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The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

Author: Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep

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This show is designed to take the guesswork out of preparing for your standardized test and equip you with practical how-to's for getting more right answers on test day, successfully navigating the admissions process, getting accepted to your dream school, and succeeding in the classroom. Our episodes deliver expert advice from the industry's top test prep instructors and admissions consultants as we endeavor to prepare you for success not only on test day, but also in your future profession and life beyond. Oh, and did we mention that we have a lot of fun? You will too, as we embark on this important next chapter of your education together. Thanks for listening!
43 Episodes
While people go back to school for a variety of reasons, in many cases it's to enhance their career prospects with the long-term goal of landing a great job upon graduation. But what goes in to getting that dream job? What are the steps in the hiring process? Should you pursue an internship first? What exactly are potential employers looking for in candidates and what can you do to stand out from your competitors?To help answer these and other questions about the corporate recruiting landscape, we turn to special guest Jemima Makis, Director of Human Resources at Senior Aerospace. With 20+ years of experience in HR and corporate recruiting / hiring, Jemima knows exactly what results in some applicants being hired and others not. During this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss:Different avenues for identifying job openings, and why it's so important that you choose to apply to companies that align with your valuesHow interning at a company can give you a leg up in landing a full-time job down the roadThe importance of having a "wow factor" beyond just meeting the minimum job requirements so that you stand out in a competitive hiring environmentRésumé do's and don'tsWhen it makes sense to submit a cover letter, and what it should includeThe mindset to adopt heading into your first interviewThe value of the school you attend, and what your advanced degree says about you as a potential employeeTraits of new hires that "stick" with the company long-term, and conversely why certain employees don't end up working outWhat to do if you don't get hired for the specific job you're applying forAnd more!Whether you're still on the front end of your academic career, you're nearing graduation, or you're already out in the workforce and looking to land your next great job, the insight Jemima shares in this episode will help you put your best foot forward and dramatically improve your chances of getting hired. Enjoy!RESOURCES / LINKSConnect with Jemima on LinkedIn: for your standardized test with Dominate Test Prep's industry-leading prep courses: EPISODESIf you enjoyed this episode, we encourage you to check out these other relevant episodes of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:Episode 28: The Value of an MBA, with Tim MunyonEpisode 16: Is Harvard Really Worth It? with Jake TaylorEpisode 42: GMAT vs. GRE for MBA AdmissionsA DOSE OF MOTIVATION"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” — e. e. cummings“When the opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” — John Wooden
You've decided that you're going to business school. Congratulations! That's step 1. Now you need to decide which standardized test you're going to take as part of the admissions process, the GMAT or the GRE. While similar in a number of ways, the two exams differ in several key ways, and you want to ensure that you take the one that gives you the best shot at getting a competitive score. This episode compares and contrasts the two tests and gives you important things to consider so that you can make an informed decision. Specifically we discuss:Four (4) key questions that will provide clarity as to whether the GMAT or GRE is a better fit for youKey similarities and differences between the quantitative sections of the GMAT vs. GREKey similarities and differences between the verbal sections of the GMAT vs. GREA fun and enlightening illustration of a common grammar rule tested on Sentence Correction questions on the GMATHow differences between the scoring algorithms on the two tests lead to contrasting ways of navigating the exams, and which one may benefit certain types of test-takersWhether or not you should switch exams if you've already started preparing for one but aren't seeing the results you wantThe power of commitment and the importance of going "all-in" once you decide which exam you're going to takeAnd more!Choosing between the GMAT and GRE is stressful for a lot of MBA applicants, but it doesn't have to be. After listening to this episode you will better understand the two tests, know your key decision points, and have a strong intuition as to whether the GMAT or GRE is the right option for you. Regardless of which one you choose, we're confident that you can get a great score with proper preparation!RESOURCES / LINKSReprint of the Far Side comic discussed in this episodeGMAT vs. GRE: What's the Difference? (Article)GMAT vs. GRE: Which is Right for You? (Video)Free GMAT practice tests from the GMACBlog: How to Get the Free GRE Practice Tests from ETSComplete GMAT and GRE prep courses with Dominate Test PrepHere's the original caption under the Far Side comic: "The class abruptly stopped practicing. Here was an opportunity to not only employ their skills, but also to save the entire town."SIMILAR EPISODESIf you enjoyed this episode, we encourage you to check out these other relevant episodes of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:Episode 34: How to Determine Where to Apply, with Linda AbrahamEpisode 28: The Value of an MBA, with Tim MunyonEpisode 22: A Peek Behind the MBA Curtain, with Sam KleinA DOSE OF MOTIVATION“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” — Kenneth Blanchard
