into the GMAT without a calculator. It is important to put away your calculator from the beginning and get comfortable doing all of the necessary math for the GMAT on your own. With a comprehensive GMAT test prep plan, including plenty of time spent brushing up on basic math skills; it is possible to do well on the GMAT math section.
One of the best things you can do early on is to review basic math skills during your GMAT test prep. This is particularly critical if it has been a few years since you have taken a math course and even longer since you have worked without a calculator. Being able to manipulate fractions and decimals will be helpful on test day. You should also be sure that you are comfortable performing long division and other tasks that are typically done with a calculator. Reviewing the basics can make a big difference on the GMAT.

Once you have gotten familiar with your basic math skills again, you should work through online test prep and GMAT prep books. Take as many GMAT practice exams as possible and go over sample math questions until you can quickly decide how to attack a problem and move through the necessary steps. The more comfortable you are with the questions, the quicker you will be able to move through each problem on test day. It is important to work quickly, but carefully, as you are not able to go back and check your work or change answers on the GMAT.

It is also important to remember that the GMAT is designed to be completed without a calculator. You can use this to your advantage when completing math problems and always consider the simplest way to do your work. If you cannot complete a problem or come out with numbers that are difficult to work with, you may want to go back and check your work again. You should always look for the simplest and smartest way to complete the problem. With some critical thinking, there will not be any math problem on the GMAT that cannot be completed without a calculator.

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Designing a GMAT Test Prep Schedule

Designing a solid GMAT test prep schedule is essential to success on the exam. Most test takers plan to spend three to six months studying for the GMAT, but this is dependent on your personal study habits. All test prep schedules should consist of individual study time, GMAT courses, and taking online practice exams. The GMAT tests verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills, similar skill sets to the ones you studied when you were preparing for the SAT in high school. Yet this time around, the material will likely be more challenging and the test format will be significantly different.
One critical factor in deciding how long to study for the GMAT is how long you can devote to studying each day. For people who have full time jobs or are in school full time, it is best to set aside specific hours each day to fit study time into a busy schedule. In these cases, a six month GMAT test prep schedule is likely to be best. For people who can devote larger amounts of time to study, three to four months may be enough. Enrolling in a GMAT course is often a good way to stay motivated and be sure that you stay on track during your test prep.

The quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT are given in a computer adaptive format. This means that you will be provided one question at a time on a computer. After answering the first question, the computer will generate another. The difficultly level will depend on how well you score on previous questions. This format is likely different from anything test takers have faced before. For this reason, starting practice tests early in your test prep, or at least two months before the exam, will help you become familiar with the format. There are 37 quantitative questions and 41 verbal questions on the GMAT. Practice exams will also help you learn to pace yourself as you work through each section of the exam.

The analytical writing section of the GMAT contains two parts: an analysis of an issue essay and an analysis of an argument essay. Test takers are permitted 30 minutes to complete each essay. Reading sample essay prompts and practicing writing a solid essay within the time constraint will help you prepare for test day. There is no single correct answer to either writing sections. Piecing together a coherent analysis is more important than having prior knowledge of the topic.

By sticking to a test prep schedule, GMAT test takers can ensure that they are prepared for the test and familiar with the format. By this point in their academic career, they will benefit from a strong knowledge base and a high degree of self-awareness about their skills and study habits.

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Managing your online identity

Managing your online identity can be critical to your education and career. There are many websites that can influence your online identity and taking control of this part of your life can be an important step to building a desirable public profile. The first step to shaping your online identity is to search for your name online. Take note of what comes up first and read through the first few pages that are generated by your search.

Social networking sites can be a great opportunity to shape your public profile. LinkedIn is considered to be the most professional of all social networking websites and allows you to post a comprehensive resume online. Keeping your resume up to date can be important in building your professional online identity. LinkedIn allows you to identify your location, career field, and current company. You can also document your education, skills, and past work experience. As you link to other peoples’ profiles on LinkedIn, you will have the opportunity to ask colleagues and friends for recommendations. These recommendations will appear on your profile and can be accessed easily by potential graduate schools and employers.

Social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace can play an important role in your public profile. It is important to get familiar with your privacy settings and know what information is available to various groups of people. You will also want to closely monitor what other people post on your profile, including comments, photos, or videos. Regularly check and delete anything that you do not want included in your public profile. Photos that are public should always be professional and send a positive message to potential employers. Your Twitter account can also affect your online identity. It is important to monitor your privacy settings and control who has access to your information. Be careful about who you allow to access your profile on all of these websites, particularly when it comes to colleagues, supervisors, or professors.

