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FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Use Number Lines on the GMAT, Not Memory! 
I’ve written in the past about how the biggest challenge on many GMAT questions is the strain they put on our working memory. Working memory, or our ability to process information that we hold temporarily, is by definition quite limited. It’s why phone numbers only contain seven digits – any more than that and most people wouldn’t be able to recall them. (Yes, there was a time, in the dark and distant past, when we had to remember phone numbers.) One of the most simple and effective strategies we can deploy to combat our working memory limitations is to simply list out the sample space of scenarios we’re dealing with. If we were told, for example, that x is a prime number less than 20, rather than internalize this information, we can jot down x = 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, or 19. The harder and more abstract the question, the more necessary such a strategy will prove to be. Take this challenging Data Sufficiency question, for example: On the number line, the distance between x and y is greater than the distance between x and z. Does z lie between x and y on the number line? 1) xyz < 0 2) xy <0 The reader is hereby challenged to attempt this exercise in his or her head without inducing some kind of hemorrhage. So, rather than try to conceptualize this problem mentally, let’s start by actually writing down all the number line configurations that we might have to deal with before even glancing at the statements. We know that x and z are closer than x and y. So we could get the following: x____z_______________________y z____x_______________________y Or we can swap x and y to generate a kind of mirror image y______________________x_____z y______________________z_____x The above number lines are the only four possibilities given the constraints provided in the question stem. Now we have something concrete and visual that we can use when evaluating the statements. Statement 1 tells us that the product of the three variables is negative. If you’ve internalized your number properties – and we heartily encourage that you do – you know that a product is negative if there are an odd number of negative elements in said product. In this case, that means that either one of the variables is negative, or all three of them are. So let’s use say one of the variables is negative. By placing a 0 strategically, we can use any of our above number lines: x__0__z______________________y z__0__x______________________y y__0___________________x_____z y__0___________________z_____x Each of these scenarios will satisfy that first statement. But we only need two. In our first number line, z is between x and y, so we get a YES to the question. In our second number line, z is not between x and y, so we get a NO to the question. Because we can get a YES or a NO to the original question, Statement 1 alone is not sufficient. Eliminate answer choices A and D. Statement 2 tells us that the product of x and y is negative. Thus, we know that one of the variables is positive, and one of the variables is negative. Again, we can simply peruse our number lines and select a couple of examples that satisfy this condition. In our first number line, z is between x and y, so we get a YES to the question. In our third number line, z is not between x and y, so we get a NO to the question. Like with Statement 1, because we can get a YES or NO to the original question, Statement 2 alone is also not sufficient. Eliminate answer choice B. When testing the statements together, we know two pieces of information. Statement 1 tells us that either one variable is negative or all three are. Statement 2 tells us that, between x and y, we have one negative and one positive. Therefore, together, we know that either x or y is negative, and the remaining variables are all positive. Now all we have to do is peruse our sample space and locate these scenarios. It turns out that we can use the same two number lines we used when testing Statement 2: In our first number line, z is between x and y, so we get a YES to the question. In our third number line, z is not between x and y, so we get a NO to the question. So even together, the statements are not sufficient to answer the question – the correct answer is E. Takeaway: on the GMAT there’s no reason to strain your brain any more than is necessary. The more concrete you can make the information you’re provided on a given question, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to properly execute whatever math or logic maneuvers you’re asked to perform. *GMATPrep question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here. The post Use Number Lines on the GMAT, Not Memory! appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Should Entrepreneurs Go to Business School? 
Should budding entrepreneurs go to business school? It’s a question we get asked very often and it’s always a difficult debate. In some cases it makes sense, in others not. So let’s break down both options: Against Business School In general, business school can be a very expensive proposition. So as an entrepreneur you will probably be asking yourself, “Why spend all this money on business school when I could just invest it in myself and my startup?” Many entrepreneurs would also say spending two years on attending business school is a waste of time. Apu Gupta, who CoFounded Curalate and is a Wharton MBA graduate thinks you can’t learn entrepreneurship in a classroom: “I think the notion that you can go to business school to learn to be an entrepreneur is a misnomer. I have always found it odd that people go to business school to study entrepreneurship. If you want to study entrepreneurship, you need to go and be an entrepreneur.” Also, there are now many online resources now where people can take MBAlike classes, learn some of the same skills they would in a business school classroom and not have to pay nearly as much, if anything at all. For example, the University of Illinois just made their MBA classes free online at Coursera. For Business School So why do we think it can actually make sense for entrepreneurs to go to business school? There are a number of reasons. First, business schools are consistently investing in their entrepreneurship programs. They have seen the rise of students either wanting to work for startups or be an entrepreneur themselves, and they are responding positively. During any random week at just about any top business school there will be some kind of pitch competition happening, giving students the chance to flex their creative muscles and present their startup idea to local experts. Additionally, most schools offer some kind of entrepreneurship class or lecture series for their students. For example, Harvard Business School offers courses like “The Entrepreneurial Manager,” “Entrepreneurial Finance,” “Launching Technology Ventures,” and even a field course in entrepreneurial sales and marketing. Some schools are even custom designing their curriculum – investing in entrepreneurship centers or creating additional certificates for wouldbe entrepreneurs. For example, the Michigan Ross School of Business has created a Master of Entrepreneurship degree in collaboration with the Michigan College of Engineering that comes with a builtin funding ecosystem. Secondly, despite the fact that business school networking is typically geared to those looking for fulltime jobs, it still provides an awesome opportunity for entrepreneurs to network. Imagine being in a sea of talented people who are as motivated as you! Do you think you could find a few people who might also want to work on your project? How about a professor that would serve as an advisor for your company? Or even potential funding opportunities from alumni and local investors? Obviously at the end of the day business school is a very personal choice, and we think it is important to think about both sides of the argument when debating whether or not entrepreneurs should go to business school. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. The post Should Entrepreneurs Go to Business School? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Reflections of a Graduating Senior: Here Are 4 Things I Wish I’d Done Better in College 
