Tips for Effective Class Participation in Business School

 We're here today to talk to you all about class participation for MBA students. Class participation is one of the most important ways that you can engage with the GSB and enhance your own learning. 

Class participation will be, for many of you, the first time your classmates will hear your voice. So try to build a reputation for yourself from the start through class participation. So we know class participation is important, but it's also really hard. 

Tips for Effective Class Participation in Business School


Participating in class discussion can cause a lot of anxiety for a host of different reasons. There are cultural elements at play, diverse backgrounds or limited experience. And the social factor of talking in a large group. 

Cultural differences can be really challenging at the GSB. If you're coming into a new country, you're maybe speaking a language that isn't your first language. In some cultures, you should really differ from the position, the person of authority, or it's really not common place to descent publicly and openly. 

But we want to remind you that the majority of the GSB students come from all over the world. 40% of the students are international and we have representation from 53 different countries. So you're not alone. How you feel, there's somebody else in the room who feels the same way. 

Another concern often comes with your background. I'm just an undergrad. I've only worked a year or two. I don't really know anything or I never worked in finance. How can I participate in a Finance class? Well, actually, asking questions is one of the best ways to participate. 

And what you bring, your background and your experiences is really valuable in the classroom. And, just as a reminder, there's all of us at the GSB come from lots of different industries. And even traditional backgrounds of consulting, finance, investing is only forty percent of the class. The rest of the class has experience in manufacturing, clean tech, government, education. All of these things are super valuable to the collaborative learning environment. 

Finally, the social impact. This is tricky because it's hard to speak in a room full of people. I mean, we've talked about how people are more afraid of dying or people are more afraid of public speaking than they are dying, but the teacher is here to help you address this kind of issue and learn to participate effectively in the classroom.

 

You all know that class participation really is important in an MBA Program. You also know that it brings a lot of risks and excitement related to it. What we want to share with you today is a simple framework that will help you succeed in the classroom also in your future career. They're based on preparation, presence, and power. 

Let's begin the preparation. Preparation is the best way to reduce all the excitement you may have before first meeting class. The first tip is quite obvious. Just read the case, know your facts and positions before you come to class. It's also great when we all have such a diverse experience, so it would be great if ever you can experience great social, in fact, experience in Africa, Commercial Banking. 

Bring that to the case discussion; bring your own experience for the benefit of the whole class. And finally, if you still are unsure about sharing this in a group like this, have a small group of classmates, the smallest of the group and share your ideas with them before speaking in the whole class. 

Now we are prepared, it's time to go to the classroom which is just like this. And it is true, you all are being evaluated a 100% of the time not only by the professors, but also by all of ourselves. The first thing that you should be concerned with is your own presence. How are you being perceived by your classmates? How is your posture? Are you keeping eye contact with everyone or not? And  lastly, it's also important to be an active listener. 

You have a great presence in class. Now it's your turn. You are the one to have the power to move the conversation forward, to really move the needle. Bring your ideas in a succinct way and share your own side with the whole group. 

It's okay not to agree, it's okay to make questions. They actually help a lot so other students can see the same subject in a totally different way and better understand the being discussed. 

Participation is hard. We come from different backgrounds, we come from different work experiences, and when we get thrown into a room like this, the social pressure is high. It's hard but it is not impossible. 

We're now going to pass out a handout that shares some content delivery tips for your class participation. As you embark today on your GSB journey and go to your first classes and participate in the case method, we want you to keep a few more things in mind. 

First, keep a broad perspective. It's one comment, in one class, in one class session, in one quarter. You don't need to be perfect. If you say something that you're not happy with, trust me, you'll have many more opportunities. 

Also, the skill set is not just applicable in the case method environment here at the GSB. Learning how to participate in large group settings will be applicable to you as you leave the GSB and embark on your career. Also, learn to laugh. Trust me, there will be a time when you forget the case protagonist's name. Or, there will be a time when the class will start laughing, like in my experience, when you say and open your comment for the third time with, when I was working at the sausage factory.

So keep a smile on your face and realize it's not the end of the world. And finally, be patient. You don't enter the GSB and you're not going to be perfect on your first day in your classes on class participation. 

Don't hold yourself to that standard because we're not holding you to that standard. Derek Bolton did not admit you to the GSB because you are a perfect class participant from day one. He admitted you because you are unique and you have a unique perspective. 

