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Prepare for the GMAT the Right Way

Veritas Prep has redefined GMAT preparation over the past decade. Recognizing a need to go beyond content memorization, Veritas Prep’s co-founders designed an entirely new kind of course, one that trains students in the higher-order thinking skills that the GMAT measures. Since its founding in 2002, Veritas Prep has helped tens of thousands of applicants maximize their scores on the GMAT.

A Smart and Relevant Assessment

GMAT scores are used not only by business schools for MBA admissions decisions, but also by top MBA employers as a recruiting and hiring metric. This should also indicate to you that the GMAT is about much more than your mastery of what you learned in high school; the GMAT is more an indicator of managerial potential than of academic knowledge, and top consulting firms and investment banks consider the GMAT an effective predictor of your ability to efficiently and effectively solve problems and make decisions. The content knowledge required for the GMAT is certainly useful for a manager to have, but its usefulness for the GMAT is as a basis for asking questions that test your analytical and reasoning abilities – the “how you think” component is what schools and employers truly seek to know. Because the GMAT isn’t like most other tests, you cannot quite study for it like you have studied for other tests. Simply reviewing and knowing information is only a small part of the battle, and examinees are often frustrated by the fact that they have memorized a lot of content but still see their scores stagnate. Because the GMAT seeks to test your ability to think like a top manager, effective study and preparation requires you to emphasize thought process and strategy more than it focuses on knowledge and content. Knowing what is significantly less important than knowing why, and you need to ask yourself: How will the GMAT frame its questions to reward the types of thinking that schools want to see?

How Our Course is Different From the Rest

Traditionally, the test preparation industry has been about “tips and tricks”, ways to game the system to take your current ability level and reach a higher score in spite of it. As the industry has evolved, others have taken a content-based approach, providing students with rules, formulas, and concepts to study. But on a sophisticated test like the GMAT, “tips and tricks” can only take you so far; the authors of the GMAT perform extensive research on each question the test offers, ensuring that those who answer questions correctly do so because they ultimately deserve high scores, and not because they faked it. And the GMAT is not a content-based exam; its goal is to assess “higher-order thinking”, which on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives ranks well above “remember” (the lowest category) and “understand”. The GMAT is about your ability to apply, analyze, and evaluate and not merely your ability to remember. So while it is necessary to know the skills and concepts that are tested on the GMAT, it is not sufficient merely to do so.

Think Like The Testmaker

The Veritas Prep course mixes equal parts concept and strategy, teaching you not just to know the material but also how to think like the testmaker. In the Veritas Prep class you will learn to deconstruct the various GMAT question types, anticipating common traps and pitfalls and employing guiding principles and strategies to efficiently process difficult questions. You will not only learn what but also why: what the GMAT tests but also why the GMAT does so, providing you with insight on how you should approach questions, allot your time, and check for mistakes.

An Entry Exam - Not an Exit Exam

Remember this: the GMAT is not a certification test or an exit test. Its primary purpose cannot be to determine whether you “know enough” to do well in business school. It exists as a sorting mechanism, comparing you with the thousands of other potential MBA applicants with whom you will compete. As such, it will test much more your ability to think efficiently and solve problems effectively than it will your knowledge of core material. And to show the test that you are adept as a critical, logical thinker and problem solver, you will need to understand the types of problems that you will be asked to solve. At issue will be your abilities to recognize common concepts and principles within a problem written distinctly to obscure them, and to apply guiding principles and strategies to unique situations. The Veritas Prep course, like the GMAT itself, is primarily concerned with these thought processes and conceptual frameworks. Other courses seek to help you trick the test, but a test as well-written and researched as the GMAT is not likely to be fooled often. Veritas Prep teaches you how to understand the test, both its content and its strategy.

Leave Nothing to Chance in Your GMAT Preparation

Preparing for the GMAT the right way requires more than 30 classroom hours, which is why the Veritas Prep GMAT course is 36 hours long – longer than what any other major GMAT prep company offers. This allows Veritas Prep instructors to start with the critical basics and progress to advanced concepts without skipping anything in between. This proven approach gives Veritas Prep students the confidence and skill to attack even the most challenging GMAT problems. Doing well on the GMAT first requires developing an in-depth understanding of what exactly the GMAT was designed to test. After all, you can’t develop a winning strategy for a game unless you truly understand the rules. With that in mind, consider each of the main question types on the GMAT, and consider how each one tests how you think:

Problem Solving

You have seen questions like these before: solve the problem and select the correct answer choice. But on the GMAT there is always a twist, and in the Problem Solving lesson you will learn how to use the answer choices and other functions of the question as assets to be leveraged, and not merely as structure to be overlooked.

