3 Reasons to Take AP Courses in High School

3 Reasons to Take AP Courses in High School

Once upon a time, high school junior Michelle, in preparation to apply to competitive colleges, enrolled in AP Biology. In her AP Bio course, Michelle studied concepts involving evolution, cellular processes, genetics and how biological systems interact – all at a college level. She also developed better reasoning skills in order to analyze data and think more like a scientist. The following Spring, Michelle took the 3-hour AP Bio Exam and scored a 5, the highest score possible. She mastered the content, received college credit and was able to skip Introductory Bio once she was admitted into her top-choice college.

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Filed in: College Admissions
'Which' vs 'That' Debate

'Which' vs 'That' Debate

I know I promised that I will bring you some tricky Integrated Reasoning questions this week, but I am really irked by the ‘which’ vs ‘that’ debate and would like to put it to rest once and for all. Hence, in this post I would like to talk about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, about ‘which’ and ‘that’, about when to use a comma and some other such things.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Beware of (Richie) Incognito Information

GMAT Tip of the Week: Beware of (Richie) Incognito Information

If you’ve been following the strangest story to hit the NFL since Manti Te’o did, you’ve probably noticed that Richie Incognito is nowhere near incognito. There’s nothing subtle or understated about the guy. He’s Rob Ford in a different jersey. But there’s something about that name…

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How I Scored in the 99th Percentile on the SAT

How I Scored in the 99th Percentile on the SAT

For anyone who knows me, it’s no special news break when I describe myself as a pretty normal guy.  NO ONE would describe me as a genius (especially no one who hears the things I yell at the TV during a UNC basketball game), so how did I score in the 99% percentile on one of the most competitive standardized tests in the country?  I am certainly diligent, and it did take some hard work and practice, but there was nothing that I accomplished that I feel like another hard working young person couldn’t accomplish as well.  In order to dominate the SAT, you really only need to focus on 6 things:

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Filed in: SAT
How to Solve (Seemingly) Impossible SAT Math Questions

How to Solve (Seemingly) Impossible SAT Math Questions

The questions on the SAT math section increase in difficulty towards the end of each section.  As a result, the last two or three questions will seem exceedingly difficult and the fact that you tend to run out of time towards the end of a section does not help matters.  However, most of these types of problems are hard not because they test very difficult math concepts or strange formulas.  Instead, they are difficult because they require a great deal of puzzle-solving and high-order reasoning.  These kinds of tough math problems are difficult for one or more of the following reasons:

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Filed in: SAT
The Correct Way to Factor on the GMAT

The Correct Way to Factor on the GMAT

One of the most important concepts on the GMAT quant section is the notion of factors. Because there is no calculator on the exam, the multiplications and divisions tend to heed integer numbers. Dividing 100 by 2 might be trivial, but dividing 1100 by 22 might hinge on your recognition of the common factor of 11 to avoid tedious and time-consuming calculations.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
Introducing the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings!

Introducing the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings!

Is there a more popular starting point for school research than college rankings? There’s certainly no shortage of rankings available, but many of them end up being large data dumps that are ultimately unhelpful. Still others, in an attempt to stand out from the crowd, rank universities on obscure criteria, such as cafeteria food, Greek life, or ease of parking a car… All good things to know, but would you really base such a huge decision on criteria like that. (If you’re about to say “Yes,” then we recommend that you talk to a college admissions expert ASAP!)

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How to Raise Your GMAT Score with the Data Sufficiency Mirroring Technique

How to Raise Your GMAT Score with the Data Sufficiency Mirroring Technique

In the Veritas Prep Data Sufficiency book, we have a section called the “Data Sufficiency Toolkit.” This toolkit contains a technique called “Manipulate Algebraically.” This technique involves “manipulating” either the statement or the question stem (or both) so that they exactly match each other.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
SAT Tip of the Week: How Missy Elliot Can Raise Your Math Score

SAT Tip of the Week: How Missy Elliot Can Raise Your Math Score

Next time you’re doing a practice SAT math problem, you might just find that it could be helpful to channel a little Missy Elliott from her classic hit song “Work It” and ask yourself “Is it worth it?  Let me work it.  I put my thing down flip it and reverse it.”  Let’s explain.

The SAT is primarily a reasoning test as opposed to a test you might see in high school.  On the math section, although the SAT tests some math, it primarily tests reasoning skills and students abilities to think critically with math as the common language.  SAT math questions will rarely be the straightforward type that you see on high school math tests.

