## The University of Texas McCombs School of Business

It’s true what they say, everything’s bigger in Texas. This includes the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, which enjoys an international reputation as one of the best business schools in the world.

For Texas residents, one of the most attractive features of the McCombs MBA program is its accessibility. The McCombs MBA program is not geographically limited to Austin; in fact, UT offers MBA programs in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and even internationally, in Mexico City. This appeals to many Lone Star state residents because it allows students to earn an MBA from a top-flight program with a prestigious reputation without having to uproot and move to Austin to do so. If you are not a Texas resident, you should not be worried about your out-of-state status; 28% of students in the class of 2017 are international, and 43% are out of state.

McCombs is a very competitive program, with an average undergraduate GPA of 3.4 and an average GMAT score of 694. See below for a full 2017 class profile:

Source: University of Texas

When viewing the above admission data, if you are more interested in a part-time MBA program, keep in mind that as a general rule part-time MBA programs tend to be less competitive statistically than full-time MBA programs. The reason for this is that most part-time programs are stretched out over two or sometimes even three years, so they are less rigorous and consequently are not subject to the same stringent admission standards as full-time program.

They also say that you have to spend money to make money, and McCombs is no exception to this rule. Currently, UT charges approximately \$21,449 per semester enrolled in a MBA program. This adds up to a whopping \$85,996. However when you factor in other costs, like books, special event ticket prices, cost of living, etc. the total cost is actually closer to \$127,144, making the McCombs School of Business MBA program one of the most expensive in the country. According to poetsandquants.com, the McCombs MBA program is the 20th most expensive in the United States.

Source: poetsandquants.com

Although the sticker price may seem prohibitive, consider the average starting salary of McCombs MBA graduate. According to the University of Texas, the median salary of McCombs MBA graduates from the class of 2015 was \$113,500. If you have time, although slightly outdated, I encourage you to review the linked article directly as it provides interesting information into popular industry destinations for McCombs MBA graduates.

## How many times can I take the GMAT?

For most tests, the more times you take the exam, the better your score gets, and this often is the case with the GMAT. But, there are several things that will limit the number of times that you can take the GMAT in a given amount of time. These factors should help you determine whether you should sit for the GMAT again or use the scores that you already have.

Limits Within 12 Months

The good news is that, per GMAC, you can take up to five GMAT exams within a rolling 12-month period of time. This allows for multiple retests throughout the year, if you feel you need them. Some people retake the test to improve their scores, and other people test repeatedly to make up for canceled scores.

Time Required Before Retesting

If you want to retest as soon as possible, perhaps because you canceled your score, you must wait 16 days. This is a shorter time limit than the 31 days that the older paper and pencil GMAT required before retesting. This is the best option if you have a limited time to submit your scores and you want to show your school of choice a great score on your score report.

Business School Limitations on Repeat GMAT Testing

Whenever you send your GMAT scores to business schools, all scores from the past five years are included on the report, so if you took the GMAT more than 5 years ago, business schools will not see those scores. Additionally, business schools will not see how many scores you canceled because these will not appear on the report at all, but you do need to consider how many scores from the last five years that will appear on your report.

You can choose up to five schools to send your scores to without added cost, but if you select a school, you cannot revoke your decision after you send the scores. Consider carefully which schools to send your reports to because they all evaluate scores differently to determine what a good score to get into their school is. Usually, only the last three scores are looked at on the exam, so taking it more times than that can often be a waste of time and money.

Whether you retake the GMAT is a personal decision, but realize that there is a time and money investment involved each time you take the exam. A better way to improve your scores without spending so much money is to invest in a preparation course, like Testmasters, that gives you multiple practice exams and strategies. Doing so will help you to get your best score possible on your first attempt at the real exam, which can save you time, money, and stress.

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## GMAT Data Sufficiency Example Problem

“Watson, when doing data sufficiency problems, one must remember that after one has eliminated the impossible, what remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth!”

Data sufficiency questions can often be a thorn in the side for even the most diligent of GMAT test takers. Rather than test your ability to solve a math problem and get an answer at the end, data sufficiency problems really test your logical reasoning skills and knowledge of number properties and mathematical definitions. If you know how to approach them, though, they aren’t as bad as they might seem at first glance. Consider the following data sufficiency problem:

Is rst = 1?

