### Archives For chris ryan

On Tuesday, June 5th, the GMAT is changing with the addition of a new section called Integrated Reasoning (IR). All of our Manhattan GMAT prep classes now cover Integrated Reasoning and will prepare our students for both the old test and the new test.Our IR Strategy Guide will be released to Manhattan GMAT students on April 9th and the general public on April 24th, along with IR practice exams and online IR workshops for our students.

The following article is Part 1 of a two part overview of Integrated Reasoning written by Manhattan GMAT’s Vice President of Academics, Chris Ryan. Part 1 answers the questions “What is Integrated Reasoning” and “When should I take the GMAT?”. Part 2 covers “What Is different about IR” and “What’s the real danger of IR?”.

### What is Integrated Reasoning (IR)?

IR is a new, 30-minute section that’s going to replace the Issue Essay on June 5. No other part of the GMAT will be affected. IR will have a separate score—it will not factor into the 200-800 score that you really care about.

On Tuesday, June 5th, the GMAT is changing with the addition of a new section called Integrated Reasoning (IR). All of our Manhattan GMAT prep classes now cover Integrated Reasoning and will prepare our students for both the old test and the new test. Our IR Strategy Guide will be released on April 9th, along with IR practice exams and online IR workshops for our students.

The following article is Part 2 of a two part overview of Integrated Reasoning written by Manhattan GMAT’s Vice President of Curriculum, Chris Ryan. Part 1 covered the questions “What is Integrated Reasoning” and “When Should I Take the GMAT?”. Part 2 covers “What Is Different About IR” and “What’s the real danger of IR?”.

Integrated Reasoning emphasizes certain topics at the expense of other topics:

• Emphasis on Percents, Statistics, Reading Comprehension, and so on.
• DE-emphasis on topics such as Grammar and Number Properties.

IR also has some funky new formats of questions. Hey, sort this table! Pick two answers, one in each column! You just have to get used to these new looks.

As the label says, Integrated Reasoning is integrated: it mixes together Quant and Verbal. You get Quant with a lot of words, or Verbal with numbers—take your pick.

You will also encounter real-world data—lots of ugly numbers. You’ll be able to call up a simple calculator on-screen—and in fact, you should be ready to do so, because some of these IR numbers fell out of the ugly tree and hit all the branches.

Why is IR this way? In business school, you’ll analyze cases—real-world histories of companies that include a lot of text and numbers. More than any other section of the GMAT, Integrated Reasoning gives you a foretaste of case analysis.

That’s why “real-world” topics such as Percents, Decimals, Statistics, and Reading Comp are more important on IR than “math puzzle” or “grammar nerd” topics.

### What’s the real danger of IR?

The real danger is that IR could mess up the rest of your test, if you let it. This new section will throw big charts and long passages at you. You’ll be under real time pressure to finish.

And once you’re done, you’ll have to start the part that really matters!

So how do you make sure that IR goes down smoothly and then vanishes like a burp in the wind?

• Build stamina in advance. When you take your second practice test, your third, and so forth, don’t skip IR. Our tests will be enabled with IR sections in April.
• Why not do your first practice test with IR? Because then you’ll over-focus on this section in your studies. Remember, what matters is GMAT Quant and GMAT Verbal—the two 75-minute multiple-choice sections that form the main event of the exam. Wait until you’ve got some real preparation under your belt before you start worrying at all about IR.
• Study the fast and easy way to do problems. Of course, you’re doing the same thing for GMAT Quant and Verbal. Just practice with these new looks, and don’t be afraid to use that on-screen calculator.
• Feed your brain at the break. After IR, your mind will be literally depleted of fuel (this state is called “decision fatigue” or “ego depletion,” if you look it up). As a result, you’ll be less ready to handle additional rapid-fire decision-making for the next 2 ½ hours.
• What’s the fuel of your brain? Glucose, exclusively—your brain only eats the simplest of sugars. Recent studies show that eating or drinking something with carbs in it fights ego depletion. So drink half a Gatorade. Of course, don’t overdo the sugar—don’t gobble half a birthday cake. Just get some carbs back in your brain.

After IR, make a couple of adjustments as you proceed into the rest of the test.

• Give up the calculator without regret.
• On IR, you needed it. But on GMAT Quant, you don’t need it. The numbers are now pretty! They’re rigged to allow for estimation or other approaches you can reasonably take by hand.
• Stop ignoring things.
• On IR, you’ll be given some giant table. To get the big picture, you’ll look the whole thing over, then you’ll sort and sift away all the dreck to find the two numbers you need.
• In contrast, on GMAT Quant you’re rarely given anything you don’t need. Try to use all the info provided.