You come from unique backgrounds with diverse experiences and because you have something to say. Please bring that to the classroom. We ask you today to bring your whole self to the classroom. To participate and commit to raising your hand in class. 

So if you go through the preparation and think about how you come across in class with presence and know that you do have the power to move the needle, it can help you be in a place that you're willing to raise your hand. We just want to help give you tips to help alleviate any stress or anxiety to encourage you to raise your hand and participate in class. 


How to International Students get accepted into USA Colleges

We’re going to talk all about how to get accepted into your Dream College and university as an international student in the USA.  Every single week there's a lot of pressure for international students who want to get accepted into U.S. colleges and universities. In this article I'm going to share a couple of the key components that international students used to get accepted into their dream Ivy League's and tottered colleges as well as new schools.  Strategy number one is to take horses that will challenge you as an international student. You should really try to take classes that challenge you. College Admission officers have a copy of what your high school offers in terms of the classes and so if they see your application and they see that you decided to go for an easy class that you could get that easy they're not really going to give you points.  If you are an international student coming into the university and college in the United States they want to be able to see that you can handle the coursework, you can write essays,  you could read textbooks and materials that are written in English and are difficult.  They want to make sure that you are academically prepared for their college and so that's one of the biggest reasons why and it also shows your characteristic and quality right you don't go for that easy a but you'd like to challenge yourself and you don't give up and it's another opportunity to really show the colleges what kind of a student you are.   Strategy number two is build your college list early as an international student you want to make sure that you can actually meet the high school course requirements that each college or university is looking for. typically it looks like four years of English,  four years of math,  three years of lavatory science,  three years of social sciences and three to four years of foreign language.  And for whatever reason you cannot complete these requirements you need to check in with each college or university as soon as possible to let you know which school doesn't offer this.   One of the reasons why it's so important for you to start researching colleges as soon as possible is that you might have not missed requirements or criteria that the college mission officers are clearly looking for.   Strategy number three is you need to understand if you want to be a competitive applicant is that what they're looking for is different; their values are different from the classes.  They offer slightly differ what they focus on in terms of making a direct impact or research will be different. These colleges are very very different and even top tier schools - maybe you want to get into University of Michigan but you also want to get into USC you also want to get into University of Texas.  There is a clear difference between those three schools and I don't know maybe you also want to get into NYU - because it's a popular school you can't just say okay I want to get into this top two your school or Ivy League.  You need to be able to assess whether these colleges are a great fit for you so you can start researching colleges and universities the smart way what qualities and qualifications are they looking for. You need to be asking yourself the right questions to really create a college list that's a good fit for you.  Some questions that you can use  What do I think I want from a university education? What do I think I want from my university experience? What College factors are most important to me?  Some research before is to be prepared to take the TOEFL test if you are currently attending a non English educational system school then you want to prepare yourself to take the TOEFL test.  Some schools are very flexible so they don't really ask for it if you have a certain score for SAT whereas in some schools they will ask.  so again it goes back to my previous step which is you want to start creating your college list and building your college list and assessing your fit with each College very carefully right.   So in terms of TOEFL you want to make sure with each college whether they require it or and whether they require a certain score and this is for everyone whether you are an international student or not. We want the test prep to be completed by your senior year.  You want to make sure that TOEFL SAT ACT subject tests are all completed and ready to go because I don't want you to not prepare for TOEFL because you didn't study for it or you didn't even do research whether they required or not and then drawing application season start telling me or you know telling yourself.  I guess like oh my goodness I really want to go to the school but they required TOEFL but I didn't take it and etc the college admission process takes a lot of your energy. You need to work on tasks step by step. It's not something you could complete within a month or two, especially TOEFL, something that international students should be aware of if you want to be done with that by the end of your junior year or earlier.


We’re going to talk all about how to get accepted into your Dream College and university as an international student in the USA.  Every single week there's a lot of pressure for international students who want to get accepted into U.S. colleges and universities. In this article I'm going to share a couple of the key components that international students used to get accepted into their dream Ivy League's and tottered colleges as well as new schools.


Strategy number one is to take horses that will challenge you as an international student. You should really try to take classes that challenge you. College Admission officers have a copy of what your high school offers in terms of the classes and so if they see your application and they see that you decided to go for an easy class that you could get that easy they're not really going to give you points.


If you are an international student coming into the university and college in the United States they want to be able to see that you can handle the coursework, you can write essays,  you could read textbooks and materials that are written in English and are difficult.


