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**My Quant Score is Below 80th Percentile – Test Again?**

In the past 18 months, it has been relatively hard for candidates to score in the 80s (percentile) on the quant part of the GMAT exam. The raw score of 50 often correlates with an 88th percentile performance in quant, while a raw score of 49 often correlates with a 79th percentile performance in quant! That is a big difference in percentile ranking.

So, for the candidate who only scores at the 74th or 79th percentile in quant, is your quest for admissions to a top US MBA program futile? No! A score of 47-51 on quant is a solid performance. Your profile (under-represented vs. over-represented) may impact whether the admissions committee at one of the Top-10 business schools will accept a quant score in the low-70s (percentile), but given where the raw score places you and the fact that there was little room for improvement on the raw score, you should not assume a GMAT score in the low-70s (percentile) will cause an automatic rejection. The admissions committee will likely assess that score in the context of your entire GMAT performance (IR especially) and your entire academic and professional record (how strong your college grades were, if you have excelled in quantitative courses or professional work, etc.). Plenty of candidates have made it into the Top-5 business schools in the last two years with quant scores on the GMAT that placed them in the 70s by way of percentile.

**Need Assistance with your application? Contact us at http://www.mbaadmit.com**

Best wishes,

Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)

President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com

Email: info@mbaadmit.com

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GMAT Score – Growing in Importance?

I have been asked many times recently whether I have noticed a trend with regard to the importance of GMAT scores in the admissions outcomes of candidates who have applied to Top-10 schools. Some notable trends have been school-specific. At schools like Columbia and Harvard, the admissions committees seemed to become pickier in 2013-2015 about acceptable scores and it seemed harder to gain admission at those two schools if candidates scored below 660. In such cases, a candidate needed to work hard to demonstrate credentials that helped compensate for the less-than-ideal GMAT score performance.

Overall, the quant portion of the GMAT score seemed to come under more scrutiny at Top-15 schools. If you have not scored above the 70th percentile in quant, you should reassess well whether to re-test, and if not, you should be prepared to offer the admissions committee other evidence that you can handle the rigors of their program.

Many candidates mistakenly underestimate the importance of the GMAT score. Try to get a great score so that it is not functioning as a weakness in your application.

**Need Assistance with your application? Contact us at http://www.mbaadmit.com**

Best wishes,

Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)

President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com

Email: info@mbaadmit.com

To benefit from our free webinars, click http://mbaadmit.com/webinars/

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**Why is the GMAT so Important?**

When trying to understand why the GMAT is so important in MBA admissions, you should recognize multiple things. Sometimes the top MBA programs receive so many great applicants that they need a reason to reject applicants. If you present a lower-than-typical GMAT score (overall, or for your profile), you very well might be handing the admissions committee a reason to reject you.

More generally, the GMAT score provides MBA admissions officers with a standard metric by which to compare candidates from widely varying backgrounds. Candidates will be applying from a wide range of countries, cultures, schools and industries, and the GMAT helps to provide a benchmark for the admissions committee in comparing candidates.

GMAT scores are also important because the top MBA programs trace the performance of their admits based on their GMAT scores, and if a GMAT score below a certain percentile indicates that a student will struggle, in 90% of the cases the school will be wary about accepting a candidate in with such a score.

With the recent changes to the GMAT test – namely, the addition of the AWA and IR sections – the GMAT also, in theory, provides the admissions committee valuable information about how well you might potentially contribute in class. If your score overall, or in the areas of quant, AWA or IR, shows a great deficit that is not offset by other credentials (like excellent performance in a highly quantitative degree), the admissions committee may choose not to take a risk on whether you can handle their rigorous program and/or make notable contributions to class.

Because of factors like these, your GMAT score plays an important role in your overall “package” and can have a notable impact on your admissions outcomes.

Best wishes,

Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)

President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com

Email: info@mbaadmit.com

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Your GMAT Score as a First-Cut Metric

Many candidates ask whether the GMAT score sometimes function as a “first-cut metric,” a term we coined here at MBA Admit.com. The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

Your GMAT score is one of the factors that top MBA programs use to simply cut an application without giving it serious consideration, regardless of how wonderful the overall candidacy might be. Generally, if your score is not above the 500s, you are risking that your GMAT score is going to bring you an automatic rejection at the very top U.S. business schools. Once you are in the 600s, whether you will be cut based on a GMAT score is a matter of your profile and the overall strength of your candidacy. But, some candidates who come from the most competitive profiles, like Indian foreign national male engineers, often need to be above the 710 mark to be competitive at the Top-5 MBA programs.

Take a good look at the average or median GMAT score for the top MBA programs to which you intend to apply to determine whether your GMAT score is an asset or potentially puts you at risk. GMAT scores are very important, so invest time in studying, practicing, and if necessary, taking a structured course in order to improve your score to a level where it can keep you competitive.

Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)

President, MBA Admit.com

http://www.mbaadmit.com

Email: info@mbaadmit.com

Even-Odd numbers is deemed to be among the easier concepts on the GMAT Quant, and yet, come 700+ level questions from this concept, many students get them wrong. We have seen closely studied the mistakes that students make in Even-Odd questions – from the doubts they ask in Even-Odd questions in our internal forums, from the mistakes made by 1000+ students in our recurring Number Properties Live Classroom, and most recently, in *The E-GMAT Number Properties Knockout*** **that was attempted more than 5000 times.

- Getting intimidated by complex expressions
- Wasting time on unimportant terms
- Getting stumped in division

In this article, we will explain each pitfall with examples, discuss why it is important to avoid that pitfall, tell you how to avoid it and finally, give you 700+ level practice questions.

Sounds good? So read on, to make sure that you’ll never be among the unlucky students who err in Even-Odd questions. Amen to that!

A few Even-Odd questions may have scary-looking expressions. For example, consider this question

**P1.1**** If j is a positive integer, is (j ^{3}-27)^{2}(j^{3}+1)^{3} odd?**

Did you feel a bit nervous reading this question? Well, that is the first pitfall that you have to guard against. Because, if you let yourself become nervous, you will:

- Either leave the question without answering
- Or you will panic; panic clouds our ability to think rationally and so, increases our chances of making an error.

- For example, in your panic, you may scramble to remember and apply the formula for a
^{3}+ b^{3}on the terms of this expression, and then, realize, much to your dismay, that you’ve complicated the question even further L

So, as you can see, ‘getting intimidated by complex expressions’ is indeed a dangerous pitfall.

The next time you face such a question and notice your heartbeat increasing, take a deep breath and tell yourself,

*“Since this is a GMAT question, it can be simplified elegantly.”*

This is true! The beauty of official GMAT questions is that no matter how complex they look, they can always be simplified to a couple of cases.

*So, let’s think through the question we posed above and see how it can be simplified.*

*1 ^{st} Simplification *

*The given expression is (j ^{3}-27)^{2}(j^{3}+1)^{3}*

*You’re probably familiar with the property that **the power of a number doesn’t impact the even-odd nature of the number.*

*(Even)*^{n}, where n is a positive integer = Even*Similarly, (Odd)*^{n}= Odd

*So, *

*(j*^{3}– 27)^{2}will have the same even-odd nature as (j^{3}– 27). Similarly, (j^{3}+ 1)^{3}will have the same even-odd nature as (j^{3}+1)*j*^{3}will have the same even-odd nature as j itself.

*So, using this property, we’ve done the first level of simplification: now, we only have to determine the even-odd nature of this, simpler expression: (j-27)(j + 1)*

* *

*2 ^{nd} Simplification *

*The simpler expression is a product of 2 terms: (j – 27) and (j+1)*

*When will the product of 2 terms be odd? Only if each of the 2 terms are themselves odd. If even one of these terms is even, the product will be even.*

*So, to answer the question, we need to know: are each of the 2 terms odd?*

*So, from the earlier situation of dealing with the product as a whole, we are now dealing with individual terms only: (j – 27) and (j + 1)*

*Getting to the answer*

*Now, j can either be Even or Odd.*

* *

*Case 1: j is odd*

*In this case, j + 1 = Odd + Odd = Even*

*And j - 27 = Odd - Odd = Even*

*Since both the terms are Even, the answer in this case will be NO, the given expression in not odd.*

*Case 2: j is even*

*In this case, j + 1 = Even + Odd = Odd*

*And, j - 27 = Even - Odd = Odd*

*Since both the terms are odd, the answer in this case will be YES, the given expression is odd*

*So, as you can see, using this step-wise approach, we’ve been able to simplify the question to this:*

* Is j even?*

**Use the properties of Even-Odd combinations to simplify scary-looking expressions.** Have the confidence that all Even-Odd questions in the GMAT can be easily simplified. Don’t get intimidated by complex expressions in Even-Odd questions and avoid the impulse to search for algebraic formulae to apply on such expressions.

You’ll know that you’ve learnt this lesson well, if your heart doesn’t skip a beat at the first look of the following question:

**P1.2**** If X = P*N ^{K} + P where N and K are positive integers, is X divisible by 2?**

**(1) ****N + KN = 915**

**(2) ****P ^{35} + 35^{P} is Even**

(The detailed solution of this question is available here)

What we mean by ‘unimportant terms’ is ‘the terms that do not impact the Even- Odd nature of the expression. For example, consider the following question:

**P2.1**** If a and b are integers, is a + 8b even?**

In this expression, the term 8b will be even, irrespective of whether b is even or odd (because, Even*Odd = Even and Even*Even = Even). So, you should focus all your attention on analysing whether a is even or odd, because that is what will get you to the answer.

