GMAT Tip of the Week

(This is one of a series of GMAT tips that we offer on our blog.)

The Shortest Distance Between Two Points…

With all of the financial happenings in New York City recently, you may not have noticed, but it’s New York City Marathon weekend (as a blogger and not a journalist, I don’t believe I’m obligated to include the sponsorship title “ING” as a prefix…my apologies to you marketing majors). It’s also the 25th anniversary of one of the most notable NYC Marathons in history, in which Rod Dixon closed a 120-meter gap in the final miles simply by running smarter than his two seemingly-stronger competitors. While the leaders ran the “blue line” marking the course in the middle of the street, Dixon ran the tangent line to each curve, effectively closing that 120-meter gap by running nearly 100 fewer meters than his competitors.

What does that mean for you? On the GMAT, try to “run the tangents” by streamlining the amount of work you need to do. Most notably, this can be done in sentence correction questions by mentally eliminating descriptive language. If you train yourself to ignore adjectives, adverbs, and modifiers, such as this one, that are not part of an error, the up-t0-56-word sentences that appear on the exam will seem much shorter, and the errors contained in them will appear that much more obvious. The key to “speed reading” is to read smarter, not necessarily faster; look to isolate the subject-verb portions of the sentence and filter out description, and you will watch your accuracy and speed increase together.