(1) rs = 1

(2) st = 1

Remember, the answer choices for all data sufficiency problems are as follows:

(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.

(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.

(C) BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.

(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked.

(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed.

So, let’s think about this a little. Continue reading “GMAT Data Sufficiency Example Problem” »

## GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – What is it?

On the GMAT, you only have one opportunity to really flaunt your analytic capabilities. The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) is the essay portion of the GMAT, and it accounts for the first 30 minutes of the exam, and like the score of the Integrated Reasoning section, the AWA does not count toward your total multiple choice score out of 800. This section of the exam is important not only for the purpose of establishing your ability to think analytically, but also because the AWA acts as a writing sample. As mentioned, this won’t impact your composite GMAT score; however, many schools will factor your writing abilities into any admission decision. While you will have other opportunities to showcase your writing in other parts of your application, the AWA is particularly valuable because it is timed; it shows admissions officers how well you write under pressure.

How is the AWA scored?

Scoring on the AWA is done twice: by a human grader and by a computer scorer. Should these two differ in their grades of an essay, a second human reader will grade the AWA. The final total will be anywhere between 0 and 6 points, and unlike the Integrated Reasoning score, you can get half points. So, for example, your AWA score could be 4.5 while the Integrated Reasoning section is only scored in whole numbers.

What else do I need to know about the AWA?

To really stand out on the AWA, you will want to demonstrate your ability to write as a college-educated individual while addressing certain fallacies within a particular argument. Your essay needs to be clear and well-organized to receive the maximum score. If you would like help on your AWA, contact the GMAT gurus at Testmasters. We’ve been helping students to succeed on the GMAT and other exams for decades. With the right approach and some practice, you can score well on the Analytical Writing Assessment when you take your GMAT.

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## GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section – What is it?

The Integrated Reasoning section on the GMAT is a relatively new section that tests your ability to break complex amounts of information into the most important pieces. Since the questions in this section often require you to look at multiple tabs of an email or to glean data from complex graphs, these types of problems are directly related to the tasks you’re often required to do in the business world.

Unlike the verbal and quantitative sections, the Integrated Reasoning section does not impact your composite GMAT score, which is out of 800 points. It is graded separately on a scale of 1 to 8, and the scores are only given in integer values. As a separately scored section, the Integrated Reasoning section gives school a quick glance at exactly how well you can incorporate multiple data sources to solve problems.

The Integrated Reasoning section follows the Analytical Writing Assessment and is the second section of the GMAT. It is a 30-minute section with 12 questions, but many of the questions are experimental, and they will not contribute to your overall score. However, the experimental problems are not marked and it is difficult to identify them, so do your best on the entire section. Some of the problems on this section will use math skills, such as finding a percent change, but others present themselves as logic problems, and require your critical reasoning abilities to solve them.

If you need help with the Integrated Reasoning section on the GMAT, or any other part of the test, Testmasters is here to get you through this exam with tips and tricks here on our blog and private tutoring and classes with our test preparation professionals.

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## Full-Time vs. Part-Time vs. Executive MBA

The MBA, or the Master of Business Administration, is most often begun several years after completing your undergraduate education. In fact, many if not most MBA program students will have an average work history of between 4 to 7 years when accepted to business school. It should come as no surprise, then, that many universities offer a variety of options to these busy professionals seeking to further their education. Most commonly, these options include a full-time, part-time, or executive MBA program. This raises an important question for all future MBA students: which program is right for you? While no one can answer this question for you, it is important to understand the differences in these programs in order to make an educated decision about which program fits your needs. While the degree you receive with any of these will still say “MBA,” it is important to consider finances, time commitment, and how important things like time with family and friends, career path, and business school culture are to you.

Full-time MBA

If you have recently finished your undergraduate work and only have one to two years of professional experience, it is likely that a full-time MBA program would be best for you. A full-time program is generally best for those with minimal work or family commitments and those looking for a greater sense of community during their educations. Continue reading “Full-Time vs. Part-Time vs. Executive MBA” »

## Five Business Schools You Might Not Know About — Marketing Edition

Interested in marketing? Well here is a list of five business programs that have excellent programs in marketing that you may not have heard of, ironic as that sentence may be.

