*Find out about Select Section Order, newly featured in a GMAT test change.*

The GMAT is changing! As of July 11, 2017, GMAT test takers will be able to choose the order in which they take GMAT test sections.

After this GMAT test change, you will choose your section order at the test center on GMAT Test Day, following the computer tutorial and just before you begin your test. There are three orders you will be able to choose from:

- Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA), Integrated Reasoning (IR), Quantitative, Verbal (this is the original order)
- Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
- Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

So how will the GMAT test change, which is called Select Section Order, affect you while preparing for the GMAT?

First, it’s important to understand that the testmaker, the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), is implementing this feature for two reasons, based on a 2016 pilot study:

- Test takers report greater satisfaction with the test when they can control section order.
- Psychometric testing in the pilot study showed that different section orders have no effect on the validity of scores. In other words, a candidate who takes the AWA section first and scores a 700 and a candidate who takes the Quantitative section first and scores a 700 both demonstrate the same ability, statistically, on the GMAT. Because of this, business schools can rest assured that all candidates’ scores have equal integrity.

No. The business schools that receive your score report won’t see the section order you selected on the GMAT. Therefore, if you feel more comfortable taking the test sections in one order rather than another, you should certainly feel free to do so. Take the opportunity to feel your best so you can do your best.

Here are some questions to think about when planning for this GMAT test change:

- Do you want to take your weakest section first when your mind is freshest?
- Do you want to take your strongest section first to build your confidence?
- If the schools you’re applying to care less about one section than another, do you want to take that section first in case you’re nervous as you start the test? Or do you want to take it last when you’re the most tired?
- Even after thinking it over, do you truly have no preference? That’s perfectly okay. If you don’t care what order the sections are in, then just select the default and move forward through the test.

Two optional eight-minute breaks will still be offered after each major section of the test (after AWA, after Verbal, after Quant), and we still recommend that you take these breaks.

To determine which order works best for you, start taking practice tests in different orders as you prepare for the GMAT. Once you’ve decided on your ideal test section order, take a couple more practice tests in that order to simulate the thought process you’ll experience on Test Day as closely as possible.

Over the coming weeks, Kaplan will incorporate this new Select Section Order feature into our full-length practice tests, allowing students to try out this feature so they can choose their test section order with confidence on Test Day.

GMAC has announced another GMAT test change as well: Effective July 11, the profile update questions that have appeared on the computer screen after the test will no longer appear. If you need to update your profile, you will still be able to do via mba.com after the test. GMAC has removed these questions so you can see your unofficial scores more quickly and spend less time at the test center.

If you have scheduled to take your exam before July 11 and would like to take it after that date to use the Select Section Order feature, you may reschedule by phone **before June 22** at no charge. Call GMAC Customer Service at +1 (800) 717-GMAT (4628) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. You must call by June 22 to have the usual rescheduling fee waived.

*No matter what order you choose for the sections on the GMAT, start preparing for them with a **free GMAT practice test**.*

The post GMAC Announces GMAT Test Change: Here’s What You Need to Know appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Accept the challenge to master GMAT math.*

Start the year off strong by diving into your GMAT math prep with vigor (or renewed vigor, as the case may be.) The Quantitative section is often the most feared, but its content is predictable and conquerable. Brush up on the specific math skills that the exam tests and pair this knowledge with solid critical thinking to be successful.

Remember, the concepts presented here are the basics of what the GMAT tests. For advanced concepts and questions, the test-makers will build on the basics and use certain variations to make these more difficult.

While arithmetic is foundational in grade school (and thus requires a great deal of review for many GMAT students), you must study the fundamentals as well as the more advanced concepts. The GMAT tests your ability to do the following:

- Manipulate fractions, decimals, and ratios (as well as convert among the three).
- Understand the properties and concepts of real numbers (such as odds and evens, integers, and multiples).

- Work with percentages.
- Calculate and manipulate exponents and roots.
- Understand and apply descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode, standard deviation).
- Understand and apply properties of sets (such as Venn diagrams).
- Know and apply various counting methods (including permutations and combinations).
- Understand, calculate, and analyze probability.

Several Quantitative questions you’ll encounter on GMAT Test Day will require application of more than one of these topics. In arithmetic, there are several concepts and equations you’ll have to memorize.

