Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2012

Wishing all our GMAT Malaysia readers and followers Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2012! All the best in your post-graduate dream!

Jimmy Low in Germany

Thursday, December 15, 2011

QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012

This year, the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report consists of 82 schools in North America, 67 schools in Europe, 36 schools in Asia-Pacific, 10 schools in Latin America and 5 schools in Africa and the Middle East.
Compiled using the opinions of MBA employers, no other piece of MBA research covers such a geographically diverse set of schools. In 1999, only 15 schools outside of North America and Europe featured in the research, compared to 51 schools this year.

This represents the widening international view that MBA employers are developing, as the globalization of business presents a need for international managers with local talents.

Read more here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top Consultancy Firm MBA Door Opener

It is not a surprised that the expected top business schools are also the top choice for major consultancy firms such as BCG, Bain and McKinsey.

But how does the others fare if your choice of business schools are not in the top 10? Read more here.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

GMAT Malaysia Turns 4! Thank you for your support

Wow, we are already 4 years old! Thank you so much for your support. We hope you find this blog useful even though we have not been posting much lately. Many of us raised the same questions, so we suggest that you search for the topics on the right sidebar.

Jimmy, Cimdaa and JK

Friday, August 19, 2011

GMAT Club: Everything about GMAT and Beyond

GMAT Malaysia was created to share our GMAT, MBA applications and later MBA program experiences. While we did our best to share what we know, there are more out there whom can assist you too. I have given you and in my earlier posting. If you are seeking help how to prepare for GMAT or answer some of the tough Quant and Verbal questions, look no further than GMAT Club ( Again, lots of questions and resources in their forum for you to tap on.

GMAT Club has also created iPhone/iPad/iPod mobile app "GMAT Toolkit" that you can download and use while on the go.

You need all the help you can get. I wish you good luck in your GMAT!

Jimmy Low

BusinessBecause: Because They Know their Business (Programs)

As they say, "birds of a feather flock together." Okay, I don't want to sound cliché-ish. What would be a better place to meet someone in the same boat as you (sorry again ;-)). Just like how GMAT Malaysia started in 2008. A few of us who wanted to do GMAT started meeting regularly and helped each other. Then, we "graduated" from GMAT and helped the next batch. We are almost 4 years old this December and in spite of the founders no longer living in Malaysia, we still continue to help via this blog and replying emails.

Then again, do not limit yourself to us. Get to know others around the world especially if you have decided which school you want to join. Talk to current student body or alumni. They can tell you from their personal experience about studying in the school, living in the city and the fun they had and now missed. London-based BusinessBecause is one of such places where you can meet these alumni and know more about the schools and activities. Do sign up for its free membership and tap into the wealth of resources it has to offer. I have recently been made an ESMT Ambassador, my MBA school based in Berlin, Germany. If you want to know more about the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), feel free to write to me.

Jimmy Low

QS TopMBA: First Stop in Your MBA Journey

Many have written to me about MBA programs, asking about which MBA program should they do. Honestly, my focus had been on US MBAs before I landed in Germany in 2010. My co-founders may have looked at more schools. However, one of the websites that I recommend you to look at is

London-based QS runs one of the largest, if not the largest, tertiary educational fairs in the world. Their popular QS World MBA Tours attract some of the top schools around the world and together with these schools, QS brings the admissions officers and alumni closer to your city. I have associated myself with QS since 2008 through GMAT Malaysia promoting their events in Kuala Lumpur (see label). I highly recommend you to check out their website for more information about the schools that you like to join. Perhaps we can talk more about your selections. Don't forget to register for their 2011 World MBA Tour,

Jimmy Low

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ESMT MBA Student Dimitry Krasnozhon Shares his Silicon Valley Field Trip Experience

Starting from this year, European School of Management of Technology (ESMT) in Berlin offers two elective tracks: Management of Innovation and Technology (MIT) and Global Sustainable Business (GSB). As part of their all-expenses paid international field trip, Russian student Dimitry Krasnozhon shares with GMAT Malaysia his impression of the Silicon Valley. For more information on ESMT full-time MBA program, visit

By Dimitry Krasnozhon, ESMT MBA 2011 candidate

Whenever coming across the term Silicon Valley, I was struck by the question of its origin. What stands behind this name is unfamiliar to vast majority of people, although it is impossible to imagine modern civilization without inventions ranging from HP pocket calculator to lasers that came from this area. The ten-day field trip to Silicon Valley was a strong nudge to learn about the history of the place before meeting its business and academic luminaries in person.

The name Silicon Valley was first mentioned in 1971 by Don Huefler, Microelectronics News editor, as a title of article about semiconductor industry developed next door to Stanford University. The reason is surprisingly simple: silicon is the material for producing semiconductor chips, a product which gave the Valley its current technological edge. Silicon Valley is an evident example of what bright individuals with scientific background and business mindset can achieve if given proper financing, creative freedom, all of that backed up by wise state economic policy. As Thomas Mahon, author of “Charged bodies: People, Power and Paradox of Silicon Valley” put it: “the Valley is an economic and cultural frontier where successful entrepreneurship and venture capitalism, innovative work rules and open management styles provide the background for most profound inquiry ever into the nature of intelligence”.

