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How to Ace GMAT Critical reasoning application questions

GMAT Critical reasoning application questions go one step further than Inference questions, asking you to apply what you have learned from the passage to a different or hypothetical situation. For these questions, it’s important to ignore the answer choices until you’ve effectively broken down the passage. Understand the author’s argument. Some application questions will focus on the author’s point of view. Just like you would for a critical reasoning passage, identify the author’s conclusion and the evidence provided. Put yourself in the author’s shoes and ask yourself questions. What is my argument? What would make my argument stronger? What might weaken it?

1) Focus on process

2) Pay attention to how a particular process is performed
For example, if the passage focuses on describing an experiment, you must clarify step-by-step how the experiment is carried out, before you can apply that same method to a different situation.

Go back through the passage and list the verbs on your scratch pad. This will help you to understand the steps of the process and not confuse the sequence.


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...

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 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...

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 prepare for the GMAT in 3 months?

Categories : GMAT Study Plan

GMAT Prep Plan 3 monthsKnewton: At Knewton, we generally recommend a prep period of around three months for GMAT Preparation. It’s enough time to build a solid foundation in critical areas of GMAT study, but not so long that you burn out by the rigorous focus and training.

Here is the 3 Month GMAT Prep Plan:

Week 1: Take a diagnostic practice test to see where you stand overall.  Learn the basic parameters of each section including scoring and question types.

Weeks 2 – 4: Do as many practice problems as possible for each section and read explanations for any wrong answers. The goal is not just to see whether you are better at Verbal or Quant, but specifically which sections (Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction) and which question types (strengthening arguments, usage of idioms) are the most difficult for you.

Weeks 4 – 8: Now that you have a lot of practice questions under your belt, you want to focus on the...

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 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...

GMAT Parallelism - How to Make Your Lists and Comparisons Parallel

GMAT ParallelismIt’s important to make sure that whenever you compare two things, those things are similar enough to make a comparison appropriate.  For example, if you and a friend are both preparing for the GMAT, but your friend has the luxury of studying full-time while you have a job and a family competing for your attention, it’s not appropriate to compare your score improvements with those of your friend.  Doing so would be an example of what is idiomatically called “comparing apples to oranges.”

The same thing is true on GMAT Sentence Correction questions.  When items are being compared, they must be “apples to apples,” or parallel.  For instance, take a look at the following example of a comparison:

Unlike most business students at her school, who attended classes full time, Carla’s schedule was so full that she could only attend part-time.

The sentence as written compares “most business students” to “Carla’s schedule.”  Schedules are things, and business students are people; this is an apples-to-oranges comparison.  In order to correct it, we should put the items being compared into parallel form, like this:

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/...

5 Reasons why you should Take the GMAT During or Right After College

Categories : GMAT Preparation

In case you didn't knew, your GMAT Score is valid for five years. Not many MBA Aspirants think about this. But it is always better to take the GMAT just after or while you are still in a college.

1. Time

Sure, you’re busy now — but chances are you’ll be even busier once you’re out in the real world working 40-60+ hours a week. With that kind of schedule, it will be difficult to section off time to study for the GMAT. Also, beginning your prep now — when you know that you’ll still have ample time to retake the exam should it not go too smoothly — will allow you take the pressure off yourself on test day.

2. Study zone

It may take some practice to master complex Data Sufficiency problems and dense Reading Comprehension passages. Since you are already digesting complex information and working under pressure to complete academic tasks in college, it shouldn’t be too hard to add a little GMAT preparation to your daily studying regime. That way, it feels like just an extra class, rather than an unfamiliar burden.

3.Math and Verbal Skills

We hear this constantly: after several years away from day-to-day practice, it may be hard to work with formulas or remember your grammar fundamentals. Given that you had to take that last...

(GMAT 800 CR Bold Faced) A leading board member of AutoSnip

A leading board member of AutoSnip Co., makers of an automated home haircutting system, recently stated that the company was in terrible shape and headed for a disastrous year. His concern was that, since the introduction of the AutoSnip III last year, calls to the customer service line have nearly doubled, indicating that people are very unhappy with the new product. Although it's true that it is the job of responsible board members to raise issues of concern, in this case the board member's analysis of the situation is mistaken. The customer service line handles not only complaints but also sales, and the majority of the new calls have been to place new orders.

What role do the two boldfaced selections play in the above argument?

A.The first provides evidence supporting the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides evidence supporting a conclusion that the argument opposes.
B. The first provides evidence, an interpretation of which supports the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides evidence supporting the main conclusion of the argument.
C. The first provides incontrovertible evidence opposing the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides evidence supporting the main conclusion of the...

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.

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 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:...