#Research

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 Survey of College Admissions Officers

SATTo ensure that students and their parents receive accurate and up-to-date information on trends in the college admissions process, Kaplan Test Prep annually surveys admissions officers from the top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S.  The survey data collected helps Kaplan provided informed insights to the tens of thousands of families we work with each year.  Click on Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 Survey of College Admissions Officers for the results.

Among the highlights of this year’s survey:


Does your school require the SAT® or ACT®?

  • Either the SAT or ACT: 88%
  • Neither: 12%

To what extent do you agree with the makers of the SAT to change the exam’s content?

  • Completely agree: 4%
  • Generally agree: 68%
  • Generally disagree: 26%
  • Completely disagree: 2%

To what extent do you agree with the decision of the makers of the ACT to begin administering the exam in a computer-based format?

  • Completely agree: 20%
  • Generally agree: 67%
  • Generally disagree: 11%
  • Completely disagree: 2%

Do you think the makers of the ACT should change the content of the exam? (Note: the test maker has only announced format changes, not content changes)

  • Completely yes: 2%
  • Generally yes: 22%
  • Generally no: 63%
  • Completely no: 13%

Do you think grade inflation is a problem?

  • Completely yes: 18%
  • Generally yes: 42%
  • Generally no: 34%
  • Completely no: 6%

About what proportion of personal essays that you review would you characterize as excellent or outstanding?

  • Less than 1 in 10: 7%
  • 1 in 10: 21%
  • 2 in 10: 23%
  • 3 in 10: 17%
  • 4 in 10: 9%
  • 5 in 10: 10%
  • 6 in 10: 5%
  • 7 in 10: 5%
  • 8 in 10: 3%
  • 9 in 10: 0%
  • Almost all: 0%

*For the 2013 survey, 422 admissions officers responded to Kaplan’s telephone polling between July and August 2013.  SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product

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Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 Survey of Graduate School Admissions Officers

Getting into graduate school is not getting any easier – in fact for many programs, it’s only becoming more competitive.  According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 survey of graduates school admissions officers, 30% say the admissions process for the 2012-2013 year was more competitive than for the previous cycle; 60% say the level of competition remained the same; none said it was less competitive.

Also: Over 80% of graduate school admissions officers also told us that comparing  applicants who submited scores from the new GRE to those who submit scores from the old GRE wasn’t difficult.

For more complete results in PDF format, click here.  Below are some other key findings:

Out of every 10 applicants to your program, how many on average apply while still undergraduates?

  • Less than 1 in 10: 6%
  • 1 in 10: 3%
  • 2 in 10: 9%
  • 3 in 10: 7%
  • 4 in 10: 11%
  • 5 in 10: 21%
  • 6 in 10: 7%
  • 7 in 10: 11%
  • 8 in 10: 8%
  • 9 in 10: 6%
  • Almost all: 9%

Compared to 4 years ago, has this proportion…

  • Increased significantly: 4%
  • Increased slightly: 17%
  • Stayed about the same: 55%
  • Decreased slightly: 5%
  • Decreased significantly: 0%
  • I don’t know/was not here 4 years ago: 19%

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 16%
  • No:: 74%
  • Not sure: 11%

Have you ever visited an applicant’s social networking page like Facebook to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 15%
  • No: 75%
  • Not sure: 11%

(Asked only of those who answered “Yes” to the previous two questions) Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their application?

  • Yes: 12%
  • No: 75%
  • Not sure: 14%

 

GraduateSchool

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 Survey of Law School Admissions Officers

Responding to the reality that the toughest job market for new lawyers in 20 years may be the new normal for the foreseeable future, law schools are taking unprecedented steps to course correct.  According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 survey of law school admissions officers, 51% of law schools have cut the size of the entering class; 63% said the reason was the contraction of the job market in the legal industry.  And more cuts may be on the way; of the law schools that have not cut the size of their entering classes, 28% say they will likely do so for the current application cycle.

