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Intelligent Guessing on GMAT

Intelligent Guessing on GMAT

We often tell you that if you are short on time, you can guess intelligently on a few questions and move on. Today we will discuss what we mean by “intelligent guessing”. There are many techniques – most of them involving your reasoning skills to eliminate some options and hence generating a higher probability of an accurate guess. Let’s look at one such method to get values in the ballpark.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Stop Trying to Re-Write the Verbal Section of the Test

GMAT Tip of the Week: Stop Trying to Re-Write the Verbal Section of the Test

Which ineffective habit do nearly all GMAT aspirants have when it comes to studying for the verbal section?

Thou doth protest too much. Meaning:

We all think we can write verbal questions better than the authors of the test.

When it comes to GMAT verbal questions, we critique but don’t solve Critical Reasoning problems, we correct rather than solve Sentence Correction problems, and we try to write but don’t thoroughly read Reading Comprehension questions. And this hubris can be the death of your GMAT verbal score, even if it comes from a good place and a good knowledge base.

3 Similarities Between the Hobbit and the GMAT

3 Similarities Between the Hobbit and the GMAT

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.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Prep
The Speed and Accuracy Trade Off on the GMAT

The Speed and Accuracy Trade Off on the GMAT

We know that speed is important in GMAT. We have about 2 mins per question and we always have questions in which we get stuck, waste 3-4 mins and probably still answer incorrectly. So we are always trying to go faster, rush, complete the easy ones in less time! In our bid to save time, sometimes we sacrifice accuracy. We should know that accuracy is most important. No point running through questions and completing all of them before time if at the end of it all, most of our answers are incorrect – there are no bonus points for completing the test before time, after all!

GMAT Tip of the Week: New Year, New You, New Study Plan

GMAT Tip of the Week: New Year, New You, New Study Plan

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.

Calculating Perfect Squares on the GMAT

Calculating Perfect Squares on the GMAT

The GMAT is an exam that evaluates how you think. The test is designed to measure your reasoning skills and gauge how successful you will be in business school. This means that the test is not simply trying to ascertain how much you already know. This is similar to the mantra of “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. If you happen to already know that 144 is 12^2, then any question that asks about this specific number becomes much easier. However, if the exam starts asking about 13^2 or 14^2, and you only know 12^2, then you must find some method to take your knowledge and apply it to new and unscripted problems.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
Bringing Back the Lazy Genius to Solve GMAT Questions!

Bringing Back the Lazy Genius to Solve GMAT Questions!

Those of you who have seen the previous version of our curriculum would know that we had tips and tricks under the heading of ‘Lazy Genius’. These used to discuss innovative shortcuts for various questions – the way very smart people would solve the question – without putting in too much effort!

The 411 on GMAT Testing Accommodations

The 411 on GMAT Testing Accommodations

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?

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Prep
Warning: Don't Fall Into the C Trap on Data Sufficiency Questions

Warning: Don't Fall Into the C Trap on Data Sufficiency Questions

Studying for the GMAT can take over your life. I’m sure many of you are nodding your heads as you read this. If you’re not, you probably haven’t gotten there yet. I sincerely hope that you never do, but it is an almost unavoidable part of studying for this test. Eventually, you start correcting artists in songs (I got one less problem without you… more like one fewer problem) and wondering if your table number is a prime number (how about table 51… oops that’s divisible by 3). The first time you catch yourself using a GMAT specific term, you know you’re really deep in studying for this exam.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
Finding the Last Two Digits on GMAT Quant Questions - Part III

Finding the Last Two Digits on GMAT Quant Questions - Part III

As promised last week, we will look at another question which involves finding the last two digits of the product of some random numbers. In this question, along with the concepts discussed last week, we will assimilate the concept of negative remainders too discussed some weeks ago.

GMAT Tip of the Week: It's Always Darkest Before Sunrise

GMAT Tip of the Week: It's Always Darkest Before Sunrise

With the winter solstice behind us here in the Northern Hemisphere, you’re probably noticing that the daylight is starting to return; this week we begin the steady climb toward summertime and you’ll see a few extra minutes of daylight after work each week from here until June. For many GMAT applicants, the darkest days of the year in December and early January match with the darkest days of their admissions journey, hustling to post a competitive GMAT while also scrambling on essays for Round 2. But this, too, shall pass.

