From China to the GMAT

For the better part of five months, the GMAT was the bane of my
existence. I donít think an hour went by without me thinking about it.
It was everywhere I looked. I one time even figured out the possible
combinations of the food items offered at the restaurant I worked at.
Ironically, I didnít come up with the right answer.

At some point the GMAT stopped being a test and started being a fight.
That is a development I am certainly thankful for. Because once I
stopped thinking of the GMAT as a test and more of a mountain that I
had to climb, thing became much clearer.

Looking back, I realize that the concepts that the GMAT tests are not
complex. Thereís no calculus, advanced physics, or expectations of you
analyzing Shakespeareís later works. The GMAT is simply high school
math and grammar meant to stump the smartest people alive. Itís
slightly ingenious really.

Aesop’s Fables and GMAT Timing

As I listen to the bloggersphere and twitterverse, attend conferences, and talk to test takers, there is a consistent concern about timing on the GMAT and how much it impacts their performance on the test. Survey GMAT test-takers and I bet that 90% of them will claim their biggest challenge is finishing the test (especially the Quant section). This fear is further propagated by test prep “experts” who cite the lofty goal of answering all Quant questions in 2 minutes or less and all Verbal questions in 1:45 minutes or less. I, however, have not drunk of that particular flavor of Kool-Aid and don’t recommend you do so either.To all those of the 2 minute cult, I’d point you to the wisdom of Aesop and the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

The GMAC Test Prep Summit

A few days ago the world had their eyes focused on New York City, where the biennial GMAC Test Prep Summit was held. Okay, so maybe the whole world wasn’t watching, but we at Bell Curves were, as were a great many others in the test prep community. Over ten hours, attendees were treated to a wealth of information (some new, some not) from GMAC, the company that develops the GMAT.

Presentation topics included world-wide GMAT testing volume and new developments for the test and its administration (by the end of 2009 every test center will require you to use the vein patterns in your palm as identification – and no, I’m not kidding, it’s called ‘Palm Vein Recognition’).

MLT, a Bell Curves Partner, featured on CNN online

A recent feature on Management Leadership for Tomorrow Founder, John Rice. Watch for the Bell Curves mug at 1:47 into the video.

B-School Profiles – The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Buiness at Rice University

In this installment of our MBA school profiles, we will be looking at the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University. Established in 1974, the Jones School has consistently ranked in the top 30 business graduate programs in the United States. Rice University, a highly regarded undergraduate institution, is located in Houston, Texas. Houston is home to a large number of Fortune 500 Companies (second only to New York in the category), which has helped Jones graduates find jobs on par with many top tier b-schools.

Admissions at Jones are competitive, with students scoring a GMAT mean of 667 and Jones accepting 31% of their most recent round of applications (according to BusinessWeek). Application deadlines are November 10, January 12, February 23, and April 6.

To find out more, visit business.rice.edu

A feel good story to start off your Tuesday

We’ve chronicled the current anti-MBA rhetoric, but what about the good guys? There must be some. The Economist chronicles a few MBA do-gooders that don’t get quite as much press as everyone else.

Check it out here - http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/businesseducation/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13892606

The MBA bashing continues, sorta…

Newsweek recently published an article discussing everbody’s favorite recession activity – bashing MBAs! Check it out here. The article makes several interesting points and does a nice job of discussing the overall phenomena of MBA bashing without taking much of a stand on the issue.

B-schools, the GRE, and you

BusinessWeek, which does a stellar job reporting on most b-school issues, turns in another solid article concerning schools and their acceptance of the GRE. Not only could this change the way applicants are chosen, but also the way the GMAT itself is run.

http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jul2009/bs20090723_112095.htm?chan=rss_topEmailedStories_ssi_5

The business of business ethics

Check out this story in the Boston Globe – http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/07/22/boston_business_school_offers_masters_in_ethics/

With MBAs getting a lot of heat for supposedly unethical practices leading to our current financial situation, it was only a matter of time before business schools began to place a greater emphasis on business ethics. The New England College of Business and Finance has upped the ante with an actual degree pertaining to business ethics. The main question is – what do you do with this degree?

Should business schools depend on student equity?

Check out this interesting article on business schools in the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pablo-triana/apply-debt-for-equity-to_b_231597.html

This recent article by Pablo Triana on the Huffington Post proposes an interesting plan for business school students and their financial burdens. Triana suggests that b-schools offer free tuition (and possibly room and board) for an equitable stake in each student’s future salary. Each graduate would kick back a certain percentage of their earnings for a period of time to the business school. The crux of the idea is that students would be able to avoid the trappings of student debt while b-schools would be forced to become learner and meaner.

Triana’s argument is extremely intriguing, given the current environment surrounding both the market and b-schools. The financial crisis has brought MBAs and their contribution to companies into focus. Graduates, students, and prospective students now face intense scrutiny as many people have begun to take aim at MBAs for perceived slights in the market.

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