For more complete results in PDF format, click here.  Below are some key findings:

Which would you say is the MOST important factor in the admissions process?  Is it…

  • LSAT score: 63%
  • Undergraduate GPA: 25%
  • Personal statement: 10%
  • Relevant work experience: 2%
  • Letters of recommendation: 0%

In order to make graduates more “practice ready,” some schools have made changes to their curriculum.  Which of the following best describes where your school stands in this regard?

  • We’ve already implemented changes to our curriculum: 68%
  • We’ve decided to make changes to our curriculum, but haven’t implemented them yet: 5%
  • We are considering making changes to our curriculum: 9%
  • We have no plans to make any changes to our curriculum at this time: 18%

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 47%
  • No: 50%
  • Not sure: 3%

Have you ever visited an applicant’s social networking page like Facebook to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 36%
  • No: 61%
  • Not sure: 3%

(If “Yes” to either of the previous two questions) Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their application?

  • Yes: 28%
  • No: 69%

LawSchool

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 Survey of Medical School Admissions Officers

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 survey of medical  school admissions officers at 75 of the 140+ Association of American Medical Colleges-accredited schools across the United States – including many of the top ranked – the vastly revamped MCAT set to launch in 2015 has strong support. Nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) medical school admissions officers support the changes to the MCAT, while only 1% don’t support the changes; 12% aren’t sure.   Similarly, 74% of admissions officers say the 2015 MCAT will better prepare aspiring doctors for medical school; just 5% say it won’t; and 21% aren’t sure of what its effects will mean. For more complete results in PDF format, click here.  Below are some key findings:

Which would you say is the most important factor in the medical school application process?

  • MCAT score: 51%
  • Undergraduate GPA: 23%
  • Relevant experience: 14%
  • Interview: 6%
  • Letters of recommendation: 4%
  • Personal statement: 3%

Based on what you know about the new MCAT, do you support the approved changes?

  • Completely yes: 41%
  • Generally yes: 46%
  • Generally no: 1%
  • Completely no: 0%
  • Not sure: 12% (22%)

In order to sufficiently prepare students for the new MCAT, do pre-med programs need to revise their curricula ?

  • Yes: 47% (67%)
  • No: 30% (5%)
  • Not sure: 22% (29%)

How do you think changes to the MCAT will affect the course load for pre-med students?

  • It will increase the courseload: 40%
  • It will decrease the courseload: 0%
  • The courseload will stay about the same: 46%
  • Not sure: 15%

Do you think the changes to the test will better prepare students for medical school?

  • Yes: 74%
  • No: 5%
  • Not sure: 21%

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 Survey of Business School Admissions Officers

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 survey of business school admissions officers at 265 MBA programs across the United States – including 17 of the top 25 – 41% said the GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning  section makes the GMAT more reflective of the business school experience, a big drop from the 59% who answered that way in Kaplan’s 2011 survey. Those who weren’t sure if IR would make the exam more reflective rose from 37% in 2011 to 49% in 2012.   Admissions officers who said IR would not make the exam more reflective increased from 5% in 2011 to 10% in 2012.  The survey also finds that nearly 70% of bschools now allow applicants to submit scores from the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT.  For more complete results in PDF format, click here.   Below are some key findings:

And which would you say is the MOST important factor in the admissions process?  Is it…

  • Entrance exam score: 49%
  • Undergraduate GPA: 31%
  • Work experience:18%
  • Letters of recommendation: 2%
  • Essays: 1%

Do you think the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section makes the exam more reflective of the business school experience?

  • Yes: 41%
  • No: 10%
  • Do not know: 49%

Do you think the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section makes the exam more reflective of work in business and management after business school?

  • Yes: 36%
  • No: 10%
  • Do not know: 54%

As you know, an increasing number of business schools now accept GRE scores in addition to GMAT scores.  Is this an option your school currently offers?

  • Yes: 69%
  • No: 31%

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 32%
  • No: 66%
  • Not sure: 2%

Have you ever visited an applicant’s social networking page like Facebook to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 27%
  • No: 70%
  • Not sure: 3%

(Asked only of those who said “Yes” to previous two questions) Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their application?