If you fall into the pitfall of analysing the given information to determine the even-odd nature of ** b**, then you’ll be squandering your most precious resource in the GMAT – Time. Minutes frittered away thus may create a time crunch towards the end of the test, and then, coming under the pressure of the seconds ticking away, you may frantically answer even questions that you know, wrong. So, it is very important to be on strict guard against even a moment spent on unneeded analysis. And, in Even-Odd questions, it’s all too easy to fall into this booby trap.

In order to not waste even a second on the unimportant terms, here are a few pointers that you should use to weed out the unimportant terms in an expression:

- A term of the form (Even number)*(X) will always be even
- In a term of the form (Even number) + X, the (Even number) plays no role in the Even-Odd nature of the term
- In a term of the form (Odd number)*(X), the (Odd number) plays no role in the Even-Odd nature of the term

*You’ve already seen an example of the first pointer in Question P2.1*

*Here’s an example that will show all the three pointers in action*

**P2.2**** If a, b, c and n are integers, is a + 8b + (2n+1)c even?**

*1 ^{st} Pointer *

*The term 8b will always be even, irrespective of the value of b*

*2 ^{nd} Pointer *

*In the given expression, the even term 8b doesn’t impact the even-odd nature of this expression. So, the expression will have the same even-odd nature as the sum a + (2n+1)c*

*3 ^{rd} Pointer*

*In the term (2n+1)c, (2n+1) is an odd number, and so plays no role in the even-odd nature of this term. So, the term (2n+1)c will have the same even-odd nature as c.*

*So, the expression a + (2n+1)c will have the same even-odd nature as the expression a + c*

To some students Pitfall 2 may seem similar to Pitfall 1 because the strategy suggested to avoid Pitfall 2 (the Three Pointers) also leads to simplification of the given expression. However, even though the *effect *of the strategies suggested in Pitfalls 1 and 2 may be the same, the *problems *that these strategies tackle are different. In Pitfall 1, the problem is that a student may get intimidated by a difficult-looking expression. In Pitfall 2, on the other hand, the problem is that a student may waste time on analysing terms that do not contribute to the Even-Odd nature of an expression. These are two distinct problems, and so, Pitfalls 1 and 2 are distinct as well.

**When you see an expression, first use the Three Pointers to determine the unimportant terms. **Do not waste precious time on processing the unimportant terms.

See how much time you take on this question and if you waste time on any term that doesn’t deserve it:

**P2.3**** ****If a, b and n are positive integers such that n = 3a – b ^{3}, is n^{2} + 3 divisible by 2?**

**(1) ****a ^{2} – 4b^{3} – 5 = 0**

**(2) 3b ^{3} – a^{2} + 6 = 0 **

(The detailed discussion of this question is available here)

If A and B are given to be integers, where A > B and A/B is an integer, can you smoothly work out the relation between the even-odd nature of A, B and the integer A/B?

For example, consider the following question:

**P3.1**** If A, B and X are integers, X/B is an even integer and XB/(4A+1) is an integer, is XB/(4A+1) odd?**

If you don’t have a firm approach to deal with this and similar questions, you’re bound to feel flummoxed, and then you’ll:

- Either give up this question as too difficult
- Or will gingerly try number substitution to see which values of X and B give an even value of X/B, and then with those values of X, try to see if XB/(4A+1)

Both possible actions are costly – in terms of lost score points and lost time. So, it is important to not fall prey to such questions.

This pitfall is easily avoided by following the standard approach presented here –

**Convert the division equation into a multiplication equation.**

*Let’s illustrate this approach on question P3.1*

*The division equation that we can write for the terms X/B is:*

*We can convert this equation into a multiplication equation by multiplying both sides with B. We get:*

*X = (Even number)*B*

--> *X is Even (Refer to Pointer (i) in Pitfall 2)*

*Now, let’s write the division equation for the term (XB/4A+1):*

XB/(4A + 1) = integer Z (say)

*Converting this equation into a multiplication equation, we get:*

--> *XB = (4A+1)*(Z)*

--> *XB has the same Even-Odd nature as Z **(because 4A + 1 is odd – Refer to Pointers (ii) and (iii) in Pitfall 2)*

*Since X is Even, XB is Even*

--> *Z is Even*

*So, we see that the given expression will be Even.*

In Even-Odd questions that involve division, convert the division equation into multiplication equation.