You have a decision to make when choosing which standardized test to take when applying to college. Should you take the SAT or the ACT? To help you make the most informed decision possible, we've invited Amy Seeley, founder of Seeley Test Pros, to discuss the key differences between the two exams and to overall help you choose the one that's best for you. In this episode you'll hear us discuss:Whether the school(s) you're applying to has any bearing on whether you should take the SAT or ACT;An easy way to get an initial idea as to which test you're likely to score higher on;The biggest similarity between the two exams and the foundational concept that each tests heavily (start shoring up your knowledge base now!);Subtle but important differences between the reading passages on the SAT vs. the ACT, and who is likely to do better on which;How the exams emphasize the math disciplines differently, and what it means for you depending on your relative quantitative strengths and weaknesses;Why the inclusion of a dedicated "Science" section on the ACT shouldn't solely influence your decision one way or the other;A timeline for when to start start studying and when to take your test of choice;Whether or not it makes sense to switch exams if you've already started studying for one but are struggling to get the score you need/want;General prep tips;How to handle testing anxiety;And more!If you're a freshman or sophomore in high school and you're still unsure about whether to take the SAT or ACT, this episode will give you the clarity you need. But even if you've already started down the path of preparing for one of the exams in earnest, some of the mindsets and test-taking strategies that Amy discusses should help you as well. Enjoy!RESOURCES / LINKSFree resources from Seeley Test Pros to learn more about and prepare for the SAT and ACTDetailed breakdown of key differences between the SAT vs. ACT 2021 including content tested, question types, scoring, length, etc.Essential SAT Math Strategies - On-demand video course + practice problems from Dominate Test PrepContact Amy: amy@seeleytestpros.comContact Brett: brett@dominatetestprep.comSIMILAR EPISODESIf you enjoyed this episode, we know you'll benefit from these other relevant episodes of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:Episode 40 - Proven Principles of Perfect PracticeEpisode 38 - 3 Ways to Worry Less for Better Test-Day PerformanceEpisode 2 - 5 Proven Study Habits for a Higher Score on Test DayWe also encourage you to check out Episode 82 of the "Tests and the rest" podcast where Amy interviewed Brett about "The Inner Game of Testing."A DOSE OF MOTIVATION“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decision.” — Jim Rohn
The great American football coach Vince Lombardi famously said, "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."When it comes to preparing for your standardized test, practice is obviously an important component of your ultimate success. But how you practice matters. So what are the components of "perfect" practice and what should you be doing to ensure that your practice sessions are as effective as possible and will translate to a high score on test day?To help shed light on this important topic, we're joined in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast by Mike Bergin, founder of Chariot Learning and founding President of the Board of Directors of the National Test Prep Association. We discuss:The 4 Steps of Deliberate Practice;The distinction between "studying" and "practice" and the role that each should play in your test preparation;The danger of taking too many practice tests;How often you should take practice tests, and things you should do to ensure that they replicate the actual test-day experience;Why some students perform worse on the real exam than on their practice tests, and what you can do to ensure that doesn't happen for you;The important link between fun and practice, and how to inject some fun into your practice sessions;Advice for students who are reluctant (read: scared) to take full-length practice tests and feel like they need to "know it all" before giving it a go;How to know when you're ready for the real exam.Study time is precious, so you don't want to just go through the motions during your practice and then wonder why your scores aren't improving. If you take to heart and implement the mindsets and strategies we discuss in this episode, we're confident that the benefits you derive from your practice will improve -- and by extension, your results on test day will improve as well. Enjoy!RESOURCES / LINKSHere are some studies and articles with additional tips and insight into effective practice:The Power of Testing Memory: Basic Research and