Saturday, August 29, 2009

Take charge of your GMAT prep

  1. Study hard, no substitute for it. Study all areas of the GMAT.
  2. Take notes: the areas such as math, sentence correction and critical reasoning are concept intensive and logic driven. There is a lot for you to learn from the reference sources of these areas.  Make a note of all your trouble spots: Act on them within a week. if you cant help yourself, seek a professional trainer’s help to overcome the trouble areas.
  3. Always read the logic of every question that you attempt, even if the question was easy (you may find a different way of solving the question)
  4. If you tend to procrastinate, first thing is to book your test date. This will help you become serious for the rest of the prep period.
  5. Go through OG questions ( official guide) only after you are thorough with the concepts. Go through OG more than once. The logic of the questions, types of questions in the OG have a lot of transfer value.
  6. Write practice essays at least 10 each of issue and argument under timed conditions.
  7. Take at least 6 full GMAT exams( inclusive of the essays) to build stamina for a nearly 4 hr test.
  8. For the first timers at least 3 months of prep time ( with the right prep no room for repeat)
  9. Spend an average of 2-3 hrs per day; some of this time can be used for general reading( support for RC and essay)
  10. You are good at math is not necessarily synonymous with you are good at quantitative thinking.
  11. Brainstorm on as many essay topics as possible; consult experts for more ideas pertaining to abstract topics.
  12. Knowledge of idioms is a must for  significant improvement in sentence correction questions.
  13. Say no to hearsay: if some one says GMAT math is easy, double check, because he may have performed in the medium level test and scored not more than 580.Even the official guide doesn’t present questions of the highest difficulty possible.
  14. Vocabulary is not altogether unimportant; you must know, say, the meaning of ‘condescension or laudatory’ as the author’s tone and the difference  between ‘preface’ and ‘foreword’ as the source of the passage; the emphasis is on functional diction.
  15. For success in critical reasoning there is lot to learn- types of logic, nature and components of arguments; strategy for categories of questions; you get them all at the click of a mouse.
Access  them; make success.

GMAT sentence correction

Grammar, most think, is boring
But can anything be boring if it leads to your biggest dream? No, right?  So take a liking for grammar, usage, Standard English, correct English …whatever you call it.
Literate writing is grammatical. To express clearly and effectively- both oral and written- a functional knowledge of the rules and rudiments of English is necessary. You should be able to analyse a sentence, locate errors and modify the sentence. These skills are crucial to language testing in aptitude tests. How and where to use those rules-syntactical and semantic aspects- corresponding to word arrangement and intended meaning respectively-determine your success in grammar based questions.
Grammar-based questions of top exams such as CAT and XAT, present many challenges- long and complex sentences, multiple errors, subtle differences.
Thorough preparation is the key. Thanks to media, we’ve internalized a lot of nonstandard jargon, which we assume are appropriate even in the academic context. Much of those usages are incorrect in a test scenario. Hence you have to both learn and unlearn grammar.
How do you start
If you sit down to learn grammar, there is a mindboggling collection of grammar books on the shelves that examine every nuance from a linguistic point of view. You do not need all these. You just need an aptitude-focused course that exhaustively catalogues and illustrates those usage points that are relevant to graduate level entrance tests.
Stage 1: work with simple exercises in a workbook form covering all parts of speech. This helps to review sentence structures long forgotten.
Study illustrative sentences for those usages- nouns, pronouns, subject, verb, modifiers, conjunctions, prepositions… how they agree with other parts of the sentence.
Stage 2: now you must move on to syntax- various word arrangements in the sentence, the dos and don’ts of sentence construction, sentence variety, effectiveness expressions
Stage 3: work with test related concepts, the format of commonly asked questions, strategies for answering those question types and speed techniques.
Stage 4: Practice with good quality questions, take timed full verbal tests, review areas of weakness.

Must read for those planning to study abroad

The general trend is that students aspiring to study abroad tend to apply for programs which they think will positively impact on their future earning potential.
If you are interested in studying for a course apply early because competition for entry to popular programs at good institutions is severe; an early application helps to secure both admit and financial support.’

Tour the tours
The US, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Canada, are ever on the list of those foreign bound. Attending education tours organsied by established agencies will help you gain information on suitable courses, application procedures, admissions criteria, visa requirements and scholarship opportunities.
The world MBA tour is offering an unprecedented US $ 1.1 million in exclusive scholarships for MBA. They are offered to candidates only if they visit the fair in their city of choice. So go for it.
Some factors

A.Work experience: how much?
The average work experience that MBA schools generally look for in prospective students is
Three to four years, although each school has its own standards. Business schools are not faculty- focused; peer to peer interactive learning, case work, projects, presentations all demand strength of experience of the MBA students. People with some real experience can contribute to quality group participative learning. Experience can be in diverse fields and industries, not necessarily managerial.

B.Given the volatility of the dollar, the cost?
For international students this is a concern. But cost, if viewed as ‘return on investment’ will scare you less. There are various ways to fund your business education- loans and scholarships. Schools will take extra care to ensure that the right applicants are absorbed into their courses.

C.The best destination for MBA?
The best study abroad experience can differ form country to country and institution to institution. And your interests, skills, specializations. The best for one student need not be the best for another. Let your personal aims and ambitions guide you in this. Research schools on an individual basis.

D.Education loans: from home country or those on campus?
Both are sought after. Interest rate, pay back time, speed of sanction- are to be considered. The tuition fee is obviously one of the biggest costs. Market rate tuition fees, the current practice, favor students. Other expenses to be taken into account are travel, accommodation, living and compensating for time away from employment. These are not uniform and vary for students form different nationalities.
MBAs will not go out of fashion even during recession times. Most banks know that MBAs are going to be among the highest earners within a short space of time and they can work in most industries. One should not wait until an admissions decision is received to identify outside sources of funding. Keep researching for fellowships and scholarships.

E. Other forms of aid?
Savings from your employment so far, family contributions, institutional scholarships and bursaries from your department of study, assistantships and part-time employment: (teaching / research assistantships are available in many institutions for postgraduate students, who can work up to 20 hours during term time)
*Australia and Canada, allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week during their studies.

Plum posts for IIM A PGPEX

IIMA has managed to place 93% of the third batch of the Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX), by the end of March, 2009. The Class of 2009 attracted a diverse pool of recruiters of from various sectors. A few have launched own entrepreneurial ventures.

India Budget 09 favors overseas education aspirants

If the new budget is any indication, aspiring students of a wide range of higher education programs overseas can avail loans from Indian banks and earn tax benefits too. This is all the more good news for MBA aspirants, since the fee for management courses abroad is very high. Taking loans for public sector banks makes sense especially for those who intend to return after completion of the course to work in the Indian subcontinent.
Criteria for loan disbursal.

Banks take into account some crucial factors in sanctioning loans
1. Whether you received confirmed admission.
2. Whether your admission is merit based.
3. Your previous qualification
4. Whether the college is ranked high
5. Future job prospects and likely income
6. Repayment capacity of the co-applicant
7. Placement record of the university

The repayment begins usually one year after the course is over. The standard repayment period is 5-7 yrs. Banks have put an upper limit on loan disbursal at 20 lac.
Let funding issues not come in the way of your career aspirations.