MBA Programs In Luxury
Posted on
Jan 2022

12 Schools That Offer MBA Programs In Luxury

As the world of MBAs continues to evolve every day, programs continue to offer broader opportunities making ever more career choices attainable. The idea of expanding horizons gives prospective MBAers a place to become creative and innovative. Applying to top MBA schools is a huge professional stride towards reaching one’s goals.

Nowadays, there are a variety of MBA programs that offer versatile approaches by providing ample specialization options for students who seek to shape something extraordinary out of their MBA careers.

Today, we are going to focus on luxury concentration and luxury management tracks specifically. Once one acquires the knowledge of brand marketing or management, one can actively work towards working for prominent companies such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or Versace. The luxury sector is gradually becoming more competitive while having a substantial impact on the job market. In this article, we will give a brief overview of 12 schools that offer specialized MBA programs in luxury, so buckle up. 

1. NYU Stern

The first school that is a perfect fit for students aiming for the luxury sector is NYU Stern. Its main focus is luxury, retail, and the overall luxury market. The luxury management program is one-of-a-kind and NYU offers a range of opportunities such as a Luxury Lab that gives students the chance to explore the fashion industry through connections and networking. Students can connect with famous professionals from the industry and work on various projects. The aim of the program is to help students maintain their competitive advantage in a sector that is constantly changing. Eventually, the pivotal point here is fashion.

The duration of the program is designed to last for 12 months with tuition being $32,710 for one semester. The curriculum fully covers business and luxury cores by offering courses that are taught using the experiential learning model. Fashion and luxury core courses include: 

    • Retail Strategy and Analytics 
    • Luxury Marketing
    • Retail Operations and Supply Chain Management 
    • Next Generation Fashion 
    • Consumer Behavior

2. ESSEC Business School

The second top school that offers MBA programs in luxury is ESSEC. ESSEC offers an MBA in International Luxury Brand Management which allows students to focus on specific areas of interest like wine and spirits, fragrances, and cosmetics. At the end of the program, students participate in a two-month-long project that gives practical experience with luxury brands and management. The program is a great gain for students who strive to achieve international exposure. ESSEC’s international partners are from all over the world, such as Armani Hotel Dubai, Chanel, Burberry, Hermes, and many more. 

The program duration is 12 months on the French campus, where you get knowledge and exposure to renowned French know-how. The tuition for the incoming 2020-2021 class was €49,000. Luxury Brand Management of ESSEC contains a full-time curriculum that assures quality education. The scheduled courses are:

    • Socio-cultural Foundations of Luxury
    • Global Economy for Luxury
    • Digital Transformation of Luxury
    • Managing Savoir-Faire 
    • Luxury Distribution and Retail 
    • Developing and Managing Luxury e-Retail
    • Art and Culture Management
    • Managing Luxury Sectors: Fashion
    • Managing Luxury Sectors: Wine & Spirits
    • Sustainable Luxury: Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact Strategies in the Luxury Sector
    • Virtual Trips
    • Brand Story Canvas: Building Compelling Brand Stories
    • Managing Luxury Sectors: Watches & Jewellery
    • Managing Luxury Sectors: Perfumes & Cosmetics

3. London Business School

Because the majority of MBA graduates spend their time working through luxury lines, the global world of luxury mostly includes Europeans. As London Business school has a strong impact on students who pursue a business career it offers the luxury and retail scholarship which is open to successful MBA applicants working in the Luxury and Retail industries, with a preference for those planning to stay in the industry following graduation. The scholarship covers 50% of the whole tuition fee.

The length of the MBA program is 15-21 months with tuition of £92,735 for the whole program. The school only offers scholarships to those interested in working for a luxury business after graduation; it does not have any core courses related to luxury brand management during the program. 

4. HEC Paris

HEC Paris is the top-ranked school in France. It has built strong relationships with the Paris fashion and luxury industry. The school offers an Influential Luxury Certificate that helps students come up with the creativity and solutions of current global luxury issues. This is a 4-week intensive program that helps students obtain luxury management skills. The program focuses on:

    • Sharing
    • Challenging
    • Developing
    • Innovation
    • Impact

Kering is a pioneer in “influential luxury” since the company is always seeking new ways to lead a more purposeful vision of luxury, and this certificate is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn how the company uses its brand power to promote sustainability and positive social effects. Core courses, seminars, and consulting project are the main contributors to the program’s success and effectiveness. The core courses that reveal the most out of the luxury brand management are:

    • The Essence of Luxury
    • Building a Global Luxury Brand
    • Leading Luxury’s Digital Transformation
    • Implementing Luxury’s Digital Transformation

Students also experience the industry focus taught by top professors and may be offered to visit a:

    • Kering House atelier
    • Flagship store

5. Columbia Business School

In cooperation with the New School in New York, Columbia University provides a semester-long class in “Design and Marketing of Luxury Goods.” Here students learn how to develop marketing strategies for luxury companies. Another class offered is “The Luxury Approach” which is a good introduction to luxury issues and areas such as promotion and management to distribution. The course also provides a hands-on experience as students will work on an actual project created by Van Cleef and Arpels. This is an MBA semester-long class focusing on the Design and Marketing of Luxury Goods. The tuition for the full MBA program is $154,752.