Implications for Educational Practice, by Henry L. Roediger, III, and Jeffrey D. KarpickePractice Testing Improves Retrieval, by Chariot LearningPractice Makes Myelinated Perfect, by Chariot LearningDeliberate Practice and 4 Not-So-Easy Steps to Success, by Chariot LearningSIMILAR EPISODESIf you enjoyed this episode, we know you'll benefit from these other similar episodes of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:Episode 2 - 5 Proven Study Habits for a Higher Score on Test DayEpisode 15 - Overcoming Test AnxietyEpisode 38 - 3 Ways to Worry Less for Better Test-Day PerformanceWe also encourage you to check out Episode 82 of the "Tests and the rest" podcast where Mike interviewed Brett about "The Inner Game of Testing."A DOSE OF MOTIVATION“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” — Aristotle
The better you are at reading, the better you'll do on your standardized test. And the more you read, the better you'll get at reading.But what should you be reading?That's the question we seek to answer in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, in response to the following e-mail we recently received from one of our listeners:"I want to start reading and I bought Pride and Prejudice and OMG!!!!!!!!!! It is the most boring book I ever read, so I stop. Do you have any suggestion? I need to improve my verbal and I want to read more to get more ability for the longer passage. English is my second language. Thank you so much again." -- YohannaFirst, it's important to understand the purpose of reading as it pertains to helping you on your standardized test. We explain several of the most important benefits you can expect to receive by increasing the amount that you're reading between now and test day.But it's also important that you're reading the right things. The bulk of this episode is devoted to giving you recommendations on the types of reading material you should add to your prep, including specific genres, authors, and titles. Pick something and start reading it today!RESOURCESJoin our class at using the following class code: 8MURF3ZCQuestions? Suggestions for future podcast episodes? Contact Us!Sign up for one of our comprehensive prep courses: https://www.dominatetestprep.comA DOSE OF MOTIVATION“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” — Harry S. Truman
Worry is a natural human emotion. But it doesn't serve you well when preparing for your standardized test and it doesn't have to be your story on test day. Doing well on your exam involves winning what we call the inner game of testing, and learning to control your anxiety so that you can perform with calm, equanimity, and confidence is a huge part of getting a high score.In this episode of the Dominate Test Prep Podcast we examine the concept of worry and share three proven ways that you can reduce your anxiety in the lead-up to your exam. Specifically, we discuss:The important lesson Tom Hanks learned about worry in the movie "Bridge of Spies" and how it translates to your ideal test-taking mindsetThe difference between the inner and outer game of test preparation, and why worrying less is so crucial for winning the inner gameThe inverse relationship between preparation and worryHow Michael Jordan was able to stay calm in the most stressful moments of big games, and how you can do the same on your examWhy getting the focus off yourself is so helpful for reducing your anxiety -- and where you should place your attention insteadThe importance of a healthy "big picture" perspective (blowing things out of proportion never helps!)The contrast between two hypothetical candidates in terms of their approach to test day... and why you should be more like Candidate BAnd more!Whether you're just getting started preparing for your exam and you're nervous about the road ahead, or test day is getting close and you're worried about not getting the score you need, you'll benefit from the tangible tips and perspectives we share in this episode. At the very least they'll help you live a healthier, less-stressful life... and oh, yeah, they should help you score higher on test day, too!RESOURCESThe Cosmic Eye - This is the YouTube video I told you about that does an amazing job of putting our place in the Universe into perspective.Comprehensive Prep Courses - Cover all your bases so that you capitalize on the inverse relationship between preparation and worry.Subscribe to our Dominate Test Prep YouTube Channel - Get more free test-taking tips and strategies.Contact Us - Questions? We're here to help.A DOSE OF MOTIVATION“Pressure is a privilege." — Billy Jean King
Determining when to take your standardized test shouldn't be an arbitrary decision. But while there are a number of important factors to consider, it turns out that there is an ideal time to prepare for and take your exam -- and this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast will lay it all out for you.Specifically, we discuss four key considerations that apply to test takers for all standardized tests. We then drill down and walk through a specific example showing how you can work backwards from your application deadlines to figure out exactly when you need to schedule your test -- and perhaps more importantly, when you need to start studying for it in earnest.Whether you're just starting to think about how your standardized test fits in to the application process or you've already been studying and