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GMAT Video of the Week: Critical Reasoning and Statistics

GMAT Video of the Week: Critical Reasoning and Statistics

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!

GMAT Tip of the Week: Good, Better, Best. When Can You Let Your GMAT Score Rest?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Good, Better, Best. When Can You Let Your GMAT Score Rest?

GMAT scores are frustrating entities.  If you’re like most students, you work hard to maximize your score, and once you have a score you feel is competitive you inevitably start to wonder whether it’s really “good enough.”  Many a student has said something to the extent of “my dream goal is 700+ but I’d be happy with anything over 650″, then scored 680 and called her tutor to say “I’m so excited – I scored 680!  Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!!!  But I’m thinking of retaking it…”

On the other end of the spectrum, many a candidate has looked at the middle 80% range at his elite target school, seen that his 640 forms  that lower border, and said “great – I’m in the range…no need to worry about the GMAT again!”

And then there’s that guy that everyone hates – the guy who scores 730 and goes on every GMAT forum and attends every free GMAT seminar declaring his intentions to the newbies in the room:  “I have a 730 but it’s imperative to me to know which strategies will help me get to 770.”

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Essential Critical Reasoning Strategies

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Essential Critical Reasoning Strategies

There may not be a more aptly named question type on the GMAT than “Critical Reasoning,” a question type that rewards critical thinking in a major way.  Students are successful by reading critically and economically, quickly noting flaws in logic and embracing their role within each question.  Those who buy into the critical way of processing arguments can “click” with critical reasoning quite readily, quickly organizing information into actionable components and anticipating correct answers before even reading them. 

Accordingly, we offer these three critical strategies for critical reasoning questions:

GMAT Video of the Week: Sentence Correction Decision Points

GMAT Video of the Week: Sentence Correction Decision Points

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!

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Essential Sentence Correction Strategies

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Essential Sentence Correction Strategies

Of all the question types on the GMAT, a global exam for which the pool of test takers includes more than half of its examinees from outside the United States, Sentence Correction may seem the most arbitrary to prospective examinees.  Math we get: nearly all MBA graduates will have to make decisions using numbers and nearly all MBA programs require coursework in areas like finance and accounting for which some baseline math skills are important.  Similarly, reading comprehension is something that any school would want to ensure its students can do effectively, and the logic behind critical reasoning makes a lot of sense, too: schools and employers want people who can think logically and make reasoned decisions.

But English grammar?  Why would schools like INSEAD and ESADE, located in countries where English is not an official language and attracting students from all corners of the globe, be concerned with English grammar subtleties?  Especially when, as about 1/3 of the verbal section, sentence correction counts for about 17% of someone’s GMAT score.  It’s probably nice to know that everyone can speak the same language, but 17% of someone’s entry value?  Isn’t that overkill?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Word to the Wise

GMAT Tip of the Week: Word to the Wise

Admit it: You had at least a class or two in high school for which you thrived on partial credit – you wouldn’t get many answers right, but with participation points, “show your work” points, and partial credit for doing most of the steps correctly you could comfortably claim your B and get on with the more-important work of finding a date for the homecoming dance.  So on a test like the GMAT, which is all-or-nothing with no potential for partial credit, the prospect of having to be 100% correct on any given problem is a little daunting.

Where the GMAT can make this even more difficult is by subtle wordplay that allows for you to do all the work correctly on a problem, but by missing or tweaking your read of just one word in the question coming up with a completely different incorrect answer.  As such, attention to detail on the GMAT is crucial – you need to learn to spot those ever-critical words that, on a dime, can change the answer from B to D.

GMAT Video of the Week: Working with Shapes within Shapes

GMAT Video of the Week: Working with Shapes within Shapes

The Veritas Prep blog just added another weapon to its GMAT arsenal! This summer Veritas Prep will roll out a new series of video tips on this blog and on YouTube. We plan to explore all aspects of GMAT prep in the same witty, easy-to-understand way that we normally do on our blog. These video tips will provide a great way for you to get a quick explanation on something or to brush up on a key skill needed for GMAT success.

