Monday Morning Essay Tip: Pluralize Nouns Whenever Possible

One way to conserve words in your MBA application essays and short-answer responses is by pluralizing nouns whenever possible. Singular words often require an article such as “a,” “an,” or “the.” These words can add unnecessarily to your word count, thereby cluttering your page without contributing to your argument or style. Consider the following example:

“A manager with an MBA can ascend the corporate ladder faster than a manager who lacks an MBA.” (18 words)

Now consider this version, in which many of the singular nouns have been pluralized:

“Managers with MBAs can ascend the corporate ladder faster than managers without MBAs.” (13 words)

As you can see, both sentences present the same idea, but one sentence is five words shorter than the other. Given that essays can include dozens or even hundreds of sentences, pluralizing wherever possible is helpful in meeting word count requirements and decluttering the text.

M7 Financial

GMAT Impact: Testing Accommodations on the GMAT

With regard to the GMAT, raw intellectual horsepower helps, but it is not everything. In this blog series, Manhattan Prep’s Stacey Koprince teaches you how to perform at your best on test day by using some common sense.
GMAT Impact: Testing Accommodations on the GMAT - mbaMission

Do you qualify for testing accommodations on the GMAT? Or do you think you might?

Broadly speaking, the term “accommodations” refers to altering the testing conditions for a particular student to “level the playing field” for that student. Someone with serious vision problems, for example, may need some kind of altered test format to read the test questions. These accommodations do not make the test easier for the student; rather, they make the test possible at the same level as for a regular student.

What is the process for applying for testing accommodations, and how are the decisions made? Glad you asked. I have spent the past couple months reading everything I can find and talking to representatives from GMAC. In addition, I spoke with a psychologist who deals with various kinds of learning disabilities.

All this research culminated in our unofficial GMAT Testing Accommodations Encyclopedia! I will give you the highlights here and then link to the full article at the end.

GMAC lists five main categories of issues covered and also offers an “other” category (if you feel your particular issue does not fit into one of these five areas).

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February 26, 2017

GMAT Impact

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MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Yikes, a Typo—I Am Done!

MBA Admissions Myths Destroyed: Yikes, a Typo—I Am Done! - mbaMissionYou have worked painstakingly on your application. You have checked and rechecked your work. You finally press the Submit button only to discover—to your horror—that you are missing a comma and you inadvertently used “too” instead of “to.” The admissions committee is just going to throw your application out, right? Wrong.

There is a fine line between a typo and pervasive sloppiness. If you have typos and grammatical errors throughout your essays and application, you send a negative message about your sense of professionalism and desire to represent yourself—and thus the target school—in a positive way. If you have a minor mistake or too (oops, we meant “mistake or two”) in your text, you have an unfortunate but not devastating situation on your hands. Admissions committees understand that you are only human, and if you are a strong candidate, the entirety of your professional, community, personal, and academic endeavors will outweigh these blips.

Do not dwell on the mistakes. Do not send new essays. Just accept your own fallibility and move on.

4 GMAT Myths Busted

There’s a lot of well-meaning advice for GMAT test takers out there. Unfortunately, some of the most reasonable-sounding and frequently-repeated claims are actually false. In this article, our friends at Manhattan GMAT look at four of the most common GMAT myths, and what you should do instead.

1. I need to get 90% of the questions right to get a 700.

It’s true, somebody who got a 700 on the GMAT probably got more questions right than somebody who got a 400. However, the opposite isn’t true: just getting more questions right doesn’t increase your score. The GMAT scoring algorithm doesn’t look at how many questions you answered correctly in a section. Instead, it looks at the difficulty level you’ve reached by the end of that section. You could reach the same difficulty level by missing a lot of questions, or by only missing a few, depending on where in the test you miss them and whether you finish the section on time. Check out this article for more info on what your GMAT score really means.

2. Quant is more important than Verbal.

This is a tricky one. In part, it depends on the programs you’re applying to and the strengths and weaknesses of the rest of your profile. Some schools will want a high Quant score, while others will care more about whether you hit a particular overall number. In some situations, Quant might be very important.

However, when it comes to achieving a high overall GMAT score, Verbal is slightly more important than Quant. Getting a 90th percentile Verbal score and a 50th percentile Quant score, for example, will give you a slightly higher overall score than if they were swapped. Also, many students, especially native English speakers, find it easier, quicker, and more fun to improve Verbal than Quant. If you just want to earn a particular overall score, you might get there faster by focusing on Verbal. Don’t leave points on the table by ignoring Verbal! Even if you’re starting with a high Verbal score, an improvement of just ten percentile points can go a long way.

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February 24, 2017

GMAT Impact

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Friday Factoid: Acclimating to the Cold at Dartmouth Tuck

Friday Factoid: Acclimating to the Cold at Dartmouth Tuck - mbaMissionThe thought of spending the winters in Hanover, New Hampshire—home of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business—may send shivers down your spine. But those who tough it out and embrace the cold can discover some rewarding winter experiences, such as ice hockey and downhill skiing. From beginners to seasoned veterans, participate each year in ice hockey games organized by Tuck hockey leagues. Never played? Not to worry—teams are organized by skill level, so you can find a team of hockey players who will not care if you trip over the blueline (that is ice hockey lingo—you will learn). And those who are not quite ready to play hockey can always get in the game by cheering on their classmates!

Meanwhile, the Dartmouth Skiing and Boarding Club takes advantage of the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, New Hampshire, and organizes trips beyond campus as well. The club’s major event is the Tuck Winter Carnival, which draws more than 600 people from approximately 15 business schools. The 2016 event welcomed aspiring MBAs and sent teams of students to participate in the weekend events, which—in addition to the annual downhill ski races—included a 1980s ski party, a hot dog eating contest, sledding, and a raffle. Attendees also enjoyed live music at the end of the weekend. All events at the Winter Carnival are geared toward socializing while also raising money for a selected nonprofit organization. At Tuck, you just might be too busy working up a sweat to fret about the cold.

For more information on Dartmouth Tuck or 15 other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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