What to Expect Your First Year in Business School

Acceptance into business school is a time for celebration, and while new doors are opened adjusting to university life can often be daunting. Any incoming student has to adjust to university life, which can often be far away from home and a brand new environment, but new business school students must face their own unique set of challenges and experiences their very first year.

Business school students should expect to learn their school’s academic expectations quickly. The curriculum for business programs obviously varies from program to program, but business schools are often much more regulated as to what a student’s courses should be each semester. In many cases, there will be very few, if any, elective courses. Therefore, students who have a strong desire to take classes outside the regular business school curriculum should work closely with academic advisers in order to create a diverse but manageable schedule.

Newly inducted business school students must also keep in mind that their time at university is limited, and that their choices are very important. Deciding right away to aim for a duel degree, multiple concentrations, certificate programs, or accelerated business tracks is incredibly beneficial and saves a lot of hassle later on, for students, parents, and administrative employees alike.

Of course, business students will have to adapt to campus life in their first year. This includes adjusting to living in a new place in many cases, or getting used to commuting to school every day. New people and new experiences are part of everyday life, during classes and downtime alike. Many business school students take advantage of extracurricular activities, from sports to special interest clubs, in order to connect with other students and create lasting memories during their first year at business school.

Nevertheless, the business school experience is unique from that of a regular college freshmen, as the business track involves constantly relating to the applicability of knowledge to the real world. No matter the program, business schools tend to focus on the entrepreneurial spirit and quality experiences. First year business school students should already think ahead about companies or organizations they might like to intern for, paid or unpaid, in order to gain experience. At many schools, these internships can take place during breaks or concurrent to the school year and often count for academic credit.

This real world centric outlook should be very important during a student’s first year in business school, as keeping career minded is one of the wisest outlooks a student can adopt. Many business schools have specialized career centers for internships, part time jobs, and longer employment opportunities both during the first academic year and later on. This allows for lasting ties to form between a student and the career center, making it easier later on when the student requires assistance, guidance, or references.

First year business school students should also expect to get involved in the community around their school. In many business programs, community service is heavily encouraged and sometimes required for graduation. Service opportunities not only form bonds between students, but allow students to understand the community and make a positive impact.

Every business school is different, but a first year business school student should expect to find challenging academic work, innovative classroom experiences, new bonds with peers, and a pathway to savvy business sense and skills that last a lifetime.

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The Top 5 GMAT Mistakes Students Make

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) first came about in 1953 when graduate business schools realized they needed another way to find out whether prospective students were truly qualified to be seriously considered for admission in their programs. Having a straight 4.0 grade point average and/or excelling on the SAT exam was not enough to ensure that students had the aptitude to succeed in graduate business studies.

The GMAT is a standardized test that measures sufficiency in analytical writing skills, quantitative reasoning skills and verbal reasoning skills. Each section has a fixed number of questions or essays that must be completed within an allotted amount of time. It sounds easy, especially if you have always done well in school. However, the GMAT measures more than whether you are good at math, reading and writing. Reasoning, analysis and problem solving are what the GMAT is really all about.

If you are serious about doing well on the GMAT, it is imperative that you prepare well. Unfortunately, many prospective graduate business school students tend to underestimate this very important step. The wise candidate can learn from others’ mistakes in both preparing for and taking the GMAT, thus minimizing the potential for error. The following list of things to avoid while preparing for and taking the GMAT should help you get the score you need.

1. Not doing GMAT practice tests at all.

No matter which source or method you choose to prepare yourself for the GMAT, make sure to take timed GMAT practice tests. Many students that get poor scores on the GMAT only read through the material either in a book on on a website. Only by taking several practice tests can one truly simulate the true rigors of the GMAT.

2. Not practicing enough

Another common mistake that graduate business school applicants make is to put off studying and practicing until maybe a month or so before the test. This is not nearly enough time, even though many people think they have it nailed. A good three or four months of proper GMAT test prep is necessary to really get familiar and comfortable with the exam.

3. Not pacing yourself.

One thing that often leads to lower GMAT scores is taking too much time on questions and then not being able to finish them all. If you time each section of questions exactly the same way they will be timed on the test, you will learn to pace yourself properly and not allow yourself to get distracted or bogged down when it really counts.