Our first video tip is actually a two-for-one affair: Brian Galvin, Veritas Prep’s Director of Academic Programs, shows you key relationships to remember when working with squares inscribed inside circles, and when tackling circles inscribed inside squares.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Tri Your Best

GMAT Tip of the Week: Tri Your Best

They say that good things come in threes, so if you’re reading this GMAT tip blog post you’re in luck!  The GMAT is an act in three parts – an academic triathlon, if you will, and one that like a triathlon will test your abilities as well as your stamina.  In many ways, the GMAT is analogous to an endurance-length triathlon, and at Veritas Prep we’re fortunate to have experts on both.  As you attempt to be the Macca of the GMAT or do as well as Chrissie Wellington, here are some ways that the GMAT is much like an Ironman triathlon, and how you can use that knowledge to succeed.  Breaking from our typical third-person journalistic voice, we offer the first-person voice of Director of Academic Programs / Ironman Brian Galvin:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Reframing Your Mind For Your GMAT Retake

GMAT Tip of the Week: Reframing Your Mind For Your GMAT Retake

It’s not uncommon for MBA candidates to take the GMAT more than once.  It’s a difficult test, after all, and often students find that some of the “intangible” factors like pacing, test-day anxiety, etc. can detract from what felt like would be an optimal test-day experience.  Other times, students underestimate the difficulty of the exam and fail to prepare as thoroughly as they likely should have; or they may simply have had great intentions of preparation but seen those plans evaporate as life got in the way, but they still choose to take the test just to see how it goes.

In any case, retaking the GMAT isn’t ideal – it does cost money and take time, after all – but it’s not a major cause for alarm. Schools do not look unfavorably on retakes; your 730 score is just as valid if it comes on your third attempt as it would be if it were your first time.  So if you do need to retake the GMAT, know that you’re not alone and that you won’t be penalized.

GMAT Tip of the Week: 5 Things You Can Do Now To Succeed on the GMAT Later

GMAT Tip of the Week: 5 Things You Can Do Now To Succeed on the GMAT Later

As of press time for this article, most of the United States will be heading out early from work to partake in the unofficial beginning of summer, Memorial Day Weekend.  As you read this on your smartphone in traffic on the LIE to the Hamptons or up I-75 to “Up North” Michigan, the entire summer is ahead of you.  But if you’re planning to apply to business school this fall, you should heed the warning that you learned in your earlier scholastic days – time flies when you’re having fun, and the fall, like those objects in your rearview mirror, is probably closer than it appears.

Rest assured that you can still enjoy most of your summer even if you don’t plan on taking the GMAT until later in the fall.  But even without dedicating much of the summer to studying, there are at least five habits you can add to your day-to-day lifestyle that will get you ready to hit the ground running when you do begin your GMAT preparation in earnest sometime soon:

GMAT Tip of the Week AND GMAT Challenge Question: Two-for-Twentieth!

GMAT Tip of the Week AND GMAT Challenge Question: Two-for-Twentieth!

Hello again readers, and happy May Twentieth!  In honor of that 2 in 5/20 (the day before The End of the World, of course), today’s post is dual-purposed in two ways:  We have a GMAT challenge question and a GMAT tip of the week, and the GMAT tip of the week is actually two in one.  First, take a look at this challenge Critical Reasoning question:

A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article cited that the average GMAT score for 20 and 21-year olds is 575, while for 22 and 23 year olds it is only 539.  Therefore, all potential business school applicants should be advised to take the GMAT while they’re younger so that they can expect a higher score.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Michael Bolton Would Fail the GMAT

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Michael Bolton Would Fail the GMAT

The Jester of Tortuga

When you receive your MBA and go off into your own office space in the workforce, chances are you’d rather be Bill Lumbergh, boss man, than Michael Bolton — either the object of corporate downsizing or the singer-songwriter.  As such, it is imperative on the GMAT to not be Michael Bolton!  Consider this evidence, courtesy of Saturday Night Live’s most recent digital short:
GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Simple Rules to Writing a Well-Organized AWA Essay

GMAT Tip of the Week: Three Simple Rules to Writing a Well-Organized AWA Essay

As students approach their GMAT test dates, it becomes more and more important to them to be able to handle the AWA essays at the beginning of the test both efficiently and capably, earning a score of 5 or 6 without much effort.  This can actually be fairly easy to do, most notably through the emphasis of each author on an essay that is well-organized and easy for the reader to process.  Therefore, anyone looking to perform well on the AWA section should read the following paragraphs for steps that they can use to write a well-organized, high-scoring essay.