Generally, the algebra you’ll encounter on the GMAT does not test you above a high school-level. However, it has probably been several years since high school. These are the concepts you must review for the test:

- Manipulating algebraic expressions (isolating variables and solving for a variable).
- Solving equations (linear equations with one or more unknowns and quadratic equations).
- Solving and manipulating inequalities.
- Applying and solving functions.

In GMAT geometry, you will not have to use trigonometry or graph nonlinear functions. The geometry knowledge you’ll need for GMAT math is mostly limited to the following concepts:

- Properties of triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles.
- Properties of uniform solids (mostly rectangles and cylinders).
- Properties of lines (intersecting, perpendicular, and parallel).
- Properties of angles (a skill that is also part of the lines and geometric shapes).
- Coordinate geometry (very basic four quadrant graphing for the standard
*y*=*mx*+*b*equation of a line).

Since the GMAT isn’t a high school equivalency exam, the test-makers added additional concepts that borrow heavily from the items above but add a real-life dimension to the concept. The GMAT requires that you know a few more equations and concepts. However, at the base level, this is just an additional application of the concepts above. These additional applications include the ability to calculate the following:

- Interest (both simple and compound).
- Discounts and/or profits.
- Work and combined work problems.
- Rate and measurement problems.

While this list of what you need to know for GMAT math is comprehensive, it is not sufficient by itself. Since the GMAT doesn’t require a significant amount of outside knowledge, you’ll find these concepts presented in a manner that makes them far more difficult than they seem on paper. The only way to ensure you are prepared is to practice.

*Get started on the path to a great GMAT math score today by signing up for a **free practice test and review**.*

The post Master These GMAT Math Skills appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Challenge yourself to these two sentence correction problems.*

Aspiring MBA applicants often find sentence correction to be one of the more challenging question types on the GMAT. Well, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Today we’re going to walk you through two GMAT practice questions, providing answers and explanations to build your confidence for tackling sentence correction on Test Day.

Read the sentence below carefully and try to spot an error in the underlined portion of the sentence. Then choose the option that best corrects that error. Keep in mind that there may not be an error in the sentence, in which case answer choice (A) would be correct.

*Researchers have found that, on average, one American should be struck by lightning every 13 days.*

- A)
*one American should be struck by lightning every 13 days* - B)
*an American should be struck by lightning once in every 13 days* - C)
*lightning will strike some American once every 13 days* - D)
*every 13 days an American is struck by lightning* - E)
*every 13 days an American should be struck by lightning*

Always start these problems by eliminating as many of the answers as you can. Do a vertical scan of the answer choices and you will see three options—“should be struck,” “will strike,” and “is struck.” “Should be struck” implies that the researchers believe Americans ought to be struck by lightning, which is illogical and slightly inappropriate. So, you can eliminate options A, B, and E.

Next, look at option C, which suggests that the same American will be struck by lightning every 13 days. That’s one unlucky American! However, it’s not the correct meaning of the original statement. Remember, a correct sentence correction answer will never change the meaning of the sentence.

That leaves you with D. The present tense generalizes the action in a way that makes it clear lightning strikes different Americans on different occasions. D is your correct answer.

Read the sentence below carefully and try to spot an error in the underlined portion of the sentence. Then choose the option that best corrects that error. Keep in mind that there may not be an error in the sentence, in which case answer choice (A) would be correct.

*Experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.*

- A)
*Experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.* - B)
*Because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning.* - C)
*Because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, “ball lightning” cannot be studied by the same experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning as normal lightning.* - D) Because “ball lightning” is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to it as they are to normal lightning.
- E)
*“Ball lightning” is not subject to experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning in the same way as normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.*

Start by eliminating the answers that cannot be true. With this question, the false statements confuse “ball lightning” and “normal lightning” so that you cannot determine which is rare and unpredictable. By that logic, you can eliminate A, as you cannot tell from the structure whether “it” refers to “ball lightning” or “normal lightning.” The use of “it” must refer clearly to “ball lightning,” and with that in mind you can eliminate both B and E as well. That leaves you with C and D.

