How The EA Can Lead To A Fulfilling Career
Posted on
24
Mar 2022

How The EA Can Lead To A Fulfilling Career

The EA (Executive Assessment) is a relatively new exam, meant to specifically test skills related to business leadership and management. Essentially, if we have to sum it up in just a few words, it is a more focused version of the GMAT. The EA and the GMAT are designed by the same company – the GMAC. The EA is designed mainly for EMBA (Executive MBA) applicants and is a shorter, “softer” version of the GMAT. Despite this, taking the EA is a necessary step that can help you take your career to the next level, as getting an EMBA can be a huge boost in your future. 

The EA is a Stepping Stone to the EMBA 

The EMBA is an opportunity for anybody to advance their career opportunities and is designed specifically for those who are trying to move up the ladder. The EA is a short 90-minute test that can be completed during a busy professional’s schedule. The EA is designed for those that don’t have the time to study for hours and hours every day. EMBA students are usually older with more experience and most of them are often around 15 years out of undergraduate school. This means that many candidates are far along in their career path and choose to get an EMBA to help them achieve their career dreams. Thus, taking the EA and subsequently earning an EMBA has the potential to improve your professional and personal life results. 

What Does an EMBA Give You?

The EMBA provides a course curriculum that involves accounting, finance, marketing, and operations, but also focuses on soft skills such as leadership. The EMBA also helps many to see their job from an outside perspective, allowing them to make more calculated and well-reasoned decisions. Another thing the EMBA does is give many an edge in today’s increasingly competitive job market that attracts applicants from across the globe. 

The EMBA, according to the EMBAC (Executive MBA Council), gives students on average a 14.9% salary increase. Moreover, about 39% receive promotions after getting their degree. The EMBA can be very expensive and doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but according to the GMAC, 94% of EMBA alumni say they would pursue an EMBA again. It is sometimes possible to have employers pay for an EMBA program as well. 

The EA is Accepted for the MBA

Let’s say you may not be interested in becoming an executive – the EA can still help you in furthering your career goals through getting an MBA. The EA is nowadays being accepted more and more often for MBA programs. Part-time, online, Business master’s programs, and even full MBA programs accept the EA. Also, there are great opportunities that come with a good EA score. An MBA gives you ample networking opportunities and top-notch education to really help you in a professional setting, especially with management skills. On top of this, many MBA graduates are among the best paid in any industry. Most companies put a lot of value into an MBA and receiving one can give you a lot of international exposure and even help you move and get a job in a different country. Overall, an MBA is a great way to help bolster your reputation and your resume. 

Top Global Business School Programs Accepting the Executive Assessment

1. American University of Dubai (EMBA Program)
2. University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business (EMBA and Part Time MBA)
3. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business (EMBA and Part-Time MBA)
4. Georgetown University McDonough School of Business (MBA and EMBA)
5. Imperial College Business School (EMBA and Online MBA)
6. Nanyang Business School (Professional MBA)
7. Singapore Management University (EMBA)
8. Stanford Graduate School of Business (MSx)
9. University of Cambridge Cambridge Judge Business School (EMBA)
10. Yale School of Management (EMBA) 

Final Thoughts

The EA is the optimal exam for any professional having trouble balancing the prep time for the GMAT. The EA will gain you admission into an EMBA program which is difficult but extremely rewarding. What the EA can also do, is help you get into other business programs like MBAs. But nevertheless, the EA is a difficult exam and here at Apex GMAT we can help you with world-class tutoring services. The opportunities the EA provides are great, as the exam will give you access to amazing programs without the hassle of the GMAT and will help you towards a brighter career future.

 

Contributor: Lukas Duncan

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GMAT as a Returning Students
Posted on
06
Jan 2022

How To Study For The GMAT As A Returning Student

Been a while since you attended university? In regular circumstances, the GMAT can be a daunting undertaking. But the thought of taking the GMAT as a returning student – a decade or so after university – can be downright frightening.  We here at Apex work often with clients who have spent years outside of an academic setting. Our experts have compiled tips and tricks for returning students to make sure they are on the studying path of ‘least resistance’. Take a look at our 5 suggestions to make your return to high-caliber studying as easy and productive as possible. 

1. Take a GMAT practice test

This may sound straightforward, but we cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you take a practice test before you begin studying for the GMAT. This test gives you a baseline understanding of where your strengths and where your weaknesses lie. Though you may use math skills on a daily basis, your quantitative knowledge – as it pertains to test taking – is of a different ilk. By taking a practice test right out of the gate, you can be certain to accurately assess your current skills level and knowledge. From there, you can build your GMAT study schedule and timeline and figure out which parts of the GMAT deserve the majority of your dedication. 