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Most Logical Way To Study Sentence Correction

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Most Logical Way To Study Sentence Correction

As someone reading this GMAT study blog, I hope that you’re cringing as you read this very sentence. Why? Because that sentence contained a classic GMAT sentence correction error — the modifier to begin the sentence “As someone reading this blog” should apply to you, the reader, and not to me, the author (as you may have noticed if you read regularly, I never re-read anything I’ve written. One take, like Jay-Z. My editors hate that.) (Yes, we do! — Ed.)

You know that the GMAT tests Modifiers in Sentence Correction. But the unasked question that you may want to ask is: Why? Why Modifiers and not the fact that you’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition? Why Modifiers and not something more obscure like “when assigning a possessive to someone whose name ends in ‘s,’ what is the rule for when you just put the apostrophe right after the ‘s’ (Russ’) and when you put another ‘s’ after the apostrophe (Russ’s)?”

GMAT Tip of the Week: Easter Egg Hunt... On the GMAT?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Easter Egg Hunt... On the GMAT?

Spring is here and Sunday is the Easter Holiday. In North America that means the tradition of the “Easter Egg Hunt.” Throughout the United States, adults will be hiding plastic eggs filled with candy, toys, and even money. Children will then race around trying to find the eggs hidden in the flower beds, in bushes, inside the mailbox — just about anywhere!

“Easter Egg” has another meaning as well, one that applies to the Analysis of an Argument task on the GMAT. This meaning of “Easter Egg” is from the computer programming world. An Easter Egg is something that a programmer intentionally hides in a program for others to find. This is where the Analysis of an Argument comes in; Easter Eggs are intentional flaws hidden in the Analysis of an Argument prompt for you to find.

GMAT Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Minimize Test-Day Anxiety

GMAT Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Minimize Test-Day Anxiety

Perhaps the most annoying thing about the GMAT is that it tends to punish those who care the most about it.  As you’ve studied, you’ve undoubtedly come to realize that often the easiest way to miss a question is to be rushed, distracted, or just stressed out — when you’re not completely focused, you’re prone to calculation errors, assumptions, misreads, and other “silly” mistakes that you know you shouldn’t make but you just can’t shake.  And as though you’re stuck in quicksand, the harder you struggle the deeper you sink.  Test-day anxiety is one of the leading causes of later-that-day depression, which is a leading cause of retaking-the-test-day-anxiety, and the vicious cycle repeats.  How can you fix that?

Here are five tips that can dramatically reduce your test-day anxiety:

GMAT 4-1-1: The 700 Idioms You Absolutely Must Memorize To Score 700

GMAT 4-1-1: The 700 Idioms You Absolutely Must Memorize To Score 700

Welcome back to this week’s installment of GMAT 4-1-1, in which we’ll cover a list of the 700 idioms that you simply must memorize if you want to score 700 or better on the GMAT exam. As English is universally considered as the most important language in all of the business world – after all, that’s all we know here in the U.S.! – it is crucial for anyone interested in even trace levels of business success to have fully mastered the idiomatic subtleties of the nuanced English language. Particularly for those going into marketing, regional and demographic segmentation dictates that one must be up to speed, also, on regional dialects and colloquialisms.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Check Yo Self

GMAT Tip of the Week: Check Yo Self

Welcome back to Hip Hop Month in the GMAT tip space, where we’re consistently amazed at how often rappers take Veritas Prep’s advice and Think Like the Testmaker.  You’ve seen it from Weezy as he took on the persona of the number 0; from House of Pain as they adopted the mindset of the entire test itself; from Eminem as a geometry question…  Young emcees, including Young MC, seem to become one with the GMAT.  After all, when you really break it down the GMAT ain’t nothing but a G thang…

GMAT Tip of the Week: Fighting the GMAT Like the Irish

GMAT Tip of the Week: Fighting the GMAT Like the Irish

When St. Patrick’s Day and Hip Hop Month coincide (well, almost…we hope you enjoyed your Paddy’s Day yesterday), it’s only natural to compare the GMAT testing center to a House of Pain, although it’s probably more appropriate to consider it a house of mental anguish.

