Interested MBA Programs *
Interested in *
MBA Location Preference(s)*
*Easy Unsubscribe


Set A consists of integers -9, 8, 3, 10, and J; Set B consists of integers -2, 5, 0, 7, -6,

Set A consists of integers -9, 8, 3, 10, and J; Set B consists of integers -2, 5, 0, 7, -6, and T. If R is the median of Set A and W is the mode of set B, and R^W is a factor of 34, what is the value of T if J is negative?

(A) -2
(B) 0
(C) 1
(D) 2
(E) 5


This problem demonstrates a helpful note about statistics problems – quite often the key to solving a stats problem is something other than stats: number properties, divisibility, algebra, etc. The statistics nature of these problems is often just a way to make a simpler problem look more difficult.

Here, the phrase “factor of 34? should stand out to you, as there are only four factors of 34, so you can narrow down the possibilities pretty quickly to 1, 2, 17, and 34. And because the number in question must be an exponential term that becomes a factor of 34, it’s even more limited: 2, 17, and 34 can only be created by one integer exponent – “itself” to the first power.

The base of that exponent is going to be the median of Set A, and because we know that the median of Set A will be 3 (a negative term for variable J means that 3 will be the middle term), the question becomes that much clearer. 3^W can only be a factor of 34 if it’s set equal to 1, and the only way to do that is for W to be 0. REMEMBER: anything to the power of...

How to use your Common sense in GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions?

Categories : Data Sufficiency

Data Sufficiency questions are not the same as your regular "Find the value of x" question. GMAT DS Questions require you to adjust in your approach to Math Problems. You are not primarily concerned with the final answer, but rather whether you have enough information to get you to that answer. For example, if you’re asked to find the value of x, and a statement tells you that 300x + 257 = 1345, you know that this statement is sufficient, because you can perform arithmetic on that equation to isolate x. Are you going to perform it? No, because it’s too complicated and you don’t need to! All you’re concerned with is whether you can find the answer.

It might strike you as odd, but because of this principle, you can tackle some supposedly difficult DS questions without writing down a single equation or calculation! Sounds too good to be true, but in actuality, it makes a lot of sense. Remember, in business school you’ll be given data in case studies, and you’ll be expected to determine relatively quickly what information is relevant. DS questions are perfect for testing this ability because you have to look at the information given to you and cut to the heart of what is most important about that information.

As an example, let’s look at this rather wordy DS problem:


How to study for the GMAT in one month?

Categories : GMAT Study Plan

Ideally you should spend 3 months for your GMAT Prep(Read How to prepare for the GMAT in 3 months?). If you have one month, here is a focused way to plan your studies:

Week 1: Diagnosis and Practice

Take a practice test and carefully go over your wrong answers. Look for patterns. You want to see if there is one particular section or problem type that is hurting you more than all others. Do additional practice problems if the practice test yields inconclusive information. Read explanations for wrong answers and map out three to five consistent weaknesses. You will focus on these in the next week.

Week 2: Focused Study

Now is the time to deal with your weaknesses. Depending on how many you identified, you will want to spend 1 – 2 days focusing on each. If strengthening arguments questions are your Kryptonite, put a night or two of studying into that. If data sufficiency algebra is killing you, spend an afternoon reading strategies and explanations related to it. You should spend this week doing a combination of practice problems and content coursework about math and English. Take super-concise notes that you can review later.

The goal during this period is...

Should I wait for the new GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section?

F1GMAT: Should test takers wait for the new GMAT Section(Integrated Reasoning) in June 2012 or give the test by this year itself?

Veritas Prep:
The Official GMAT Blog has taken a stance on this, and as the Veritas Prep offices have answered this question with increasing frequency we would  like to make our similar opinion public, as well.  Take the GMAT when it is  a good time for you to do so; the presence of the Integrated Reasoning score alone should not impact your candidacy.

The biggest news angle one could derive from the changes to the GMAT is that, well, not much has changed.  The GMAT will not change its quantitative and verbal sections, and the content of the Integrated Reasoning section is actually similar to...

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...