If you want to fully control your online presence and your domain name is available, you may consider purchasing it for a small annual cost. You can redirect the website to an online profile or use it to create a professional online presence. This prevents the name from being used by someone else and will often appear early in search results. You will also want to check to see if any blogs, past or current, can be located by searching your name online. These should either be strictly professional in nature, deleted, or kept protected by privacy settings.

The influx of information from social networking websites can be used to your benefit during a job search or application process. LinkedIn may allow you to view friends or friends who work in your field and may provide important contacts in the future. Facebook or Twitter can be used to ask friends for job leads. By using social networking to your advantage and carefully monitoring your public image, you can take control of your online identity.

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The Benefits of Online Test Prep for the GMAT

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is the standardized test necessary for people planning to attend business school. The GMAT is made up of three sections: the analytical writing assessment, the quantitative section, and the verbal section. A solid plan for GMAT test prep is essential to preparing for test day. Due to the format of the GMAT, many people find that online prep is a good option.

It is important to know going in to the GMAT that the quantitative and verbal sections are computer adaptive tests. This means that the test taker is presented with one question at a time on the computer. Depending on whether or not they answer the question correctly, they will be presented with a new question. An incorrect answer will result in easier questions whereas a correct answer will generate more difficult questions. This process will continue until the end of each section.

Due to this computer adaptive test format, online GMAT prep is one of the best ways to prepare for the GMAT. It is critical for test takers to become comfortable with this format in order to be successful on test day. GMAT test prep can help people become acclimated to working with this format and be sure that they will not face unexpected challenges on test day.

In a computer adaptive environment, it is not possible to return to previous questions, skip questions, or change answers after the fact. Success is frequently determined not only by test takers knowledge of the material, but by their ability to perform within the test’s format. Online GMAT prep is a good way to give test takers time to learn the format. This will allow them to become comfortable not only with the material, but with the mode of delivery. It will also help test takers become familiar with the length of the test and work to pace themselves on test day as they move through the computer-adaptive sections.

GMAT test preparation can be a challenge for working professionals. Many people taking the GMAT have full work schedules and busy lives. Online GMAT prep is a good way to fit GMAT test preparation into a hectic schedule. It allows people to choose when and where they can prepare for the test and design a schedule that meets their needs.

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GMAT To Include Integrated Reasoning Section Starting June 2012

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) recently announced changes to the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) that are set to take effect June 4, 2012. The test, called Next Generation GMAT, will include an integrated reasoning section. The goal of this new section is to provide insight into how the test taker will perform in today’s information-filled business environment.

The integrated reasoning section will evaluate the test taker’s ability to evaluate and synthesize information from multiple sources. These sources may include graphs, charts, and spreadsheets. Test takers will also be asked to evaluate trade-offs, interpret visual data representations, and determine probability and statistics. While question types are still in testing, the GMAC predicts that some questions will have multiple parts and more than one correct answer. They have not yet decided whether partial credit will be an option on these questions.

For the past four years, the GMAC has conducted surveys of business school faculties in order to evaluate the current test and pinpoint improvements that could be made to the test for the future. The integrated reasoning section is the primary result of these surveys. Faculties expressed the need for incoming students to be able to integrate data, work through complex problems, and make statistical inferences. Next Generation GMAT seeks to make the test more applicable to business schools by asking test takers to complete problems that are similar to the work they will face once in graduate school.

The GMAT will still take three and a half hours to complete. The 30 minutes integrated reasoning section will replace one of the two essays in the analytical writing section.

Currently, the GMAT analytical writing section contains one Analysis of an Issue essay and one Analysis of an Argument essay. The Next Generation GMAT will only include one essay, but students could be assigned either an Analysis of an Issue prompt or an Analysis of an Argument prompt. Therefore, test takers will still need to prepare for both types of essay during their GMAT test preparation. Business school admissions officers have stated that the two current essay test scores are highly correlated. For this reason, they anticipate that one essay will continue to provide a fair and accurate measure of test takers’ abilities.

Scoring on the Next Generation GMAT will change only slightly. The verbal and quantitative sections of the GMAT will remain the same and will continue to be scored on a scale of 200-800. There will be a separate score for the single essay in the analytical writing section and a second separate score for the integrated reasoning section.

The GMAC assures future test takers that more information about specific question types and sample tests for Next Generation GMAT will be available closer to the time of the test’s release. A GMAT course will help people planning to take the GMAT after June 2012 to prepare for the test, including the new section. Developing a comprehensive study plan is the best way to ensure success on the GMAT. Making time for GMAT test preparation and taking Next Generation GMAT practice tests are generally the best way to enter the exam confident and prepared.

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Which MBA program is right for you?

