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Solving GMAT Questions with two linear equations and two unknowns


Categories : Equations, Problem Solving

In order to solve such equations, you need at least 2 distinct equations involving these unknowns.

For example, if we are trying to solve for x and y, we won't be able to solve it using these 2 equations.

2x + y = 14
4x + y - 14 = 14 - y

Why?  Because the two equations on top are the same.  If you simplify the second equation, you get 4x + 2y = 28 which reduces to 2x + y = 14 - the same equation as the first.  If the two equations are the same, then there will be infinitely many values for x and y that will satisfy the equations.  For example, x = 2 and y = 10 satisfies the equation.  So does x = 4 and y = 8.  And so does x = 6 and y = 2.

In order to solve for an actual value of x and y, we need 2 distinct equations.

For example, if we had

2x + y = 14 --------(1)
x - y = 4 ----------(2)

Then from equation (2), we can get x = 4 + y and substitute that into equation (1) to get:
2(4 + y) + y = 14  We can then solve for y.  See if you got y = 2  Once you've got y = 2, you can substitute that into x= 4 + y to get x = 6.

An important lesson here is that you need as many distinct equations...


GMAT 800 with Video Explanation - A newborn kangaroo, or joey



A newborn kangaroo, or joey, is born after a short gestation period of only 39 days. At this stage, the joey’s hind limbs are not well developed, but its forelimbs are well developed, so that it can can climb from the cloaca into its mother’s pouch for further development. The recent discovery that ancient marsupial lions were also born with only their forelimbs developed supports the hypothesis that newborn marsupial lions must also have needed to climb into their mothers’ pouches.

The argument in this passage relies on which of the following assumptions?

[A] All animals that are born after a short gestation period are born with some parts of their bodies underdeveloped.
[B] Well developed forelimbs would have been more advantageous to ancient marsupial lions than well developed hind limbs would have been.
[C] If the newborn marsupial lion did not climb into its mother’s pouch, then paleontologists would be able to find evidence of this fact.
[D] Newborn marsupial lions that crawled into their mothers’ pouches could not have done so had they not had only their forelimbs developed at birth.
[E] Newborn marsupial lions would not have had only their forelimbs developed if this development were of no use to the marsupial lions.


...

GMAT Data Sufficiency Strategy - Don’t Contradict Yourself


Categories : Data Sufficiency

GMAT Don't Contradict YourselfTrue to their name, Data Sufficiency questions ask you to determine when you will have enough information to make a conclusive decision.  In doing so, these questions can assess your ability to plan ahead for a task; to elicit an effective return-on-investment (remember, you can’t use both statements if one of them is, alone, sufficient), to find flaws with conventional wisdom, and to think flexibly. Data Sufficiency questions also strike fear and loathing in the hearts of many GMAT examinees, but hold a special place in the hearts of a select few who love the nuance that these questions permit.  

There’s a hard-and-fast rule regarding Data Sufficiency that people don’t know and use as much as they should: the statements can never contradict each other.  Knowing this, if your answers for statement 1 and statement 2 are different, you must go back and reconsider your math; as Boston GMAT tutor David says, that’s an “answer choice F”, meaning that you just effed up the math somehow.

Consider the question:

Is x...


When is a right time to start preparing for the GMAT?


Categories : GMAT Preparation

This is a question that goes in the mind of every test taker. When should I really start preparing? Well the answer depends on when do you want to attend the business school.  GMAT scores are valid for a couple of years (5) and thus if you are not planning as soon as you give the GMAT then this is not a concern for you. This post is intended more for people who want to finish the process- from GMAT to attending a B school- in a single shot- meaning take the GMAT and then apply for the schools right away.

That needs some planning and you need to understand the application process of the B schools. Let me cover a little bit about the application process. Most of the schools have a couple of rounds in the application process- early bird, round 1, round 2, round 3 etc. Although there are many rounds, typically it is round 1 and round 2. You have to plan your applications around the round 1 and round 2 deadlines. I have visited many schools and talked with the Adcom of schools and typically there is much difference between your acceptance rate between round 1 and round 2. Round 3 become more competitive and you might want to avoid that. Now Round 1 deadlines for most of the schools are in the first week of October and Round 2 deadlines are in the first week of Jan. In order to come up with good applications and plan the schools visits and talking to professors, you will require about 3...


4 Summer Habits for GMAT Preparation


Categories : GMAT Preparation

As you read this article, the entire summer is ahead of you.  But if you are planning to apply to business school this fall, you should heed the warning that you learned in your earlier scholastic days – time flies when you’re having fun, and the fall, like those objects in your rearview mirror, is probably closer than it appears.

