When I ask my students how their studying is going, the response is often to give an embarrassed smile, and admit that they just haven’t found as much time as they would have liked to devote to GMAT problems. This is understandable. Most of them have full-time jobs. Many serve on the boards of non-profit organizations. Others have young families. Preparing for a test as challenging as the GMAT can often feel like taking on a part-time job, and when piled on top of an already burdensome schedule, the demands can feel overwhelming and unreasonable.
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In the last two classes I’ve taught, I’ve had students come up to me after a session to ask about the value of brain-training exercises. The brain-training industry has been getting more attention recently as neuroscience sheds new light on how the brain works, baby-boomers worry about cognitive decline, and companies offering brain-improvement software expand. It’s impossible to listen to NPR without hearing an advertisement for Lumosity, a brain-training website that now boasts 70 million subscribers. The site claims that the benefits of a regular practice range from adolescents improving their academic performance to the elderly staving off dementia.
I like to arrive to my Monday evening classes a good half hour early so that I can spend some time talking to my students about how they spent their weekends. It helps me to get to know them, and it allows me to get a sense of the rhythm of their days. Some of my students do interesting things. They travel. They ski in the winters. They rock-climb when it’s warmer. But, unfortunately, they’re a minority.
We’re still firmly entrenched in the first third of the year, and if 2015 is the year that you plan to conquer the GMAT you’re in luck. Why?
The Veritas Prep program allowed me to reach my GMAT goals and re-learn all of the quantitative skills that I had forgotten over the past several years. I am an Army veteran, six years out of college, and Veritas Prep was the perfect program to teach me the skills I needed to succeed on the GMAT. I am thankful for the quality of the curriculum, and also very appreciative of the generous scholarship from Veritas Prep through the Service2School organization. Throughout the self-study lessons, I could always count on the on-demand videos to deliver engaging, thoughtful content and guide me through the lesson of the day. I particularly enjoyed Brian’s humorous references (the “alge, brah” joke stands out): The human element to the videos definitely helped me to remember many topics and leverage them on test day.
At some point during the first session of each new class I teach, I’ll write my phone number on the board and mention that I take emergency calls. When I first started doing this, I figured that every now and again I’d get a call from a frantic student the night before the exam because he or she was running through some practice problems and was stumped on a concept that had previously been clear. I could then talk the student through a concept or strategy as a kind of pre-test boost. It turns out, these emergency calls happen far more often than I’d suspected, and they’re never about content. They’re always about anxiety. And the refrain is always the same. “When we’re doing the questions in class, I understand them. When I’m working on my own with no pressure, I’m fine. But when I see the timer…” The implications are clear: the issue often isn’t the content of the question, but the psychological mindset of the test-taker when he encounters it.
For some time now, Veritas Prep team member Ravi Sreerama has been regarded as the best GMAT instructor in the industry (see for yourself!) Whether he’s leading GMAT courses in Los Angeles or training students worldwide in our Next-Generation Live Online GMAT Course, Ravi keeps growing his legion of loyal followers. They want to score in the 99th percentile on the GMAT, and Ravi knows how to help them do it.
You’re probably going to spend considerable time preparing for the GMAT exam, but many students spend so much time on practice exams and questions, they often overlook one of the most important pieces of that equation: scheduling their actual GMAT exam!
You’re probably thinking you just visit mba.com and take what you can find, but there’s definitely an art to scoring your preferred appointment.
Over the holiday season, you may have taken the time to go see the Hobbit, the much-hyped precursor to the Lord of the Rings movies which breathed life into the seminal Tolkien books published over a half century ago. If this sentence looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same one I used two years ago to begin an article about the similarities between the first Hobbit movie and the GMAT. Lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago I was watching the final installment of the Hobbit trilogy, and I noticed more parallels to the GMAT. I decided then to pen a follow up to my original article to finish the comparison between the two disparate, yet often overlapping events.
Happy New Year! If you’re reading this on January 9, our publication date, and your New Year’s Resolution is still intact, you’re probably in the majority. But within the next few weeks that will change… This week the gyms, yoga studios, pools, and health food stores of the world were packed with people for whom 2015 is the year to become great; by Valentine’s Day, however, Netflix usage, Frito-Lay sales, and Taco Bell drive through volume will be back to their normal levels, while GMAT class attendance will start to wane, too.
Several of my students have asked about the process of requesting testing accommodations for the GMAT, so I thought it’d be helpful to organize the relevant information in one place, along with a brief overview of what to expect.
Who is eligible for testing accommodations?
