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Yearly Archives: 2009

There appears to be a drop in interest from overseas applicants to U.S. MBA programs, according to Kumar Anand of the Economic Times in an article titled: “Number of Applicants for Executive Management in Indian B-Schools Rises.”

Anand cites the example of Jorawar Singh, an Indian young professional seeking an MBA degree inside India and not the likes of Boston and Ohio B-Scools.  This is unusual for many Indian MBA applicants, as well as applicants from other countries, too, as U.S. schools are typically the most sought after in terms of admission.  Anand writes: “In all, 42% of the full-time MBA programs in the U.S. reported a decline in the number of foreign applicants.  Of these, as many as 70% reported the largest decrease in number of applications from India.”

Jorawar Singh, the young professional Anand cites, feels a one-year B-School in India will help him get a job after graduation in India, as opposed to going overseas and then returning to look for work.  Singh contributes, by saying: “Today, quite a few Indian B-Schools are offering quality executive management program at much cheaper cost.”  Anand adds to this, saying that a number of Indian MBA applicants favor Indian B-Schools over U.S. B-Schools because the quality of education is much higher in India than is used to be, not to mention the cheaper cost.

Dave Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) claims:

“More Indians prefer Indian B-Schools over B-Schools in the U.S.  Of late, India has been offering world-class management education.  Less expensive quality education provided by Indian B-Schools remains a big draw for Indian students.   People are interested in pursuing MBAs from the geography where they could continue working, and India has emerged as a preferred destination for many.”

Curious to know the facts supporting these statements?  Anand claims that a total of 17,488 applications were submitted to Indian B-Schools in 2008.  That number is five times higher than seen in 2004, according to the GMAC.  At the moment, 24 Indian B-Schools accept GMAT scores for 53 programs.

Posted on December 21, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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After some diligent preparation, we are excited to share with you all that our first GMAT teaching video is ready for you to enjoy and learn! Each teaching clip lasts 3-7 minutes long, short enough for you to catch a quick overview and long enough for you to understand a concept thoroughly.

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In the coming weeks, we will continue to release more recordings on the following GMAT topics. A number of our most popular instructors will be featured in the series, each focusing on different aspects of the GMAT with his/her own very unique teaching style. We will continue to expand our video library with more in-person classroom recordings and online class videos, with a goal of providing our students a complete spectrum of GMAT teaching media, GMAT teaching methods, problem solving approaches and MBA Admissions consultation.

  • GMAT Verbal, Sentence Correction, Grammar – Pronoun Tips
  • GMAT Verbal, Sentence Correction, Grammar – Modifier
  • GMAT Verbal, Sentence Correction, Grammar – Comparison
  • GMAT Verbal, Sentence Correction, Grammar – Parallelism, Prepositions
  • GMAT Verbal, Sentence Correction, Grammar – Diction
  • GMAT Math, Data Sufficiency, Algebra
  • GMAT Math, Problem Solving, Permutation & Combinatorics I
  • GMAT Math, Problem Solving, Permutation & Combinatorics II
  • GMAT Math, Data Sufficiency, Geometry
  • GMAT Math, Problem Solving, Statistics

Look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Posted on December 14, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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Recently Manhattan Review has had a number of raffle drawings in Germany. We are pleased to announce three of our recent raffle winners: Cordelia Neumetzger, Christian Mankiewitz, and Lena Haubold!

Cordelia Neumetzger entered our raffle at our MBA Gate event in Frankfurt. Christian Mankiewitz and Lena Haubold entered our raffle at the QS World MBA tour in Berlin and Munich. All three won a free in-person GMAT course! Included in the prize are the following benefits included in our course tuition:

  • Better Score Guarantee – Unlimited Classes, Online Library & Advice
  • Turbocharge Your GMAT Math/Verbal Study and Solutions Guides
  • Extensive Quant and Vocabulary Glossaries
  • Three on-line challenging Computer Adaptive Tests
  • After-class Home Study Guideline provided
  • Discount for Private Tutoring & MBA Admissions Services
  • Discounted Access to Online Recording Library for tailored study
  • US$200 Student Referral; US$1000 Corporate Account Referral (applicable only for paying students)
  • Double Your In-Person Class Hours with an Online Course at No Additional Cost (up to 56 Hours of Total Real-time Instruction Hours)

Thanks to everyone who entered our drawings!

