Archive : GMAT Tip of the Week

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Change the Way You Think About Change-Related Graphics Interpretation

GMAT Tip of the Week: Change the Way You Think About Change-Related Graphics Interpretation

One of the great benefits of the Veritas Prep Question Bank is that with its 4 million user responses to GMAT practice questions it does an excellent job of highlighting test-taker trends. These statistics can point out trap answers that examinees too readily fall for, conceptual areas that students need to address, and other valuable insights into the way the world takes the GMAT. And this week, one particular trend caught our eye in a major way:

GMAT Tip of the Week: ASAP Test Taking Can Be Rocky (That's Your Freaking Problem)

GMAT Tip of the Week: ASAP Test Taking Can Be Rocky (That's Your Freaking Problem)

As Hip Hop Month draws to a close in the GMAT Tip of the Week space, it’s time to pass the torch to the new school; while Eminem, Tupac, the Wu Tang Clan, and other classic acts have taught you some important lessons about the GMAT, it’s time for the young bucks to impart some wisdom. So today we bring you an important message from A$AP Rocky, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar, who will show you one of the most common (f****g) problems that test-takers encounter while taking the GMAT.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Tupac Slow Jams the GMAT

GMAT Tip of the Week: Tupac Slow Jams the GMAT

Where the Venn Diagram of “Hip Hop Month in the Veritas Prep GMAT Tip space” and “Guy who Photoshops all the preview images for these posts does so for the last time before leaving for an amazing new opportunity” intersects, you’ll find a lot of Boyz II Men, rap ballads, and other assorted slow jams playing bittersweetly in the background. And as it so happens, arguably the best of those slow jams – Tupac’s “Life Goes On” – is a perfect metaphor for GMAT test-day strategy:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Started From the Bottom, Now We Here

GMAT Tip of the Week: Started From the Bottom, Now We Here

As Hip Hop Month rolls along in the GMAT Tip space, we’ll pass the torch from classic artists to the future, today letting Drake take the mic.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Learning Math from Mathers

GMAT Tip of the Week: Learning Math from Mathers

March has traditionally been “Hip Hop Month” in the GMAT Tip of the Week space, so with March only hours away and winter weather gripping the world, let’s round up to springtime and start Hip Hop March a few hours early, this time borrowing a page from USC-Marshall Mathers. There are plenty of GMAT lessons to learn from Eminem. He’s a master, as are the authors of GMAT Critical Reasoning, of “precision in language“. He flips sentence structures around to create more interesting wordplay, a hallmark of Sentence Correction authors. But what can one of the world’s greatest vocal wordsmiths teach you about quant?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Synchronizing Twizzles in Critical Reasoning

GMAT Tip of the Week: Synchronizing Twizzles in Critical Reasoning

As the Sochi Olympics enter their final weekend, we all have our lists of things we’ll miss and not miss from this sixteen-day celebration of snow and ice. We’ll almost all miss the hashtag #sochiproblems, the cutaway shots of a scowling Vladimir Putin, the bro show of American snowboarders and TJ Oshie, and the debate over whether the skating judges conspired to give Russia the team gold and the US the ice dancing gold.

GMAT Tip of the Week: What Do the Olympics and Sentence Correction Have in Common?

GMAT Tip of the Week: What Do the Olympics and Sentence Correction Have in Common?

The Winter Olympics start tonight in Sochi, and while journalists tweet about the less-than-ideal living conditions in the Russian resort town the athletes themselves have a job to do.  Whether they’re skiing or luging or bobsledding, the vast majority of athletes will share one goal:

Get downhill quickly.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Peyton Manning & Omaha!

GMAT Tip of the Week: Peyton Manning & Omaha!