need to lock in an official test date, there will be plenty in this episode to steer you in the right direction and give you a workable game plan.Visit for detailed study plans and comprehensive prep courses for all of the major standardized tests. SOMEDAY ISLE, by Denis WaitleyThere's an Island fantasyA "Someday I'll" we'll never seeWhen recession stops, inflation ceasesOur mortgage is paid, our pay increasesThat Someday I'll where problems endWhere every piece of mail is from a friendWhere all the nations can go it aloneWhere we all retire at forty-onePlaying backgammon in the island sunMost unhappy people look to tomorrowTo erase this day's hardship and sorrowThey put happiness on lay-awayAnd struggle through a blue todayBut happiness cannot be soughtIt can't be earned, it can't be boughtLife's most important revelationIs that the journey means more than the destinationHappiness is where you are right nowPushing a pencil or pushing a plowGoing to school or standing in lineWatching and waiting, or tasting the winIf you live in the past you become senileIf you live in the future you're on Someday I'llThe fear of results is procrastinationThe joy of today is a celebrationYou can save, you can slave, trudging mile after mileBut you'll never set foot on your Someday I'llWhen you've paid all your dues and put in your timeOut of nowhere comes another Mt. Everest to climbFrom this day forward make it your vowTake Someday I'll and make it your now!A DOSE OF MOTIVATION"Don't let fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway." -- Earl Nightingale
Sometimes the best way to learn something is to strip it down to its most basic elements. That's exactly what we've done in this episode to help you better understand logical arguments, key to getting a high score on many standardized tests. Host Brett Ethridge shares several revealing -- and funny! -- arguments that his 8-year-old son has made to tease out some common reasoning fallacies and help you more easily identify an argument's underlying assumption(s). After unpacking key learnings from each of his son's "simple" arguments, Brett then provides similar, more sophisticated examples that will help solidify your understanding so that you know exactly what to look for on test day. Oh, and be sure to listen all the way to the end where Brett points out a faulty assumption in the popular Dr. Seuss book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! After hearing Brett dissect the passage, you'll never be able to read it the same way again. Enjoy!RESOURCESPodcast episode 9: "Finding Assumptions Using the 'Big 6' Assumption Categories, with Brandon Royal"Dive deeper into argument patterns and finding assumptions with our a-la-carte video course devoted to GMAT Critical ReasoningOne Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. SeussComprehensive online prep courses from Dominate Test PrepQuestions? Contact us.A DOSE OF MOTIVATION“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” — Isaac Asimov
The Executive Assessment (EA) is an exam used by a growing number of top business schools around the world for admission to a variety of MBA and graduate business programs. As it has gained traction and become a viable alternative to the GMAT during the application process in some cases, inquiring minds want to know: What is the Executive Assessment all about, how is it used during the application process, and what's the best way to prepare for it?To help answer these questions -- and more -- we're privileged to be joined in this episode by Manish Dharia, Product Manager for the Executive Assessment at the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the organization that created the exam. In other words, he's the guy when it comes to knowing the in's and out's of the test. Specifically, Manish shares:How the Executive Assessment came about, what it's designed to test, and who should take itThe format of the EA and how it's scored, including a breakdown of the unique section-adaptive scoring algorithmDetails about the Online Executive Assessment and how it compares to the in-person versionAspects of the "non-exam" experience, meaning the check-in process, score validity, sending score reports to schools, etc.How the Executive Assessment is used in the admissions process, and a key mindset shift you should adopt in terms of how you think about the role of the examInsight into the registration process and the test-day experience (both in-person and online)Tips on preparing for the EAA quick review of the different question types you can expect to see on test dayAnd more!This episode is a great opportunity for you to get a first-hand account of the Executive Assessment straight from one of the test makers. Whether you're just starting to think about applying to business school or you're already knee-deep in preparing for the EA, there will be something in here to assist you on that journey. Enjoy!RESOURCESThe official Executive Assessment website - Register for the exam, purchase practice tests, FAQs, etc.Playback of the full "Understanding the Executive Assessment" webinar with Manish DhariaComplete Executive Assessment Course - Take the guesswork out of preparing for the EAExecutive Assessment vs. GMAT - Which should you take?A DOSE OF MOTIVATION"Begin to be now what you will be hereafter." -- William James