Rest assured that you can still enjoy most of your summer even if you don’t plan on taking the GMAT until later in the fall.  But even without dedicating much of the summer to studying, there are at least four habits you can add to your day-to-day lifestyle that will get you ready to hit the ground running when you do begin your GMAT preparation in earnest sometime soon:


1) Read

The GMAT verbal section is a test of focus and concentration, assessing your ability to process written information on a variety of topics and to do so while tired and distracted.  There are certainly techniques to help you navigate the GMAT-specific passage formats and question types, and you’ll learn those when you’re ready to buckle down on GMAT study.  But in the meantime, you can improve your ability to process that information simply by reading more, and by reading articles and books on topics that aren’t as natural of choices for you.  Traveling this summer?  Bring The Economist on...


How to solve GMAT Subject Verb Agreement Questions(Video)



Video Summary

1) First GMAT Subject Verb Agreement Practice Question
Expert instructors Jen Rugani and Dave Ingber explain how to solve the first tricky GMAT Subject Verb Agreement Questions

Techniques used

  • Process of Elimination
  • Spotting Error
  • Read the answer choice one final time
...

5 Steps for GMAT Data Interpretation



Data Interpretations GMAT1. Read the labels first. Mentally categorize each graph, chart and table. (EX: “This is a graph showing the change in the price of gas per gallon over the course of one year.”) Do not just skip the statistics entirely and go straight to the question! While you may think this will save you time, it actually significantly decreases your accuracy.

Data Interpretation questions are like an open-book test. You wouldn’t skip a Reading Comp passage, so don’t skip the data. Make sure you read every tiny piece of writing on or near the data, including titles, the labels for the x and y-axes, column names, and even footnotes. Scroll down to make sure you’ve caught everything.

2. Note the units. Once you understand the labels, take special care to note the units (mph, m/sec, cm2, etc.). Are we dealing with seconds, minutes, or hours? Does one graph represent the month of June, while the other graph represents the entire year? The units may change from graph-to-graph or chart-to-table. Especially note any given information about percentages, as DI questions frequently require you to work with...


How to Handle Passive and Active Voices in GMAT Sentence Corrections


Categories : Sentence Correction, Voice

GMAT Active Voice vs Passive VoiceThese two sentences have an important difference.  Can you spot it?

1) She spoke persuasively, arguing for major legislative changes.

2) Major legislative changes were argued for in her persuasive speech.

The first sentence is written in the active voice, and the second is written in the passive voice.

In the first sentence above, the subject is “she,” and the verb is “spoke.” In the second sentence, the subject is “major legislative changes” and the verb is “were argued for.”

Writing in the active voice means that the subject of the sentence is performing the action; writing in the passive voice means that the subject of the sentence is the object of an action. It’s tricky sometimes to distinguish between passive and active voices, but it’s worth practicing, because sometimes on GMAT Sentence Corrections, the difference between two grammatically sound answers is passive and active voice.  Many people in this situation end up guessing because they can’t think of any good reason to reject either of the choices. By learning how to use passive and active...


Strengthen In GMAT Critical Reasoning



GMAT CR Strengthen ArgumentOne common mistake that GMAT candidates make is that they don't stay close to the text provided in the passage.

Let’s look at an example:

Q) Company X has instituted an Employee Wellness Program that will provide employees with free access to smoking cessation programs, nutritional counseling, and personal training services at a local gym.  Similar programs at other companies have been shown to improve workplace attendance and performance, and reduce the employer’s costs for employee health insurance.  Thus, the Employee Wellness Program will be good for both the employees and the company.

If true, which of the following would best support the conclusion of the argument above?

a) Many employees take advantage of free nutritional counseling when it is offered by employers.
b) Smoking cessation programs are only effective for 20% of those smokers who use them.
c) Personal training services at a local gym will make it easier for employees to improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the incidence of serious illness.
d) Exercising without personal training services can often lead to injury due to incorrect use of weight-training equipment.
e...


How to start preparing for the GMAT Quant Section



Some of you have left Math behind, never to touch it again and all of a sudden GMAT comes along :-) . You know that you were good in Math but now that since there has been a lag; there is always a fear to catch up on the fundamentals. The lines, polygons, integers, triangles and the worst of all-permutation and probability start to bother you. You know you knew this stuff- Infact you were always a grade A student and know to have to get back on it.

What’s the best way to get at it? Well there are different strategies and people figure out what works for them and what does not. But always remember this- If you were good in Math at one point of time, you are still good in Math. You have not lost your Quant and so do not loose faith…. Have confidence. It’s just a matter of days before you can catch on to it and then GMAT Quant is fun and you will enjoy it. The best way to work the Quant preparation is to get to the Official Guide notes and go through them. Try to not only read them but also try to derive, think and work out similar formulas. This will brush up some of the formulas and the topics. Also, this is what you can do if you want fast results. Read a topic from the Official Guide, and immediately get to the Grockit site and play a game on those topics preferably in groups. That would bring out a lot of questions and while discussion you will tend to get the old Math concepts from...