Finding the Last Two Digits on GMAT Quant Questions - Part II

Finding the Last Two Digits on GMAT Quant Questions - Part II

Let’s continue the discussion of last two digits we started last week. We discussed the concept of pattern recognition and how it can help us determine the last two digits in case of numbers raised to some powers. Today we look at what happens when there is no pattern to determine! What if we are asked to determine the last two digits of the product of a bunch of numbers. We know that getting the last digit in this case is very easy – just multiply the last digits of the numbers together. But last TWO digits would seem much more complicated.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Serial and Sufficiency

GMAT Tip of the Week: Serial and Sufficiency

Like most offices in the United States today, Veritas Prep’s headquarters had its fair share of water cooler and coffemaker discussions about yesterday’s final episode of the Serial podcast. Did Adnan do it? Did Jay set him up? Why does Don get a free pass based on a LensCrafters time-card punch? Does Best Buy have pay phones? The one answer we can give you is “we used MailChimp” so there’s that at least.

How to Use Your Time Wisely on Reading Comprehension GMAT Questions

How to Use Your Time Wisely on Reading Comprehension GMAT Questions

On the verbal section of the GMAT, students invariably spend more time on Reading Comprehension questions than on either Sentence Correction or Critical Reasoning problems. In fact, I’ve seen score reports where people spent more time on Reading Comprehension than on the other two question types combined! Students spend a lot of time on these passages because they are consistently packed with pointless information, run-on sentences and dense technical jargon. Attempting to untangle these passages can lead to a lot of frustration for test takers (Fortunately, there’s an app for that).

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips, Gmat Verbal
Finding the Last Two Digits on GMAT Quant Questions - Part I

Finding the Last Two Digits on GMAT Quant Questions - Part I

We all know how to find the last digit using cyclicity when we are given a number raised to a power. Last digit of a number depends only on the last digit of the base.  You must be quite familiar with something like this –

Last Digit of Base:

0 – Last digit of expression with any power will be 0.

4 Questions To Ask Yourself On Min/Max GMAT Problems

4 Questions To Ask Yourself On Min/Max GMAT Problems

Min/Max problems can be among the most frustrating on the GMAT’s quantitative section. Why? Because they seldom involve an equation or definite value. They’re the ones that ask things like “did the fisherman who caught the third-most fish catch at least 12 fish?” or “what is the maximum number of fish that any one fisherman caught?”. And the reason the GMAT loves them? It’s precisely because they’re so much more strategic than they are “calculational.” They make you think, not just plug and chug.

Why Does the GMAT Test Geometry?

Why Does the GMAT Test Geometry?

One topic that always makes me think on the GMAT is geometry. It’s not that geometry is particularly hard, or even particularly easy, but rather that it’s particularly irrelevant! Having done an MBA in the past few years, I can virtually guarantee you that you will never have to calculate the area of a rhombus or the volume of a cone during your graduate studies. It’s possible that you have to calculate various geometric shapes in your career after graduating (say you run an ice cream shop!), but during your education the entire discipline seems somewhat superfluous.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
Figuring Out the Topic of Discussion on the GMAT

Figuring Out the Topic of Discussion on the GMAT

You must have come across questions which you thought tested one concept but later found out could be easily dealt with using another concept.  Often, crafty little mixture problems belong to this category. For example:

Mark is playing poker at a casino. Mark starts playing with 140 chips, 20% of which are $100 chips and 80% of which are $20 chips. For his first bet, Mark places chips, 10% of which are $100 chips, in the center of the table. If 70% of Mark’s remaining chips are $20 chips, how much money did Mark bet?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Today's Date in Geometry History

GMAT Tip of the Week: Today's Date in Geometry History

Today is December 5, or in date form it’s 12/5. And if you hope to score 700+ on the GMAT, you should see those two numbers, 5 and 12, and immediately also think “13”!

Why?

There are certain combinations of numbers that just have to be top of mind when you take the GMAT. The quantitative section goes quickly for almost everyone, and so if you know the following combinations you can save extremely valuable time.

