ISB MBA Admission Tips - GMAT, Essays and Deadlines

ISB MBA ApplicationAdmissions for the Class of 2013 at Indian School of Business(ISB), Hyderabad, are in full swing. While the Round 1 (R1) deadline has been announced as September 15, 2011, the R2 deadline is two and a half months later – November 30, 2011.

R1 or R2?

First, the often-asked question – “Should I apply in R1 or R2?” The answer to this question is really simple. If you are ready with the application in R1, then apply now. However, if you are not (need more time for GMAT / documents not in place/expecting a promotion shortly) then by all means wait for R2. If you are a strong candidate, you will get through in R1 or R2 regardless of when you apply. Sometimes, candidates tend to rush their application (take the GMAT much earlier than when they would be ready for it/ submit the essays before putting in enough thought on them) in a quest to beat the R1 deadline. They feel that their ‘profile’ will ultimately shine through. This is a mistake. Remember, your profile is not just made up of details about your academics and your work experience. It includes other critical elements too – your GMAT score, your essays, and your recommendations.

How important is the GMAT score?

Your GMAT score is a critical determinant in the assessment of your overall academic profile. While the GMAT score is not the only criteria, it is the most recent test you have taken on basic...

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ISB MBA Admission Tips - Recommendations and Scholarships

In the second part of this continued article, we discuss recommendations and scholarships, two aspects of the ISB application that are very important for potential candidates.  

Recommendations – how/who/why/and when?

A recommendation is a personal, privileged statement. It is supposed to be a fair and honest assessment of your abilities sent by your recommender, unseen by you, to the Admissions Committee. Unfortunately some applicants see this as merely a formality – they feel it is okay to prepare a ‘draft’ recommendation, and get it approved by your recommender before asking him/her to send it across. If you think this way too, then beware. As a former member of the ISB Admissions Committee, I can tell you that the school scrutinizes recommendations on various fronts. If there is at all a doubt about the integrity of your application, it can mean a permanent rejection, no further questions asked. Therefore, make sure that the recommendation is an honest one. On occasion, you might find your recommender requesting you for a list of your achievements and significant projects – it is okay to provide this to help jog his/her memory. The best way is to ask your recommender if he/she needs any information to help prepare the recommendation. If the answer is yes, provide just the facts.

Next, who should you ask for a recommendation? Make sure that the person is professionally (and not personally) related, is superior to you in the professional hierarchy, and is someone you have personally worked with. Getting a recommendation...

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Indian School of Business - An Insider’s view

ISBIndian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad is one of the most renowned B-schools in the Asian region. While a lot has already been said about ISB’s infrastructure, the quality of its faculty, and its affiliation with other top b-schools, this article seeks to present an insider’s view of some of the other things that make ISB a great school to attend.

Social initiatives: ISB is host to a local chapter of the Net Impact club. This club provides students with plenty of opportunities to lend a helping hand to the needy. Some of the activities that students can participate in through this club are:

(a) Social welfare activities like organizing blood donation camps and health check-up camps. Another important event is Bandhan, an annual event where ISB students celebrate India’s Independence Day (Aug 15) with less privileged students from four Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) across Hyderabad.

(b) Management consulting and strategizing opportunities for non-profits. The club provides opportunities for giving pro-bono consulting services to non-profits. This is a great learning experience as it allows students to apply business and management principles to real-life problems. Although the consulting opportunities are only open with non-profits through this initiative, the problems that students solve may be classic business problems, ranging from improving operations to managing finances better to creating a marketing strategy. Similarly, iDiya (pioneered in 2011) is a social venture competition that allows non-profits, B-...

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Percentage - 2 Mistakes that Most GMAT Test Takers Make

Categories : Percents

Two Common GMAT Percentage MistakesThe topic of percentages is one of the easiest that you will tackle on the GMAT. We are all accustomed to calculating percentages in our daily lives, and any potential question on this topic would seem to be a cakewalk to most. While that is generally true, there are also some traps and pitfalls that the GMAT will lay down for you. Be careful not to get caught in them! Here are some handy tips, tricks, and trap warnings to help you negotiate your way around GMAT questions on this topic:

Error Type 1: Using the wrong base when calculating percentage change

The percentage increase in a quantity when it is increased by a certain amount is [(new value – old value)/old value] x 100. Similarly the percentage decrease is [(old value-new value)/old value] x 100. This point seems to be fairly obvious. However, an exam situation can play tricks on anyone and cause them to make silly mistakes in a hurry.

A common error involves taking the new value in the denominator. If the price of a product increases from 120 to 140, the percentage increase is (20/120)*100 = 16.67%, not (20/140)*100 = 14.28%.

Another example: If a is 60% of b, what % of a is b?

Answer: The question asks us for b as a percentage of a. The correct way to approach this is to see that a = 0.60(b) and so b as a % of a = (b/0.60b) * 100 = 166.67%.

Error Type 2: Not being able to differentiate between a quantity change and a percentage change...

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5 Common GMAT Preparation Mistakes

Categories : GMAT Preparation

5 Common GMAT Preparartion MistakesThe GMAT is a tough test. Success in the GMAT depends not only on working hard, but also on working smart. Based on my own experience of talking to various people who have taken it (and I have a substantially large database of 100+ people who I am talking about here), here is the list of the most common mistakes made by GMAT test takers. I have found that people who make these mistakes on the test do significantly below their ability, and that people who do not consistently score according to their potential and very often above it.

Here is the list for your reading pleasure (and for immediate action if you are a GMAT test taker):

1) Not giving preparation enough time: A lot of test takers start preparing for the GMAT with a fixed deadline. They give themselves an arbitrary length of time (like 2 months, or 5 weeks) in which to study the concepts, practice them, and take the exam. The rationale for doing so is often that the person has a limited amount of time due to further commitments after this time period, but I have also seen cases where people decided to take the exam within a month because they ‘just wanted to get it over and done with’. Viewing the exam as an anathema, and something that must be dealt with and gotten over with is certainly harmful. To be successful on the exam, you need to gauge the right amount of preparation needed to get you your best score. For some people, this time may be as short as two weeks. For others, it may be as long as four to six months. To time your GMAT preparation well, make sure that you are...

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