Option C implies that the experiments are studying the lightning but, in fact, people are studying the lightning via the experiments. If that’s not enough for elimination, C also uses the odd phrasing of “understanding of lightning as normal lightning.” C can be eliminated.

That leaves you with the correct answer: D. Though it may not sound “right,” it does express the idea best. You may be able to write a better sentence, but you won’t get any points on the GMAT for that, so D is the best answer choice.

*Want to try even more GMAT practice questions? Sign up for a **Free Online Practice Test** and gain insight into your performance.*

The post GMAT Practice Questions: Who’s Afraid of Sentence Correction? appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Challenge yourself to these two sentence correction problems.*

Aspiring MBA applicants often find sentence correction to be one of the more challenging question types on the GMAT. Well, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Today we’re going to walk you through two GMAT practice questions, providing answers and explanations to build your confidence for tackling sentence correction on Test Day.

Read the sentence below carefully and try to spot an error in the underlined portion of the sentence. Then choose the option that best corrects that error. Keep in mind that there may not be an error in the sentence, in which case answer choice (A) would be correct.

*Researchers have found that, on average, one American should be struck by lightning every 13 days.*

- A)
*one American should be struck by lightning every 13 days* - B)
*an American should be struck by lightning once in every 13 days* - C)
*lightning will strike some American once every 13 days* - D)
*every 13 days an American is struck by lightning* - E)
*every 13 days an American should be struck by lightning*

Always start these problems by eliminating as many of the answers as you can. Do a vertical scan of the answer choices and you will see three options—“should be struck,” “will strike,” and “is struck.” “Should be struck” implies that the researchers believe Americans ought to be struck by lightning, which is illogical and slightly inappropriate. So, you can eliminate options A, B, and E.

Next, look at option C, which suggests that the same American will be struck by lightning every 13 days. That’s one unlucky American! However, it’s not the correct meaning of the original statement. Remember, a correct sentence correction answer will never change the meaning of the sentence.

That leaves you with D. The present tense generalizes the action in a way that makes it clear lightning strikes different Americans on different occasions. D is your correct answer.

*Experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.*

- A)
- B)
*Because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to “ball lightning” as they are to normal lightning.* - C)
*Because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, “ball lightning” cannot be studied by the same experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning as normal lightning.* - D) Because “ball lightning” is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived, experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning are not as applicable to it as they are to normal lightning.
- E)
*“Ball lightning” is not subject to experiments designed to further our understanding of lightning in the same way as normal lightning, because it is so rare, unpredictable, and short-lived.*

Start by eliminating the answers that cannot be true. With this question, the false statements confuse “ball lightning” and “normal lightning” so that you cannot determine which is rare and unpredictable. By that logic, you can eliminate A, as you cannot tell from the structure whether “it” refers to “ball lightning” or “normal lightning.” The use of “it” must refer clearly to “ball lightning,” and with that in mind you can eliminate both B and E as well. That leaves you with C and D.

Option C implies that the experiments are studying the lightning but, in fact, people are studying the lightning via the experiments. If that’s not enough for elimination, C also uses the odd phrasing of “understanding of lightning as normal lightning.” C can be eliminated.

That leaves you with the correct answer: D. Though it may not sound “right,” it does express the idea best. You may be able to write a better sentence, but you won’t get any points on the GMAT for that, so D is the best answer choice.

*Want to try even more GMAT practice questions? Sign up for a **Free Online Practice Test** and gain insight into your performance.*

The post GMAT Practice Questions: Who’s Afraid of Sentence Correction? appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Proximity to Silicon Valley could be a boon for your post-MBA salary.*

From a look at the highest average MBA salary to the ins and outs of reapplying after a rejection. Here’s our latest roundup of business school news.

Stanford Graduate School of Business may not be THE top-ranked business school according to organizations like *U.S. News & World Report* and *Bloomberg Businessweek* (though it’s VERY high up there), but its graduates may not care all that much anyway, considering that they earn more than any other MBAs. Graduates of Stanford GSB earn the highest MBA salary on average, and the school has graduated four self-made billionaires and nearly 250 current CEOs.