The Irish rap group House of Pain is best known – or to most, only known – for its track “Jump Around”, one of the more lasting one-hit wonders of all time. Featured in movies, Strongbow ads, and before 4th quarters at Wisconsin’s Camp-Randall Stadium, “Jump Around” has become as friendly and pop-oriented as a Miley Cyrus ringtone – not bad for a song about a drunken Irish brawl. And it’s in that ability to be seen in multiple ways that “Jump Around”, even with a title that provides terrible advice for the GMAT as you cannot jump from question to question, can provide you with valuable insight as you study for the GMAT.

Bonus GMAT Tip of the Week: Regulate the GMAT Like Nate Dogg

Bonus GMAT Tip of the Week: Regulate the GMAT Like Nate Dogg

It’s a sad week here in (or, well, just up the coast from) the LBC. One of the true legends of West Coast hip hop, Nate Dogg, passed away this week. Amidst the comebacks of his contemporaries — Dr. Dre with his new album, Snoop Dogg segueing back to rap after his flirtation with poppy Katy Perrydom – Nate struggled with complications from a late 2007 stroke and never recovered to join them.

The legacy he leaves behind is impressive; sports columnist Bill Simmons once called Nate Dogg the “Robert Horry of rap” (or, rather, the other way around), noting that it was difficult to ever pinpoint what made either star so great, but regardless whenever either was involved the project was a runaway success. Nate’s smooth, baritone vocals on hits by Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Warren G, Ludacris, Eminem, and others, formed the bass line for an era of music. And in that G Funk Era, regardless of the topic – gratuitous violence, gratuitous sex, gratuitous drug use – Nate’s style was unflappable. Perhaps that’s his greatest legacy – his flow was incredibly consistent and smooth. And it’s that classic Nate Dogg style that can teach you a thing or two about how to beat the GMAT.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Six Foot, Seven Foot, 600-to-700

GMAT Tip of the Week: Six Foot, Seven Foot, 600-to-700

As Hip-Hop Month rolls along in the Veritas Prep GMAT Tip of the Week space, we’re once again struck by how Lil Wayne has seemingly adopted the full persona of the GMAT for many of his recent tracks. As we noted earlier this year, his hit Right Above It includes several hints almost directly quoted from a GMAT test-writer, and if you listen closely Weezy is doing more of the same in his current radio single 6 Foot 7 Foot. As always, Weezy rhymes with the kind of insider knowledge of the GMAT that few outside of GMAC headquarters can even hope to have; could the title of his album “I Am Not a Human Being” really mean that the GMAT’s CAT is talking to us directly?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Guess Who's Back

GMAT Tip of the Week: Guess Who's Back

Greetings, readers, and welcome back to a second round of Hip Hop Month in the Veritas Prep Blog’s Tip of the Week space.  Yes, 11 months have passed since we ended March 2010, and although we’ve included the occasional Lil Wayne or Eminem reference over that time it’s been a while since we made the indisputable link between hip hop and the GMAT a priority.  As Jay-Z or Snoop Dogg might say, guess who’s back!

Calling back old hip hop classics is the name of the game on many radio stations and in many clubs these days, particularly when DJs show off their skills with mixes and mash-ups.  Here in Los Angeles, we anxiously await Power 106′s “Twelve Days of Mix-mas” in December and listen to the Mickey Fickey Mix all year long.  But here’s the problem with the radio hip hop mix (apologies to E-Man, Eric D-Lux, and the gang), and it’s a problem that can plague you on the GMAT as well: mixes inevitably cut off songs before they get to the ever-important crescendo. 

