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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


Categories : Ratio and Proportion

A proportion is represented by two ratios which are equated to each other. In GMAT Quant questions, we would be presented with one variable and three values for proportions. Reduce the ratio in either side to the lowest possible value before cross-multiplying.

For example , a proportion can be presented as a/b = c/d or a:b = c:d

So as per our strategy reduce a/b to the smallest possible fraction

ex: 24/10 should be translated to 12/5

GMAT Proportion: A football field is 9600 square yards.  If 1200 pounds of fertilizer are spread evenly across the entire field, how many pounds of fertilizer were spread over an area of the field totaling 3600 square yards?

A. 450
B. 600
C. 750
D. 2400
E. 3200

The key word here is “spread evenly”. This implies that the relationship of fertilizer per square foot is uniform, and you can set equal the relationship of the wholes to the relationship of the parts.

A/F = 9600/1200 = 3600/x

Clearly, we can eliminate the zeros on the left side:

9600/1200 = 3600/x

96/12 = 3600/x

Then we can divide 96/12:

8 = 3600/x

Here, we can still reduce left-to-right, by canceling 4 in both:

2 = 900/x

Oh wait! There’s more! Both 2 and 900 are divisible by 2!

Do you recommend practicing GMAT Verbal and Quantitative at the same time?

Categories : GMAT Verbal, GMAT Quant

Practice Verbal and QuantF1GMAT: Do you recommend doing Verbal and Quantitive at the same time or one after the other?
Knewton:  You should study both at the same time!

Studying Verbal for a while, and then studying for Quant for a while might lead to high section scores in the short term, but this strategy is not as effective in the long run.

If mastering the GMAT were as simple as memorizing groups of facts, like memorizing all the U.S. states and then all the Canadian provinces, you could plan your studies sequentially. In fact, it would probably make sense to. However, memorization is not a big part of the GMAT (except for certain handy-to-know items like idioms and common squares): it’s much more important to build all your test-taking skills in combination.

Studying for the GMAT is like working your muscles – if you do a month of chin ups, and then a month of sit ups, the rippling shoulders and biceps you built up after the first month will have faded away by end of the second month. In GMAT terms, your Quant skills...

How to solve GMAT Critical Reasoning Inference question

GMAT Critical Reasoning InferenceYou’re having lunch with your friend Jane, and you suggest getting hot fudge sundaes for dessert; Jane tells you that she doesn’t eat hot fudge sundaes.  In real life, you could draw several valid inferences from this: she’s lactose intolerant, she has sensitive teeth and so can’t eat frozen desserts, she’s on a diet and trying to avoid sweets, or maybe she just doesn’t like ice cream or hot fudge. 

In real life, those would all be acceptable inferences, because the real-world definition of infer is to do any of the following:

1. to derive by reasoning; conclude or judge from premises or evidence: e.g., They inferred his anger from his heated denial.
2. (of facts, circumstances, statements, etc.) to indicate or involve as a conclusion; lead to.
3. to guess; speculate; surmise.
4. to hint; imply; suggest.

“Infer” is, as you can see, a word with fairly flexible meaning.  We most often use it in day-to-day life to mean “make an educated guess.”  If your friend Jane says she doesn’t eat hot fudge sundaes, you apply your existing knowledge about the possible reasons someone could have for...

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...

Never actually understood Absolute Values ? Here is your chance!

Categories : Absolute Value

GMAT Absolute ValuesAbsolute Values (AVs) questions in GMAT can be a time saver for you if you understand a few rules. Capture the following notes and use it as a reference for your GMAT exam.

1. Absolute Value equations are two equations disguised as one

You can split up any equation involving absolutes into two, and solve for each solution. One will look identical to the given, and the other is found by multiplying the inside by -1. Remember to multiply the entire expression by -1.

| (x + 5)/3 | = 11 turns into:

(x + 5)/3 = 11, and

(x+5)/3 = -11

x + 5 = 33

x + 5 = -33

x = 28 x = -38

Note that plugging either x = 28 or x = -38 into the original equation will check out. Also note that solutions for variables within absolute value questions can be negative. What is spit out of the AV cannot be negative, but what goes in can be anything.

2. Think of Absolute Values as distances from zero

If an AV = 15, that means whatever is inside the AV is exactly 15 above or below zero on the number line.

(GMAT 800) If n and a are positive integers, what is the units digit

If n and a are positive integers, what is the units digit of n^(4a+2) – n^(8a)?

(1) n = 3
(2) a is odd

A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
B)    Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
C)    BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient;
D)    EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked;
E)    Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed.

BONUS QUESTION: What actually is the units digit (assuming the answer is not E)?


One important thing to note about exponents is that, by definition, they indicate “repetitive multiplication” – the multiplication of the same number over and over again.  Accordingly, they lend themselves nicely to patterns, as when you perform the  same action over and over again you’ll tend to get similar results.  When you consider statement 1, that n = 3, look at how 3 multiplies to different exponents:...