They want to make sure that you are academically prepared for their college and so that's one of the biggest reasons why and it also shows your characteristic and quality right you don't go for that easy a but you'd like to challenge yourself and you don't give up and it's another opportunity to really show the colleges what kind of a student you are. 


Strategy number two is build your college list early as an international student you want to make sure that you can actually meet the high school course requirements that each college or university is looking for. typically it looks like four years of English,  four years of math,  three years of lavatory science,  three years of social sciences and three to four years of foreign language. 

And for whatever reason you cannot complete these requirements you need to check in with each college or university as soon as possible to let you know which school doesn't offer this. 


One of the reasons why it's so important for you to start researching colleges as soon as possible is that you might have not missed requirements or criteria that the college mission officers are clearly looking for. 


Strategy number three is you need to understand if you want to be a competitive applicant is that what they're looking for is different; their values are different from the classes.  They offer slightly differ what they focus on in terms of making a direct impact or research will be different. These colleges are very very different and even top tier schools - maybe you want to get into University of Michigan but you also want to get into USC you also want to get into University of Texas.


There is a clear difference between those three schools and I don't know maybe you also want to get into NYU - because it's a popular school you can't just say okay I want to get into this top two your school or Ivy League. 

You need to be able to assess whether these colleges are a great fit for you so you can start researching colleges and universities the smart way what qualities and qualifications are they looking for.

You need to be asking yourself the right questions to really create a college list that's a good fit for you.


Some questions that you can use 

What do I think I want from a university education?

What do I think I want from my university experience?

What College factors are most important to me?


Some research before is to be prepared to take the TOEFL test if you are currently attending a non English educational system school then you want to prepare yourself to take the TOEFL test.


Some schools are very flexible so they don't really ask for it if you have a certain score for SAT whereas in some schools they will ask.  so again it goes back to my previous step which is you want to start creating your college list and building your college list and assessing your fit with each College very carefully right. 


So in terms of TOEFL you want to make sure with each college whether they require it or and whether they require a certain score and this is for everyone whether you are an international student or not. We want the test prep to be completed by your senior year.


You want to make sure that TOEFL SAT ACT subject tests are all completed and ready to go because I don't want you to not prepare for TOEFL because you didn't study for it or you didn't even do research whether they required or not and then drawing application season start telling me or you know telling yourself.


I guess like oh my goodness I really want to go to the school but they required TOEFL but I didn't take it and etc the college admission process takes a lot of your energy. You need to work on tasks step by step. It's not something you could complete within a month or two, especially TOEFL, something that international students should be aware of if you want to be done with that by the end of your junior year or earlier. 


Five things that you should know about your GMAT exam

 Today, I want to share with you 5 insights about the GMAT exam. Now, these are the basics and the fundamentals of the exam that we tend to ignore. At least, I did when I was preparing for my exam. As a result, I had to give GMAT multiple times. Therefore, it is a good idea to pause once in a while in your preparation and ask yourself - 'What is it that the exam expects out of you?' I hope this article will help you answer just that. 

 

Five things that you should know about your GMAT exam

The first one - Never expect the unexpected on the GMAT exam. Now there are really two kinds of surprises that you might anticipate before giving any exam. The first one, the exam-related, and the second one, the exam center related. So, let's tackle each of them one-by-one. The first one, the exam-related. I have given GMAT multiple times and in each of my attempts, I have never been surprised by - What I saw on my screen. 

 

Five things that you should know about your GMAT exam

So, I can confidently suggest to you that if you follow the latest OGs and give the official mocks you will know exactly what to expect on your D-Day. When I say, you’ll know exactly what you can expect on your D-Day. I don't mean that you'll know each and every question But, definitely, you'll know about the exam pattern syllabus, and the question types. 

 

So, don't get anxious about discussions or the over-analysis around these topics on different social media platforms because What you don't see on your OG or on your official mocks. You will not see it in your exam. Now, moving onto the second point, which is exam-center related surprises. Now, these are more unpredictable, dependent upon chance, and out of your control. I have had a fair share of giving my exam in a bad center. 

So, I can suggest to you that... it's a good idea to choose the variables that are most important to you. The ones that were important to me were... The noise in my exam center The friendly behavior of the staff and most importantly...The desktops which they used. I prefer slim ones over the round ones. So, choose the variables that are important to you, compare the centers around you, and then take an informed decision. 

