Student Case

What really determines success?

Kate: “ . . . and this is where a lot of naysayers fail to fully understand:

    I find many people think they are practicing deliberately but in reality they are practicing with general interest. It's hard to create a lesson for yourself that pushes the right buttons at the right time. It's too easy to slip into rote practice. Real deliberate practice is seldom pleasant and often unpleasant or painful. It requires intense concentration and consistent boundary push. Humans don't do that very well. The difference among top 1% tennis players (any field) to some degree can be marked by that drive and sometimes quite literally by a missing chunk of brain or different wiring.

    A person's nature can influence the talent development, but typically shows only early, fast gains. To be fair, early gains help some persist and lack of pushes others out. But early wins (ages 6-10) do not guarantee long term interest and wins. So . . . his point holds in my book.

    It's not unlike psychosis. Some ppl are born psychotic, others get stimulated into it."
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    Tips for Applicants

    Test tip

    The Value of your Score ... This time of year I get several students asking if they should apply round 1 or retake the GMAT and push to round 2.

    It depends.

    I know, not really what you want to hear, but it really does depend. But here are some basic guidelines to judge your own score against for MBA-bound candidates.

    If Quant is 47+, you've taken at least twice, and your overall score is at least 680, go ahead with your application.

    If Quant is below 47 but above 42, your verbal is above 44, you've taken 2-3 times, and you have a compelling story, go ahead with your application.

    If your Quant is below 47 and Verbal is below 44, please consider retaking.

    Sign up from the GMAT page. GMAT Material

    Notes from Kate.

    Tutoring is available on a limited basis June thru September so please help me help you - get on the schedule sooner rather than later. As a loyal reader you get dibs over strangers.

    Also now open this week, Office Hours! Any question you want to ask, for 15 minutes. I'll even field homework questions from my competitors.

    For Office Hours

    Application tip

    So you've taken (and maybe retaken) the GMAT. Will your score get you into one of the top 10 schools? Kate answers a student question about whether a score of 690 will gain you a spot in the top 10.

    Read More


    Oftentimes, the hard lessons we learn in our careers are helpful to our personal lives as well. Blogger Tim Denning shares what he's learned during the past 6 years of working in Finance, and how these lessons impacted all areas of his life.

    "Change is guaranteed in your career so rather than avoiding it, what I’ve learned in finance is to embrace it. See the fork in the road as the greatest gift you’ve ever been given. Welcome change with open arms otherwise it will be the kiss of death to your perfect, cookie-cutter career in whatever."

    Read More
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