2. Find the school and score that suits you

What are your goals? It may sound like a perfectly simple question, but unpacking the answer could take time. It is important that you are honest with yourself as to what your goals are and if they are achievable. Achievable being the key term. A mere desire to attend a top B-school and earn a GMAT score of 770+ is a difficult challenge, especially if your time out of school has been full of non-business-related opportunities. Perhaps your goal is simply to earn an MBA, and your dream isn’t to attend Harvard or INSEAD. Decide on which schools you want to attend and the GMAT score needed for admission. Our advice is to find the average GMAT score of the most recently accepted class and aim for a score 10+ points over the average. 

3. Get a consistent schedule

You are no doubt busy. Working full-time, having a family, living a 9-5 life for a decade or so can truly make you forget the rigors of school. Wanting to earn an MBA will throw you back into the world of late-night studying and early morning cramming. The GMAT is your first step into that world. So be sure to create a schedule which works with your timeline and personal life. We have created a 3-month timeline template which you can adjust to fit your personal needs. Once you have created a schedule, be sure to Stick. To. It. This may sound like a ‘no-brainer’ but we find our clients have a difficult time with this. We get it, your personal life is always changing, but your GMAT journey is a short – though intense – one. If your goal is to earn an MBA, the GMAT is a necessary stepping stone on that journey. 

4. Learn the GMAT basics

So you have taken a practice test, have decided on which school(s) you wish to attend, and come up with a consistent schedule which works for you. From here, you should unwrap the basics of the GMAT. Become comfortable with the layout of the test, and the different types of questions you will be confronted with. But the ‘basics’ go beyond a basic understanding of the test structure. You also need to get comfortable with skills you learned during high school, yes, that’s right…HIGHSCHOOL. The quantitative, qualitative, and analytical skills learned during high school play a massive role in your success on the GMAT. While this may sound astounding, remember how much you have grown intellectually since your time in high school. The skills you gained have just developed and grown since those years, you may just have to unlock your potential. 

5. Utilize the proper resources and Find Help! 

Not all GMAT prep books are made the same – nor are all GMAT tutors. You need to look on the market and see which books are structured best for you. With so many on the market, it might be difficult to discern which are best for you. We suggest looking for books which offer numerous solution paths to the same question. This gives you the chance to find the strategies which work for you and your skillset. Additionally, private GMAT tutors are ideal for students who are taking the GMAT as a returning student. Our Apex tutors are professionals in working with our client’s strengths and weaknesses. We also have a unique way of teaching the exam where we show our clients how to consider testing questions from a tester-maker’s point of view, not a test-taker.  

6. Be proud of yourself! 

If you have decided to return to school and earn an MBA after years out of academics, you should be incredibly proud of yourself. Such a decision is not an easy one to make, and yet your commitment to achieving your goals is inspiring. During your GMAT journey, remember to stick with a structured schedule and find help if you need it. Most people don’t go down the GMAT journey alone, and neither should you! 

 

If you are considering taking the GMAT as a returning student and are interested in getting help on the GMAT, we offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with one of our 770+ GMAT scoring instructors. You can learn more about our program by visiting www.apexgmat.com

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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GMAT Score on Resume
Posted on
28
Dec 2021

Does Your GMAT Score Belong On Your Resume?

We here at Apex get a lot of questions from our clients asking if putting their GMAT score on their resume will help them during their job search. And our answer is, it depends! For some jobs, your GMAT score can be a deciding factor for prospective employers, for others they won’t even consider your GMAT score. This can be confusing when it comes to structuring your resume during your job search. We have a standard rule of thumb here at Apex. 

Before we get to that, it is important to understand what a GMAT score is, and what it says about you.

GMAT Score – How important is it? 

The GMAT evaluates your quantitative and qualitative capabilities as well as your analytical writing skills. It tells admissions committees that you can handle the rigors of an MBA program. And in doing so, compares you against other GMAT test-takers using its percentile ranking system

GMAT Score on Resume Survey While most top business schools require GMAT scores for the admissions process, not every company does. A 2018 Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey determined that only 6% of surveyed companies use applicants’ GMAT scores in their employee selection process. Apart from that 6%, 21% stated that though a high GMAT score may help a potential job candidate, the GMAT overall doesn’t normally play a significant role in the selection process. While the majority of companies (72%) don’t consider GMAT scores at all.

This may seem to answer your question regarding whether your GMAT score belongs on your resume. But be aware! The 6% of companies that do use GMAT scores to vet job candidates are the crop businesses in the world. All major banking, investment, and consulting firms, including Accenture and Goldman Sachs, require high GMAT scores for all positions – even internships. 