The decision to get an Masters of Business Administration requires research and preparation. It can be an important step in furthering a career and the right program will open many doors. There are various types of MBA programs available and it is possible to find an option that is suited to every type of student.

Requirements
Most MBA programs require a standardized test, most commonly the GMAT. GMAT test prep can help you to gain a better idea of what you will need to study in order to do well. Online test prep is a great option for people who want assistance that fits into a hectic schedule. It is also important to find out about any GPA or course requirements from your undergraduate degree. Some MBA programs will want you to have taken a certain level of math courses, but many make it easy to complete these requirements at the start of the MBA program if need be.

Location
Many prospective MBA students will want to stay in a certain region while others are willing to relocate for the right program. It is often worthwhile to consider schools in your area or schools in close proximity to an area where you would like to live and work after completing the program. There are also many online MBA courses that can provide a flexible option to students who would like to complete their MBA primarily from home.

Schedule
Most full time MBA programs will require two years to complete. While a part-time MBA program will take longer to complete, these programs are typically designed for working professionals who would like to continue to work throughout the program. These programs will offer a full range of evening and weekend classes to accommodate this schedule. Some schools also offer an accelerated MBA course that can offer students the opportunity to complete an MBA in as little as one year. These programs will generally require a high level of dedication and an increased time commitment for the shorter period of time.

Courses
MBA programs often offer concentrations such as finance, marketing, human resources management, or non-profit management. If you have a specific interest area, these can be a great opportunity to take additional specialized courses. Each MBA program will offer different types of courses that can be used to complete the requirements. Reading over the course descriptions from prospective universities can offer a better idea of which program offers classes that are best suited to your career goals and interests.

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Looking to spend a semester abroad? What you need to know…

Spending a college semester abroad can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times of your life. Since traveling to a foreign country may not be for everyone, there are many things to consider before packing your bags.
Start by considering the costs and benefits of a semester abroad. Many colleges and universities have formal study abroad programs, but these often come with fairly hefty fees. Others have “exchange” programs with foreign universities, but these can sometimes interfere with obtaining or keeping financial aid. Before making any decisions, ask for a listing of the costs and fees associated with spending a semester abroad.
Next, look at the available course offerings at the foreign university or college. Most study abroad programs will only transfer these classes as elective liberal arts credit; it is very rare to find a school that will give credit for specific classes, especially if those classes are prerequisites for other classes. Speak with your school counselor to see how studying abroad would fit into your academic plan, and at what classes you will need in order to graduate; studying abroad might mean needing to complete an extra semester once you get back. Of course, the opportunity to complete coursework in another country might be worth needing an extra semester to complete your degree. Many future employers look at time spent in a foreign country as similar to completing an internship. Being able to say that you can converse with native speakers of a language, and the contacts and friends you make in a foreign country will stay with you for the rest of your life.
You should also look at the type of support offered by both schools for their exchange students. Is housing provided, or will you be expected to find your own place to live? Does the host school offer a meal plan, or will you be expected to cook your own food? While some students like the security of living with other students, being able to live on your own in a foreign country can be an invaluable experience. Living on your own means learning to cook with local ingredients and will broaden the range of people you meet while traveling. Living on your own also means interacting with the local culture in a way that you cannot do with any other type of study.
The experiences of studying in a foreign country will stay with you forever. A number of professionals in the workforce are still in contact with the friends they made while studying abroad. One professor in her 50s still regularly exchanges e-mails and gifts with the friends she made while traveling as part of a class while earning her Bachelor’s degree. When talking about her experience she has said; “My friend also teaches at a local university in her country, and since we’re in similar fields, we often exchange ideas for papers. We’ve even worked together on a few of them over the years.” Other students use their foreign travel experience to get interviews with multi-national companies after they graduate.  Whatever you choose to do with the experience, your time spent abroad is something that will stay with you for a lifetime.

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Top Ten Must Haves for the Business School Newbie

If you have recently been accepted into a business program or are still trying for a spot at a school of business, you may have realized the extent to which electronics are needed. Not only do most business programs officially require laptop computers and advanced calculators, many make life without a smart phone or other devices nearly impossible. These ten gadgets will certainly improve your day to day affairs as a student of business.

1. EPOS Digital Pen

This is the new, more convenient type of USB flash drive. The handy tool combines digital pen with USB flash drive to create a writing tool that records trace movements into the USB flash drive, freeing you from the hassle of keeping track of paper notes.

2.Apple  iPod

Okay, so most current students and prospective students already possess an iPod or some other type of mp3 player. If you don’t, you really ought to consider investing in one. Not only can the music you download to it provide you a relaxing reprieve from your studies, classical music can actually improve your study sessions! This is only a good edition if you are committed to a mobile platform other than Apple or a provider other than AT&T. If not, then just spend a little more for the new iPhone 4.