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 solve work and rates problem in GMAT

Work Rate ProblemsCarefully go through the following question types. These are the standard work rate problems that you would encounter in your GMAT Exam.

Working Together

In questions where individuals work at different speeds, we typically need to add their separate rates together. Make sure you keep your units straight. This doesn’t mean wasting time and writing each and every one out, but rather simply recognizing their existence. Note that when working together, the total time to complete the same task will be less than BOTH of the individual rates, but not necessarily in proportion. Nor, are you averaging or adding the given times taken. You must add rates.

Q) A worker can load 1 full truck in 6 hours. A second worker can load the same truck in 7 hours. If both workers load one truck simultaneously while maintaining their constant rates, approximately how long, in hours, will it take them to fill 1 truck?

A. 0.15
B. 0.31
C. 2.47
D. 3.23
E. 3.25

The rate of worker #1 is 1 truck/6 hours. This can also be 1/6 trucks/1 hour. The rate of worker #2 is 1/7. When together, they will complete 1/6 + 1/...

Top 5 Tips to Improve your GMAT Critical Reasoning Score

Categories : Critical Reasoning

Top GMAT Critical Reasoning Score ImprovementGMAT Critical Reasoning Questions comprises nearly 1/3rd of all the Questions in the GMAT Verbal Section. It is important that you learn to analyze and identify various parts of the arguments. Follow these 5 Tricks and you will improve your GMAT CR Score:

1. Understand GMAT Critical Reasoning Definitions

Know the definition for terms like assumption, inference, evidence, conclusion, logical flaw, paradox, etc., like the back of your hand. As you go through practice tests, write down any words in the argument, question stem, or answer choice that confuse you – and then look them up!  When you have the essential definitions down, you can jump into arguments much more quickly — and you won’t waste any time second-guessing what a question is asking you to find.

2. Identify parts of CR Passages

If you’re having a hard time sorting out the meaning of a passage, take a moment to identify its conclusion and the evidence (statements of fact) and assumptions (unstated ideas) it uses to make that conclusion (the conclusion will often be signaled by words like “as a...

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...

Using Venn Diagrams to solve GMAT Set Questions

Categories : Venn Diagrams, Sets

On your GMAT, you will encounter 1-3 questions that contain overlapping groups with specific characteristics. You will almost never see more than two characteristics (since you can’t draw 3D on your scratch paper). For illustration, let’s take a look at the following Data Sufficiency example:

Q) Of the 70 children who visited a certain doctor last week, how many had neither a cold nor a cough?

(1) 40 of the 70 children had a cold but not a cough.
(2) 20 of the 70 children had both a cold and a cough.

There are two characteristics (cough and cold) and two categories for each (yes and no), so there are four total categories, as indicated by this matrix:
Four Total Categories
I’ve filled in the given information from both statements, and the parenthetical information is inferred. This clearly lays out the 4 combinations of options. If we sum vertically, we can infer that there are 60 total children with colds. Because there are 70 total children, this also means that 10 do NOT have colds. The bottom-right quadrant cannot be found because we do not know how those 10 children get divided between the two empty boxes. Choice E – together the statements are insufficient...

Learn when Diction Impacts Grammar in GMAT Sentence Correction Questions

Tone Diction GMATAs you may know, diction refers to word choice. Usually, we use the term “diction” to describe an author’s tone or style - rarely does word choice have an effect on grammar. In some cases, though, it does. The GMAT Sentence Corrections will test you only on those occasions when word choice affects grammar, not when one word will be more effective than another.

1. Adverbs vs. Adjectives

While the subject of adverb usage may deserve its own category, the topic can be included under diction. Simply put, an adverb (those words that often end in ly) describes a verb, adjective, or another adverb, while an adjective describes a noun.

Adverb usage is the reason we say “I did well on my test” and not “I did good on my test;” well is an adverb while good is an adjective.

Example 1. Scientists dream of one day creating armies of nanobots, tiny robots smaller than a cell, that can enter the human body and use their practical unlimited access to find and repair defects in bodily structures.

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”...

(GMAT 800) Data Sufficiency Quadratic Equations with Explanation

Grockit Questions

A.    Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient.
B.    Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient.
C.    BOTH statements TOGETHER are sufficient, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
D.    EACH statement ALONE is sufficient.
E.    Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed.

This question asks whether the information in one or both statements is sufficient to find a specific value. But we don't actually have to determine the value, just know that it can be determined.

(1) Quadratic equations have two solutions. However, sometimes those two solutions are identical with each other. If they are different, then solving this equation will lead to two possible values of x, and presumably also two possible values of f(x), so this would not be sufficient. But if they are the same, i.e. if there's really only one solution to this equation, then we would definitely know x, definitely know f(x), and...