6. Bologna Business School

Bologna Business School focuses on design, fashion, and luxury goods while driving creativity. Students learn about marketing clothing, watches, and boats as well. They teach about the management of luxury companies by providing the taste of “Italian excellence.” Because of their relationship and collaboration with Italian companies, they focus on practicality. Furthermore, the Global MBA in Design, Fashion, and Luxury Goods is a full-time program that lasts 12 months. From courses lectured by famous guest speakers to a 500-hour dedicated internship at a company in the field of design, fashion, and luxury goods, this program is designed for students to get the most fulfilling experience in luxury goods. The tuition of the program is €35,000 and the track-specific courses for luxury are:

    • Gemology and Watches
    • Fashion and Accessories: Perfumes and Eyewear, Industrial Design and Branding
    • Luxury Goods: Boats, Cars, Motorbikes, and Estate
    • Business Model in the Fashion Industry
    • Business Development

7. INSEAD Europe Campus

Even though INSEAD does not have a specialized track for luxury management, it gives students the opportunity to be involved in clubs. Retail, Consumer and Luxury Goods (RCLG) Club is for students who want to explore everything in the world of consumer retail. It has 1,250 participants that include industry leaders, MBA students, alumni, and industry experts. The group plans activities to help students advance their careers and to spark discussions about the future of retail, consumer, and luxury goods. The club’s main goals are to bring global members of the consumer and luxury goods industries and to advertise and promote INSEAD as a talent source. And because brands like L’Oréal and Louis Vuitton regularly recruit grads there are more chances to connect with people within the club, while enhancing career opportunities.

8. SDA Bocconi School of Management

SDA Bocconi School of Management offers an executive master’s in luxury management that is taught in Paris, Dubai, Milan, London, Zurich, and Rome. The program is a chance to travel all over the most modern cities while exploring the luxury and fashion world. Their main focus is a deviation from what is normal. As the university states, they want students “looking at it from different cultural perspectives and in different markets.”

While being involved in this extraordinary program the students will be able to nurture their mindset while seeing everything from a luxury business perspective. Knowledge acquired here can be a huge step towards thinking out of the box. Besides, the most alluring part is that the university is constantly teaming up with the most prestigious companies such as UCCI, LVMH, and Valentino to provide a Luxury Brand Management MBA focus. In the end, students take part in a real luxury company project, where they get hands-on experience in the luxury industry.

The overall duration of the program is 13 months with tuition of €39,000, however, they do provide merit scholarships. When it comes to the program structure, it is pretty unique as every semester takes place in a different city with luxurious, mind-provoking courses. A sample curriculum for one semester taking place in Paris that is created in partnership with Cartier is:

    • Arts & culture
    • Luxury values and heritage
    • Brand management & analysis
    • Trends & concepts of hard luxury
    • Luxury brand communication and semiotics

9. International University of Monaco 

The International University of Monaco is a great place for studying luxury management and is designed for MBA candidates who want to enter or advance their careers in the luxury sector. Students will gain experience in diverse areas such as fashion, jewelry, yachting, private aviation, real estate, hospitality, and event management. 

The duration of the full-time MBA program is 10 months with tuition of €39,000. MBA students also get the opportunity to attend luxury industry events such as the Monaco Symposium on Luxury for developing a competitive business plan. 

The specialized courses are:

    • Managing in the luxury sector
    • Luxury services and experience management
    • Digital Luxury
    • Luxury Consumer Behavior

10. University of Virginia – Darden Graduate School of Business

Darden Graduate School of Business offers a special curriculum for MBA students who want to pursue a career in retail and luxury goods. Darden’s academic offerings are not limited to co-curricular events such as alumni networking, career excursions, and conferences focusing on retail and luxury products, as well as industry-relevant speakers and recruiters. Because of the large job areas in luxury positions, Darden has come up with special core course offerings. The latest recommended courses are:

    • Consumer Psychology
    • Data Analysis and Optimization
    • Developing New Products and Services
    • Marketing Intelligence
    • Managing Consumer Brands
    • Big Data in Marketing

Additionally, Darden has a retail and luxury goods club, which stimulates awareness and interest in the retail and luxury goods industries. The Club is also a hub of alumni networking that helps students locate summer and full-time career opportunities by bringing industry speakers and recruiters. Students will also arrange professional trips to New York and Los Angeles, as well as attend industry conferences with other top business schools.

11. British School of Fashion

British School of Fashion is an MBA program that provides a huge place for career development in the luxury sector. The program’s purpose is to fulfill the growing demand for experienced executives who have a thorough understanding of premium brand management in a global environment. The curriculum focuses on practical and contemporary knowledge that consists of the following courses:

    • Luxury Concepts and Practice
    • Strategic Finance for Luxury Management
    • Omnichannel Distribution Strategies for Luxury
    • Strategy Leadership and Social Responsibility
    • Global Luxury Brand Strategy
    • Legal Aspects of Brand Management
    • Introduction to Research Methods
    • Sustainable Luxury
    • MBA project

The MBA project, which is the final step of the program, gives the opportunity to plan and conduct original research in a specific area of Luxury Brand Marketing. Students get the ability to apply theories, concepts, theories, and frameworks introduced in prior courses as part of the research.

The tuition is £17,300 with three options to apply for:

    • Full-time
    • Part-time
    • Distance learning

The school’s main focus is peer integrity and diversity which even increases the chances of knowledge transfer and experience sharing.

12. London School of Business

London School of Business has a certificate program that helps students learn the basics of luxury brand management and its works in the fashion industry. This program is designed for anyone who works, or wants to work, in luxury fashion management and wants to improve their practical knowledge of the field. 

