Is Harvard Really Worth It? [Ep. 16]

admissions podcast Feb 12, 2020

A lot of people believe that if they can't get in to a top-tier college or graduate school, it's not worth going.

Yet, there are a lot of considerations that play into your decision to go back to school, and the prestige of the program is only one factor in choosing the school that's right for you.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast we catch up with Harvard Kennedy School of Government alumnus Jake Taylor who recounts his journey from working on Wall Street to teaching middle school math in Spanish Harlem to ultimately going back to graduate school at Harvard -- and he answers the question of whether it was worth paying full sticker price at Harvard vs. going to a less-prestigious school where he would have received scholarship money.

Take a listen to our conversation:

 



We discuss a number of important topics that can help inform your own decision about if/where to go to school, including:

  • When did Jake realized that working on...
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Overcoming Test Anxiety [Ep. 15]

gmat gre lsat podcast sat Jan 29, 2020

Conventional wisdom tells us that if we study hard, high test scores will inevitably follow.

But what if we are unmotivated to study or hampered by fear of failure?

Or what happens if when we do study, we are plagued by feeling nervous and anxious, and we are not able to perform to our potential?

It's no surprise that if you enter your test feeling anything but focused and calm, you risk a subpar performance. But how does one easily get there?  

We answer those questions -- and more -- in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast as we are joined by Bara Sapir, CEO/Founder of City Test Prep, who shares proven techniques to help students master the "Inner Game" of test preparation. 

 


Specifically, we discuss:

  • What test anxiety is, and how you can know if you have it;
  • Anxiety-management tips for the months, weeks, and days leading up to your exam;
  • The "backwards spin" technique to help you reverse anxiety if it presents itself during the exam itself;
  • ...
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How to do Social Media Right for an Admissions Edge [Ep. 14]

podcast Jan 15, 2020

A recent survey shows that 40% of admissions officers reported to have looked at a candidate's social media while reviewing his/her application, a trend that is expected to continue and even grow in the coming years.

What does this mean for you?

We invited Taylor Siebert, co-founder of Class Intercom and social media expert, to The Dominate Test Prep Podcast to weigh in on how you can use social media to your advantage as you position yourself holistically during the application process.

Listen to our conversation here:

 

 

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Why and how you should take an audit of your current social media presence
  • Thinking through who you are, how you want to come across to admissions officers, and why it's important to be authentically you
  • Whether or not you should "scrub" your social media to get rid of negative things from your past (hint: it depends on the story you're trying to tell)
  • Why LinkedIn is the most untapped and potentially...
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Reading Comprehension Strategies for ESL Students [Ep. 13]

gmat gre lsat podcast Dec 24, 2019

Are you struggling with reading comprehension questions on your standardized test?

Often that's the case when you're not reading the passages in the most effective way.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we share three strategies for improving your overall reading proficiency, for reading the passages in a way that sets you up for success on a majority of questions, for quickly and accurately determining the author's primary purpose, and for adopting the right mindset when you're dealing with reading comprehension passages in general.

Listen to it here:

 


The core content for this episode is excerpted from a webinar we recently did for the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. While the webinar was geared toward GRE candidates for whom English isn't their native language, the tips and strategies are relevant for all test takers.

When you get to the part about "finding the thesis sentence" and using the "bracketing technique" to focus on Big...

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The Best Way to Improve Your Vocabulary [Ep. 12]

podcast Dec 17, 2019

Is a limited English vocabulary holding you back from getting the verbal score you need on your standardized test? And is there anything you can do about it in the limited amount of time you have between now and test day?

The answer is yes, and we break it all down for you in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast where we give you "The Best Way to Improve Your Vocabulary":

Specifically, we cover:

  • The filter through which you should think about improving your vocabulary, namely how to get more right answers on test day;
  • Why context matters (Hint: words don't exist in a vacuum);
  • The drawback to focusing exclusively on root words and prefixes/suffixes (but there is some benefit, which we explain);
  • What mnemonics are, and how they can help you commit words to long-term memory (with examples);
  • Why there's really no substitute for memorizing a list of "hard" words leading up to test day -- and how to do it effectively;
  • When to study your words for maximum retention;
  • Recommended...
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9 Ways to Avoid Making Careless Errors [Ep. 11]

podcast Dec 04, 2019

Even the highest scorers on standardized tests get questions wrong.

