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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...


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...


Top 10 GMAT Verbal tips for Non-native speakers


Categories : GMAT Verbal

Top Verbal Tips for Non-Native GMAT Test TakerEven if English isn’t your first language, you can still achieve an excellent score on the GMAT Verbal section. Here are a few tips to get you started!

1. Build your grammar skills first. You can ignore most of the challenging vocabulary on sentence corrections as long as you identify what part of speech each word is, and how it functions within the sentence. To do this, you’ll need to spend some time with a solid English grammar review book. I recommend pairing a heavy-duty review book, like the Oxford Guide or those published by McGraw-Hill or...


Exponents Lead to Cumbersome, Time-Consuming Calculations involving Large Numbers but it is Pattern-Driven


Categories : Exponents

GMAT ExponentsThe GMAT's quantitative section is increasingly emphasizing problem solving skills over calculation abilities, and often does so in the form of "Number Properties" questions. The authors of the exam are also quite adept at recognizing "mathematical psychology", and creating questions that increase an examinee's anxiety by enough to make that process of problem solving a bit more difficult. One of the major themes that arises as a result is the use of exponents, which carry with them a number of properties extremely useful to the writers of the GMAT.

Exponents

• Inspire fear (or at least apprehension) in test takers
• Lead to cumbersome, time-consuming calculations involving large numbers
• Are actually quite pattern-driven, and reward those who seek out those patterns rather than attempt to perform the extensive calculations

How can this help you on the exam?

If you embrace the pattern-driven quality of exponents, you can rest easy on exponent questions...


GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies - Spot Decision Points



GMAT Sentence Correction Decision PointsAs stated in GMAT SC - Use Logic, the pool of required grammar knowledge for the GMAT is likely shallower than you would think; those who memorize hundreds of idiomatic rules or read the cover off of their copy of Strunk & White’s “Elements of Style” are studying counter to the real purpose of the GMAT’s inclusion of Sentence Correction: the idea of “core competencies.”  Corporate Strategy courses in business school will spend quite a bit of time on that notion that each business needs to recognize the handful of things it does extremely well and find opportunities to leverage that.  When businesses stray from their core competencies they tend to struggle mightily, throwing away  resources and providing diminishing returns with increased risk.

For example, McDonald’s has a set of core competencies that allow it to run extremely efficient fast-food operations in high-traffic areas.  It’s natural, then, to acquire Chipotle and replicate the same processes with a different type of fast food...


GMAT Sentence Correction Flow Chart



GMAT Sentence correction


The above is no substitute for reading each sentence carefully, predicting what the correct answer might look like, and finding it in the answer choices of course.  A little more on each of the decision points:

•  Whole sentence underlined: There isn't much to say about this.  With no part of the sentence left static, there's more to keep in mind; the other decisions still help.

Answer start or end with a verb: Beware nouns close to the verb that may distract you from the real subject

Answer start or end with a pronoun: Read carefully for the pronoun's antecedent (the word it's replacing in the sentence)

Modifying phrase, set apart by comma(s): These phrases are easier to spot and work with when they start the sentence, since you need only look at the first thing after the first comma, but these modifying phrases can appear anywhere.

Separation of subject and verb: The further apart they are, the more words there will be to confuse you.  Try...


Introduction to GMAT Verbal Section


Categories : GMAT Verbal

GMAT Verbal Topics IntroductionThe GMAT verbal section can be distracting if only because of one truth: Sentences (for correction) or reading comprehension passages must be about something. Whether it is a technical topic (immunological reactions, biological discoveries involving microorganisms) or a business-related subject (the rise of multinational corporations, the origin of hedge funds), questions on the verbal section will take place within the context of some kind of subject matter.

Traditionally, the GMAT uses academic subjects such as:

• Natural Sciences (astronomy, biology, etc.)
• Social Science (history, political science, etc.)
• Business Related

As a test-taker your reaction to these subjects can take multiple forms, but usually falls in to one or two major categories: bored/intimidated by something you don’t like or understand, or engaged/interested by something that intrigues you. In either case, you’re likely to be distracted, either by your distaste for the subject of by your enjoyment of it. Don’t forget, though, that you’re not reading the sentence/paragraph/passage for the value of the knowledge contained within it! Your job, regardless of the topic...