One of the first and most important decisions you need to make on your higher education journey is determining which schools and programs to apply to. Once you figure that out, much of the rest of the application process starts to fall into place. Yet, deciding where to apply isn't always straightforward. There are a lot of factors to consider. To help shed light on this important topic, we are joined in this episode by Linda Abraham, founder of Accepted, who shares anecdotes, insight, and key considerations including:The importance of determining your "North Star" as the driver of your decision about which programs to apply to -- and how to figure it out if you're unsureWhy getting clear about your career goals is such an important first step, including its relevance to writing your Statement of Purpose on your applicationsThree good reasons for selecting target schoolsSeveral bad reasons for applying to a specific school or programThe role that rankings should play in where you choose to apply (if at all)Where money (scholarships, tuition costs) should factor in to your decisionHow many schools you should apply to -- and whether or not your should have a "safe school" on your listConsiderations for undergraduate applicants, and how they differ in some respects from the factors that are most important for grad school candidatesWhat you can do to boost your profile if your stats (test scores, GPA, etc.) aren't currently in alignment with your dream schoolAnd more!If you're just starting the admissions process, what Linda has to share will help ensure that you're going back to school for the right reasons and that you pick a school that you will enjoy while you're there and that will serve your long-term goals well. And if you're already knee-deep in the process but not 100% confident in your list of target schools, you'll benefit from Linda's perspective as well. Enjoy!RESOURCESLinda has put together a special free guide just for the listeners of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast to help you find the business school that's the perfect fit for you. Download it here:Free Guide: Best MBA Programs — A Guide to Selecting the Right OneAnd if you need to boost your test score to improve your chances of getting accepted to your top-choice school, check out our top-rated prep courses for the GMAT, GRE, Executive Assessment, LSAT, and SAT.A DOSE OF MOTIVATION“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” — Yogi Berra
Life happens. No matter how hard you try to stay consistent with your test preparation, sometimes you get sidetracked and need to figure out how to get going again. Indeed, that's the question at the heart of this week's Mailbag Monday episode, as submitted by Jayant:"What do I do if something derails my prep? How do I reset and get started again?"In this episode I share a 5-part plan to help you get back on track -- and stay on track -- so that you can put your exam in the rearview mirror once and for all. Whether it's only been a few days or several months since you last sat down to study, the process for jumpstarting your prep is the same. By the end of this show you'll have a workable plan of action and specific strategies to keep you working powerfully toward your goals. Enjoy!Note: As referenced during this episode, be sure to also listen to Episode 25 of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast for more on "How to Find the Motivation to Study."Questions? Comments? Reach out to us directly at We'd love to hear from you!A DOSE OF MOTIVATION“Pain goes away. But the pride of knowing you gave it everything? That’ll stick with you forever.” — Mat Fraser, 5x CrossFit Games champion 
You've invested time, effort, and money preparing for and taking your standardized test, and unfortunately the first attempt didn't quite go as planned. So, what now? Should you retake it? Or just apply with the score you have?The answer to those questions isn't quite as straightforward as it may seem. Even if you were assured of improving the next time around, a higher score may not be necessary to get you accepted to your target program(s). There's a lot to consider when thinking about retaking your exam, and we break it all down for you in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast. Specifically, we run through the five (5) key questions you need to ask yourself to help decide whether taking the test again makes sense for you:What's likely to change this time around?Was there anything abnormal about your first testing experience?How likely are you to actually improve your score (what do the statistics say)?How many times have you already taken it?Do you have any alternatives?We shed light on all of these questions -- and more -- so that by the end of this episode, you will have a strong sense of whether or not to give it another go. Enjoy!RESOURCESRepeat Testing Trends for the GMATScore Improvement Statistics for the GREPerformance of Repeat Test Takers on the LSATContact Dominate Test PrepA DOSE OF MOTIVATION"I never lose; I either win or learn." -- Nelson Mandela
