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# RETIRED GMAT FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about GMAT

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16 Feb 2009, 22:20
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What is GMAT?
GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test and is the test required by almost all MBA programs. It is a rigorous computer adaptive test that lasts 3.5 hours. You must register for the gmat at an official testing center.
Also - consider getting the GMAT® Handbook (Formerly the GMAT® Information Bulletin). (24 pages, Effective Date 4/3/2012)

What is tested on the GMAT?
Writing ability, knowledge of Basic Math (Arithmetic, Algebra, Word Problems, Geometry) and just a bit of intermediate Math (Statistics, Probability, Combinations/Permutations), and knowledge of grammar principles, logical reasoning, reading, and analytical skills.

Edit: This discussion is retired. Please see this thread for the latest GMAT information: gmat-faq-frequently-asked-questions-about-gmat-129901.html

What is the GMAT Fee?
The fee GMAC charges for the test is $250; tax applies in some of the countries - see this listing for details: GMAT Fees Is there such thing as GMAT payment voucher or GMAT promotion code? They exist, but are very rare - see this thread for details: GMAT payment voucher/promotion code What does the GMAT test consist of? What is the Format of the GMAT? GMAT consists of 3 sections and lasts 3 and a half hours not including an optional break Part 1: AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) Section - 60 minutes - 2 essays 30 minutes each. Optional 8 minute break Part 2: Quantitative Section - 75 minutes - 37 questions Optional 8 minute break Part 3: Verbal Section - 75 minutes - 41 questions You can find more details about each of the sections here: GMAT Test Format UPDATE for NextGen GMAT: The above image is from the GMAC. The order is incorrect. The current known order is: AWA -> IR -> Break -> Math -> Break -> Verbal How does the GMAT Test work? What is a CAT? GMAT is a CAT test - a computer adaptive test. It starts at a medium difficulty and increases question difficulty as long as you answer the questions correctly. Once a question is missed, the difficulty decreases. This methodology allows GMAT to hone exactly on your performance. It is believed that your final score for each of the sections is know after about the 15th, question, but 30 more are given just to ensure that the original assessment was correct. Are all GMAT questions scored/do all GMAT questions count? No. About 20%-30% are experimental questions that do not impact your score and are designed to help GMAC evaluate questions for future tests What is the reason for Experimental questions/Unscored questions on the GMAT? 1. Estimate difficulty level of questions to be included in future tests. Questions on the GMAT tests change every calendar month or every 30 days - that's why you can take the test only once every 31 days. Since GMAT is an adaptive test, that's quite a few new questions that GMAC needs to develop monthly and one of the hardest things about developing new questions is understanding how hard/easy they are. To help address this issue, about 20-30% of the questions you will see on the test are experimental questions (to be used on future tests) that GMAC is trying out and measuring difficulty level. This is one reason some test takers get scared when suddenly they get an easy question after a hard one, which could mean that they missed previous question, but in reality they just got served an experimental question that does not have a difficulty level assigned to it yet. 2. Measure question fit and quality - regardless of difficulty, a question may still be of poor quality - meaning it does not measure one's performance well enough, has multiple interpretations, or confusing answers. Having experimental questions on the test helps GMAC weed these out and ensure that the questions that count are close to perfect, which increases the accuracy and consistency of the test across 5 years. 3. Eliminate controversial questions. Some questions may prove controversial or inappropriate in certain cultures or parts of the world. What is the maximum score on the GMAT? The GMAT score range is between 200 and 800. Very few people get 200 or 800, the majority, however falls between 400 and 600. The average score is about 550. You can see the scores distribution in the Gmat Score Interpretation Guide - also check out Everything You Need to Know about GMAT Scores and GMAT Score Reports Attachment: ScoreGuide.pdf [100.68 KiB] Downloaded 10661 times  To download please login or register as a user How does GMAT scoring work? What is the GMAT algorithm? There are several theories about how the test is scored: some believe the first 15 questions are critical; others think that hard questions must be answered correctly to get a good score, and another group believes that all questions must be answered to get a high score. Visit this thread for one of the many discussions about GMAT Scores on this site: gmat-scores-83890.html How do I schedule a GMAT test appointment? You must register with one of the authorized test centers. GMAT is administered by the Vue/Pearson testing centers 6 days a week. You can schedule your appointment here Can I cancel or reschedule a GMAT appointment? Yes, and quite a few people do - there is a$50 rescheduling fee if you reschedule more than 7 days out. You will lose the $250 deposit if you decide to reschedule less than 7 days out. You can also apply for a refund as long as your appointment is more than 7 days out. However, you will get only$80 back. In general, if you got cold feet a few days before the test, and feel that you need to reschedule, it may be worth going and taking the test since you won't get any money back. Of course there are several theories about having a low score on your report, but more about that later.

