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

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Idioms irrelevant for GMAT?

Categories : Idioms

Idioms Not Important GMATThe fact that the GMAT does not require explicit knowledge of idioms is nothing new. Sheer memorization of idiomatic rules is not rewarded on the GMAT test.

If you’ve browsed the GMAT forums and blogs recently, you may have encountered quite a bit of handwringing about the “Next-Generation GMAT” (a legitimate change) and the major changes to Sentence Correction (which are much ado about nothing).  Recently, the Graduate Management Admissions Council held a series of test-preparation industry summits around the world, and the New York event stirred up some internet fervor with the industry’s interpretation of comments made by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of GMAC.  Dr. Rudner mentioned that the GMAT Sentence Correction format does not emphasize or require knowledge of idiomatic rules, and that many questions do feature multiple grammatically-correct answers, but only one grammatically-and-logically correct answer.

These comments have prompted quite a few threads and...

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(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

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...

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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...

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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...

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Do you recommend practicing GMAT Verbal and Quantitative at the same time?

Categories : GMAT Verbal, GMAT Quant

Practice Verbal and QuantF1GMAT: Do you recommend doing Verbal and Quantitive at the same time or one after the other?
Knewton:  You should study both at the same time!

Studying Verbal for a while, and then studying for Quant for a while might lead to high section scores in the short term, but this strategy is not as effective in the long run.

If mastering the GMAT were as simple as memorizing groups of facts, like memorizing all the U.S. states and then all the Canadian provinces, you could plan your studies sequentially. In fact, it would probably make sense to. However, memorization is not a big part of the GMAT (except for certain handy-to-know items like idioms and common squares): it’s much more important to build all your test-taking skills in combination.

Studying for the GMAT is like working your muscles – if you do a month of chin ups, and then a month of sit ups, the rippling shoulders and biceps you built up after the first month will have faded away by end of the second month. In GMAT terms, your Quant skills...

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How to practice for the GMAT without pen and paper?

Categories : GMAT Preparation

Even without using a GMAT prep Book, you can still strengthen your GMAT Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension skills. Here is an excellent video by Knewton on how to improve your GMAT RC and CR Skills:

1. Read News Websites

News sites are great for practicing both Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Short, detail-heavy articles from The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post make for a good GMAT-level challenge on their own. In terms of evaluating arguments, however, the real value comes from the comments on these articles that people leave online. Here you have a wonderful chance to test your CR logic skills.

As people bicker about market trends or Obama’s economic policies, you will see examples of good and bad reasoning in action. Treat them all like a GMAT excerpts. Ask yourself what their arguments rely on, and you will sharpen your ability to identify assumptions.

2. Read Opinionated Authors

Instead of re-reading the GMAT official guide for the ninth time, try taking a good book along with you for your long train rides. There is a wide variety of opinionated non-fiction writing that can help refine your understanding of tone and rhetoric. From Steven Levitt’s...
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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...

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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...

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How to handle nerves on GMAT test day?

Categories : GMAT Exam Day Tips

Handling Nerves on GMAT Test DayTest day is no different than any other GMAT prep days. You have to be focused, prepared and give your best shot. But we are not robots, we are humans. So it is natural to feel a little bit anxious. But if you feel: cold sweats, night terrors, the shakes, and so on, then you are showing signs of acute anxiety. Knowing what to expect in the testing center will help you relieve some of the unnecessary anxiety. Here is Knewton's minute by minute breakdown of what to expect in the test center.

1. Arrive early, but don’t plan on studying at the testing center. 30 minutes before liftoff

Show up to the test center 30 minutes before the official time, as the GMAC suggests. Although this may mean waking up even earlier than expected, avoiding any feeling of being rushed is priceless. However, many testing centers don’t allow studying in the waiting room, so don’t plan on getting there early and reviewing notes. Use the time before the test to relax and focus on the task at hand.

2. Locker Room. 10 minutes before liftoff

After presenting your identification and test reservation, you may be given...

