Similarly, when answering a Sentence Correction question, there are many types of errors that can appear in a single sentence. Some questions will be one-trick ponies (I’m looking at you, Bitcoins), in which you can just solve one issue and get the correct answer. However, most will have two or three types of errors that you need to avoid, and identifying these errors will often make the difference between knowing which answers cannot be correct and guessing based on how the sentence sounds.

When looking through the initial sentence, you might notice some errors right away, such as pronoun (she vs. they) or verb agreement (is vs. are) errors. However some errors are more subtle and you must look through the answer choices to confidently narrow down the options. Once you have a good handle on the types of errors occurring in the sentence, you can begin eliminating answer choices that do not dodge (or dodgecoin) the error.

Let’s look at a question that contains multiple issues, but they may not be obvious upon first glance:

*An auteur whose movies define the genre, Jean-Luc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave what Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is to the spaghetti western.*

*(A) **Jean-Luc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave what*

*(B) **Jean-Luc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave like*

*(C) **Jean-Luc Godard’s films are to the French New Wave just as*

*(D) **Jean-Luc Godard directed films that are to the French New Wave similar to*

*(E) **Jean-Luc Godard directed films that are to the French New Wave what*

The sentence begins with a modifier that is not underlined, which means the subsequent underlined portion must necessarily be the subject of the modifier. If it is not, then the sentence will contain a modifier error from the get go and will not be the correct choice. A little further on, a comparison is made between films and other films. If the comparison were to be between two incongruent items (worse than apples and oranges, say apples and androids), the sentence would contain a comparison error. There may be other errors but these are the two most glaring issues to keep in mind.

Looking over the answer choices, we see a 3-2 split between the choices that keep the director’s films as the subject of the verb and the choices that change the subject to the director himself. From a comparison point of view, all the choices seem to keep the comparison between Godard’s films and Leone’s cult masterpiece.

The non-underlined first part of the passage is a modifier that is describing a specific person. The sentence even begins with “An auteur”, which is the French word for author. The subject of the sentence must therefore be a noun that can logically be described by the modifier at the beginning of the sentence. However, the restriction of the comparison also dictates that the sentence compare films with films. The only way to accommodate both limitations is to select either answer choice D or E, both of which keep Jean-Luc Godard as the subject of the phrase while supplying the proper film comparison at the end.

How do we go about differentiating between answer choices D and E (other than flipping a coin)? The difference is in the idiom that connects the underlined portion to the second part of the sentence. The first option indicates that the films are to a certain group *similar to* another movie to a different group. Apart from not being a correct idiom, it also doesn’t make logical sense. The second option indicates that the films are to a certain group *what* another film is to the different group. This is a perfectly acceptable idiom that conveys the meaning properly.

The only answer choice that avoids making a modifier error, a comparison error or a logical error is answer choice E. These errors may not have all been evident at first glance, but we can see why the four other answer choices contain some kind of error. Even though the comparison error ended up being largely irrelevant in this process of elimination, it is the type of error you always need to be aware of when correcting sentences. In fact, juggling many potential error types is a vital skill in solving these types of questions. While not always obvious, the correct answer will be the only option that doesn’t make at least one of the errors you’ve identified. Remember that, no matter how hard the GMAT may seem at times, it is easier (and safer) than juggling flaming chainsaws.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

*Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam. After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since.*

Here is an example problem:

“Susanne Summers, acclaimed actress and fitness guru, is an example of people who are able to transcend their initial notoriety in one area and achieve success in another. ”

In checking for all the different types of agreement problems it is good to start by checking subject-verb agreement as every sentence has a subject and a verb. “Susanne…is” works just fine and there are no other verbs that could be mismatched to the main subject. There are not any lists, which are giveaways that there may be a problem with parallel structure, though there are two constructions involving the word “in” that looks like they demand parallelism. The constructions are “transcend…notoriety in” and “achieve success in” and these look good because they share the same structure (verb, noun, and the preposition “in”). The only other conjugated verb in this sentence to check for agreement is “are”, which matches its subject “people”. This would imply that there is no error, right?

