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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
B) A digital camera for $40
Summer blockbuster season is upon us, and one of the joys of the movies is to go see an ambitious motion picture on the big screen and get immersed in a world of make-believe for a few hours (this kind of sounds like taking the GMAT, doesn’t it?). If you’re going by yourself or with another person, you can usually agree on a movie pretty quickly and be on your way. However, if you’ve ever tried to go see a movie with like six friends, it often becomes a case of Process of Elimination.
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.
Do you find yourself with your head in your hands after yet another series of practice questions, looking at a less than 50% hit-rate on Assumption questions? You’re not alone! Most of us have no background with formal logic prior to the GMAT, and suddenly we’re expected to understand brand-new concepts like premise, conclusion, flaw, etc. intuitively. To start with, let’s review some basic definitions.
Competition is as inherent in nature as life itself. Darwinian natural selection is an exercise in pure competition among and within various species. War is an extension of this brand of competition. War, it happens, has also contributed to some of the most momentous developments throughout history. Not only have civilizations risen and fallen, some of the most incredible progress and regress has come from battles for supremacy. Many of our oldest surviving texts were written to preserve the memory of major wars, and many technologies have arisen from the desire for victory, in battle or in life. This notion of competition has evolved and spread into more modern forms — business, sports, politics, and even academics. A wise student will see a similar kind of competition manifested in the GMAT.
Let’s go back to geometry now. We will discuss how to use diagrams to solve DS questions today. Though we discussed a DS question in a previous geometry post, we didn’t discuss how the thought process used for a DS question is different from the thought process used for a PS question. To find whether a statement is sufficient to answer the question, you should try to prove that it is not sufficient. Try to make two cases which answer the question differently using the give information. If there are two or more different answers possible, it means the given information is not enough. Let’s discuss this with the help of an official question.
This week, the 24-hour news cycle is focusing on the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program, which taps the data collection of cell phone carriers, search engines, and internet service providers to amass huge volumes of information. And regardless of your politics or opinions, you have to recognize one thing about the PRISM program – NSA is using any and all available information to do its job. Which is exactly the prism through which you should look at Data Sufficiency problems.
Students prepping for the GMAT now have the opportunity to learn from video tips, in addition to the text articles from our blog. Brian Galvin is a main collaborator on all of the Veritas Prep materials, and in these videos he will share his tips and expertise so you can quickly learn how to master the GMAT.
I like to compare the GMAT to everyday things that hopefully resonate with people. To that end, I often like to use the analogy of routes to work to compare the different methods one can use to get the answer to a question. Invariably, there are multiple ways to get to the right answer on a math question, just as there are multiple ways to get to work. Some are just more direct than others. If I work on the island of Manhattan and live on the island of Manhattan, I can detour through The Bronx to get to work, but I’ll probably waste a lot of time. However, that doesn’t mean that I won’t get there, so it is an acceptable route for work. Of course, most of us are usually looking for the quickest way to get to work (for some reason my boss gets testy when I show up 3 hours late).
Got the basics of the Integrated Reasoning formats, and ready to start with some questions? The Two-Part Analysis question is one of the most straight-forward IR question types. A short paragraph is followed by information in columns and rows. You’ll be asked to choose one answer from each column since the complete answer will have a “two-part” solution. Let’s look at a sample Two-Part Analysis question!
If you are wondering about the absurd title of this post, just take a look at last week’s title. It will make much more sense thereafter. This post is a continuation of last week’s post where we discussed number plugging. Today, as per students’ request, we will look at the inequalities approach to the same official question. You will need to go through our inequalities post to understand the method we will use here.
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:
In writing a weekly column for Veritas Prep, I try to cover topics and subjects that will help you avoid common pitfalls on the GMAT. The exam uses certain common traps and therefore it is better to review them routinely in order to be prepared to deal with such adversity on test day. Every type of question on the exam can have pitfalls and I’d like to cover the major ones in every question type. Today, we’ll take a look at Reading Comprehension.