The program proposes two options: online and offline. The offline method consists of 35 hours with a price of £1,200, while the flexible online option costs £850

The structure of the program consists of the following: 

    • Marketing and Management
    • Business Issues
    • Luxury Lifestyle
    • Distribution and Retail
    • Luxury Environment
    • Brand Innovation and New Product Strategy
    • Luxury Brand Concepts
    • Intercultural Issues in Luxury
    • Luxury Industry and Digital Business

It is clear that the luxury sector business is expanding its branches and is becoming something similar to a typical business-oriented profession. A lot of schools offer specific luxury tracks, certifications, clubs, and even MBA programs in luxury goods. Students get the knowledge of fashion distinctiveness through various courses such as Luxury in Marketing and Management, Global Branding, and even Finance. Being able to learn all the nuances and unique strategies of the modern and global world will definitely aid students in establishing a business of fashion. Attending these schools can take you a step closer to the luxury world because fashion is a passion and you should not miss the chance to make a career out of your passion. 


Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan

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Taking the GMAT Exam in Boston
Posted on
Jan 2022

Taking the GMAT Exam in Boston

Table of Contents:

  1. Who administers the GMAT test in Boston?
  2. What does the test center look like?
  3. Where are the test centers located in Boston?
  4. Test center holidays
  5. Top MBA programs in Boston
  6. Tips
  7. Test Day FAQs

About ¾ of the way through your extensive GMAT prep you should begin to start planning your test day, including scheduling the test, preparing your trip to the test center, and even pre-visiting the test center so that you know exactly where it is. This guide is here to offer you all the required information related to taking the GMAT exam in Boston.

Who administers the GMAT test in Boston?

Pearson Professional Centers – administers the GMAT and EA exam on behalf of the GMAC. To find out more about the Pearson Professional test centers visit

What does the test center look like?

The location will include individual testing areas for each test taker with a separation screen between each test-taker.

Where are the test centers in Boston?

These are the top locations where test-takers generally had the best experience:

Pearson Professional Centers-Boston (Back Bay)

31 St. James AvenuePearson Professional Centers - Boston (Black Bay)
Suite 725
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
United States

By car:
From central Boston (7min)

  • Take Cambridge St and Bowdoin St to Mt Vernon St
  • Take Walnut St to Beacon St
  • Hancock St turns right and becomes Mt Vernon St
  • Turn left onto Walnut St
  • Turn right onto Beacon St
  • Use the left lane to turn slightly right to stay on Beacon St
  • Turn left onto Arlington St
  • Turn right onto St James Ave
  • Destination will be on the right

 By train:
Should take around 13min.

Test-takers’ review:
This test center was rated 4.3 by Google reviewers. It is described as a good place to take the exam.

Pearson Professional Centers-Boston MA

295 Devonshire StreetPearson Professional Centers-Boston MA
2nd Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02110
United States

By car:
From central Boston (6min):

  • Head north on Cambridge St toward Sudbury St
  • Turn right onto Sudbury St
  • Turn right onto Congress St
  • Drive to Devonshire St
  • Use the middle lane to turn right before Brookline Bank
  • Slight right onto Winthrop Square
  • Continue straight onto Otis St
  • Turn left onto Summer St
  • Turn left onto Devonshire St
  • Destination will be on the left

By train:
Should take around 5min.

Test-takers’ review:
This test center was rated 4.0 by Google reviewers. The center was described as a place with great service.

Pearson Professional Centers-Cambridge MA

186 Alewife Brook ParkwayPearson Professional Centers-Cambridge MA
Suite 202
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
United States

By car:
From central Boston (16min):

  • Get on MA-28 S/Storrow Dr
  • Follow Storrow Dr and Soldiers Field Rd to Eliot Bridge. Take the exit toward MA-2/US-3/Arlington/Fresh Pond Pkwy from Soldiers Field Rd
  • Continue on Eliot Bridge to your destination in Cambridge

By train:
Should take around 35 min.

Test-takers’ review:
This test center was rated 5.0 by Google reviewers.

An alternative option:
If you would like to get away from the hustle of the city for your exam or if test centers within the city do not have any openings, a Pearson Professional Centers-Cambridge MA is a good option for you.

Test Center Holidays

The most popular times for GMAT preparation and test-taking are during the holiday seasons. Be mindful of dates that you will not be able to take the GMAT or EA at the test center mentioned above. The test center might be closed on the following occasions:

    • 1 Jan – New Year’s Day
    • 2 Apr – Good Friday  
    • 5 Apr – Easter Monday
    • 3 May – May Day
    • 31 May – Late May Bank Holiday  
    • 30 Aug – August Bank Holiday
    • 25 Dec – Christmas Day
    • 26 Dec – Boxing Day
    • 27 Dec – Christmas Holiday
    • 28 Dec – Boxing Day Holiday

Top MBA programs in Boston 

  • Harvard University 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology    


  • During the test there will not be complete silence – you will be able to hear noise from other test takers so it is best to prepare for this by studying for the exam in similar scenarios. This can prepare you for any distractions (such as coughing, sneezing, or computer clicking sounds) that might occur while taking your exam.
  • Try to spend some time actually prepping in the lobby of the test center weeks/days in advance of your exam date. Since the place will be familiar to you come test day this can help curb test anxiety should you have any.
  • Find a test day checklist.