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GMAT Simple Interest and Compound Interest

Compound and Simple Interest GMATSimple interest and compound interest - essential topics for an MBA. GMAC thinks the same too. So you will find these questions randomly distributed in your GMAT Exam.

Simple interest is the most basic and is a function of P, the principle amount of money invested, the interest rate earned on the principle, i, and the amount of time the money is invested, t (this is usually stated in periods, such as years or months).

The resulting equation is:

Interest = iPt

In basic terms, the above equation tells us the amount of interest that would be earned on a principle amount invested (P), for a given time (t) at a given interest rate (i).

If you invested $1,000 (P = your principle) for one year (t = one year) at 6% simple interest (i = given interest rate), you would get $60 in interest at the end of the year and would have a total of $1,060.

For compound interest, you would earn slightly more. Let’s look at similar type problem, though this one involves compound interest.

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How GMAT Scoring Algorithm Works?

Categories : GMAT Score

GMAT AlgorithmThe GMAT is a computer-adaptive test where your score is calculated by an algorithm that provides you with harder questions (and higher score returns) when you answer previous questions correctly, and with easier questions (and lower returns) when you’ve answered previous questions incorrectly.

Through this method, the GMAT can determine your ability level in a relatively short period – 37 math and 41 verbal questions – and provide you with an immediate score upon completion of the test. To save you the stress of trying to figure out the secrets of the algorithm, here are some important things you should know about GMAT scoring:

1) Good news: You can get a lot of questions wrong and still do well!

The job of the GMAT scoring algorithm is to determine your ability level by asking you questions that begin to close in on it. Think of how you’d play a game of 20 Questions as you attempt to zero in on the historical figure that your “opponent” has selected:

Was this person famous in the era BC? (No – too early)

Was this person famous before the Middle Ages? (No – still too...

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GMAT Grammar

You may feel confident with the most commonly tested grammar rules on the GMAT Sentence Corrections - subject-verb agreement, verb tense, pronoun reference, pronoun number, misplaced modifiers, parallelism, idioms, false comparisons, and quantities. It’s hard to imagine any other grammar rules that could possibly be tested, but you can bet the GMAT test writers are pretty exhaustive. Here are four grammar rules that don’t receive as much attention; you’ll need to master these if you’re going for a top score.

1. Subjunctive Mood

You won’t see the subjunctive mood tested on college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT; it’s purposely reserved for the GMAT for good reason. Most of the English verbs we use are in the indicative mood - that is, verbs that have happened, are happening, or will happen. The subjunctive mood is used to express wishes or possibilities that have not happened.
The most common subjunctive verb that you might encounter is were, the subjunctive form of was.

Example 1: If he were athletic, he could make the football team. (He is not actually athletic, so the verb communicates an idea that does not really exist).

Notice that “If he was athletic…” would be incorrect, even though you may not reconize such an error in speech or writing.

Example 2: The teacher requires...

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GMAT Reading Comprehension Time Management - 7 Rules

Categories : Reading Comprehension

GMAT RC Time ManagementTiming is everything in GMAT. Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs) have additional constraints apart from limited time: You cannot return to previous questions, you can't skip a question and you are penalized more for unanswered questions than for wrong answers.

For many GMAT test takers, the ticking clock on the top right corner of the screen is a constant source of worry. "How much time should I spend on this question?". "Should I guess and move on?". These questions will force even the coolest test takers to make irrational decisions.

Don’t let stress over the clock have a negative impact on your confidence or your GMAT score! You do not want the time crunch to take focus away from answering the questions correctly.

Consistently practicing time management skills will allow you to become more comfortable with this aspect of the test and refocus your energy on reasoning skills necessary to pick the correct answer choice.

1) 6 Minutes vs 8 Minutes: Spend around 6 minutes on a reading comprehension passage with 3 questions, and around 8 minutes on a passage with 4 questions.

2) 2 Minutes Quick...

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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...

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