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Using Early Admissions Programs for College Application Success

Using Early Admissions Programs for College Application Success

College admissions season is in full swing now that we’re in the fall.  This can be one of the most stressful times for a high school student as well as for hopeful parents who want to see their kids go to great colleges and universities.  To make matters worse, the admissions process and landscape can be very tough to navigate and students and parents are not always fully-informed of all the options and strategies available to them to give students an edge in the admissions process.  One especially confusing aspect is early admissions programs.

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Filed in: College Admissions
Use the Answer Choices to Get the Correct Answer on the GMAT

Use the Answer Choices to Get the Correct Answer on the GMAT

GMAT students can now benefit from a blog series featuring video tips from Veritas Prep’s own Director of Academic Programs, Brian Galvin. Previously, Brian helped students with Data SufficiencySentence Correction,Critical Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
In Which Month is the SAT Curve the Easiest?

In Which Month is the SAT Curve the Easiest?

Have you ever had that one student in your math class who should have probably just graduated from high school after sophomore year and just gone straight to college?  For whatever reason, be it genetics, excessive studying or pagan witchcraft, this student always ruins the curve on the exams by getting an unusually high score, bringing everyone else’s grades down.  Let’s call this hypothetical person, Steve.

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Filed in: SAT
What to Know About the Off Campus MBA Interview

What to Know About the Off Campus MBA Interview

Having just completed an extensive overview of MBA interviewing, it occurred to me I forgot to address an area which affects a large portion of applicants:  the off-campus interview.  While it’s always preferable to do the interview on campus, due to travel and scheduling complications, most schools will make alternatives available, the most common of which being the off-campus alumni interview or the dreaded phone or Skype interview (you can probably tell which is my least recommended option!).

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IR Questions: Multi Source Reasoning

IR Questions: Multi Source Reasoning

Now that we have seen some basic Integrated Reasoning question types, let’s start working on tricky Integrated Reasoning questions. The first set we would like to discuss is from GMAT Prep Software’s practice questions. This question has elements of RC, CR, PS and DS, all combined in one!

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Patience Pays Off

GMAT Tip of the Week: Patience Pays Off

On a timed test like the GMAT, test-takers often fall victim to a simple fact about the way the English language works: we read from left to right.

Why is that? We’re often in such a hurry to make a decision on each answer choice that we make our decisions within the first 5-10 words of a choice without being patient and hearing the whole thing out. A savvy question creator – and rest assured that the GMAT is written by several of those – will use this against you, embedding something early in an answer choice and baiting you into a bad decision.

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Deciding When to Take the GMAT

Deciding When to Take the GMAT

The official website of the GMAT states, “You can take the GMAT once every 31 calendar days and no more than five times in a 12-month period.”  This is good news.  The GMAT isn’t a one-shot deal.  It does mean, though, that you should select and, more importantly, prepare for your test date carefully.

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Filed in: GMAT
How to Break Down Long, Boring Passages on the SAT

How to Break Down Long, Boring Passages on the SAT

It’s not uncommon to feel more than a little bored somewhere in the middle of paragraph four or five of a long SAT reading passage. These passages are no one’s favorite since it can be easy to get confused by the dense detail-packed information, so let’s focus on some important strategies that will help you better understand the passages and get more questions correct!

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Filed in: SAT
How to Solve for Method of Reasoning Questions on the GMAT

How to Solve for Method of Reasoning Questions on the GMAT

In many ways, critical reasoning questions best exemplify what the GMAT is all about. The exam is primarily an exercise in applying logic to various different situations. In the quant section, you must either find the correct answer or determine whether you have sufficient information to make a decision. On the verbal section, you must find the answer choice that logically completes the information given in the question stem. Even on the AWA and the IR, logic is again paramount to knowing how to proceed and getting a good score.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
2 Essential Strategies for GMAT Integrated Reasoning Questions

2 Essential Strategies for GMAT Integrated Reasoning Questions

GMAT students can now benefit from a blog series featuring video tips from Veritas Prep’s own Director of Academic Programs, Brian Galvin. Previously, Brian helped students with Data Sufficiency, Sentence Correction, and Critical Reasoning.

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SAT Tip of the Week: Identifying Sentence Errors

SAT Tip of the Week: Identifying Sentence Errors

Once again you find yourself staring at an “Identifying Sentence Error” problem.  You are prepared! You have in your arsenal all the common errors that occur on the SAT. You know to avoid the common indicators of awkward phrasing and you can identify a subject and verb disagreement with both eyes closed and two hands and a foot tied behind your back.