Dimitry and his ESMT MBA classmates in San Francisco

Over the past 60 years Silicon Valley has become a global technology powerhouse giving home to more than 10 thousand companies and employing more than one million people. Which factors led the valley to success? Are they exportable? Can these conditions be recreated in Russia, my homecountry, which once stood at the forefront of innovations in microelectronics, aerospace, and nuclear physics? These questions were of my major concern throughout the trip.

I was particularly impressed by the executive summary that Lisa Sweeney, Director of Stanford GSB Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, gave us. She sees the “Secret Sauce” of Silicon Valley prosperity as a blend of four ingredients: Unique Culture, Free Markets, Stable Legal System, and Reliable Infrastructure. Indeed, the culture is one-of-a-kind in terms of risk and failure tolerance. Venture capitalists invest where others fear, whereas on average only one in 20 companies succeed. The good thing is that if you fail, you can try again. In other cultures usually you do not get the second chance. “Proper” failure is acknowledged in the same fashion as success because it gives valuable lessons. The common philosophy is that a start-up is not a tech company, but rather a learning tool. In this respect, both venture capitalists (Khosla Ventures) and serial entrepreneurs (Krish Ramakrishnan of Blue Jeans Network) echo each other’s words: failure is tolerated if it results from from unsecured financing, product ahead of the market or lack of commercialization skills. However, poor execution and lack of commitment will most likely leave a black mark on the entrepreneur similarly to other more conservative environments. Another striking cultural aspect is the readiness of Valley’s residents to share ideas and collaborate, thus creating an uncommon mix of partnership and competition, which at the end of the day determines the success of the whole valley.

However, this culture would not have formed without Stanford University, the nucleus of high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Founded by railroad tycoon Leland Stanford in 1887, the university became the main source of engineering specialists for local businesses. In mid twenty century Stanford Research Institute was formed. This research park leased land in Stanford vicinity to high-tech companies on favourable terms, and this is when the real binding between the university and the companies took place. Many high-tech pioneers including HP moved their R&D centers to the park making it a worldwide model for a handful of other high-tech clusters.

During the field trip meetings, none of the speakers explicitly mentioned the role of the US Government in supporting the Valley, leaving us under the assumption that the main benefit currently given by the state is its non-interference. However, state support played a vital role in the early days: military spending represented about 70% of integrated circuits in sixties. Pentagon still remains an important purchaser of latest technologies. In addition, the area has secured a modern legal framework that accounts for favourable tax regime for start-ups, intellectual property protection, and hiring the best talent including foreign specialists. For instance, more that half of Silicon Valley companies were initiated by people born outside of the US.

Finally, the Valley’s infrastructure – utilities, transportation, high technology penetration, backed by mild Mediterranean-like climate create an environment highly appealing for work and life. Throughout the trip I have been reflecting on how this innovation cycle can be replicated in other geographical areas. Which elements are “exportable” and which are not? History knows a few successful examples like Silicon Wadi in Tel-Aviv and Central Taiwan Science Park, but also a multitude of less prosperous examples, such as Sophia Antipolis which has been micromanaged by French government for years and Shenzhen Technology Park. The latter research center attracts brightest local students but according to Margaret O’Mara, Professor of History at University of Washington, they do not intend to build companies in the area upon graduation. The most recent ongoing attempt is Russian President Medvedev’s Skolkovo Science Park on the outskirts of Moscow. There are certainly many legal, cultural, and infrastructure issues that will prevent this project from becoming a success story overnight. The good news is that Russian leadersWhenever coming across the term Silicon Valley, I was struck by the question of its origin. What stands behind this name is unfamiliar to vast majority of people, although it is impossible to imagine modern civilization without inventions ranging from HP pocket calculator to lasers that came from this area. The ten-day field trip to Silicon Valley was a strong nudge to learn about the history of the place before meeting its business and academic luminaries in person.


And, I leave you with this song "Going to San Francisco" by 92.7 edit

Jimmy Low

Monday, August 15, 2011

Duke MBA: Asian Recruiting Event

Considering an American MBA? Duke will be on its Asia tour this coming August. Don't miss the chance to speak to the admission officers and alumni in each of these cities:

Bangkok - 18 August
Singapore - 20 August
Taipei - 22 August
Seoul - 24 August
Tokyo - 25 August

For more information, click here.

Jimmy Low

Friday, August 12, 2011

MBA Applicant Drinks Club: Your Avenue to Know Others

If your idea of MBA is all about partying and drinking sessions, well, let me tell you. You are RIGHT! What a good way to stay in a semi-sober position. But it is also a good avenue for you to pour out your thoughts and share your concerns. BusinessBecause's MBA Applicant Drinks Club sessions are held regularly around the world. Perhaps this is your opportunity to meet future students and alumni and learn more MBA programs.

Check out for regular updates.

