Posted on on May 18, 2012
Sun Tzu is famous for saying, in The Art of War, “know thy enemy, know thy self” (a loose translation, but that’s the famous quotation that has lasted centuries). And while at Veritas Prep we hesitate to call the authors of the GMAT “thy enemy,” we still advocate that you learn to Think Like the Testmaker, much as Sun Tzu would advise, and to think about how well the testmaker knows yourself.
Know this about “thy enemy” — the makers of the GMAT will admit that theirs is a test of “higher order thinking”, of your ability to think critically, solve problems efficiently, and otherwise demonstrate not merely that you have knowledge but that when you do have knowledge you can leverage it to greater gain. For this reason, the test is obligated to use tricks, shortcuts, and partial knowledge against you if that’s all you bring to the table on harder questions; at some point in the 500s/600s, the test has to determine not just “who studied” but “who can really think and problem solve”. And for that reason, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.