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Top 10 GMAT Problem Solving Tips


Categories : GMAT Tips, Problem Solving

GMAT Problem Solving TipsThe Problem Solving (PS) section of the GMAT may not be as quirky as the Data Sufficiency section of the test – but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to study for it! PS questions require more “straight math” than Data Sufficiency questions; in other words, they’ll probably be more like the questions you’re used to seeing on high school and college math tests. The best way to study? Master the basic concepts from geometry, algebra, statistics, and arithmetic — then check out these 10 helpful tips!

1. Make sure your fundamentals are strong.

The GMAT doesn’t allow you to use a calculator—which means you need to be quick and accurate with basic calculations. Be able to multiply and divide decimals. Know common higher powers and roots. Have fractions down to a science: Knowing right away whether 3/8 is less than 5/12 will mean you have more time later to work on more complicated calculations.

2. Choose numbers wisely.

Even questions that don’t contain variables can still be tackled by choosing numbers wisely. For example, if a question asks you about “a multiple of 6,” it’s probably quicker...


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...


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”...


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...


GMAT Formal Logic Basics: And, or, neither, nor…



GMAT LogicWe’ve covered, in an earlier blog post, how to deal with the simplest formal logic statement: If X, then Y.  But what happens when our necessary or sufficient factors become more complicated?  Let’s look at a couple of examples, using the idea of a vegetable salad.  The simplest statement and its contrapositive might look like this:

If the salad has lettuce, then it has tomatoes.
If the salad has no tomatoes, then it has no lettuce.

Now let’s add more vegetables (and more complicated logic):

If the salad has lettuce or spinach, then it has tomatoes and peppers.

Here’s an important idea: when you are forming a contrapositive, you already know that the necessary and sufficient factors are switched around and negated.  But now you also have to remember that “and” becomes “or,” and vice versa.  So the statement above becomes:

If the salad has no tomatoes or no peppers, then it has no lettuce and no spinach.

I find it extremely helpful to individually negate each element of the statement; otherwise, it’s easy to get confused. ...


3 Crucial GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies


Categories : Sentence Correction

GMAT SC StrategiesOf all the question types on the GMAT, a global exam for which the pool of test takers includes more than half of its examinees from outside the United States, Sentence Correction may seem the most arbitrary to prospective examinees.  Math we get: nearly all MBA graduates will have to make decisions using numbers and nearly all MBA programs require coursework in areas like finance and accounting for which some baseline math skills are important.   But English grammar?  Why would schools like INSEAD and ESADE, located in countries where English is not an official language and attracting students from all corners of the globe, be concerned with English grammar subtleties?  Especially when, as about 1/3 of the verbal section, sentence correction counts for about 17% of someone’s GMAT score.  It’s probably nice to know that everyone can speak the same language, but 17% of someone’s entry value?  Isn’t that overkill?

That should be a clue to you that Sentence...


The Perfect Time to Start Your GMAT Preparation


Categories : GMAT Preparation

If you’re planning to apply to a top MBA program this coming fall (or even if you’re just starting to think about it), this is the perfect time to start preparing for the GMAT. Why?

Because starting your preparation now will put you in position to take the GMAT by late July. If you get the score you are aiming for, then great. You can put the GMAT out of your mind and start planning the rest of your application. If not — and it is not unusual for an applicant to take the GMAT two or three times — then you still have plenty of time to prep some more and take the GMAT again, before you start pulling together your Round 1 business school applications in October.

When it is early in the calendar year and applicants ask us, “What can I do NOW to most help my MBA admissions chances in the fall?” we often say, “Start earlier! Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need, for everything — the GMAT, your essays, your letters of recommendation.” Sometimes they listen, and sometimes they don’t. But the ones who do listen always become advocates of the “Start early!” school of thought.

If you haven’t yet taken the GMAT and want help in maximizing your score, you are in luck. We have classes starting in dozens of cities worldwide this week, in all sorts of formats . You name it, we’ve got a...


(GMAT 800) Market research has shown that the newest model of E-Phone



Market research has shown that the newest model of E-Phone gained widespread popularity not due to technical superiority but through seamless and intuitive design.

A. gained widespread popularity not due to technical superiority but through seamless
B. gained widespread popularity not only due to technical superiority but also through seamless
C. did not gain widespread popularity due to technical superiority but through seamless
D. did not gain widespread popularity in consideration of technical superiority but rather due to seamless
E. gaining widespread popularity not due to technical superiority but also through seamless


Explanation:  
In the construction "not...but", the words following "not" and "but" should be in parallel form. In this case, "not" and "but" are parallel because they are both followed by a phrase.

a.Choice A is the correct answer. "Not" and "but" are each followed by a phrase, and so are parallel. Also, "gained" is the correct past tense construction for the concept.
b.Choice B is not the correct answer. This changes the meaning of the sentence.
c.Choice C is not the correct answer. The verb "gain" follows "not", but a phrase follows "but," so the construction is not parallel.
d.Choice D is not the correct...


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...


Here is how you should Prepare for the GMAT While Working


Categories : GMAT Preparation

Studying for GMAT While WorkingIt would have been nice if you could take a break from your work and devote yourself fully into GMAT preparation. Unfortunately, lot of us don't have that luxury. If you have found balancing GMAT prep and your work schedule a near impossible task, don't worry! Our 6 Step plan will help you cross this hurdle:

1. Start with a realistic plan

First you should know where you stand. Start with a full-length GMAT practice CAT under test-like conditions to get a realistic assessment of your skills. The result of your diagnostic should be used to evaluate and better understand your strengths and weaknesses.

The diagnostic will also give you a better idea of how much time you’ll need to set aside for GMAT prep (this also depends on how many hours/week of study time you’ll be able to squeeze in around your work schedule). If you’re only looking to increase your score a few points, you may only need a month or so of prep work. If you’re looking for a bigger gain, don’t worry — it’s definitely possible, but it might take you a bit longer to get there.

2....


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...


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...


GMAT Critical Reasoning – How to solve the weakness question type?



Start solving the GMAT Critical Reasoning weaken question by reading the question first. Why? This would help you determine the task before you go into the argument.

For example:

Healica, a new drug that can cure a common disease that until now has been fatal for 50% of those infected, is made from the root of the New Zealand banananut tree.  The banananut tree is rare in New Zealand, and large quantities of the root are necessary in order to make Healica.  Therefore, if Healica remains in production, the banananut tree will eventually become extinct.

If true, which of the following most calls into question the conclusion above?

a) The company that holds the patent to Healica has exclusive rights to produce the drug for another 10 years.
b) Healica is expensive, and is not currently covered by most major insurance plans.
c) Banananut leaves are considered a gourmet delicacy in many parts of the world.
d) The banananut tree, although native to New Zealand, can easily be grown in other parts of the world.
e) Producing Healica is time-consuming and expensive for the drug manufacturer.
...


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...


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...