The crisis has largely been averted. As we approach Sunday’s Super Bowl, our collective eyes are no longer intently watching the thermometer in East Rutherford wondering how a polar vortex might affect the most American of all holidays, Super Bowl Sunday. We can now get back to the number we all REALLY care about:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Richard Sherman, the Sorry GMAT, and the Result You're Going To Get

GMAT Tip of the Week: Richard Sherman, the Sorry GMAT, and the Result You're Going To Get

By now you’ve seen the interview heard round the world – Richard Sherman’s immediate post-game interview with Erin Andrews – and all the fallout from it: Twitter hysteria, discussions about what that Twitter hysteria says about culture, little kid parodies, and everything else. And regardless of what you think about Richard Sherman, if you’re reading a blog post about MBA admissions you want to be Richard Sherman:

GMAT Tip of The Week: Tonya Harding Teaches Data Sufficiency

GMAT Tip of The Week: Tonya Harding Teaches Data Sufficiency

Twenty years later, the figure skater you’d never have called “trendy” was trending last night. As ESPN aired its 30 For 30 special on Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, the biggest pre-OJ story of 1994 became the hottest topic of early 2014. Heading into the 1994 Olympics, both Nancy and Tonya were Olympic veterans, having placed 3rd and 4th, respectively, at the 1992 Games. With 1992 gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi out of the way, the table was set for a Nancy vs. Tonya showdown and both were up to the task, Tonya having been 1991 U.S. Champion and Nancy having won that title in 1993.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Keep the Bridge Clear and Your Score High

GMAT Tip of the Week: Keep the Bridge Clear and Your Score High

The GMAT, it seems, is a lot like politics:

-You can’t win them all – in fact, with Item Response Theory scoring much like with democracy you can achieve a resounding “victory” with even 55-60% success in many cases.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Goodbye to “No, But...” and Hello to “Yes, And...”

GMAT Tip of the Week: Goodbye to “No, But...” and Hello to “Yes, And...”

It’s a new year, which is often a good time for a new mindset. And if you’ve already decided that 2014 is the year for you to get serious about graduate school, the “hard work pays off” mindset is one you’ve already adopted. So before the year gets too old and habits get too hard to change, try adding one more new outlook to your study regimen (and your life) this year:

GMAT Tip of the Week: No Resolution!

GMAT Tip of the Week: No Resolution!

So you have a few more days to commit to your New Year’s Resolution, and if you’re like most people you have something like 35 days until you break it. Resolutions don’t often stick, but if your New Year’s Resolution is to apply to business school in 2014, and if as part of that resolution you’re planning to get a high GMAT score, you’re in luck:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Become a Reading Comprehension Has Been (that's a good thing)

GMAT Tip of the Week: Become a Reading Comprehension Has Been (that's a good thing)

One of the things that makes Reading Comprehension difficult is the inclusion of so many words that you either don’t know or don’t spend much time thinking about. Triglyceride, germination, privatization, immunological.

But by the same token, certain words – those that you should think about regularly if you don’t already – can make your job exponentially easier. Consider, for example, these sentence fragments from the beginnings of official GMAT passages:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Mental Agility

GMAT Tip of the Week: Mental Agility

The axiom has been tweaked and twisted so often that perhaps no one knows the exact term, but we all know the definition.

The definition of insanity is…
The definition of stupidity is…
(WAIT! Google confirms that it’s insanity, but you’ve probably heard it as any number of terms)

GMAT Tip of the Week: Avoiding Writer's Block On AWA

GMAT Tip of the Week: Avoiding Writer's Block On AWA

While it’s certainly not the score you care about most, the Analytical Writing Assessment can bring with it some stress and even despair. Why? For one, it comes first on the test, and for two it’s the only section that isn’t multiple choice. The answer isn’t already in front of you, but rather you have to create it yourself. And like this blog post (author’s note – I’m attending a conference with the folks from the Graduate Management Admissions Council and have a dinner in an hour with some of our partners in the industry before the conference, so I have 30 minutes to write something intelligible here), the AWA can lead directly to that panic you’ve likely felt on blue book exams and the night before book reports: writer’s block.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Subconsciously Speaking