3. HP OfficeJet all-in-one printer, fax, scanner, copier

As a business student, chances are you’ll be writing a number of papers. There is also a good chance you’ll need a scanner and copier in many situations, perhaps even a fax machine. The HP OfficeJet all-in-one printer, fax, scanner, copier is convenient, reliable and easy to store in even the tiniest of dorm rooms. Models are updated frequently, but look for one with Wi-Fi to make things even easier to connect to your network.

4. Kindle 2

Amazon’s newest version of the Kindle is great for those who love to read, or simply have a huge load of readings for college. It is easy to use and offers super fast internet access. Users can choose from a collection of over 400,000 books, newspapers and magazines and the online Kindle store. Best of all, the device’s ability to hold 1,500 books at once is definitely appealing for the business student, given how difficult it is to find storage space in dorms and college apartments. MBA students can use the available library to help them with test preparation on the go, without the hassle of carrying their hardback books along.

5. RIM Blackberry Presenter

If you own a Blackberry Smartphone, you should consider investing in the new RIM Blackberry Presenter. This gadget connects to the Blackberry Smartphone through Bluetooth and hooks up to monitors and projectors. It can be used to present PowerPoint presentations straight from the Smartphone.

6. Apple iPad

This revolutionary device bridges the gap between laptop and smart phone. The mix of both allows students to consume massive amounts of media and information in interactive new ways. Companies are continually coming out with new ways for students to interact with this device and their software. Things like games, movies, books, music, test prep materials, courses and communication are now not only portable, but easily viewable.

7. PowerSquid

Dorm rooms and college apartments often lack the number of outlets required to charge various types of gadgets. The PowerSquid solves this dilemma by providing several extra places to plug in a variety of devices. The power strip is also environmentally friendly-students tend to forget to unplug gadgets when heading out for the day, but the PowerSquid allows you to turn off everything at once and therefore save a great deal of energy.

8. Light Touch Projector

Like the Blackberry Presenter, the Light Touch Projector connects via Bluetooth and is useful for presentations. The Light Touch Projector is unique in that it projects a touch screen to any surface, which means that you can use it to connect to social networks and other applications. Additionally, the Light Touch Projector can connect to the internet using Wi-Fi, an ability that proves handy for those who lack access to Bluetooth.

9. Magnadyne Multi-use Car Charger

Many college students do not have access to car while on campus, but for those who do, a multi-use car charger can be a life saver. Magnadyne’s version lets you hook up four devices at once. This gadget is very useful for college commuters, especially those who balance their class load with a full time job.

10. Apple iPhone 4

The yearly reboot of the ever prominent and market dominating iPhone. Updated hardware includes dual front and rear facing cameras, 960×640 display resolution, better antenna integration for less dropped calls and significantly increased battery time over previous models. Load this phone up with all of the educational apps that you need to make test prep and studying much easier.

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The Average Salary Increase with an MBA

College graduates may see themselves as being a cut above the rest, but many don’t take the time to look at the difference between themselves and business school graduates. Taking into account the differences between the normal college track and the MBA track, business school becomes a logical choice for personal, professional and monetary gain. In order to achieve this gain, one must first conquer the GMAT.

By taking the GMAT, otherwise known as the Graduate Management Admission Test, you’ll be able to enter a MBA program at a number of schools. The GMAT test is used worldwide to measure the ability of students to demonstrate successful traits that will statistically allow them to succeed in an MBA program. The school that you are able to addend is dependent on the score that you are able to achieve on the GMAT. The score that you achieve on the GMAT, typically correlates to the prestige level of the business school that you are able to get into. Simply put, the higher you score, the better the school you can attend.
Over the past few years, it has become apparent that degrees tied to business, management, and the financial sectors tend to have higher job placement rates than regular degrees. Therefore, building upon your bachelor’s degree with an MBA will greatly increase your marketability.

In comparison to the general salaries of those graduates that earn bachelor’s degrees, graduates that attain an MBA tend to make at least $12,000 more per year than their counterparts. This amount often increases in many fields, usually greatly exceeding the route of completing a double major at the university undergraduate level.

Besides this increase in average salary per year, business school graduates tend to have a higher rate of consistent work in comparison with conventional degree holders. This is because the business, management, and financial fields tend to remain more constant in terms of employment when compared to other fields.

Therefore, college graduates can literally change their lives by adjusting their financial opportunities through earning a degree from a business school. In order to do this, scoring high on the GMAT test is a necessary component. The majority of business schools will only accept GMAT scores as a benchmark for potential applicants, so preparing for the GMAT is the essential step towards acceptance into a strong MBA program.

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