Test Day FAQs

Here are the top 5 questions that clients ask us about exam day information:

  • Are you allowed to listen to music while taking the GMAT exam?

You are not allowed to listen to music while taking the GMAT exam and you are not allowed to wear earphones as well.

  • What should I do if I fall sick on the exam day?

If you do not feel well come exam day you will have to make the decision as to whether or not you can take the test and perform at your best. Most people will not be able to do this so it will be best to cancel it. If you do so on the day of the exam you will incur a loss of your full $250 exam fee. If you cancel the exam 7 days in advance you will be charged a penalty of $50. If it is the first time that you will sit the exam and you are up for sitting through a 4 hour test, this may be a good opportunity to experience the test as you have the ability to cancel the score right afterwards if you are unhappy with it. Ultimately, it is best to take the GMAT when you are feeling your best as this will result in your optimum test performance.

  • What can I bring with me to the test center?

You are allowed in the test center with the following:

  • GMAT approved identification
  • Appointment confirmation letter or email you received from Pearson VUE
  • Prescription eyeglasses
  • Light sweater or light non-outerwear jacket
  • Comfort items only if they were pre-approved as an accommodation received in advance

Any additional personal belongings that you bring with you such as your cell phone, bag, snacks, and earphones will need to be stored in one of the provided lockers. You may eat your snack during the breaks. Any cell phone use throughout the test time (including breaks) is prohibited.

The test center will provide you with everything that you need in order to take the test including scratch paper and a pencil.

  • Should I wear a mask during the exam?

At the test centers above they strongly recommend that you wear a face mask or some type of face-covering in the test center and for the duration of your test to protect yourself and others. Test centers do not provide face masks for candidates.

Please note that if you have any flu-like symptoms upon arrival at the test center, you may be requested to reschedule your exam for another time when you are in full health.

  • What can I expect at the test center?

A usual test center is typically quite small. Once you arrive you will have to provide the administrator with the relevant documents and while these are being processed you will be asked to wait in the waiting area. In this area, you can still access all your personal belongings up until you are called into the testing room.

Once in the room, you will be allocated an individual exam station where you will find a computer.

Here is a helpful test day FAQ guide.


For any questions or comments please reach out to us at If you are interested in speaking with one of our GMAT tutors, you can sign-up for a complimentary, 30-minute, consultation call.

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750 GMAT Score
Posted on
Jan 2022

How I Scored A 750 On The GMAT – David’s Journey With Apex

David came to us during one of his winter breaks. After routinely scoring around a 690 on the GMAT, he was looking for ways to break the 700+ barrier. Read his story on how he earned a 730 GMAT score below, or watch him tell his story in his own words. 

David spent a total of three weeks working with us over his holiday break. He had been attempting to break the 700+ barrier, though was consistently scoring a 690 on his practice exams and on the real exam. Initially, he believed that he could improve his score just by practicing more and more GMAT problems. However, come test day, David was not able to score as well as he had hoped. When he realized he was plateauing he reached out to us. We here at Apex specialize in helping top scorers achieve their potential. We were able to work with David and coach him to score above his goal. After working with Apex, David attended Georgetown McDonough School of Business. 

So how did he achieve a 750 GMAT score?

Prior to applying to business schools, David dedicated himself to giving a go at a 700+ score one last shot. Meeting with Apex’s tutors, David was given an initial, and honest assessment of what he could achieve in a simple three week timeline. We work with our clients, not only for our clients, to lead them down a path of success which best suits their needs. 

Our unique approach shows test takers how to think like a test maker, not like a test taker. This strategy has proven successful countless of times for future MBAers like David. We work with our client’s strengths as well while boosting their weaknesses. David appreciated our approach to solving the GMAT utilizing numerous strategies. By learning multiple solution paths, we show clients that no matter the problem you are present with, you’ll know a strategy that suits you best. 

Time efficiency was also vital to David’s approach

By focusing on only a few key problems during studying, and learning multiple solutions paths to arrive at the correct answer, David was able to cut down on unnecessary time spent reviewing superfluous questions. This approach also increased his confidence during the test-taking process itself as he spent little time attempting different problem solving techniques to similar problems. 

As David himself said: ‘…it’s not about seeing hundreds and hundred of problems, it’s about looking at certain problems in a different type of way’ this allows you ‘to have a better attack plan, no matter what the problem is you’re trying to solve.’  

The GMAT, according to David, is a test which can be taught and – more importantly – can be dominated. By learning from the GMAT expert tutors here at Apex, David was given a leg up during his GMAT studying process and earn a 750 GMAT score. We helped David conquer the GMAT, and we are looking forward to working with you to help you achieve your goals. If you are interested in scheduling a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our expert instructors, please visit our website.


Contributor: Dana Coggio

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GMAT as a Returning Students
Posted on
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


Contributor: Dana Coggio

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Understand GMAT Scoring
Posted on
Jan 2022

Understand GMAT Scoring – How Does GMAT Scoring Work?

While you’re preparing for your GMAT exam, it is a good idea to understand how your performance will be evaluated. The GMAT isn’t a pass/fail examination. It consists of four components and yields five scores: one from each section (divided into a scaled score and percentile rank), and a fifth total score derived from the Quantitative and Verbal sections combined. Because of the quant-heavy focus of MBA and business programs, some admissions committees place more weight on applicants’ quant scores. Although, equal attention should be paid to all sections of the GMAT so that you present yourself to the admissions committee in your best light!  We have compiled this short article, to help you understand GMAT scoring. 