Alas, it is not so simple. Though there are no traditional pronouns, the word “people” still must agree with its referent! This is an example of a hidden word that must agree with another word in the sentence. “People” in this case is a dependent noun because it is representing another noun. In this case, “people” is referring to “Susanne Summers”, and the two nouns must agree in number. “Susanne” cannot be an example of more than one person, so the error is with the word “people”.

Here is another example:

“Though Douglass had concocted many possible solutions to help with a number of problems within the organization’s bureaucracy, the idea didn’t help solve the major problem of the organization’s lack of direction.”

Again, in this example all the subjects and verbs seem to match up (“Douglass had” and “the idea didn’t”). Once more, there are no pronouns in the strictest sense, but there is a word that has a referent that it does not agree with. Here, “the idea” is referencing the “many possible solutions” that Douglass had concocted, but “the idea” is singular and “many possible solutions” is plural. Any two nouns that are supposed to represent the same person or thing in a sentence must agree in number and in type (is it a person, or a thing?). Though these kinds of agreement errors are tough to spot at first, it becomes second nature after a few tries.

Being able to check agreement in sentences is a tricky task, but very important for taking the writing scores to the next level. With a little practice, these hidden agreement problems will elucidate hidden solutions. Happy studying!

Plan on taking the SAT soon? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

*David Greenslade* is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT.

Stanford’s traditional MBA program is the only one in the world with an acceptance rate and average work experience both in the single digits; so experienced applicants have started flocking to this alternative option in droves. Make no mistake, though, “alternative” does not mean “easy!”

The program consists of only 83 fellows, with an average GMAT of 700 and a minimum work experience requirement of 8 years.

How do you get in? You must focus on 3 core things.

**1. Career Goals**

First, your career goals must be clear and well-articulated. This is not the place to “find yourself.” What is your specific focus, and how will the MSx program help you get there?

**2. Leadership**

Second, your entire application must send a message that you are an accomplished manager and leader, as opposed to merely a person who has put time in to his career. It isn’t enough to merely say that you are experienced and successful manager, you have to show or prove it to them. How? Your resume! Your recommendation letters! Your extracurricular activities! See the pattern? Show them; don’t just tell them.

**3. Value**

Finally, prove to them that you will add something wonderful to their program. They want to ensure that the Master Black Belt from GE enriches the experience of the M&A Tax Manager from Cisco. Remember, they only have 83 spots. The more you can add to your classmates’ experience, the more they will have to admit you. Make sense?

At the end of the day, you want something from the program, and they want something from you. Tell them what you want, and what you will offer in return! Good luck!

If you want to talk to us about how you can stand out, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

*By Richard Vincent*

Here, students tailor their educational plans to their aspirations in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, and education and human development. In addition to global study opportunities and a chance to do independent projects, students also have unprecedented access to assisting researchers who are going about the business of solving some of the most difficult and complex challenges facing society.

Vanderbilt draws from among the best and brightest students in the world; admission to the university has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Students can earn bachelors, masters, and doctorates from the university’s ten colleges; College of Arts and Science, Blair School of Music, Divinity School, School of Engineering, Graduate School, Law school, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Owen Graduate School of Management, and Peabody College of Education and Human Development.

Vanderbilt University has a long tradition of excellence. Its alumni and researchers include six Nobel Laureates, including former Vice President Al Gore. The school’s research library is among the most important in the nation. Vanderbilt’s Medical Center specializes in nursing, medicine, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and more. They have the only Level I trauma center in Tennessee, plus comprehensive burn, pediatric, cancer, and organ transplant centers. Students who are looking to work hard and be part of exciting, meaningful, cutting-edge research not only in medicine, but law, social issues, and more, would do well at Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt, or Vandy as it’s affectionately referred to by students, has a great idea in place for helping incoming freshman acclimate to college life. All freshmen, from each of the four undergraduate programs, live in one of ten houses on the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, where they share a diverse living learning community. Residential choices open up for students their sophomore year. There is a strong Greek presence at Vanderbilt, lots of student organizations in which to participate, a plethora of sporting events, extraordinary live music events, and a local college bar scene. In fact, some students may have trouble finding a balance between social and academic pursuits.