A Closer Look at Parallel Structure on GMAT Sentence Correction Questions

A Closer Look at Parallel Structure on GMAT Sentence Correction Questions

The holiday season is upon us in North America, as many families unite for Thanksgiving, some decadent shopping, and the imminent Christmas season. While Thanksgiving and Christmas are independently two of the biggest holidays of the year, the fact that they always come together and are so habitually linked makes me think of the GMAT (yes a lot of things make me think of the GMAT, it’s what I do). Just as the thought of Christmas makes a lot of people think of Black Friday deals and line ups at their local stores, some elements on the GMAT are as inextricably linked together.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips, Gmat Verbal
How Good Is Your GMAT Score, Really?

How Good Is Your GMAT Score, Really?

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal recently about how the GMAT is slowly but authoritatively being dominated by international applicants.  Not only is there an increasing number of international hopefuls taking the test, they are also performing remarkably better than US test-takers.  The numbers are staggering.  Test takers from America, in fact, now only make up about 36% of all GMAT hopefuls, which is down considerably over the past several years.  As a comparison, Asia-Pacific students now make up 44% of total test takers.

Filed in: Business School, GMAT
A Student Perspective: My Jump From a 580 to a 750

A Student Perspective: My Jump From a 580 to a 750

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!

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Prep
What are the Weights in Weighted Averages?

What are the Weights in Weighted Averages?

We have discussed weighted averages in detail here but one thing we are yet to talk about is how you decide what the weights will be in weighted average problems. It is not always straight forward to identify the weights. For example, in a question such as this one,

How to Manage Unmanageable Numbers on the GMAT

How to Manage Unmanageable Numbers on the GMAT

When going through the quantitative section of the GMAT, you will often be confronted by numbers that are, shall we say, unwieldy (some people refer to them as “insane”). It is common on the exam to see numbers like 11!, 15^8, or even 230,050,672. Regardless of the form of the number, the common mistake that many novice test takers make is the same: They try to actually solve the number.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
Busting Some GMAT Sentence Correction Myths - Part II

Busting Some GMAT Sentence Correction Myths - Part II

A few weeks back, we wrote a post busting some Sentence Correction myths. Let’s continue from where we left.  We discussed how we can have pronouns referring to different antecedents in different clauses of the same sentence. Let’s take another example illustrating that principle. Also, we learn how to use ‘being’ correctly in GMAT.

10 of Your Pressing GMAT Questions Answered by a Veritas Prep Expert

10 of Your Pressing GMAT Questions Answered by a Veritas Prep Expert

The following interview comes from Top GMAT Prep Courses. Top GMAT Prep Courses recently had the opportunity to conduct a Q&A session with Chris Kane, one of Veritas Prep’s most seasoned GMAT instructors, to inquire about the GMAT and get his take on 10 great questions that many MBA candidates would like to ask with regards to GMAT prep courses and useful tips on how to be successful at achieving their desired GMAT score.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
Choosing from 2 Answer Choices in GMAT Critical Reasoning

Choosing from 2 Answer Choices in GMAT Critical Reasoning

In life, you are often given binary choices. This is true even if the word binary isn’t something you recognize right away. Binary comes from the Latin “bini”, which means two together, and is used to regroup decisions in which you have exactly two choices. On forms, you might see categories such as “smoker” or “non-smoker”, and you are prompted to answer exactly one of the options. At a restaurant, you might get asked “Soup or salad?” (super salad??), and you are expected to make a decision as to which appetizer you want. Very frequently, these two choices cover the entirety of your options. There is no third option to select.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips, Gmat Verbal
How to Go from a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part V

How to Go from a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part V

First, let us give you the link to the last post of this series: Post IV. It contains links to previous parts too.

Today, we bring another tip for you to help get that dream score of 51 – if you must write down the data given, write down all of it! Let us explain.

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Are You Here?

GMAT Tip of the Week: Why Are You Here?

This week’s video post brings you a tip for taking a closer look at the data in Data Sufficiency. Is what you know about Data Sufficiency statements really sufficient? There are certain points of information that are necessary to know for Data Sufficiency, but knowing those doesn’t mean you have sufficient information to correctly solve the problem.

