GMAT


GMAT Integrated Reasoning - Latest Updates



The Graduate Management Admissions Council is continuing its evolution of its test, the GMAT, with a big change coming in June 2012.  The increasing prevalence of computers -- and the increasing reliance on computer-generated information -- has led them to alter the test format in an important way.

What’s changing? 
One of the two essays, the Analysis of an Issue, will no longer be part of the test.  Students will complete the Analysis of an Argument essay and then begin the new Integrated Reasoning section immediately, after which is an optional break before the Quantitative section.  In all other respects, the test experience itself is the same; the order and timing of the sections that remain is identical, and the entire test is still four hours long with the optional breaks.

What’s Integrated Reasoning? 
After surveying hundreds of faculty worldwide, GMAC is introducing a new section with four question types.  These questions are meant to test the types of skills required by the world of business today:

1) Making decisions from a mixture of quantitative and verbal information
2) Reorganizing information to answer questions and discern trends
3)...


GMAT Statistics Fundamentals - Mean, Mode, Range, Median and Standard Deviation



GMAT StatisticsEven if you fear statistics by its reputation, it is one of the easiest sections in the GMAT because a standard set of questions is asked and anyone who understands the fundamentals that I shall describe will be able to ace the questions. The three most basic topics in stats are mean, mode, and median. Usually, the GMAT will go one step further into range and standard deviation.

Mean: Mean is the average. Let’s say there are two numbers: 6 and 8. The mean would be:
(6+8)/2 =14/2 =7. If you analyze the number 7, it makes sense that it is average of 6 and 8. Using the same approach, the mean of n numbers a1,a2,a3…….an would be (a1+a2+a3…..+an)/n. If you remember this formula, you should be able to do well with mean questions. We shall discuss some of the standard questions in subsequent blogs, but for right now, remember the key formula and start doing some mean and average questions from Grockit games.

Mode: Let’s say that you are given a set of numbers, such as {4,3,7,9,9,11,10}. In order to find the mode, you have to arrange the numbers in ascending...


Using “Whom” and “Who” in Sentence Corrections on the GMAT



Some GMAT sentence correction questions test not only for the accepted rules of grammar but also for the specific preferred style of the GMAT. Luckily, “who” vs. “whom,” is not one of those issues; this is a pretty straightforward issue, and is usually not tested in a complicated way. However, since even the most knowledgeable and educated writers sometimes misuse “who” and “whom,” it’s worth reviewing a couple of rules that can help guide you in determining the correct usage of these pronouns.

1. If someone were to ask a question about the sentence, would the answer be “him/her/them” or “he/she/they”?

This is probably the most effective way to remember the difference between “whom” and “who,” and most of the time, this will be enough to help you answer correctly. If a question about the action being described would be answered with “him,” “her,” or “them,” then the correct form is “whom.” If a question about the action being described would be answered with “he,” “she,” or “they,” then the correct form is “who.” Just remember this: the words with M’s at the end go together. They = Who, and Them = Whom. Here’s a basic sentence addressing this issue:

The Dalmation is a high-strung, energetic dog, and has historically been associated with firefighters, who/whom originally used the animal to guard...


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...


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...


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...


GMAT Statistics Fundamentals - Mean, Mode, Range, Median and Standard Deviation



GMAT StatisticsEven if you fear statistics by its reputation, it is one of the easiest sections in the GMAT because a standard set of questions is asked and anyone who understands the fundamentals that I shall describe will be able to ace the questions. The three most basic topics in stats are mean, mode, and median. Usually, the GMAT will go one step further into range and standard deviation.

Mean: Mean is the average. Let’s say there are two numbers: 6 and 8. The mean would be:
(6+8)/2 =14/2 =7. If you analyze the number 7, it makes sense that it is average of 6 and 8. Using the same approach, the mean of n numbers a1,a2,a3…….an would be (a1+a2+a3…..+an)/n. If you remember this formula, you should be able to do well with mean questions. We shall discuss some of the standard questions in subsequent blogs, but for right now, remember the key formula and start doing some mean and average questions from Grockit games.

Mode: Let’s say that you are given a set of numbers, such as {4,3,7,9,9,11,10}. In order to find the mode, you have to arrange the numbers in ascending...


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...


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...


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...


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 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...


(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.



Explanation:
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...


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.


...

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...