Most of these firms specialize in quantitative-intensive labor. As a result, the quantitative section tends to carry more weight. For example, if a candidate has an overall score of 680, but a quantitative score of 51, he or she has a good chance of getting an interview at a major firm.

Before deciding whether to put your GMAT score on your resume, consider the following: 

Firstly, you should only list your GMAT score on your resume if it happens to be very strong. Think, over 700+, strong. There is no need to add your score if a prospective employer questions why you were not able to score higher. 

Second, it depends on where you are applying. Employers who tend to consider the GMAT score are the same industries that value the MBA: finance, banking, consulting. When applying to any of these industries, you can be fairly sure that they will respond favorably to your GMAT score (provided you have a strong one!). 

Third, you need to consider the reason one would take the GMAT: The GMAT is a psychometric exam, it measures more than just what you know. The GMAT also measures how you think. Numerous industries have tests for prospective applicants in order to weed out those who may not be an intellectual fit in their company. That means your GMAT score will signal to the HR department that you are a strong candidate and you successfully pass the testing bar. 

Final Remarks

Ultimately, whether you add your GMAT score to the resume is up to you. It comes down to where you are applying, what your score is, and whether your potential employer has a test for prospective applicants. Not only do we help our clients achieve an elite 700+ GMAT score, but we also provide them with advice during their university and job search. If you are in the middle of studying for the GMAT and are looking for a private GMAT tutor, our elite tutors have all scored over a 770 on the GMAT and have years of professional experience with tutoring. You can meet with us for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call. To learn more about what it means to add your GMAT score to your resume, you can watch Mike explain further in this video

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio 

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700+ GMAT score
Posted on
07
Dec 2021

Is it possible to get a 700 on GMAT by self-study?

Those of you who are preparing for the GMAT have probably come across the price tag of a private tutor. You are not alone if the cost is a bit off-putting. Too often those put off by the price of a private GMAT tutor attempt to achieve a 700+ score on their own. Some are successful. Many more are not. There is more to achieving a 700+ than what meets the eye. 

We here at Apex have helped dozens of clients achieve a 700+ on the GMAT. All of whom realized during their prep that the only way to achieve their goal is with help. Asking for help is a noble thing to do and, more often than not, those highly successful individuals you see attend a top-ten B-school didn’t go it alone. They had help. Often, in the form of a private tutor. 

But we are not here to convince you that a private tutor is the be-all and end-all to GMAT studying. In this article, we break down whether you are one of those few who are able to achieve a 700+ GMAT score without the support of a private tutor. 

  • YES, you can! But…

To answer your question. Yes. It is possible to achieve a 700+ on the GMAT without hiring a private GMAT tutor. But just because one can doesn’t necessarily mean one should. What do we mean by this? Well, studying – as you are well aware – is stressful. Attempting to ‘go it alone’ is even more stressful. 

Let’s assume you study 10 hours a week, and you notice practice exam after practice exam that you are not surpassing a 650 or 660. Sure, you can bump up the amount of hours you are studying, but this might just turn into a waste of time. You see, studying doesn’t always come down to the amount of hours you put into it. Achieving success on the GMAT is highly dependent on your testing strategy. A strategy that even an extra 5 hours of studying won’t help you fix. 

  • Your testing strategy is EVERYTHING. 

The testing strategy you choose to adopt is the one that can make, or break, your GMAT goal. If you are determined to ‘go it alone’ and not hire a private GMAT tutor, then watch videos where professionals can help break down different types of test-taking strategies.

Here, for example, Mike explains where test-takers go wrong when it comes to studying for the GMAT quantitative portion. While this strategy might suit some, it doesn’t fit everyone. This is where a private tutor comes into play, they are able to work with your strengths and weaknesses and find a strategy that is best for you. For many of our clients attempting to surpass the 700 mark, getting an objective and professional perspective is what pushes them towards their goal. 

  • The Pros and Cons.

Weigh out the pros and cons. Studying, if you do it right, is time-consuming. GMAT private tutors, if you choose a good one, are pricey. And while a private tutor may not reduce your studying time to 0.5 hours a week, what they can do is guide you towards your goal without having you waste your precious time. An excellent one-on-one GMAT instructor has a keen eye, and is able to notice where you might be struggling – or excelling – without you ever knowing it. And while a private tutor may be pricey, at the end of the day achieving your goal of a 700+ GMAT score will pay back the cost of a private tutor 10-fold. Don’t believe us? Getting a high GMAT score can open doorways to top B-schools and even future professional opportunities.  

  • It comes down to Statistics. 