Which Schools use GMAT for the Admissions process?
More than 1,900 MBA programs use GMAT as a part of the application process. See the full listing here

How long are the GMAT Scores valid for?
GMAT Scores are valid for 5 years. Some applicants take the test right after the undergrad (while the memory of math is still very fresh) and then apply after several years of work experience.

How many times can you take the GMAT?
You can take the GMAT 5 times in any 12 months and no sooner than 31 days after your previous appointment. Note that if you take the GMAT multiple times, all of the scores from the past 5 years will be reported to the recipients. If you get 800 on the test, you cannot retake it for 5 years (least of your worries probably), and if you attempt to take the test more than 5 times in a 12-month period, your score will be canceled and you may potentially be barred from taking the GMAT again.

After I take the GMAT, how soon will I know my score?
Your unofficial (preliminary that is) GMAT score will be made available to you immediately after you finish the test. You can also cancel your test score immediately after taking it, but in that case, your score will not be displayed. This option is not recommended unless you feel that you bombed the test and did not finish a number of questions. Your official test scores will be sent to you either by mail or via email (to be accessed on http://www.mba.com). That's when you will find out your Analytical Writing Assessment score.

How do I send my GMAT scores to the Schools?
Before or after the test, you will have a chance to enter up to 5 schools names that will automatically receive your GMAT score about 20-30 days after you take the test. You can also request for additional score reports to be sent, but it will cost $28. Some applicants prefer not to send any reports to any schools unless they are sure they received a good score, so they will actually order additional reports after they receive the score confirmation. Ordering can be done here: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/gmat-scores ... hools.aspx What are the Identification Requirements in the US? For US Citizens - Driver's License For US Residents and Visitors: certain test centers will only accept a Passport as the valid ID or a Green Card but not a Driver's License - we have several confirmations posted in the forum. Link on mba.com for more information: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/test-day/pr ... ation.aspx How do I interpret my GMAT Score Report? You will receive your official score report either by mail or electronically (you are given a choice) - you will have several scores - your raw scores are the scores for Quantitative and Verbal sections (they are between 0 and 60), though very few ever get above 50. Your score report will also have your AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) score on a scale between 0 and 6. Most get between 4 and 6 and this score is not very critical. Your score report will also contain a percentile - that's the measurement of how you did on the test compared to ALL the other test takers in the past 5 years. See the attachment to this post - a GMAT score interpretation guide. It was discontinued by GMAC in 2004, but this copy still works. Attachment: ScoreGuide.pdf [100.68 KiB] Downloaded 10661 times  To download please login or register as a user Not much is known on Integrated Reasoning, other than it will be scored as its own section. As of now, we're assuming it will be scored in the same way/scale as the AWA (0-6). Once more is known, we will update the FAQ Do I have to take GMAT to get into an MBA program? As a matter of fact no - if you prefer or if you have taken the GRE, you can use GRE results in more than 120 schools. Check with your business schools of choice to make sure they accept GRE instead of GMAT. A program that does not require a GMAT or GRE, is a red flag for a diploma printing press. Is GMAT easier than GRE? Some believe that GRE is a better choice as it does not have the Data Sufficiency questions unique to the GMAT and costs only$140 vs. $250 but many do think that GRE is harder. However, it comes down to a personal preference - if you have a hard time with the GMAT, perhaps GRE offers a better format for you; give it a shot. And no, we don't have a greclub. See ETS' website for details on programs accepting the GRE: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/ ... /programs/ Is GMAT Useless After Admissions? A number of people say - No. Many of the top companies (e.g. McKinsey) ask for your GMAT Score on the job application. Also, if you get a good score (90+ percentile, it is something else to put under your achievements section of the resume). Here is a discussion of this subject: t21669-gmat-score-use-in-employment Recommendations for Next Steps: Find everything you need to prepare for GMAT GMAT Book Reviews Find Prep Course Reviews Additional Links and Resources GMAT Home - overview and official information from GMAC GMAT in a nutshell overview by Manhattan GMAT - good review of the test GMAT Myths - a report from a GMAC conference Useful Abbreviations and Acronyms related to GMAT Information from the GMAC hosted Test Prep Summit: 2009 2011 Have a Question or Correction? Post your questions and corrections in this thread and they will be included into the master thread to keep it updated _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News Rankings progression - last 10 years in a snapshot - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings Last edited by bb on 10 Jun 2012, 20:00, edited 9 times in total. Updated information, links, etc  e-GMAT Discount Codes Jamboree Discount Codes Veritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes Suspended Member Joined: 27 Oct 2008 Posts: 10 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 gmat verbal [#permalink] ### Show Tags 24 Feb 2009, 17:35 could you give me an advise how to study gmat verbal? i dont know which book(s) to use for sc, rc and cr sections. can anyone advise anything? thanks. _________________ Hue Tourism - Hue Vacation Vietnam resort Mui ne beach break holiday Founder Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 14436 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3716 Kudos [?]: 22985 [0], given: 4514 Re: gmat verbal [#permalink] ### Show Tags 24 Feb 2009, 22:33 Manager Joined: 24 Jul 2009 Posts: 193 Location: Anchorage, AK Schools: Mellon, USC, MIT, UCLA, NSCU Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 10 Re: GMAT FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about GMAT [#permalink] ### Show Tags 19 Dec 2009, 23:09 bb wrote: What is GMAT? GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admission Test and is the test required by almost all MBA programs. It is a rigorous computer adaptive test that lasts 3.5 hours. You must register for the gmat at an official testing center. What is tested on the GMAT? Writing ability, knowledge of Basic Math (Arithmetic, Algebra, Word Problems, Geometry) and just a bit of intermediate Math (Statistics, Probability, Combinations/Permutations), and knowledge of grammar principles, logical reasoning, reading, and analytical skills. What is the GMAT Fee? The fee GMAC charges for the test is$250; tax applies in some of the countries - see this listing for details: GMAT Fees

