In Twitter on July 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm

#PhDchat is a hashtag that you can search for on Twitter that brings together doctors, students, and prospective students. While anyone can tweet using the hashtag at any time, there are prearranged days and times at which specific topics are to be discussed. Discussion topics are selected by popularity via a poll. There are additional educational related chat hashtags at EduTweetUps .

While I like the idea of this communication portal, I found it difficult to navigate to tweets or twitter users pertaining to my area of interest (business). There are certainly shared interest among all academics, but even more useful would be a hashtag devoted to a school like business. Even more specific, there could be a hashtag pertaining to finance or marketing (like #phdmarketingchat). This would may be a useful resource if there were enough participants. However, lack of participation in a specified area may be the reason why only #phdchat exists.

On the website I linked to previously in this post, there is an area where you are able to submit your own hashtag to advertise an event (virtual or otherwise). Perhaps I will attempt to begin a new hashtag. Would a hashtag for phd business gain popularity?


Review: GMATPrep Software

In GMAT on July 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm

As I mentioned in my previous post, when you sign up for the GMAT you are given a free download of software called GMATPrep. As seen in the image above, it includes quantitative review, practice questions, and practice tests. I highly recommend taking the tests because my score on these tests was very close to my actual score. In addition, the test screen looks exactly like the screen when you take the test. It is, therefore, a very good idea to take these tests and to take them seriously. The questions are not as difficult as the actual exam, but that is because they are not adaptive.

Review: Kaplan’s GMAT Premier

In GMAT on July 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Kaplan has a great reputation for providing valuable resources to students in preparation for examinations such as the ACT, SAT, GRE, and GMAT. The brand name immediately caught my attention on the shelf when looking for a review book in Barnes & Noble. The main reason I chose the GMAT Premier though, was for the high number of practice tests included. What differentiated this book from the others was a CD with practice sets and practice tests. I believe that a mock computer test (though not adaptive like the official GMAT) is better preparation than a time limitless paper test or set of practice problems.

The book, like all others, contains a general overview of the test, review of material, test taking tips, and practice problems for each section of the exam: Word Problems, Data Sufficiency, Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. The test taking tips are nothing special, as they are just common sense. While I skimmed them, I did not make it a point to follow them. I feel that the math review section is particularly good. When compared to the Office GMAT Review book, which I bought recently, the math review is much more extensive and easier to understand. However, I would like to mention that standard deviation was not covered in the Kaplan book and I had an SD related question when I took the GMAT which surprised me. In other words, it is not perfect. I was not asked any permutation or combination questions, because they only show up when the test taker is scoring very highly in quantitative. In addition, Kaplan prepared me adequately for the Analytical Writing, as I scored a 6. Pay attention to the structural tips of the two types of essays.

Finally, as I mentioned previously, the CD was helpful. However, I scored between 100 and 150 points lower on the tests on the Kaplan CD than on the practice tests that are given when you register for the exam and the exam itself. Therefore, it is good practice but the score is probably an unrealistic indicator of your actual performance so do not feel discouraged.

Aside from the few contradictory comments I made above, I highly recommend this book. (Thanks, Dwight Schrute^)Please leave any questions or comments you may have.