How to Quickly Solve Standard Deviation Questions on the GMAT

How to Quickly Solve Standard Deviation Questions on the GMAT

The quantitative section of the GMAT is designed to test your understanding and application of concepts you learned in high school. The exam focuses on core mathematical concepts such as algebra, geometry and statistics. However some concepts are more engrained in the high school curriculum than others. Everyone’s done addition, multiplication, subtraction and division, but sometimes figuring out factorials or square roots may be a little more unusual.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
An Easy Way to Solve Theoretical Math Problems on the SAT

An Easy Way to Solve Theoretical Math Problems on the SAT

One of the biggest tricks the SAT uses is to confuse students is putting a question in theoretical terms instead of in practical terms. This simply means the questions on the SAT will sometimes reference a general term, for example an even integer, rather than giving a concrete number that fits that description, such as two or four.

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School Profile: Academics, Athletics, and Activities at Rice University

School Profile: Academics, Athletics, and Activities at Rice University

Rice University is ranked #30 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. This is a small research university located right in the heart of Houston, Texas, the fourth largest city in the United States. Student will find themselves immersed in a campus devoted to diversity and elite educational opportunities. Rice University is passionate about teaching and developing leadership ideals in each of their students.

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A Take on GMAT Takeaways

A Take on GMAT Takeaways

Once you have covered your fundamentals, we suggest you to practice advanced questions and jot down your takeaways from them. Sometimes students wonder how to find that all important “takeaway”. Today, let’s discuss how to elicit a takeaway from a question which seems to have none.

What is a takeaway? It is a small note to yourself which you would do well to remember while going for the exam. Even if you don’t remember the exact property you jotted down, knowing that such a property exists is enough. You can always try it on a couple of numbers in the test to recall the exact content.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Data Sufficiency Reward System

If you’ve studied for the GMAT for a while, you likely have a decent understanding of the answer choices:

(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;
(C) BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient;
(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked;
(E) Statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data are needed

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School Profile: Build Authentic and Lasting Friendships at Carleton College

School Profile: Build Authentic and Lasting Friendships at Carleton College

Carleton College is ranked #28 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings; it’s a smaller liberal arts college located in Northfield, Minnesota. Founded in 1866, this is a private college on 880 acres of land with three ecosystems – prairies, a forest, and wetlands. A tranquil campus that is only thirty minutes from the bustling twin cities.  Carleton offers 37 majors with 15 different concentrations in humanities, the arts, natural sciences, and social sciences. This is an ideal college for students who are looking for a close-knit campus community with a focus on excellence. From sustainability to community service projects, Carleton is the perfect place for those who want to have an expanded college experience. As the third oldest college in the state of Minnesota they believe that “human knowledge is the real frontier.”

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How the GMAT Can Help You in Your Everyday Life

How the GMAT Can Help You in Your Everyday Life

Many students feel that the GMAT is only necessary to get into business school, and otherwise serves no real purpose in their everyday lives. I, as a GMAT enthusiast (and overall math nerd), see a lot of real world applications in the concepts being tested on this exam. It’s actually somewhat surprising how often splitting the cheque at a restaurant or calculating investment returns requires me to delve into my GMAT knowledge. Such an instance just happened the other weekend, and it’s the kind of story I’d like to use to illustrate how pervasive GMAT knowledge is in daily life.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
SAT Tip of the Week: How to Solve Difficult Probability Questions

SAT Tip of the Week: How to Solve Difficult Probability Questions

When students, even those who consider themselves strong in math, get to the final two problems of the SAT, many begin to sweat like they are about to embark on some epic journey from which they may never return. The hard probability problem makes students very uncomfortable, but in reality most harder math problems simply require one or two more steps than less difficult problems. Probability questions are actually some of the simplest to solve.

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School Profile: Make Your Impact on the World at Johns Hopkins University

School Profile: Make Your Impact on the World at Johns Hopkins University

Benefactor Johns Hopkins willed $7 million to start up the University that now bears his name. It was founded in 1876 on the premise that research and discovery were of equal importance to teaching and learning. Johns Hopkins University’s other ideal is not to limit education to its students, but rather to lift the collective education of society at the same time. With these principles in mind, Johns Hopkins has become a preeminent model for other research universities across the globe, and is #26 on the Veritas Prep Elite Colleges Rankings.