Jimmy Low

International Grad Mag and BusinessBecause

As you research more about post graduate programs, let me help you with some useful resources. The International Grad Mag has a good coverage of various programs around the world, and addresses many areas that you should be aware of. Do check out their website at

London-based BusinessBecause is another useful website to network and learn about MBA and other post graduate programs. Besides career posting and interesting articles by students and faculty members, check out their regular MBA Applicant Drinks club. Check out

You will also find other useful resources on the right side of GMAT Malaysia website.

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MBA & Co.: Your Door to Post-MBA International Consultancy Experience

Ask any MBA aspirants or those who are currently doing their MBA or just finished; at some point or another, I am sure most of them wanted to join the big name consultancy firms. After all, the high-flying job commands high pay and high profile; a good add-on to your resume. But, we all know how competitive it is to get into these big boys. Just the assessment phase would have eliminate 95-98%. Only the cream of the crop would get in. With the present uncertain economy, hiring could be frozen.

So, for the newly minted MBAs, it is still an option for you. MBA & Co. started by an MBA from IESE, started a freelance consultancy firm. You can bid for the project that you are interested and if you matches their project profile criteria, you can join other MBAs on the project. Sound interesting? You bet. You are a freelance and get referenced. A good opportunity to network and who knows, it could open the door to the company that you wanted so badly to join.

Give this a thought. Check out

Jimmy Low

Sunday, August 7, 2011

To Specialise or Not to Specialise?

I was often asked whether one should specialise in MBA. I had a thought about it; in fact, when I research for my MBA program I want a focus on technology management. I guess for most of us since young, we have been compartmentalise or stream. In high schools, we were either in science or arts stream. Then came university, the major or concentration to go for. As a result, we became specialist or functionlist.

Is that bad? I don't think so. Since the Industrial Revolution and the foundation of management theory by Fredrick Taylor, labour force has been classified into functions with the aim of "the more you do the same thing, the better or efficient you become". That's all right for a start but as you move up the career leader, you become more of a generalist. You manage people, and though them results. You may not know a lot about a particular subject but at least a good understanding. But what you learn is more about inquisitive skills. Asking the right questions and hopefully, these will help you make informed decisions. That's what MBA is about.

Having say that, I see no wrong in specialization for a couple of reasons. Firstly, many of us want to switch from one industry to another. Very often from one technical field e.g. engineering to another e.g. finance or from one for-profit to non-profit, and vice versa. Whatever our choice is we want to have a stronger focus on a specific concentration to give us a more indepth understanding and yet retaining the general management perspective. Thus, you see many business schools are focusing on some concentrations. In fact the other alternative is to masters program (MSc), which has strong, academic focus in a particular field.

Secondly, certain business schools have strong association with certain industries. As a result of the close collaboration and cooperation between the academic and the industry, it formed a natural channel for admission in the industry. For example, if you want to go into finance sector, London School of Business and Wharton should be on top of your list. Naturally, this also means that the faculty members and their research have a high focus in that area which will attract more brains to the schools. Thus, the schools themselves by their own design, are already industry or subject concentrated.

Lastly, specialisation at MBA level is like giving you a higher degree in a different concentration or major from your first. By arming yourself with both a technical degree and work experience, and now with a master degree with a business focus, you could, hopefully, learn new things and apply to your managerial role. After all, if you look at class profiles of any business school, a good 30-40 percent of students from engineering background and wish to pursue a management career.

So, my usual advice is look for an MBA that will bring you to where you want. If there is a concentration that you want, then go for the best school in that area. Of course it would be nice to have the top 10 schools as your choice but if it does not give you what you want or can afford, then using concentration is a good selection criteria. Think about it.

Jimmy Low

GMAT Malaysia Goes Mobile

Google has updated the features and setting functions of the In addition to the statistics function, which I found extremely helpful, I could now turn on the mobile function for our GMAT Malaysia. With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets/pads, I am sure this function will come in handy while you're on the go. I occasionally follow the comments from my Android. I hope you will find this mobile function useful too.

Happy reading on the go!

Jimmy Low

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Doing MBAs in Malaysia - Spoilt with Choices: Part 2

I stumbled upon this French consulting and rating agency in higher education, EDUNIVERSAL. Annually, it ranks over 1000 business schools around the world and categorised them according to number of PALMS; between 1 and 5 PALMS. You can read more in its Wikipedia.

6 Malaysian universities were grouped into 3 PALM categories. There are as below:

I also suggest that you visit the respective universities' MBA website and talk to the alumni, students or admissions officers for more information.

Jimmy Low

Doing MBAs in Malaysia - Spoilt with Choices: Part 1

I was monitoring this blog's statistics and found that one of the common search words was "MBA in Malaysia". Then I realised that over the last 3 years, I have been talking about GMAT and MBA but can't recall blogging about MBAs in Malaysia. Either I was not asked or I wasn't looking at MBAs in Malaysia. I wanted to do my MBA overseas and I am sure there were many who set their eyes to overseas MBA too. But this does not mean that no one is looking for MBAs domestically.

I am sure some of you did yours or planning to do yours in US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, France, Hong Kong, India or Australia. These are the few typical countries that many want to get their MBA from. MBAs from these countries are in the annual Financial Times Top 100. In fact, you see these countries in top 20 or top 50.

