Tag Archives : Quarter Wit Quarter Wisdom

95% of Students Find This GMAT Quant Question Difficult

95% of Students Find This GMAT Quant Question Difficult

Today we continue to look at ways to achieve that much desired score of 51 in Quant. Obviously, we don’t need Sheldon Cooper’s smarts to realize that for that revered high score, we must do well on the high level questions but the actual question is – how to do well on the high level questions?

A Closer Look at Absolute Phrases on the GMAT

A Closer Look at Absolute Phrases on the GMAT

Read the following sentences:

  1. About 70 percent of the tomatoes grown in the United States come from seeds that have been engineered in a laboratory, their DNA modified with genetic material not naturally found in tomato species.
  2. The defense lawyer and witnesses portrayed the accused as a victim of circumstance, his life uprooted by the media pressure to punish someone in the case.
  3. Researchers in Germany have unearthed 400,000-year-old wooden spears from what appears to be an ancient lakeshore hunting ground, stunning evidence that human ancestors systematically hunted big game much earlier than believed.

Which grammatical construct is represented by the underlined portions of these sentences?

A 700+ GMAT Quant Question on Races

A 700+ GMAT Quant Question on Races

This week we will look at the question on races that we gave you last week.

Question 3: A and B run a race of 2000 m. First, A gives B a head start of 200 m and beats him by 30 seconds. Next, A gives B a head start of 3 mins and is beaten by 1000 m. Find the time in minutes in which A and B can run the race separately?

2 Simple GMAT Quant Questions That Will Help You Score Higher

2 Simple GMAT Quant Questions That Will Help You Score Higher

Let’s discuss races today. It is a very simple concept but questions on it tend to be tricky. But if you understand how to handle them, most questions can be done easily.

A few points to remember in races:

1. Make a diagram. Draw a straight line to show the track and assume all racers are at start at 12:00. Then according to headstart, place the participants.

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

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

To take a look at the previous posts of this thread, check: Part I, Part II and Part III.

Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part IV

Advanced Number Properties on the GMAT - Part IV

As pointed out by a reader, we need to complete the discussion on a question discussed in our previous ‘Advanced Number Properties’ posts so let’s do that today. Note that the discussion that follows doesn’t fall in the purview of GMAT and you needn’t know it. You will be able to solve any question without taking this post into account but that has never stopped us from letting loose our curiosity so here goes…

How to Go From a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part III

How to Go From a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part III

Let’s get back to strategies that will help us reach the coveted 51 in Quant. First, take a look at Part I and Part II of this blog series. Since the Quant section is not a Math test, you need conceptual understanding and then some ingenuity for the hard questions (since they look unique). Today we look at a Quant problem which is very easy if the method “strikes”. Else, it can be a little daunting. What we will do is look at a “brute force” method for times when the textbook method is not easily identifiable.

Determine Which Type of GMAT Question This Is: Assumption or Inference?

Determine Which Type of GMAT Question This Is: Assumption or Inference?

We will continue our Quant 48 to 51 journey in the coming weeks but today, we need to discuss an important distinction between assumptions and inferences. Most of you will be able to explain the difference between an assumption and an inference but some questions will still surprise you. After all, both assumptions and inferences deal with the same elements in the argument. The way they are worded makes all the difference.

How to Go From a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part II

How to Go From a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part II

This post is continuation of last week’s post which you can check here.

Another method of saving time on simple questions – use data given in one statement to examine the other!

How to Go From a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part I

How to Go From a 48 to 51 in GMAT Quant - Part I

People often ask – how do we go from 48 to 51 in Quant? This question is very hard to answer since we don’t have a step by step plan – do theory from here – do questions from there – take a test from here – read posts from there etc. Today and in the next few weeks, we will discuss how to go from 48 to 51 in Quant.

Find the Correct Answer for Diagonals of a Polygon in This GMAT Question

Find the Correct Answer for Diagonals of a Polygon in This GMAT Question

In today’s post, we will give you a question with two solutions and two different answers. You have to find out the correct answer and explain why the other is wrong. But before we do that, let’s give you some background.

Given an n sided polygon, how many diagonals will it have?

An n sided polygon has n vertices. If you join every distinct pair of vertices you will get nC2 lines. These nC2 lines account for the n sides of the polygon as well as for the diagonals.