Matt Hamilton is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he was commissioned as and engineer officer in the US Army. He has served in Afghanistan and is currently preparing to transition to a full-time MBA program. He just completed the GMAT and with the help of Veritas Prep, he raised his score from a 580 to a 750!
Starting this Monday, October 6th, you can benefit from various sample GMAT prep classes taught by Veritas Prep’s course creator and Vice President of Academics, Brian Galvin. Over the course of next week, we will be offering an introductory session to the GMAT as well as sample Critical Reasoning and Data Sufficiency classes.
The following article comes from Eliza Chute, a motivated GMAT self-studier who scored an impressive 770 on the GMAT. Eliza utilized numerous resources to help her prepare for the GMAT, including Veritas Prep’s GMAT Question Bank and GMAT Practice Test. Here, Eliza describes her experience using both resources and makes strategic recommendations for how to get the most out of each resource to help you with your GMAT preparation.
This month, the Graduate Management Admissions Council began offering new versions of the popular Official Guide for GMAT Review series, now labeling by year (OG 2015) as opposed to edition (the last was the 13th). For the nuts and bolts we’ll let you read the official press release or visit the official website, but here’s what you should know about the new resources:
Now every GMAT student in the world can take a class with Worldwide Instructor of the Year Matt Douglas – Veritas Prep is proud to announce G-Matt Mondays, a free live online study session featuring one of the world’s most-requested instructors.
Every other Monday, Matt will answer your GMAT questions, using each question as an opportunity to teach one of his famous mini-lessons that’s sure to echo in your mind on test day. Whether it’s quant or verbal, difficult or something you know you should know but just can’t quite train yourself to remember, submit your question when you register for each session and Matt will choose the most teachable problems to create engaging lessons that will improve your score. Even if you don’t have a question to ask, Matt encourages drop-ins – listen to the questions of others and absorb Matt’s lessons to take with you as you study.
Today, we introduce a new guest contributor. Seckin Kara has been a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep since 2006. He began teaching in Providence, RI when he was a student at Brown and upon graduating, he went on to teach for us in London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt. After years of finance and banking, he left that career to pursue his passion of education forged largely from his interactions with Veritas Prep students, and can soon be found teaching GMAT classes in his homeland of Turkey.
Last month we created a bit of a splash when we launched the Veritas Prep GMAT Question Bank, an entirely source of hundreds of realistic GMAT questions that allows you to practice with any number of questions, review your accuracy vs. that of other students, and even track your pacing vs. worldwide averages. In less than a month, thousands of students have logged tens of thousands of responses in the Question Bank. We’re swimming in data!
When we launched, we said, “We will add Integrated Reasoning shortly,” and now we make good on that promise. On Friday we turned on the ability for students to select and answer dozens of Integrated Reasoning problems. Students can then review their results, see a detailed solution for each problem, and use the feedback to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.
This blog post is one in a series of lessons that come from the free Veritas Prep GMAT Question Bank and the statistics gathered from its user base. For each question, the data behind correct and incorrect answers tell a story, and many of these stories hold in them great value for you as you prepare to take the GMAT. In each of these posts, we’ll take a question from the GMAT Question Bank and show you what you can learn from the trend in correct/incorrect answers submitted by other students.
When Veritas Prep hosts its free seminars online — 1.5 hour sessions that introduce prospective students to the GMAT and to several strategies for succeeding on the test, as well as introducing them to the Veritas Prep program — one of the first items that the presenter covers is a Data Sufficiency question that highlights the GMAT “penalty” for making assumptions about numbers. Through that demonstration, students quickly realize their own propensity for thinking in terms of positive integers, and are taught to write down a quick checklist to ensure that they consider both negative numbers and nonintegers.
Part of delivering the world’s best GMAT prep course is offering the best tools and resources for our students. For the past ten years we have offered more GMAT practice tests than any other major GMAT preparation provider in the world (15 tests, to be exact). But practice tests are not a “set it and forget it” affair… The real GMAT constantly evolves, adds new questions, retires others, and (as as the case in June, with Integrated Reasoning) even introduces entirely new question formats. So no company can sit back and let its practice tests collect dust — if the tests aren’t changing, then they’re not the best in the business.
As part of our ongoing commitment to build, maintain, and refine the best computer-adaptive GMAT practice tests available anywhere, earlier this month we launched our new GMAT Question Bank. This new resource contains hundreds of realistic, completely free GMAT practice questions.
We are excited to announce that Veritas Prep and Poets & Quants have teamed up to bring you a free online seminar to help you learn what you need to know to excel on the new Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT. If you are just beginning to start your GMAT prep, this is the perfect time to understand the “lay of the land” and familiarize yourself with Integrated Reasoning before you are far along in your GMAT studies.