Many students stay close to the university in what is commonly referred to as the “Vandy bubble,” which includes the Hillsboro Village neighborhood adjacent to the university, rather than going into Nashville. Those who do venture into Nashville are richly rewarded; Music City, U.S.A has been rated the friendliest city in America for three consecutive years. Nashville is home to the Tennessee Titans NFL team and the Country Music Hall of Fame, to name two of the more famous of the city’s many attractions. Students won’t be at a loss for things to do both on and off campus.

The Vanderbilt University Commodores have a total of 15 varsity sports teams; six men’s teams and nine women’s teams. The NCAA Division I school is a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The football team has had several players go on to play in the NFL, most famously Jay Cutler, and the team has risen to a Top 25 school for the first time in years. Their long-standing football rival is Ole Miss. The Vanderbilt men’s basketball has long been a powerhouse, and the women’s basketball team has a long history of success as well. The University of Kentucky is the primary rival in basketball. The men’s and women’s tennis teams are also among Vanderbilt’s most successful teams.

One of the most unusual, and perhaps most welcoming traditions ever is Move-In Day, where upperclassmen storm the cars of incoming freshmen and help them move all their things into their rooms. Freshman Walk is another bonding tradition where freshman rush the football field before the start of the season opening football game; even the school’s chancellor gets in on the action. Students display the VU hand sign at athletic events, and win or lose, sing the “Alma Mater” at the end of each game. The annual music event Commodore Quake is another popular tradition at Vanderbilt. Traditions at Vanderbilt are more about unity, community, and having fun than stuffier traditions at some other elite universities. Vandy is for the student who is looking for the challenging demands of a highly respected research university, but who also embraces the camaraderie of a close-knit academic and social community.

We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you.

*By Colleen Hill*

Question: If two integers are chosen at random out of first 5 positive integers, what is the probability that their product will be of the form a^2 – b^2, where a and b are both positive integers?

A. 2/5

B. 3/5

C. 7/10

D. 4/5

E. 9/10

Solution: This might look like a probability question but isn’t. Questions like these are the reason we ask you to go through basics of every topic including probability. If you do not know probability at all, you may skip this question even though it needs very basic knowledge of probability.

Probability will tell you that

Required probability = Favorable cases/Total cases

Total cases are very easy to find: 5C2 = 10 or 5*4/2 = 10 whatever you prefer. This is the number of ways in which you select any 2 distinct numbers out of the given 5 distinct numbers.

Number of favorable cases is the challenge here. That is why it is a number properties question and not so much a probability question. Let’s focus on the main part of the question:

First five positive integers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

We need to select two integers such that their product is of the form a^2 – b^2. What does a^2 – b^2 remind you of? It reminds me of (a + b)(a – b). So the product needs to be of the form (a + b)(a – b). So is it necessary that of the two numbers we pick, one must be of the form (a + b) and the other must be (a – b)? No. Note that we should be able to write the product in this form. It is not necessary that the numbers must be of this form only.

But first let’s focus on numbers which are already of the form (a + b) and (a – b).

Say you pick two numbers, 2 and 5. Are they of the form (a + b) and (a – b) such that a and b are integers? No.

5 = 3.5 + 1.5

2 = 3.5 – 1.5

So a = 3.5, b = 1.5.

a and b are not integers.

What about numbers such as 3 and 5? Are they of the form (a + b) and (a – b) such that a and b are integers? Yes.

5 = 4 + 1

3 = 4 – 1

Note that whenever the average of the numbers will be an integer, we will be able to write them as a+b and a – b because one number will be some number more than the average and the other will be the same number less than average. So a will be the average and the amount more or less will be b.

