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Last Updated Aug 9, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: 5 Things Undergrads Should Do to Prepare for Business School

As summer starts to wind down, many college students are frantically trying to squeeze in a few more weekends at the beach before heading back to the dorms and classrooms. But for anyone thinking about business school or a graduate management degree, there are 5 things you can do before graduation to help you prepare for business school (or any graduate program). 1. Consider enrolling in “free” quant. Take a look at your current transcript and course load. If you’ve managed to make it through your undergraduate experience (intentionally or not!) without setting foot in the math department, you might... Read more »

Last Updated Jun 13, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Consider Algebra, not Arithmetic

Many test takers fail to make the connection between not being permitted to use a calculator on the quantitative section of the GMAT and, well, not making intensive, calculator-required calculations. The reality is, when you are working through a question and think a calculator is needed and/or there is some simplistic, obscure formula is required, you are not using the right strategy. This proves most true for arithmetic questions, when tedious calculations take test takers down the road where an algebraic approach should be considered instead. Let’s look at an example: 5^10 + 5^10 + 5^10 + 5^10 + 5^10... Read more »

Last Updated Feb 7, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: What Makes Difficult Verbal, Well, Difficult?

Sometimes we overhear students claiming that there is “no way” a Sentence Correction question would appear in 700-level difficult verbal questions. It is “just grammar” and difficult verbal questions could only be something like Critical Reasoning with really difficult logic you have to decipher, right? Wrong. The GMAT has a wealth of 700-level questions and all questions are created and offered up equally, including sentence corrections. For this level of questions, the GMAT often likes to offer up a long sentence with a lot of comma and working components, making it different to figure uncover subjects, verbs, agreement, and parallelism…to... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 31, 2017 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 24, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Keep Shaving Those Seconds…with confidence!

Last week we covered the importance of saving time on quantitative questions, particularly problem solving questions, in order to be able to reapply seconds to the harder questions or those that require a recheck. Quick preface – this doesn’t mean you should be rushing through 500 and 600 level problems in order to “get to” hard problems. The strategy for managing time on the GMAT is very different from a SAT or an ACT exam. Writing an email is not necessarily a difficult task, but can take up loads of time at work. The same rule applies with GMAT quantitative... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 17, 2017 by

GMAT Tip: Shaved Seconds Add Up

When working through GMAT Quantitative problems, at times some students will comment, “well, I solved this problem this way, so that’s fine right???” Totally. As we’ve covered in quite a few posts, there are always several different ways to get to the correct answer for a problem solving or data sufficiency question. However, there are ways that are more efficient than others, and it’s all about what you do “inside” your work on the problem that makes a difference. Reality: the GMAT is a timed test. With oodles of time, it’s likely that a lot of us could get to... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 3, 2017 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, 2016 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 20, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Assumption without Negation

Quick recap: we typically see four different question types on the GMAT – Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption, and Method of Reasoning. Many students find the assumption questions to be one of the toughest nuts to crack because of how difficult it is to discern what type of logic the author uses to form his/her argument. Assumption questions can be identified by the question (or similar question): The argument relies on which of the following assumptions? A commonly recommended strategy is the assumption-negation technique, where we negate answer choices to determine whether the conclusion can hold without the assumption. Some test takers... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 13, 2016 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, 2016 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... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 29, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Wait, I need the GRE, too? (Part 2)

In our last post, we talked about the unique situation some of our test takers find themselves in – needing both a GMAT and GRE score for dual Master’s and MBA programs. Many of these test takers stress out a great deal, imagining that they need to go through the same lengthy-process of studying for a brand new exam…when, in fact, there is a fair amount of overlap between both exams. We addressed the similarities and differences in the Verbal section in our last post. In this post, we will address the Quantitative section. The best of all news for... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 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, 2016 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, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Eliminate Out of Scope

Believe it or not, getting to the right answer for a Critical Reasoning question can be as simple at reading the prompt carefully and strategically eliminating answer choices that are out of scope of the passage. A lot of answer choices can “sound good” but really don’t do anything in the form of answering the question being asked or give the additional information required to strengthen or weaken the argument. The below question is a perfect example of when out of scope answer choices help us to quickly get to 50/50: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 1, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Completing the Critical Reasoning Blank

While strengthen, weaken, and inference questions tend to make up the bulk of GMAT Critical Reasoning questions, another question Critical Reasoning type that appears often is those that require completing the blank, following the prompt: Which of the following most logically completes the argument below? These question types are asking you to figure out what makes sense, typically as part of a plan of action based upon data, surveys, or other kinds of feedback. Let’s take a look at a sample problem below: Which of the following most logically completes the argument below? NowNews, although still the most popular magazine... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 25, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Quantitative Intimidation

The biggest challenge that we hear from students is not necessarily how to factor algebra questions or solve for the area of a circle, but rather, even being able to figure out the first step in solving a data sufficiency or problem solving question. Once that first step is determined, the next steps fall into place, and for some test takers, from there it is just a matter of efficiency. But, how really do we figure out that very first step? In today’s post we’ll start with one huge helpful tip: Start by writing out what you know. Dissecting a... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 18, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Scan for the Obvious

One of the biggest differences between 500/600 and 700+ test takers is the ability to get around feeling like, at first pass, you have no idea how to answer a test question. Smart test takers recognize that the best place to uncover clues on how to answer a challenging question is to scan the answer choices. A trend you may have noticed from previous posts is – and we’ll say it again! – the GMAT is not really testing your ability to do math or understand complex grammar rules, but rather, how you critically think and reason. This is why... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 12, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Focus on Sentence Corrections

GMAT test takers tend to get really focused on the quantitative section. Somehow, it seems like that in order to score a 700+ on the GMAT, we must work on endless amounts of algebra and geometry concepts, coupled with hundreds of problem solving and data sufficiency questions. The verbal section must be easier right? You scored a 54% in quantitative and a 43% in verbal, but you were just not having a great grammar day, right? Not necessarily. The vast majority of GMAT students overlook the obvious and, often, more attainable question types – particularly sentence correction. In some instances,... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 5, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: The Logic in Sentence Corrections

You’re great at grammar, right? You know your idioms, correlative conjunctions, and indirect objects by heart. You could probably teach about past present and future perfect tense to a room full of eighth graders. But, when faced with the Sentence Correction section, you’re still getting 65% or 70% of questions right. If you’re fantastic at grammar, what gives? Most test takers fail to recognize that, frankly, the GMAT is not assessing your ability to effectively mark up paper with a red pen. Even English teachers and copywriters find themselves in a pickle when it comes to the sentence corrections because,... Read more »

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