Posts Tagged 'GMAT'

Admissions decisions = a branch of holism

We are often asked about statistics that describe the current MAcc class. We have calculated the statistics that represent the Fisher MAcc class of 2013. Click here for the class profile statistics.

Please know that this data is aggregated – it is a summary of over 80 students currently enrolled in the program. No single applicant looks the same. The admissions committee looks at everything in each applicant’s file – no one will be denied or admitted on a single criterion (e.g. GMAT, GPA, etc.). A high GMAT does not guarantee admission nor will a “low” GMAT necessarily prevent someone from being admitted into the program. The same is true for GPA. The admissions committee looks at everything – in other words, the committee is most concerned how your credentials (references, essays, transcripts, GMAT, resume), taken together, present a complete picture of you as a potential student in this program. We are not concerned so much with the individual components – individual components, by themselves, are not indicative of an applicant’s strengths. We are more concerned with how all of these individual components, taken together, comprise a complete picture of the applicant.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

 


New GMAT section (Integrated Reasoning) scoring scale released

NextGen GMAT was released on June 5, 2012.

I recently received an email from GMAC on the new Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT, which made its debut on June 5, 2012. (I wrote about the “new GMAT” in an earlier post.)

“The new Integrated Reasoning section will measure test takers’ ability to convert data in different formats and from multiple sources into meaningful information to solve problems,” said Ashok Sarathy, vice president, GMAT Program. “Although the questions include both verbal and quantitative data, our testing showed that Integrating Reasoning is a distinct skill.  We think the scores will help schools gauge these skills among their applicants.”

The Integrated Reasoning section will be scored on a standalone basis – in other words, its score (from 1 to 8 ) will not affect the rest of your GMAT scores (e.g. verbal, quantitative, etc.). Click here for more information on the scoring scale on the new Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT.

Note: If you are applying for the Fisher MAcc program for autumn 2013, you may submit GMAT scores to us from either prior to or on/after June 5, 2012. GMAT scores are good for five years – either “version” of the GMAT will work for your autumn 2013 application.


The GMAT is changing in June 2012 – are you ready?

GMAT is undergoing a significant revision within the next few months. In June 2012, the GMAT will introduce an integrated reasoning section, testing concepts that have not been tested before on the GMAT. The current version of the GMAT has a verbal section, a quantitative section, and two essays. The new version will drop one of the essays and replace it with an integrated reasoning section.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJLwiwRsQAM

What does this mean for you? If you are reading this and are applying to the Fisher MAcc program for autumn 2013, you can either take the GMAT before or after the changes are implemented – the program does not prefer one over the other. As long as your scores are valid scores, they can be used as part of a complete application. Remember that scores are good for up to five years from the time you take it so if you took it in February 2012 for your autumn 2013 application, those scores will be valid for your autumn 2013 application.

For more information, please check the FAQ published by GMAC. (Click here if you’d like to see some sample questions from the new integrated reasoning section.)


Getting into this graduate accounting program is NOT just about the numbers

 

Ohio State Numbers Garden located near Central Classrooms on Ohio State's Columbus campus

Fisher MAcc receives a lot of e-mails this time of year. We are very appreciative of the interest! We try to reply to all emails within one business day – but because of the volume (especially this time of year), it may be a few days before we reply. We appreciate your patience.

There seems to be two things of which most of you are concerned:

1)  Some prospective applicants are very apprehensive about their GMAT scores.

Many of you write to us and ask about whether or not your test score is competitive for the program. As we address in our FAQ, the admissions committee looks at *every*thing in your file when assessing your admissibility. GMAT, in and of itself, will not cause you to be denied  What does this mean? I can tell you what this doesn’t mean … it does not mean that if you score below 650 (the current program average is approximately 645), that you will be denied. It is a general guideline that we suggest, not a hard cut-off point.

Additionally, many of you have noticed that our average GMAT score is a 645. Again, this does not mean that just because you are below the average, that you will not get into the program. I blame elementary school teachers for this issue. In elementary school world, “average,” as a concept, is a baseline minimum. If you were “below average,” you were considered to be doing less than “well.” I pity students who fear they have no chance of getting into a program because they are below the “average.”