Posted on December 4, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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According to a recent article in Business Week titled: “GMAT: The MBA Job Seeker’s Best Friend” – it appears that many schools are encouraging students to take the GMAT time and time again.  A very eye-opening article by Anne VanderMey, it seems the GMAT is not only important for MBA admittance, but also for job recruiting after graduation.

According to VanderMey, with companies being flooded with resumes due to the recent economic recession, it appears recruiters are using GMAT scores to weed out applicants.  This is unusual, as never before has the GMAT taken on such added weight, but it appears for some companies, your score could very well be the factor that gets you an actual interview.

Due to this, professors and career services directors are encouraging students to retake the GMAT time and time again thanks to the tough recruiting climate.  VanderMey profiles several schools that are taking this advice seriously and putting it into practice:

  • University of Texas’s McCombs School of Business: Stacey Rudnick, director of MBA services is advising recent admits with mediocre GMAT scores to consider retaking the test if they think they can score higher.
  • University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business: Mendoza sent a letter to its 2011 class reminding students of the importance of the GMAT when applying to prestigious firms.  The school has offered a four-day crash course for students who wish to retake the test.  Mendoza’s director of MBA career development claims: “We see a large number of consulting companies, some investment banks and a couple of corporations all looking at both GMAT and undergrad MBA GPAs.  These companies are looking for a sustained record of academic excellence.”
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management: Kip Harrel, president of the MBA Career Services Council, claims that students’ average GMAT score is a primary factor in deciding where companies choose to recruit.
  • Darden School of Business: Jack Oakes, director of career services, claims that he sometimes advises candidates with scores in the mid-600s to retake the test if they are looking to land top-shelf consulting or banking positions.
  • Goizueta Business School: Wendy Tsung, executive director of MBA career services, states: “Because the economy is so bad, and there’s so many people applying for positions, companies are looking for different ways to reduce the number of resumes that they go through.  Of the reasons to throw out an application – GPA, undergraduate institution, years of work experience – the GMAT is an ‘easy one.’”

As suspected, a person’s quantitative GMAT score does seem to be linked to salary while some GMAT scores appear to be linked to managerial status. However, VanderMey informs us that not every company considers GMAT scores to be important when considering new hires.  At the University of Connecticut’s School of Business, for example, the executive director was never even asked for GMAT scores from its student body.

It appears, however, that a high GMAT score simply helps you get your foot in the door for the actual interview.  A high score, in general, won’t get you the job of your dreams, but it will get you into speaking with someone face-to-face.  VanderMey quotes Mareza Larizadeh, the founder of Doostang, a career networking site popular with MBA students: “The GMAT isn’t going to get you in.  But it’s something that can prevent you from getting in the door.”

While it seems the GMAT is becoming important for more than just MBA admittance, VanderMey concludes (along with the above schools) that ultimately, the personal elements of the job search – interviews and references, primarily, will always be more important than test scores.

Posted on November 28, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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Dr. Joern Meissner, Founder and Chairman of Manhattan Review, has written an opinion editorial for the MBA supplement of one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

In particular, he discusses which characteristics a successful MBA student needs to have. He argues that good quantitative skills are essential for a manager, but alone are not enough. Social skills and teamwork are mandatory supplements for long-term success and have often been neglected in business school education. He proceeds then to discuss Lancaster University Management School’s leadership role in integrating these aspects into the current curriculum.

Dr. Meissner also mentions well-known academic Henry Mintzberg who is famous for his criticism of current MBA Programs. One of his arguments is that while case studies are in theory useful to get a feel for the daily life of a manager, they also undermine the importance of real-life work experience. The fact is that co-workers and subordinates aren’t just a set of data, but complex individuals who require more than analysis and strategies to be led effectively.