Chances are, you'll be able to mitigate most of the unwanted surprises that you might expect on your GMAT. So, to conclude this point - Don't be anxious about the surprises that GMAT might throw at you, most likely, it will throw none. 

Second point - Less practice, more analysis. Now, this is very much counterintuitive to what we believe. We think that solving more and more problems helps our cause in any given exam. But this might not be the case on the GMAT because in GMAT we are really stuck with a limited number of good problems - if I consider the problems from the OGs and the mocks. 

Therefore, it is a good idea to extract as much juice as possible from each of those questions. In order to do that, you have to know the question very well. You have to understand each and every option.

You have to know - Why the right answer is right. And know - Why the other options are wrong. If you reach a dope level, you might as well understand the answer keys in the OG and the official mocks. So, in conclusion - it is not a good idea to be in a hurry to solve your OG without much analyzing the problems in it. 

Also, it is not a good idea to solve everything that you find under the sky because most of the things are unrelated to the GMAT or are coming from an unreliable source. So, be cautious of what you solve, but be sure to analyze whatever you solve. 

The third point - Don't blame it on time. Now, time is a very easy target to blame on when you have a low score in your actual GMAT or in your mocks. Don't do that! Be sure to thoroughly analyze each and every attempt off of yours. 

In most of the cases, if you think that the time is the concern, you will find that there are two reasons behind it - The first - either you spend too much time solving certain kinds of problems and that is because either you don't have the knowledge to solve that problem or there are gaps in the understanding of your concepts that are required to solve that problem. Second, you spend too less time solving certain kinds of problems. 

And that is because you failed to adopt a problem-solving methodology that you can apply across most of the problems that you solve. In other words, you go by your instincts. In either of the cases, we see that time is not the actual concern other things are like lack of knowledge, gaps in the current understanding of the concepts, or failing to adopt a problem-solving methodology. So, pluck in those weak points and you will see that time is the least of your concern. 

The fourth point - Strive for accuracy. Now, having a stellar accuracy or not having one both is measured in great quantities on the GMAT. But to build that accuracy - you need to make conscious efforts, have patience, and do a lot of hard work. But if you want that great score on the GMAT, you need to have that stellar accuracy. 

The bigger problem with the accuracy on GMAT is that it is a very difficult gauge during your preparation phase. That is you might be doing very well on easy kinds of problems, but not so much so on the medium or the difficult ones. To tackle this problem, it is a very good idea to maintain an Error Log. 

An error log will not only help you to analyze the mistakes, but will also help you to find patterns in them. That is to say - You might be making silly mistakes in your easy problems or might not have the concepts for the hard ones. 

In either case, you have actionable items to work upon. So build that stellar accuracy, and you shall do well on your exam.  

The fifth point, don't take performance pressure. We all know that you can give GMAT multiple times in a year and in your lifetime. So, why take that extra performance pressure? Yeah! I know, it does take a lot of mental effort and extra cash to appear for that retake. But think of it as this way - For your MBA, you are already ready to spend thousands of dollars and are open to learning new things. 

So, why not start it with the GMAT? Enjoy the process of learning, be open to learning new things, and enjoy giving your GMAT exam. As a final note - Don't take GMAT as a competitive exam. Your 700 score today is very much comparable to the 700 score of the person who scored it two years back and of the person who will score two years from now. 

So, rather, focus on the self-journey, your own personal development with the learning that comes with the GMAT exam, and the enjoyment of the process of giving the GMAT

How to move abroad with IELTS

Essentially, there are two reasons for moving abroad: one to work and another to study abroad. And if you might want to do that with IELTS you must make sure that for the working purposes you are taking the general IELTS exam and good news here it is much easier than the second one, and for the study purposes you're taking the academic IELTS, which is again more difficult. In that article I will tell you the whole process of applying to universities  and colleges abroad.  A question always comes to mind: can I give ielts in other country? 

How to move abroad with IELTS


First you are choosing your dream University and for that thankfully you have the Internet. You might want to start from looking up countries that you might like to live in or fields of science you might want to study and once you have identified which university you really want to go to, you might want to start to look for scholarships because again no one wants to pay for the education right thankfully in Russia all education is free for people who study well and for me it's a little bit difficult to get used to the idea that abroad people pay for their education. 