The Reason Behind Absolute Value Questions on the GMAT

The Reason Behind Absolute Value Questions on the GMAT

Even after working extensively on absolute value questions, sometimes students come up with “why?” i.e. why do we have to take positive and negative values? Why do we have to consider ranges etc. They know the process but they do not understand the reason they need to follow the process. So here today, in this post, we will try to explain the reason.

Easy (A)/(B) Trap in Data Sufficiency Questions on the GMAT

Easy (A)/(B) Trap in Data Sufficiency Questions on the GMAT

We know that ‘Easy C’ is a common trap of DS questions – have you wondered whether there could be trap called ‘Easy A/B’ such that the answer would actually be (C)? Such questions also exist! The point is that whenever you feel that the question was way too simple, you might want to take a step back and review. GMAT will try every trick in the trade to delineate you. Let us show you a question which looks like an easy (A) but isn’t:

Understanding Conjunctions on the GMAT

Understanding Conjunctions on the GMAT

We would like to discuss a bit about conjunctions today – just whatever is relevant for GMAT. We will start by defining the kinds of conjunctions, then move on to the different ways in which they are used, and finally, we will see how they can be tested in a question.

Conjunction is a word that connects or joins together words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. There are two kinds of conjunctions:

Rounding Up Some Official GMAT Questions!

Rounding Up Some Official GMAT Questions!

Last week we looked at some rounding rules. Today, let’s go over some official questions on rounding. They are quite simple and if we just keep the “Slip to the side and look for a 5” rule in mind, they can be easily solved.

Rounding Rules on the GMAT: Slip to the Side and Look for a Five!

Rounding Rules on the GMAT: Slip to the Side and Look for a Five!

The famous rounding song by Joe Crone is pretty much all you need to solve the trickiest of rounding questions on GMAT:

You just slip to the side, and you look for a five.

Well if the number that you see is a five or more, 

You gotta round up now, that’s for sure.

When Permutations & Combinations and Data Sufficiency Come Together on the GMAT!

When Permutations & Combinations and Data Sufficiency Come Together on the GMAT!

While discussing Permutations and Combinations many months back, we worked through several examples of arranging people in seats. Today we bring you an interesting question based on those concepts. It brings to the fore the tricky nature of both Data Sufficiency and Combinatorics – so much so that when the two get together, it is unlimited fun!

Medians, Altitudes and Angle Bisectors in Special Triangles on the GMAT

Medians, Altitudes and Angle Bisectors in Special Triangles on the GMAT

We are assuming you know the terms median, angle bisector and altitude but still, just to be sure, we will start our discussion today by defining them:

Median – A line segment joining a vertex of a triangle with the mid-point of the opposite side.

Angle Bisector – A line segment joining a vertex of a triangle with the opposite side such that the angle at the vertex is split into two equal parts.

A Remainders Shortcut for the GMAT

A Remainders Shortcut for the GMAT

We firmly believe that teaching someone is a most productive learning for oneself and every now and then, something happens that strengthens this belief of ours. It’s the questions people ask – knowingly or unknowingly – that connect strings in our mind such that we feel we have gained more from the discussion than even our students!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)%

Determining the Area of Similar Triangles on the GMAT

Determining the Area of Similar Triangles on the GMAT

Recall the important property that we discussed about the relation between the areas of the two similar triangles last week – if the ratio of their sides is ‘k’, the ratio of their areas will be k^2. As mentioned last week, it’s an important property and helps you easily solve otherwise difficult questions. The question I have in mind today also brings in focus the Pythagorean triplets.

Looking for Similar Triangles on the GMAT

Looking for Similar Triangles on the GMAT

Our Geometry book discusses the various rules we use to recognize similar triangles such as SSS, AA, SAS and RHS so we are assuming that we needn’t take those up here.

We are also assuming that you are comfortable with the figures that beg you to think about similar triangles such as

A Tricky Question on Negative Remainders

A Tricky Question on Negative Remainders

Today, we will discuss the question we left you with last week. It involves a lot of different concepts – remainder on division by 5, cyclicity and negative remainders. Since we did not get any replies with the solution, we are assuming that it turned out to be a little hard.

All About Negative Remainders on the GMAT

All About Negative Remainders on the GMAT

I could have sworn that I had discussed negative remainders on my blog but the other day I was looking for a post discussing it and much as I would try, I could not find one. I am a little surprised since this concept is quite useful and I should have taken it in detail while discussing divisibility. Though we did have a fleeting discussion of it here.

Is This GMAT Question Suspect?

Is This GMAT Question Suspect?