GMAT Fractions - Don't get lost in the calculations



Have you wondered how writers can make a seemingly simple GMAT topic like fractions into time-consuming calculations. One strategy that GMAT test takers must adopt to simplify the calculations. For example

Dividing by 5 is the same as multiplying by 2/10. For example:

• 840/5 = ?
• 840/5 = 840*(2/10) = 84*2 = 168

Multiplying or dividing by 10’s and 2’s is generally easier than using 5’s. 90% of the time, fractions will be easier to perform arithmetic. Decimals are sometimes more useful when comparing numbers relative to one another, such as in a number line, but these questions are the exception. Even if given a decimal (or percent) looks easy, quickly convert to a fraction. Some common ones to memorize:

• 1/9 = 0.111 repeating
• 1/8 = 0.125
• 1/7 = ~0.14
• 1/6 = 0.166 repeating
• 1/5 = 0.20
• 1/4 = 0.25
• 1/3 = 0.333 repeating
• 1/2 = 0.5 repeating

Note: Multiples of these, such as 3/8 (0.375) are also important to remember, but can easily be derived by multiplying the original fraction (1/8 * 3 = 3/8 = 0.125 * 3 = 0.375)

Denominators are super important. A denominator of a reduced fraction with a multiple of 7 will not have a finite...


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 Performance Tips


Categories : GMAT Tips

Best GMAT Performance TipsYour performance on the GMAT, like all peak performances tend to come in a familiar three-step pattern: ready, set, go; bump, set spike; game plan, warm up, perform. All signs point to I came, I saw, I conquered.

The GMAT begins with the AWA essays, a pair of 30-minute writing samples designed to test your communication ability, and for which the scores are used sparingly in MBA admissions. Effectively, the biggest threat to your MBA candidacy from the AWA section is not necessarily the essay score itself, but more likely the way in which that hour will impact your overall performance on the ever-important Quantitative and Verbal sections, which combine for your score between 200 and 800. How can you use the AWA section as a competitive advantage, and not a threat?

Game Plan
Assume that the AWA section comes first for a reason - in spending an hour writing about generic topics, students are apt to lose track of (or at least worry that they'll lose track of...


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...


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...


How to correctly use Pronouns and Antecedents in GMAT Sentence Corrections



Pronoun GMATErrors in pronouns—words like he, she, it, they, our, etc.—and antecedents—the words that the pronouns refer to—are among the most common errors in English Grammar.  Take this sentence as an example:

Sentence A:  I spoke to someone at the help desk, and asked what kinds of product returns the company allows; they told me that they only take unopened items.

This sentence wouldn’t set off any “grammar alarms” for the average reader and speaker of English; however, you, intrepid GMAT test-taker, need to be wiser than average and spot a couple of pronoun/antecedent errors, such as:

1.  “They” and “their” are plural pronouns, and CAN’T be used as gender-neutral singular pronouns

One of the most frequently-committed grammar sins in every day speech is the use of “they” and “their” to indicate gender neutrality.  Sentence A, above, says “I spoke to someone.”  The sentence later says, “they told me,” and based on context it is clear that the “they” in question is the “someone at the help desk.”  “Someone” is...


Ratios - Not just GMAT but useful for your post-MBA Journey


Categories : Ratio and Proportion

Ratio is a math concept that is vital in your post-MBA journey. It allows you to compare variables and provide a means to divide the variable with a common factor. “The ratio of boys to girls is seven to two” can be expressed as the proportion: B/G = 7/2. Do with this what you like: 7G = 2B or B = 7G/2, whatever. Forget the “:” with ratios.

GMAT writers love to provide ratios (which are multiplicative relationships) and then add an absolute component (addition/subtraction). Note that when you have a ratio like B/G = 7/2, we don’t actually know the number of girls and boys. There can be 14 boys and 4 girls, or 70 boys and 20 girls. Questions that insert absolute numbers should be taken with caution. For example:

At a certain restaurant, the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters is 3 to 13. When 12 more waiters are hired, the ratio of the number of cooks to the number of waiters changes to 3 to 16. How many cooks does the restaurant have?

A. 4
B. 6
C. 9
D. 12
E. 15

The key here is setting up the equation. Since we don’t know the initial scale of the number of cooks and waiters, we can express this scale by “x”.
C/W = 3x/13x.

Notice that whatever x is, the ratio will hold true. (x must be...


Idioms



On the GMAT sentence corrections, an “idiom” is a recognized grammatical construction that is a rule simply because of tradition. The idiom constitutes the ultimate tautology: we say something a certain way because, well, that’s how we say it.

On the test, most of the idioms you will face involve preposition usage. Why do I listen “to” the radio instead of listen “at” the radio? We say “listen to” because that is how English speakers have said it for hundreds of years. We like it that way, and we are not willing to change.

For some test-takers, idiom errors can be the easiest to spot on the exam. To these test-takers, an idiom error sticks out like a sore thumb. When they read something like “listen at the radio,” they hear dissonance. The only way to restore grammatical harmony is to replace the grating “at” with the soothing “to.” Balance is restored.

English as second language

Not everybody thinks this way. For many who learned English as a second language, and even for those who have a purely logical--as opposed to intuitive--understanding of language, idiom errors are extremely difficult to detect. After all, there is no logical explanation for why we say “listen to” instead of “listen at.”...