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9 Things to Consider When Choosing Between the ACT and the SAT

9 Things to Consider When Choosing Between the ACT and the SAT

In most high schools in the United States, juniors and seniors naturally tend towards either the ACT or the SAT, depending on the region. In the Bay Area, for instance, far more college-bound students take the SAT than the ACT, for no apparent reason besides the fact that most of their peers are taking the SAT. In Southern states, the ACT is more dominant. Region, however, should not be the determining factor in choosing between these two tests; their subject matter, style, and requirements differ in important ways that many students don’t consider.

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Filed in: ACT Prep, SAT
Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part III

Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part III

Continuing our discussion on number properties, today we will discuss how factorials affect the behavior of odd and even integers. Since we are going to deal with factorials, positive integers will be our concern. Using a question, we will see how factorials are divided.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Your 3 Step Pacing Plan

GMAT Tip of the Week: Your 3 Step Pacing Plan

What makes the GMAT difficult? For most examinees, the time pressure is arguably the biggest factor; given unlimited time, most 700-level aspirants could get most problems right, but with that clock ticking and time of the essence we’re all vulnerable to silly mistakes, mental blocks, and the need to give up on hard questions.

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6 Things You Need to Know About the New SAT

6 Things You Need to Know About the New SAT

As coincidence would have it, within a couple weeks after the College Board announced major changes to the SAT (coming in 2016), I was already planning on taking the SAT at Lower Merion High School (which, as Kobe Bryant likes to point out, is the high school he and I went to…).  Sure, I am 44-years old, but I take the SAT often to stay up on trends and changes to the test and to show students and parents that their tutor is capable of a 99th%-ile score in any of the three sections.

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Filed in: SAT
Don't Judge a GMAT Sentence by the Way it Sounds

Don't Judge a GMAT Sentence by the Way it Sounds

When answering sentence correction problems on the GMAT, it’s very common to use your ear as a barometer of how the answer choice sounds. Particularly for native English speakers, this is often the number one way they approach any given sentence. The problem with this strategy is that sentence correction is often much more about the meaning than about the grammar. By extension, the test makers of the GMAT know they can fool many students by simply making the correct answer choice unappealing to the students’ ears (Won’t get fooled again!).

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips, Gmat Verbal
SAT Tip of the Week: 5 Easy Ways to Ace the Essay

SAT Tip of the Week: 5 Easy Ways to Ace the Essay

The essay begins the SAT and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a five paragraph essay in 25 minutes, but there are a few steps that can make the essay a piece of cake!

1.  Make An Essay Template

The time spent figuring out how to structure an essay on the SAT is time wasted.  This may sound counter intuitive as structure is a big part of what the SAT graders are evaluating, but it is this reason exactly that makes the structure of the essay the first thing that can be systematized and recycled. The essential make up of a five paragraph essay is simple. There is an introduction which presents the topic, states the thesis, acknowledges the opposition, and lays out how the essay will argue its point, three body paragraphs which use examples to support the thesis, and a conclusion which restates the thesis and briefly reminds the reader what it has just read.

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Find Out Why Right Now is the Best Time for You to Apply to Business School

Find Out Why Right Now is the Best Time for You to Apply to Business School

We get lots of questions from applicants about the best time to return to business school.  While this is certainly an individual assessment, and one size does not fit all, from an admissions perspective, there are good seasons and bad seasons to maximize your odds of acceptance.

Six years ago, during a time none of us will soon forget, the air was let out of the economy.  A similar rushing sound was also heard in the country’s top business schools, but it was the sound of people rushing in.  Applications peaked the next year as everyone ran to hide from old man recession for two years in hopes the job market would come back while they were getting smarter and checking the graduate school box.

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Breaking Down the New SAT

Breaking Down the New SAT

In 2016 the SAT will undergo major changes for the first time in over a decade. Test takers can expect a less obscure vocabulary, more focused math sections, and a shorter test overall. Our own Shaan Patel was quoted in an article from U.S. News: “My opinion is this test will be easier than the current SAT and the College Board is betting on more students taking the SAT because of that.”

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Filed in: SAT
School Profile: The Academic Rigor and Social Traditions of Harvey Mudd College

School Profile: The Academic Rigor and Social Traditions of Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College, located in Claremont, California, is one of the top science and engineering liberal arts colleges in the country and comes in at #25 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. It is one of the five colleges of the Claremont College Consortium, known as the 5Cs, along with Claremont McKenna, Scripps College, Pomona College, and Pitzer College.