I came across a discussion on one of our questions where the respondents were split over whether it is a strengthen question or weaken! Mind you, both sides had many supporters but the majority was with the incorrect side. You must have read the write up on ‘support’ in your Veritas Prep CR book where we discuss how question stems having the word ‘support’ could indicate either strengthen or inference questions. I realized that we need a write up on the word ‘suspect’ too so here goes.

An Official Question on Absolute Values

An Official Question on Absolute Values

Now that we have discussed some important absolute value properties, let’s look at how they can help us in solving official questions.

Properties of Absolute Values on the GMAT - Part II

Properties of Absolute Values on the GMAT - Part II

We pick up this post from where we left the post of last week in which we looked at a few properties of absolute values in two variables. There is one more property that we would like to talk about today. Thereafter, we will look at a question based on some of these properties.

Properties of Absolute Values on the GMAT

Properties of Absolute Values on the GMAT

We have talked about quite a few concepts involving absolute value of x in our previous posts. But some absolute value questions involve two variables. Then do we need to consider the positive and negative values of both x and y? Certainly! But there are some properties of absolute value that could come in handy in such questions. Let’s take a look at them:

How Well Do You Know Your Factors?

How Well Do You Know Your Factors?

In the last three weeks, we discussed a couple of strategies we can use to solve max-min questions: ‘Establishing Base Case’ and ‘Focus on Extremes’. Now try to use those to solve this question:

Question: A carpenter has to build 71 wooden boxes in one week. He can build as many per day as he wants but he has decided that the number of boxes he builds on any one day should be within 4 off the number he builds on any other day.
(A) What is the least number of boxes that he could have build on Saturday?
(B) What is the greatest number of boxes that he could have build on Saturday?

Max-Min Strategies: Focus on Extremes

Max-Min Strategies: Focus on Extremes

In the last two weeks, we discussed some max min strategies. Today, let’s look at another max-min question in which we apply the strategy of focusing on the extremes. The largest or the smallest values are often found at the extremes of a given range.

Max-Min Strategies: Establishing Base Case

Max-Min Strategies: Establishing Base Case

Continuing our discussion on maximizing/minimizing strategies, let’s look at another question today. Today we discuss the strategy of establishing a base case, a strategy which often comes in handy in DS questions. The base case gives us a starting point and direction to our thoughts. Otherwise, with the number of possible cases in any given scenario, we may find our mind wandering from one direction to another without reaching any conclusions. That is a huge waste of time, a precious commodity.

How to Deal with Maximizing/Minimizing Strategies on the GMAT

How to Deal with Maximizing/Minimizing Strategies on the GMAT

We haven’t dealt with maximizing/minimizing strategies in our QWQW series yet (except in sets). The reason for this is that the strategy to be used varies from question to question. What works in one question may not work in another. You might have to think up on what to do in a question from scratch and you have only 2 mins to do it in. The saving grace is that once you know what you have to do, the actual work involved to arrive at the answer is very little.

Converting Non-Terminating Repeating Decimals to Fractions

Converting Non-Terminating Repeating Decimals to Fractions

Last week we discussed the properties of terminating decimals. We also discussed that non-terminating but repeating decimals are rational numbers.

Terminating Decimals in Data Sufficiency on the GMAT

Terminating Decimals in Data Sufficiency on the GMAT

Last week, we discussed the basics of terminating decimals. Let me review the important points here:

-  To figure out whether the fraction is terminating, bring it down to its lowest form.

How to Identify Terminating Decimals on the GMAT

How to Identify Terminating Decimals on the GMAT

We know the basics of decimals and rational numbers.

-   Decimals can be rational or irrational.

- Decimals which terminate and those which are non-terminating but repeating are rational. They can be written in the form a/b.

-  Decimals which are non-terminating and non-repeating are irrational such as √2, √3 etc.

Can You Find the Correct Answer to This Tricky GMAT Question?

Can You Find the Correct Answer to This Tricky GMAT Question?

This is hard to confess publicly but I must because it is a prime example of how GMAT takes advantage of our weaknesses – A couple of days back, I answered a 650 level question of weighted averages incorrectly. Those of you who have been following my blog would understand that it was an unpleasant surprise – to say the least. I know my weighted averages quite well, thank you! For this comedown, I blame the treachery of GMAT because it knows how to get you when you become too complacent. The takeaway here is – no matter how easy and conventional the question seems, you MUST read it carefully.