The founder of Manhattan Review already stressed the importance of a strong and impressive personality in addition to academic achievements in his previous FAZ Article from 2007. In his current article, he shows how this translates into the requirements for success in the business world. Quantitative skills are merely half the bet and social competence is a must for aspiring top managers.

An English translation, titled “It’s in the Mix: The Career Success Factors of MBA Graduates” is available in his blog.

Many TOEFL classes do not teach “the counter argument” (otherwise known as the “opposing argument”) for students tackling the independent speaking and writing section.  What is it?  How is it used?  If incorporated into responses effectively, the counter argument for independent speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL exam will strengthen your argument and help raise your score insurmountably.  Let’s look at this example of an independent speaking response with a brief counter argument:

Independent Speaking Sample Question: Some people prefer one long vacation once a year while others prefer short vacations spread throughout.  Which do you prefer and why?  Include details and examples to support your explanation.

Sample Response: “I prefer shorter vacations spread throughout the year more than one long vacation because shorter vacations are more rejuvenating.  During the year, I am able to take four to five short trips to smaller towns and beaches in the surrounding area of where I live and I feel so much more refreshed when returning to work after one of these short vacations.  Also, with short vacations I am able to sometimes go by myself or take friends, so there is always a sense of variety with each trip. Some people might think one long vacation a year is better because it gives you more time away from your life and allows you to really be on vacation, but I think one long vacation can be tiring and at times quite boring. Over all, I prefer shorter vacation over longer vacations because for the above reasons.”

The sentence in bold is the counter argument in this sample response.  Basically, is an argument stating the opposing view of your own and countering it with your own argument.  This strengthens your overall opinion by acknowledging an opposing view.

Is the counter argument always necessary?  No.  You can get a great score on your TOEFL writing and speaking sections without it if you have a strong opinion and supporting details.  However, if you are able to incorporate the counter argument into your response it will garner you more credibility as an English speaker, and give your response extra weight.  (Extra good weight!)

Tip: If you’re worried about time on the speaking section, combine your counter argument with your conclusion, making them both in the same sentence. You can even bypass a conclusion and end your response with a counter argument, so long as you’re clear to argue back around it, ultimately favoring your own opinion.

Posted on November 3, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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Not getting your ideal score on your listening section and looking for concrete ways to improve it?  The listening section on the TOEFL exam can be overwhelming for many students with its complicated lectures and at times lengthy conversations.  Here are 5 proven tips to up your score – guaranteed!

(1)  Keep it simple. Remember: you don’t have to write everything down.  The TOEFL listening section does not want or expect you to write down every single detail – such a feat would be impossible, even for a native speaker.  When taking notes for conversations, differentiating by columns what the male speaker says versus the female is quite useful, as there will more than likely be questions regarding opinions and statements from each speaker. With lectures, make sure to write down key words and not get bogged down with too many details.  You don’t want to lose track of the lecture or conversation because you’re so concerned with specifics.

(2)  Organize your notes. It’s always a smart idea to number or letter your notes by section, particularly if the speaker gives examples. Be aware that when any sort of process is described in a lecture or conversation there will be questions later on in the test regarding what order the process comes in.  Organizing your notes as you hear them will save you time later and be invaluable when answering “rhetorical function” questions, which are very common on the listening section.

(3)  Listen to academic audio recordings. If you can, go to your library or search online for academic lectures; specifically, history, science, philosophy or the arts.  The lectures presented on the TOEFL exam are lectures that would be typically heard by freshmen or sophomore students at a university.  Challenge yourself by seeking these types of audio recordings out so you can be familiar with the structure and language.  If you can’t find academic recordings, then try listening to the news online, which is usually spoken in Standard American Dialect and uses advanced vocabulary words, all of which are applicable to the TOEFL.

(4)  Watch TV. Yes – believe it or not, you’re being given advice to watch TV to study for the listening section on the TOEFL.  Not just any type of TV program, either: sitcoms and hour-long dramas.  Why? These are useful to the conversations presented to you in the TOEFL listening section because they are spoken in dialogue and deal, ultimately, with problems and solutions.  When watching a sitcom or hour-long drama, take notes and make sure to identify the problem and the solution.Research any idioms or slang you might hear – this will also come in handy, as many rhetorical function questions deal directly with idiomatic expressions.