1. University of Florida

The Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida has a nationally-recognized marketing program that focuses on consumer behavior, marketing management, and marketplace phenomenon. According to their website, “students study the critical linkages between an organization and its environment, particularly customers and competitors.” Recent admissions statistics include an average admitted GMAT score of 670 and an average undergraduate GPA of 3.4.

For more information, visit their website here.

## GMAT Math Example Problem with Variable Proportions

Today, a GMAT Math expert from Testmasters will explain a GMAT Quantitative Reasoning example problem dealing with variable proportions. Consider the following question:

A chemical container is being filled with benzene at a constant rate. It took 2 hours to fill 3/8 of its total volume. How much more time will it take to finish filling the container?

We can recognize this as a proportion problem since we have two different variables: hours and fraction of container filled, each with two different values. Since we can logically deduce that the more time that passes, the more of our container will be filled, this must be a direct proportion (when one variable increases, so too does the other, and at a constant ratio). A direct proportion can be solved by setting up the following equation:

$\frac{x_{1}}{y_{1}}=\frac{x_{2}}{y_{2}}$

Here, our first time is 2 hours and our second time is unknown. Our first fraction of the container filled is 3/8 and our second is 5/8:

$x_{1}=2$
$y_{1}=\frac{3}{8}$
$x_{2}=unknown$
$y_{2}=1-\frac{3}{8}=\frac{5}{8}$

For clarification, we get that fraction 5/8 since the question asks how much time it would take to finish filling the container. Since we have filled 3/8 already, 5/8 remains.

Then we set up the following:

$\frac{2}{\frac{3}{8}}=\frac{x_{2}}{\frac{5}{8}}$

To divide by a fraction, we multiply each of our numerators by the reciprocal of the denominator:

$\frac{16}{3}=\frac{8y_{1}}{5}$

By cross multiplying, we get:

$24y_{1}=80$
$y_{1}=3\frac{1}{3}$

1/3 of an hour is 20 minutes, giving us a final answer of 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Find more GMAT example problems here!

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## Where Do I Take the GMAT?

Depending on where you live, there are several options for places to take the GMAT exam, but the closer you wait until the test date, the fewer choices you’re likely to have. Choosing when to take your test is important, and where you choose to take it could determine the exact test date you select.

To find available test dates and locations, first, visit the GMAT’s website. Signing up for the exam must be done through this site, and if you need to change your test date, a reschedule must also be done through the same webpage. If you must reschedule your exam for any reason, it is wise to do so more than a week in advance of your scheduled test date, otherwise your switch might be subject to additional fees.

Many of the testing locations are on university campuses, but there may also be professional testing centers in your region. Our advice would be to choose a test location that you are familiar with and will have no trouble finding or locating on the day of the test. We would also advise that you not plan to take your GMAT with friends or peers that you are familiar with; even if you’re not interacting with other test takers, they could be a distraction on the day of the test. You want to be 100% focused when you take the GMAT.

Though Testmasters is not one of the testing sites, you can prepare for your GMAT exam with the test experts here. Contact us for more information about test prep, and refer to the MBA for more information about GMAT testing locations and dates.

## When Do I Take the GMAT?

Taking the GMAT exam is one of the most important decisions you can make, after deciding to go to business school. The timing of the exam should fit into your application process, which should in turn depend on when your school of choice requires applications and test scores to be submitted.

When Do I Take the GMAT?

Ideally, to allow for enough time for the scores to be reported to your business school of choice, the GMAT Handbook recommends taking the exam at least 21 days before the application is due, if your school accepts digital scores, but if you would like to take it sooner, you are more than welcome to since your GMAT scores from the last 5 years appear on your score report.

When Can I Register for the GMAT?

You cannot register for a GMAT exam any earlier than six months prior to the exam date, but to ensure that you can get a seat we recommend that you sign up two or three months before the test. In some cases, if there are spaces available, you could get a last-minute seat by signing up 24 hours before the GMAT. However, waiting this late to register is definitely not advised.

When Should I Start Preparing for the GMAT?

Not only does your school’s application deadline play a part in when you take the GMAT but also does your preparation needs. Getting ready for the GMAT should take weeks, not days, and because the GMAT exam costs \$250.00 each time you take it, you will make to make the most of your time and money investment. Choosing a prep program like those at Testmasters will help you to be ready to take the GMAT exam.