GMAT Tip of the Week: Be Aware, or Beware

GMAT Tip of the Week: Be Aware, or Beware

If you drive a car, chances are you hate road cyclists.  What’s to like?  Awkward spandex clothing, goofy cleated-shoe walks at coffee shops, an odd sense of entitlement to the right-hand traffic lane…  But they say you can’t judge a man until you’ve walked (or ridden) a mile in his shoes, and if you did spend some time road cycling you’d understand this almost immediately: cyclists are the most alert and aware drivers you’ll ever meet, because they have to be.  And add a corollary to that, one that you would also learn as a cyclist: many drivers and pedestrians are dangerously unaware of their surroundings at virtually all times.

Cyclists simply must be aware of all potential obstacles on the road.  Tenuously perched on an inch-wide wheel, rapidly gliding along a road with two-ton pickup trucks to their left, parallel-parkers and door-openers to their right, narrowing road shoulders and street debris in front of them… each potential obstacle represents a brush with death or dismemberment and most of those obstacles come complete with either direct aversion to or an oblivious awareness of cyclists.  That will make you aware pretty quickly; if you’re not, it could all be over in a millisecond.

GMAT Tip of the Week: How Watson Can Help You Keep Your GMAT Score Out of Jeopardy

GMAT Tip of the Week: How Watson Can Help You Keep Your GMAT Score Out of Jeopardy

If you were like many intellectuals around the world this week, you’ve watched or at least heard about the (let’s be honest… we can use the adjective “rigged”) Jeopardy! competition between the all-time greatest Jeopardy! champions and an IBM computer named Watson. And if you’re like most of those who watched, the experience probably left you feeling cheated.

First to the Jeopardy! game: Ken Jennings (74-time Jeopardy! winner) and Brad Rutter ($3.5 million in winnings and never defeated) were not outsmarted by the machine — it was apparent that both humans knew the correct answer to just about every question on the board. Frustratingly, however, the machine was somehow able to buzz in ahead of the humans on nearly every answer. When the computer failed to buzz in or answered incorrectly the two Jeopardy! champions gave the correct answer nearly every time. If this were a fair contest — say a test of the same 50 clues given to each contestant with 15 seconds to answer (which is the Jeopardy! entrance exam by the way) both humans would have outscored the machine.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Hosni Mubarak Would Fail The GMAT

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Hosni Mubarak Would Fail The GMAT

And they called John Kerry a political flip-flopper…

Evidently it’s official: Hosni Mubarak has resigned his post as Egyptian president, 30 years after he succeeded Anwar Sadat and just a day after he surprisingly clung to power despite the national revolution to remove him.  If you followed the news on Twitter, you may have seen this gem from yesterday:

Mubarak. Dude. Egyptians INVENTED writing on the wall. You really should learn to read it.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Super Bowl? Have a Ball

GMAT Tip of the Week: Super Bowl? Have a Ball

Einstein

If you’re like most television owners or social event attendees this weekend, you already have plans to watch the Super Bowl. And if you take a second to think about it, it’s actually kind of a dumb thing you’re about to watch. Not the football game, which as a red-blooded American I’m honor-bound to admit is thoroughly awesome, but the name itself. Super Bowl? When was the last time you called something “super” to someone over the age of 12?

GMAT Tip of the Week: 700? Score Right Above It

GMAT Tip of the Week: 700? Score Right Above It

Admit it: at some point over the last few months you’ve debated over the following Lil Wayne lyric:

I’ve got my gun in my boot purse, and I don’t bust back because I shoot first

What is a boot purse?  Or does he, as the theory now goes, actually say “boo purse”, referring to his girlfriend’s handbag?  The discussion rages, and in doing so it may well distract you from the fact that Weezy is using his track (featuring Drake) Right Above It as a blueprint for beating the GMAT.  In fact, he might as well have titled it 700: Score  Right Above It.  As you break down the lyrics, you’ll find that Wayne drops quite a few GMAT hints, starting with a line from the chorus:

GMAT Tip of the Week: To Study for the Test, Take a Test

GMAT Tip of the Week: To Study for the Test, Take a Test

Test-taking is a more powerful form of study than are reading and memorization, according to a study featured in the New York Times.  In the study, those who took tests after reading recalled significantly more information a week later than did those who simply read or created “concept maps,” a recent fad in education.  Researchers infer that the process of actively working with the information, even if the test is a struggle, forces learners to cement concepts and draw relationships in a much more powerful way than by traditional “study”.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Tom Brady Went To Michigan and Rex Ryan Went To SW Oklahoma State

