Student Case

Profile Evaluation and suggestion.

“I would not recommend applying at this stage.
1. You need to get your GMAT up. You’re barely better than the worldwide average score (540) and you want to go to strong programs?! No program wants a 590 admitted. It happens, but no one wants to see that..."

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Tips for Applicants

Test tip

If You Want to Score Well on the GMAT, You’ve Got to Have a Decent Verbal Score. See what I did there?*

A low verbal score will put a hard cap on your total GMAT score. Scoring less than 34 on the verbal portion of the test will prevent you from reaching 700 overall no matter what your Quant score is. If verbal scores are holding back your overall GMAT result, bone up on basic English such as subject-verb agreement before trying to retest. Read a student question and Kate's response about how to improve when your verbal score is not up to par.

*Explanation, "You've got to have ... " is conversation but not grammatically correct. It would be better to say, "You Have to Have...."

High IQ?

Is IQ important? Can it be changed?

In education circles there's been a lot of pushback on the standardized IQ measurements. They are culturally biased, they are limited in scope, etc. True, all of it. But is some highly correlated data pointing to success with certain IQ buckets. The bucket that increased odds of success long-term?

Good enough.

Yep. Not the sexiest IQ marker. Turns out you just need enough IQ - perhaps to keep you from putting your finger in a light socket more than once (Hey, once is just experimentation. After your heart stops and restarts . . . well doing that again is stupid. Never mind how I know that.).

So don't sweat your IQ score. If you can read this email, you probably have all the IQ you need to be successful.
That said, turns out people with high IQ share some traits and you can implement these same traits. So even if we have a natural IQ level, you can max out your capacity with some behavior changes.

Get the scoop on High IQ.

Application tip

How to Find Meaningful Work

My student population spends a lot of time talking about meaningful work . . . well, actually they spend a lot of time talking about "being happy" which is one of those garbage, throwaway phrases. You can choose to be happy. Blissing out is only for moments. What you can do is build a career for more meaningful work.

Remember, a career is filled with a variety of jobs. The first requirement of any job is that it should pay. If you understand your overall strategy, you can find work that will ultimately be full of meaning. Be careful about boxing yourself in on what is "meaningful." What you and your brother find meaningful may be two very different things.

Find what has meaning for you. Expect challenges along the way. That's how you know it's working!

See this video with transcript.


If it is cold where you are the idea of getting out into nature may be the furthest things from your mind. But Researchers suggest you do it anyway. But if that isn't enough to get you moving, consider staying in with a book. January is a month of meaning-searching so consider Emily Esfahani Smith's book, The Power of Meaning.

Researchers had one group of students stare at 200 foot trees. Another group looked at tall buildings. Afterward, those who had looked at the trees became far more helpful when tested. Why?

From The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters:

"The awe-inspired people, researchers found, felt a diminished sense of their own importance compared to others, and that likely led them to be more generous... They abandoned the conceit, which many of us have, that they were the center of the world. Instead, they stepped outside of themselves to connect with and focus on others."
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