One key reason why MBAs earn so much after leaving Stanford is location, location, location. OK, that’s three reasons—but it’s worth repeating. Located right next to Silicon Valley, GSB graduates can find employment at some of the most exciting tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Google. The school’s track record for high MBA salary may also have to do attitude, as one recent graduate explains: “We have a culture where you are encouraged to do whatever you want, to explore the things you want to do that others may think is crazy.” (*Bloomberg Businessweek*)

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business may look back on 2017 and consider it a watershed year. While consistently high in the rankings, *U.S. News & World Report* gave it the third slot this year, joining “The Big Three” along with Harvard and Wharton. This didn’t just happen by chance though; it came with a lot of planning and success, including a big jump in average GMAT scores for new students and an uptick in average MBA salary for graduates.

“We look for people who are forever students of life,” says Kurt Ahlm, the school’s associate dean of Admissions. “These people have this innate commitment to learning and exploring the world around them. They are compelled to ask questions, think about how things connect, and dive deeper. That’s just baked in whether you talk to students, staff, or faculty.” (Poets & Quants)

In Europe, one-year MBA programs are all the rage and growing in popularity, with students drawn to their lower cost and the fact that matriculants can get back into the workforce quicker. Consider this: Nearly three quarters of one-year programs on the Continent saw more applications last year, compared to just 43 percent of two-year programs in the United States.

Shashi Matta, MBA director at Ohio State’s Max M. Fisher College of Business, is what you might call a traditionalist. “Employers are interested in someone who they can be confident about—who not only has immersed themselves in learning about business over a two-year period, but also has that clear evidence shown by the internship,” she explains. An internship is done between your first and second year.

But as Michelle Sisto, MBA director of EDHEC Business School says, “Our students are not ready to give up two years of their career. It’s mostly about the cost.”

Hopefully, you will get into all your top MBA program picks. But what if your heart and mind are set on one school in particular and you don’t make the cut? There’s always next year, when you can reapply. But if you do take this route, make sure you follow a few rules of engagement:

- If you are able to get feedback from the school that rejected your application, then definitely do so. Not all school provide it, but some do, and the advice could be extremely helpful. That said, you might not be able to improve on everything within a few months time. Focus on what you can.
- Don’t submit the same information. If you already know that your GMAT score wasn’t what it should be, for example, retake it.
- If you didn’t perform well in your interview, prepare for it more effectively. It’s an important way admissions officers seeing if you’d be a good fit for their culture. (
*U.S. News & World Report*)

*Your highest score is within reach. Explore **flexible GMAT prep options** that can get you there by Test Day.*

The post Average MBA Salary Highest at Stanford GSB appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Save time on Test Day with this trick for calculating desired outcomes.*

On the GMAT, probability problems appear more frequently as high-difficulty questions than in low- or even medium-difficulty questions. Therefore, it should be fairly low on your priority list of content areas to brush up on. However, if you are scoring (or hoping to score) in or above the mid-600s, you should spend a little time becoming reacquainted with *P*.

Probability is a stated as a percent less than 100 or a fraction less than 1; it is found by dividing the number of **desired** **outcomes** by the number of **possible outcomes**. So if you are tossing a coin, there are *two* possible outcomes. If you want heads, there is only *one *way to get heads (the coin lands heads up). So the probability is 1 (desired) over 2 (possible), which is 1/2, or 50%.

When multiple events occur, such as multiple coin tosses, each event adds to the total possible outcomes. For the coin example, each toss has 2 possible outcomes. So the denominator for one toss is 2, for two tosses is 4 (2 x 2), for three tosses is 8 (2 x 2 x 2), etc. **To quickly calculate total possible outcomes, raise the number possible for one event to the power of the number of events**. For example, the total possible outcomes for 4 coin tosses is 24= 16 possible outcomes.

If you want to know the probability of two things happening, you **multiply** the probabilities of the two events. So the probability of a coin landing heads up two times is 1/2 times 1/2, which is 1/4. Note that **the probability of two outcomes both occurring is less than the probability of either outcome occurring alone**. That’s one way to remember that you multiply to find the probability of multiple items happening; every time you multiply a fraction by a fraction, the value decreases.

