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GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies - Use Logic



GMAT SC LogicThe single-most crucial type of Sentence Correction error, Modifiers, Comparisons, and Verb Tenses all share one thing in common: you do not  need to be an expert editor to recognize that this sentence is illogical!  The introductory phrase in this sentence, “the single-most type…” is clearly meant to describe one item, but the rest of the sentence lists three.  This does not make logical sense!  Technically you’d call this a modifier error, in that the modifying phrase to begin the sentence – recognizable because it begins the sentence, is separated by a comma, and does not include its own subject and verb (note: these aren’t essential characteristics of any modifier, but they are one surefire way to identify a commonly-occurring type of modifier in which SC errors often crop up) – does not logically modify the noun that follows.

If you want to get really technical, it is an appositive modifier (a noun phrase used to describe another noun), but the GMAT will never require you to describe the...


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.
...


Area , Perimeter and Circumference



A sizeable number of GMAT math test questions belong to the Geometry section.  Some of these questions test  a candidate’s ability to understand 2-Dimensional Geometry by asking the candidate to calculate the area, perimeter or circumference of a geometrical shape.

The following geometrical shapes are most common – Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Rectangles, Rhombuses, Squares, Circles and Trapeziums.

Triangles – A triangle represents an enclosed shape made by joining three straight lines. The area of a triangle can be calculated as follows:

Area = ½*Base Side*Height of the triangle

In this formula, the Base Side can be any side of the triangle. However, depending on the base side chosen, height of the triangle needs to be ascertained. Height of the triangle is the shortest perpendicular distance from the Base side to the height of the Apex of that triangle.  Note that the height of a triangle may need to be calculated outside the triangle, depending on the base side chosen.  

Area of Triangle
...


(GMAT 800) Conventional wisdom holds that financial markets



GMAT 800 Reading Comprehension QuestionConventional wisdom holds that financial markets are informationally efficient—that stocks are always priced and traded at the intrinsic value of their underlying assets. Thus, investors cannot expect to achieve returns consistently in excess of average returns, given information that is publicly available at the time, without taking on large economic risks akin to gambling risks. In other words, one can only obtain higher returns by purchasing riskier investments, and not through expert timing or speculative stock selection. There are three major interpretations of this efficient market hypothesis: Weak Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH), which holds that current prices for assets, such as stocks, bonds, and property, reflect all past prices, Semi-strong EMH, which argues that prices change instantly to reflect all new public information (such as news of a take-over or a change in fiscal policy), and Strong EMH, which claims that prices adjust perpetually to reflect hidden, insider information not yet made public.

Weak EMH holds that technical analysis, the analysis of past stock performance, will not consistently produce excess returns because future price movements are only determined by...


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 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. ...


GMAT Solid Geometry - Rectangular Solids and Cylinders



Rectangular Solid

Learn the concepts behind volume and surface area before you start solving GMAT Solid geometry problems. All solid geometry problems come down to this - length, breadth and height. For data sufficiency questions, look out for values of l, b and h. if any of them are missing then it would be easy to eliminate answer choices.

GMAT Rectangle

6 rectangular faces constitute a rectangular solid
 
The formulas you need to remember for a rectangular solid are

Volume = Length (l) x Width (w) x Height (h)

Surface Area = (2 x Length x Width) + (2 x Length x Height) + (2 x Width x Height)


"If length = width = height, that means that the rectangular solid is, in fact, a cube."


Terminologies

Vertex: Wow! quite a confusing word? Not really

Vertex = Corner

a) Vertex is the number of corners in a...


GMAT is famous for using your own momentum against you



GMAT MomentumLike a  tae kwon do blackbelt or an icy road, the GMAT is perhaps most famous for its ability to use your own momentum against you.  Few places is this as evident as on Critical Reasoning questions, in which the most common way to answer incorrectly is to allow your subconscious mind to lead you to a slightly-out-of-scope conclusion that the psychological warriors at GMAC have already anticipated you’d conclude.  Accordingly, to perform well on Critical Reasoning questions it is, well, critical that you pay particular attention to the narrow scope of the conclusion.  As an example, consider the question:

Poor physical fitness among children has become an epidemic among American children.  In Europe, however, where schoolchildren participate in calisthenics and other athletic activities on a daily basis while at school, children are significantly more fit.  Tests show that European students have superior strength and agility, and that they are significantly more likely than are American children to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.  Therefore, we must conclude that American children can become more...


GMAT Word Problems - Basics



GMAT Word ProblemsWord problems on the GMAT get an unfair reputation for being especially challenging. However, it’s helpful to think of them as just dressed-up algebra. The real challenge is that they are (1) long, (2) boring, and (3) require translation from ‘English’ to ‘Math.’ Here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you fully break down and understand the problem BEFORE you start to solve!

What is the problem really asking?

    Make sure to understand what the answer choices represent. Are they the total number of dollars of profit? The profit accumulated by Jenny only? The percent increase in profit from June to July? Taking the time to do this will also ensure you never leave a problem half finished. If you dive into setting up an equation too quickly, you may realize half-way through that you’re solving for the wrong variable. Sometimes word problems will add an extra step at the end. You may be busy solving for “x” and forget that the problem is asking for the value of “1/x”.

What information am I given?

    The best...


Proportions


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!
...


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 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 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.

3)
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 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...


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:

...