Despite what some applicants seem to think, there’s no reason to fear Integrated Reasoning. Study for it the right way, and you’ll be in great shape on test day. Even better, learning how to think through Integrated Reasoning problems will sharpen your overall analytical and critical reasoning abilities, helping you on the entire GMAT (you read that right) as well as in business school and beyond.
So here you are… It’s summer, you want to apply to business school this coming fall, and you still don’t have a great GMAT score under your belt. We have good news… Veritas Prep GMAT prep classes start around the world next week!
Now is the perfect time to start preparing for the GMAT. In fact, the summer is our busiest time of the year — many applicants are working on the GMAT right now, with the goal of being done with the GMAT by September. Starting your prep now puts you in position to take the GMAT more than once, if needed, and still be ready to apply to top MBA programs by the Round 1 deadlines.
Last week we wrote about three mistakes every GMAT rookie makes at some point in the GMAT prep process, along with some advice on how to avoid them. Today we’ll build on what we wrote last week and go a bit deeper into what you can do to avoid these and other common mistakes on the exam.
Simple awareness of the score-killers we discussed last week will provide you with additional points on the exam. With enough practice (specifically, the right kind of practice!), you can turn these common pitfalls into a competitive advantage. While the GMAT traps other students with high-600-level traps, you can think through these pitfalls and move into higher levels of GMAT ability.
The GMAT is not an easy test. It’s not meant to be a diabolical one, but it is designed to get to your true ability level, whatever that may be. Sounds fair enough, but what if you true ability level is in the low- or mid-600 range (on the GMAT’s 800-point scale), when you’re aiming for a score above 700? What can you do to move yourself up the scoring scale?
One way to get immediate results is to recognize the mistakes you’re likely going to make along the way. The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) needs some way to separate good GMAT takers from great ones, and one way of doing this is to allow students to trick themselves and walk right into easy traps. If you know that you’re prone to making these three mistakes, you can train yourself to be on the lookout for them as you prepare for the GMAT:
There has been a lot of chatter about the new GMAT coming in June, especially the Integrated Reasoning section that will replace one of the Analytical Writing Assessment essays. Much has been made about the change, with some self-styled gurus reporting that you may see a difference of as much as 30 points between the old test and the Next Generation GMAT, given the same amount of studying. Take the test now, they say, or risk being in a world of hurt starting in June.
The arguments about how the new Integrated Reasoning section will negatively impact one’s 800-scale GMAT score cover a range of reasons, the most common one being that the new section will be much more taxing for test takers than Analysis of an Issue essay was. Even with a lot of preparation, the argument goes, someone will just be more fatigued on test day, such that by the time they get to their last dozen or so Verbal questions, their eyes will be bloodshot and they’ll be nodding off at their testing terminals. Workers at the test centers will have to hand out Red Bull and Visine to help test takers get home safely from the big test!
As if there weren’t enough good reasons to live in Southern California this time of year, we can officially add “the world’s best GMAT instructors” (at least for 2011) to that list. The 2011 Veritas Prep Worldwide Instructor of the Year winners both teach and reside in the greater Los Angeles area, a treat for those of us at Veritas Prep headquarters but certainly not a reason to infer regional bias in the selection process!
Both Mia Groves and Travis Morgan stand a cut above on their own merits, having posted outlandishly-high student evaluation scores and, more importantly, having delighted dozens of students who have raved about both their experiences and their scores. Without further ado, we present the 2011 Veritas Prep Worldwide Instructors of the Year, Mia and Travis!
This is a big week here at Veritas Prep! We’ve just announced the availability of our new GMAT on Demand app for the iPad, the first full GMAT course from an established GMAT prep company that can be completed on any iOS device! There is no shortage of flashcard apps and games for people who want to study for standardized tests on their mobile devices, but this is the first real, complete GMAT course for the iPad.
Veritas Prep has been a pioneer in the mobile prep space. We launched our free GMAT Practice Quiz app in early 2009, and to this day it remains the most widely download GMAT prep app of its kind. That app is great for practice — as are many other apps on the market — but it doesn’t provide real instruction, which is where our new GMAT on Demand app comes in. Our new app covers the same exact content that we cover in our 42-hour Veritas Prep on DemandTM self-paced online GMAT course. This is the real deal.
Much has been made of the recent “revelation” from this month’s GMAT Summit, in which the Graduate Management Admission Council provided some updates on the recent evolution of Sentence Correction problems on the GMAT. What was stated as (we’ll loosely paraphrase here) “years ago we starting moving away from questions that unduly put emphasis on idioms, especially those that give native English speakers an unfair advantage,” was misinterpreted by some to mean, “Effective now, we’re no longer testing idioms on the GMAT! Ready, set, GO!”