Hence, one of the criteria in choosing an MBA program is the brand name of the school. You want to be an alumni of Harvard, LBS, Insead, Manchester, etc. That brand name says who you are and being a part of the school's network open doors to career or business opportunities. Of course, this means paying the entry price and being competitive with everyone around the world. Ask any applicants and you will find the big names in MBA as their choice of schools; getting in is another matter. Already some of these schools won the brand mind share, as they say in marketing or brand management.

If you have plans to work overseas or migrate, often it is also a good choice to do an MBA or masters program from that country. One, the school is known among the big corporation in the country or region. Two, you add diversity to the class and probably the employment pool. Very often certain regions are less represented in an typical class. South East Asian, Latin American and African countries were somewhat the underrepresented countries. So, if you are from these countries, you should stand a good chance for admission and perhaps a scholarship. This adds to a good chance Malaysians look outside for MBA which opens the door to the country or region. Malaysians are now a discerning group of people and do want an overseas MBA if they could afford. Financing is an issue and looking for an affordable MBA makes them think between doing locally or overseas.

Often you will hear this term in Malaysia - doing MBA locally. What does this mean? It could mean - either offered by a local university (public or private) or studying foreign programs locally through educational institutions e.g. colleges, education centers or perhaps local branches of foreign universities.

Over the last 15-20 years, private colleges have proliferated. Starting with undergraduate twinning programs with foreign universities from US, UK and Australia/New Zealand, colleges also offer MBA or post graduate programs for working adults on the same basis. Courses are done locally and with perhaps a semester or two overseas. In fact, with the Malaysian government giving private colleges university or university-college status, many of these "office" universities offer their own MBA program, with or without accreditation from a foreign partner university. In fact, one college in Malaysia offers its own MBA program but confers two degree - its own and those of its foreign partner. Some foreign universities set up a Malaysian campus to offer MBA program. In all cases, these institutions claimed that their programs are moderated by partner universities in spite having majority taught and examined by local lecturers. In the end, the degrees are conferred by the foreign universities and are said to have equal status as those conferred in their country. Most of these MBAs done in Malaysia do not require GMAT score.

The other truly local MBA or post-graduate programs are those offered by local public or private universities. These universities do not partner with any foreign universities and conferred their own degree. As far as I know, these MBAs also do not require GMAT score for admission.

Of these two groups of MBA programs, majority of Malaysian professionals opt for foreign MBAs conducted locally; many of which are Australia and UK-accredited MBAs. In fact, UK and Australia are the biggest exports of secondary (IGCSE) and tertiary educations (bachelors and post-graduates) in the world. For reason of cost and continued income and employment in Malaysia, these programs made it affordable to Malaysians to pursue tertiary education. For post-graduate programs, these could be done part-time without sacrificing career, income and at own pace.

I don't have any statistics on the size of the MBA market in Malaysia but it would interesting topic for me to cover in my next article. In the meantime, I leave you to think about doing MBA in Malaysia. Perhaps you can agree or disagree with my writing above. I would love to hear from you why you choose to do MBA in Malaysia.

I also leave you with this article published by the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) in December 2007 - Do Malaysian MBAs Want International Careers? by David M Hunt, Md. Zabid Abdul Rashid, Osman M Zain and June ML Poon.

Jimmy Low

Monday, August 1, 2011

QS World MBA 2011 Tour Coming to Your City

Although this blog is called GMAT Malaysia, many of our readers actually came from around the world. So, I will make this blog more "global" but still retaining our identity as Malaysians initiated blog.
Anyway, QS World MBA is starting its 2011 World Tour this August. This is your chance to meet some of the top global and regional business schools in one location. Please sign-up for this event and share this link with your friends.

GMAT Malaysia has been a keen supporter of QS World MBA Tours since our formation in 2008.

Jimmy Low

Improved Topic Labels for Easier Search

I have gone through all 130 postings since the beginning of this blog and re-tagged all the labels. I hope this effort will make it easier for you to search the relevant materials. This re-labelling effort is also a result of the keyword searches feedback that our 12,000 visitors made over the past 3 years. Thanks to Google Blogger stats, I can now improve this blog for you.

Jimmy Low

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Share your GMAT preparation tips or test experience

I have blogged about GMAT and MBA over the past three year and still counting. I will continue to do so but most of the questions I have received I have written about. So as not to sound like an old gramophone, please search for the topics on the right side bar and see if I have answered your questions. Thanks to Google Blogger stats, I can now see what were the frequently visited pages and keyword searches. I will continue to monitor and hope to address new areas.

One of the reasons I still blogged about GMAT is that I still believe that many GMAT takers and MBA aspirants want to overcome the fear of this test. I have done all I can to cover them. As our reader, I welcome you to share your GMAT preparation tips, how you did well and what insights you have for our readers about the GMAT test. Send me an email and I will be happy to post it. Let me know if you want to stay anonymous.