How to use Active Thinking in GMAT Problem Solving

Categories : Problem Solving

Active Thinking for GMATQuick brainteaser for you: If 3 bunnies can eat 3 carrots in one hour, how many carrots can 1.5 bunnies eat in one hour?

Really take a moment to think about it.

Do you have an answer?

Ok. If you answered, or even were tempted to answer, “1.5 carrots,” then I’m glad that you’re reading this article! The thing is, while the bunnies are eating carrots at the rate of one per hour, it doesn’t follow that 1.5 bunnies will eat 1.5 carrots. 1.5 bunnies will only eat one carrot, because 1.5 bunnies is really just 1 bunny. (That half a bunny isn’t feeling very well and doesn’t want any carrots.)

I don’t mean to say that this is a GMAT-style problem, but if you found yourself answering “1.5 carrots,” then you are prone to operating on autopilot. Students who operate on autopilot will often fall into traps, and they may become overwhelmed by questions that don’t fall clearly into easily recognized patterns. And let me tell you – you will likely see many problems on the GMAT that don’t fall into common patterns!

Active Thinking...

What is the greatest prime factor of 12!11! + 11!10!?

Categories : Number Properties

What is the greatest prime factor of 12!11! + 11!10!?

(A) 7
(B) 11
(C) 13
(D) 17
(E) 19


While it is common for students to simply look at the numbers 12!, 11!, and 10! and see that the highest naturally-occurring prime number is 11, it is  important to know that this is an addition problem – the numbers 12!11! and 11!10! are combined to create a new number that may well have a higher prime factor than its factorial components.

When adding large numbers like factorials and exponents, it is  often quite helpful to factor out common terms. In this case, it’s particularly important, because our entire goal is to break out the large sum into prime factors so that we can determine which is biggest. Each term has a common 11!, so by factoring that out we can get from:

12!11! + 11!10!
11! (12! + 10!)

Now, 12! includes a 10! – it’s essentially 12 * 11 * 10!, so we have a common 10! within the parentheses that can also be factored out, going from:

11! (12*11*10! + 10!)
11!10! (12*11 + 1)

At this point, the largest prime factor must be either the 11 outside the...

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...

How to practice for the GMAT without pen and paper?

Categories : GMAT Preparation

Even without using a GMAT prep Book, you can still strengthen your GMAT Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension skills. Here is an excellent video by Knewton on how to improve your GMAT RC and CR Skills:

1. Read News Websites

News sites are great for practicing both Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Short, detail-heavy articles from The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post make for a good GMAT-level challenge on their own. In terms of evaluating arguments, however, the real value comes from the comments on these articles that people leave online. Here you have a wonderful chance to test your CR logic skills.

As people bicker about market trends or Obama’s economic policies, you will see examples of good and bad reasoning in action. Treat them all like a GMAT excerpts. Ask yourself what their arguments rely on, and you will sharpen your ability to identify assumptions.

2. Read Opinionated Authors

Instead of re-reading the GMAT official guide for the ninth time, try taking a good book along with you for your long train rides. There is a wide variety of opinionated non-fiction writing that can help refine your understanding of tone and rhetoric. From Steven Levitt’s...

GMAT Will Wear you Down: Avoid Unnecessary calculations and Don't Analyze Unnecessary Verbiage

GMAT Save Time and EnergyThe GMAT finds much of its competitive advantage in its ability to wear down its unsuspecting challengers, who perform unnecessary calculations on the quantitative side and reading and analyzing unnecessary verbiage on the verbal side, while all the while the GMAT packs its "knockout punch" in the form of a subtle uniqueness in the line of questioning that a tired examinee is unlikely to notice.

In order to combat this opponent, be sure to seek out opportunities to save time and energy when possible:

Quantitative Section

When answering a Data Sufficiency question, once you know that you will get one definitive answer, you can stop performing the calculation. The actual answer does not matter, as the question is only concerned with whether you will, indeed, arrive at an answer.

When calculating the answer for a Problem Solving question, consider the answer choices and whether an estimate, or a property of the correct value (does it have to be even? Must it be negative?) will be...