Sometimes you get questions wrong because you simply don't know or remember the underlying content well enough.

Sometimes it's because you didn't employ the proper strategy.

But sometimes you get wrong answers because you make careless errors — and those are the most frustrating because they can be avoided in most cases.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we show you nine (9) ways that you can avoid making careless mistakes on test day, thereby increasing the number of questions you get right and boosting your overall score. Check it out:

 

This is a long show, so here are some timing benchmarks you can use if you want to jump around or need to come back and pick up where you left off:

0:00 - Introduction

4:43 - Four reasons why you make careless errors in the first place

8:32 - Strategy #1 for avoiding careless errors

13:10 - Strategy #2 for avoiding careless errors

18:11 - Strategy #3...

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Business Education Trends, a GMAT Section Order Fallacy, and CAT Battleship [Ep. 10]

podcast Nov 20, 2019

Several interesting bits of news and insights came out of the recently-held summit at the headquarters of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), makers of the GMAT and Executive Assessment exams, and we were there to get the scoop.

We relate the most relevant takeaways in Episode 10 of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, including:

  • Trends in graduate management education (GME) with an emphasis on the types of people applying and the programs they're applying to;
  • Why now might be the best time in the past decade to apply to business school;
  • The most commonly-chosen section order on the GMAT exam -- but a logical reasoning fallacy that should give you pause before choosing that order yourself;
  • The interplay between the "Practice Effect" and the "Fatigue Effect" that could help you get off to a great start on test day;
  • How computer-adaptive tests like the GMAT really work (hint: think about the popular board game Battleship) and what it means for you in terms of ideal...
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Finding Assumptions Using the "Big 6" Assumption Categories [Ep. 9]

podcast Nov 06, 2019

Brandon Royal, Ace the GMAT author, joins the podcast this week to share his expertise on an important logical reasoning skill that comes into play on numerous standardized tests — identifying assumptions. 

He has categorized logical fallacies into six common assumption categories, and he breaks them down for you in an easy-to-understand way so that you’re better able to tackle reasoning-related questions on your exam.

Listen to it here:

 

 

Specifically, Brandon covers:

  • The prep strategy of working “buckets of problems,” and why it’s a beneficial way to engrain concept understanding;
  • Classical argument structure vs. classifying problems according to assumption categories, and pros/cons of each approach;
  • Comparison/analogy assumptions, with examples;
  • Cause & effect assumptions, with examples;
  • Representativeness assumptions, with examples
  • Implementation assumptions, with examples
  • How to apply these assumption patterns...
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"How I Raised My GMAT Score 120 Points" -- with Matt Kunzler [Ep. 8]

podcast Oct 30, 2019

Success is often as simple as finding someone who has done what you want to do, and doing what they did. If you want to significantly improve your standardized test score, then, look no further than Matt Kunzler, who recently raised his GMAT score +120 points through a combination of strategic planning, a helpful prep course, and some good 'ole fashioned hard work.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, Matt shares his secrets of exactly what he did to get such great results despite not having had a math class in 11 years and only having five weeks to prepare. Listen in:

 



Specifically, Matt shares:

  • Why he went with the GMAT instead of the GRE
  • How a disastrous first attempt at the GMAT left him wondering whether he'd ever be able to get into business school, and how he overcame that negative thinking
  • The power of reading about topics you're not interested in, and a good practice to start each day
  • How reading sentences out loud was the key to...
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Storytelling Essentials for Your College / Graduate Application Essays [Ep. 7]

podcast Oct 23, 2019

Application essays are a crucial part of the admissions process, and effective essays essentially come down to good storytelling.

Your goal as the protagonist of your own story is to become a hero that admissions officers want to root for, says Michael Noltemeyer, founder of North Star Editing and guest on this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

 

During our wide-ranging conversation, Micheal sheds light on just how to become that hero while sharing examples of successful essays from his 10+ years as a professional editor.

Specifically, in this episode you will learn:

  • The Japanese concept of Ikigai for finding your life's purpose, and how that's what you're shooting for on your application essays as well;
  • How writing an application essay is like a "choose your own adventure" story in reverse, and how that understanding should influence the aim of your essays;
  • What not to do in your essays (hint: you're probably not as...
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