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Thirty University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Master of Business Administration (MBA) students recently finished in the top 2 percentile in the Educational Testing Services (ETS) business exam.

“Scoring in the top 2 percent has provided a great confidence boost and has validated the effort I have put into the program,” MBA student Monica Clauss said. “The greater feeling is knowing that I have the knowledge and the skills to move forward in my career and make a difference in my organization.”

Clauss said the ETS exam was one of the toughest tests she has ever taken but the success is due to her studying preparation, professors and her classmates. The fall exam tested more than 24,000 MBA students at 260 institutions nationwide on their business knowledge in marketing, management, finance, accounting and strategic integration.

“I think that the scores of our entire class speak to the quality of the program, the students and the University as a whole. I feel that I have been able to attain and retain the knowledge it took to score well thanks to the effort our professors have taken to tie content to the issues each of us face in our own workplaces,” Clauss said. “I also have learned so much from the incredible classmates that I have had throughout the program.  These components together with 100 percent effort on my part to learn and participate have been the keys to success.”

Another MBA student, Nicole Wilson, said it was “very gratifying” to see that she and her fellow students did well on the exam.

“It makes me feel like the years I’ve put into it mean something,” Wilson said.

Ashay Desai, UW Oshkosh professor of business, said the students in his strategic management class take the exam at the end of the semester and are tested on a culmination of the student’s learning through the MBA program.

“Every single year when the students are taking the exam, I am in the room. All the time I wonder if we can maintain the high standard we have set for ourselves,” Desai said. “When the results come in, it is a sense of achievement. I do not know who is more excited, the students or the faculty. It is a source of pride among the management faculty.”

Dean of Graduate Studies Susan Cramer stressed the importance of students learning via a combination of work experience, project-based learning and general coursework.

“Students who have a gone through a project-based learning environment tend to excel on standardized tests because they have internalized the information. Our students have done significantly more than just memorize the information,” Cramer said. “It’s truly theirs, and they can put it into practice.”

According to the ETS website, the major field test for MBA students consists of 124 multiple-choice questions, half of which are case study-based. The questions use diagrams, graphs and statistical materials to test students on the various areas of business they have been learning through the MBA program.

“I think the fact that I did well taking the exam speaks very highly of the University of Oshkosh and the MBA program because it has given me the core knowledge necessary to be successful,” Wilson said. “I also believe that the approach they use to get students to apply what they’ve learned to their jobs and careers helps drive the concepts home and make them more memorable.”

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