Frustrated by Parallel Reasoning questions, even after lots of practice? I don’t blame you! It’s tough to tackle 6 arguments instead of 1, especially if pacing on the Verbal section is challenging for you. In Part I of this series, we looked at how to define parallel reasoning questions on the GMAT. Today let’s take a look at 3 steps to take in order to get these questions correct!
Springtime has always been a reason to celebrate – we’re recently through Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, and on to “Dads and Grads” and wedding season. Oh, and next week the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section turns one year old. So grab your party hats and noisemakers and get ready for some sloppy cake eating…let’s celebrate the Integrated Reasoning section’s first birthday with 8 strategies to help you get a perfect 8 on that section.
Let’s take a break from Geometry today and discuss the concept of transition points. This is especially useful in questions where you are tempted to plug in values. A question often asked is: how do I know which values to plug and how do I know that I have covered the entire range in the 3-4 values I have tried? What transition points do is that they give you the ranges in which the relationships differ. All you have to do is try one value from each range. If you do, you would have figured out all the different relationships that can hold. We will discuss this concept using a GMAT Prep question. You can solve it using our discussion on inequalities too. But if number plugging is what comes first to your mind in this question, then it will be a good idea to get the transition points.
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.
In the quant section of the GMAT, there are a fair number of formulae to know in order to answer the ensemble of questions that may be asked of you. Most of them are covered in any basic test prep material, but a formula is always just a short hand version of a much longer manual process.
There is an anecdote about a primary school teacher who wanted to keep a misbehaved child busy for a period, so she asked him to sum up all the numbers from 1 to 100. To her dismay, the child answered the question in a matter of seconds, and the answer was correct. The child explained to his teacher that, instead of simply adding 1+2+3…, you could create a pairwise addition that would always yield the same number. If you added 1 to 100, you would get 101. If you added 2 to 99, you would still get 101. If you added 3 to 98, you’d still get 101, and so on. Thus the addition of 100 different numbers could be turned into a multiplication of two simple numbers: 101 x 50. The student in question was mathematical prodigy Carl Friedrich Gauss.
Word Problems tend to intimidate newcomers to the GMAT. Don’t be scared! The math on most word problems is actually easier and less troublesome than the math on a straightforward arithmetic or algebra problem.
The reason the math is easier on these problems is because the problem is made hard in other ways. Word problems are considered hard because you have to convert a word problem into a math question. This involves good reading skills and good critical reasoning skills.
Without descriptive words, phrases or clauses, sentences lack color. A misstep of many is not paying close enough attention to the proper placement of modifiers. The makers of the GMAT are aware of this shortsightedness of many test-takers. As a result, they do test your ability to recognize illogical modifiers.
Parallel Reasoning questions on the Critical Reasoning section of the GMAT are a type of “method of reasoning” question-type. These questions require you to focus on the author’s logic. Parallel reasoning questions ask you to look for the answer choice that has the closest logical structure as the argument in the question stem. Ask yourself: which choice best matches the WAY the author moves from the evidence to his conclusion?
Last week, we discussed how drawing extreme diagrams can help solve Geometry questions. Today we will see how to solve another Geometry question by making diagrams. The diagram can help you understand exactly what it is that you need to do; doing it will be quite straightforward.
If GMAT tutoring sessions sometimes look like George (or Oscar) Bluth prison meetings from Arrested Development – two people across the table from each other speaking intelligently – the “no touching” recurring theme is embedded in this exchange:
Step one: Student begins to work on problem, places scratch paper directly underneath problem covering answer choices.
Step two: Instructor slaps the note paper away and yells “no touching (the answer choices)”
Critical reasoning questions on the GMAT tend to follow the same structure over and over again. This means that they can be answered the same way over and over again (like the movie Groundhog Day, but with words!). The first step is to determine which type of question you’re dealing with, which is why identifying the category is the first step towards successfully answering the question. The four major categories can be remembered with the mnemonic SWIM:
Any worthwhile MBA program is bound to cause some stress in the life of a student. Remember: if your MBA program didn’t challenge you at the highest level, it wouldn’t be worth it. That said, sometimes we make it hard on ourselves to de-stress in our GMAT study plan. Procrastination, lack of sleep, and taking on too much work are the most often-blamed culprits. If you find yourself “burning the candle at both ends,” try these techniques to bring a little relief!