GMAT Tip of the Week: Subconsciously Speaking

Do some of your best ideas come while you’re driving, running, taking a shower or just about to fall asleep? Have you ever spent what felt like an eternity reading a solution over and over again to no avail, only to revisit that problem a few days later and know how to do it almost so intuitively that just feels easy?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Beware the Coincidence

GMAT Tip of the Week: Beware the Coincidence

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, and amidst all of the memorial articles and TV specials and conspiracy theories, you’ll undoubtedly see that email forward that details the eerie similarities between the two presidents assassinated almost 100 years apart, Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Beware of (Richie) Incognito Information

GMAT Tip of the Week: Beware of (Richie) Incognito Information

If you’ve been following the strangest story to hit the NFL since Manti Te’o did, you’ve probably noticed that Richie Incognito is nowhere near incognito. There’s nothing subtle or understated about the guy. He’s Rob Ford in a different jersey. But there’s something about that name…

GMAT Tip of the Week: Patience Pays Off

GMAT Tip of the Week: Patience Pays Off

On a timed test like the GMAT, test-takers often fall victim to a simple fact about the way the English language works: we read from left to right.

Why is that? We’re often in such a hurry to make a decision on each answer choice that we make our decisions within the first 5-10 words of a choice without being patient and hearing the whole thing out. A savvy question creator – and rest assured that the GMAT is written by several of those – will use this against you, embedding something early in an answer choice and baiting you into a bad decision.

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Day Before The GMAT

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Day Before The GMAT

Some stories are best told in the first person, so forgive me for the break from journalistic standards. As a longtime GMAT instructor – 10th anniversary coming up next month actually – I most empathize with my students when I’m preparing for any big event of my own, usually running and triathlon races. The months of grinding preparation, the sleepless night before the event, that helpless “if I’m not ready by now I guess I’ll never be ready, so here goes nothing” last week before the big day… I get to feel what my students feel leading up to their GMAT, and symbiotically I can both learn more about that experience and benefit from the advice I’ve always given about the GMAT.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Get Clued In

GMAT Tip of the Week: Get Clued In

Have you ever finished a GMAT problem, read the explanation (or listened to your instructor give it), and thought “well how was I supposed to know ___________?!”?

If so, you’re not alone. Many test-takers become frustrated when the key to a tricky question falls outside the normal realm of math. How was I supposed to know to estimate? How was I supposed to know to flip the diagram over to notice that side AB could also be the base of this triangle? How was I supposed to know that the word “production” next to “costs” was going to be so important?

GMAT Tip of the Week: GMAT Scoring - Best of 7

GMAT Tip of the Week: GMAT Scoring - Best of 7

With the Major League Baseball playoffs on many minds, and the beginning of the NBA and NHL seasons on others, you’ll hear a lot in the news these days about trends in a “best of 7″ series, in which a team needs to win four games to advance to the next round.

“Only x% (a very small percentage) of teams have ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win”
“Only one team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win”
“If a team takes a 2-0 lead there’s a (very high) chance that they win the series”

GMAT Tip of the Week: Breaking Down Factors With Breaking Bad

GMAT Tip of the Week: Breaking Down Factors With Breaking Bad

America has been buzzing for weeks about the last season of Breaking Bad, and the echo effect has taken hold even after this past Sunday’s finale as thousands rush to catch up on Netflix or DVD to get into the hype.

But regardless of where you are in the series, it’s important that you hear this one Breaking Bad spoiler:

GMAT Tip of the Week: No News Is Good News

GMAT Tip of the Week: No News Is Good News

We all have a laundry list of answers to the question “what makes Data Sufficiency difficult?” — it’s a unique question type; the math skills involved can be quite tricky; subtle phrasing and precision-in-wording can make huge differences; the situations are often abstract and difficult to conceptualize. But what about a better question – “what makes Data Sufficiency easier?” There are actually quite a few examples of this, and many relate to the Veritas Prep mindset “Think Like the Testmaker”. We can even break it down to one word:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Thinking Like the Testmaker