Probabilities are always 100% or less (1.0 or less, if using decimals). If the probability of x occurring is 70%, the probability of x *not occurring* is 100% minus 70%, or 30%. Sometimes on the GMAT, calculating the probability of a desired outcome is complicated. These probability problems are usually solved much more quickly by calculating the **likelihood of NOT getting the desired outcome, then subtracting that probability from 1**. Here’s an example:

*A fair coin is tossed 4 times. What is the probability of getting heads at least twice?*

Begin approaching this probability problem by calculating the denominator, the total possible outcomes. As noted above, each toss of the coin yields 2 possible outcomes, so 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 total possible outcomes.

The four outcomes could be any combination of H (heads) and T (tails): HTHT, THTH, HHTT, TTHH, HHTH, TTHT, etc. Counting all possible ways to get two or more heads (the number of desired outcomes) would take too long on Test Day, and inexperienced test-takers will waste time doing that. Kaplan-trained test-takers, however, will recognize that the number of UNDESIRED outcomes is much easier to compute: Either no heads at all (TTTT), or heads only once (HTTT, THTT, TTHT, TTTH). That means there are 5 undesired outcomes and a probability of 5/16 for not getting the desired results.

To calculate the probability of heads at least twice, subtract the probability of NOT getting heads at least twice (5/16) from 100% (16/16). The probability of getting heads at least twice is 11/16.

You’ll be pretty well set for Test Day if you remember what probability is (desired/total), how to calculate multiple probabilities (multiply them), and the shortcut for solving difficult probability problems (subtract undesired from 1).

*Get even more GMAT practice by challenging yourself to a **free practice question** every day.*

The post Land Your Score: Probability Problems Primer appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Save time on Test Day with this trick for calculating desired outcomes.*

On the GMAT, probability problems appear more frequently as high-difficulty questions than in low- or even medium-difficulty questions. Therefore, it should be fairly low on your priority list of content areas to brush up on. However, if you are scoring (or hoping to score) in or above the mid-600s, you should spend a little time becoming reacquainted with *P*.

Probability is a stated as a percent less than 100 or a fraction less than 1; it is found by dividing the number of **desired** **outcomes** by the number of **possible outcomes**. So if you are tossing a coin, there are *two* possible outcomes. If you want heads, there is only *one *way to get heads (the coin lands heads up). So the probability is 1 (desired) over 2 (possible), which is 1/2, or 50%.

When multiple events occur, such as multiple coin tosses, each event adds to the total possible outcomes. For the coin example, each toss has 2 possible outcomes. So the denominator for one toss is 2, for two tosses is 4 (2 x 2), for three tosses is 8 (2 x 2 x 2), etc. **To quickly calculate total possible outcomes, raise the number possible for one event to the power of the number of events**. For example, the total possible outcomes for 4 coin tosses is 24= 16 possible outcomes.

If you want to know the probability of two things happening, you **multiply** the probabilities of the two events. So the probability of a coin landing heads up two times is 1/2 times 1/2, which is 1/4. Note that **the probability of two outcomes both occurring is less than the probability of either outcome occurring alone**. That’s one way to remember that you multiply to find the probability of multiple items happening; every time you multiply a fraction by a fraction, the value decreases.

Probabilities are always 100% or less (1.0 or less, if using decimals). If the probability of x occurring is 70%, the probability of x *not occurring* is 100% minus 70%, or 30%. Sometimes on the GMAT, calculating the probability of a desired outcome is complicated. These probability problems are usually solved much more quickly by calculating the **likelihood of NOT getting the desired outcome, then subtracting that probability from 1**. Here’s an example:

*A fair coin is tossed 4 times. What is the probability of getting heads at least twice?*

Begin approaching this probability problem by calculating the denominator, the total possible outcomes. As noted above, each toss of the coin yields 2 possible outcomes, so 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 total possible outcomes.

The four outcomes could be any combination of H (heads) and T (tails): HTHT, THTH, HHTT, TTHH, HHTH, TTHT, etc. Counting all possible ways to get two or more heads (the number of desired outcomes) would take too long on Test Day, and inexperienced test-takers will waste time doing that. Kaplan-trained test-takers, however, will recognize that the number of UNDESIRED outcomes is much easier to compute: Either no heads at all (TTTT), or heads only once (HTTT, THTT, TTHT, TTTH). That means there are 5 undesired outcomes and a probability of 5/16 for not getting the desired results.