  • Yes: 10%
  • No: 85%
  • Not sure: 6%

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 Survey of College Admissions Officers

To ensure that students are receiving accurate and up-to-date information on trends in the college admissions process, Kaplan Test Prep annually surveys admissions officers from the top 500 colleges and universities in the U.S.*  The survey data collected helps guide the tens of thousands of college applicants Kaplan works with each year. The results from this year’s survey can be seen here.  (Numbers in parentheses reflects the findings of identically-worded questions from Kaplan’s 2011 survey of college admissions officers.)

Among the highlights of this year’s survey:

Does your school require the SAT® or ACT®?

  • Either the SAT or ACT: 85% (87%)
  • Neither: 11% (7%)
  • Other: 4% (6%)

Is there any advantage to an applicant submitting both and SAT and ACT score instead instead of only one score, assuming both scores are strong?

  • Yes: 18%
  •  No: 79%
  • Not sure: 2%

Do you use Twitter for recruiting purposes?

  • Yes: 76%
  • No: 24%

Do you use YouTube for recruiting purposes?

  • Yes: 73% (66%)
  • No: 27% (34%)

Do you use Facebook for recruiting purposes?

  • Yes: 87% (85%)
  •  No: 14% (15%)

Do you use Google Plus for recruiting purposes?

  • Yes: 9%
  •  No: 91%

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them?

  •  Yes: 27%
  • No: 73%

Have you ever visited an applicant’s social networking page like Facebook to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 26%
  •  No: 74%

Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their application?

  • Yes: 35%
  • No: 65%

*Top 500 colleges and universities as compiled from U.S. News   World Report and Barron’s. For the 2012 survey, 350 admissions officers responded to Kaplan’s telephone polling between July and September 2012. SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse this product

 

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Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of Medical School Admissions Officers

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of medical  school admissions officers at 69 of the 135 Association of American Medical Colleges-accredited schools across the United States – including many of the top ranked – 73% say the 2015 recommended changes to the MCAT, which include the addition of behavioral and social sciences, advanced science content, and expanded critical thinking, will better prepare students for the medical school experience.  However, two-thirds (67%) of medical school admissions officers surveyed also say it’s necessary for colleges to revise their pre-med curricula to cover the exam’s additional content to adequately prepare test takers – and only a narrow majority think they have enough time to make the necessary course revisions before the first round of new MCATs in 2015.

To view a press release with  a summary of our survey results, click here.   For more complete results in PDF format, click on the following: Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of Medical School Admissions Officers.   Below are some highlights:

Based on what you know, do you support the recommended changes to the MCAT set for 2015? 

  • Completely yes: 18%
  • Generally yes: 52%
  • Generally no: 3%
  • Completely no: 0%
  • Not sure: 27%

Do you think the changes to the test will better prepare students for medical school? 

  • Completely yes: 11%
  • Generally yes: 62%
  • Generally no: 9%
  • Completely no: 0%
  • Not sure: 17%

Should pre-med programs revise their curricula in order to sufficiently prepare students for the new MCAT?

  • Yes: 67%
  • No: 5%
  • Not sure: 29%
  • Refused to answer: 8%
Which would you say is the most important admissions factor?
  • MCAT score: 43%
  • Undergraduate GPA: 28%
  • Relevant experience: 19%
  • Interview: 9%
  • Letters of recommendation: 2%
  • Personal statement: 0%

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of Law School Admissions Officers

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of law school admissions officers at 128 of the 200 American Bar Association-approved law schools – including many of the top ranked – the decision makers are very careful who they let in.   41% of law school admissions officers said they have Googled an applicant to learn more about them, while 37% have checked out an applicant on Facebook or other social networking site.  This compares with 20% of college admissions officers and 27% of business school admissions officers who have Googled an applicant.  For these populations, less than a quarter have visited an applicant’s Facebook page.  Additionally, not only do law schools have the highest prevalence of admissions officers checking applicants’ digital trails, but also the highest prevalence of discovery of content damaging to applicants.32% admissions officers who researched an applicant online said they discovered something that negatively impacted an applicant’s admissions chances.   In comparison, only 12% of college admission officers and 14% of business school admissions officers found something online that negatively impacted an applicant’s admissions chances.  To view a press release with  a summary of our survey results, click here.   For more complete results in PDF format, click here: Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of Law School Admissions Officers:   Below are some highlights:

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 41%
  • No: 59%

Have you ever visited an applicant’s social networking page like Facebook to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 37%
  • No: 63%
(Of admissions officers who said “Yes” to any of the above questions):  Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their application?
  • Yes: 32%
  • No: 68%

How much does U.S. News & World Report’s rankings formula influence your admissions decisions?