GMAT Tip of the Week: Thinking Like the Testmaker

Earlier this week, in creating a blog post for our friends at Poets & Quants, we wanted to punctuate the Data Sufficiency lesson in the post with a fairly-basic sample problem that would have these four characteristics:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Johnny Manziel Would Beat the GMAT (but maybe not Bama)

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Johnny Manziel Would Beat the GMAT (but maybe not Bama)

Heading into this weekend’s giant Alabama vs. Texas A&M game, college football fans are probably as sick of hearing about Johnny Manziel as aspiring MBAs are of studying for the GMAT. But both, at least to some degree, are necessary evils – Manziel represents the best chance that football fans have of seeing someone other than Alabama playing for the national championship, and the GMAT is essential to a well-rounded MBA application. And there’s an overlap between the two – Manziel’s playing style can help you learn to beat the daunting GMAT the same way that he’s the only recent QB to beat that daunting Alabama defense. Here’s how summoning your inner Johnny Football can help you become Johnny (or Jenny) GMAT:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Get Exxxtreeeme!!!! on Logic-Based Math Questions

GMAT Tip of the Week: Get Exxxtreeeme!!!! on Logic-Based Math Questions

What do Mountain Dew, Tough Mudder, and Data Sufficiency have in common? Maybe they’re your plans for this weekend, but more universally they all lend themselves to the mentality, lifestyle, and even spelling of the eXXtreme!! And while we could fill this space with extreme-to-the-max tips about Mountain Dew (please don’t drink it for breakfast, high school students) and Tough Mudder (bring your wallet…their marketing is as extreme as the event itself), it’s more helpful to show you how taking it to the extreme can help you succeed on logic-based quant questions.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Spend Your Labor Day Making Quant Problems Less Labor-Intensive

GMAT Tip of the Week: Spend Your Labor Day Making Quant Problems Less Labor-Intensive

So it’s Labor Day weekend, and hopefully you’ll celebrate by relaxing. But wait – Harvard’s admissions deadline is only about two weeks away, and Stanford’s is soon to follow, and within the next six weeks most top 20 programs will begin reviewing Round One applications.

Tales From the Question Bank: Pros Before Idio-es

Tales From the Question Bank: Pros Before Idio-es

The Veritas Prep Question Bank offers unique insights in to the habits of GMAT test-takers; while students from around the world answer free GMAT practice questions, the Question Bank tracks patterns in the answers that the world selects, and in this series we’ll highlight valuable lessons that you can learn from the statistical analysis of how people choose their answers.

GMAT Tip of the Week: What Does the Median Mean?

GMAT Tip of the Week: What Does the Median Mean?

Statistics-based GMAT questions can be tricky, particularly for those who haven’t been formally trained in stats or for those whose knowledge of statistics is more incomplete than they realize. One concept for which many students have blind spots is that of the median, so let’s take a moment to identify and explain a few of these common knowledge gaps.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Trial, Error, and Success

GMAT Tip of the Week: Trial, Error, and Success

One of the most fascinating parts of being a GMAT instructor is getting to watch successful adults relive the math they did as kids. In many cases, an instructor can actually see that concept or point in time when the student stopped trying to really understand the math and just started relying on that combination of memorization and partial credit to get their Bs in math and search for a career path that would include no more of it. How many students decided at some point in junior high or high school that they just weren’t a “math person”?

GMAT Tip of the Week:  Avoid (Carlos) Danger on the GMAT

GMAT Tip of the Week: Avoid (Carlos) Danger on the GMAT

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet / William Shakespeare

Carlos Danger is Anthony Weiner. And a creep by any other name would be just as creepy. This week the New York mayoral candidate, notorious for tweeting his last name all across the internet, put his campaign into his fake last name by doing the same thing under an alias. And in doing so, he taught many of you who aspire to live under his intended jurisdiction – as students at NYU-Stern or Columbia, or as bankers or marketers or hip-hop moguls after graduation – a valuable lesson about the GMAT:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Stop Counting Rights and Wrongs in Your Practice Tests!

