The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) has been the “gold standard” business school admissions exam for decades. But in recent years a new challenger has emerged: the GRE.
The Graduate Record Examinations test was established over 65 years ago, but only recently appeared on MBA applications at the world’s top business schools. According to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep, in 2009 just 24% of schools accepted GRE scores. Today that figure is 92%, and is likely to continue rising.
One reason is that business schools want a more diverse student body. The GRE tends to attract people from a broader range of backgrounds, as it can be used to apply to a range of courses, from law to veterinary science. The GMAT, on the other hand, is business school-specific.
The shift gives aspiring MBAs more flexibility. Yet it also presents another decision they must agonize over. Conventional wisdom suggests candidates with weaker math skills are better suited to the GMAT, and that the GRE is a more rounded test, focusing more on English language ability. But there are more differences between the two tests, which will shape a taker’s decision.
The most crucial consideration, according to Dennis Yim, GRE and GMAT instructor for Kaplan, is which test the school you are applying to prefers. Most say they do not have a preference. But the reality is different. In Kaplan’s survey, 26% of admissions officers said those who submit a GMAT score have an advantage over GRE takers. “Contact the admissions team and find out how they rate each test,” Yim says. The reason many schools prefer the GMAT, he surmises, is that they are more familiar with it, and have more historical data with which to compare each candidate’s score.
The introduction of the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section into the GMAT in 2012 helped the test curry more favour with business schools. The IR section measures how well would-be MBAs integrate data to solve complex problems — a boon for recruiters.
Nevertheless, an increasing number of students at prestigious US MBA schools got into those programs with GRE, not GMAT, scores. According to US News & World Report, which ranks MBAs each year, the they include candidates at Yale, MIT and Georgetown (see table below).
The decision of which exam to take will be personal. There are distinct differences between the two, such as the structure of each test, and the fact that the GRE can be used to apply to a wide range of courses. But fundamentally, both measure the same quantitative skills that are essential to success in an MBA program. When it comes to choosing the GMAT or the GRE, there is no right or wrong answer.
Maryland, Smith — 34%
Texas-Dallas, Jindal — 34%
Boston, Questrom — 34%
Washington, Olin — 28%
Boston, Caroll — 26%
Yale SOM — 23%
Illinois — 23%
Georgetown, McDonough — 22%
MIT Sloan — 18%
Minnesota, Carlson — 18%
19 Sep 2017
16 Aug 2017
GRE Syllabus: Analytical writing, Verbal and Quant
GRE Syllabus: Analytical writing, Verbal and Quant
One of the most popular entrance exams worldwide, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is your entry ticket to some of the top universities overseas. A good GRE score not only assures your admission but also serves as a clear indicator of your IQ levels. Designed to test you on verbal reasoning, quantitative assessments and analytical writing abilities, this comprehensive exam is sure to test you in a holistic manner.
Although the GRE has undergone several changes over the years, it still focuses on a standardised test approach, designed by the Educational Training Service (ETS). One must be thorough with the GRE syllabus to be able to answer the GRE questions and gain a higher GRE score, which is what we will cover in this article.
What does the standard GRE Syllabus focuses on?
The analytical writing segment is further subdivided into two sections- “analyse an issue” and “analyse an argument”. This section is designed to test your ability to analyse, critique, examine and write from different viewpoints. In the ‘analyse an issue’ part - you will be given a general statement that presents an opinion on one issue. The second part will require you to take a stand on the issue and present your argument in a logical fashion. The ‘analyse an argument’ section requires you to take a completely different approach. In this section, the first part includes an argument with a seemingly logical approach. In the second bit, you will be required to analyse this argument for the logic and appropriateness. You have to check whether the argument makes sense in the given context.
You must know that there are no ‘perfect’ answers to the topics in this section. The topics assigned under this section are designed to test your logical reasoning, understanding and presenting information and perspectives, with necessary reasoning, in a clear, concise and error-free manner.
This section is designed to test your verbal skills, knowledge of the English language, grammar and reading comprehension. Reading comprehension covers about 50% of this section where the test taker is expected to read, understand and then answer the questions based on the given passage. The content of these passages can cover a broad range of areas. Note that this may not be as easy as it sounds as many are known to struggle here. Apart form reading comprehension, the other areas tested in the verbal section include text completion and sentence equivalence, among others. Within text completion, GRE test takers have to complete the text with the best possible option. Sentence equivalence requires students to select two answer choices that best complete the sentence with appropriate context and meaning.
If you have any verbal related queries you can discuss here.
Considered slightly difficult for participants who do not come from a Science or Mathematics background, this section tests you on the ability to use high-school mathematical concepts. This generally follows a high school level syllabus but can get tricky at times. This section aims to test the basic mathematical concepts and problem solving skills of test takers. GRE test taker should familiarise themselves with the concepts such as Arithmetic, Algebra, geometry, Coordinate Geometry and Statistics. In this section, you can expect to see a lot of quantitative comparison questions. In addition, you will get problem solving questions which are typically multiple choice or numeric entry-based questions. You can also expect a few questions on statistics (data interpretation) which typically involves assessing data from charts and tables and answering questions based on them.
An often overlooked yet very important aspect of the GRE is time management. What distinguishes a good candidate from great, is the ability to answer the questions correctly, within the assigned timeframe. Now that you know the syllabus, the GRE preparation should be a breeze given you have enough time on your side along with good reasoning, analytical and quantitative skills. Also, make sure that you register for the exam well in advance so that you can align your preparation and cover the entire GRE syllabus accordingly.
How is Brazil doing for its GRE folks? Besides being a wonderful tourist destination, is the country doing enough to ensure its students get the best of all the worlds?