In fact, for those who have completed GMAT, you can do us a great service if you can lead a study group. I am now in Germany, and other core members are now overseas. We cannot guide you face-to-face; hence, whatever we can do via this blog or emails, we do our best. I hope to sustain this blog by having new people spending some of their time helping others. If you are like one of us, email me and let's help others.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More about AWA and Integrated Reasoning

Recently, I received a couple of emails about Analytical Writing Assessment aka AWA. So, I thought it would be a good time to blog about this "mysterious" test. Firstly, let's go to the fine print, which like any other fine prints, no one cares to read or notice.

"Writing scores are computed separately from the multiple-choice scores and have no effect on the Verbal, Quantitative, or Total scores." -

To do or not to do?
So, what does this mean? Either you can skip it entirely or do your best and be done. I won't recommend the first option, at least not if you're a first time GMAT taker. I don't know how much time the Admissions Officers or their part-time assistants have to read your AWA essays but given a typical top 100 business school with more than 1000 applications in any other year, I don't think they even care. However, does this mean that you should score 0 out of 6 points? Nope. Do at least a 5.5 out of 6. It's doable and I will explain how, next. For retakers, you can skip the AWA if you already hit a good 5.5 or above.

So, how do you do AWA?
As mentioned in the website, AWA is designed to measure your ability to think critically and communicate your ideas. All the things you learn in high school and in the Sentence Correction and/or Critical Reasoning books will be used now.

There are 2 questions, each for 30 minutes including reading, thinking, planning, writing and rereading.

For Analysis of Issue, it tests your ability to explore the complexities of an issue or opinion and, if appropriate, to take a position that is informed by your understanding. So the operative word here is "take a position". So think about it - either agree or disagree. Don't be a fence-sitter. If you agree, why; if you don't, why.

For Analysis of Argument, it tests your ability to formulate an appropriate and constructive critique of a specific conclusion based on a specific line of thinking. In this case, you start with the "conclusion". Be careful now. Look for the main conclusion - weak or strong, not the subsidiary conclusion. In Critical Reasoning, you learn about different types of conclusions and must be able to differentiate which is the main one.

You can find a list of AWA questions here and sample answers. The GMAT Official Guide has examples of sample answer for a 2/6 scorer, 4/6 and 6/6 scorer. Check the Guide and learn the techniques.

How did I do it?
I spent 5 minutes reading and planning the structure, 2o minutes writing and 5 minutes proof-reading per question. Some time back, I shared my analysis of GMAT. Here it is again if you missed it. Have a structure:
1. Opening paragraph
For Issue analysis, what is your understanding of the issues? Do you agree or not?

For Argument analysis, what was the main conclusion? Do you think it was a weak or strong conclusion?

2. Body Paragraphs
Have 3 paragraphs, max. 1 point per paragraph and quote examples from real-life events or from your country. Each point and examples must support your position of the issue.

For Argument analysis, look for the assumptions. Remember, Premises (P) + (hidden) Assumptions (A) = Conclusion (C). Because assumptions are hidden premises, you need to analyse what were the assumptions that led to the conclusion and whether the assumptions were valid. Again, 3 paragraphs, max. 1 point per paragraph and examples.

3. Closing Paragraph
Sum up with your stated position (Issue analysis) or what would make make a weak conclusion stronger (Argument analysis).

I always find that using real-life examples would boost your arguments in the body paragraphs. The examples also something you can relate and tie to your arguments. Don't worry about quoting numbers. You can make it up. The examiners are not going to check anyway, except for some obvious facts or numbers. If you make up on these, God bless you.

After May 2012
Starting from 1 June 2012, there will only be 1 AWA essay for 3o minutes. It could be either Analysis of Issue or Argument. Whatever it will be, the above technique applies.

In place of the other 30 minutes is the Integrated Reasoning. Now I can't tell you how tough it is or how to prepare. I did not take it and do not plan to take it. You could be the first to do it. Again, GMAC has said that you will get a separate score for Integrated Reasoning. Read this press release.

Since GMAC has consulted business schools on Integrated Reasoning and the schools welcomed this change, it means that how well you do in it matters a lot. You can expect at least for the next 2-5 years, Admissions Officers will look closely at how well you do in Integrated Reasoning AND the usual Verbal/Quant score than AWA. GMAC already announced that takers can try out between now and May 2012, inclusive without affecting your score. How true this is I can't tell. But if you choose to try the Integrated Reasoning during this trial period and is reported in your GMAT Score report, then be prepared to explain during admission interviews.

Overall, these changes are said to be in line with the reality of next-generation business managers which business schools will churn out. Just be prepared to take that next step.

Jimmy Low

Monday, July 18, 2011

Forming Study Group in KL/PJ

I have received many emails regarding study groups in KL/PJ. Some have found the GMAT classes too expensive for them. Forming study groups is one way to help each other with GMAT. I am sure you have experienced this in college or uni days. As the core members of GMAT Malaysia is no longer in Malaysia, we are not able to help you in person.

As I received a few emails about study group, and if you're interested to form one, please send me an email and I will coordinate to get all of you together. In the meantime, read this blog for more information on GMAT.