GMAT Tip of the Week: Stop Counting Rights and Wrongs in Your Practice Tests!

A common question we get from students who have just completed our free GMAT practice goes something like this: “I just got a score of X, but I see that I got Y questions right and Z questions wrong… How can my score be so low/high?” Embedded in this question is a bit of a lack of understanding of how a computer-adaptive test (CAT) works. Let’s dig in…

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Essential Steps To Learning From Mistakes

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Essential Steps To Learning From Mistakes

“You can learn a lot more from a few seconds of pain than from a few hours of glory.”

We all want to breeze through our GMAT homework getting every question right in under two minutes, but absolutely no one does that. And if you’re in a GMAT class, do you really want to get every answer right the first time? Sure, that might mean that “you’re great”, but in reality what it probably means is that the class is going through problems that are too easy. The beauty of mistakes – and the reason that Veritas Prep classes emphasize “Learning by Doing” with challenge-level problems throughout – is that they’re the best learning opportunities out there. Every time you make a mistake, you’re adding another lesson to the pile and finding a new hole to plug. Every mistake you make in practice is a chance to make sure you learn to avoid that mistake for when it really matters.

GMAT Tip of the Week: The MVP Comparison for Sentence Correction

GMAT Tip of the Week: The MVP Comparison for Sentence Correction

Ah, summertime. Perhaps you’re spending this first-weekend-of-July at the Jersey Shore, or perhaps you have plans to watch baseball. Either way, there’s a good chance you’ll run into an MVP comparison, and if you do you’re helping your GMAT verbal score more than you’ll ever know. Because the key to Sentence Correction success is the MVP comparison.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Marshmallows are the Key to a High GMAT Score

GMAT Tip of the Week: Marshmallows are the Key to a High GMAT Score

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Stanford professor Walter Mischel conducted one of the most famous social experiments of all time.   Known as the “Marshmallow Test,” the experiment worked like this:

A child was brought into a room and a marshmallow was placed in front of that child.   The experimenter told the child that he would return in 15 minutes, and if the child did not eat the marshmallow before his return, then that child would be given two marshmallows.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Data Sufficiency the Smart(phone) Way

GMAT Tip of the Week: Data Sufficiency the Smart(phone) Way

Let’s say you were in the market for some new technology, and let’s say your friend introduced you to a guy who sold used, refurbished gadgets at a huge discount. And let’s say he gave you this choice – you could buy:

A) An iPhone 5 for $50

or

B) A digital camera for $40

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Remainder Remix

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Remainder Remix

R. Kelly. Jermaine Dupri. Mariah Carey. The Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC). What do they all have in common?

It’s the remix.

All four artists above are masters of the remix, taking the same song and making it different and, in most cases, better by simply changing a few things around. To the casual observer the end result may be entirely different (hey R. Kelly – is there even a non-remixed version of “Ignition”? It almost doesn’t matter with the remix being that good…), but to those who seek to understand the art of either music or the GMAT, it’s extremely helpful to recognize the way that these artists ply their trade. To get a feel for it, let’s look at two almost-identical-but-beautifully-remixed problems from the Official Guide for GMAT Review:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Don't Arrest Your Development

GMAT Tip of the Week: Don't Arrest Your Development

There are many memorable things happening this Memorial Day weekend, but perhaps none is as exciting as the much-anticipated return of Arrested Development, the cult classic sitcom re-premiering on Netflix on Sunday. Panned by the masses in large part because it’s humor was “too smart,” Arrested Development can provide some useful intelligence to aid in your own GMAT development. So if the GMAT has you down this beginning-of-summer weekend, there’s no need to hide in your Aztec tomb, join a blue man group for moral support, or hide your lack of GMAT confidence behind cutoff shorts. We don’t think you’re a chicken (coo-coo-ca-cha!). Arrested Development is here to teach you an important lesson – and this time it’s not J. Walter Weatherman, but instead the former President of the Bluth Company, Gob.