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Score

Most GMAT Integrated Reasoning problems have several sections, and you must properly answer all parts of a question to receive credit for that question. Up to three of the 12 questions in the Integrated Reasoning section are experimental and do not count against your final GMAT IR score. Nevertheless, because there is no way of knowing which questions are experimental, you should put the same amount of effort into each one. As with the other parts of the GMAT exam, your total IR score ranges from 1 to 8. Taking into consideration your overall question profile, rather than the number of successfully answered questions.

GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment Score

The essay is assessed separately by a specially created computer software and a human scorer. The two results are then averaged to determine your total GMAT AWA score. The AWA has a range of scores from 0 to 6 (in half-point intervals). If the two assessments disagree by more than one point, a third evaluation is given by an expert (human) rater.

These experts are college and university professors who examine the following factors:

    • Your capacity to organize, develop, and convey your thoughts, as well as the quality of your ideas.
    • Reasons and examples to back up your claim. 
    • Controlling the components of written English to sound as professional as possible.

When it comes to grading the replies of people whose first language is not English, the raters are attentive and fair.

Verbal, Quantitative, and GMAT Total Scores

The total GMAT score, which varies from 200 to 800, is derived from both the quantitative and verbal scores. We’ll go through these two components first, then how they fit together to make the ultimate GMAT score. Each component of the test is evaluated independently, with scaled scores ranging from 0 to 60. These scores should not be compared to one other because they measure distinct factors, such as your analytic and logic skills. Rather, each should be considered on its own, and each has its own percentile distribution.

GMAT Percentile Ranking

The GMAT also includes a percentile ranking, which displays the percentage of test-takers who scored at or below a certain score; the greater the percentile ranking, the more competitive the score. Because rankings are updated every summer using exam data from the previous three years, the same score may have a different percentile number in different years. Unless you’re submitting an application based on an old GMAT (from more than three years ago), this shouldn’t be a big deal. Also, check to see if your GMAT percentile has changed significantly and if so, note it in your application.

Finally, What’s a Good GMAT Score?

This article should have helped you understand GMAT scoring. A decent GMAT score is above 640 (about in the 70th percentile), whereas an exceptional score is 700 or higher (around the 90th percentile). The average score for students admitted to the top 50 MBA programs is about 660; you can find this information on the admissions website of a specific institution.

Regardless of your GMAT score, keep in mind that your score is just one piece of information in a larger picture that includes your essays, entrance interviews, undergraduate GPA, recommendation letters, job experience, prestige, and extracurricular participation. If your goal is to attend a top B-School, a high GMAT score is essential, but it is not everything. Remember that your resume, academic transcripts, and extra-curriculars also play a role in the admissions process.


Contributor: Nemrout Safarian

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Posted on
Dec 2021

Before Taking The GMAT Exam, You Should Do These 3 Things

Imagine that you wake up on a sunny day, you feel energized and positive about where your day is headed, and you have a plan in your head on how to organize your time efficiently so that you can begin preparing for your GMAT exam. Then, suddenly, you realize that you only have a few days left before your GMAT exam date. You start overthinking about what you know or don’t know about the exam, its procedure, the dos and don’ts, and you feel yourself getting stressed. This is a normal feeling for most people who have exams coming up and feel like they lost track of time. But no need to panic – We gotcha!  Here are a few things you can do to help with the process.

1. Get yourself accustomed to the GMAT exam procedure

It is of utmost importance that you know the GMAT exam procedure by heart before taking the test. This can help by making sure the exam goes smoothly and you don’t get worried about making silly mistakes.

So, how is the GMAT structured and what are its procedures?

Here is a brief recap. The GMAT has 4 sections:

The total time it takes to complete the GMAT, with breaks, is usually 3.5 hours. If you’re interested in knowing how the scoring of the GMAT goes, you can watch this short and comprehensive YouTube video.

2. Take the GMAT practice exam during the same time as the real one

Having routines in life helps us manage our time efficiently. The same can be said for the GMAT exam. It is crucial that you know what time your real exam is going to be so that you can start preparing and practicing during the same time of the day. Why is this important? Let’s say you usually wake up at 11:00 AM and start studying around 1:00 PM. If your exam starts at 10:00 AM, you’re going to have a hard time functioning to the best of your abilities. Thus, it is suggested that you create a routine around your exam time so that your brain and body can get used to it.

3. Revise your previous GMAT mistakes, but don’t acquire new knowledge

Cramming in new information a few days before taking the GMAT does not usually result in effective learning. It is a student’s habit to start learning new material at midnight, but this will not help you solidify your knowledge. Your GMAT exam procedure needs practice and time, and you simply cannot learn new things in a span of a few hours. That is why it is better to go over what you have learned thus far, which will help in remembering what you already know. If this makes you feel like you have to have a plan, that is great! You can start with study plans months or even a year beforehand. Take a look at this 3-Month GMAT Guide to help you start your journey with preparing for the GMAT.

Final Thoughts

It is often easy to get stressed before the exam and lose track of time. To feel prepared to take the GMAT, it is advised that you get accustomed to the exam procedure, take the practice exam during the same time as the real one, and revise your previous mistakes, but don’t try to acquire new knowledge a day or two out. These are only a few GMAT tips to help you feel more confident about the big day, for more, you can check out our other articles. 