Jimmy Low

Selling Your GMAT Books? Contact me

Happy with your GMAT and never, ever want to touch it again? Here's your chance to dispose off your GMAT books and materials. GMAT aspirants are looking for second-, third-hand GMAT materials that they are more than happy to take them off your hands. Please contact me at this email jimmy [dot] gmlow [at] gmail [dot] com, specifying what you want to sell and how much. I will send your details to interested buyers.

Alternatively, post as a comment, what you want to sell and how much. Don't forget your contact details.

Buyer and seller should arrange for delivery and collection of the materials. GMAT Malaysia will not be involved or responsible.

Jimmy Low

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ESMT in Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

When you think about MBA, the few typical countries that come to mind are USA, UK, France and perhaps Australia. What about Germany? In fact, MBA is gaining a foothold in Germany. The ESMT European School of Management and Technology in Berlin was founded by 25 German corporations in 2002. The ESMT MBA is a one-year, international MBA taught in English, offers a good balance between theories and practice on topics of technology management and sustainable business.

As an ESMT alumnus from Malaysia, I am pleased to share with you why I chose ESMT. Firstly, I wanted a unique MBA, not from your typical countries. In fact, when I told people that I did my MBA in Germany, I got lots of questions about why Germany, what was it like there, etc. The MBA itself becomes an interesting conversation topic. Secondly, I was interested in technology management and there were not many schools that focused on this area. Plus, Germany is known for its high-tech, engineering. Thirdly, 25 German corporations backed the school. And with this, at least 25 post-MBA career opportunities. I got mine from Deutsche Bahn.

Overall, I had no regards coming to ESMT and spending a good year with 39 other classmates from all over the world and with the faculty members. If you like to know more about ESMT, the ESMT marketing director Mr. Rick Doyle will be in South East Asia. Sign up to meet him for a 1-2-1 session at these locations:

Bangkok, 2nd June:

Manila, 4th June:

Kuala Lumpur, 7th June:

Singapore, 9th June:

I will be happy to share more about ESMT MBA. Please email me your questions. Here are some photos of the school and our activities:

Jimmy Low

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Postgrad Asia Fair 21-21 May: KL Convention Center

postgradasialive!2011 is the largest education fair focusing solely on postgraduate studies. Whether you are a working adult looking to enhance your skills, or a fresh graduate aiming to gain postgraduate qualifications, the answers you need are all here.

Admission is free by registration. Register online now at

Jimmy Low

Monday, May 9, 2011

GMAT Malaysia Poll

We have been around for 3 years plus. Over the years, we received many queries regarding GMAT and blogged about them - our experience as GMAT takers, MBA applicants and now that some of us have completed our MBA, the whole MBA experience. As we continue to share more about GMAT and MBA, we want to hear from you about us. Take this poll (see right side bar, below visitor counter). Better still, give us suggestions or topics you want us to talk more about.

Thanking you in advance.

Jimmy Low

Friday, May 6, 2011

Study GMAT on the go? Here's additional help

Looking for GMAT flashcards? Manhattan GMAT has free GMAT flashcards for iPhone, iPod and iPad. You can now study wherever you are. Check here to download.

Jimmy Low

Next Generation GMAT: Coming to you in June 2012

Starting from June 2012, GMAT takers will have to sit for a new section called "Integrated Reasoning". The Integrated Reasoning section is a 30-minute test which covers a combination of quantitative (interpreting graphs, spreadsheets, data) and verbal (critical reasoning, analyze information, draw conclusions and discern relationships between data points, etc.). The Integrated Reasoning questions may include multiple parts but they are non-adaptive, according to GMAC, the official GMAT provider.


Format of Integrated Reasoning section
This section takes 30 minutes and will have 12 to 15 questions covering:
  • Multi-Source Reasoning. The questions are accompanied by two to three sources of information presented on tabbed pages. Test takers click on the tabs and examine all the relevant information─which may be a combination of text, charts, and tables─to answer questions.
  • Table Analysis. Test takers will be presented with a sortable table of information, similar to a spreadsheet, which has to be analyzed to find whether answer statements are accurate.
  • Graphics Interpretation. Test takers will be asked to interpret a graph or graphical image, and select the option from a drop-down list to make response statements accurate.
  • Two-Part Analysis. A question will involve two components for a solution. Possible answers will be given in a table format with a column for each component and rows with possible options; test takers will be asked to consider the options provided.

As you might get between 12 and 15 questions and finish within 30 minutes, you can only afford between 2 and 2.5 minutes per question (including reading, understanding and perform whatever calculations). I hope GMAT prep providers (those listed on the right sidebar) have developed Integrated Reasoning questions for practice.

Sample question

Manhattan Review posted a sample table/graph and a set of questions. See for yourself how the questions will be structured and tested. In this case, the questions were TRUE/FALSE. Try answering these 5 questions in 10 minutes.

Between now and May 2012, inclusive
The current GMAT structure - 60-min essays (2 essays), 75-min Quant (37 Qs) and 75-min Verbal (41 Qs) remains until May 2012, inclusive. Takers can opt-in to try the Integrated Reasoning section and will not be counted towards your GMAT score. GMAC is offering a monetary incentive for those who opt-in to take this Integrated Reasoning section.