Is there such thing as GMAT payment voucher or GMAT promotion code?
No, gmat vouchers or promotion codes do not exist - see this thread for details: GMAT payment voucher/promotion code

What does the GMAT test consist of? What is the Format of the GMAT?
GMAT consists of 3 sections and lasts 3 and a half hours not including an optional break
Part 1: AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) Section - 60 minutes - 2 essays 30 minutes each.
Optional 10 minute break
Part 2: Quantitative Section - 75 minutes - 37 questions
Optional 10 minute break
Part 3: Verbal Section - 75 minutes - 41 questions
You can find more details about each of the sections here: GMAT Test Format

How does the GMAT Test work? What is a CAT?
GMAT is a CAT test - a computer adaptive test. It starts at a medium difficulty and increases question difficulty as long as you answer the questions correctly. Once a question is missed, the difficulty decreases. This methodology allows GMAT to hone exactly on your performance. It is believed that your final score for each of the sections is know after about the 15th, question, but 30 more are given just to ensure that the original assessment was correct.

Are all GMAT questions scored/do all GMAT questions count?
No. About 20%-30% are experimental questions that do not impact your score and are designed to help GMAC evaluate questions for future tests

What is the reason for Experimental questions/Unscored questions on the GMAT?
1. Estimate difficulty level of questions to be included in future tests. Questions on the GMAT tests change every calendar month or every 30 days - that's why you can take the test only once every 31 days. Since GMAT is an adaptive test, that's quite a few new questions that GMAC needs to develop monthly and one of the hardest things about developing new questions is understanding how hard/easy they are. To help address this issue, about 20-30% of the questions you will see on the test are experimental questions (to be used on future tests) that GMAC is trying out and measuring difficulty level. This is one reason some test takers get scared when suddenly they get an easy question after a hard one, which could mean that they missed previous question, but in reality they just got served an experimental question that does not have a difficulty level assigned to it yet.

2. Measure question fit and quality - regardless of difficulty, a question may still be of poor quality - meaning it does not measure one's performance well enough, has multiple interpretations, or confusing answers. Having experimental questions on the test helps GMAC weed these out and ensure that the questions that count are close to perfect, which increases the accuracy and consistency of the test across 5 years.

3. Eliminate controversial questions. Some questions may prove controversial or inappropriate in certain cultures or parts of the world.