In this "Mailbag Monday" edition of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we answer the following question submitted by Anne:"It seems kind of silly but how much time do you suggest people spend looking over questions they got wrong or even questions they got right?"It's not a silly question, Anne. Quite to the contrary, practice is a key component of preparing well for your standardized test, and a big part of effective practice is reviewing your results and learning from your mistakes. How do you do that? I share three thoughts in this week's show including my "L-M-H Technique" that you can use when doing blocks of practice problems or taking practice tests to help narrow your focus during your review sessions and ensure that you're in a better position to get more right answers the next time around. Enjoy!Note: If you discover that part of the reason you're getting questions wrong is due to careless errors, be sure to listen to Episode 11 where we share nine ways to avoid making careless errors.CONTACTDo you have questions you'd like us to answer on a future "Mailbag Monday" segment? Or general questions about our prep courses or other aspects of the application process?Please reach out to us directly, here: We look forward to hearing from you!A DOSE OF MOTIVATION"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -- Winston Churchill
It's one thing to get in to a top law school. But how do you succeed once you're there? The three years of law school are intense. It's like "drinking from a fire hose," says this week's guest, Dave Hall. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure that you're prepared for the onslaught and maximize your law school experience. Having just graduated from law school himself, Dave shares five (5) key "lessons learned" in this episode -- 5 things he wishes he had known before starting law school that could have helped him have even more success, and that can empower you to make the most of your own law school journey.Specifically, Dave discusses:Whether or not the law school you attend actually mattersThe importance of maintaining a clearly-defined yet flexible routineHow to make time for what matters most (and no, you don't have to give up all of your hobbies during law school!)Why cramming is detrimental to your performance and how to avoid itThe role of luck in your ultimate class ranking, and why you should view that as a good thingThe power of kindness not only for making the world a better place, but also for helping you to land a job after graduatingTips for succeeding in a virtual classroom setting if your classes will be online this FallAnd more!Before embarking on any new endeavor, it's always helpful to learn from those who have gone before you. Whether you're already in law school, are about to begin your first year, or are still a year or two away, what Dave shares in this discussion will help you maximize your success not only in the law school classroom, but also in life. Enjoy!RESOURCESNot yet accepted to your dream law school? Improve 10 points or score in the 99th percentile on the LSAT -- guaranteed! -- with Dave's industry-leading LSAT Prep Course: Dave Hall directly at dave@dominatetestprep.comA DOSE OF MOTIVATION“You seriously have no idea what people are dealing with in their personal life. So just be nice, it’s that simple.” — House of Leaders
In this first-ever "Mailbag Monday" edition of The Dominate Test Pep Podcast, we answer the following question from Isabella, a loyal listener of the show:"I would like to know if you have some tips on how to answer the questions in less time. I feel like when I am doing practice problems I get more answers correct because I have more time, but when I am doing the practice tests I get very anxious with the time and end up doing everything quickly and with less attention and get more answers wrong."Does that sound familiar? Taking too long to answer questions is a very common issue for a lot of students, and it can obviously have a negative impact on your score. Fortunately, there are three (3) effective remedies that will enable you to solve problems faster and thereby get more right answers on test day. We break them down for you in this episode. Enjoy!CONTACTDo you have questions you'd like us to answer on a future "Mailbag Monday" segment? Or general questions about our prep courses or other aspects of the application process?Please reach out to us directly, here: We look forward to hearing from you!A DOSE OF MOTIVATION"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work." — Calvin Coolidge
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is a popular route for advancing one's career, learning new skills, growing a network, and overall expanding opportunities in the world of business. Yet, there are significant costs associated with pursuing this level of higher education. So is it worth it? How do you measure the value of and MBA and determine whether it's right for you?To shed light on this important topic, we've invited Tim Munyon, Associate Professor of Management at the Haslam College of Business (University of Tennessee) and Managing Partner at Red Castle Human Capital, to share his perspective from both the faculty and employer standpoint. Specifically, we discuss:Advantages of the traditional MBA as compared to niche Masters degrees or part-time / online MBA programsWhy an MBA is useful for entrepreneursDoes the best value come from Top 20 business schools, or is "fit" more important for maximizing the degree?The costs one needs to consider beyond tuitionThe ROI of an MBA -- in terms of increased salary as well as less tangible but equally-important benefitsThe value of the network you develop during business school — and is it actually the most important value component of an MBA?Whether a 2-year program is preferable to a 1-year