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5 Ways to Succeed on the ACT Science Test

5 Ways to Succeed on the ACT Science Test

The ACT Science Test is a source of anxiety for many students, and it’s easy to understand why. After all, three or four years’ worth of high school science is a lot to review! How well do you really remember that lab activity about springs from ninth grade physics? Fortunately, the test doesn’t test the content of high school science nearly as much as it tests a very narrow set of skills developed in high school math and science classes. Here are five things you need to know in order to succeed on on the ACT Science test:

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Filed in: ACT Prep
Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part II

Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part II

Before we get started, be sure to take a look at Part I of this article. Number properties concepts come across as pretty easy, theoretically, but they have some of the toughest questions. Today let’s take a look at some properties of prime numbers and their sum. Note that don’t try to “learn” all the takeaways you come across for number properties – it will be very stressful. Instead, try to understand why the properties are such so that if you get a question related to some such properties, you can replicate the results effortlessly.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: The Heart of Data Sufficiency

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Heart of Data Sufficiency

Data Sufficiency is a game as much as it’s a “problem.” Look at the statistics in the Veritas Prep Question Bank and you’ll see that most Data Sufficiency questions are created with a particular trap answer in mind and that at least 1-2 answer choices are rarely-if-ever chosen.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Quant, GMAT Tips
School Profile: What it Takes to Attend the United States Naval Academy

School Profile: What it Takes to Attend the United States Naval Academy

The United States Naval Academy is ranked #24 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. Located in beautiful Annapolis, Maryland, this is an extraordinarily structured college that expects excellence from all their students, who are referred to as midshipmen. The United States Naval Academy offers full scholarships to all their midshipmen including room and board and all other necessities. After attending this world renowned academy each midshipman will serve five years either as an Ensign in the Navy or Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. To be a part of this elite college you need to possess strength both in mind and body, dedication, and the desire to represent yourself and your country at the highest level.

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How to Master Sentence Correction on the GMAT

How to Master Sentence Correction on the GMAT

When preparing for the GMAT, there are many different types of questions that you must master. You know the verbal section will force you to answer questions about tedious passages, strengthen dubious arguments and correct unclear sentences. The ability to juggle these three elements will be paramount to your success as the question types are interspersed throughout the 75 minute verbal section. You cannot break down the exam into 25-minute sections each based on one broad topic and then move on. You don’t know what type of question is coming next, so you have to constantly be ready for any of the three major topics.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips, Gmat Verbal
SAT Tip of the Week: How to Identify Agreement Errors in the Writing Section

SAT Tip of the Week: How to Identify Agreement Errors in the Writing Section

In grammar, as in life, agreement can be tricky. Subjects and verbs have to agree, verb tenses have to agree, sentence structures have to agree, and pronouns have to agree.  Much agreement is necessary for a sentence to function properly, but one of the trickiest of the many agreement issues that can pop up on an SAT is the hidden agreement issue between some non-pronoun and its referent. This can be particularly tricky to spot, but with a little practice it will be easier than buying a pie (making a pie is actually pretty tough to do well).

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3 Ways to Get Into the Stanford GSB MSx Program

3 Ways to Get Into the Stanford GSB MSx Program

The Stanford MSx program, previously known as the Stanford Sloan Master’s Program, is the one-year, full time Masters of Science program for experienced professionals.  Ok, so the program is not really new, but is experiencing a huge uptick in interest from business school applicants.

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!”

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School Profile: Find Your Social and Academic Balance at Vanderbilt University

School Profile: Find Your Social and Academic Balance at Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, a private research university and medical center in suburban Nashville, Tennessee, ranks #23 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. The university, built in 1875, sits on a beautiful and tranquil campus that has been designated a national arboretum; the Peabody College is a registered National Historic Landmark; and the Dyer Observatory is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part I

Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part I

Don’t worry, we are not going to discuss (Even + Even = Even) and (Odd + Odd = Even) type of basic number properties in this post. What we have in mind for today is something based on this but far more advanced. Often, people complain that they thoroughly understand the theory but have difficulties applying it and hence are stuck at a score of 600. They look for practice questions and tend to ignore concepts since they already “know” them. We often ask them to go back to concepts since we believe that a strong foundation of concepts is necessary for ‘score increase’. Mind you, when we do that, we don’t mean to ask them to review the basic concepts again, we mean to ask them to deduce and work on advanced concepts. Let’s show you with the help of a question.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Paying Attention to Specifics in Critical Reasoning

GMAT Tip of the Week: Paying Attention to Specifics in Critical Reasoning

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.

