January 31, 2013
January 15, 2013
If you have not yet started reading www.PoetsandQunats.com and you are interested in pursuing a graduate management degree, then you need to start
right after you read this blog post. It was actually one of my Kaplan GMAT students who first turned me onto it and it has been a regular feature in my internet reading ever since.
How about the Wall Street Journal? Have you ever heard of that? I know, I know… absurd question. Here’s the problem, though: according to poetsandquants.com founder and regular contributor, John A. Byrne, WSJ is promulgating some unfortunate misinformation. As popular as I know P&Q is, Mr. Byrne’s article, titled “Silly News,” will reach a very small fraction of those who have read the WSJ article it is attacking.
In sum, the Journal makes a classic argumentative flaw; one that is tested profusely on the GMAT. It is called ‘representativeness.’ For those of you who have studied Critical Reasoning questions, specifically those CR questions within the argument family (aka, the assumption family), you may well have heard of this flaw.
We know that when we are presented with an argument on the GMAT, we will always be given two of the three component parts of an argument. We will always be given a conclusion and we will always be given evidence that presumably allows the author to reach that conclusion. What we will never be given is the author’s assumption(s). They are of course inherent in the argument, but we can only derive them by using the primary core competency tested by the GMAT: critical thinking. Incidentally, representativeness is such a common flaw, pattern recognition (another of the GMAT four core competencies) is all you’ll need after this and several other flaw types are on your radar.
Basically, if an argument uses statistical data as evidence to drive a conclusion, your immediate question should be, “Is the group studied representative of the group in the conclusion?” Think about size of the study, time duration of the study, who specifically was studied, and whether there might be any inherent biases in how the study was set up or conducted.
In the real life example provided by the exchange between WSJ and P&Q, John Byrne identifies a mismatch between the group in the study and the group in the conclusion. I want you to read both articles. In fact, I want you to read the WSJ article first and try to derive the critical question that weakens the argument. In other words, try to identify how John Byrne is going to attack it. This will be excellent practice for making predictions—a requisite skill for Critical Reasoning question success! Then, read the PoetsandQuants.com article. Finally, come back here and post your comments!!
December 11, 2012
Bloomberg Businessweek posted an article that reaches beyond the superficial issues tangentially relevant to the aspirant MBA.
The article gets straight to the most timely and crucial concern at the forefront of any prospective b-schooler’s mind as well as their closest friends and family: holiday gifts. Whether you need ideas for giving or receiving, Bloomberg’s survey of students, professors, and administrators at our nation’s top schools is sure to provide sage advice that will bring ear-to-ear smiles of gratitude this season.
Conveniently, the write-up is broken down into categories: technology, travel, fashion, rest & relaxation, and stocking stuffers and more. Here, we highlight a few of the best ideas then offer up some more of our own. At the end, let us know what missed the list!!
From the article:
- PowerPoint remote. This simple device future students can use in their upcoming and at times seemingly endless number of business school presentations makes all the difference in the world. The presenter is not tethered to the keyboard or mouse and can focus more on conveying information that catches the attention of the audience, professors included. Clickers take a presentation to the next level and students who use them will be the envy of their peers.
- Plane tickets or vouchers. Students are poor or at least poorer than they would be if they were working instead of going to school, and travel costs are always high. Ask for or give money toward airfare even if a trip is not currently on the radar.
- 3-hour Four Seasons spa package. Because… why not?
From Kaplan GMAT:
- Test-prep help. This gift can come in a couple of different forms. One of the most effective and least expensive ways to help a future MBA beat the GMAT is a simple promise of support. The GMAT demandstime. Write it down (or ask for a card): vow to make sacrifices that will help a test-prepper eek out solid study time.Financial help toward GMAT test prep classes is a gift that can yield huge impact. A lot of us want to make others’ dreams come true during the holidays, and help getting admitted to a top choice program is a way to wield some real holiday magic.
- A new suit. Even for those that already have several, a new suit makes everyone feel great. Feeling great helps ease interview and presentation nerves—two things MBAs will know all too much about.
- IOU textbooks. It may have been awhile since you bought a textbook from a university bookstore and even though you might remember they were expensive, trust that prices have only risen. When staring down the barrel of a $195 accounting tome, a shot of some cellared holiday cheer will be most welcome.
- Interest. Let’s finish out with another free gift that keeps on giving. The road to business school can be lonely and daunting. A reliable soundboard that truly cares about navigating the twist and turns as a co-pilot can be a tremendous gift to individuals seeking an MBA. It may sound corny, but sincere interest can be the best gift ever. Pledge to be there as a shoulder to lean on during the ups and downs of preparation road.
January 23, 2012
So how long have you been dating grad school? More importantly, how long have you been dating the GMAT? Better yet, how long have you been dating Kaplan GMAT? Don’t be shy, just admit it! I have been dating grad school, the GMAT and Kaplan for at least 5 years now and I have made the decision to make the commitment to further my education and take my career to the next level.
When I graduated from Douglass College (Rutgers University) in 2002, I flirted with the idea of pursing a graduate degree but I had no clear picture of what I would wanted to study so the idea dissipated once I landed my first job. As time passed, I had the opportunity to work in a few different industries which helped me to develop a portfolio of well rounded professional skills. Still I knew I wanted more.
I finally settled down at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in their Wealth Management division. This is where my love affair with grad school could no longer be ignored. I began to take a more serious look at the road to grad school. And that brings us to the present.
I knew that the first step was to take the GMAT. Since we had been dating for a while now, I also knew that I needed to take a prep course. Luckily, I won a Kaplan GMAT Prep course at the New York Urban League Young Professionals General Body Meeting in November. Awesome! It gets better. I was extended the opportunity to blog for Kaplan to share with you all my thoughts on the GMAT prep course and how it helped my score. I would like to also share with you my frustrations, failures, successes and good times that I experience as I follow the yellow brick road to B-school. I hope to offer you, my fellow B-school hopefuls, a holistic approach to understanding all the elements that form the building blocks of a strong B-school candidate.
My GMAT course starts soon so be sure to check back for my first installment in a couple of weeks!
December 11, 2011
Well, folks. This is my 50th post! I actually find it somewhat hard to believe that I have written fifty posts for Kaplan’s GMAT blog. What is even more astounding is that I have more to say! Heck, if the next fifty go as quickly as the first fifty, I’ll be viable for syndication.
As is customary when reaching milestones of quantity, I think I’ll spend this post reliving some of my past favorites. Below, I’ve cut and pasted some of the more intriguing lines from past postings and linked them accordingly to the full version. Get you clicker finger ready to pounce and your reading eyes prepped for a deluge of grade-A Kaplan GMAT blogging…
- It’s a pleasure to have your attention for these next few minutes and thanks so much for giving it. My Debut
- 80/90% of life/success is just showing up.
- The answer: market economics.
- “How long did you prep before you went in?”, I queried, deliberately keeping judgment away from my tone.
- The use of the GMAT as such a selection tool is woefully inappropriate.
- They, too, can spot a modification error a mile away and an ambiguous pronoun might as well be a pink elephant.
- “Um, yeah, actually. I have some advice for him,” Student A replied. “Relax.”
- For various and inarguable reasons, going to school part-time is the best choice for many aspiring MBAs out there.
- His Kaplan instructor’s voice bellowed from the depths of his stressed and tweaking mind, “Don’t cancel your scores!”
- One fact you might find interesting is “when business students take the GMAT, the entry examination for M.B.A. programs, they score lower than do students in every other major.”