When will the average of two numbers (Number1 + Number2)/2 be an integer? When the sum of the two numbers is even! When is the sum of two numbers even? It is when both the numbers are even or when both are odd. So then does the question boil down to “favorable cases are when we select both numbers even or both numbers odd?” Yes and No. When we select both even numbers or both odd numbers, the product can be written as a^2 – b^2. But are those the only cases when the product can be written as a^2 – b^2?

The question is not so much as whether both the numbers are even or both are odd as whether the product of the numbers can be written as product of two even numbers or two odd numbers. We need to be able to write the product (whatever we obtain) as product of two even or two odd numbers.

To explain this, let’s say we pick two numbers 4 and 5

4*5 = 20

Can we write 20 as product of two even numbers? Yes 2*10.

So even though, 4 is even and 5 is odd, their product can be written as product of two even numbers. So in which all cases will this happen?

- Whenever you have at least 4 in the product, you can write it as product of two even numbers: give one 2 to one number and the other 2 to the other number to make both even.

If the product is even but not a multiple of 4, it cannot be written as product of two even numbers or product of two odd numbers. It can only be written as product of one even and one odd number.

If the product is odd, it can always be written as product of two odd numbers.

Let’s go back to our question:

We have 5 numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Our favorable cases constitute those in which either both numbers are odd or the product has 4 as a factor.

3 Odd numbers: 1, 3, 5

2 Even numbers: 2, 4

Number of cases when both numbers are odd = 3C2 = 3 (select 2 of the 3 odd numbers)

Number of cases when 4 is a factor of the product = Number of cases such that we select 4 and any other number = 1*4C1 = 4

Total number of favorable cases = 3 + 4 = 7

Note that this includes the case where we take both even numbers. Had there been more even numbers such as 6, we would have included more cases where we pick both even numbers such as 2 and 6 since their product would have 4 as a factor.

Required Probability = 7/10

Answer (C)

Takeaway:

When can we write a number as difference of squares?

- When the number is odd

or

- When the number has 4 as a factor

*Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the **GMAT** for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog!*

On sunny spring Fridays when the Veritas Prep curriculum development team begins talking about weekend plans, it’s not uncommon to hear a conversation like:

Brian: I’m going to try to get a lot of running in this weekend.

Chris: Yeah, I’m going to make sure to do some trail running.

And what’s the major difference? Recognizing it can help you master Critical Reasoning on the GMAT; what did Chris not have to say, but add anyway?

**TRAIL** running.

Both are talking about running, but Chris took that extra second to put “trail” in there, making for a much more specific statement. He didn’t have to say “trail” but by doing so he created a conclusion, so to speak, that’s easier to weaken. If a news bulletin were to be released saying something like “Because of wildfires, all hiking and running trails will be closed to the public this weekend” or “With a risk of flooding due to excessive rain, residents are strongly urged to stay off all hiking and running trails”, Chris’s specific plans are in serious jeopardy, whereas Brian’s more general plans are still much more likely to happen (even if it means the dreaded treadmill…).

Why is this important for the GMAT? Because those one-word (or phrase) specifics can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to strengthen, weaken, or draw a conclusion. Consider an example:

*With increased demand for natural resources from developing nations, the price of steel is dramatically increasing for manufacturers of durable goods. As these resources become ever more expensive and as developing nations are able to pay less in employee wages, American manufacturers’ only hope to compete is to significantly decrease their labor costs.*

Which of the following would cast the most doubt upon the conclusion above?

Now, as you consider this argument, one word should stand out. What one word did the author not have to say but say anyway in regard to the only hope for American manufacturers to compete? Not costs in general; **LABOR** costs. That one word will make all the difference – without it, the argument is a whole lot harder to criticize. But with it, note that there are all kinds of costs that can be cut: distribution costs, machinery costs, plant maintenance costs, packaging costs… By adding that word “labor” to costs, the conclusion became unnecessarily specific, and you should be ready to pounce on that. **ANY** other type of cost that could be cut is not a weapon in your arsenal to show that the conclusion isn’t necessarily true, as there is now an alternative way to compete by reducing *that* other cost even if labor stays constant. The specificity of the conclusion leaves it all the more vulnerable, and provides you with a clue as to what the right answer will likely have.