On GMAT Test Day, you will likely see at least a few quadrilaterals tested. Quadrilaterals, like other shapes in Geometry, usually appear in Geometry questions that involve basic properties of quadrilaterals, perimeter, or area. Like most Geometry, all it takes is some memorization and a little practice!
Let’s continue with geometry today. We would like to discuss how drawing extreme diagrams can help you solve questions. Most GMAT questions are quite intuitive and hence our non-traditional methods are perfect for them. They are not typical MATH problems per se; instead, they are logical puzzles. If you can prove why some things will not work, it means whatever is left will work.
By now you’ve seen the YouTube video, the autotunes, the reenactments… Charles Ramsey’s 911 call took the world by storm this week, hoisting him to pop culture sensation status reminiscent of our old friend Antoine Dodson.
And at the same time as he was saving three kidnap victims, Charles Ramsey may also have been saving your GMAT verbal score.
I, for one, am very excited about the new Baz Luhrmann adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatbsy.” Re-reading the book in anticipation of today’s opening, I was struck by the differences in character between Jay Gatsby and the protagonist Nick Carraway, especially evinced by this exchange from Chapter 6:
Even if you know the basic rules for questions involving powers and roots, it’s still common to feel some intimidation towards harder-looking GMAT questions.
The “” symbol is called the “radical” symbol. You may know the square root, but how comfortable are you with cube roots? For instance:
A common complaint I hear from students is: “I’m not good at algebra”. Full disclosure, algebra isn’t my favorite topic either. Although algebra is a powerful tool for solving many questions on the GMAT, it is rarely the only means available to solve a given math problem.
There are so many types of Critical Reasoning questions that sometimes it’s confusing to tell your Method of Reasoning from your Argument Structure! Students are always instructed to read the question stems first and discern the specific category of CR question from them, but there’s another more important reason to hone in on the specific wording of the question stem: it gives away the answer!
The reading section of the SAT is both the easiest and the hardest part of the test. Why is it the easiest? It is essentially an open book exam. You are given a passage and then asked to answer questions based solely on the reading in front of you. The answers are right there on the page. So why can it be so difficult?
You’ve probably read about or seen CR questions that confuse “causation” with “correlation,” but what does it mean in the real world? And why does it matter?
In statistics, let’s say we have data from two variables: x and y. They have a direct relationship. As one increases, the other increases. This could lead scientists to draw a conclusion that one variable causes the change in the other variable. But this isn’t necessary true! In fact, some third variable may be affecting both x and y! In order to prove causation and validate that one variable is indeed directly influencing the other and is the reason behind the detected correlation, further studies would need to be conducted, altering parameters, and recording outcomes.
This week, we will further build up on what we have discussed in the past two weeks. You will need to sum up everything we discussed last week in a few seconds and arrive at a conclusion and then, move on and solve the question on the basis of that conclusion. We will take you through the ‘summing up’ and ‘getting a feel for it’ process step by step so that it’s intuitive to you next time you come across this concept.
Not sure how to make adjustments in your GMAT study plan? Take this short quiz to find out what kind of student you are! Once you determine your study style, you can make small adjustments in your study plan to help you become more efficient in your GMAT prep!
Preparing to take the GMAT exam is a journey that requires patience, dedication and the ability to maintain focus over a long period. Taking the exam is the culmination of a long journey that may have lasted months if not years. The approaching test day has caused a few sleepless nights for many as that circled date on the calendar loomed ever closer. This entire experience might remind you of another similar rite of passage that many of us have gone through: The prom. (Unsubstantiated rumor: new American Pie movie will revolve around taking the GMAT)