GMAT & MBA Admissions Blog

Mark Skoskiewicz

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Four Common GMAT Myths

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ 04:58 PM

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." – Mark Twain
 
There are many misconceptions about the GMAT. Some are harmless, but others can impact a student’s ability to score well and reach their graduate school goals. Here are five common myths with which you should dispense quickly as you begin to prepare for the GMAT (for more information on the format of the GMAT, visit Peterson's.com).
 
Myth #1: The GMAT is by far the most important admissions criteria
 
It’s stressful to imagine that your entire dream of business school rests on one test. And, unfortunately, that stress can increase the chances of you performing poorly on that critical exam. Luckily, this just isn’t true.
 
Don’t get me wrong. The GMAT is very important. It’s one of the top criteria admission committees consider, and if you want to go to a top ten school, you probably absolutely have to score in the upper 600s to have a shot, and most likely need to have a 700+ score to have a strong shot. But note, a) I’m only talking about top ten schools right now and b) I did not write that you must score 760 to have a strong shot at getting in.
 
In general, MBA programs really DO look at undergraduate grades and classes, leadership qualities, business experience, community service, and perhaps most importantly, your rationale for attending and the ways in which you’ll contribute to their class. For example, I scored a 710 on the GMAT and was accepted at Kellogg, while my boss (who obviously had more experience) scored a 760 and did NOT get in. I can only imagine it had something to do with the story he told about wanting to go to business school.
 
Myth #2: The higher you score, the better your chances
 
As with most things in business (and life), strategy matters a lot. Many schools use the GMAT as a threshold of sorts. Once you pass the threshold, you reach diminishing returns quickly, because after the committee sees a GMAT score beyond that threshold, they being to look at other factors mentioned above. 
 
I see too many students targeting top schools wasting their time trying with all their might to go from a 730 to a 760, and unfortunately they are almost certainly wasting their time and money. A top business school doesn’t view a 730 all that much different from a 760. Now, if you are targeting a top 100 business school, and you have a horrible GPA, a 730 GMAT score might get you accepted. And, if you are targeting a top 10 program, a 790 GMAT score might be high enough to stand out. But it is SO hard to get a 790. If you are currently at a 730, you are almost certainly better off focusing on writing excellent essays and pulling together a great application.
 
Myth #3: The GMAT is a grueling math aptitude test.
 
If you haven’t been in a math class in a long time, it’s easy to take a cursory view of the GMAT and, since many English speaking students are more comfortable with GMAT-verbal, view the whole test as a giant math test. In fact, the math skills tested on the GMAT are mostly from grades 9 and 10 (high school), though you are expected to apply those skills in creative and strategic ways.
 
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Tags: GMAT prep, GMAT

GMAT or GRE: 3 Key Questions

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 03:00 PM


I often get asked to help our students decide between taking the GMAT and the GRE. Here are the three most fundamental questions you should be asking as you make your decision.

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Tags: GRE Verbal, GRE vs. GMAT, GMAT reading comprehension, GMAT, Reading Comprehension

Time Management on the GMAT

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 09:13 AM

How can you manage your time while taking the GMAT? I often get asked this question. For most people, the Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning questions pose the most significant time pressures, so in this post I will be focusing on those two sections.

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Tags: GMAT, time management

GMAT Math: 5 Tips for Data Sufficiency Questions

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Feb 05, 2015 @ 12:16 PM

GMAT Data Sufficiency problems present you with some initial information and a question, followed by two statements.  You have to decide whether the information contained in each statement is sufficient, when combined with the initial information, to give a definite answer to the question.  In this case, a definite answer means being able to answer either “definitely yes” or “definitely no” to the question.  If you can only answer “definitely maybe” then the statement is not sufficient by itself.  If neither statement is sufficient by itself to give a definite answer, you then evaluate whether the two statements taken together are sufficient to find a definite answer.  Some questions involve solving for a value; for these questions, a statement is sufficient if it allows you to solve for one, but no more than one, value. 

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Tags: math skills, GMAT

A Recipe for GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 12:32 PM

When we’re helping students prepare for the GMAT, we tend to find that the most stressed out students are those that are really struggling with the quant section. But paradoxically, those that are truly lacking math skills can be the easiest students to help. Why?

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Key GMAT Sentence Correction Concepts: Diction

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Nov 04, 2014 @ 09:46 AM

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Key GMAT Sentence Correction Concepts: Subject-Verb Agreement

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Sentence Correction is the only part of the GMAT Verbal section where you can truly acquire new skills and knowledge to improve your score.

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The Only Way to Boost Your GMAT Verbal Score

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Aug 05, 2014 @ 03:28 PM

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Tags: GMAT verbal score, GMAT reading comprehension

Follow 3 Principles To Improve Your GMAT Score

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Mon, May 05, 2014 @ 02:17 PM

Improving your academic performance, and really any type of performance (i.e., athletic, musical, professional, personal – you name it), is a function of following three important principles:

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Tags: growth mindset, gmat practice test, GMAT prep, GMAT resources, GMAT tips

GMAT vs. GRE: Side-by-Side Comparison

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Apr 01, 2014 @ 09:37 AM

More and more business schools allow you to choose whether to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) vs Graduate Managment Admissions Test (GMAT) for your application.  It’s true, and, it means that you have some decisions to make.

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Tags: GRE vs. GMAT, GRE, gre test prep, gmat tutoring, GMAT