Often, the correct answer to a Weaken CR question is an “alternative explanation” – a different way for the facts in the argument to be true without the conclusion also being true. The more specific the conclusion, the more alternative explanations are available. So seek out that specificity and look for the single word or phrase in a conclusion that dramatically limits its scope.

]]>Of course, giving you all the time in the world to break through the confusion would be counterproductive, because then there’d be no way to differentiate between those who understand concepts and those who use brute force to simply try every possible combination of answer choices (think of MacGruber as someone who wastes a lot of time solving problems).

The questions on the quantitative section of the GMAT often appear very complicated and daunting, but can usually be solved quickly using a little logic. Of course, since the exam can potentially ask you hundreds of different questions, you can’t reasonably memorize every type of trick that can be thrown at you. You can, however, identify some recurring themes that appear frequently and understand why they are tricky. On test day, you still have to apply logic on a case by case basis, but some overarching themes are definitely more prevalent than others.

One such theme used frequently is that of turning a math problem into a story that you have to interpret. Today I want to talk about the compound interest problem. This type of problem is common in finance, but most financiers simply input the arguments into their calculators (or abaci) and spit out a solution. The compound interest situation presented is simply a layering mechanism designed to make the underlying exponent problem harder to see. Breaking through the prose of the question and seeing the fundamental problem for what it is can be the difference between a 1-minute solution and a 4-minute solution.

Let’s look at a compound interest problem that highlights the nature of these questions:

*A bank offers an interest of 5% per annum compounded annually on all of its deposits. If 10,000$ is deposited, what will be the ratio of the interest earned in the 4 ^{th} year to the interest earned in the 5^{th} year?*

*(A) **1:5*

*(B) **625 : 3125*

*(C) **100 : 105*

*(D) **100 ^{4} : 100^{5}*

*(E) **725 : 3225*

The first thing to note about this question is that it’s asking about a ratio, which means that the 10,000$ sum will be irrelevant. If you’d put in 100$ instead, or 359$, the ratio would still be the same. The correct answer will therefore not be related to 10,000$ in any way, but it’s also important to try and understand the question being asked before answering in order to avoid getting the right answer to the wrong question.

So what exactly is this question asking? What is the ratio of the interest earned in year 4 to the interest in year 5? This can lead us to some tedious calculations if we’re not careful. We start off with 100$ (or 10,000$, it doesn’t matter). At the end of the first year, we’ll have 5% more, so 105$. I could calculate it for year 2 as well, taking 105$ and multiplying by 1.05. This might take 20 seconds on paper, but will (hopefully) yield a result of 110.25$ I could go through years 3, 4 and 5 to get the respective answers (115.76$, 121.55$ and 127.63$), but that would take a while to calculate by hand.

Moreover, let’s say I have these 5 values; I am now tasked with finding the difference between year 4 and year 5. So now I need to calculate 127.63 / 121.55. Without a calculator… If you get to this point on the exam, you either spend more time trying to figure out the ratio, or you take an educated guess and move to the next question in frustration. Neither of these options is particularly good, so let’s backtrack to see where we veered off the path.

To calculate year one to year two, I took the initial arbitrary amount and multiplied it by 1.05. This is due to the interest compounding annually. The second year, I took the amount after year one and multiplied it by… 1.05 again! Eureka! Now, the pattern emerges. Every year, I take whatever the previous year was, and multiply it by 1.05. This means that, from year n to year n+1, the change will always just be 1.05, or a 5% increase.

Looking over the answers, answer choice C succinctly displays a 5% growth rate, taking whatever 100% of the previous year was and adding on 5%. This will be the correct answer for the growth rate from year one to two, as well as from year four to five. The question would have been much easier had the question been about years one and two, but the GMAT purposefully makes questions more difficult in order to differentiate between those who can identify the pattern and those who try to do each possibly calculation on paper.