To calculate the probability of heads at least twice, subtract the probability of NOT getting heads at least twice (5/16) from 100% (16/16). The probability of getting heads at least twice is 11/16.

You’ll be pretty well set for Test Day if you remember what probability is (desired/total), how to calculate multiple probabilities (multiply them), and the shortcut for solving difficult probability problems (subtract undesired from 1).

*Get even more GMAT practice by challenging yourself to a **free practice question** every day.*

The post Land Your Score: Probability Problems Primer appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]> *Does GMAT integrated reasoning matter for MBA admissions?*

In 2012, when the GMAT was revised to include the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section, business school applicants and online GMAT forums conjectured as to whether schools were even going to look at the IR scores. After all, the section was so brand new that even top-ranked business schools like Stanford, the Wharton School, INSEAD, and Kellogg acknowledged, at least to some extent, that they were not going to look at IR scores.

In those early days of the revised GMAT, IR seemed to be a mystery to both admissions staff and GMAT test takers alike. So, what about now? Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning matter in preparing for GMAT Test Day?

Since that time, schools have amassed comparative data on test takers’ IR performance and how that performance aligns with what those schools are looking for. Even the schools that once claimed the IR score did not figure heavily in their decision-making have now devised a structure for how to incorporate the new scoring data into admissions. In addition, test-preppers now have a panoply of resources that have demystified GMAT IR.

Simply put, IR is no longer “new” or a mystery, but is a standard part of the GMAT that supplies MBA admissions committees with valuable information on how candidates “work-smarter-not-harder”—the way a business leader would. IR gives you the opportunity to prove to schools that you have what it takes.

*Anything* that appears on the GMAT confers a chance to better position your application. Just because a dean at a top-ten business school said five years ago that IR was a mystery does not mean that admissions teams don’t scrutinize your overall GMAT score.

What’s more, not all business schools are the same. You owe it to yourself to research and find out how IR (and Analytical Writing Assessment, for that matter) figures into admissions at each of your individual prospective programs. Some business school websites detail how they regard the various sections of the GMAT. You can also find out by contacting the school’s admissions counselors via email or phone.

Even though some admissions committees continue not to consider IR scores in their decision-making process, they do not use IR scores in the established decision-making process, they still *see* your IR score; hence, there is a chance that low IR results could affect the deliberations of admissions officers evaluating your application.

In short: Your GMAT Integrated Reasoning score matters. IR is one of many opportunities to advance your candidacy. Even if an MBA program does not place any particular emphasis on IR, strong IR results can only help your candidacy. A solid score can boost your admissions chances—and can certainly hurt those chances if you blow it off as inconsequential.

However, that raises another question: if the IR score does not figure as heavily as the Quantitative and Verbal scores do with business schools, how should you prioritize it in your GMAT prep?

The GMAT is unlike any test you’ve taken in academia. It doesn’t assess knowledge, but rather how well—under stress—you execute the most efficient solutions to business-like problems.

In that regard, GMAT IR is identical to the GMAT Quantitative and Verbal sections in that you use a college-level command of grammar, reasoning, vocabulary, and math to negotiate critical thinking puzzles amidst the constraints of the clock and the online testing scenario. Similarly, IR offers a business-oriented, problem-solving scenario in which you must manipulate spreadsheets and statistical information in order to deduce inferences that answer the questions asked.

Thus, the primary way to grow in IR is to *first* refresh yourself on the grammar and math you haven’t seen in years to strengthen your cognitive prowess in the Quantitative and Verbal sections. Once you have rehearsed the pattern-recognition, translation, and work-smarter behaviors demanded by the Quant and Verbal sections to the point that you are raising your scores in those sections, *then* apply yourself to the different medium presented by IR. Here’s one great way to approach your GMAT prep:

- Drill yourself back to a daily familiarity with the math and language concepts demanded by the Quant and Verbal sections.
- Apply that knowledge to the patterned ways that the Quant and Verbal sections require you to use those concepts.
- Practice those applied behaviors until they’re second nature, and your Quant and Verbal scores rise.
- Acquaint yourself with the unique medium and format of the Integrated Reasoning section. Get used to the repeated ways in which IR presents information and questions and the patterned methods to efficiently attack the problem solving it demands.
- When you see your IR practice scores rise, take full-length practice tests so that you encounter IR in its “natural habitat.” That way, you’ll then see the continuity between the cognitive behaviors demanded by IR and all the other sections of the GMAT.