4. Doing the practice tests but not examining each wrong answer closely enough to learn why it was wrong.

An extremely important part of doing the GMAT practice tests is learning what you are doing right and wrong, and why. In fact, this one of the main reasons you are doing practice tests at all. If you understand the reasons behind why you make errors on certain types of questions, then you will be much less likely to make those errors at all. These errors can be grouped into two different classifications: Process Errors and Conceptual Errors

  • A process error happens when the student answers the question wrong because they made a mistake in the process of solving the question. In this case, the student feels at lease somewhat comfortable with the concept, but made an error in the process. In analyzing this type of mistake, the student should familiarize themselves with the process of solving the problem within the given conceptual parameters. The GMAT is all about problem solving, thinking through the question, and how you reach the correct conclusion with the given process.
  • A conceptual error occurs when the student does not have enough of a grasp on the concept that the question is testing. If this is the case, then it will not matter how many times you see how to solve the problem. It will be difficult to solve the problem (without guessing) unless you understand the underlying concept that the question is testing for. In this case, the student should review concepts deemed important to the GMAT and revisit the practice question with new found understanding.

5. Not reading the test questions carefully enough.

Many of the questions on the GMAT exam are intentionally tricky and it is easy to misread, misunderstand and thus give the wrong answer. Read each question very carefully, at least twice until you are completely sure that you understand what is being asked. Attention to detail is a crucial asset in graduate business school, and if you don’t have that, then you may not have what it takes to succeed.

If you follow these tips on what to avoid when preparing for and taking the GMAT examination, you should be okay. Just remember that the GMAT is not about what you know, but about your thought processes and how you analyze and work through problems.

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I’m ready to go to business school, now what?

Applying to business school can be both exhilarating and challenging. The best approach is a well planned one. There are a several important requirements to fulfill when applying to business school. For example, applicants must possess an undergraduate degree. Business school applicants must also take the GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test. Online GMAT prep courses can prepare you for this important exam, helping improve your chances of admission to the business school of your choice.

One of the most important assets to possess when applying to business school is time. You’ll need plenty of time to research different business schools, visit campuses and speak with current students and faculty, ready yourself for the GMAT with GMAT practice tests, prepare your application, and ask for references. While studying for and taking the GMAT may initially cause you concern, there are several excellent online GMAT prep options that make studying more convenient than ever.

Another important asset is patience. Take the time to thoroughly research a number of business school programs. Consider whether you are willing to move far away, or whether it is important to you to stay close to home or your current job when attending business school. In addition to considering the ranking and reputation of different business schools, you’ll also want to get a first hand take on the program by speaking with current students. How satisfied are they with the program? What are some of the most common career paths for alumni? How well do they fit with your own professional goals? Take the time to meet with faculty as well. You’ll be working closely with them while attending business school, so you’ll want to get an idea of which business schools have faculty members whose interests best fit your own career goals.

The application and recommendation process also takes time and patience. Get started early and work little by little on your applications. This will give you time to ask for recommendation letters ahead of time. If you’re asking previous undergraduate professors for recommendations, make sure to avoid doing so near the end of the semester when they are busy with writing other recommendations and grading exams. The same goes for your application. Start outlining your response to the questions well in advance. Also be sure to thoroughly edit your application. You might even ask a friend to read your application over before your submit it to catch any orthographic or grammatical errors.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for GMAT prep. The best resources are online GMAT courses that offer you a wide range of studying options from GMAT practice tests to interactive training sessions. GMAT courses help you identify the best strategy for studying for and taking the GMAT test. GMAT courses are a great investment, particularly online options that allow you to study at your own pace and effectively prepare you for the computerized test. Applying for business school is certainly challenging, but the process is well worth it in order to reach your career goals.

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GMAT Critical Reasoning Section Broken Down

About 11 questions in the verbal section of the GMAT fall into the “critical reasoning” category, and they will require the candidate to read short passages ranging from 20 to 200 words. Usually, a passage presents an argument and tries to persuade the reader that the point it makes is valid. To accomplish this, evidence is presented, followed by some assumptions and the resulting conclusion.

This section is meant to assess the students’ skill in constructing an argument and evaluating one that is presented to them, but they will not need any previous knowledge of the topics being covered. Instead, they must weigh the answer choices presented to them carefully, so that they can detect even the slightest error in reasoning. One of the incorrect choices will suggest something that is totally opposed to the argument maintained in the passage, a choice that is really not covered in the passage, and a choice that completely distorts the facts.