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The Importance of Self Reflection Before your MBA Admissions Interview

The Importance of Self Reflection Before your MBA Admissions Interview

As we wrap up our dissection of the business school interview, we cannot over-emphasize the importance of self reflection.  Make sure you are spending time not only recalling your work history and personal experiences, but how they have shaped you and why you have made decisions in the past.  Getting to the why is the most revealing part of the questions which may include:

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Find the Gap in Critical Reasoning Questions on the GMAT

Find the Gap in Critical Reasoning Questions on the GMAT

Critical Reasoning is more than just one of the three verbal sections on the GMAT.  It’s a way of thinking that applies to every GMAT subject area.  In fact, it’s more still.  It’s a skill that has wide application outside the GMAT.

The classic example of a lack of critical reasoning is the groupthink that led to the mortgage crisis, which eventually caused the global financial crisis.  Very few people questioned the assumption that house prices would continue to rise.  As long as prices rose, homeowners would be able to refinance their mortgages when, for example, low introductory interest rates increased or when balloon payments came due.  And the system would keep chugging along.  But it didn’t…

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
6 Unexpected Questions You May Get Asked in Your MBA Admissions Interview

6 Unexpected Questions You May Get Asked in Your MBA Admissions Interview

We continue today with another post in our MBA interview series. When interviewing, applicants are generally prepared for the obvious questions, but what about the tougher questions?  It would behoove you to ponder some of the following questions, which have been known to trip up even the most prepared applicants:

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Critical Reasoning: Some Common Mistakes

Critical Reasoning: Some Common Mistakes

Now that we have seen some basic Integrated Reasoning question types, we will look at some tricky questions but not this week. This week, we would like to discuss a Critical Reasoning question. This question is simple and straight forward but still many people falter in it. The reasons for this are not hard to find. Let’s analyze this question in detail.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: The Day Before The GMAT

GMAT Tip of the Week: The Day Before The GMAT

Some stories are best told in the first person, so forgive me for the break from journalistic standards. As a longtime GMAT instructor – 10th anniversary coming up next month actually – I most empathize with my students when I’m preparing for any big event of my own, usually running and triathlon races. The months of grinding preparation, the sleepless night before the event, that helpless “if I’m not ready by now I guess I’ll never be ready, so here goes nothing” last week before the big day… I get to feel what my students feel leading up to their GMAT, and symbiotically I can both learn more about that experience and benefit from the advice I’ve always given about the GMAT.

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8 Undergraduate Majors that Pay Off

8 Undergraduate Majors that Pay Off

Although applying to college is in itself a hefty expense (paying to take the ACT and SAT, undergraduate school admissions fees, postage, etc.), that’s nothing compared to the thousands of dollars (sometimes even hundreds out thousands) of debt many students take on to pay for four years at a top school. Today more than ever, students are wondering whether taking on more than $100,000 worth of debt for an undergraduate degree really makes sense.

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Filed in: SAT
How to Choose the Right School for You

How to Choose the Right School for You

As you are sitting and sifting through the hundreds of pieces of mail sent to you from every educational institution this side of the prime meridian you begin to sweat and your hands shake.  “Its not that big of a deal which school I choose,” you think, “After all its only the ONE decision that will determine EVERY PROCEEDING MOMENT OF MY LIFE”.  Now the shaking has become a generalized tremor that seems to pervade every cell of your body.  The pressure!  Its too much! Maybe I should just start an organic kale farm and forget all about it.

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Filed in: SAT
The Trick Behind Percentages on the GMAT

The Trick Behind Percentages on the GMAT

Percentages represent one of the most underestimated question types on the GMAT quant section. Absolute numbers are helpful to give concrete information (I spent 70$ on the latest Grand Theft Auto game), but percentages give a better indication of relative amounts of time (I spend 68% of my free time playing GTA V). Based on the first, you may find that I overpaid for the video game, but based on the second statistic, I probably got a very good return on my investment.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
Prepare for Your MBA Interview: 5 Important Questions

Prepare for Your MBA Interview: 5 Important Questions

In this continuing series on the all-important interview, we discuss more questions which are typically heard during business school admissions interviews including:

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SAT Tip of the Week: Brainstorming for Your Essay

SAT Tip of the Week: Brainstorming for Your Essay

It’s easy to jump an extra point on the SAT essay when you’ve got specific, relevant examples. Good logical reasoning can definitely help you get a better score, but if you can combine your solid logic with powerful, concrete, real-world examples, you’ll be well on your way to a 12!