Still wondering whether you can achieve a 700+ GMAT score on your own? Take a look at some of the GMAT percentiles from 2020. Only about 20% of the test takers achieve a 700+ score. And the majority of them utilize help in some form or another. We have found very few individuals who are able to achieve a 700+ purely on their own. And while it is possible, sometimes skill isn’t the only factor at play for achieving a 700+. 

As we talked about earlier, strategy plays a huge factor in your abilities as does looking at things from a fresh perspective. If achieving a 700+ on the GMAT was easy, well, then everyone would do it! But it is difficult for a reason. B-Schools want to be sure that their students are up for the challenge of an MBA. And just like you won’t go through business school all alone, why expect to go through the GMAT studying experience all by yourself as well? 

Apex’s Approach to 700+ GMAT Score 

We here at ApexGMAT pride ourselves on helping clients achieve a GMAT score above a 700+. We often get clients coming to us who have found themselves plateauing around the 660 mark after attempting a 700+ on their own. We are able to develop a strategy with them. Keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses. And because all of our tutors have scored above a 770 on the GMAT and have years of tutoring experience behind them, we are well equipped to help any type of learner. 

If you are interested in speaking with one of our GMAT tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute, consultation call. You can also learn more from our past clients who were able to achieve their 700+ score with us!

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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Which MBA Programs Are Right For Me?
Posted on
24
Aug 2021

Which MBA Programs Are Right For Me?

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Linda Abraham 
Date: 24 August 2021

Having completed your bachelor’s degree and probably several years of work experience, you’ve decided that you’re ready to go back to school for your MBA. You now have another decision to make: How do you decide where to apply? Which MBA programs are the right ones for you? Which ones are likely to want to admit you?

This is probably one of the most important decisions you will have to make, and you want to be sure that you’re setting your sights on the best options for you. Before you can decide what you need from an MBA program, you have to do some self-assessment and take a realistic look at your profile. Taking the time now to look long and hard at your qualifications will save you time, money, and heartache in the long run. You will be able to see if your dream school is an achievable goal, or really just a pipedream. You will identify the schools that are looking for students with your qualifications, and you may even discover that your perfect MBA program is one that you never even considered.

 Here are the elements of your profile that you need to evaluate:

1- Employment history and work experience

This includes such factors as the industry you worked in as well as the company and position you held, how your accomplishments compared to your peers, how fast/far you have advanced, and how much of an impact you have had, whether in formal or informal leadership roles. You will also need to assess any gaps in your employment history, the reasons for them and how you filled them. Perhaps you took an unpaid internship for the experience or maybe used the time to volunteer, pick up new skills, or explore your extracurricular interests.

Evaluate your strengths as well as your weaknesses or challenges. Strengths can be fulfilling a unique role in your industry, extraordinary advancement, or exceptional leadership. Challenges could include working in a slow-growing company with increasing responsibility but little possibility for promotion, having to compete with and stand out among other ambitious colleagues who are also your teammates, or dealing with high-stress situations. The way you meet with and frame your challenges can often showcase your greatest strengths. 

2- Academic Stats

Included in this element are your undergrad and grad (if applicable) GPA and transcripts, and test scores. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas to find your total stats picture. But don’t just look at the numbers, look at the trends. Do you have a weak GPA and a strong, balanced GMAT? Did your GPA go up as you progressed through college and is your GMAT quant score over the eightieth percentile? This record will take you further than a GPA that started out as a 4.0 but trended down and is combined with a GMAT quant score around the sixtieth percentile. The same final results take on a new meaning when you look at the trends. If your GPA is on the lower side – and especially if there was a downward trend even with a strong GMAT – it’s a good idea to take additional classes, and ace them. The recent As will help allay any doubts concerning your academic record.

3- Post-MBA Goals

Think about the following when considering your goals after B-school:

  •   What is your current industry and function? Where do you see yourself after your MBA?
  •   Are you hoping to make a major career change or a smaller career move once you have your MBA?
  •   How does your present position connect to your post-MBA goals?
  •   If you want to make a major career change, what do you need to do, besides getting your MBA, to make your new career a reality?
  •   What elements in an MBA program will launch you on the trajectory toward achieving your post-MBA goals?

    4- Extracurricular Activities

    How you spend your time outside of work/school can say a lot about you, and can make you stand out from other MBA applicants. Some programs put more emphasis on these activities than others, and how much weight they carry will depend on other factors in your application. Extracurriculars are great ways to get leadership experience or help fill in gaps you might have in your work experience. They also can demonstrate your commitment, add a personal dimension to your application, and show application readers how you will contribute to the school’s community.