What is the maximum score on the GMAT?
The GMAT score range is between 200 and 800. Very few people get 200 or 800, the majority, however falls between 400 and 600. The average score is about 550. You can see the scores distribution in the Gmat Score Interpretation Guide - also check out Everything You Need to Know about GMAT Scores and GMAT Score Reports
Attachment:
ScoreGuide.pdf

How does GMAT scoring work? What is the GMAT algorithm?
There are several theories about how the test is scored: some believe the first 15 questions are critical; others think that hard questions must be answered correctly to get a good score, and another group believes that all questions must be answered to get a high score. Visit this thread for one of the many discussions about GMAT Scores on this site: t28493-gmat-scoring-algorithm-my-observations

How do I schedule a GMAT test appointment?
You must register with one of the authorized test centers. GMAT is administered by the Vue/Pearson testing centers 6 days a week. You can schedule your appointment here

Can I cancel or reschedule a GMAT appointment?
Yes, and quite a few people do - there is a $50 rescheduling fee if you reschedule more than 7 days out. You will lose the$250 deposit if you decide to reschedule less than 7 days out. You can also apply for a refund as long as your appointment is more than 7 days out. However, you will get only $80 back. In general, if you got cold feet a few days before the test, and feel that you need to reschedule, it may be worth going and taking the test since you won't get any money back. Of course there are several theories about having a low score on your report, but more about that later. Which Schools use GMAT for the Admissions process? More than 1,900 MBA programs use GMAT as a part of the application process. See the full listing here: How long are the GMAT Scores valid for? GMAT Scores are valid for 5 years. Some applicants take the test right after the undergrad (while the memory of math is still very fresh) and then apply after several years of work experience. How many times can you take the GMAT? You can take the GMAT 5 times in any 12 months and no sooner than 31 days after your previous appointment. Note that if you take the GMAT multiple times, all of the scores from the past 5 years will be reported to the recipients. If you get 800 on the test, you cannot retake it for 5 years (least of your worries probably), and if you attempt to take the test more than 5 times in a 12-month period, your score will be canceled and you may potentially be barred from taking the GMAT again. After I take the GMAT, how soon will I know my score? Your unofficial (preliminary that is) GMAT score will be made available to you immediately after you finish the test. You can also cancel your test score immediately after taking it, but in that case, your score will not be displayed. This option is not recommended unless you feel that you bombed the test and did not finish a number of questions. Your official test scores will be sent to you either by mail or via email (to be accessed on http://www.mba.com). That's when you will find out your Analytical Writing Assessment score. How do I send my GMAT scores to the Schools? Before or after the test, you will have a chance to enter up to 5 schools names that will automatically receive your GMAT score about 20-30 days after you take the test. You can also request for additional score reports to be sent, but it will cost$28. Some applicants prefer not to send any reports to any schools unless they are sure they received a good score, so they will actually order additional reports after they receive the score confirmation. Ordering can be done here: http://www.mba.com/mba/thegmat/gmatscor ... chools.htm

What are the Identification Requirements in the US?
For US Citizens - Driver's License
For US Residents and Visitors: certain test centers will only accept a Passport as the valid ID or a Green Card but not a Driver's License - we have several confirmations posted in the forum.

How do I interpret my GMAT Score Report?
You will receive your official score report either by mail or electronically (you are given a choice) - you will have several scores - your raw scores are the scores for Quantitative and Verbal sections (they are between 0 and 60), though very few ever get above 50. Your score report will also have your AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) score on a scale between 0 and 6. Most get between 4 and 6 and this score is not very critical. Your score report will also contain a percentile - that's the measurement of how you did on the test compared to ALL the other test takers in the past 5 years. See the attachment to this post - a GMAT score interpretation guide. It was discontinued by GMAC in 2004, but this copy still works.
Attachment:
ScoreGuide.pdf

Do I have to take GMAT to get into an MBA program?
As a matter of fact no - if you prefer or if you have taken the GRE, you can use GRE results in more than 120 schools. Check with your business schools of choice to make sure they accept GRE instead of GMAT. A program that does not require a GMAT or GRE, is a red flag for a diploma printing press.

Is GMAT easier than GRE?
Some believe that GRE is a better choice as it does not have the Data Sufficiency questions unique to the GMAT and costs only $140 vs.$250 but many do think that GRE is harder. However, it comes down to a personal preference - if you have a hard time with the GMAT, perhaps GRE offers a better format for you; give it a shot. And no, we don't have a greclub.

Is GMAT Useless After Admissions?
A number of people say - No. Many of the top companies (e.g. McKinsey) ask for your GMAT Score on the job application. Also, if you get a good score (90+ percentile, it is something else to put under your achievements section of the resume). Here is a discussion of this subject: t21669-gmat-score-use-in-employment

Recommendations for Next Steps:

Find everything you need to prepare for GMAT
GMAT Book Reviews
Find Prep Course Reviews

GMAT Home - overview and official information from GMAC
GMAT in a nutshell overview by Manhattan GMAT - good review of the test
GMAT Myths - a report from a GMAC conference
Useful Abbreviations and Acronyms related to GMAT

Have a Question or Correction?
Post your questions and corrections in this thread and they will be included into the master thread to keep it updated

-

Have you come across any statistics on the study habits of people who get average scores?
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20 Dec 2009, 05:59
gottabwise wrote:

Have you come across any statistics on the study habits of people who get average scores?