On the GMAT, the correct answer can often be achieved by applying a brute force strategy. However, in business, you are rewarded for understanding the underlying concept and not wasting everyone’s time with meandering trial and error experiments. Understanding a concept such as this one about compound interest won’t single-handedly allow you to ace the exam. However, knowing that the exam is trying to appraise your ability to use logic to solve problems should incentivize you to look for the causal logic rather than to undertake tedious calculations.

Remember, there are computers, calculators and smart phones that complete routine computations in seconds. The GMAT is your opportunity to demonstrate not only that you can solve the question, but that you truly understand the question.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

“A circular field has a line drawn from one end through its center and continuing for ten meters past the edge of the field. A fence begins at one point on the field’s edge and ends at the end of the line not contained by the circle. If the distance from field to the fence is half the total length of the field, what is the total distance of the line and the fence combined?”

This is quite an intricate description and is very hard to visualize. Instead, draw a picture to approximate the description of the elements that have been provided.

This picture gives some helpful information. First off, the two lines are creating what appears to be two sides of a triangle. This is a common set up on SAT math questions and is good to recognize. It is also clear that the “fence” line is tangent to the circle. The question also stated that the distance from the field to the fence, which was given as ten yards, is half the length of the field. This means that the diameter of the circle is two times ten or twenty yards. This is a fantastic start and deserves some self congratulation, but there is still a bit more to be done. The length of the fence is still unknown. Even though the question didn’t state that this figure is a triangle, because a triangle is more useful than two lines it is a good idea to draw the triangle in. We are now imagining lines, who said math doesn’t use your imagination?

Because the fence is tangent to the circle, it creates a right angle with the radius that is drawn to it. We now have a very important piece of information that was previously missing. The third leg of the triangle is a radius of the circle! This means that its length is half the diameter of the circle, or ten meters, and the hypotenuse is the radius plus the ten meter piece of line, or twenty meters. If there is a right triangle which has a side of ten and a hypotenuse of twenty, alarm bells should start going off. What kind of triangle has a hypotenuse that is twice its small side? A 30-60-90 triangle! This means that the fence length is the length of the small side times the square root of three. Thus, the total length of the line plus the fence is twenty (the diameter) plus ten (the line between the circle and the fence) plus ten times the square root of three (the length of the fence). The answer would likely be listed as 30 + 10√3 in a multiple choice question.

This question is very difficult without the aid of the information provided by the pictures and imaginary lines. When it is possible to create a useful shape like a square or a right triangle by imagining lines, it is a good idea to draw those lines to help the test taker draw conclusions that would otherwise be difficult to draw. It can be hard to see what isn’t there, but with a little practice, the hidden pictures can reveal hidden solutions. Happy test preparation!

Plan on taking the SAT soon? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

*David Greenslade* is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT.

“I am glad that you brought this up! *This is an official question, and the answer choice is the official answer. *I do not understand why you need to be “convinced.” You can trust the official answer to an official question!

In fact, when you saw that your answer was not the correct answer you started looking for ways that you could be right and the official answer wrong. This is not a particularly helpful mindset.

Let’s compare the verbal and the quantitative sections. What do you do when you see that the official answer to a Quant problem is 27 and you thought it was 42? Be honest. You know what you do, you say “27, huh, I must have made a mistake. How did I end up with 42, let me see what I did wrong here so that I do not do it again.”

Right?

You do NOT you say, “I bet it is really is 42 and I am going to think of reasons why it is 42 and not 27.” That would seem strange right? I mean a *Quant* problem only has one correct answer and if you get a different answer you made a mistake and need to figure out why you missed it right?

Okay well here is something that it takes students a long time to learn - **A verbal question only has one correct answer as well. And if you got a different answer you need to say “what did I do wrong and how can I not make this mistake in the future.” **Just as you would on a Quant problem.