  • Very much: 2%
  • Somewhat: 32%
  • Not too much: 31%
  • Not at all: 29%
  • Not sure: 6%

Which factor do you think U.S. News & World Report should most heavily weigh when determining a law school’s place in the rankings?

  • Quality assessment by experts: 28%
  • Bar passage rate: 20%
  • Job placement success: 9%
  • Selectivity metrics: 8%
  • Faculty resources: 5%
  • Not sure: 22%
  • Refused to answer: 8%

 


Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of Business School Admissions Officers

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of business school admissions officers at 265 MBA programs across the United States – including 16 of the top 25 – for the first time since Kaplan began tracking the issue in 2009, a majority now accept the GRE as an alternative to the GMAT.  But of those schools that accept the GRE, the vast majority of applicants are still submitting GMAT scores.  Our survey also found that admissions officers think the GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning section set to launch in June 2012 will make the exam more reflective of the business school experience.  To view press releases with  summaries of our survey results, click here and here.   For more complete results in PDF format, click here: Kaplan Test Prep 2011 Survey of Business School Admissions Officers.   Below are some key findings:

Does your program give applicants the option of submitting a GRE score instead of a GMAT score for admissions?

  • Yes: 52%
  • No: 47%
  • Not sure: 1%

(For schools that accept GRE scores) Is there any advantage for an applicant to submit scores from one of these tests over the other?

  • No advantage: 66%
  • Advantage for GMAT: 29%
  • Advantage for GRE : 5%

(For schools that accept GRE scores) During the previous admissions cycle, about what proportion of your applicants submitted a GRE score?

  • Less than 1 in 10 : 37%
  • 1 in 10: 15%
  • 2 in 10: 17%
  • 3 in 10: 15%
  • 4 in 10: 7%
  • 5 in 10: 3%
  • 6 in 10: 3%
  • 7 in 10: 0%
  • 8 in 10: 1%
  • 9 in 10: 0%
  • Almost all: 1%

Do you think the addition of the Integrated Reasoning section will make the GMAT more reflective of the business school experience?

  • Yes: 59%
  • No: 5%
  • Not sure: 37%

Have you seen sample questions provided by GMAC for the new GMAT Integrated Reasoning section?

  • Yes: .29%
  • No: 67%
  • Not sure: 4%

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them?

  • No: 73%
  • Yes: 27%

Have you ever visited an applicant’s social networking page like Facebook to learn more about them?

  • No: 77%
  • Yes: 22%
  • Not sure: 1%

(Of admissions officers who said “Yes” to above questions) Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their application?

  • No: 85%
  • Yes: 14%
  • Not sure: 1%

Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of College Admissions Officers

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 survey of college admissions officers at 359 top schools across the United States,  nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents from the schools surveyed have gone to an applicant’s Facebook or other social networking page to learn more about them, while 20% have Googled them.  When Kaplan first began tracking the issue in 2008, only 10% of schools reported checking applicants’ social networking pages.  For more complete results in PDF format, click here:  Kaplan Test Prep’s 2011 Survey of College Admissions Officers.  Below are some key findings:

Have you ever visited an applicant’s Facebook to learn more about them?

  • Yes: 24%
  • No: 76%

Have you ever Googled an applicant to learn more about them? 

  • Yes: 20%
  • No: 80%

(If “Yes” to above) Have you ever discovered something online about an applicant that negatively affected their application?

  • Yes: 12%
  • No: 88%

Does your school use Facebook to recruit students?

  • Yes: 85%
  • No: 15%

How confident are you that the SAT is an effective tool in measuring students’ future success at your school? 

  • Confident: 94%
  • Not confident: 6%

How confident are you that the ACT is an effective tool in measuring students’ future success at your school? 

  • Confident: 96%
  • Not confident: 4%