Expert Articles

Exponents Lead to Cumbersome, Time-Consuming Calculations involving Large Numbers but it is Pattern-Driven

Categories : Exponents

GMAT ExponentsThe GMAT's quantitative section is increasingly emphasizing problem solving skills over calculation abilities, and often does so in the form of "Number Properties" questions. The authors of the exam are also quite adept at recognizing "mathematical psychology", and creating questions that increase an examinee's anxiety by enough to make that process of problem solving a bit more difficult. One of the major themes that arises as a result is the use of exponents, which carry with them a number of properties extremely useful to the writers of the GMAT.


• Inspire fear (or at least apprehension) in test takers
• Lead to cumbersome, time-consuming calculations involving large numbers
• Are actually quite pattern-driven, and reward those who seek out those patterns rather than attempt to perform the extensive calculations

How can this help you on the exam?

If you embrace the pattern-driven quality of exponents, you can rest easy on exponent questions...

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...

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...

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.


How to prepare for the GMAT in 3 months?

Categories : GMAT Study Plan

GMAT Prep Plan 3 monthsKnewton: At Knewton, we generally recommend a prep period of around three months for GMAT Preparation. It’s enough time to build a solid foundation in critical areas of GMAT study, but not so long that you burn out by the rigorous focus and training.

Here is the 3 Month GMAT Prep Plan:

Week 1: Take a diagnostic practice test to see where you stand overall.  Learn the basic parameters of each section including scoring and question types.

Weeks 2 – 4: Do as many practice problems as possible for each section and read explanations for any wrong answers. The goal is not just to see whether you are better at Verbal or Quant, but specifically which sections (Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction) and which question types (strengthening arguments, usage of idioms) are the most difficult for you.

Weeks 4 – 8: Now that you have a lot of practice questions under your belt, you want to focus on the...

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...

How to Draw Diagrams accurately for GMAT Geometry?

Categories : Geometry Problems

Drawing diagrams accurately in GMAT Geometry questions will allow you to capture the essential information from the Question. It’s not always easy. Here is a hands-on Experience for you: Draw the diagram as your read the question(below) and then go through the analysis.

Q) A circular table consists of a glass center surrounded by a metal ring of uniform width. If the metal ring has a width of 2 inches, and the glass center has a diameter of 4x inches, what fraction of the table’s surface is made up by the metal ring, in terms of x?

There’s no underhanded trick in this question, nor is there anything super complicated to incorporate into your diagram. But you should always be very mindful of the details of the question while drawing your diagram, since after you do so, you’re less likely to look at the information given in the problem. Indeed, it’s a waste of time to do so, since the information is presented much more usefully in your diagram! But this also means that if you make a mistake in the diagram, you may not correct it – and it’s very frustrating to get a problem wrong simply because your diagram was drawn incorrectly.

If it helps you to think figuratively, consider this metaphor I’ve *ahem*...

GMAT Trap - Wordy and Awkward but still correct

Categories : Sentence Correction

Wordy Awkward GMAT TrapSome of our best students have their grammar rules down pat. They can talk for hours about adjective clauses, dangling modifiers, gerunds, and the subjunctive, but they’re so busy checking to make sure that all the sentence parts fit into place that they forget to read the sentence for meaning. Consider this example:

Most studies approximate that 70 percent of individuals with an amputation experience phantom sensations in the amputated limb, often in the form of pain that is identical to the pain that they typically experienced when the limb was still attached to the body but contorted in an unnatural position.

(A) that is identical to the pain that they typically experienced when the limb was still attached to the body but
(B) that is identical to the pain that they typically experienced when that limb was still attached to the body but that was
(C) that was identical to the pain that they typically experienced when the limb was still attached to the body but was
(D) identical to the pain that they typically experienced when that limb had still been attached to the body but that had been
(E) identical to the pain that they would...

4 Tricks that will Keep you focused on your GMAT Reading Comprehension

GMAT RC FocussedGMAT Reading Comprehension passages are complicated and boring texts that will test your concentration and stamina. It is easy to lose your focus after an energy draining AWA and Math section. Most GMAT test takers will start to zone out at this stage and will just stare at the screen, re-reading the same sentence again and again. This is a sure shot step to crash your GMAT 700+ dream.

Follow these four preparation and test day tricks and you will learn to keep your focus for a long duration of time

Start practicing GMAT-like texts

It’s obvious that a reading comp passage won’t be as thrilling as your favorite Dan Brown novel, but the GMAT actually makes RC passages boring on purpose. The test-makers go out of their way to make the text complex, and they like to use natural science and social science topics with which potential business-school students may not be familiar. To prepare yourself, start reading real-world texts that mimic GMAT passage structures. The Economist, Scientific American, and The Wall Street Journal are good places to start, and magazines like Time and Newsweek feature editorial articles that can help you learn...

Top 10 Tips to Ace GMAT Data Sufficiency

Ever heard of a Math problem that you actually don't have to solve. If you have just started your GMAT prep, then this can be confusing. Don't worry! With some practice, your mind will be trained to think like a DS Wizard. Follow these 10 tips and you will be on your way to mastering GMAT Data Sufficiency.

1. Familiarize with the Answer Choices

No excuses: On Data Sufficiency, they’re always the same! Know in the blink of an eye what choice C is. On test day, if you find that Statement 1 is insufficient, be able to cross out choices A and D without hesitation.

2. Takes notes efficiently

Each statement alone will be sufficient if both of the statements on their own contain all the information necessary to answer the question. The statements will be sufficient together if they contain every piece of necessary information between them. Take the area of a parallelogram: Do you need to know every side length to determine the area? If you have every side length, can you find the area?

3. Don’t look at the statements together.

Statement 2 may tell you that x is negative, but that fact has no bearing on Statement 1 when viewed by itself. Explore all the possibilities offered by each statement individually. If you’ve...

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