I have had tutoring students who wanted to argue the answers on verbal questions, particularly CR and RC, but SC sometimes as well. Eventually I say something along the lines of “This is not the kind of test where you should be debating against the answer key. If you want to get a high GMAT score you need to focus on why you did not get the correct answer and how you can get it right next time.”

Now unofficial questions can often be improved. In fact, when I write original questions of my own I welcome it when students debate the merits of each question. I then edit it to make it better. Every edit makes it a question better. Yet even most unofficial questions are well written and really do have just one correct answer.

What I am saying is that your mind set should be “Why did I get this wrong?” “What can I do better next time?” Rather than “I am not convinced with this official answer to this official question.”

It may seem like a slight difference, but it is the difference between a 600 and a 700.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

*David Newland* has been teaching for Veritas Prep since 2006, and he won the Veritas Prep Instructor of the Year award in 2008. Students’ friends often call in asking when he will be teaching next because he really is a Veritas Prep and a GMAT rock star! Read more of his articles here.

Students who attend this university are the total package, demonstrating strong academics, a wide range of extra-curricular activities, community involvement, and personality. Northwestern has a strong history that is rich with tradition, where students and faculty emanate school pride. Students come from all walks of life from all fifty states and more than sixty countries. If you’re looking for a college experience that is based on diversity and excellence then Northwestern is the college for you.

Academically, few universities can compete with Northwestern. There are more than one hundred and fifty majors, minors, concentrations, and certificates offered in six different undergraduate schools. Students will be taught by some the world’s most brilliant scientists, scholars, and artists. Over ninety percent of the classes have a class size of fewer than twenty students. Using the quarter system, students will engage in winter, spring, and fall ten-week courses with the option of an eight week summer course. This system is designed to give students a more in-depth academic experience and have them on the fast track to success.

Internships and other off-campus experiences are plentiful with an array of on and off campus resources to utilize. The study abroad opportunities offer more than one hundred and twenty locations with various time periods from semesters to year-long stays. The internationally and nationally acclaimed staff take pride in their research; they offer numerous opportunities for students to join various research projects as well as mentor them through their own projects. Trained faculty are always there to help students create their dream academic plans. In addition, their extensive library and computing network provide the tools to thrive in any area.

The campus life at Northwestern University is booming, with a wide range of housing options to suit anyone’s preferences. They offer small residence houses for as few as 27 people to large 600 person residence halls. Six cafeterias and other eateries that serve food seven days a week offering vegan, vegetarian, and kosher meals provide a wide variety of food choices for students. There are more than 450 campus organizations and new ones popping up every year; nearly all are funded by the University. There are performance groups and even a happiness club. Aside from the array of campus organizations there are also a plethora of student services, employment programs, guest speakers, student performances, cultural events and volunteer services.

Northwestern University is home to some of the best Division I athletes in the nation and has held many titles in an array of sports over the years. From football to fencing, they are dominant contenders in their conference. Not only does Northwestern house some of the nation’s most elite athletes, but it takes pride in friendly club competitions both inside and outside of the University. You can join any of the intramural and extramural teams whether you are student, staff, or faculty. Northwestern believes in using sports as another way to promote personal and developmental growth.

To attend Northwestern University is to be a part of a large community that has a familial feel and many traditions. Spend 24 hours guarding the legendary purple and white quartzite located in the middle of campus, known as “the rock,” and be one of the privileged few who get to decorate it with loud colors and even louder slogans. Enjoy the week long Mayfest celebration at the end of the year that ends with a lakefront party with games, bands, and vendors. Let off some steam on the Sunday before each finals week along with your fellow classmates where you can hear each other’s screams throughout the campus. Northwestern University is for passionate people who want to build strong relationships on a global level while reaching new heights in their education.

We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Also, take a look at our profiles for The University of Chicago, Pomona College, and Amherst College, and more to see if those schools are a good fit for you.

*By Colleen Hill*