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Tom Brady Went To Michigan and Rex Ryan Went To SW Oklahoma State

As though Snooki and Glenn Beck weren’t enough proof that America is a sucker for a loudmouth, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has made himself a household name (and a YouTube sensation) this season by talking.  Accordingly, you probably know that the Jets will play the New England Patriots this Sunday in the NFL Playoffs, and you may well perceive this as a huge rivalry game between two AFC powers, the way that Ryan wants you to see it.

If you’ve followed the press this week, you’ve likely seen that the Jets have launched a war of words on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, trying to drag the unflappable signal caller into a whirlwind of mudslinging.  Predictably, Brady would rather beat the Jets by slinging touchdown passes instead of mud, but to the rest of the world the one-sided exchange is at the very least entertaining. And to you, as a GMAT examinee, it can prove educational, as well.  Should you rather attend Ross, on the University of Michigan campus at which Tom Brady went to school, instead of Southwestern Oklahoma State, where Rex Ryan… can you call it “studied?”… you can take a lesson from how the two approach this weekend’s game.

GMAT Tip of the Week: 2011: The Prime of Our Lives

GMAT Tip of the Week: 2011: The Prime of Our Lives

Happy New Year, readers!  2011 is upon us, and after a decade of political infighting; wars between nations, tribes, and ideologies; and public feuds (and I’m not just talking about last night’s premiere of Jersey Shore), hopefully 2011 is the year that finally unites us.  It has an advantage – while we as world citizens yearn to be united and indivisible, 2011 itself is just that.  Indivisible, by anything other than itself and 1.  2011 is a positive integer with exactly two factors; maybe a prime year means that we’re in the prime of our lives…

GMAT Tip of the Week: Is The Final Exam Cumulative?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Is The Final Exam Cumulative?

They’re the words that crush the soul of any passionate teacher. You’re standing and delivering like Jaime Escalante and you’re waiting for them to stand on their desks and call you Captain. You’re drawing analogies, building upon core concepts, linking together seemingly incompatible ideas and the room is vibing along with you as you simultaneously pour your heart, soul, and brain onto whiteboard and into the air, teaching as well as you’ve ever taught before. And as you pause, not expecting applause but not not expecting it either, letting the lesson sink in and hoping that a student will ask a poignant question, one speaks up and asks the question that you know he will but dread he won’t:

Is the final exam cumulative?

GMAT Tip of the Week: GMAT Math the Gob Bluth Way

GMAT Tip of the Week: GMAT Math the Gob Bluth Way

There are many paths to becoming president of a major real estate company.  A failed career as a magician that leads to your wealthy father’s arrest for SEC violations, followed by his embroilment in a treason scandal that prompts him to install you as a figurehead president so that your more-responsible brother does not take the fall, rendering the company leader-less…well, that’s certainly the road less traveled, but for Arrested Development character George Oscar (Gob) Bluth, that made all the difference.

The lovably dimwitted magician, softball star, and ventriloquist may be most-beloved beloved for his rendition of the chicken dance, but he nonetheless reached a high position in corporate America as president of the fictional Bluth Company, however unorthodox in his path to that success.  More importantly for you, the aspiring corporate president, he left behind some words of wisdom that can help you conquer the GMAT, an important step on the more-traditional path to such business success:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Jump To Conclusions

GMAT Tip of the Week: Jump To Conclusions

We all know that a Jump-to-Conclusions mat is a horrible, horrible idea as a mainstream consumer product.  As a GMAT strategy, though?  Used properly, a Jump-To-Conclusions Mindset can be a valuable asset to you on Critical Reasoning problems. 

Problems often ask you to strengthen a conclusion, weaken a conclusion, or determine an assumption necessary for the conclusion to hold true. In any of these cases, it is of prime importance that you know exactly what the conclusion is saying; otherwise, it’s easy for your answer choice to miss the mark. 