Next time, we’ll talk about what IR looks like in detail. In the meantime, good luck in your studies!

This is Part 2 of a two part series. Part 1 can be found here. For more on Integrated Reasoning, visit our IR page.

By Chris Ryan

We all know that the GMAT is a computer adaptive test, and computer adaptive tests give us questions based on the difficulty level that we “earn” as we take the test. How do the test writers at ACT (the organization that writes the GMAT; it used to be ETS, but ETS lost the contract to ACT 4-5 years ago; GMAC manages the algorithm and “owns” the test) determine which questions are harder than others? Continue Reading…

The two authors of Case Studies and Cocktails, Chris Ryan and Carrie Shuchart, were recently interviewed on The MBA Show. See what they have to say below about dating, relationships, sex, and b-school jargon:

Imagine it’s five, ten, twenty years ago…

Congratulations, you just got into college! You are super excited, and your parents are so proud.  The time they spent reading to you, checking your homework, and quizzing you on vocabulary was well worth it, and they are excited to send you off to face your next adventure.  But first, they will leave you with a few parting words of wisdom: Join a club. Don’t drink anything green. Be sure to manage your time well. They’ll send you care packages, and be there for you when you need advice so that, while you may be on your own, you still have someone to turn to.

Now speed ahead five, ten, twenty years…

Congratulations, you just got into business school! You are super excited, and your Manhattan GMAT instructors are so proud. The time they spent drilling you, checking your quant problems, and quizzing you on sentence correction has been well worth it, and they are excited to send you off to face your next adventure.

But, of course, they have their worries. Will you know that you are supposed to pronounce all the letters in ROI? Will you remember your excel shortcuts? Will you be able to work well with your learning teams? What if you have questions about supply chains or microeconomics or how to balance wine and cheese in one hand? Who will you turn to?

Well, GMATers, we have you covered.  Carrie Shuchart and Chris Ryan, two former Manhattan GMAT instructors and successful MBAs, have written you the perfect care package. Case Studies and Cocktails: The “Now What?” Guide to Business School is both a handbook for the social side of school and an academic primer on the material you’ll have to master.

From the day you receive your first acceptance letter in the mail, Case Studies and Cocktails will prove to be an invaluable guide to the ins and outs of business school.  Whether you are stressed about paying tuition, valuing bonds, repairing a dysfunctional team, or mastering the recruiting process, the solutions are in this comprehensive guide. Filled with the advice of students and staff from over a dozen top business schools, numerous dowloadable calendars and worksheets, and a glossary of need-to-know b-school jargon, Case Studies & Cocktails will provide you with all the tools you need for living and working as a business school student.

For more information, check out the Case Studies & Cocktails website.  Want a sneak peek? Read an excerpt on Poets & Quants or on Fortune.

This article was originally written for and posted on www.casestudiesandcocktails.com by Chris Ryan

Recently, U.S. News & World Report released its 2012 Business School rankings. The energy and commentary surrounding this perennial event is noteworthy. Stanford GSB muscled HBS out of the top spot, while my alma mater Duke Fuqua rose to No. 12.

While many MBA applicants revere the U.S. News & World Report rankings, others stand apart. The Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell lambasted the criteria used in the rankings, calling the criteria flimsy proxies for educational quality.

No matter whose ranking you prefer, we encourage you to embrace a comprehensive approach to selecting a business school. No doubt your school’s ranking and prestige will affect the potential for cultivating that golden MBA rolodex. However, your ability to execute on said potential will be determined chiefly by your state of mind, which demands a cultural and academic fit.  So once you’ve narrowed down your choices based upon rank, be sure to consider these other factors:

• Location and Social Life: Do you prefer lively urban campuses or smaller college towns, where almost everyone is an outsider and folks band together?
• Cost: Most business schools cost a pretty penny, but keep in mind that tuition and fees are not the only expenses you will be facing.  Be sure to take into account the cost of living in a particular location before making a decision.
• Teaching Methodologies: Harvard Business School uses the case method entirely, but that may not work for everyone.  Sit-in on courses and determine what teaching methods work best for you.
• Alumni Base: When it comes time to apply for that coveted internship or dream job, you’ll need to utilize all your connections. A large alumni base may offer more opportunities, but smaller groups of former grads are often more loyal… and more likely to help an MBA from their Alma Mater.

For more advice on choosing a school and preparing for your MBA, check out our article on Poets & Quants. Need something a little more in depth? Part One of Case Studies & Cocktails is all about making the most of your time before B-school.