Some people feel more assured about taking the GMAT when they have instructors. If you can do it on your own, then good job! If you are thinking about having an instructor help you with the GMAT, you can sign up for a complimentary consultation call. Our tutors at APEX have all scored 770+ and are professional in the field. In this consultation call, they will guide you in your GMAT journey. Rest assured, you will be in good hands!

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GMAT Score on Resume
Posted on
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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GMAT Prep Schedule
Posted on
Dec 2021

How To Create A GMAT Prep Schedule That Works For Your Busy Life

Goal-seeking, busy professionals, who want to apply to an MBA program for broadening their professional aspects, experience a hard time fitting GMAT preparation into their hectic schedules. It is a tough decision when deciding when to prepare for the GMAT between a busy 9-5 schedule. But remember, nothing is impossible so long as there is desire. 

The GMAT is a type of test that necessitates both accuracy and time management in order to achieve a high score. Hence, sometimes a tight working schedule actually helps with time management skills. In many cases, the more you manage your time, the more productive and efficient you can become. If you are a busy professional striving for a top MBA, but struggling to make a decision on whether to start preparing for the GMAT or not, this article will guide you through the decision making process. Even if you have already made the decision to proceed,  you will learn some tips and strategies that will guide you throughout the entire process while helping you to come up with the most perfect schedule.

1. Never say never

Self-hesitation is very common. Hearing about someone’s bad or good experience with the GMAT is helpful for guiding your own journey, but don’t let their experiences dictate your own. Just because you hear some opinion from the other person, doesn’t mean that the same principle can apply to you. Remain motivated and do not fall into the trap of self-deception. Humans have a strong tendency to stick to what is easier rather than looking for multiple solution paths to their problems. Concentrate on the idea that your problem is combining a helpful GMAT prep schedule with a busy life. 

Eliminate excuses completely. There are no excuses holding you back. No matter how busy life gets. We unconsciously tell ourselves that we are so busy and do not have time. By doing this, things get even harder to swallow and our brain is close to exploding. However, if you were to calculate the hours you put towards social media sites, you’d be shocked how much time is wasted! Taking a Brain Break can be helpful, but not at the expense of your studying. The first tip is never to reject opportunities for studying. You can always find a moment to study for the GMAT with a busy life and schedule. 

2. GMAT is temporary, but long-lasting success is not

Your life can always be busy. Maybe you work a lot or have kids, but it becomes busier with the idea of preparing for the GMAT. Important to remember is that this stress is ‘temporary’.

A working professional’s GMAT preparation can take anywhere from 2-4 months. If your day starts at 9 am, you can make yourself wake up at 7 am to do some studying in the morning. For some, their brain works best in the morning, while for others the afternoon or evening is best for studying. Whichever it is, be sure to start the day with some brain stretching, such as doing GMAT preparation tests or quizzes that will facilitate delving deeper into the topic. Do the main exercise in the morning, and whenever you have time during the day, such as during your lunch time, you can do GMAT reading or solve some quant problems in order to be involved in active learning. 

Bonus Tip! Avoid passive learning. Do not spend too much of your time preparing with GMAT videos

3. Have an established approach on do’s and don’ts

You know that you should make time for studying, but it might be the case that you don’t have a predetermined plan for the day. The most significant thing is to maintain consistency. Develop a regular plan which prioritizes studying, as even the busiest professionals can make themselves prioritize things that have a high probability of falling behind on the list. 

Do not underestimate the result of your GMAT cramming in five minutes spurts during the day. Even if you have 5 minutes, create quality study techniques by reviewing your work. The materials learned can fall into your short-term memory and be easily forgotten afterwards. Do a math exercise regularly and do not focus on too many things several days in a row. Try to split everything equally during the day so you do not get tired out by the same GMAT section. 

Finally, keep it fresh. Go back and forth between the sections but always remember that reviewing what you have done and even planning the review process beforehand is a must. 

4. Enjoy the GMAT process

Making things work for a busy life is intimidating especially if you do not like it, as including one more thing can actually ruin your entire mood and attitude towards the other things. It is true that concentrating on multiple tasks or things at once can break your mind and result in less productive outcomes. This is why time-management is a key strategy in your GMAT prep schedule. If you have a specific time for each one of your tasks, you are able to enjoy the process and focus on one thing at a time. 

Suppose you have developed a plan to study for half an hour during your break, it means real-time studying without noise and distractions. Make it a habit to study during your allocated time and fall into deep amnesia regarding the other things that are currently disturbing you. It is hardly the case that you will think “I am so happy the GMAT prep time has come! I need to study during my one-hour break that I was supposed to be resting.”

However, at least the inner aim of looking at the bigger picture of what will happen after the temporary challenge and time sacrifice will make you enjoy the GMAT journey. Sometimes it is better to look into the future rather than the present. The future goal is the satisfaction of future GMAT success. 


It might take time, but adopting these four tips into your preparation process can help you create an efficient GMAT prep schedule. Remember what you are working towards. Your GMAT journey is not only about the final result, but also about the skills learned in the process. We here at Apex are more than happy to support you on your journey. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors!


Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan

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Online MBA
Posted on
Dec 2021

The Top Online MBA Programs’ Acceptance Rates, Tuition, And More

As the world around us continues to change, the virtual world continues to take up a larger portion of our lives. This is no less true with education. Sometimes earning a world-class education doesn’t always mean moving to a new city or quitting your current job. Rather, for working professionals or busy parents, attending an online MBA program is the best way to handle your education with a busy schedule. 