*Want to see how you stack up against IR and the entire GMAT? Take a **free practice GMAT** with experts to guide you.*

The post Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning Matter? appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]> *Does GMAT integrated reasoning matter for MBA admissions?*

In 2012, when the GMAT was revised to include the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section, business school applicants and online GMAT forums conjectured as to whether schools were even going to look at the IR scores. After all, the section was so brand new that even top-ranked business schools like Stanford, the Wharton School, INSEAD, and Kellogg acknowledged, at least to some extent, that they were not going to look at IR scores.

In those early days of the revised GMAT, IR seemed to be a mystery to both admissions staff and GMAT test takers alike. So, what about now? Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning matter in preparing for GMAT Test Day?

Since that time, schools have amassed comparative data on test takers’ IR performance and how that performance aligns with what those schools are looking for. Even the schools that once claimed the IR score did not figure heavily in their decision-making have now devised a structure for how to incorporate the new scoring data into admissions. In addition, test-preppers now have a panoply of resources that have demystified GMAT IR.

Simply put, IR is no longer “new” or a mystery, but is a standard part of the GMAT that supplies MBA admissions committees with valuable information on how candidates “work-smarter-not-harder”—the way a business leader would. IR gives you the opportunity to prove to schools that you have what it takes.

*Anything* that appears on the GMAT confers a chance to better position your application. Just because a dean at a top-ten business school said five years ago that IR was a mystery does not mean that admissions teams don’t scrutinize your overall GMAT score.

What’s more, not all business schools are the same. You owe it to yourself to research and find out how IR (and Analytical Writing Assessment, for that matter) figures into admissions at each of your individual prospective programs. Some business school websites detail how they regard the various sections of the GMAT. You can also find out by contacting the school’s admissions counselors via email or phone.

Even though some admissions committees continue not to consider IR scores in their decision-making process, they do not use IR scores in the established decision-making process, they still *see* your IR score; hence, there is a chance that low IR results could affect the deliberations of admissions officers evaluating your application.

In short: Your GMAT Integrated Reasoning score matters. IR is one of many opportunities to advance your candidacy. Even if an MBA program does not place any particular emphasis on IR, strong IR results can only help your candidacy. A solid score can boost your admissions chances—and can certainly hurt those chances if you blow it off as inconsequential.

However, that raises another question: if the IR score does not figure as heavily as the Quantitative and Verbal scores do with business schools, how should you prioritize it in your GMAT prep?

The GMAT is unlike any test you’ve taken in academia. It doesn’t assess knowledge, but rather how well—under stress—you execute the most efficient solutions to business-like problems.

In that regard, GMAT IR is identical to the GMAT Quantitative and Verbal sections in that you use a college-level command of grammar, reasoning, vocabulary, and math to negotiate critical thinking puzzles amidst the constraints of the clock and the online testing scenario. Similarly, IR offers a business-oriented, problem-solving scenario in which you must manipulate spreadsheets and statistical information in order to deduce inferences that answer the questions asked.

Thus, the primary way to grow in IR is to *first* refresh yourself on the grammar and math you haven’t seen in years to strengthen your cognitive prowess in the Quantitative and Verbal sections. Once you have rehearsed the pattern-recognition, translation, and work-smarter behaviors demanded by the Quant and Verbal sections to the point that you are raising your scores in those sections, *then* apply yourself to the different medium presented by IR. Here’s one great way to approach your GMAT prep:

- Drill yourself back to a daily familiarity with the math and language concepts demanded by the Quant and Verbal sections.
- Apply that knowledge to the patterned ways that the Quant and Verbal sections require you to use those concepts.
- Practice those applied behaviors until they’re second nature, and your Quant and Verbal scores rise.
- Acquaint yourself with the unique medium and format of the Integrated Reasoning section. Get used to the repeated ways in which IR presents information and questions and the patterned methods to efficiently attack the problem solving it demands.
- When you see your IR practice scores rise, take full-length practice tests so that you encounter IR in its “natural habitat.” That way, you’ll then see the continuity between the cognitive behaviors demanded by IR and all the other sections of the GMAT.