To complete the section successfully, candidates should:

● Read the question before reading the passage. This is called “working in reverse order,” and doing so will help them in finding the correct response.
● Look for the evidence and assumptions presented in the passage, and the conclusion that is at the heart of the question.
● Become familiar with the basic concepts being covered in this section. If a question seems particularly difficult, they should try translating it into simpler language and work from there, remembering that some of the questions are hypothetical and that they should only deal with the facts presented in the passage.

The various types of critical reasoning questions contained in the GMAT include:

● Numbers and statistics – Students focus on ratios and numbers because they have to distinguish between them and take the data at face value as well.
● Studies and surveys – Experiments may also be included here, and candidates are asked determine if the results have been misinterpreted in some way.
● Scope-shift – Here they will detect a slight change in emphasis. (For example, “first-time home buyers may be changed to “recent homebuyers” later on, and this is a sign of faulty argumentation.)
● Causation – In this case, the “result” is mistakenly presented as the “cause.” The passage may state that a problem arose because of a particular factor when its development was actually far more complicated than that.
● Alternative explanation – Here, the argument presented in the passage is incomplete and another solution is needed.
● Explain-a-paradox – In this case, they have to choose the response that fails to meet certain standards, and words indicating a contrast of some kind (however, but) are especially important.

Preparing for the GMAT

For online test preparation, students can visit: http://www.blinetestprep.com/gmat, and choose from one of the three unique programs this company offers to suit their specific needs and circumstances. Also, as part of their overall test preparation, candidates should develop their personal studying strategy and sharpen their professional writing skills at the same time. Taking classes to prepare for the GMAT may involve some expense, but they also provide the motivation and support that many candidates need. Many often find that by signing up for an online test prep class fits into their schedule and provides a good foundation before you take the test.

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GMAT Sentence Completion Questions

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is one test you will have to take-not to mention all the test preparation you’ll have to do-if you plan on furthering your academic career in the business or management fields. The standardized test is used by almost two thousand graduate schools around the world, making it a necessity for those who plan on getting a masters in business administration, or in any other similar area. The test is a general exploration of the test-taker’s business knowledge, skills and experience, and subjective things like motivation and interpersonal skills. Beyond these things, the GMAT measures things that are very simple and that can be adequately prepare for with an online test prep, like your basic verbal, mathematical and analytical skills.

Regardless of why you’re taking the GMAT, you will probably want to spend at least a month on test preparation to ensure that you get a good score. This is especially true since the cost for taking the test is two hundred and fifty dollars. That’s quite a bit of money, so you’ll want to make sure you’re well prepared. Fortunately, there are plenty of great online test prep websites like B Line Test Prep that will help you to make a great score, regardless of what you think your weak areas are.

One area of the GMAT where people often have trouble is the sentence completion part of the test. These questions aim to measure your knowledge of key grammatical points. Subjects covered may include the passive voice, mismatched subject/object pairs, incorrect verb tenses, and so on. Sentence Completion questions are a part of the verbal section of the quiz, and there are usually between sixteen and eighteen of them. Since the verbal section is only about forty questions, that makes this a very important part of the test that you’ll want to focus on in your online test prep studies or in whatever other test preparation method that you use.

The GMAT’s structure gives you four hours to complete the entire test, with two timed breaks of ten minutes each to give you a bit of a breather. This means that you have a little over three and a half hours for the test, or an hour and ten minutes for each of its three sections. Since the sentence completion part is about half of the exam’s verbal section, you’ll probably be using up somewhere between thirty and forty-five minutes completing and correcting sentences.

An Example Question:

The idea on the GMAT sentence completion questions is taking the sentence given to you and replace part of it with one of the choices listed below.

A) to take the sentence given to you and replace

B) taking the sentence given to you and replacing

C) take the sentence you were given and to replace

D) to taking a number of sentences you are given and replace

E) No change is required

Choice E is a popular one, and makes this section especially tricky, since not all sentences are actually incorrect.

Key statistics for the GMAT sentence completion:

* 16-18 questions in the verbal
* Verbal section consists of roughly 41 questions
* Aim to spend somewhere between half an hour and forty-five minutes on this portion of the test

Remember, sufficient test preparation is vital for success in this and other portions of the GMAT. Fortunately, there are great online test prep sites like B Line Test Prep to help you through your study period.

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GMAT Reading Comprehension Section Broken Down

The GMAT reading comprehension section of the test is comprised of around twelve to fourteen questions that are within the verbal section of the test. The time available for the verbal section of the test is seventy five minutes. There are four passages to read with three to four questions following each passage. This section of the GMAT measures the skill to precisely and thoroughly read a passage, and then be able to correctly answer questions regarding it. The ability to draw conclusions from the material while paying attention to what the actual question is asking important. Certain parts of the text might be there just to confuse the test-taker. Attention to detail is essential for scoring well on the GMAT.