If you are keen on earning an MBA but are too established in a career or family life to move states or countries, then an online MBA degree can be the perfect solution. There are top MBA programs offered by leading business schools which make sure that their students receive a top-notch education from anywhere in the world! 

Top Online MBA Programs 

We have listed some of the Financial Times 2021 top-eight online MBA programs around the globe to help you on your journey to find the perfect MBA program. 

1. Warwick Business School
2. IE Business School
3. Imperial College Business School
4. University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flager

5. Indiana University: Kelley
6. University of Florida: Warrington
7. Durham University Business School
8. Politecnico di Milano School of Management

Warwick Business School 

Warwick Business School’s Warwick Distance Learning MBA program is ranked #1 by Financial Times in 2021. The cost of the program is £33,250 and lasts a total of 2 years. Each year there is a total intake of 1,185 new students, 28% female and 72% male with ages ranging from 25-58. The acceptance rate for the program is 45%. Successful applicants to the program exhibit strategic thinking skills, creative problem solving, drive, and leadership within their application. The majority of applicants have already had years of professional experience under their belt. 

IE Business School 

IE Business School’s Global Online MBA program is ranked second by the Financial Times in 2021. The program concentrations range from economics to strategy and technology. The cost of the program is €51,200 and the program lasts 17-24 months. Each year the program accepts around 80 students and has an acceptance rate of 40%. The average GMAT score of successful applicants is 685 with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.4. 

Imperial College Business School 

The Imperial College Business School’s Global Online MBA program is ranked 3rd by the Financial Time’s 2021 Online MBA rankings. The global online MBA program is two-years in length and costs a total of £37,600. The total enrollment for the program is 283 and the program consists of 30% female and 70% male students. The acceptance rate for the program is about 66%. The GMAT is not required for acceptance, however, applicants are expected to have a minimum of 3 years of professional experience before applying. 

University of North Carolina: Kenan Flager

[email protected] is University of North Carolina: Kenan Flager’s online MBA program. The program utilizes blended learning in its teaching and has concentrations ranging from Analytics to Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The total cost of the program is $125,589 and the program length ranges from 18-36 months. Enrollment for the program is about 870 students and the acceptance rate is 55.79%. The average GMAT score for accepted applicants is 700 with the average starting salary of graduates from the program making upwards of $159,000. 

Indiana University: Kelley

The Kelley Direct Online MBA program is offered by Indiana University: Kelley Business School. The cost of the program is $78,246 and lasts between 24 and 48 months. The program has a 15% international and 8% US minority composition. Total enrollment to the program is 1,438 and has an acceptance rate of 35.65%. The average GMAT score is 670, with the average undergraduate GPA being 3.34. 

University of Florida: Warrington

The University of Florida: Warrington’s online MBA program is an online-only program. The program costs $49,204 and lasts from 12-23 months. The total enrollment for the program is 530 and is 40% females and 60% males with the average age of students being 30 years. The acceptance rate for the program is 61.26%. The average GMAT score of accepted applicants is 580. Students may choose between submitting a GMAT or GRE score. 

Durham University Business School

Durham University Business School offers a 2-year part-time Online MBA program. There are 5 core modules and offers students three strategic pathways: Entrepreneurship, Consultancy, and Technology. Students are able to personalize their program to fulfill their career goals. The cost of the program is £15,000 a year. Applicants do not need to submit a GMAT score to be considered for admissions. 

Politecnico di Milano School of Management

Politecnico di Milano School of Management offers an International Flex Executive MBA. The program lasts 2 years and the tuition fee is €37,000. The learning is offered online with 2 face-to-face weeks with an additional 1 full week. Applicants are not required to submit a GMAT score to be considered for admissions. However, applicants are might be required to prepare for a motivational interview and take a written test before admissions. This is to uphold their rigorous selection process and maintain a diverse and academically driven cohort. 


Whether you are looking for an online MBA program or an in-person, deciding to attend business school is a wonderful step for your professional future. We here at Apex offer support for future business school students who are looking to earn admission to the best school possible. If you are looking to attend a top-tier MBA program, our admissions consultants and GMAT tutors are here to help! Schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our top-scoring instructors to learn how we can help you! 

Dana Coggio

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Best Practices That Can Lead To Successful GMAT Performance
Posted on
Dec 2021

Best Practices That Can Lead To Successful GMAT Performance And MBA Acceptance

As the GMAT exam is a key step in being accepted to top MBA programs, maintaining some practices and utilizing those can be pretty effective. Successful GMAT performance is a determining feature in your MBA career, therefore superb assurance is relevant for a smooth preparation path. 

Each section of the GMAT test has more tiny nuances than you know, so each requires preliminary research and a meticulous approach. Hence, to succeed on the GMAT, you must familiarize yourself with the types of questions and take practice tests. In this article, we aim to introduce you to some tips that are essential for your GMAT performance and MBA acceptance. 

1. Remember what you are taking the GMAT for

Preparing for and taking the GMAT is stressful and time consuming. But you are preparing for it in order to get accepted to your desired MBA program. Remember why you are taking the GMAT. The path that you are taking right now is a long journey, which will lead you into your brightest future. Being successful means that you will be granted ample opportunities and doors for your professional prosperity will open!