 

Of course there are exceptions - for instance in Germany the high education is free, so if you know German this might be a very nice opportunity for you but if you want to study in other countries probably you will need to pay a lot. So once you are all established with the Uni and the scholarship you will have to look at the eligibility condition and this plays a very important role in deciding whether or not you will be the perfect fit and whether or not you want getting into that University. 

 

So if you want to get your bachelor's degree abroad, one of the eligibility criteria will be some kind of an average grade that you must have or if this is a master's degree you're applying for, then you might have to have a certain bachelor's degree previously so check that. 

Also, in the eligibility criteria might be a portfolio where you're basically providing to the university proofs of your very high academic performance and of the fact that you have won some state grants, some scholarships, I don't know, business case championships, anything that might be applicable for your field of study and again there might be some international tests involved such as obviously IELTS or GMAT or TOEFL, or you might provide them certain publications of yours or an interview or a motivational letter and essay, a CV, a lot of things.

 

So check that out and prepare a big application package. Then fill in the application form that they are providing and wait. Try not to check your watch every five minutes because this will be a long process of waiting. And once you have received the dream confirmation of the fact that you are matriculated or you're enrolled or you're just a perfect fit and they're waiting for the next steps - you must check those next steps: they will be in the letter. 

 

Typically it is applying for a visa, it is paying your tuition fee and buying the tickets. Well once you are 100% sure you're going, once you already have the visa and here you might want to ask University for help because sometimes it is really not easy to get a visa and thankfully my University was very helpful in that and they took me through the whole process but do not hesitate to ask them about that. 

 

So when you are 100% sure you're going, you must start looking for apartments or for dormitories. Sometimes universities do not provide that and it might be a big problem for you when you arrive, so try to hedge yourself and try to secure yourself for such problems and look for that beforehand. 

 

This is basically how you change your country and go abroad! It looks easy however this process might be very long. It took me half a year or even more to get from point A to the last point of moving here in St. Gallen. 

 

Now if we are talking about job purposes the process is essentially the same and the only difference is that you are looking for an employer, not University. Basically, that's it. And once you have already found the perfect employer and you are really interested to work in that kind of area or in the country or in the business field that you've chosen, again you start your application process and it will be all described on the website of your employer. 

 

In the eligibility criteria for your job you might find certain CV requirements, certain experience requirements, or certain KPIs that you have fulfilled in your previous workplace, so make sure to provide those. And once you have your certificate of approval or just a letter that says: "Yeah we're happy to have you, come join our team!" 

 

Again, you start with your application for your visa and here the visa will be different: it will be with a work permit. We don't need anything else apart from the work permit. And you're good to go! So how basically I did it, what was my experience? First of all I took IELTS to apply to my home University in Russia, in St. Petersburg and this is because all the study process is conducted in English there, so we needed to prove that we are able to speak English. 

 

Therefore I took my IELTS and GMAT tests and then I was just sitting and waiting, and I got my confirmation thankfully. I got in. After one semester of my studies there was an opportunity to enroll to a double degree program called CEMS and this is an alliance of global schools of management education so to get there I also needed to go through a selection process which involves taking interviews and writing motivational letters, essays, providing my CV, my average grade, etc. You must know about which country needs ielts?

 

Once I had gone through that I could choose a dream school of my destination which happened to be St. Gallen, because this is the best university in Switzerland in terms of business education, finance and management. So I chose that and again I provided all the documents I applied, I waited, and I got the positive result. I got my 10th certificate, which clears the fact that I am in the program and the university is waiting for me. I went to the embassyI with that and applied for my work visa and basically it was it! I started to look for the apartment, I bought the tickets, I was very nervous because this is honestly my first time abroad and I just got here one week ago.

GMAT vs GRE: Comparison and Strategies

GMAT vs GRE: Comparison and Strategies


Are you confused about taking the GRE or the GMAT? In this article, we not only cover the basic comparison between the GRE and the GMAT, but also discuss the specific strategies you might want to employ. Let's quickly compare between the GMAT and the GRE. While the GMAT is accepted only at business schools, the GRE is for getting into grad schools but it can also be used to get into most business schools. 

Make sure to check with your prospecting B schools for the requirements. The GMAT focuses on logic, reasoning, and grammar. If your logic is strong, then you will do well on the GMAT. For the GRE, it focuses on academic skills and vocabulary. Remember that the GRE is for getting into grad schools, so it tests whether you are fit for academic settings. On the other hand, the GMAT is testing whether you are good with reasoning and if you can survive the first year of MBA. 