5- Other issues to consider 

Military service, volunteer experience, and any awards or recognition you have received are worthy additions to your profile. But you may need to include parts of your past that you’re not so proud of, that are negatives. Perhaps you’ve been placed on academic probation, had an honor code infraction, or received a DUI. How such issues are viewed can vary across different programs. Remember that all your experiences make up who you are, and even negatives can be positive indicators of how you cope with adversity, motivate yourself after a setback, and propel yourself forward. They can show your resilience as well as your ability to learn and grow from mistakes. A frank appraisal of your ups and downs, including taking responsibility for missteps, can actually make you a more attractive candidate.

An honest self-assessment is a key component of a successful application. Our experienced professional MBA admissions consultants will work with you one-on-one to assess and hone your personal profile so that you apply not only to the programs you really want but also to the programs likely to want you. Then we guide you in presenting your qualifications and story compellingly. Let us help you get on the road to being ACCEPTED!

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How Important is the Integrated Reasoning Section of the GMAT?
Posted on
15
Jun 2021

How Important is the Integrated Reasoning Section of the GMAT?

By: Dana Coggio
Published: 15th June 2021

What is the Integrated Reasoning Section? 

The Integrative Reasoning section on the GMAT attempts to measure your ability to solve complex problems through data interpretation. Doing well on this portion of the test is necessary for your overall GMAT score. Plus, according to MBA.com, MBA programs look at this score in order to assess your ability to do the following: 

  • Synthesize information presented in graphics, text, and numbers.
  • Evaluate relevant information from different sources.
  • Organize information to see relationships and to solve multiple, interrelated problems.
  • Combine and manipulate information from multiple sources to solve complex problems.

These are all valuable skills which can set you apart from other candidates. Proving you can excel in these qualities reflects your ability to succeed not only in your MBA program but also in your business career as well. 

How is the IR portion split up? 

The Integrated Reasoning portion of the exam contains four question variants totaling 12 questions overall. Usually, these questions have multiple steps meaning the 30 minutes allotted for you to complete the portion will most likely be utilized fully. The questions provided utilize both quantitative and verbal reasoning in various combinations. It is imperative that you answer all sub-questions of a single question correctly. Points are awarded only to questions completed with 100% correctness. 

The four types of questions in this portion are: 

  • Multi-Source Reasoning 
  • Table Analysis
  • Graphics Interpretation 
  • Two-Part Analysis
Multi-source Reasoning:


Utilizes text, table, and/or graphics to measure your ability to recognize discrepancies, draw inferences, and determine relevant data from the given information. This portion provides solutions as either ‘multiple choice’ questions or ‘multiple dichotomous’ questions. Multiple Choice questions has you select the best option from five possibilities. Multiple Dichotomous questions offer three phrases, statements, numerical values or algebraic expressions that need you to select the proper condition. 

Table Analysis:

Presents you with a table of data with which you prove your ability to analyze and sort present information. A simple text is provided with the presented data or table. You are then required to pick one of the conditions provided in that is the best suited response. Examples of how the possible solutions are formulated are as follows: 

  • Each statement is true (yes or no), according to the information in the table
  • Each statement or numerical value is consistent or inconsistent with the information in the table
  • Each statement or numerical value can or cannot be determined on the basis of the information in the table 
Graphics Interpretation:

Utilizes graphs or similar imagery to measure how well you can read and interpret the information displayed. Graphs on the portion present themselves as bar graphs, line graphs, scatter plots, bubble graphs, pie charts or flow charts. It is necessary that you brush up on these various graphs and how to read them in order to ace the Integrated Reasoning portion. 

Two-Part Analysis:

Is the complex problem portion where you are given either a quantitative and/or verbal question to solve. These questions usually are broad in topic and are written as a brief scenario. Be sure to read these questions carefully so to understand what the question is asking. An example of answers are formulated are as follows: 

  • Calculate the proportions of two different components in a mixture
  • Determine something that would be lost and something that would be gained in a trade-off
  • Find the maximum number of two different products that could be purchased within a certain budget
  • Identify a first action and a second action that together would bring a company into compliance with a new rule 

What is a good IR score? 

Scores on the Integrative Reasoning portion of the exam range from 1-8. Seven percent of test-takers (or the 93rd percentile) score a perfect score (8) on the exam. Following that, a score of 7 ranks you in the 82nd percentile, a score of 6 in the 70th, a score of 5 in the 55th, a score of 4 in the 40th, a score of 3 in the 26th, and a score of 2 in the 12th percentile. 