From June 2012 onwards
The Integrated Reasoning section will be part of your new GMAT score. The total test time will remained unchanged at 3 hours 30 minutes, excluding break time. Instead of 2 AWA essays, you will do 1 essay for 30 minutes and Integrated Reasoning for 30 minutes. The Quant and Verbal sections remained unchanged.

For more information:
Next Gen GMAT press release, here.
Next Gen GMAT more information, here.
Integrated Reasoning format, here.
Integrated Reasoning test, here.

I do not know how the actual Integrated Reasoning section is tested but judging for the above video clip, my take is it will be a good addition for future GMAT takers and potential MBA students. I don't see having 2 AWA essays actually beneficial since you are tested on your ability to write and analyze. You could easily score a 4/5 on the AWA if you know the trick. Furthermore, AWA score does not form part of your GMAT score. If you can't write well, you are unlikely to get pass the admissions committee anyway (the admissions essays are even tougher)

Based on what was shown in the video clip, I understand the benefits of having Integrated Reasoning. The charts, graphs and spreadsheets are common in case studies, the basis of many MBA learning and teaching. To be actually tested in GMAT for something that you will do in MBA raises a host of questions. Rightly or wrongly, I believe it is a refreshing move by GMAC and hope that future MBA students will benefit from the Integrated Reasoning section.

Don't delay your GMAT (after all the your score is valid for 5 years from date of test) or be ready for the next generation GMAT.

Jimmy Low

No Calculator Please, We Are GMATers!

That's right. NO CALCULATOR on exam day. In fact, you can't bring anything into the exam room. All pens and plastic transparent sheets will be provided to you by the center.

So, it is time to crack some brain cells when you prepare for Quantitative section. The tricks in solving Quant(itative) questions are (1) to rephrase the question into an mathematical equation, (2) ask yourself what is the "x" they want you to solve, and (3) play the elimination game. Of the 5 answers, eliminate those that you know are wrong. This increases your chances of getting the right one especially when you run out of time.

Remember, you must answer all questions. Leaving any unanswered means heavy (and I do mean heavy) penalty on your final GMAT score!

Jimmy Low

Are You Prepared for GMAT?

Do you think you are ready for GMAT? One way to find out is to take the GMAT simulation test. Just like the real test you are going to sit, this computer-adaptive test will help you gauge your preparedness. If you do not "like" the score you got in this simulation test, then it is time to head back to your books and revise, or seek additional help.

Try the test now (test sets from GMAC, the official GMAT provider)
Or, Manhattan GMAT Prep's test.

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Financial Times 2011 MBA Ranking

The 2011 ranking has been released. This year, the only Asian business school HKUST Business School occupied the Top 10 position. The other Asian business schools within Top 100 were: India Institute of Management Ahmedabad IIMA (11), Indian School of Business (13), CEIBS (17), Singapore's NUS School 0f Business (23), Singapore's Nanyang Business School (33) and South Korea's Kaist College of Business (99).

Here are the top 10: (2010 ranking in parentheses)
1. London Business School (1)
1. University of Pennsylvania: Wharton (2)
3. Harvard Business School (3)
4. Insead (5)
5. Stanford University GSB (4)
6. HK UST Business School (9)
7. Columbia Business School (6)
8. IE Business School (6)
9. MIT Sloan School of Management (9)
9. Iese Business School (11)

Click here for the full top 100 2011 ranking.

Jimmy Low

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

8 FAQs on GMAT

Over the years, I have received questions on GMAT and have blogged about them. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that worth revisiting:

1. Where to take the test in Malaysia?
a. Central Region
Word Ware Distributors SDN BHD (next to Eastin Hotel)
Level 3, Unit 10, Block F Phileo Damansara
1Jalan 16/11, Off Jalan Damansara
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 46350 Malaysia
Tel: 603-76652911 (speak to Willy)
GPS: 3 12 67 N, 101 64 34 E

b. Northern Region
Alpine Reliance (M) Sdn Bhd
1-3-16 Krystal Point Corporate Park,
Jln Tun Dr Awang
Bayan Lepas, 11900 Malaysia
Tel: 604-6422333

Register for the test here.

2. GMAT courses in Malaysia?
As far as I know, there are two - Princeton Preview in Wisma MPL (opposite the Weld Jalan Raja Chulan) and GMAT Zone in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (58B, 2nd Floor Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi)

You can contact them at: GMAT Zone KL or Princeton Review KL.

3. What about study group?
Occasionally, GMAT Malaysia might conduct study groups. Please write to me to enquire.

4. What books do you recommend?
Most of us used these books: Manhattan GMAT Prep books (8 books in total), GMAT Official Guide, Kaplan GMAT 800 and PowerScore Logical Reasoning Bible. There could be others but we found these books helpful, so far.

You can google and download verbal and quantitative questions. There are lots of them around to sharpen your skills.

5. Where to buy these books?
Go to Kinokuniya bookstore at KLCC. They have the best selection of GMAT books. The other bookstores barely stock the above books.

Alternatively, buy online from

6. Can I do GMAT in 2 months?
In general, usually takes 6 months to 1 year depending on how discipline and committed you are. Don't be too ambitious. I rather you be realistic than to be disappointed, both with the whole process as well as the GMAT score that you want.

