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Last Updated Mar 15, 2016 by

GMAT Critical Reasoning Tip: Mind the Gap

Let’s start this post with a critical reasoning question: When a group of people starts a company, the founders usually serve as sources both of funding and of skills in marketing, management, and technical matters. It is unlikely that a single individual can both provide adequate funding and be skilled in marketing, management, and technical matters. Therefore, companies founded by groups are more likely to succeed than companies founded by individuals. Which one of the following is an assumption required by the argument? Before we dive into the answer choices, let’s start by wrapping our heads around what this critical... Read more »

Last Updated Feb 16, 2016 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 Feb 9, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Do Your Research

The road to grad school can be a long one with several moving pieces. In last week’s blog, we talked about the GMAT and the importance of creating a plan for preparation. This week, we’re going to take a look at some of the key decision points that you’ll need to make, some of which are inter-dependent with your GMAT preparation and performance. Often, folks will decide on a program and program type based on convenience, but there are several factors to think about as you start researching your future home for the next 1 to 3 years.  First, why... Read more »

Last Updated Feb 2, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Planning For Fall Admission

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to go back to school. Maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about for awhile, or maybe it was an impulse decision made over the holidays and too much spiked eggnog. Regardless of how you got there, it’s 2016, you’re committed and ready to tackle everything all at once… Not so fast! Before you start trying to study for the GMAT, write personal statements, secure letters of recommendation, etc. let’s talk planning. And, what’s a better time of year than January to get started? Before you do anything else, start by outlining what’s involved: • GMAT... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 26, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Strategies to Avoid When Pacing Yourself During the GMAT

Chances are, if you live anywhere along the East Coast, you’ve been inundated with news about Winter Storm Jonas aka Snowmageddon aka The Big One of 2016. If you skim your social media newsfeed, you see pictures of bare grocery store shelves, kitchen tables filled with wine, beer, cookies & other comfort foods, and maybe some cross-country skis. And, if you live anywhere else in the U.S. feel free to insert any other natural disaster or scenario that would force you to spend an extended period of time with family and/or roommates in close quarters. You may be thinking, I’ve... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 19, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Know Your Conversions

Powerball fever took over the U.S. in recent weeks, and it culminated in an aspirational post last week when someone suggested that if the winner split the $1.3 billion equally amongst 300 million Americans, it would give each person $4.3 million. While the post went viral, the reasons why were surprising to many folks. Let’s take a look at the quick math… 1.3 billion divided by 300 million. That’s a lot of zeros, but it doesn’t take advanced math to write out the computation: 1,300,000,000 / 300,000,000 = 4.33 4.33 DOLLARS, not 4,300,000… Or 4.33 million If you’re still reading,... Read more »

Last Updated Jan 12, 2016 by

GMAT Tip: Set Yourself Up For Success

In case you haven’t figured it out, the first full week of the new year can be a minefield. If you’re like most folks, you’ve taken some time off over the last few weeks, eaten too much, not exercised much, and committed to “starting fresh” once Ryan Seacrest rang in 2016 in Times Square. Yep, it’s back to reality and time to address the 10 resolutions you made. How about that GMAT Official Guide? Assuming it wasn’t regifted as a clever white elephant token at the last minute, that book may be tied to one of your 2016 resolutions. Let’s... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 22, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: Always Follow Directions

Always Follow Directions If you have any children in your life, you know that with that and the holidays comes toys… and directions. Lots and lots of directions. If you’re wondering what late night toy assembly has to do with data sufficiency, read on for a crash course in following directions and what to do when you have extra information (or extra spare parts). Both should make for better studying (and excited children on December 25th). Four elves were working on the bicycle assembly line at North Pole Central yesterday. Did one of the elves build at least three bicycles... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 15, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: 3 Steps to Make Strengthen / Weaken Questions More Manageable

For many folks, critical reasoning is an opportunity to channel that inner lawyer, to anticipate an argument and provide or select data that might strengthen or weaken a specific perspective. Unlike most attorneys though, as a test taker, you don’t have the luxury of billable hours and extra time. So let’s take a look at some tips to make the strengthen / weaken question a bit more manageable: For example: Citizen: Each year since 1970, a new record has been set for the number of murders committed in this city. This fact points to the decreasing ability of our law... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 8, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: Don’t Let Misplaced Modifiers Derail Your Score

It’s getting to be that time of the year. For the sake of being somewhat politically correct, it’s the slightly-chillier-time-of-the-year-that’s-directly-proportional-to-increased-gift-giving. If you work most 9-to-5 jobs, there’s likely some type of end-of-calendar-year celebration planned which can be make or break time in office social circles. You want to sit next to Brad from Marketing who is super dreamy and knows more about The Walking Dead and Shark Tank than the producers while avoiding Mark from Finance who can be heard a mile away because he jingles orange Tic-Tacs in his shirt pocket. Wait, is it Marketing who is dreamy or... Read more »

Last Updated Dec 1, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: Analyzing Sentence Correction

If you hit the road over the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., you joined 46.9 million 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 24, 2015 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... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 10, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: Pros & Cons of New GMAT Features

It’s nice to have choices (would you have ever choose a free response test over multiple choice?), but sometimes too many choices can be overwhelming. The Graduate Management Admission Council rolled out some new GMAT features this year that give you more choices than you could have previously imagined. While most test takers are rejoicing at the options, let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of the newfound choices: 16 day retest policy (replacing 31 days): Test takers (and schools) were doing cartwheels when this update was announced because every year there are handfuls of... Read more »

Last Updated Nov 3, 2015 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 27, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: Relieving Test Anxiety in the Last Week

“The hay is in the barn.” Before you start thinking you’re reading the wrong blog, this isn’t about farming or agriculture. The saying means that all of the hard work has been done, and all that’s left to do is execute. 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, the hay should be in the barn, but you may still be looking for ways to up your test day game.... Read more »

Last Updated Oct 20, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: 3 Things To Not Do During Test Week

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 13, 2015 by

GMAT Tip: 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 6, 2015 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 29, 2015 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 Sep 22, 2015 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 »

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