Let us look at the structural aspects of the GMAT and the GRE. For the GMAT, within a section, you cannot skip a question. For every question, you have to solve or guess it. You cannot skip, save, or come back to a certain question. For the GRE, within a section, you can skip a question. So it's actually possible to skip all certain types of questions and then come back to them later. 

Both the GMAT and the GRE have on-screen calculators. For the GMAT, it doesn't have a calculator in the quantitative section, but it has a calculator in integrated reasoning. For the GRE, you can use the on-screen calculator for all quantitative sections. So you can see that the GRE is focused more heavily on number senses, since it allows the calculator. What about retaking the exam? For the GMAT, you can retake after 16 days. 

For the GRE, you can retake after 3 weeks, or 21 days. The biggest difference would be the section ordering. For the GMAT, you can choose one of the three section orderings. For the GRE, you cannot choose the section ordering, and the sections are random. Let me elaborate more on this section ordering. For the GMAT, you have 3 options. Before beginning the exam, you are given one minute to select the section order. The first option is essay, integrated reasoning, 8 minutes break, quantitative, another 8 minutes break, and verbal. 

The second option is verbal, 8 minutes break, quantitative, 8 minutes break, essay and then integrated reasoning. The third option is quantitative, 8 minutes break, verbal, another 8 minutes break, essay and then integrated reasoning. So you can strategically select the most comfortable section order. Normally I recommend practicing starting with the verbal section first, because oftentimes the GMAT weights more on the verbal score than the quant section. If you are aiming for 700+, the verbal section is the key for high scores. For the GRE, you cannot choose the section ordering. The two essays will always be the first part of the exam. 

After writing these two essays, it will be randomly chosen either verbal or quant. But you will never get two consecutive sets of the same type. Therefore, it will be most likely in either of these two orders. Verbal, Quant, a break, and then verbal, quant, verbal. Or, you will have quant, verbal, a break, and then quant verbal and quant. 

One of the sections will be an unscored experimental section, but you will never know which one it is. So it is the best if you try your best for every section. Now, let us compare the focus between the GMAT and the GRE. For math, the GMAT focuses more on logic, reasoning, and word problems. It is interesting to note that recently the GMAT is on the trend of mixing two or more concepts. 

For example, a question might involve triangles, descriptive statistics, and fractions. You can see this multi-topic trend in the latest GMAT Official Guide 2019. The GRE focuses heavily on your ability of playing with numbers, geometry, and graphs. Since you can use a calculator for the GRE, the questions tend to be more focused on math techniques. For the verbal part, the GMAT focuses more on grammar. If you have a "native ear," then you can learn quickly the rules of grammar with logic and reasoning.

Of course, if you are weak with logic, you might do better with the GRE. The GRE focuses more on vocabulary. Have you heard of these vocabularies? Innocuous Garrulous Obsequious Specious Ephemeral Believe or not, these are the basic vocabularies that the grad schools expect you to know when you graduate from the undergrad. If you have never heard of these vocabularies, well, just know that GRE tests these kinds of vocabs! There are different sections for the GMAT and the GRE. 

The GMAT has an integrated reasoning section which tests your reasoning. The IR section is not that hard and you can master them easily with practice. You can even use an on-screen calculator for the IR. Also, you have Data Sufficiency for the GMAT when you do a quant section. Data Sufficiency is a question that asks whether a given piece of information is enough to calculate the data. 

The GRE has two essays. It has one Issue writing and one Argue writing. The GMAT, on the other hand, has only one essay writing. So, not sure whether to take the GMAT or the GRE? Take a look at the following sample decision making table. These are meant to be for reference only, so make sure you consider your context and situations. If you are a native English speaker, I think taking the GMAT is better.

You can use your "native ear" to tune to grammar errors. Unless you are terrible with logic, the GMAT is a good bet. However, if English is not your first language, I think taking the GRE is better. The GRE is focused more on vocabularies, and because it is likely that you are weak with reading comprehension, if you study vocabulary you will have a better chance at getting a higher mark in the GRE verbal part. 

If you are strong with math, stick with a test that gives you a clear advantage for the verbal part. Assess yourself with free prep software offered by both the GMAT and the GRE test institute. 


HOW TO BUILD YOUR RESUME FOR LAW SCHOOL

 You might have heard that having a professional and updated resume is important for getting into a career, but did you know that a resume can help you get into the law school of your dreams as well? Don't freak out; it's easier than it sounds and I'm going to break it all down for you today. Starting with the basics, your resume needs to look organized and thoughtful. Having too little or too much information is equally erroneous. 

