10 Tips for a Perfect AWA (Essay) Score [Ep. 24]

essays gmat gre podcast Jun 04, 2020

Most standardized tests have an essay component, and in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast we cover the 10 most important things you should do when crafting your essay response to ensure that you get a high score on test day -- perhaps even a perfect one!

You can listen to it here:

 

 

We start by explaining what the graders are looking for. Once you know the components of a high-scoring essay, you can craft your strategy for writing an effective essay yourself. Knowing is half the battle, as they say.

Then we go through 10 tips for helping you get a perfect essay score and discuss:

  • The importance of understanding the question prompt and answering all aspects of it (with examples);
  • What you should do during the first 5 minutes before you start writing;
  • The role of a clear thesis sentence and where it should appear in your essay;
  • How to organize your essay for maximum effectiveness;
  • Where you should pull your...
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Should You Hire an Admissions Consultant? [Ep. 23]

admissions podcast May 13, 2020

Applying to top graduate and business schools is a competitive affair, with qualified applicants from around the world vying for just a handful of spots each year. The difference between getting accepted and not comes down to your ability to highlight your personal, academic, and professional assets in a way that sets you apart from the pack. While some candidates choose to do that on their own, many turn to admissions consultants for help.

Is working with an admissions consultant right for you?

That's what we explore in Episode 23 of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast with the help of Barbara Coward, founder of MBA 360° Admissions Consulting. Barbara worked as an application reader at Johns Hopkins University before starting her consulting practice, so she has experience in the industry from both side.

You can listen to our full conversation here:

 

Specifically, Barbara and I discuss:

  • One of the biggest mistakes candidates make on their applications that...
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A Peek Behind the MBA Curtain [Ep. 22]

gmat gre mba podcast Apr 29, 2020

It has been said that while it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. If you want to get a feel for what business school is really like before embarking on the journey yourself, why not pick the brain of someone who has gone before you?

That's exactly what we did in Episode 22 of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast. We caught up with Sam Klein, a current second-year MBA candidate at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, and asked him everything from what he thinks helped him stand out during the admissions process to what has been the most impactful part of his business education, and everything in between.   

You can listen to our full conversation here: 

 

Specifically, Sam and I discuss:

  • Why this aerospace engineer decided to switch careers and go back to business school
  • Why Sam chose the GMAT over the GRE
  • How to answer the "Why business school?" question on your application
  • How the expected ROI factored...
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Top 3 Prep Tips for Taking Your Test At Home

gmat gre lsat podcast Apr 21, 2020
 

In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, "The times, they are a-changin'."

Yesterday, the GMAT went online.

Several weeks ago, the GRE went online.

The LSAT will be rolling out its online version, LSAT Flex, next month.

Now, these at-home editions are temporary solutions to assist students trying to meet application deadlines while test centers are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. But who knows, maybe they'll stick around permanently if all goes well.

Regardless, many of you will end up taking your exam from the comfort of your own home in the coming weeks, and I want to help you optimize that experience.

Here are three prep tips specific to the at-home testing experience that I believe will put you in the right frame of mind to do as well as possible when taking your exam online:

In many ways, taking your test at home is a positive. It's your home, after all. It's familiar. It's comfortable.

But that increased comfort level can also work against you if you're not careful.

...

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MBA Admissions: Myth vs. Reality [Ep. 20]

admissions podcast Apr 08, 2020

The best way to learn what business school admissions officers are looking for is to ask them!

So that's exactly what we did.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we sat down with Lauren Sutherland, Associate Director of Admissions at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, and discussed a wide range of admissions-related questions including:

  • What differentiates Duke Fuqua from some of the other top business schools
  • How a school's ranking should factor in to your decision of which school(s) to apply to and other considerations you should weigh as well
  • The value of Duke's "25 Random Things" essay for enabling you to showcase what makes you a unique and desirable candidate
  • What makes someone stand out during the application process -- and dealbreakers to avoid!
  • The benefits of the 2-year, full-time MBA as compared to online, part-time, or executive programs
  • How to maximize your business school experience once you're on campus

You can listen to our full conversation...

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Preparing for Your Test — and Future — Amid COVID-19 [Ep. 19]

gmat gre lsat podcast Mar 24, 2020

As with most industries, the standardized test and college/graduate admissions industries continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With exams being postponed, test centers closing, and admissions deadlines being pushed back, test takers face a new level of uncertainty as they're preparing for test day and thinking about their futures.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we address those challenges head-on, help you make sense of the current landscape, and empower you with practical next steps as you're preparing for your standardized test. You can listen to it here:

 

Specifically, we lay out a game plan for test-takers who fall into each of these four categories:

  1. Category 1: Candidates who weren't scheduled to take their exam for a few months anyway
  2. Category 2: Candidates who have had their test date pushed back because of cancellations or test center closures
  3. Category 3: Candidates who are trying to decide whether to reschedule their...
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"I've Been Waitlisted! Now What?" [Ep. 18]

admissions podcast Mar 11, 2020

Being put on the waitlist at your dream school isn't ideal.

You were hoping to be accepted outright, after all.

But it's not a death knell, either.

Plenty of people are accepted off the waitlist each year, and there's no reason you can't be one of them. In fact, there are a lot of practical, actionable things you can do to increase your chances of getting off the waitlist in a favorable way -- and Hillary Schubach of Shine MBA Admissions Consulting is here to break them down for you.

Listen to our conversation on The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • How to think about the waitlist, and what it means from the admissions committee's perspective
  • Whether you're more/less likely to be waitlisted if you apply Round 1 vs. later rounds
  • What to do in the week immediately after finding out that you've been waitlisted
  • The #1 thing you should emphasize in your first correspondence with the school(s)
  • When and how often to communicate with the admissions...
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Nutrition Hacks for Improved Focus, Memory, and Mental Clarity [Ep. 17]

podcast Feb 26, 2020

A big part of maximizing your score on test day is how well you're able to focus and concentrate throughout the entire exam.

You've spent months learning all of the how-to's for answering questions correctly, but if you have "brain fog" and aren't able to think clearly and remember everything you've studied when it comes time to actually sit down and take your test, it's all for nothing. 

Optimal nutrition can play a huge role in maximizing your brain's performance so that you can maintain mental clarity for your best possible result. To discuss this important topic, we're joined in this episode by Dr. Barrett Deubert, a chiropractor and nutrition expert in Knoxville, TN, who shares practical and actionable nutrition hacks that you can employ throughout the entire process of preparing for and taking your standardized test.

Listen to our conversation here:

 


Specifically, we discuss:

  • How the brain works and the types of macronutrients you should be fueling it with on...
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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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