To submit applications for graduate business programs applicants must complete the TOEFL and GMAT tests, draft numerous essays and interview well. These tasks are all challenges and require different preparation, but the thing one things all these tasks have in common is that they require advanced English ability.

Although many resources are available to help international applicants prepare for the TOEFL, they are not usually the same materials native English speakers use to improve their own business understanding. In our experience, applicants who study materials similar to those used by native English speakers tend to be better prepared for their essays and interviews.

In order to help you increase your overall comprehension of English, as it is used in business contexts, we want to share several YouTube channels that native English speaking professionals often use to educate themselves about the world of business. As you set your own test prep and application schedule, consider diversifying the resources you use to include some of the channels below.


How to Start a Start-up

Sam Altman is President of the infamous Y Combinator Start-up incubator based in Silicon Valley. This course, which was originally offered at Stanford, covers tactics and principles on “How to Start a Start-up.” If you have an interest in entrepreneurship, this is required material.

Singularity University

Singularity University (SU) was founded by Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil, two of the most influential thinkers in Silicon Valley. SU incubates start-ups focused on the technology of the future that have the potential to impact at least 1 billion people. Many of the topics they cover are fascinating, especially for anyone with an interest in healthcare, hardware, space technology, or what the future will look like in the next 20 – 50 years.


Columbia Business School

Home to some of the leaders of Wall Street, and a hub of finance and innovation, CBS’ YouTube channel contains talks on everything from Branding for Nonprofits to Financial Systems Innovation.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

For news and current events related to business and the economy, WSJ is an outstanding channel with many short, easily digestible clips. NYTimes and The Economist are two other top outlets. Keeping abreast of business news and current events in English through any reputable media channel will help to increase overall comprehension.


Nerd Writer

While Nerd Writer is not explicitly related to business, he breaks down and explains in detail why language works the way it does in different contexts. The video above explains why Louis CK’s jokes work so well, and the channel has other fascinating videos analyzing political speeches and language in popular culture. Nerd Writer provides outstanding material for native and non-native speakers alike.

TED Talks

Many of you may be familiar with TED and TEDx talks already. If you are not, and you want to practice listening comprehension while learning about a wide variety of fascinating subjects in a short format, these can be great to put on in the background over a quiet lunch.

We hope that the materials above will be useful in helping you diversify the sources of media and English study materials you use. While none of these are directly related to improving your TOEFL score, they will help you improve your overall understanding of English, learn about interesting topics, and become a more informed and interesting individual as you gear up for your graduate school applications.

If you would like some help in fine tuning how you communicate your own story, in preparing for your essays, recommendations or interviews, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.