The purpose of a resume isn't to get into law school. Let's face it: a great resume isn't going to make up for a low GPA, a lacking LSAT score, or a poorly written personal statement. But the resume does play an important role in the application process. Your resume is the only picture that an admissions team gets to see how you spend your time and what your priorities and passions are, so make sure that you select experiences that best convey those things.

For me, I wanted to highlight my academics first and foremost because that was my focus throughout undergrad and I would be going straight into law school after graduating. So the very first thing on my resume is where I went to school, my GPA, and the academic awards I received.

 

HOW TO BUILD YOUR RESUME FOR LAW SCHOOL


Next I featured a paper I worked on for six months and eventually had the opportunity to present at an academic conference. This was definitely one of my biggest achievements of my college career, or ever honestly, so I definitely had it up at the top so it wouldn't be missed.

 

Hold up! I know not everybody going to law school has written a big research paper or did pretty well on all of their classes in college. Now hear me on this - that's okay. Like I said the point of a resume is to show off what you care about and what you focused on.

 

 If that was an art project, super cool. If you worked with your admissions team, awesome. If it was a bunch of internships, that's great. If it was volunteering, fantastic! Feature it, be proud of it, and own it. My thing was academics, but yours could be different and still be an absolutely stellar resume. Okay, back in we go. Because this was for law school and I intentionally had built up legally related experiences throughout the past few years, I decided not to make my next section the typical one as "past jobs" or something similar. 

 

Instead I explained my growth in experience like mock trial, an internship with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, even an elective class I took with a respected attorney, all of which will hopefully be subjects for future article.Actual law school admissions counselors say that the resume helps them determine whether or not somebody will be able to hack it in law school and if that is a place that they're going to thrive. 

One admissions counselor said that he looks for three things in a law school applicant's resume:

1) do they know how to communicate, 

2) are they interested in the legal profession, 

and 

3) have they demonstrated commitment to public service? So you can see I made a clear effort to demonstrate all of these things in my legal experience section. Below that is the relevant work experience section. 

 

One of the biggest commitments and a huge influence on my time at college was my involvement with Phonation. Basically my entire time as an undergrad was colored by calling alumni and parents of my friends to update them on what was happening at Wheaton and asking if they'd like to be a part of it by donating, or, once I got promoted, making sure other people did that correctly. I made a lot of friends, learned a ton about communication and teamwork, and I think became a better person as a result of my time there. So I put that experience and other non-law-related positions I held throughout college, paid and volunteer, in my resume as well. 

 

Below this I included your typical resume end notes like skills and other similar things which I don't think particularly hurts or helps. Here's what can hurt, though: apathy, scattered structure, poor grammar and spelling, and a lack of active verbs. Keep it easily readable, informative, and most important of all, reflective of you and the perspectives that you're bringing to the table. Many College students and graduates already have a resume and/or access to a Career Center that can help them create or improve one. 

 

Take advantage of the resources that you have. You can see in a side-by-side comparison that my job hunting resume and law school resume look similar, and most of the experiences listed on them are identical, but I did tailor the structure of details for the different audiences.

Best Note Taking Strategies for Law School

 Are you worried that your notes aren’t great? Would you like to improve on your note taking skills? Today I will provide you with eighteen note taking strategies.

Note taking is an important skill, with you taking notes before, during, and after class. Success means mastering what, where, when, why, and how to take notes. If you're looking for the one way to take notes, you'll never find it. You are unique, different from the other people in your class. What I can provide you with are different strategies, some of which will work for you and others that won’t. The key is to try them and see what works for you. 

 

I will first discuss out-of-class techniques and then move to in-class techniques. Now, in no particular order, are the eighteen note taking strategies.

 

Best Note Taking Strategies for Law School

Out of Class Strategies Context

Come to class with a good command of what you are going to discuss. This means reading all assigned material, taking notes on what you read, and reviewing study aids. This will allow you to follow the classroom discussion at a deeper level, help expose gaps in your understanding, and reduce the amount of time you need to spend cleaning up your notes after class.

 

Standing

There is some evidence that taking notes while standing improves our notes. This is because it takes more energy to stand than to sit, requiring our bodies to pump more blood and to breathe more, resulting in more oxygen reaching our brains. Start with one hour a day, and alternate between sitting and standing as too much standing does result in fatigue. 

