SAT scores: When another 50 (or 100) points makes no difference

When you’ve been doing test preparation and college admissions advising as long as I have, one invariably has this conversation with bright, ambitious students or their parents.

“I scored a 2200 on my SAT.   If I take it again and get a 2300, will that ensure I get into (insert name of preferred college or university here)?”

The answer is there is no score that will ensure acceptance into a given school—

Q&A: How Many GMAT Tests are Too Many?

We’re back to share some GMAT-related questions we’ve received (as well as our answers) in hopes that the information may be of benefit to others. Today’s question deals with how multiple GMAT scores may be interpreted by admissions officers.

 

Q: Does taking the GMAT multiple times look bad when applying to B-schools?

Who Are You, Again? Oh Right, GRE Scores

Paging John Nash, paging John Nash...

This past week ETS finally got around to releasing the scores from the first three months of testing for the Revised GRE. For those of you who may remember, or may not, ETS released its new and improved version of the GRE on August 1st, 2011. A couple of us here at Bell Curves went in to take it to see just how “revised” the test was (naturally, we blogged about it, which you can read here and here). The objective was to find out anything about the test we could that was not in the press releases. We played with the algorithm in a few ways to give us better insight into the test scoring and other features. After a long grueling wait we finally got our scores back. Now we just have to figure out what they mean. As does just about everyone else…

Paying for College: No Loan Programs

Over the last few years the recession has increased the concerns of the affordability and value of college. With the growing concern over the impending changes to government aid programs (such as Pell Grants and subsidized student loans)

http://studentaid.ed.gov/about/announcements/recent-changes

 

 

 

 

 

Alice Lloyd College Rice University
Amherst College Sacred Heart University
Barclay College Saint Louis Christian College
Berea College Soka University
Bowdoin College Stanford University
Brown University Swarthmore College
Claremont McKenna College Texas A&M University
College of the Ozarks Texas Tech University
College of William and Mary University of California
Columbia University University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art University of Pennsylvania
Cornell University University of Texas
Curtis Institute of Music University of Virginia
Dartmouth College University of Washington
Davidson College Vanderbilt University
Deep Springs College Vassar College
Duke University Washington and Lee University
Franklin W Olin College of Engineering Washington State University
George Washington University Webb Institute
Harvard University Wellesley College
Haverford College Williams College
Lafayette College Yale University
Lehigh University The Armed Forces:
Macaulay Honors College at CUNY US Air Force Academy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology US Coast Guard Academy
Miami University of Ohio US Merchant Marine Academy
Michigan State University US Naval Academy
Princeton University West Point US Military Academy

GMAT Q&A: Multiple Tests

Recently we’ve decided to share some GMAT-related questions we’ve received (as well as our answers) in hopes that the information may be of benefit to others. Today’s question deals with how multiple GMAT scores may be interpreted by admissions officers.

Q: Is there a penalty for taking the GMAT multiple times, meaning do the schools see all your scores?

That Age-old Question: What’s a Good GMAT Score?

So you started preparing for the GMAT and you’re perhaps wondering, “What is a good score?” While there is no simple (or absolute) answer to the question of what a
“good score” is, here are two ways to evaluate your GMAT score and assess how much preparation you should do (or if you have taken the test already, whether you should apply with the score you have).

Personal Best Effort

Your personal best effort means you have done all you can to achieve your highest possible score. Defining your best effort can be tricky, but you must consider whether you have invested all the resources at your disposal to help you achieve your score. You will have to look critically at what you’ve done in preparation for the GMAT and what you could have done. You have to consider what you have invested (not just financially but also mentally) in preparing for the test, and whether that is all you could have invested.

The chart below shows the correlation between time invested preparing for the test and GMAT scores.

Undergrads, They’re Coming For YOU!

In order to encourage undergraduates to begin thinking about b-school and the GMAT (when they are better positioned to effectively prepare for it), the good folks at GMAC launched a marketing campaign called “Direct Your Destiny.” The campaign includes a web-based video campaign and other approaches aimed at increasing the number of GMAT test-takers from the undergraduate or recent graduate pool. I checked out the videos the other day, and in all honesty a couple of them are pretty funny.

While the videos are entertaining, the rationale underpinning GMAC’s pitch to undergrads has some significance. Based on the logic, many business majors or business-minded undergraduates should consider taking the GMAT, particularly if they’re pretty sure an MBA is in their future.

Here are a couple things to consider:

Yale School of Management (SOM) Explore Diversity 2009 Event

This past Sunday and Monday (the 8th and 9th of November), the Yale SOM hosted it’s annual Explore Diversity event. I was invited to attend and give a GMAT Presentation, and had a chance to meet many of the people directly involved in selecting candidates from the large pool of SOM applicants.

I have to say, first off, I was pleased to find that when Yale’s SOM touts a diversity weekend, they mean more than just ethnic or racial diversity. Their notions of diversity extend to include a great many parameters that would distinguish candidates, including career choices, country of origin, undergraduate education, and employment history, among others.

I also have to say I found the members of YSOM Admissions Committee to be a great bunch of people. Smaller, more intimate events such as this one give attendees a better opportunity to meet the people behind those the email addresses. The Admissions Committee seems as committed to diversity as the school is, with members clearly expressing very different personalities and perspectives. I imagine committee discussions about applicants are always interesting, and probably quite often heated. If you’re considering Yale, you should definitely meet some of these folks, and if they are any representation of the YSOM, it seems a great place to be!

Sitting in on the various events and talking to other people there, I got a few insights about the Yale SOM application/selection process.

Nine Tips to Avoid Being Scammed by Diploma Mills

Although not a new problem, the recent rise of for- profit schools scams (aka diploma mills) is still very troubling. The few gems are being tainted by the abundance of shady organizations. Worst, con artists are targeting those who least can afford to be scammed. They play on people’s dreams and aspirations. Thus international students and those who recently lost their jobs and seeking new careers are especially vulnerable.

When it comes to for- profit schools, it is buyer beware especially in tough economic times. Below are some general tips and advice to avoid being scammed.

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