While it is quite impossible to say the exact score top-tier business schools look for when assessing an applicant, achieving a high score is looked favorably upon by recruiters. Because your Integrated Reasoning score directly reflects your abilities as a student and an employee in the business world, it is vital to take time to study this portion fully. Having a high overall GMAT score but with a low Integrative Reasoning score will help you application stand out, however, not in the way you would like. Some studies show that your Integrated Reasoning score does positively correlate with your future GPA as a student. This is something that top-tier business schools do take into consideration when sifting their piles of potential applicants. 

Tips for excelling at the IR portion

It is important not to lose sleep over your Integrated Reasoning score as it is not the be all and end all, however, learning how to crack the code of this section can mean the difference between having your positively stand out to admissions teams, or to be sidelined when compared to other applicants. If you are looking for tips on how to study for the integrative reasoning portion then Apex GMAT has written an entire article dedicated to helping you with your studies! You can read more about the Integrative Reasoning portion and study techniques here: 

As with all sections of the GMAT, understanding the nuances of the exam can help you succeed. Working with a private tutor can help you achieve your goals and streamline your understanding of the various GMAT sections. You can find more information on working with a private tutor HERE

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Posted on
29
Oct 2020

Fortune 500 CEO’s with MBA’s

Running a Fortune 500 company seems like an out-of-reach dream for many, but some have climbed up the ranks of these companies to the ultimate position. Not all top CEOs have obtained MBA’s at prestigious universities but it is clear that obtaining an MBA often leads to success in this role which is why so many CEOs have an MBA. All the CEOs on this list claim their continued success in their MBA studies coupled with determination and hard work.

Tim Cook

As the current Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook helped pull Apple out of its financial woes in the late ’90s with its founder Steve Jobs. Although he is most well-known for his position at Apple, Cook has had many influential positions including at IBM, Compaq, and Intelligent Electronics. Like other successful people, Cook is known to work odd hours, sending his first emails of the day at 4:30 am and holding Sunday strategy meetings. He graduated from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and this has undeniably helped shape him into the successful leader that he has become today. With a GMAT score range of 660 – 740, Duke’s MBA is a tough program to get accepted to but we expect that Cook’s creative and critical thinking skills allowed him to excel on the GMAT. Our guess: 750

Mary Barra

Mary Barra certainly earned her current position as the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors as she began working at the company at the age of 18. Over the years, she worked her way to the top, making her time at GM total over 30 years. She is the first female to hold the CEO position at the company and has been in it for 15 years. To ensure her continued upward growth in the company she attended Stanford Graduate Business School to obtain her MBA. Stanford has the highest average GMAT score of any of the top schools in the country at 737. Barra has not only successfully used her MBA to climb to the highest position in the company but has held many other leadership roles within the company on her journey to the top. We assume that she was determined to get a great score on the GMAT and achieved this as she attended graduate school on a GM fellowship. Our guess: 740

Sundar Pichai

If you are not firstly familiar with him from being the CEO at Google, then you might recognize him from his congressional testimony in 2018. Sundar started off his career working at Mckinsey & Company and moved to Google in 2003 where he worked his way up the ladder through various positions until being offered the ultimate one, CEO. He was even considered for the CEO position at Microsoft but lost out to another member on our list: Satya Nadella. He obtained an MBA from Wharton School of Business where the GMAT average score is an impressive 730. We have no doubt that Sundar comfortably exceeds this range as his education history is crammed with awards and recognitions. Our guess on Sundar Pichai’s GMAT score: 770.

Satya Nadella

Satya has enjoyed a very successful tenure as CEO of Microsoft having changed the direction of the company back to its roots successfully, tripling its stock price and transforming Microsoft’s corporate culture into a more collaborative and learning-focused company. In 2018 he was named the best CEO of a US large firm and followed this by being named Person of the Year by the Financial Times. He has published a semi-autobiography: Hit Refresh and has a passion for continued learning. He attended Booth School of Business which has an average GMAT score of 730. With all his success we are sure that Satya scored well above this. Our guess: 750

Indra Nooyi

Ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world for multiple years Indra Nooyi served as the CEO of Pepsi Co. for 12 years, from 2006 to 2018. Before her time at Pepsi, she held high-level positions at Johnson & Johnson, The Boston Consulting Group, and Motorola. By 2014 she was making close to $17 million dollars a year and has received several awards and recognitions. She attended Yale School of Management and although she did not pursue an MBA, she would have still needed to take the GMAT to get into her Master’s in Private and Public Management program. Yale has a median GMAT score of 720 and Indra would have attained a score that is close, if not exceeds this. Our Guess: 720

Jamie Dimon

Voted one of the most influential people by Time Magazine, Jamie Diamon is the CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase. He started his career at American Express after turning down offers from Goldman Sachs, the Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley. Following this, he moved to JPMorgan Chase in 2000 and 5 years later was named CEO. He is one of the few bankers to become a billionaire during his time in banking. He attended Harvard School of Business which has a median GMAT score of 730. With countless achievements and successes in the banking industry, we are sure that he excelled during his program at the Ivy League school. Our guess: 760

Check out our MBA Titans on the Forbes List article next. 