Hello gottabwise,

Please see the psychometrics pdf in the following thread:
gmatclub-attends-gmac-test-prep-summit-85573.html

This attachment contains the information you seek.
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21 Dec 2009, 19:36
mohater wrote:
gottabwise wrote:

Have you come across any statistics on the study habits of people who get average scores?

Hello gottabwise,

Please see the psychometrics pdf in the following thread:
gmatclub-attends-gmac-test-prep-summit-85573.html

This attachment contains the information you seek.

Thanks! I'll check it out. Hopefully I'll glean some insight for making the 700 club.
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21 Dec 2009, 19:55
gottabwise wrote:
mohater wrote:
gottabwise wrote:

Have you come across any statistics on the study habits of people who get average scores?

Hello gottabwise,

Please see the psychometrics pdf in the following thread:
gmatclub-attends-gmac-test-prep-summit-85573.html

This attachment contains the information you seek.

Thanks! I'll check it out. Hopefully I'll glean some insight for making the 700 club.

I looked at the slides and see that test takers who scored well studied many hours (92 on average) and for more than 10 weeks. I'd be interested in knowing how they focused their time. FYI I don't expect you or anyone else to provide that type of insight. Anyway, thanks again! I see that I need to boost up my studying and that taking my time, in a sense, will be worthwhile.
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15 Jan 2010, 23:13
Updated - new GMAT Informational Bulletin link added.
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16 Jan 2010, 20:59
Nice compilation of FAQ's .Thanks
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Regards
Ganesh
Class of 2012
Great Lakes Institute of Management
http://greatlakes.edu.in

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21 Feb 2010, 12:53
hello,
i am new to this club, but i found the information here is very useful!! i wish i would have found out this club before i took the GMAT!! i just took the GMAT this weekend and i didn't get the score that i expected !! i plan to apply for NYU Stern, so i assume i have to get 700+, which means i have to retake the GMAT again. However, my concer is that the school will use this score to against me even though i might get a higher score on the later one. will the school do that? please advise!!
Founder
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21 Feb 2010, 19:36
tt11234 wrote:
hello,
i am new to this club, but i found the information here is very useful!! i wish i would have found out this club before i took the GMAT!! i just took the GMAT this weekend and i didn't get the score that i expected !! i plan to apply for NYU Stern, so i assume i have to get 700+, which means i have to retake the GMAT again. However, my concer is that the school will use this score to against me even though i might get a higher score on the later one. will the school do that? please advise!!

Actually - NO.
You can have a 500 and 700 and the school won't even pay attention and will use only the 700 score, so your "lower than expected" score is not an issue at all.
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03 Apr 2010, 08:22
Hey Guys,

I have a quick question. I scheduled an appointment this morning, however under my GMAT history the appointment is not displayed as one of my future appointments. Do you guys know how long does it take for the appointment to display?

Thanks!
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25 Apr 2010, 09:59
2
KUDOS
The optional break is reduced to 8 min.

BB pls confirm.
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### Show Tags

25 Apr 2010, 23:09
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
gurpreetsingh wrote:
The optional break is reduced to 8 min.

BB pls confirm.

Thanks - updated to include the latest info about the 8-min break.
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18 Jul 2010, 21:00
in AWA section which comes first

Issue or Argument? Or they can come in any order.

Thanks.
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19 Jul 2010, 21:28
ankitraheja wrote:
in AWA section which comes first

Issue or Argument? Or they can come in any order.

Thanks.

Ha! Interesting question.
I am under the impression that Analysis of the Issue always comes first and then the Argument essay second.
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19 Jul 2010, 22:16
on the contrary , I have heard that it is other way around.

Can somebody else shed light on the same.

Thanks.
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19 Jul 2010, 22:33
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I tried GMATPrep and it started both times with Argument and then Analysis of issue - perhaps.

Why do you ask by the way???
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19 Jul 2010, 22:53
To conserve some extra energy for Maths by giving less time to the essay that comes second.
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11 Aug 2010, 12:07
I have question. Why do similar breakdowns between Q and V result in different overall scores?

For example, I got a Q49/V42 and ended up with a 730. I am definitely happy about my score, but i am wondering why everyone else with that breakdown gets a 750 or 740?

Apologies if this question is answered elsewhere.
Re: GMAT FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about GMAT   [#permalink] 11 Aug 2010, 12:07

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