The GMAT prep world is a small, incestuous one. It was only a matter of hours before chatter picked up on various message boards and in other online channels. And boy, did it ever. We did our part to spread the word, but today GMAC’s Dr. Lawrence Rudner posted an official statement on its blog to clarify any misconceptions that are still out there.
We have good news and bad news for you: The Next Generation GMAT’s new Integrated Reasoning Section (debuting in June, 2012) will feature an onscreen calculator, marking the first time the GMAT will allow students to use a calculator on the exam. The good news is that, when you might need it, the calculator will be there to help you do some quick math, and you don’t need to waste valuable time “carrying the 1″ and that sort of thing.
So what’s the bad news? It’s the fact that the calculator’s very presence will likely tempt many test takers into using it when they don’t need to. While using a calculator is usually a quick exercise, it still represents time spent doing calculations that may be unnecessary. In today’s video, Brian Galvin explains how this may prove to be yet another trap for less savvy test takers:
Last week I wrote about the day I scored 780 on the GMAT. That post was purely about my experiences on test day — from what I ate in the morning to how I kept my mind sharp during short breaks in the exam. Today I’ll dig into some of the specific strategies I used to ace the GMAT.
Note that many of these strategies overlap heavily with Veritas Prep’s own GMAT prep philosophy — I do work for Veritas Prep, after all — so regular readers will probably see some overlap between this post and the advice they read on this blog on a regular basis. Here I describe how the “rubber met the road” for me as I put these strategies to work.
So I’ve been working for Veritas Prep at headquarters for over 4 years now and I’d been reluctant to actually take the GMAT. One, I felt pressured to score in the 99th percentile like all our instructors have, and two, because I hadn’t found the time to really get down and study in earnest. In addition to that, most of the practice tests that I had taken had me scoring between 680 and 720 — still quite a bit of work left to get past that 99th percentile threshold. I’m happy to report however, that over this past weekend, I took the test and scored a 780!
Continuing our GMAT prep video series, today we break down a common type of ratio problem that you will often see in Data Sufficiency problems. As Brian says, many people are not comfortable working with ratios. Add in unknown variables, and intuition often goes out the window. But, if you look closely, often the problem does indeed give you enough information to solve the problem.
Fortunately, being grounded in basic Data Sufficiency strategy can help. Remember that there will be many instances in which you’ll be tempted to select answer choice E (insufficient information), but upon further inspection, you may realize that you do in fact have what you need. Watch the video to learn more:
Every week we receive multiple inquiries from business school applicants in India, and they all want to know the same thing: Are Veritas Prep GMAT courses available in India? While we have offered GMAT courses in select cities in India in the past, a long time ago we decided that we couldn’t keep up our high teaching standards in that market with our partner at the time. So, we exited India, and promised ourselves that we would only return once we found a partner who believed in the Veritas Prep mission.
We’re happy to announce that we have found that partner. Effectively immediately Veritas Prep India, a new partnership between Veritas Prep and New Delhi-based White Glow Consulting, offers GMAT courses in New Delhi. Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai locations will open early next month!
Continuing our new GMAT prep video series, today we look at how statistics can easily mislead you in Critical Reasoning problems. As Brian says, people tend to make bad decisions when dealing with statistics. It is far too easy — either deliberately or not — to mislead others (or yourself) with statistics-based arguments. Any time statistics enter the picture, you want to be especially critical when evaluating an argument.
Today’s video analyzes a debate between two people, and tests whether or not you can find the identify the link in logic that would most weaken the argument presented. Pay attention to the arguments and any gaps that might be hiding in the logic!
Still need to land a great GMAT score before you start working on your business school applications? Good news… We have GMAT prep classes starting around the world next week!
If you’re applying to business school this coming year, now is the perfect time to start preparing for the GMAT. In fact, the summer is our busiest time of the year — many applicants are working on the GMAT right now. Starting your prep now puts you in position to take the GMAT and still be ready to apply to top MBA programs by the Round 1 deadlines.
Continuing our new GMAT prep video series, today we take a look at some common traps that the GMAT sets in Sentence Correction problems. As Brian states at the start of the video, simple content knowledge is virtually everywhere these days. What separates great managers from good ones is not the ability to call up facts, but rather the ability to interpret information and make good decisions.
Today’s video takes a look at a Sentence Correction problem that preys on many test takers’ dogmatic search for idioms, leading many of them to make the wrong choice. This is a good example of the type of logic that can keep you from earning those last critical 50 points on the GMAT!