Even though Brazil isn’t as lucrative a place as the US, Canada, European nations or Australia for GRE takers, it actually is doing well enough. While sites like 800score.com and Manhattan Prep help students, grassroots institutions with talented teachers and instructors, what are few other challenges Brazil is dealing with?
Challenges: While the problem of money looms over many lower and middle income households, it cripples the incoming migrant student population as well because they might have risked almost everything to get there.
Brazil’s flagging economy isn’t helping its credentials but it hasn’t really taken down education, especially higher, graduate and postgraduate education. Therefore, there is hope!
Another problem that arises is the issue of vocabulary and pronunciation. The country is not natively an English speaking one.
Resources: While most of the people in Brazil use the same material as basic resource, Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides, 500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides), Grockit 1600+ Practice Questions for the GRE: Book + Online (Grockit Test Prep), Barron's GRE 21/e 2016, PB, GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides), GRE Premier 2017 with 6 Practice Tests: Online + Book + Videos + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep) dominate the market.
The ways of studying range from private tutoring to those who can easily afford it, to groups, coaching institutes, online classrooms, chatrooms, etc. Manhattan Prep’s website is still very popular there.
The teachers and institutions there are at par or a tad higher as compared to their Asian or Indian counterparts. In fact, the standard of coaching and testing seems a tad higher even.
Opportunity: So what promises Brazil hold despite violence and a slightly messed up economy? When asked, people there seem more optimistic than they should and indicate that despite the odds Brazil, still a BRICS nation and still considered economically relevant might give you the exposure you need. Among the top universities there are Fundação Dom Cabral, COPPEAD- UFRJ - The Graduate School of Business, BSP - Business School São Paulo, FEA-USP - Universidade de São Paulo Faculdade de Economia Administração e Contabilidade, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and Universidade de Brasília.
Having studied in Brazil makes you eligible for employment anywhere and everywhere. All that with the exclusive Latin American experience gives you a reason to consider Brazil on your list.
Almost all of the Business Schools in Canada accept and work around GRE scores. So, not only are the facilities for coaching top notch, brilliant instructors and resources are commonly available in Canada. Organisations and services like Manhattan Prep organise state based coaching centres, grading, resource banks and online/offline assistance. Not only do the institutions cater to local Canadians but also to wide ranging array of migrants who possibly would not have gotten resources as they do in that country.
Challenges: On pretty much every educational front, Canada is more than sufficient. So there aren’t very many challenges one faces. Even those who require financing are assisted by state and central facilities and the process is fairly smooth.
The overall faculty involved in teaching is well selected and proficient. A lot of preparatory also provide proficient instructors for students with a weaker grade in certain thing or can arrange for home tutoring in case of students who cannot leave the house.
Migrant population might struggle with the language based part but there many to help with that. There are lots of language centres as well as other target coaching for subjects that students lack in.
Resources: Canada, as affluent it is, has resources that cater to all kinds of people and help students selectively with their problems as well as with regular classes suited best to people’s needs.
The books can be picked off the shelves, the teachers are equipped with knowledge, material and optimal solutions.
As on the testing material, the usual such as Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides, 500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides), Grockit 1600+ Practice Questions for the GRE: Book + Online (Grockit Test Prep), Barron's GRE 21/e 2016, PB, GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides), GRE Premier 2017 with 6 Practice Tests: Online + Book + Videos + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep) are readily available.
Opportunities: Some would argue that in the current times, Canadian education and job market are faring better compared to even the US. With institutions like McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management, University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business, University of British Columbia (UBC) - Sauder School of Business and Concordia University - John Molson School of Business, Canada has a list it boast of. These institutions sit comfortably on the top 25 in the world and are capable of providing exposure, knowledge and experience to anyone who truly wants to pursue and seek it.
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A very interesting thing about common exams is the variation one sees in the method of preparation among the people of different nations. The patterns vary from availability of course material, to temperament, to the challenges they face or for that matter, the resources available to them. For instance, let us look at India.
Challenges: The first challenge that Indians face is the lack of language skills. Somehow, despite the widespread education and stress on English, the Indian populous falls short on the vocal front. Indians are good at mugging, gifted with a tendency to be both intelligent and smart but get blindsided at the language front. Math is smooth sailing, quant is manageable but what really trumps people are sections on current awareness, questions related to music, liberal arts, etc. pose difficulty for the unprepared, under-prepared students from science and commerce background. The analytical sections pose trouble for those coming from the liberal arts’ background.
Resources: While most of the books needed for GRE are available online, the coaching isn’t as systematic as that of United States’ or Europe’s. It might jump ahead in rigour but falls short in innovation.
Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides,
500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides),
Grockit 1600+ Practice Questions for the GRE: Book + Online (Grockit Test Prep),
Barron's GRE 21/e 2016, PB,
GRE Reading Comprehension & Essays (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides),
GRE Premier 2017 with 6 Practice Tests: Online + Book + Videos + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep)
Are a few along with many more that are readily available but aren’t utilised as optimally as needed.
While the country is littered with coaching institutes, GRE centres are easily found even in relatively smaller towns. For those who wish to study from home there are options like Magoosh. They provide comprehensive scores and help you achieve the score while not having to step out and go to a coaching centre.
Opportunity: Upon qualifying, GRE opens up a wide range of opportunities. Both national and international companies recruit people with GRE with more ease than when compared to non-GRE holders. The expected pay rises and the expected position offered in the company goes higher- dramatically. Yes, an MBA will get you that job but an MBA from a university accepting GRE scores will weigh heavier when put side by side to a normal CAT based MBA. CAT won’t get you employed overseas but GRE, will. It expands the horizon and almost opens a flurry of opportunities. You get a whole new world at your feet.
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