 

Contributor: Natalie Mathews
Date: 29th October 2020

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Posted on
25
Aug 2020

5 Takeaways from a Successful GMAT Journey

Each client that contacts us is in a different stage of their GMAT prep, but a universal constant is that each is striving for a great 700+ GMAT score. The threshold difficulty standing in their way is the lack of a proper mindset, which in turn can lead to a poor performance, whether due to attitude, inefficient solving mechanisms, misplaced focus, or myriad other issues. No matter what, mindset leads the way to performance.

To adjust one’s way of perceiving problems requires much more intricate work than cramming a bunch of material, facts, and figures. Taking the time to understand this and elevate your approach to the test is challenging but ultimately rewarding come test day. Here are five takeaways that anyone scoring 700 or better on the GMAT comes to realize along their GMAT journey. These insights that help test takers thrive help top performers continue to excel in their MBA/grad school programs and in their post-MBA careers, long after the GMAT is a distant memory. 

2. It is Not What You Know… It’s What You Do With It

The GMAT is a psychometric exam. It expects you to be knowledgeable in a core group of secondary school concepts. It’s not a knowledge test, but it uses this universe of information as a baseline that everyone reasonably has been exposed to long before they thought about the GMAT. The exam tests not so much your knowledge but your creative application of that knowledge.

In the process of preparing for your GMAT it is vital to maximize your performance, which necessitates deep understanding of seemingly straightforward concepts so that you can be flexible in how you navigate them. For instance, in the Integrated Reasoning section there is a high chance that you will come across an unfamiliar graph you need to use. In such a case the ability to draw conclusions from known graphs and apply them to the new situation is much more valuable than having seen the specific graph before.

This holds true well beyond the exam. The amount of information you will be exposed to within the 2 years of a top tier MBA program is staggering. In order to thrive in this demanding environment you must be selective, actively deciding what information you take on to master, and use universal thinking tools (heuristics and mental models) to be adaptable as new concepts and information come your way.

For the GMAT, the core concepts are indeed essential. But it is also important to notice what concepts and information you can derive from fundamental knowledge and how to do so, hence not needing to memorize it. Knowing how to successfully apply your knowledge will result in efficiency which will afford you the ability and time to excel in the GMAT, explore what your MBA has to offer, and be a thought leader in your chosen career. 

2. Prioritization is Crucial 

On the GMAT there are harsh penalties for unanswered questions, so it is vital to complete each section in the time allotted. Therefore, proper time and process management is critical when sitting the exam. Essentially, each problem represents a decision where you must weigh the likelihood of obtaining a correct answer, your time commitment to that problem, ancillary considerations like stress and focus management, and how this problem fits into your larger strategy for the section and the exam. Ultimately, you must decide how much time it is worth expending on each problem as part of your core process.

This mental cost benefit analysis must be deeply embedded in your thought process to achieve an elite GMAT score. With the proper calibration, this sense will certainly be useful in business school and beyond. In the professional world, there will always be time constraints – be it stringent deadlines or time zone differences. Being able to prioritize focus and make decisions quickly and accurately while navigating uncertainty and incomplete information is a huge strength. Similarly, actively choosing to abandon a low value or less important task so that you can fully devote to solving an issue of importance is not a sign of weakness or incapability, but rather an asset in a world that will always ask more of you than you can give. Time is scarce in the workplace, and just like on the GMAT, you should prioritize what adds the most value to your bottom line. 

3. Every Problem Has Multiple Solution Paths

A common theme in our client’s feedback is their fascination with a core principle that we teach; that every GMAT problem has multiple solution paths and that sensitivity to how you solve the problem is more important than simply arriving at the correct answer. Let’s take a means and averages problem from the Quant section as an example. Many would be tempted to solve this mathematically straightaway, but this problem can be solved more efficiently using a scenario or a graph rather than processing equations, delivering greater clarity and freeing up valuable time for other, more challenging problems.

Wresting yourself away from the paradigm that a problem has a single “correct” solution path is essential to conquering the GMAT but is also valuable in life. Very few things are clear cut and unambiguous, and training yourself to recognize multiple ways to get to the same destination is important, especially if you can recognize them before committing to any specific path. Seeking answers beyond the ordinary and obvious will provide you with innovative ways of overcoming obstacles and driving progress, and make you a thought leader among your peers and in your graduate program and organization.

