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Last Updated Jan 31, 2018 by

GMAT Tip: Pay Close(r) Attention to the Words

Most test takers don’t give Word Problems enough credit – simple words with simple calculations, right? The reality is that the GMAT tosses in word problems when they hope you are not paying close attention, like when you figure you’ve got it in the bag for a 700 or you work through the question too quickly, either overthinking or overlooking a tiny component of the question. Let’s work through two word problems that have this challenge: Other than gas, a gas station sells on average 12 coffees for $1.25 each, 3 candy bars for 90 cents each, and other products... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 3, 2018 by

GMAT Tip: Keep the Concept in Mind

GMAT Quantitative questions can be difficult because of how questions are worded, relationships that have to be identified, and moves in logic that produce the right answer. But, sometimes, a quantitative question is difficult simply because you’re being tested on the same concept over and over again, and they’re hoping to just wear your brain out, in hopes you forget. Let’s look at a great example of the GMAT making us chase our tail: A computer manufacturer claims that a perfectly square computer monitor has a diagonal size of 20 inches. However, part of the monitor is made up of... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 27, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Let It Cancel Out

When faced with Geometry problems with variables, many test takers will approach the question with fear, believing they are forgetting some obscure geometric rule that is the only path towards a correct answer. In reality, as we’ve covered in a few past posts, the understanding required to do well on Geometry questions on the GMAT is basic – Pythagorean theorem, special right triangles, area formula, and the like that you’ve found in the first half of an introductory Geometry course. Occasionally, we see some oddball questions associated with central angles, but there are still multiple ways to get to the... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 13, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Precarious Prepositions

When offering up strategy for sentence correction questions, we often talk about “decision points” – understanding what type of error is being tested and what subtle changes exist between multiple-choice selections. One of the most common questions we see from students is “shouldn’t the answer be ______, because the subject is ______, and therefore (singular/plural)? Nine times out of ten, inquiring test taker has simply not correctly identified the subject of the sentence because of his/her failure to eliminate the prepositional phrase. GMAT questions are not straightforward – when you are being asked to identify a correct verb, there can... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 6, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Wait, the GRE, too?

In our last two posts (Part 1 and Part 2) we’ve covered overlaps between the GMAT and GRE for those students who find themselves in the situation of requiring both exams for dual degree programs. In this post, we’ll address how to dominate all things essays. First and foremost – this is not a creative writing exercise. Let us repeat – being Ernest Hemingway or Hunter S. Thompson is not required to score the highest score, a 6, and these essays. ETS and the GMAC are looking for something more along the lines of Paul Krugman, but with less flair and in... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 29, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Analyzing Sentence Correction

If you hit the road over the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., you joined millions of other Americans who traveled more than 50 miles to get to their feast of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. And more likely than not, you probably sat in traffic for some portion of that journey and enlisted the help of at least one travel app to try and find another less-congested route. The moment of truth comes when you have to decide whether or not to pull the trigger on the seemingly longer and more circuitous route or stick with your original plan of... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 22, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Wait, I Need the GRE, Too?

When seeking out a dual MBA and Master’s program, many students are surprised to find they need to submit both GRE and GMAT test scores. “But wait, I already took the GMAT? And now I have to study for another exam!?!” No need to worry. Students often decide to take the GRE in lieu of GMAT, and all is not lost – there are more overlaps between the GRE and GMAT than you think! The hard work you put in for the GMAT will absolutely show up in your performance on the GRE – and actually, if you do decided... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 15, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: You’re Right, the Questions Do Get Easier!

The Reading Comprehension section can be less tangible for test takers, because we don’t have the opportunity to practice the exact concept being tested in the same way as the quantitative section. The feedback we often hear is “fortunately, the passages were easy for me” or “I had no idea what they were even talking about, so I am sure I blew the questions.” While you won’t necessarily have the chance to practice the exact passages you will be presented with on your actual exam, the GMAT is repetitive in the types of passages it presents to test takers. There tend... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 8, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: More On Data Sufficiency

While many folks in the U.S. celebrate the arrival of Thanksgiving (or an excuse to watch American football and pig out on decadent sweet and savory treats), there are others who cringe at the idea of cooking an extravagant multi-course feast. If you’re wondering what late night calls to the Butterball turkey help line have to do with data sufficiency, there are some remarkable parallels between the two that might make for better studying (and happy friends and family on Turkey Day). • Take stock of what you have (& avoid last minute trips to the store). Before you start prepping... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 1, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Breaking Down Integrated Reasoning Graphs & Charts

Graphs, charts and tables are all around us. If you flip on the evening news, there’s bound to be a set of statistics that’s better explained with a chart. You probably don’t even think twice about the visual aid. So, why do graphs and charts provide such a stumbling block on Integrated Reasoning? Chances are, you don’t have someone telling you what’s significant information in the graph and what you should be doing with said data. The GMAT tests higher order reasoning skills, so it’s one thing to be able to read a graph; it’s an entirely different exercise when... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 25, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Relieving Test Anxiety in the Last Week