(5)  Listen to less music and more spoken words. Download news articles from the BBC or Business English from I-Tunes and try to listen to them instead of music for thirty minutes a day.  Pick topics that interest you – there are a wide variety of podcasts to choose from.  This will sharpen your listening skills and expand your vocabulary, not to mention make you more well-informed.

Remember, listening skills can be improved just as your reading, speaking and writing skills.  And keep in mind – the TOEFL does not expect you to have a preconceived knowledge of any of the material based in the lectures or conversations, so don’t feel overwhelmed when you are given a lecture on cellular division in plants or the geographical history of a particular nomadic tribe.

Posted on November 2, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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The new competitor for the TOEFL exam was a topic of conversation at the recent GMAC Summit in London on September 17th.  What are some aspects of the new Pearson Test of English (PTE) that separate it from the TOEFL?

  • automated speech and writing scoring provide consistent and accurate grading
  • score reports offer more for students and universities by offering recorded speech samples to admissions offices at universities worldwide
  • results will be available online in just five days
  • the fee will range from $150-$220, depending on each country
  • more than 770 universities have expressed interest in accepting the exam

Similar to the TOEFL test, the Pearson Test of English (PTE) will test in all four sections: reading, writing, listening and speaking.  While not available until October 2009, the test has been given to nearly 10,000 students with very positive results.  Pearson hopes to set a new standard of English learning with a combination of technology that allows for a fair measurement of skills.

Posted on October 8, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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According to the recent GMAC London Summit on September 17th, students who study for the GMAT well in advance do better on the test than those who don’t.

Dr. Lawrence Rudner presented an enlightening seminar on the GMAT, presenting research that shows an interesting statistic: the older you are, the worse you perform on the exam.  The “peak” of a GMAT test-taker appears to be at the age of 27 or 28, and older people tend not to take as much test prep and score, on average, 30 points lower.

What are some other interesting facts according to the GMAC seminar in London?

•    the GMAT is testing math skills at a 10th grade level
•    geographic trends are the reason for declining percentiles with a large increase in the average quantitative score but not much change in the verbal
•    there are more than 50% non-U.S. GMAT test takers
•    students receive a fixed number of data sufficiency, reading comprehension, critical reasoning, problem solving and sentence correction questions

Want a piece of important advice from the test owner of the GMATIt’s better to guess than omit questions, as there is a severe penalty for not completing the test.

Posted on October 5, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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Recently, our CEO Tracy Yun had an interview with Clear Admit. Ms. Yun is a graduate of Columbia Business School with over 10 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, and is the only female CEO of a major GMAT test prep company. Here’s what she had to say about why Manhattan Review is a great way to prepare for business school:

• It employs teachers that are better rounded than those at other prep courses. That is, a high GMAT score doesn’t cut it when we hire. Experience, maturity and enthusiasm distinguish Manhattan Review instructors.
• It is meant for people with very little time on their hands, which encompasses most of the population. Fast problem-solving approaches are taught, and the courses are suited to people of all skill levels, whether you’re a math whiz or a math diz.
• We have been selected by prominent institutions such as top business schools and non-profit organizations to pre-MBA training in subjects such as corporate finance and communications skills. Also, because the GMAT is not the only element of the MBA admissions process, we also offer GRE and TOEFL preparation.
• The class sizes are small, fostering a personal learning environment.
• Powerpoint presentations are a thumbs-down here. We believe that it is more dynamic and effective to have a verbal, non-scripted analysis of GMAT problems.
• We host an annual business school event – the MBA Gate, which has been well attended since its launch in 2000. There’s nothing better than offering potential MBA students face-to-face interaction with recruiters and admissions officials.

While she respects her competitors, she believes that Manhattan Review courses offer many things that larger test prep companies do not. With a passion for education and business, coupled with a 99th score on the GMAT and a Columbia MBA degree, Ms. Yun clearly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to GMAT, MBA admissions, and has the creativity to come up with unique strategies. To read more, visit Clear Admit.

Posted on October 1, 2009 by Manhattan Review

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