2. GMAT is a marathon and not a sprint

We get it. The GMAT is a long 3 hour and 30 minute test that makes you anxious. However, those hours are building blocks to your future career. You cannot just jump over the materials without diving into each one. Every GMAT section requires meticulous thought and preparation. GMAT mostly checks your endurance and psychological tolerance. You are not supposed to know everything. However, you are supposed to behave appropriately in connecting the dots of the exam and focusing on what you see on the exam. Be confident in your selected answers but make sure to double check your responses. Even reading the question very carefully is a time-consuming task, but at least you know what is being asked rather than skimming through the questions and getting the answers incorrect for the sake of finishing the exam early. 

3. Pick your MBA program before, or while, preparing for the GMAT

Find a school and program which fits your desires, goals, and aspirations! As we mentioned above, you should know why you are taking the GMAT. This includes knowing which school(s) you are hoping to apply to. For example, the dream of studying at Harvard can urge you to work harder and put in more effort. We recommend that you have a goal in mind of where you want to see yourself in the near future. 

4. The GMAT is intense. So is business school

We do understand that GMAT preparation can be stressful and at the same time intense. But your future goals might be more challenging. Business schools and top MBA programs require you to develop high endurance. You learn valuable skills during your study prep which will serve you well during your MBA and professional career. Remember that you create your own path to MBA acceptance. This means accepting every single difficulty with high confidence.

5. Have a clear definition of your GMAT goals

A good practice for successful GMAT performance can be to consider your long-term goals and vision. You can think of this as a mission statement for yourself to consider why your goals exist. In addition to all these long-term goals, remember that GMAT falls into this category as well. The GMAT journey is an arduous one, but you undertake it in order to succeed in your goals. 

6. Develop GMAT tricks and self-cheating

You need to have a list of tricks and cheating strategies for each section. For instance, for the GMAT Quant section, you may plug in the numbers to determine the correct answer. In this case, if you are not sure about the correct answer, make some strategic assumptions which will help you work through the problem. When it comes to the Data Sufficiency section try the trick of the elimination method. For the Integrated Reasoning section, keep track of the relevant information, there is no need to know everything. Eventually, the Analytical Writing Assessment will require you to come up with a plan or an outline and spend some time on digging deeper into the material. 

7. Retake the GMAT if needed

We do realize that it might sound intimidating to take the GMAT exam a second time or even more, but if you don’t have the score needed, it is worth going through the process. Retaking the GMAT will surely increase your self-awareness. To get into some prominent MBA programs, your score needs to be in a certain range. It may not come easy, but the GMAT is necessary in this case. Being able to demonstrate your knowledge based on a high GMAT score is vital in succeeding at any university. You will be working in a business environment, hence you should be true to yourself and look for the MBA opportunity that is the perfect fit for you. It is easy to substitute between schools, but you need to be specific about one or some few schools and strive for excellence for those ones especially. MBA programs are seeking candidates that are more than “great on paper”. Resilience, persistence, demonstrated collaboration, and job experience with promotions are all important signs of program success. You can satisfy the majority of those features with a perfect GMAT score. The final result is the most important one. It does not matter how many times you have taken the exam. 

8. Make yourself the conqueror

Your inner beliefs and thoughts are more important than anything else. There is an old saying “fake it, till you make it”, and the same can apply for the GMAT exam and MBA programs. It might be super hard to pull yourself out of your comfort zone to uncover every single thing about the GMAT, but convince yourself that everything is under control. The more you panic-  either about studying or managing your time – the worse it turns out to be for your mental health. If you give yourself credit, even for the tiniest thing, you will see that things fall in place. You’ll be in a position that you once might have thought impossible to achieve. 

9. GMAT is not a hindrance, it’s a ladder!

The majority of the students tend to consider the GMAT as a bog that pulls them down to drown with stress and irritated nerves, however that is not always the case. The GMAT is the thing that determines your MBA acceptance, which therefore provides you with ubiquitous pride and chances to thrive as a person. Instead of avoiding that, immerse yourself in that whole process. The more you sink the harder you need to work to get out. A good GMAT score can bolster your place in any school. With proper preparation comes the ability to absorb more as a test taker and student. You must strike a balance in your approach and skills to succeed on the GMAT. Like climbing a ladder, it takes effort to reach the top. The GMAT is there to help you, not to hinder you. Seek it, then make it. 

10. Make the uncertain certain

The road to business school can be long and winding, and it can also be fraught with uncertainty. When you first start crafting your application piece by piece, you never know what will happen in the future. You are taking small steps towards your major goal. What if you actually could make it a reality? It is not that hard, the only thing is introducing yourself as a go-getter with gaining experiences that will undoubtedly lure the admissions officer. 

First of all, as we mentioned earlier, know the “reason”. This is where an MBA application differs from most other graduate programs. You must not only demonstrate that you are academically and professionally prepared, but you must also clearly express your long-term career goals and how an MBA will assist you in achieving them. In order to make everything certain, you need to create yourself, sometimes from scratch. Develop the “how” strategy. Design yourself, create and then become.  


Final Thoughts

We are sure you are already familiar with the GMAT exam and maybe you are now preparing. However, it is always necessary to come up with some best practices that can lead to successful GMAT performance which then results in quiet and peaceful MBA acceptance without any hurdles. In this article, we tried to gather some practices and tricks that you can make use of for your overall preparation process and success. One day you will become the achiever of your dreams and acquire the best in this world. The significant and essential thing is believing in yourself and walking into every situation proudly and positively.


Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan

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