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: http://connect.topmba.com/candidates/application/application-page/?eventID=64

Manila, 4th June: http://connect.topmba.com/candidates/application/application-page/?eventID=63

Kuala Lumpur, 7th June: http://connect.topmba.com/candidates/application/application-page/?eventID=65

Singapore, 9th June: http://connect.topmba.com/candidates/application/application-page/?eventID=66

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: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.230316737956.136080.750812956&l=dd31a65205

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 fair.postgradasia.com

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.

Source: mba.com

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 Amazon.com.

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