To do this, create an “Example Chart” like the one pictured below, and add at least 3-5 items to each category. Choose things that you are an expert in, not ones that necessarily sound the most scholarly.

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11 Questions You Might Hear in Your MBA Admissions Interview

11 Questions You Might Hear in Your MBA Admissions Interview

We always get asked what kinds of questions to expect from interviewers, so I have compiled an introductory list of eleven which you might hear as you sit in various b-school interview sessions as well as what they are “really” asking:

1.   Walk me through your resume

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Look Before You Leap and Find Success on the GMAT

Look Before You Leap and Find Success on the GMAT

As you are probably well aware, success on the quantitative section of the GMAT requires not only computational ability, but also test taking acumen.  For example, the fact that you are capable of determining a particular quantity from the information given in a problem does not mean that it is necessarily in your best interest to do so.  At this point, you may assume that what follows is a discussion of data sufficiency (DS) strategy.

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
5 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Credit Card Crunch

5 Ways to Avoid the Freshman Credit Card Crunch

If you’re using a credit card to pay for your college application fees, and will have to borrow a significant amount of money during your undergrad years, it’s important to start developing good money management skills now so you can avoid the “credit card crunch” that plagues many students when they first leave home.

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Filed in: College Admissions, SAT
Integrated Reasoning - Two Part Analysis Questions

Integrated Reasoning - Two Part Analysis Questions

Let’s continue our series and look at another Integrated Reasoning question type today – two part analysis. As complicated as it sounds, it’s actually the simplest of the IR question types in my opinion. The reason for this is that it tests no new skills; it checks your ability to handle the same old PS and CR questions.

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GMAT Tip of the Week: Get Clued In

GMAT Tip of the Week: Get Clued In

Have you ever finished a GMAT problem, read the explanation (or listened to your instructor give it), and thought “well how was I supposed to know ___________?!”?

If so, you’re not alone. Many test-takers become frustrated when the key to a tricky question falls outside the normal realm of math. How was I supposed to know to estimate? How was I supposed to know to flip the diagram over to notice that side AB could also be the base of this triangle? How was I supposed to know that the word “production” next to “costs” was going to be so important?

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How to Prepare for a Business School Admissions Interview

How to Prepare for a Business School Admissions Interview

Business School admissions interviewing can be nerve-wracking to say the least.  Everything you have worked your entire career for is on the line as you sit and sweat, waiting in your target school’s office for the one shot you will have to make a case in person for a seat in business school.

But if you do find yourself in this situation, consider yourself one of the lucky ones, since only about 20% of applicants are invited to interview at top schools. The better news is, about 50% of the interviewees are admitted on average!  While that still puts you in a precarious tie with a coin-flip, it’s still far better than the low double or even single digit percentage of general applicants who are admitted.

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3 Tips for Improving Sentences on the SAT

3 Tips for Improving Sentences on the SAT

Improving Sentences questions are especially challenging because they can feel like you just have to “know” which sentence is best. Keep in mind that out of 5 sentences, 4 of them MUST have an error.

Even a subtle style error, such as passive voice or redundancy, is enough to disqualify an answer choice. Here’s a process to keep you focused on these questions!

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Filed in: SAT
3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part III

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part III

Previously, we covered two strategies to improve the perceived quality of your work experience, wherever you are. The first and fastest was asking for budget. The second and slower was finding subordinates.

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How to Solve Method of Reasoning Questions on the GMAT

How to Solve Method of Reasoning Questions on the GMAT

Critical Reasoning questions on the GMAT are primarily about strengthening or weakening the author’s conclusion. The stimulus of the question will describe some event or issue and then purport some conclusion, often one that is strikingly unsupported by the evidence.

Your job is usually to determine which answer choice would either enhance or undermine the professed conclusion. Sometimes, the question asks you to infer something that must be true from the text. The answer choices for these inference questions tend to have very high standards to meet because they must be true at all times (and not just when the moon is in Aquarius).

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Filed in: GMAT, GMAT Tips
3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part II

3 Ways to Improve Your Work Experience: Part II

Previously, we discussed probably the easiest and fastest single factor that you can proactively do to gain impressiveness with your work experience. That was to ask for budget.

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