program from an ROI perspectiveWhat employers look for in MBAs, and why it's still a sought-after degree from a hiring standpointWho an MBA is right for, and who it might not be ideal forAnd more!If you're wrestling with the decision of whether or not to make the time and financial investment in pursuing an MBA, the insight Tim shares in this interview will help you immensely. And if you're already set on going back to business school, I think you'll come away from this episode even more excited about what you're in store for and the value you'll get from your MBA. Enjoy!RESOURCESConnect with Tim Munyon on LinedInLearn more about Tim's workforce analytics company, Red CastleExplore the Haslam College of Business at the University of TennesseeContact Brett at Dominate Test PrepA DOSE OF MOTIVATION"Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” — Leonardo da Vinci
Test day is right around the corner. What should you be doing in the final week leading up to the big day to maximize your preparation and ensure that you have the best possible result on your exam? In this episode we break it down for you day-by-day, laying out for you exactly what you should be prioritizing each day starting "7 days out" to finish strong. Specifically, we discuss:How many practice tests you should take in the final week of preparation -- and when you should take themHow to review your practice test results to determine where to focus your efforts during your last few study sessionsThe importance of sleep and nutrition for test-day clarity and focus, with tips for maximizing eachWhen and how to introduce a timer into your practice sessionsA simple way to limit distractions and increase positivity in your life leading up to test dayWhy trying to cram the day before your exam is not a good strategy (and what you should do instead)Six things to do the morning of your examWhat to do the day after your test to de-stress your mind and bodyAnd more!If you have a week or less before test day, these last-minute tips will help you know where to focus and ensure that you've covered all your bases heading in to the exam. Even if you still have a while, much of what we discuss will help you with your preparation in general -- and then you can revisit it as your final week gets closer.The end is in sight... finish strong!RESOURCESDownload our free "7 Days Out" checklist HERE"Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime" referenced from Scientific American"How Much Sleep is Required for Peak Cognition" referenced from MDedgePurchase full-length GMAT practice testsPurchase full-length GRE practice testsContact Brett at Dominate Test PrepA DOSE OF MOTIVATION"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." -- Benjamin Franklin
In the immortal words of William Shakespeare, "To defer or not to defer, that is the question." Or something like that. We're talking, of course, about whether or not to defer your admission to college / graduate school given the uncertainty around what the learning environment will look like when classes resume in the Fall. With so many schools relaxing their deferral requirements and lingering concerns about the safety of live, in-person classes, it's a question that a lot of students are wrestling with right now -- and time is quickly running out to make that decision.To help unpack this important topic, we're joined in this episode by Diana Jones, admissions consultant with College and Prep, who weighs in with some key insights and important considerations that will help you decide whether to take a gap year or matriculate on schedule. Specifically, we discuss:The current higher education landscape in the world of COVID-19Why this year might be a good one to take a "gap year" -- and how you should spend your time if you make that decisionThe key difference between the decision facing undergraduates vs. grad studentsThe top 3 reasons someone might decide to wait a year before going back to schoolWhy most schools cap the number of gap-year requests they grant, and what it means for youThe logistics of requesting deferred admissionWhether or not you should expect a tuition reduction if classes are conducted online to start the school year (hint: don't hold your breath!)The best way to search deep within yourself to answer the question of whether to press the pause button or stay the courseAnd more!Deciding which college or graduate program to attend is a big enough of a decision as it is. Having to now decide whether to accept your offer of admission and go back to school this Fall -- or defer your admission and wait another year -- adds more complexity to the equation. After listening to this episode, we're confident that you'll be in a better position to make the decision that's right for you. Enjoy!RESOURCESDiana's NBC News article: "8 considerations for graduating high school seniors rethinking their plans due to COVID-19"Contact Diana Jones for a free phone consultRegister for a comprehensive online prep course (SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, EA) with Dominate Test PrepA DOSE OF MOTIVATIONHarlem, by Langston HughesWhat happens to a dream deferred?      Does it dry up      like a raisin in the sun?      Or fester like a sore—      And then run?      Does it stink like rotten meat?      Or crust and sugar over—      like a syrupy sweet?      Maybe it just sags      like a heavy load.      Or does it explode?