Focusing on the structure of the GMAT helps you compare solution paths and choose the best for the current challenge, resulting in not only a correct answer, but a timely one. Moreover, thinking of a problem from multiple perspectives means that you take into consideration unlikely or unnoticed features of a problem, and when applied to a business setting, this added vision can drive great insight into stakeholders’ interests and uncover innovative solutions to intractable problems.

4. In Order to Succeed First Know Yourself

The GMAT is not an exam where you can get 100% of the problems correct. In fact, your score will not depend on the number of questions that you get correct, but rather by the difficulty level of the ones that you do get correct. Since the GMAT is computer adaptive, it increases in difficulty until it matches a candidate’s capabilities, and the aim as a test taker is to get to the most difficult problems that you can handle, and then get most of those correct. In this way, the GMAT drives you to perform at your best rather than spending a lot of time testing fundamentals.

Ultimately, this means that you must decide how to allocate your time and energy to produce the best performance. This means understanding your strengths and weaknesses, evaluating each problem in light of those, and then deciding which problems make sense to handle, which make sense to invest extra time in, and which (few) problems you might want to walk away from right off the bat in order to preserve your valuable time for higher value problems. Don’t simply put your head down and try to get everything right – at least not at first.

During your GMAT preparation you should be conscious of how you perform and how you have progressed from where you began. If you struggle to finish a practice exam in a timely manner, this is a sign that your time management skills require polishing, and that you’re not making timing decisions well. If you perform well on Sentence Correction but not on the Reading Comprehension, then that means that you can spend less time on SC questions and reallocate that time towards Reading Comp, thereby increasing your score and building confidence in your GMAT allocation decisions along the way.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and the workload you handle best will help you excel in your career. Furthermore, knowing your capabilities can aid you when setting work boundaries and defining your professional skill set on the other side of business school. Successful professionals know how to focus on what they do best, and remove those tasks that impinge upon their productivity and value.

In this way, they don’t find themselves taking on too much, and are able to have work life balance, all while placing them in a position to continue to achieve because of that balance. Overworking is counterproductive because it drives burnout and reduces focus and efficiency. In much the same way that athletes require proper rest for peak performance, those working in intellectually rigorous fields requiring creativity need mental breaks for better focus, clarity and job performance. In this sense, being aware of your own limitations will guide you towards a healthy work-life balance and in turn increase productivity. 

5. 5% Talent and 95% Hard Work

Being naturally intuitive with numbers or extremely well-read can provide a great footing for your GMAT preparation. Without further development, however, natural talent can only take you so far. The GMAT begins testing you the moment you can no longer trust your intuition and talent, and then need to rely upon knowing what you don’t know, and navigating towards deeper insights. The GMAT tests a range of skills such as critical assessment of data, ability to reason and analytical thinking. This means that being knowledgeable and skillful with fundamentals, or being a strong student only lays the foundation for success. It’s persistence, determination, and having a comprehensive study plan and clear understanding of GMAT architecture that defines those who score 700 or better.

The good news is that the skills necessary to get a 700+ GMAT score can be cultivated and enhanced with hard work, perseverance and determination. Moreover, these same skills can help you get the most out of your MBA program and career and enhance your skill set. For example, in business school you may come across an exceptional mathematician pursuing a concentration in Marketing because she has identified a weak point, and wants to focus on how to conduct research, to write and communicate clearly and effectively and to understand and implement data in the decision making process. Similarly, someone with average mathematical Mathematical ability might excel in Finance courses because of the skills he has developed – analytical thinking, problem solving, and constructing mental models.

6. Conclusion

The most important thing is to put in the hard work (effortful learning, not just a lot of prep time) to grow those top-level skills, regardless of how naturally gifted you are in a given subject. Marketing isn’t all creativity nor is finance all math, and in this way professional challenges are similar to the GMAT itself, which is neither about Math nor English grammar. Compensating your weaknesses and enhancing your strengths in your chosen concentration will be a vital part of your MBA experience, and it should start with your GMAT preparation.

Your GMAT journey can be pleasant and enriching rather than an arduous, distasteful experience that you dread having to go through. With the proper mindset, guidance and support you can grow through your GMAT experience to acquire valuable skills that will help you for years to come.

Schedule a call with one of our experienced GMAT consultants at +41 41 534 98 78+44 (0) 79 4361 2406 or +1 (917) 819-5945 and get a head start on the road to achieving your goal.

If you enjoyed this GMAT journey article, watch 650 scoring GMAT profiles next.

 

Contributor: Svetozara Saykova

Date: 25th August 2020

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