How GMAT Scoring Algorithm Works?


Categories : GMAT Score

GMAT AlgorithmThe GMAT is a computer-adaptive test where your score is calculated by an algorithm that provides you with harder questions (and higher score returns) when you answer previous questions correctly, and with easier questions (and lower returns) when you’ve answered previous questions incorrectly.

Through this method, the GMAT can determine your ability level in a relatively short period – 37 math and 41 verbal questions – and provide you with an immediate score upon completion of the test. To save you the stress of trying to figure out the secrets of the algorithm, here are some important things you should know about GMAT scoring:


1) Good news: You can get a lot of questions wrong and still do well!

The job of the GMAT scoring algorithm is to determine your ability level by asking you questions that begin to close in on it. Think of how you’d play a game of 20 Questions as you attempt to zero in on the historical figure that your “opponent” has selected:

Was this person famous in the era BC? (No – too early)

Was this person famous before the Middle Ages? (No – still too early)

Was this person famous before the...


How to Draw Diagrams accurately for GMAT Geometry?


Categories : Geometry Problems

Drawing diagrams accurately in GMAT Geometry questions will allow you to capture the essential information from the Question. It’s not always easy. Here is a hands-on Experience for you: Draw the diagram as your read the question(below) and then go through the analysis.

Q) A circular table consists of a glass center surrounded by a metal ring of uniform width. If the metal ring has a width of 2 inches, and the glass center has a diameter of 4x inches, what fraction of the table’s surface is made up by the metal ring, in terms of x?

There’s no underhanded trick in this question, nor is there anything super complicated to incorporate into your diagram. But you should always be very mindful of the details of the question while drawing your diagram, since after you do so, you’re less likely to look at the information given in the problem. Indeed, it’s a waste of time to do so, since the information is presented much more usefully in your diagram! But this also means that if you make a mistake in the diagram, you may not correct it – and it’s very frustrating to get a problem wrong simply because your diagram was drawn incorrectly.

If it helps you to think figuratively, consider this metaphor I’ve *ahem*...


GMAT Sentence correction General Strategies



GMAT Sentence Correction General StrategiesGMAT Sentence correction(SC) comprises 15 of the total 41 verbal questions, which means that the majority of verbal questions are from GMAT SC. With SC questions, you will be presented with a question followed by five answer choices. The question will be underlined in part. You have to select the best answer choice that rephrases the underlined part of the question. Remember - the first answer choice will repeat the original text so don't bother to read it again.

Here is a step by step action plan to solve GMAT SC Questions

1. Read the whole sentence slowly and carefully. We all have different reading speeds, but as a good rule of thumb, you’ll want to read the sentence significantly slower than you would read a novel. For you fast readers who don’t subvocalize as you read, you might want to try subvocalizing SC sentences; sometimes it’s best to hear the mistake rather than see it.

2. If you notice what looks like an error in the underlined portion, try to identify the type of error before you move...


Read about Properties of Zero Before attempting GMAT Questions


Categories : Number Properties

Zero Properties GMATThe number 0 on the GMAT is tricky as its properties are the trap in to which a seemingly logical solution can lead you or are often either the key to unlocking a difficult solution. Learning the properties of zero (keep in mind that it is an even number) is a crucial skill, particularly on data sufficiency problems. Even more importantly, never forget to consider zero as a potential value for a variable, as it often produces surprising results. Consider the case of zero as an exponent:

x^0 is, by definition, equal to 1. Noting the properties of exponents can help you to prove and more easily remember this useful device: take, for example, the expression x^2 * x^-2. You could rearrange this two ways:

a) (x^2) / (x^2) --> The negative exponent moves that term to the denominator

b) x^(2-2), or x^0 --> When multiplying terms with the same base, taken to different exponents, you add the exponents

Because we can prove that (x^2) / (x^2) must be equal to 1, and that the two expressions above are...


GMAT Data Sufficiency Strategy - Prove Insufficiency


Categories : Data Sufficiency

GMAT DS InsuffiencyPerhaps no GMAT item is as symbolic of the test as is a Data Sufficiency question.  It is an iconic question format, unique to the GMAT and true to the aims of this specific test: to reward those who show the higher-order reasoning skills that will lead to success in business.

The corporate world is full of “yes men” and “groupthink” – of the kind of inertia that leads companies to think in the same direction without considering alternate points of view.  To combat that, employers and business schools seek those who can see the entire array of possibility, and the GMAT tests for that in many Data Sufficiency problems.  Consider a problem like:

Is the product jkmn = 1?

(1) jk/mn = 1

(2) j, k, m, and n are integers

Considering statement 1 it’s quite easy to get the answer “NO”.  Using 1, 8, 2, and 4, for example, satisfies statement 1?s constraints but clearly gives a product unequal to 1.  So does 1, 20, 5, and 4.  But having just one “NO”...