Remember what “average” really means in the real world. If you dust off your fifth grade math book, you will see that an average (or “mean”) is (X1+X2+…+Xn)/n. Unless every student in the current MAcc class scored exactly 645 (which is impossible since GMAT scores end with a zero), then you have to assume that some students scored above and others scored below the average. So, yes, some applicants who scored below the average did receive offers of admission. Instead of focusing on the average, look at the range of scores. At Fisher, we tell students the average score and we also inform them of the middle 80% range. For the 2012 MAcc class profile, the average was a 649 and the middle 80% of the class scored between 540 and 720.

On the other hand, do not assume that just because you are above the current class average that you will be offered admission. Many students have written to us and tell us they have scores well over 700 and they sound pretty confident that they will enter the class. Test scores aren’t everything. In this accounting program, it’s not all about numbers. Remember – the admissions committee looks at *every*thing to assess “fit” and potential for success in this program.

2) Most of you are fixated on the letters, ‘G-P-A’. “What’s the minimum GPA required for the program?” “If I have a 3.7, I can get into the MAcc, right?”

The above questions are a few examples of what we receive in our inbox. They want to know if they are competitive for the program. The MAcc program recommends that students have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered minimally competitive. Sound familiar? The 3.0 minimum is a policy set by The Ohio State University’s Graduate School. You’re below the 3.0 minimum? In rare cases, if the program is interested in a candidate, the program can petition the Graduate School to admit the student. You as the applicant CANNOT request this petition, but later on I will tell you how you can improve your chances of getting a petition request. (NOTE: This is not a guarantee.)

Your GPA is above 3.0, but below the average GPA (currently 3.61) … look at the paragraph about the average GMAT. Same rules will apply.

One thing about GPA that is worth mentioning is that (at least at Fisher) admissions committees will look at trends in grades earned. What does this mean? For more detailed information, please refer to a blog post written about a year ago called, “The Minimum.” The admissions committee will look at your overall academic performance. Someone with a 3.1 who started out poorly, but ended up getting really good grades at the end will likely be more impressive (all else being equal) compared to someone with the same GPA who started out performing fantastically, but ended up not doing well at the end of his/her academic career. Or maybe the applicant started out in one major, did not do so well and then changed majors and GPA increased as a result. There are a lot of different scenarios and, yes, each case is different, but remember that you can explain yourself via your essays.

This last point, explaining your situation, brings us to the ending message: the GMAT, your GPA, etc are not the ONLY thing that matter in Fisher’s graduate student selection for admissions. Don’t get the wrong idea: grades and test scores are important, but the point is that there are other factors that also play into your application review. You are not a “number;” we look at your application in its entirety.

You ask, “What can I do to stand out?” Honestly, think less quantitatively and more qualitatively. Your grades are not going to change drastically at this point. You may choose to re-take the GMAT; this is a personal decision and the admissions committee won’t make that determination for you. If you believe you can do better, go for it. (The admissions committee does not average scores – it will use the highest scores you submit if you submit more than one set of scores.) You can control your essays; use the essay as a tool to really show case who you are. Use essay #1 on the application to explain your GPA and/or to tell us what you’ve done in your life so far. Here is a chance for you to tell us that you are not just a 645 GMAT, but a person who will do well in accounting and the Fisher MAcc.

The important take-away is that we cannot evaluate you by looking just at your GMAT scores and/or GPA. There is a lot more to an MAcc student than just numbers. The only way Fisher MAcc admissions can tell you whether or not you can join the program is for you to submit a COMPLETE application. Why are you still waiting? Apply today.

