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Should I wait for the new GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section?



F1GMAT: Should test takers wait for the new GMAT Section(Integrated Reasoning) in June 2012 or give the test by this year itself?

Veritas Prep:
The Official GMAT Blog has taken a stance on this, and as the Veritas Prep offices have answered this question with increasing frequency we would  like to make our similar opinion public, as well.  Take the GMAT when it is  a good time for you to do so; the presence of the Integrated Reasoning score alone should not impact your candidacy.

The biggest news angle one could derive from the changes to the GMAT is that, well, not much has changed.  The GMAT will not change its quantitative and verbal sections, and the content of the Integrated Reasoning section is actually similar to...

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(GMAT 800) If n and a are positive integers, what is the units digit



If n and a are positive integers, what is the units digit of n^(4a+2) – n^(8a)?

(1) n = 3
(2) a is odd

A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
B)    Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
C)    BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient;
D)    EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked;
E)    Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed.

BONUS QUESTION: What actually is the units digit (assuming the answer is not E)?


ANSWER BELOW

One important thing to note about exponents is that, by definition, they indicate “repetitive multiplication” – the multiplication of the same number over and over again.  Accordingly, they lend themselves nicely to patterns, as when you perform the  same action over and over again you’ll tend to get similar results.  When you consider statement 1, that n = 3, look at how 3 multiplies to different exponents:...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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GMAT Will Wear you Down: Avoid Unnecessary calculations and Don't Analyze Unnecessary Verbiage



GMAT Save Time and EnergyThe GMAT finds much of its competitive advantage in its ability to wear down its unsuspecting challengers, who perform unnecessary calculations on the quantitative side and reading and analyzing unnecessary verbiage on the verbal side, while all the while the GMAT packs its "knockout punch" in the form of a subtle uniqueness in the line of questioning that a tired examinee is unlikely to notice.

In order to combat this opponent, be sure to seek out opportunities to save time and energy when possible:

Quantitative Section


When answering a Data Sufficiency question, once you know that you will get one definitive answer, you can stop performing the calculation. The actual answer does not matter, as the question is only concerned with whether you will, indeed, arrive at an answer.

When calculating the answer for a Problem Solving question, consider the answer choices and whether an estimate, or a property of the correct value (does it have to be even? Must it be negative?) will be...

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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...

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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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GMAT Sentence Correction Strategies - Focus on Testable sections



Sentence Correction questions can include up to 54 words, making for incredibly long sentences and time consuming reading.  But similar to GMAT SC - Spot Decision Points, knowing what is likely to be a testable section of a sentence and what is not, you can break apart the sentence into the parts that matter to you as a test-taker.  Proper nouns, correctly-applied modifiers, adjectives and adverbs can all be streamlined to make for shorter sentences

For example, in the sentence:

Originally called BackRub, Google was founded by two Stanford PhD students, Larry Page, whose father, Dr. Carl Victor Page, was a computer science professor at Michigan State University, and Sergey Brin.

The proper nouns and excessive adjectives can be eliminated or condensed, bringing you down to:

Originally called BackRub, Google was founded by two students, Larry, whose father, Carl, was a...

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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.

Exponents

• 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...

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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. ...

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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...

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How to identify modifying Phrases In GMAT Sentence Correction



Modifying PhraseA common trick used by GMAT test makers is to insert modifying phrase incorrectly. Here are some sentences that incorrectly use modifying phrases:

Sentence A: Ever since her paw was crushed in the front door, Mrs. Benson has been worried about Muffin, her pet cat.

Sentence A starts off with the modifying phrase “Ever since her paw was crushed in the front door,” and then talks about Mrs. Benson and her worry for her cat.  But Mrs. Benson sounds like a person, and as a person, she probably doesn’t have a paw to be crushed.  It’s MUCH more likely that Muffin’s paw got crushed, causing Mrs. Benson’s worry.  This sentence needs to be corrected to put the modifying phrase next to the item it modifies. 

Here are a couple of ways that we can do that, depending on where the sentence’s underlining is placed:

Sentence A1: Ever since her paw was crushed in the front door, Mrs. Benson has been worried about Muffin, her pet cat.

If the modifying phrase isn’t underlined, we don’t have the opportunity to fix it-- but we can rearrange the rest of the sentence so that the thing that is modified (...

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GMAT Data Sufficiency Strategy - Don’t Contradict Yourself


Categories : Data Sufficiency

GMAT Don't Contradict YourselfTrue to their name, Data Sufficiency questions ask you to determine when you will have enough information to make a conclusive decision.  In doing so, these questions can assess your ability to plan ahead for a task; to elicit an effective return-on-investment (remember, you can’t use both statements if one of them is, alone, sufficient), to find flaws with conventional wisdom, and to think flexibly. Data Sufficiency questions also strike fear and loathing in the hearts of many GMAT examinees, but hold a special place in the hearts of a select few who love the nuance that these questions permit.  

There’s a hard-and-fast rule regarding Data Sufficiency that people don’t know and use as much as they should: the statements can never contradict each other.  Knowing this, if your answers for statement 1 and statement 2 are different, you must go back and reconsider your math; as Boston GMAT tutor David says, that’s an “answer choice F”, meaning that you just effed up the math somehow.

Consider the question:

Is x...

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(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...

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