GMAT Tip of the Week: Bush vs. Gore, Round Two

GMAT Tip of the Week: Bush vs. Gore, Round Two

Exactly ten years ago, the world was in a state of limbo as the state of Florida recounted its votes to determine the next U.S. President, either Al Gore or George W. Bush.  You know the rest of the story: Bush was named President and feuded with Kanye West, Gore grew a beard and won a Nobel Prize, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, as we look back on that historical period, we’re presented with the handiwork of both presidential candidates, the titles of which are incredible GMAT study tools.  Gore gave us An Inconvenient Truth, and just this week Bush released his memoirs, Decision Points.  Which presidential candidate provides the greatest GMAT advice?  Let’s leave it up to you, the voter -  this time we’ll let the popular vote decide (and Katherine Harris will not be involved in any disputes) – read the below GMAT Tips and cast your vote in the comments field. Since Bush has an MBA from Harvard Business School, we’ll let him lead:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Use It Or Lose It

GMAT Tip of the Week: Use It Or Lose It

November already?! Although it seems like just yesterday it was spring, we’ve already sprung past Halloween and the marketing world (please, future Kellogg MBAs, save us!) has decided that it’s the holiday shopping season already, so you’re probably noticing Christmas displays popping up, holiday music piped into malls, and ads for Black Friday doorbusters already trickling through the advertising channels. Yes, only 50-some shopping days left…which for many of us means it’s also high time we use those gift cards that we received during the last holiday season.

Use it or lose it…a gift card mantra that delights the retail industry, which sees nearly $10 billion in profits from unused gift cards each year. How can you profit from the same mantra on the GMAT?

Modifiers on on GMAT Sentence Correction fall into two categories:

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled

Happy Halloween Weekend!  As we prepare for Devil’s Night tomorrow, it seems only fitting that we take a moment to reflect on lessons that the devil can teach us about the devilishly-clever GMAT.  While he’s not going down to Georgia, wearing a blue dress, and baking food cake, the devil is pulling tricks (with no treats) – he is, after all pure evil.  And to quote the knowledgeable Keyser Soze, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.  Which is to say that evil is at its worst when you least expect it.

The same is true of the GMAT, on which the devilishly-clever authors are often able to pull that same trick – adding difficulty without you even knowing that it exists.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Gut Check

GMAT Tip of the Week: Gut Check

The GMAT is a difficult test. But you knew that — that’s probably why you’re reading this, because you’re looking for insight. One important insight is to accept and recognize that it’s a hard test and that you have to earn most correct answers, as there is little value to business schools in a GMAT question that does not separate the elite candidates from the simply-above-average applicants.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Data Sufficiency the Katy Perry Way

GMAT Tip of the Week: Data Sufficiency the Katy Perry Way

She may be too racy for Sesame Street, but we’re all adults here, right? The lesson that Katy Perry was trying to teach Elmo in her canceled cameo on the long-running children’s show is one that is essential for you as you approach Data Sufficiency questions on the GMAT. So just as the beat of California Gurls might, embarrassingly enough, inspire you to pick up your pace at mile 22 of a marathon, the lyrics of Hot n Cold can spur you to success on the GMAT. Admit it, you know the words:

GMAT Tip of the Week: Let 'er Rip

GMAT Tip of the Week: Let 'er Rip

10-10-10. The date has been plastered all over the streets of Chicago on billboards, storefront signs, flyers and posters. On that repetitive date, approximately 40,000 people will take part in one of the world’s most repetitive activities — the Chicago Marathon. A marathon is not unlike the GMAT — a task for which you prepare for months, agonize the night before, and hope to complete successfully in under four hours, for many. And, on both the GMAT and the marathon, the worst thing that you can do is think too much.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Punting For Field Position

GMAT Tip of the Week: Punting For Field Position

What a weekend this will be! (Author’s note: you’re looking at about a paragraph of pure football content; not a fan? You can probably skip a paragraph and just pick up the GMAT tips, but trust me when I say that this paragraph is going somewhere). Perhaps the Ali-Frazier of the current era will take place tomorrow evening in Tuscaloosa, with #1 Alabama taking on #7 Florida.