Motivation is a key component of success on your standardized test because if it's lacking, you won't put in the necessary work to prepare effectively and your score will suffer on test day. Unfortunately, a lot of students struggle with motivation and consequently they have a hard time getting the score they need. Perhaps that's you.So where does motivation come from and how can you get it back if you've lost it? That's the question we tackle in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast. Specifically, we explore:The four (4) reasons people lose motivation and what you can do to get it backWhy getting into a good school may not be enough of a motivator for youThe importance of having a powerful "WHY" and how to tap into it for sustained motivationThe difference between Internal and External motivation, and which is more important for driving long-term successThe power of habits for taking motivation out of the equation altogetherA simple action you can take right now to increase your daily motivationAnd more!If you're just beginning your test prep journey and your motivation is still high, that's awesome! But being aware of some of these "motivation pitfalls" can help you avoid them in the future. And if your motivation is lacking, I'm confident that you'll have clear direction on how to get it back after listening to this episode... and that you'll be motivated to do so.RESOURCESPodcast episode #2: 5 Proven Study Habits for a Higher Score on Test DayDaily motivation: Download the "Motivate" appComments? Questions? Contact UsA DOSE OF MOTIVATION“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -- Jim Ryun* Did you like what you heard? Please leave us a written review. Doing so helps others find us who are looking to dominate their own test. We appreciate the support and thank you for listening!
Most standardized tests have an essay component, and in this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast we're going to cover the 10 most important things you should do when crafting your essay response to ensure that you get a high score on test day -- perhaps even a perfect one!We start by explaining what the graders are looking for. Once you know the components of a high-scoring essay, you can craft your strategy for writing an effective essay yourself. Knowing is half the battle, as they say.Then we go through 10 tips for helping you get a perfect essay score and discuss:The importance of understanding the question prompt and answering all aspects of it (with examples);What you should do during the first 5 minutes before you start writing;The role of a clear thesis sentence and where it should appear in your essay;How to organize your essay for maximum effectiveness;Where you should pull your supporting examples from (for both the Issue Essay and Argument Essay) for the main body paragraphs of your essay;How long your essay should ideally be;Things you can do to improve your "fluency of language" so that your essay reads well;And more!Whether you're naturally a strong writer or not, there are a lot of things you can do to write an essay that the readers will find favor with on test day. By the end of this episode, you'll know what they are and how to implement them. Enjoy!FROM THE MAILBAGBe sure to listen all the way to the end of the show where we answer the following question from one of our listeners:"Is it better to go through the Official Guide first or start by going through a coaching program like yours?"RESOURCESHere are direct links to the resources mentioned in this episode that will help you prepare for the Analytical Writing (Essay) portion of your exam:Score-level examples of a sample Issue Essay taskPool of sample Issue Essay prompts for you to practiceScore-level examples of a sample Argument Essay taskPool of sample Argument Essay prompts for you to practiceGRE Analytical Writing Course (relevant for exams other than the GRE as well)Additional comprehensive prep courses to help you prepare for all aspects of your standardized testImprove your overall writing: The Little Red Writing Book, by Brandon RoyalImprove your grammar: The Little Gold Grammar Book, by Brandon RoyalA DOSE OF MOTIVATION"The scariest moment is always just before you start." — Stephen King
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