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Filed in: GMAT
The Difference Between a 1-Minute Solution and a 4-Minute Solution on the GMAT

The Difference Between a 1-Minute Solution and a 4-Minute Solution on the GMAT

The GMAT is an exam that primarily tests your use of logic. One of the most consistent methods used to evaluate your use in logic is to take away your calculator and ask you “difficult” math questions. More specifically, questions that seem really difficult, but break down to simple concepts once you understand what is actually happening.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
SAT Tip of the Week: How to Find What Isn't There

SAT Tip of the Week: How to Find What Isn't There

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do on an SAT question is to see something that isn’t there. The SAT provides test takers with enough information to solve the questions, but sometimes the information is not stated explicitly.  The easiest way for the makers of the SAT to disguise information is to give written description rather than a picture.  Luckily, it doesn’t require Picasso’s eye for line to translate words into pictures.  Here is an example:

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This is the Difference Between a 600 and a 700 GMAT Score

This is the Difference Between a 600 and a 700 GMAT Score

I recently responded to a student who said that he was “not convinced” by the official answer to an official critical reasoning question.  Here is my response:

“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!

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
School Profile: Is Northwestern University the Perfect School for You?

School Profile: Is Northwestern University the Perfect School for You?

Northwestern University is ranked #22 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings, boasting a wide range of degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Evanston, Illinois, it is a research university that is slightly larger than most. Northwestern looks for a diverse group of students that have unique and comprehensive backgrounds.

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A GMAT Formula to Remember: Profit on One, Loss on Another

A GMAT Formula to Remember: Profit on One, Loss on Another

I am no fan of formulas, especially the un-intuitive ones but the one we are going to discuss today has proved quite useful. It is for a concept tested on GMAT Prep so it might be worth your while to remember this little formula.

When two items are sold at the same selling price, one at a profit of x% and the other at a loss of x%, there is an overall loss. The loss% = (x^2/100)%

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

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

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

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Do You Need More Work Experience before Submitting a Strong Business School Application?

Do You Need More Work Experience before Submitting a Strong Business School Application?

Often clients are confused when trying to determine if they have gathered enough work experience to return to business school.  Certainly it takes a few laps around the proverbial block to gather enough real world knowledge to be valuable in a classroom discussion—this is why B-schools require you to come with work experience.

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School Profile: Academics & Athletics at Washington University in St. Louis

School Profile: Academics & Athletics at Washington University in St. Louis

Founded in 1853, Washington University is a visually stunning private research university that sits primarily on the 169-acre Danforth campus and the 164-acre Medical campus in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. It is ranked #21 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. With a student population of nearly 14.000 students, a little over half are undergraduates. The University is dedicated to providing opportunities for students to discover, explore, and pursue their passions. This medium-sized university draws students and faculty from more than 120 countries worldwide and every ethnic group from the U.S.

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Use This Valuable Method to Determine Scope in Reading Comprehension on the GMAT

Use This Valuable Method to Determine Scope in Reading Comprehension on the GMAT

On test day, you will see 78 different questions designed to test how you think, how you approach a given problem, and how well you manage your time in a stressful environment. Most of these questions are unknown to you. You’ve probably spent tens of hours poring over hundreds of GMAT problems and trying to dissect questions from every possible vantage point. However, there is one question you are guaranteed to see on test day, and the question is deceptively simple. At one point, in the verbal section, you will simply be asked: “What is the primary purpose of this passage”

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
SAT Tip of the Week: 3 Things You Need to STOP Doing While Studying for the SAT

SAT Tip of the Week: 3 Things You Need to STOP Doing While Studying for the SAT

Studying for the SAT is a fantastic idea and really the only way to ensure that you will succeed on the SAT, but not all studying is created equal. I have encountered a number of mistakes students make while studying from watching “Sex In The City” because they think it is a good place to look for essay ideas, to studying non-Euclidean geometry to study for the math.

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What The Big Bang Theory Can Teach You about the GMAT Super Power You Didn't Know You Had

What The Big Bang Theory Can Teach You about the GMAT Super Power You Didn't Know You Had

In this series we return to classic movies (and TV shows!) to learn fundamental strategies for GMAT Success.

My friends from the television show The Big Bang Theory are fond of super heroes. Okay Sheldon and Leonard are not really my friends (unfortunately) but they are certainly fond of super heroes. They love Superman and Batman and the entire Justice League.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
School Profile: Create Your Dream Education at Middlebury College

School Profile: Create Your Dream Education at Middlebury College

Middlebury College is a small liberal arts college located in Middlebury, Vermont.  It is currently ranked #19 on the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. This is a top tier college for liberal arts and was founded in 1800; it’s known for international studies and leadership in language instruction. Students can choose from among 44 majors with over 850 courses.

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