7. Any other advice?
Look for others who are planning to do GMAT. Study or discuss together helps. Since we receive lots of questions, we know who are those planning to take. We can pair you with them, subject to their consent.

Alternatively, join GMAT Club. You meet people from all over the world.

8. Any GMAT mobile apps?
Yes, we found two for iPhone and iPad. Check here (GMAT Club) and here (Manhattan GMAT). So far, none for Android or BlackBerry yet.

I wish you all the best. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The inside tips on top university admissions

Always wonder what it takes to get into the top universities? This article from TopMBA would be helpful. Read on.

Jimmy Low

Friday, March 25, 2011

Post Graduate Education Fair 2011 @ Mid Valley Exhibition Centre

Are you looking for more information on a post graduate program or interested to do one? The 14th Post Graduate Education Fair (PGEF) is now back at the Mid-Valley Exhibition Centre on 15-17 April. Please pre-register here for this event.

For more information about the fair, check out the site.

Jimmy Low

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Wishing all our GMAT readers
a Prosperous Year of Rabbit!

May you hop to your dream MBA
or career in this new year.

Jimmy Low

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Insead MBA 2011 Events in Singapore and Hong Kong

Are you looking for a top MBA program and will be in Singapore or Hong Kong in February? Take this opportunity to meet the Insead admission officers or alumni at these Asia Pacific locations.

Click here for more information.


Monday, January 17, 2011

GMAT Toolkit for iPhone, iPod and iPad

Having idle time while at work, commuting, at home or in a queue? Here's a real time saver. Practise your GMAT in that few minutes (or hours). GMAT Club introduced GMAT Toolkit app for iPhone, iPod and iPad (HD version)

Summary of app: (extracted from iTune website)
The most powerful preparation tools from GMAT Club:
✓ the high quality questions with explanations from top tier testprep companies: Knewton, Manhattan GMAT, Princeton Review and Manhattan Review.
✓ Build your own 2500+ questions set
✓ Keep grader/error/time log for Official GMAC books
✓ Always study in timed mode with the GMAT timer
✓ Learn idioms on the go
✓ Stay motivated with inspiring quotes from GMAT Club members

The latest version (updated 25 Feb 2012) is priced at US$24.99 and available here.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bristol MBA at Taylor's University Lakeside Campus

Taylor's University Lakeside Campus is launching the Bristol UK MBA in February. Taylor's U is offering RM7,000 inaugural discount for applicants who joined their February 12 intake.

For more information, click Taylor's U Bristol MBA website and University of the West of England Bristol MBA website. You may also contact Mr. Quah Soo Beng at the details provided below.

PDF file: Bristol MBA at Taylor's University

Jimmy Low

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

GMAT remains dominant over GRE for MBA applications

A survey of 288 admissions officers has found that more MBA programs are giving applicants the choice to submit either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).

Read more about it here.

Jimmy Low


Hi hi! It's been a while since I posted on this blog - mainly because I've been busy at school and I'm running my own personal blog about the experience in China. You can click on it on the side.

In a nutshell, what is China like? Or most specifically, what is Tsinghua like?

Tsinghua is fairly interesting. The workload isn't as intense as it could be - just passing is the main concern, not passing with flying colors. It's hard to get a summer internship/work without being able to speak Chinese fluently. It's cheap to be in China if you want to live with the basics, but the moment you start to party, you run a very good chance of blowing your budget.

Do I regret coming here? A bit, I think other schools like LBS would have given me a better opportunity to break into consulting or a branded name. However, having said that, I really do enjoy China a lot - learning Chinese is probably the main thing you should do here, and while it's hard, it's been a fun experience. Possibly because I have a very good Chinese tutor, and my classmates are pretty fun.

What's the student quality like? Well, the internationals are so-so, the locals seem to be very well connected and experienced and intelligent. Yes, we have our fair share of douche bags, but then again, which school doesn't have any?

So, if you want a good excuse to spend 2 years learning Chinese and getting to know people who are interested and/or have a business in China, Tsinghua is a pretty good place to come to.

P/s. Since I'm accepted, I'm probably reposting all the posts that I took off for censorship.

QS Top MBA Jobs & Salary Trends 2010-11

Click here

The ultimate question any MBA graduate will ask - how much can I get in my next job? I graduated from Germany recently and was in the job hunting mode. I found this report by QS Top MBA and helped to get a clearer picture on what the MBA hiring trends are in different industries and countries as well as the expected average pay package. As we all learn from MBA classes, this is just an average. Ultimately, you need to network, ask around and feel for yourself what your "new" worth is. Good luck!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy Belated Birthday, GMAT Malaysia!

GMAT Malaysia turned 3 last November and we (almost) forgotten about our own birthday.

We have passed 10,000 viewership. Thank you so much for your support to keep us going. Three of us have graduated, two more in progress (but none of us are in Malaysia anymore). Feel free to send us your queries and we will be more than happy to share our GMAT and MBA experiences with you.

Good luck in year 2011!

Jimmy Low