*Want to see how you stack up against IR and the entire GMAT? Take a **free practice GMAT** with experts to guide you.*

The post Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning Matter? appeared first on Business School Insider.

]]>*Be prepared to solve questions about both proportions and combinations.*

Mixture problems show up frequently on the Quantitative section of the GMAT and fall into two basic categories. As each type of mixture question will be approached in fairly different ways, it is important that you know the difference between them.

First, there are mixture problems that ask you to alter the proportions of a single mixture. These questions could, for example, tell you that you have a 200 liter mixture that is 90% water and 10% bleach and ask how much water you would need to add to make it 5% bleach. The key in this type of question is the part of the mixture that is constant—in this case the bleach. While we are adding water, the amount of bleach stays the same.

First, determine how much bleach we have. Ten percent of 200 is 20 liters. Next, we know we want those 20 liters to equal 5% of our total. Since 20 is 5% of 400, our new total should be 400 liters. To go from 200 liters to 400 liters, you would need to add 200 liters of water, which would be the answer. Backsolving from the answer to the question is another way of approaching this type of GMAT Quantitative problem.

The other type of mixture problem will ask you to combine two mixtures. For example, you could be told that mixture *A* is 20% bleach and 80% water, while mixture *B* is 5% bleach and 95% water. You could then be asked in what ratio these mixtures should be combined to achieve a mixture that is 10% bleach. You should solve problems such as this algebraically.

Both sides of your equation will represent the amount of bleach in the combined mixture. On one side you will represent the amount of bleach in terms of the individual mixtures. This will give you .2*A* + .05*B*. On the other side of the equation you will represent the amount of bleach overall, which is .1(*A* + *B*). Note that in these expressions *A* represents the total amount of mixture A and B represents the total amount of mixture *B*. Because these expressions both represent the total amount of bleach, we can set them equal to each other. This gives us .2*A* + .05*B* = .1(*A* + *B*). The ratio of *A* to *B* can be solved as follows:

.2*A* + .05*B* = .1(*A* + *B*)

.2*A* + .05*B* = .1*A* + .1*B*

.1*A* = .05*B*

*A*/*B* = .05 / .1

*A*/*B* = 1 / 2

Now try answering the following question below to see how you do with mixture problems on your own:

*Two brands of detergent are to be combined. Detergent X contains 20 percent bleach and 80 percent soap, while Detergent Y contains 45 percent bleach and 55 percent soap. If the combined mixture is to be 35 percent bleach, what percent of the final mixture should be Detergent X?*

- (A) 10%
- (B) 32.5%
- (C) 35%
- (D) 40%
- (E) 60%

This is a complex question, but there is a straightforward solution. We are creating a new mixture from two others, *X* and *Y*. *X* is 20% bleach, and *Y* is 45% bleach. The new mixture is to be 35% bleach. In other words, some amount of a 20% bleach mixture plus some amount of a 45% bleach mixture will balance each other out to a 35% bleach mixture.

Because this involves finding a particular balance between Detergents *X* and *Y*, you can use the balance approach to solve. We could use algebra or backsolving, but balance is the most efficient. This will let us calculate the proportion of Detergent *X* in the final mixture.

The question does not state how many parts of Detergent *X* are used, so call this *x*. And the question does not state how many parts of *Y* are used, so call this *y*.

So 0.10*y* = 0.15*x*. To solve for a proportional amount, view this as a ratio. Divide both sides by *y* and by 0.15 to get the ratio:

0.10*y* = 0.15*x*

0.10 / 0.15 = *x* / *y*

10 / 15 = *x* / *y*

2 / 3 = *x* / *y*

So *x*:*y* is 2:3. Add the total to the ratio to determine how *x* relates to the total, *x*:*y*:total = 2:3:5. Thus *x*:total = 2:5. That’s 2 / 5, or 40%. Answer (D) is correct.

*Challenge yourself to even more GMAT Quantitative Reasoning problems by signing up for a **free practice test** and sharpening your skills for Test Day. *

The post GMAT Quantitative: Two Types of Mixture Problems appeared first on Business School Insider.

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