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October 24, 1996 - Image 23

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-24

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14B - The Mich~t Daily - Fall Outlook - Thu~ay, October 24, 1996
Back to School
Test-prep courses boost scores, admission prospects

*The Michigan Daily - Fall Ol
f ....r0 Going to Work
Resumes show i

By Jamni Cummings
For the Daily
It's 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday and the test still
has three and a half hours to go. No, it's not the SAT in
high school. This is an acceptance test for graduate
school.
Whether it's the Graduate Record Examination,
Graduate Management Admissions Test, Law School
Admissions Test, Medical College Admissions Test or
one of numerous others, anyone planning to get a profes-
sional degree is required to take some standardized pro-
ficiency test.
But don't worry - at least three businesses on campus
specialize in helping students "score more" on such tests.
The courses can cost about $800 and take six to nine
weeks to complete - but their statistics say it's worth it
for many people.

The average score increase on the LSAT after taking a
test prep course is seven points, according to Kaplan and
Princeton Review.
That may not sound like much, but when you consider
that only five points separate those who go to fairly
unknown law schools from those who go to one of the top
25 law schools, seven points is a lot.
Stephanie Fong, executive director of The Princeton
Review on South University Ave. and a past instructor for
the company, said, "If you're serious about entering a
graduate program, you put yourself at a serious disad-
vantage by not taking a test prep course."
Michael Gibson, manager of student services for the
Great Lakes region of Kaplan, agreed. "The classes are
designed for anybody who is interested in having the
most choices available to them for graduate school rather
than having a college choose them"

The Princeton Review, Kaplan and Excel all offer in-
class instruction and practice tests taken under actual test
conditions with answer analyses.
The programs identify strengths and weaknesses on
the test so a personalized study plan can be formulated,
and customers can get individual help sessions.
Although students can purchase test-prep books outside
of these services, the companies provide most materi-
als.
"The class gives students more of a feeling of 'us
against the test' rather than 'the test against me.' It's more
of a community feeling that is extremely beneficial,"
Fong said.
LSA senior Drew Nitschke disagreed. When asked if
the LSAT prep course he took was beneficial, he said,
"Absolutely not. It's just a scam for those companies to
take your money."

Prep-COurse
Payoffs
Local test-prep companies
such as Kaplan and
Princeton Review boast the.
following average increases
in test scores as a result of
taing their courses:
GR E 220 points
GMA T 75 point s
LSAT 7.1 points
MCAT 6.5 points

By Stephanie Powell
Daily Staff Reporter
Have you ever asked yourself how to
make the resume that will get the per-
fect job? If so, there are many resources
at the University for you.
"The Career Planning & Placement
office has all types of resources from
information on the FBI to Abercrombie
and Fitch," said LSA junior Kim
Santiago, who is a resume adviser.
CP&P has a walk-in service run by
student advisers, that guides other stu-
dents in making an excellent resume.
All resumes should list education,
work experience, honors, activities and
interests, advisers say.
It is not necessary to list courses, on
resumes, but activities such as clubs,
fraternities or sororities, and volunteer

work are important to the resur
because these activities show diversit
The English Composition Board al
advises students on personal statemer
and cover letters. ECB Director Geor
Cooper said the personal statement
an important part of students' applic
tions.
"It should show your ability as
writer and as a thinker, and someo
who can pay attention to their ov
experience and identify and commui
cate," Cooper said. "It's significant."
Santiago encourages resume-write
to mention computer skills and knov
edge of another language.
She also said that that it is not nece
sary to list a grade-point average, b
recommended if it is more than a 3.0
"I look at other people's resumes as

PAID ADV[Rh
7 Tips for Improving Your Scores
on Graduate Admissions Exams

1REALIZE THAT ADMISSIONS EXAMS, like
the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, DAT,
etc., are not school tests; they have a different
purpose and their. own agenda for
accomplishing it. Usually they are less factual
and much more conceptual; stressing key,
underlying skills more than specific
coursework. Thus, it is necessary to approach
the exam from its standpoint.
2 FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH the exact
test format and timing; actual previous
exams are available from the test-maker.
Judge your .performance only with these
actual tests; most other study books are
simplistic versions of exams or are tough in
inappropriate ways; software programs are
usually less helpful.
NEVER TAKE AN ACTUAL TEST just for
"practice". Even if you don't send your
score to any schools, all of your recorded
scores on that exam will be sent whenever you
want to send a later score. Once it's on your
record, you cannot erase a low score. Thus,
practice with a "real" test (see point #2)
without it counting on your record. Call us if
you have questions about obtaining actual
released exams.
4UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATIONS of the
highly leveraged scoring of all
standardized exams. Small improvements in
performance translateinto majorincreases in

percentile scores. E.g., on the LSAT, only 10
more right answers (out of 101 questions)
moves your score from the 70th percentile to
the 90th.
5ONLY TAKE AN ADMISSIONS EXAM when
you are ready; plan to take the test just
once. Determine when you must have scores
for a program, then decide the best time to
take the test so that you can achieve your
maximum potential score.
6 DON'T CONFUSE ADMISSIONS EXAMS with
some kind of measures of innate
intelligence. Like any other learned ability,
test-taking skills and exam performance can
be improved.
EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS as to how to best
/ prepare for your exam. Sound
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Rather than just claiming to give you high
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If career uncertainty
has you quaking in your
Nikes, here are a few facts that
may help you get a grip.
Fact #1: As one of the premier pharmacy
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By Ajit K. Thavarajah
Daily Staff Reporter
Women today are looking at higher
positions when they get to the business
world. But according to a new survey,
they may be only able to do just that -
look through a glass ceiling.
A poll sponsored by the Graduate
Management Admission Council
revealed the vast difference of expecta-
tion levels between men and women.
The poll noted that many female col-
lege seniors believe there is a "glass
ceiling" that prevents women's progress
past a certain level in business, science,
law and medicine.
Julie Dolan, vice president of
GMAC, said she believes the poll to be
accurate and representative of a prob-
lem that exists in today's society.
"I believe that there is a glass ceiling
in some of the more money-oriented
professions that do hold women back;'
Dolan said. "This does not mean that
they cannot compete with men. It means
that women must overcome adversity
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and not let someone dictate them in how
far they choose to pursue their careers."
Almost 1,000 college seniors partici-
pated in thesurvey, conducted by
Gallup. The institute polled seniors
from 88 public and private colleges and
universities. The GMAC council of 121
graduate business school representa-
tives conducted the survey.
Prof. Abbey Stewart, director of the
University's women's studies program,
said she agrees with the finding.
"It is important that we become

aware of this problem. There may be a
glass ceiling that is an obstacle for
woman but it is an obstacle that can and
will be overcome," Stewart said. "It
should not prevent a women from pur-
suing her career."
Fredrick Dunn, an LSA senior who
plans to attend medical school, said
some women exaggerate the problem.
"I don't think this survey is entirely
accurate. The problem of discrimination
in the work force has improved vastly
over the last 50 years," Dunn said.

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
CP&P resume adviser Adrienne Holt critiques a resume for LSA senior Amanda
Kothe last week.

Women may face 'glass ceiling'

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