Using Possessive Pronouns in GMAT Sentence Correction

GMAT Possessive PronounPossessive pronouns aren’t one of the biggest issues tested on the GMAT, but they do appear sometimes, and understanding them can not only potentially boost your Verbal score but can also make you a better writer, which will help in your AWA and your business school application process.

Just like other pronouns, possessive pronouns must have a clear antecedent, and must agree with that antecedent in gender and in number. There are a few tricky rules that come into play with possessive pronouns that you don’t see elsewhere, however.

1.No apostrophes needed

Turning a singular noun into a possessive noun usually involves the use of an apostrophe.  For example, you might say “my neighbor’s car.”  “Neighbor” is the noun, and to make it clear that the car belongs to your neighbor, you add an apostrophe and an “s”.  If we replace “neighbor’s” with “his,” though, we don’t need an apostrophe to indicate possession.  People often become particularly confused by the possessive form of one specific pronoun: it. The rule is...

GMAT Integrated Reasoning - Latest Updates

The Graduate Management Admissions Council is continuing its evolution of its test, the GMAT, with a big change coming in June 2012.  The increasing prevalence of computers -- and the increasing reliance on computer-generated information -- has led them to alter the test format in an important way.

What’s changing? 
One of the two essays, the Analysis of an Issue, will no longer be part of the test.  Students will complete the Analysis of an Argument essay and then begin the new Integrated Reasoning section immediately, after which is an optional break before the Quantitative section.  In all other respects, the test experience itself is the same; the order and timing of the sections that remain is identical, and the entire test is still four hours long with the optional breaks.

What’s Integrated Reasoning? 
After surveying hundreds of faculty worldwide, GMAC is introducing a new section with four question types.  These questions are meant to test the types of skills required by the world of business today:

1) Making decisions from a mixture of quantitative and verbal information
2) Reorganizing information to answer questions and discern trends

Non-native English speakers - GMAT Verbal Study Plan designed for you!

Non-Native Speaker GMAT Verbal Study PlanEnglish, like all living languages, is complex and constantly-changing; what is acceptable in spoken English is not always accepted in Standard (written) English.  The key to improving your English reading, processing, and writing skills for the GMAT is consistent high-quality practice.  It's true that native speakers have a big advantage -- they have typically been listening to correct English for at least two decades.  Non-native speakers, however, have a small advantage -- they (unlike native speakers) have not been listening to incorrect English for two decades.  Build your study around quality writing and daily practice -- and start as early as you can.

Quality writing:

New Yorker
The Economist
Harper's Magazine
The Atlantic


Top 10 Ways to Save Time in GMAT

1. Prepare: This one is on the obvious side, but too important to leave off the list. The most important things you can do to prepare for the GMAT is to understand all the concepts tested and to be familiar with all the question types. There is no magic formula–the best strategy is to spend a lot of time beforehand practicing and familiarizing yourself with the various concepts and question formats.

2. Be confident: If you know the right answer, stick with it. Often on, say, a Problem Solving question, you’ll need to figure out the right answer before you even get to the choices. Don’t waste time second guessing yourself when you see a different answer that looks appealing; you studied for this, you did the question properly. Select your answer and proceed to the next question.

3. Don’t spend time on calculation: This one is obvious but often overlooked. Data Sufficiency problems ask you to say when you have enough information to answer the question in the prompt, not to actually compute the answer. Sometimes you need to work all the way to a solution, but often, all you need to know is how to get the...

How to identify Style or Tone in GMAT Reading Comprehension

GMAT Reading Comprehension Tone and StyleOne question type you are bound to encounter on the GMAT Reading Comprehension is a style or tone question. Style and tone questions are particularly rare because most of the passages will be informational articles with neutral tones. For example, it would not be very challenging if you were asked to identify the tone of a passage about the many types of metamorphic rock - such a passage would surely be neutral.   

The tone of any given passage is the author’s emotion or feeling, usually towards his subject. An author’s style is the particular way he uses language to reflect his unique authorial voice. Most style or tone questions will include the words “attitude,” “tone,” “style,” “feeling,” etc. A typical question of this type might look like this:

•  The author’s attitude toward global warming might best be described as which of the following?

•  Which of the following best describes the tone of the passage?

•  Based on the statements in lines 43-46, which of the...