Data Sufficiency

These questions are meant to test your ability to determine when there is enough information available to solve a problem. The automatic temptation is to try to actually solve these problems when all that is required is for you to note whether there is sufficient data to solve them. Each problem presents you with a question and two pieces of information, written as statements and labeled (1) and (2). Your task is to decide whether the statements provide enough information to allow you to solve the stated question. If this sounds at all confusing, don’t worry, because it takes a while to get used to this type of question, which Veritas Prep’s extensive library of practice questions will help you do.

Reading Comprehension

This is another question type that will be familiar to those who have taken the SAT and ACT exams. The problems consist of passages, which can be as long as 350 words, and sets of questions that test your understanding of the passages. Passages are generally focused on natural sciences, politics/economics, and business topics. You can expect to see three or four such passages on an exam. You don’t need to know anything about the topic at hand in order to answer these questions correctly; everything you need will be in each reading passage.

Sentence Correction

Each of these questions present a statement or a phrase that is to be evaluated on its grammatical and stylistic elements. Part or all of the statement/phrase will be underlined, highlighting the portion that you are to assess. You will have the option of selecting from four alternative phrases that would replace the underlined portion or to select the original as the correct phrase. When selecting the correct answer, you should con­sider grammar, sentence structure, redundancy, word selection, and effectiveness. Remember that this question type goes deeper than testing your knowledge of idioms – your job here is to ensure that each statement succinctly conveys its intended meaning without any ambiguity.

Critical Reasoning

While the phrase “critical reasoning” could actually be a summary of the GMAT as a whole – it’s a test of how you think – it also exists as its own question type, in which you will be responsible for skeptically analyzing arguments and plans.

Integrated Reasoning

The Integrated Reasoning section represents the GMAT’s newest way to test the higher-order thinking skills that the exam measures. Integrated Reasoning questions present you with data in a variety of formats — as text passages, charts, and graphs — and ask you to interpret what’s going on. In this way, the GMAT is evolving to be even more like the types of tests given to investment banking and management consulting job candidates. With these types of questions, you will truly have to think your way through a problem, rather than memorize content, which is why Veritas Prep has prepared an Integrated Reasoning FAQ and developed Integrated Reasoning practice problems.

What It Means For You

In the past it was common to say that “knowledge is power,” but in the ever-evolving world of Google on your smartphone and a world of information always at your fingertips, business schools are much more concerned with your ability to use information than with your capacity to possess it. As the GMAT will assess your higher-order reasoning skills, you should learn to think like the testmaker. Which virtues (e.g., efficiency, logic.) does the test seek to reward, and how does it do so? Which ineffective thought processes (e.g., an inability to see past embedded assumptions, a tendency to succumb to confirmation bias) does it seek to punish, and how? To maximize your likelihood of success on the GMAT, you should challenge yourself to see beyond the facts and formulas that compose the language of the GMAT, and to analyze the intent of and logic behind the questions themselves. Quality preparation will include mastery of the exam’s required skillset not merely from a content knowledge basis but from a position of flexible understanding (what we sometimes call “mental agility” at Veritas Prep), and will emphasize the structure and intent of the questions themselves. The GMAT is written to assess your ability to reason effectively, and the Veritas Prep curriculum provides you with frameworks for thinking in exactly that way.

Score Guarantee

Because Veritas Prep offers the best curriculum and the finest instructors in the industry, it can also offer the finest GMAT Score Guarantee available anywhere. Take any of our classes, and if you aren’t happy with your score or don’t feel ready for the GMAT, you can retake the class for free. No hoops to jump through, no rules about completing homework, and no fine print. And if your score doesn’t improve on the GMAT after one of our 36-hour GMAT prep classes, we’ll give you your money back, period. No company offers a more straightforward guarantee.

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