**P3.2**** If x, y and z are positive integers such that x^{4 }y^{3} = z^{2}, is x^{9} – y^{6} odd?**

**(1) (x^{4} y^{3})/(x^{2} + y^{2})can be written in the form 4k + 3, where k is a positive integer.**

**(2) z = x + y**

(The detailed discussion of this question is available here)

Even when you know a concept, you might not be able to answer the questions that test advanced application of that concept. In this article, we saw the three pitfalls that many students fall into in Even-Odd questions. If you make a conscious effort to avoid these pitfalls, you’ll find that your ability to answer 700+ level Even-Odd questions will improve significantly. As a happy co-benefit, the time you take to solve the questions will also come down.

If you wish to work further on the 3 pitfalls, please practice the 3 questions provided below. If you feel you need more help with this concept, please go to our Free Trial.

Wish you enjoy your journey of GMAT Prep and reach a great score on the GMAT!

**Is the product of two integers A and B odd?**

**(1) ****A is the number of factors of N, where N is a perfect square and B = A ^{3} -1**

**(2) ****A is a product of two consecutive prime numbers and when **** is added to A, the sum is an odd number.**

(The detailed solution of this question is available here)

**If P and Q are positive integers, is the product 3P ^{Q} divisible by 2?**

**(1) 6Q ^{3} + 2 is an even number**

**(2) P + 8Q ^{2} is a prime number**

(The detailed solution of this question is available here )

**Is 3a + 2b + 5c even if 0<a<b<c and a, b and c are integers?**

**(1) 9a+7c is not even**

**(2) a ^{3}*(c-1)^{2} is odd**

(The detailed solution of this question is available here)

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This article was first published on the official blog of EXPARTUS, the first MBA admissions consulting firm to use personal branding as a key part of the b-school application process.

If , then the sum of all possible solutions for is:

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - D - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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**Verbal (CR)**

Researchers in Germany have unearthed 400,000-year-old wooden spears from what [u]it appears was an ancient lakeshore hunting ground as stunning evidence of human ancestors who[/u] systematically hunted big game much earlier than believed.

a) it appears was an ancient lakeshore hunting ground as stunning evidence of human ancestors who

b) it appears had been an ancient lakeshore hunting ground and stunning evidence that human ancestors

c) appears was an ancient lakeshore hunting ground and is stunning evidence that human ancestors

d) appears to be an ancient lakeshore hunting ground, stunning evidence that human ancestors

e) appears that it is an ancient lakeshore hunting ground, stunning evidence of human ancestors who

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - D - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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Between 12:24 and 14:36 the hour hand of the clock turns by

A. 60 degrees

B. 66 degrees

C. 72 degrees

D. 74 degrees

E. 76 degrees

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - B - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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**Verbal (CR)**

In recent years cattle breeders have increasingly used crossbreading, [u]in part that their steers should acquire certain characteristics[/u] and partly because crossbreading is said to provide hybrid vigor.

A. in part that their steers should acquire certain characteristics

B. in part for the acquisition of certain characteristics in their steers

C. partly because of their steers acquiring certain characteristics

D. partly because certain characteristics should be acquired by their steers

E. partly to acquire certain characteristics in their steers

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - E - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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Set consists of a certain number of even integers divisible by 3. Is standard deviation of positive?

(1) All elements of set are positive.

(2) The range of set is 0.

Click and drag your mouse to see the answer.

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**Verbal (SC)**

Because of less availability and greater demand for scientific research, platinum remains consistently expensive, like gold.

(A) Because of less availability and greater demand for scientific research, platinum remains consistently expensive, like gold.

(B) Because of less availability and increased demand for scientific research, platinum remains consistently expensive, like that of gold.

(C) Because of decreased availability and increased demand in scientific research, platinum remains expensive, like gold.

(D) Because of decreased availability and increased demand for scientific research, platinum remains expensive, like gold.

(E) Because of decreased availability and greater demand in scientific research, platinum remains at a consistently high price, like that of gold.

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - C - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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A draining pipe can empty a pool in 4 hours. On a rainy day, when the pool is full, the draining pipe is opened and the pool is emptied in 6 hours. If rain inflow into the pool is 3 liters per hour, what is the capacity of the pool?

A. liters

B. liters

C. liters

D. liters

E. liters

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - D - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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**Verbal (SC)**

During the past decade, the labor market in France has not been operating according to free market principles, but instead stifling functioning through its various government regulations restricting the hiring and firing of workers.

(A) principles, but instead stifling functioning through its various government regulations restricting the hiring and firing of workers

(B) principles, instead it has been functioning in a stifled manner as a result of various government regulations that restrict the hiring and firing of workers

(C) principles, rather functioning despite being stifled as a result of government regulations that variously restrict worker hiring and firing

(D) principles; the hiring and firing of workers is restricted there by various government regulations, its functioning being stifled

(E) principles; instead, its functioning has been stifled by various government regulations restricting the hiring and firing of workers

Question Discussion & Explanation

**Correct Answer** - E - (click and drag your mouse to see the answer)

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