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GMAT


GMAT Sentence Correction: Subject-Verb Agreement



GMAT SC Subject Verb AgreementSentence corrections on the GMAT tests many of the same issues in subject-verb agreement as in pronoun-antecedent agreement: it’s important to distinguish singular nouns from plural ones, even when the test-makers have made it difficult to do so.  For example, take a look at the first sentence of this article: there’s a mistake.  The subject of that sentence is “[s]entence corrections,” which is plural, but the verb, “tests,” is singular.  Because the singular “GMAT” is placed between them, the singular verb SOUNDS right, but is actually incorrect.  

Let’s look at a couple more examples:

The team of football players are accompanied by their trainer and head coach.

This sentence demonstrates the same common trick, which is that a singular subject (team) is associated with a plural noun (players); a plural verb (are) is then placed next to that plural noun, and the unwary test-taker, relying on his or her sense of what “sounds right,” is lulled into thinking that the sentence is correct as written.

Incidentally, there’s a second, similar issue here: the pronoun-antecedent problem.  While the test tricks you into thinking that “team of football...


(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...


Top 10 GMAT Verbal tips for Non-native speakers


Categories : GMAT Verbal

Top Verbal Tips for Non-Native GMAT Test TakerEven if English isn’t your first language, you can still achieve an excellent score on the GMAT Verbal section. Here are a few tips to get you started!

1. Build your grammar skills first. You can ignore most of the challenging vocabulary on sentence corrections as long as you identify what part of speech each word is, and how it functions within the sentence. To do this, you’ll need to spend some time with a solid English grammar review book. I recommend pairing a heavy-duty review book, like the Oxford Guide or those published by McGraw-Hill or...


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...


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...


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 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...


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
...


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 correctly use Pronouns and Antecedents in GMAT Sentence Corrections



Pronoun GMATErrors in pronouns—words like he, she, it, they, our, etc.—and antecedents—the words that the pronouns refer to—are among the most common errors in English Grammar.  Take this sentence as an example:

Sentence A:  I spoke to someone at the help desk, and asked what kinds of product returns the company allows; they told me that they only take unopened items.

This sentence wouldn’t set off any “grammar alarms” for the average reader and speaker of English; however, you, intrepid GMAT test-taker, need to be wiser than average and spot a couple of pronoun/antecedent errors, such as:

1.  “They” and “their” are plural pronouns, and CAN’T be used as gender-neutral singular pronouns

One of the most frequently-committed grammar sins in every day speech is the use of “they” and “their” to indicate gender neutrality.  Sentence A, above, says “I spoke to someone.”  The sentence later says, “they told me,” and based on context it is clear that the “they” in question is the “someone at the help desk.”  “Someone” is...


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...


How to correctly use Pronouns and Antecedents in GMAT Sentence Corrections



Pronoun GMATErrors in pronouns—words like he, she, it, they, our, etc.—and antecedents—the words that the pronouns refer to—are among the most common errors in English Grammar.  Take this sentence as an example:

Sentence A:  I spoke to someone at the help desk, and asked what kinds of product returns the company allows; they told me that they only take unopened items.

This sentence wouldn’t set off any “grammar alarms” for the average reader and speaker of English; however, you, intrepid GMAT test-taker, need to be wiser than average and spot a couple of pronoun/antecedent errors, such as:

1.  “They” and “their” are plural pronouns, and CAN’T be used as gender-neutral singular pronouns

One of the most frequently-committed grammar sins in every day speech is the use of “they” and “their” to indicate gender neutrality.  Sentence A, above, says “I spoke to someone.”  The sentence later says, “they told me,” and based on context it is clear that the “they” in question is the “someone at the help desk.”  “Someone” is...


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...


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...


International Students - Are you ready for GMAT Verbal?


Categories : GMAT Verbal

For some international students who are new to the language, ESL classes might be a necessary step before they even start thinking about business school . For others, whose foundation in English grammar is stronger, study time may be better spent reading books in English, writing essays, taking practice tests, or doing focused grammar drills. So how can you know whether your English is at the right level for the GMAT?

Simply put, to do well on the GMAT you should know enough English to function in a university environment. First, check your proficiency by listening to sample lectures on Youtube. This is a practical recommendation that pertains to spoken as well as written English. In business school you will be expected to make arguments, back up opinions, and discuss case studies in depth. You should be comfortable stating your opinions and answering questions. Though you want to have better grammar than Borat or Jackie Chan, don’t worry if you have an accent or make a few mistakes when speaking.

Here’s an easy test: Watch a movie in English without subtitles; try something business related, like Glengarry GlenRoss, Wall Street, or Working Girl if you can. When you’re done, read a detailed summary of its plot online. If you find that you missed out on...