Everyone gets nervous and anxious in the weeks and months leading up to test day, but what about the last week or two leading up to test day? If you’ve been sticking to a study plan and schedule, you may still be looking for ways to up your test day game. • Inventory what you know. Don’t worry about trying to learn new material. You’ve already put in the time, so organize and review what you already know. Do shorter drills that focus on specific question types, topics and levels of difficulty. Think through your plan of attack for certain... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 18, 2017 by

GMAT Test Week Advice: 3 Things to Avoid

You’ve prepped for months, sacrificed happy hours and quality time with your friends and stayed up late and risen early just to get in an extra few drills. Much like an endurance athlete, you’ve put in the time, and the only thing left to do is execute. Often the hardest part of the days leading up to test day is doing nothing and clearing your mind. In this week’s GMAT Tip, we take a look at three things you shouldn’t be wasting your time on during that week (and on test day). 1. No Excuses. We’ve all had one of... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 11, 2017 by

GMAT: The Importance of Drills

If you’ve ever played a sport, you probably have a love-hate relationship with drills. Whether it was running pyramids at the track, shooting countless free throws, or taking batting practice until you thought your shoulder would fall off, you probably didn’t feel yourself getting better in the moment. If you’re like most, you probably got excited to scrimmage so you could have a tangible measure of improvement (and the satisfaction of beating your peers). GMAT drills and practice tests function in a similar way; practice tests are the bright and shiny measures of progress while drills get resigned (or often... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 4, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: How to Master Critical Reading Questions

When I was a kid, all I wanted was a cool mono-syllabic last name. People would fumble through my clunky last name and inevitably layer some hybrid of odd accents in all of the wrong places. I just wanted to play lacrosse and hear “Go Capps” or “Go Carp!” Since I couldn’t change my name, I wished for a good nickname instead because let’s be honest, that can be even cooler. But you can’t pick your nickname, so I ended up getting labeled “JC” (my initials). When you go to a Catholic high school and your nickname is a shared... Read more »

Last Updated Sep 27, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Decoding Data Sufficiency

There’s probably no other GMAT question type that instills more fear in candidates than data sufficiency. It’s unique to the GMAT and evaluates a candidate’s ability to discern when s/he has enough information to come to a conclusion. And those who are able to efficiently and successfully tap into those higher-order reasoning skills are ultimately rewarded accordingly. Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you decode data sufficiency: Familiarize yourself with the answer choices.   Just like the AWA and every other section, the instructions and more importantly, answer choices for data sufficiency don’t change. Your inclination... Read more »

Last Updated Sep 20, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Three Tips for GMAT Integrated Reasoning

When the Graduate Management Admission Council introduced the Integrated Reasoning section a few years ago, it was in response to considerable business school feedback around evolving technology, changing student skill-sets and the need to continue adapting. Now with a few years of data available, schools are starting to determine how to best utilize this score data, so while the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section doesn’t fall nicely and neatly into the quant or verbal bucket, let’s break down IR since this section doesn’t look quite like the others. Familiarize Yourself with GMAT Integrated Reasoning Answer Formats and Types. Integrated Reasoning questions... Read more »

Last Updated Sep 13, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Getting the Most Out of Your GMAT Practice Tests

GMAT practice tests are one of the best tools in your GMAT preparation journey. They’re a great and more importantly, a quantitative way to measure improvement, but in order to get the most out of these super-sized practice sessions, you want to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success. Simulate testing conditions! Every opportunity you get, you should be simulating test center conditions which means no snacks, no beverages, no technology and even wearing the type of clothing you’ll be sporting on test day. (A word of advice, bunny slippers, while permissible and undoubtedly comfy, probably aren’t your best choice... Read more »

Last Updated Sep 6, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: The Importance of Reading

Do you remember the first book you ever read? Maybe it rhymed and had to do with pork products dyed a crazy shade of green? Or a captain’s pursuit of a massive white whale. Every kid’s different, so judgment free zone on literary choices! How about the last book you read for fun? If it was a good one, you were probably turning (or virtually swiping) pages and never glancing at a clock. If it was truly great, maybe you slowed down towards the end for fear that it was about to end. Tackling reading comprehension passages is probably more... Read more »

Last Updated Aug 23, 2017 by

Tips for Productive GMAT Prep

Whether you’re a day or a month into your GMAT preparation journey, you know how important it is to have a plan and to be able to manage your time well.  If you start researching the GMAT online, chances are you’ll come across the following two questions pretty frequently:   1) When is the best time to take the GMAT and 2) How long should I prep?   You won’t find a short perfect answer to either question here (or a truly-helpful short answer anywhere), but you will find some guidance to help you identify the best time to prepare... Read more »

Last Updated Aug 16, 2017 by

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your GMAT Practice Test

Taking practice tests is an essential component of your GMAT study regimen. But it’s not the mere act of taking the test that provides you with your greatest opportunity for improvement. Sure, taking the test is helpful: it exposes you to more practice problems, forces you to consider pacing and work under timed pressure, and trains your mind and body for the 3.5 hours you’ll spend testing at the test center. More importantly, however, your practice tests provide you with a blueprint for your performance; they show you how you perform under those timed, labor-intensive conditions and, in doing so,... Read more »

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