  

Schedule

Make a study schedule and stick to it, even when you don’t want to. When your schedule tells you it’s time to move to something else, do it. This helps your brain so you don’t fret about something else. For example, suppose you have scheduled 9 am to noon on Saturdays for studying, and you have an entertainment break on Friday night. Because you have scheduled a study time on Saturday, your brain can relax on Friday because it knows you have a study plan. If you don’t have a study plan, when you are trying to have fun on Friday your brain's going to start worrying because you know you have that test coming up on Monday. 

 

Breaks

Take breaks to avoid mind fatigue. I suggest you try the Pomodoro technique, which is a method where you work for 25 minutes, and take a quick five-minute break. Do a second set, just like the first, and the third set, you do a 25 minute study time with a 15 minute break. Your brain gets tired, just like the rest of you does. So you need to take regular breaks. 

 

Visualization

Most note taking strategies are designed for linear logical thinking. But some of you are more visual than others. One strategy that might work for you is to draw your thoughts on paper. I recall a student who would draw trees, with branches on the trees and then roots. She put the main issues on the branches, minor issues were the roots. Her drawings were works of art. If you aren’t an artist, try drawing circles, connecting them with squiggly lines to other circles. Maye a box will be a less important concept, connected to the circles with a squiggly line. The key here is to take notes in a non-traditional way, using diagrams that make sense to you. 

 

Outlining

After class, take your pre-class and your in-class notes and synthesize them into an outline form. This outline will only have what you need for the exam, not everything from both sets of notes. Throughout the semester, review the outline and make changes as you learn the material at a deeper level. 

 

Class recordings

You might have access to a recorded class session, but the problem is you will be tempted to listen to that class over and over again. This repetition might create the illusion of competency. When you realize that you generally only need about 10% of what is said in class, you will stop wasting time listening to a classroom discussion more than once. Take good notes once and use your time for more productive purposes, like creating outlines or taking practice exams. 

 

In Class Strategies Professor cues

Listen for important cues from your professor, and then write them down. For example, I will occasionally say something like this during class: “this topic has appeared in nearly every final exam I have ever given.” Write that down. Other important cues start with “this is important,” or “there are the four primary parts you need for the exam.” 

 

White Board or PowerPoint

If your professor writes something on the board or places it on a PowerPoint slide, pay attention on it. It might only be an illustration, or it might be something you should capture in your notes. 

 

Questions

When you encounter something you don’t understand in class, write down a question in your notes, or a question mark. After class, try to find the answer on your own, and if you can’t, then ask the professor. By the way, try to write down a few questions during each class session, as a means of improving your active engagement. 

 

Stories

A professor might provide a story to help keep you engaged and awake. You rarely have to take notes from a story. Part of note taking does understand what you don’t have to capture. 

 

Professor’s Notes.

If the professor takes time to look down at his or her notes and read something verbatim from their notes, it's probably important, so place that in your notes. 

 

Handwriting

Try to write your notes, not type them into a computer. Because you can generally type much faster than you can handwrite, you generally stop thinking when you type your notes, with your brain focusing on transcribing rather than active engagement. One possible blended technique is to get an app for a computer tablet, where you handwrite your notes and they are copied automatically into your electronic notes after class. 

 

Seating

Sit near the front of the class to avoid distractions from those who sit in front of you.

 

Excitement

If your professor gets excited about a topic, pay attention on that topic. This demonstrates interest from the professor, which means they might test you on this topic. 

 

Hunger & Bathroom

Don’t go to class hungry, otherwise you won't be able to focus. Eat a small healthy snack before class. For me, a small handful of almonds do the trick. As a professor, I don’t like teaching right after lunch because most students are in the middle of what I call a food coma—students aren't as thoughtful and some have trouble staying awake. Also, use the bathroom right before class. Nothing worse than getting towards the end of class, needing to rush to the bathroom. You can’t think well like that.

 

Lost

When you get lost during class, make a notation in your notes. That way you can come back to that after class and figure out why you were confused. 

 

Class Time

When you can, schedule classes at times that work best for you. If you aren’t a morning person, then don’t schedule a class for 8 am. I’ve taught night classes, and had students fall asleep during class. I understand that sometimes this isn’t under your control, so either goes to sleep earlier in the day or plan to take a quick 10 minute nap if you have a night class. 

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