 

 


3 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing Your Fisher MAcc Application

Three things to keep in mind when preparing your MAcc application

Be aware of deadlines

Deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you. I recommend taking a look at the deadlines and working backward. If you want to submit your application by December 1, for example, you know that gives you approximately three months or twelve weeks from now until then. You need to be aware of how long each item will take to be completed and submitted to us. Examples include but are not limited to:

GMAT: About two weeks will go by from the time you take the GMAT to the time we get your scores. Accordingly, if you want your scores to be here by December 1, you should plan on taking the GMAT no later than November 15.

References: How long will your references take to prepare their recommendations for you? Work backwards from December 1 and add an extra couple of weeks or more as “cushion” in case anything unforeseen and unpredicted occurs.

It is OK to do things “out of order” /  you do not need to wait before everything is complete before submitting your application materials

For example, you can submit GMAT scores before submitting your application. Conversely, you can submit your application before taking the GMAT. You can submit your application before all your references are received. And so on.

Be very aware of how long things will take to complete/submit when compiling your application materials

As mentioned earlier, we will not receive your GMAT scores the day after you sit for the test. Plan for the lag time. Also, your references will need (on average) at least one month to prepare your letters of recommendation.

Transcripts can take a long or short time to get to us – it all depends on the university issuing the transcripts. And sometimes colleges “forget” to send them. Advice: Find out from your school how long it will take to issue your transcripts. Plan accordingly. Build in a margin of safety. And follow up with your school to ensure it sent them to us.

SPECIAL NOTES TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS:

i) If you have or will earn your undergraduate degree outside of the United States, you must submit course by course evaluations prepared by either WES or ECE. These can take six weeks or longer to prepare and deliver to us. Plan accordingly.

ii) TOEFL scores can take a long time to arrive at Ohio State. How long? It varies. It can be anything from several weeks to several months. The delay is almost always due to the test administrator involved. If you are an international student and need to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores, be sure to keep in close touch with the TOEFL or IELTS test administrator.

 


Not happy with your GMAT score? Here is some advice.

You are preparing your application to the MAcc program.  You completed the online application, wrote, rewrote and finalized your essays, secured your letters of recommendation, updated your resume and requested your transcripts to be sent.  The last item on the checklist is every MAcc applicant’s favorite four-letter word … the GMAT.  You took the GMAT, thinking you were going to ace it after all of those hours of intense preparation.  You finished the exam, agreed to view your scores and … oh, MAN, you have got to be kidding me?!  THAT is my score?

Sound familiar?

If this sounds like you and you are planning to apply by the December 31 deadline, you have a couple of choices:

1) Apply as planned and wait to hear from the Admissions Committee regarding next steps in the admissions process – maybe your score isn’t as high as you had hoped, but maybe it isn’t that bad after all.

2) Apply as planned, but indicate to the Admissions Committee that you plan to retake the test on a future date and request that a decision is not made on your application until we receive your new test scores.

A few points to remember:

  • The Admissions Committee will review all of the application materials carefully.  The GMAT is important, but it is just one part of the application.
  • The GMAT was designed to help business schools determine your potential to succeed academically in Fisher MAcc classes.  It is possible that you have enough other evidence in your application of strong academic potential and the GMAT may be relatively less important.
  • Be self aware – look at our current class profile.  Are your qualifications consistent with those of other students in our program?  Manage your expectations.
  • If you are interested in being considered for merit-based financial aid, the two quantitative measures primarily used to evaluate candidates are the undergraduate GPA and the GMAT.  Most of you are unable to impact your undergraduate GPA at this point.  If you feel that your GMAT score is sufficient for admission, but you believe you have the potential to do better, it may be worthwhile to retake for the possibility of funding.
  • If someone gets a better score by retaking the GMAT, the average increase on a GMAT retake is 30 points.  Most people actually perform the same or do worse.  We only recommend that you retake the test if the circumstances around the test day were not ideal or if you have some reason to believe that you did not perform to your maximum potential.
  • If you do plan to retake, give yourself plenty of time.  We recommend about 6-8 weeks of preparation – don’t rush into it before you are ready!

Good luck!!

You can do it!


Scared of the GMAT? Don’t Be! Join us to learn more.