There are usually three areas that the reading comprehension section focuses on. They are Science (biology, etc.), Social Sciences (history, politics), and Business. The Science section usually has the factual questions, while the Social Sciences and Business sections usually contain the more difficult inference-type questions. A student may be asked to infer an author’s mood from reading a 200-400 word passage. These passages can often be filled with obscure words to further confound the test-taker.

Some useful tips for getting the optimum score on the GMAT include preparing as much as possible for the test. A student that uses multiple study methods such as flashcards, workbooks and an online test preparation course will be much better prepared than a student who does not utilize those methods. Studying over the course of three months is definitely favorable to studying for only three weeks. During the test, the test-taker should pace them self accordingly. Jot down notes in order grasp a certain concept. If a particular question is presenting a problem, then moving on to the next question and returning back to the more difficult question later is a viable option. Spending too much time on any one question can interfere with the ability to finish the test, therefore lowering the test score considerably.

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GMAT Test Taking Tips

The GMAT is a requirement for most graduate school programs, and like the SAT taken in high school, the GMAT can be a harrowing experience. Weeks of study will be for naught if the test is taken without a strategy. However, by keeping a few tips in mind, greater success and a higher score on the GMAT is possible.

Preparation is the number 1 key to ensuring your success. There are several methods for preparing for your date with the GMAT test such as books, one on one tutoring, or creating flash cards. Today more people are enrolling to take their online  GMAT test preparation course with B Line Test Prep. The courses at B Line Schools are designed to acquaint students with the types of questions encountered on the GMAT. By taking a test preparation course with B Line Schools, one’s score can rise by critical points.

During our online test prep courses, the student is presented with tips and strategies for taking the GMAT. Some of these are common sense, and some are specific to the test. For best results, an online test preparation course should be taken just a few weeks before the test to keep the information learned fresh in one’s mind.

Some of the best test taking strategies are:

Keep an even pace. If one problem is too difficult, it will be best to skip it and continue on with the rest of the test, returning to the missed problem after the easier questions have been completed. Missing a single problem does not have as severe a penalty as spending all of the time on that one question and then skipping all of the questions after it.

Try to eliminate at least one or two choices. This strategy is taught for many different types of multiple choice tests, how to best eliminate options on the GMAT is a topic discussed in online test prep courses.

Use the scratch paper provided to work out math problems. Writing out even simple equations can put the tester in a clearer frame of mind.

More specific tips for GMAT testing are found through online test preparation courses such as B Line Test Prep. These are highly recommended for those serious about doing well on the GMAT.

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GMAT Test Overview

The GMAT, or Graduate Management Admission Test, is a widely recognized tool for evaluating the aptitudes of business school applicants. The GMAT is designed to measure an applicant’s analytical writing aptitude, mathematical ability, and verbal skills. Online test prep will help you prepare, at your own pace, for the kinds of questions to expect.

The first section of the GMAT is the Analytical Writing Assessment, or AWA. Thirty minutes are given to complete each of two writing tasks. The first involves analysis of a particular issue, and the second is analysis of an argument. Online GMAT Test Preparation will help you understand what sort of issues and arguments to expect and how to prepare your answer.

The second section of the GMAT is the quantitative, or mathematical, section. Seventy-five minutes are allowed for the completion of 37 randomly-generated multiple-choice questions. Some of these questions will ask whether the right information has been supplied to answer a specific question. Others will be calculation and word problems. A quality online GMAT test preparation course will familiarize you with these two different forms of quantitative questioning.

The last section of the GMAT evaluates verbal skills, including critical reasoning, reading comprehension and sentence correction. Online GMAT test preparation will guide you through reading samples and comprehension questions, sentences and their possible errors, and how to identify assumptions and draw conclusions from a given argument.

The verbal and quantitative portions of the test feature randomly generated questions that adapt to your answers. If an easier question is successfully answered, the next one will be slightly harder. Incorrect answers are scored higher than skipped questions. Online test prep will help you get the feel for how this adaptive component of the GMAT works.

A GMAT score includes a ranking in each of the three skill areas. The total score for the verbal and quantitative sections will range from 200 to 800, with the median being about 500. This is what is usually referred to as the GMAT score. The AWA section is scored separately from the two other sections. Top business schools require GMAT scores above 700 for admission.

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