1 Simple Way to Solve Puzzling GMAT Questions

1 Simple Way to Solve Puzzling GMAT Questions

If you’ve ever built a puzzle, you probably know that you can’t expect to start at a certain point and build the entire puzzle without moving around. You may find two or three pieces that fit together nicely, but then you find three pieces that fit together nicely somewhere else, and then work to connect these disparate sections.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
The Holistic Approach to Mods on the GMAT - Solutions

The Holistic Approach to Mods on the GMAT - Solutions

First, we would like to refer you back to a post we put up quite a while ago: The Holistic Approach to Mods

In this post, we discussed how to use graphing techniques to easily solve very high level questions on nested absolute values. We don’t think you will see such high level questions on actual GMAT. The aim of putting up the post was to illustrate the use of graphing technique and how it can be used to solve simple as well as complicated questions with equal ease. It was aimed at encouraging you to equip yourself with more visual approaches.

Think Inside the Box on Tricky GMAT Questions

Think Inside the Box on Tricky GMAT Questions

When dealing with questions that ask us to compartmentalize information, there are two major sorting methods that we can use on the GMAT. The first, and perhaps more familiar concept, is the Venn diagram. This categorization is very useful for situations where information overlaps, as it allows a visual representation of multiple categories at once. However, if the information provided has no possible overlap, such as indicating whether something is made of gold or silver, or if they’re male or female (Bruce Jenner notwithstanding), the preferred method of organization is the matrix box.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
A 750+ Level Question on SD

A 750+ Level Question on SD

A couple of weeks back, we looked at a 750+ level question on mean, median and range concepts of Statistics. This week, we have a 750+ level question on standard deviation concept of Statistics. We do hope you enjoy checking it out.

Before you begin, you might want to review the post that discusses standard deviation: Dealing With Standard Deviation

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Most Common Wrong Answer to Any GMAT Problem

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Most Common Wrong Answer to Any GMAT Problem

The GMAT is more than just a math or verbal test – it’s a reasoning test.  And so it’s important to think not merely about content, but also about the strategy games that the authors of these questions play with that content.  One mantra to keep in mind is “Think Like the Testmaker”, reminding yourself to pay just as much attention to why the wrong answer you chose was tempting (how did the author trick you) as to why the correct answer was right.

Should I Cancel My GMAT Score? (Hint: Probably Not)

Should I Cancel My GMAT Score? (Hint: Probably Not)

Last year, I wrote an article for this blog discussing the pros and cons (and pros and cons and pros) of cancelling your GMAT score. At the time, you had to sit through an entire 3+ hour exam, go through every question asked and then be offered the possibility of cancelling your score without ever knowing what your grade would have been.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
How Can I Improve My Focus on the GMAT?

How Can I Improve My Focus on the GMAT?

A student recently asked, “How do I learn to focus long enough to make my study sessions worthwhile? While studying for the GMAT I can only study for about an hour at a time.”

My response is, “This is a clearly a problem, not just for study sessions but also for the GMAT itself which requires 4 straight hours of focus.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
Busting Some GMAT SC Myths

Busting Some GMAT SC Myths

Today we will bust some SC myths using a question. The following are the myths:

Myth 1: Passive voice is always wrong.

Active voice is preferred over passive voice but that doesn’t make passive voice wrong.

Myth 2: The same pronoun cannot refer to two different antecedents in a sentence.

Answer the Why in Reading Comprehension GMAT Questions

Answer the Why in Reading Comprehension GMAT Questions

The most common question type that people tend to waste time on is Reading Comprehension. More than any other question type on the GMAT, students report reading and rereading the same sections of a passage, only to find themselves at the bottom of the page having retained no information. There are many reasons for this, from fatigue to mental inertia to daydreaming about the end of this test. However, it’s fairly common to have not internalized all the information in the passage, and still be able to answer the question asked.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips, Gmat Verbal
4 Things You Control on GMAT Test Day

4 Things You Control on GMAT Test Day

I recently had the chance to answer a question about overcoming Test Anxiety on the GMAT. The test-taker wanted to know how to avoid being so anxious on test day and how to stop obsessively thinking about the score before and even during the exam itself.

I wrote, “Your job on test day is to focus on the question in front of you. Not to guess at what your score might be or continually estimate how much time you have left per question.

Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
A 750 Level GMAT Question on Statistics!

A 750 Level GMAT Question on Statistics!

Today, we have a very interesting statistics question for you. We have already discussed statistics concepts such as mean, median, range etc in our QWQW series. Check them out here if you haven’t already done so:

The Meaning of Arithmetic Mean