We understand that for many people, GMAT is a dreaded four-letter word. It doesn’t have to be. You CAN beat the GMAT (or at least conquer your fears) and we’ll show you how. Join us for one of our GMAT information sessions on the Fisher campus. Hosted by our very friendly and knowledgeable GMAC representative, Eric C., these information sessions are designed to introduce you to the not-so-scary test and give you tips for succeeding on the exam. These session are open to anyone who is interested in learning about the exam, regardless of the graduate degree you may be seeking. Select “GMAT Information Session” in the drop-down menu of the Registration page to sign up now! Visit go.osu.edu/k4.


Submit your application before taking the GMAT? The answer is …

The Fisher MAcc program accepts the GMAT as part of a complete application. A question we often get is “Does the program accept the GRE in lieu of the GMAT?” The answer is “no.” The Fisher MAcc program requires the GMAT as part of a complete application.

A related question that is not asked often but, based on personal experience, is something people think they know the answer to –> “Can I submit my application before taking the GMAT?” Most prospective students we talk to are of the opinion that they need to take the GMAT before they submit their applications. This is incorrect - rather, it is very acceptable to submit your application before you take the GMAT. In fact, I always recommend that applicants submit their applications in advance of taking the GMAT if everything in his/her application is “ready to go” prior to taking the GMAT. If an applicant has lined up his/her references, written his/her essays, and ordered his/her transcripts several weeks before s/he is scheduled to take the GMAT, why wait to submit those materials? In fact, in a strange way, submitting your materials prior to taking the GMAT will help speed up the application processing a bit. If we have everything we need for your application except for your test scores, it is quite simple for us to update your existing application once your test scores arrive in our office.

If you have any questions, please let us know.


Here’s your checklist for applying

When you are preparing your application for the Fisher Master of Accounting program, please refer to the checklist of required items. Remember that the admissions committee will only review complete applications.

We do not pre-evaluate candidates/potential applicants. It’s not uncommon for us to receive the following question (or something like it): “My GMAT is XXX. My TOEFL is XXX. My GPA is XXX. What are my chances of being admitted?” The only way you can find out whether you will be admitted is to apply. If you wish to review statistics on the current class (e.g. GMAT average, etc.), click here. The MAcc admissions committee reviews *everything* in an application to assess admissibility for each applicant. There is no single item that will cause someone to be admitted or be denied admission – everything is reviewed.

Here are some additional tips:

GMAT

It is very OK for you to submit your application prior to taking the GMAT. Just be sure you take the GMAT by the end of December 2010 to meet most “early” deadlines.

Transcripts

We need two official transcripts from each and every university you have attended. Even if you just took a single class at a local community college, we will need two official transcripts from that community college. Be sure to send them to the correct address:

MACC ADMISSIONS
Fisher College of Business
100 Gerlach Hall
2108 Neil Ave
Columbus OH 43210-1144

You are NOT required to submit transcripts for any grades you earned at Ohio State University.

Note that if you earned a degree from outside the United States, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation by an approved evaluator. Currently, the Fisher MAcc program accepts course-by-course evaluations from either WES or ECE.

TOEFL

I plan on writing another blog post on issues involving the TOEFL but if you are required to submit the TOEFL as part of a complete application, be sure you use the correct institution code for Ohio State University (1592) and that you allow PLENTY of time for the scores to get to us. The TOEFL is regularly the one item that seems to take forever to get to us – if you need to submit the TOEFL, it is your responsibility to ensure the test administrator (ETS) sends us your official TOEFL scores.

References

Your references can be sent to us electronically or via paper. (Additional instructions are in the application on the difference between the two formats.) Note that we will receive your references sooner if you choose electronic. Just be sure to give your recommenders plenty of time to write your references!

Essays

Give yourself enough time to write essays that really reflect you. Do not write generic, plain vanilla essays. Answer the questions that are posed to you in this application. Do not recycle essay responses you are using for any other applications.

We will be posting additional tips for each of the items referenced above throughout the next few months so keep an eye on this blog for updates.

If you have any questions, please let us know!