All in all, I did pretty well in college. I maintained a high GPA, earned and kept scholarships and a job, landed four internships and a yearlong research apprenticeship in my field, studied and traveled abroad, and am all set to graduate on time at the end of the school year. On paper, I did just about everything a good college student is supposed to do. As the real world looms closer, however, I find myself spending more and more time thinking about ways I could have better prepared myself for job searches and grad school. I’m not just paranoid; it’s old news now that the job market isn’t at its friendliest these days, and it’s an even older joke that political science majors all end up having to move back in with their parents after graduation. Just doing well in school isn’t enough anymore. I don’t know yet how it’ll all turn out for me, but I do know that there are plenty of things I wish I had done more of before my last semester. Here are a few…
Have you been putting off your college application? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament. The post Reflections of a Graduating Senior: Here Are 4 Things I Wish I’d Done Better in College appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Here Are 5 College Resources You Should Definitely Take Advantage Of 
There are so many opportunities on a college campus, it’s hard to know where to start! College campuses pride themselves on the unique opportunities they provide to their students – whether it’s bringing a famous singer to perform, offering free academic services or supporting hundreds of extracurricular activities and clubs – colleges and universities are always striving to improve campus life and meet the needs of their students. So often, though, students don’t recognize the slew of resources and opportunities that are available to them during their undergraduate experience! Many times, these resources may not be properly marketed, and other times, they just simply are overlooked. So, while you think about your weekend plans or start to plan for final examinations, I’d like to remind you to check out your campus resources and take advantage of them, too!
[*]Mental Health Services: College can be an overwhelming time, and many college students would benefit from speaking to licensed psychologists at some point or another. This resource is often overlooked, but is offered as part of your tuition on many campuses.[/list] [*]Extracurricular Activities & Clubs: Do you ever walk through an academic building in the evening and see a group of students in a meeting? Or, do you walk by open fields and see a group of friends playing Frisbee? In many cases, these could be established, organized clubs that receive funding from the school for their activities. Check out your campus organization list – if you don’t see the organization you’re looking for, start a new one![/list] [*]Career Services: Once you start approaching your senior year, more and more people in your life will start to ask you, “What are you going to do after college?” The question can be daunting if you haven’t really sat down to think about your postcollege goals. This is where Career Services kicks in! Their offices aren’t just for seniors, and they can often help you research and secure internships, put together your resume, prep for interviews and assist you in finding opportunities after college.[/list] [*]Spiritual Life Services: Whether you’re looking for more formal spiritual experiences, or just a group of students who have similar beliefs to yours, there are many opportunities to connect spiritually during your undergraduate career. If this is an area you found value in before college, or an area you are curious about, it is absolutely a resource you can pursue on your college campus.[/list] Most campuses offer their students a slew of amazing resources, it is just up to the student to take advantage of them. These types of resources don’t always exist in the “real world,” and when they do, the often come at a cost. Be sure to put those tuition dollars to use and take full advantage of everything that is offered to you while you are a member of the campus community! Need help prepping your early college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! Laura Smith is Program Manager of Admissions Consulting at Veritas Prep. Laura received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, followed by a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA. The post Here Are 5 College Resources You Should Definitely Take Advantage Of appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Quarter Wit, Quarter Wisdom: Permutation Involving Sum of Digits 
We have seen in previous posts how to deal with permutation and combination questions on the GMAT. There is a certain variety of questions that involve getting a bunch of numbers using permutation, and then doing some operations on the numbers we get. The questions can get a little overwhelming considering the sheer magnitude of the number of numbers involved! Let’s take a look at that concept today. We will explain it using an example and then take a question as an exercise: What is the sum of all four digit integers formed using the digits 1, 2, 3 and 4 such that each digit is used exactly once in each integer? First of all, we will use our basic counting principle to find the number of integers that are possible. The first digit can be chosen in 4 ways. The next one in 3 ways since each digit can be used only once. The next one in 2 ways and there will be only one digit left for the last place. This gives us a total of 4*3*2*1 = 24 ways of writing such a four digit number. This is what some of the numbers will look like: 1234 1243 1324 1342 … 2143 … 4321 Now we need to add these 24 integers to get their sum. Note that since each digit has an equal probability of occupying every place, out of the 24 integers, six integers will have 1 in the units place, six will have 2 in the units place, another six will have 3 in the units place and the rest of the six will have 4 in the units place. The same is true for all places – tens, hundreds and thousands. Imagine every number written in expanded form such as: 1234 = 1000 + 200 + 30 + 4 2134 = 2000 + 100 + 30 + 4 …etc. For the 24 numbers, we will get six 1000’s, six 2000’s, six 3000’s and six 4000’s. In addition, we will get six 100’s, six 200’s, six 300’s and six 400’s. For the tens place, will get six 10’s, six 20’s, six 30’s and six 40’s. And finally, in the ones place we will get six 1’s, six 2’s, six 3’s and six 4’s. Therefore, the total sum will be: 6*1000 + 6*2000 + 6*3000 + 6*4000 + 6*100 + 6*200 + … + 6*3 + 6*4 = 6*1000*(1 + 2 + 3 + 4) + 6*100*(1 + 2 + 3 + 4) + 6*10*(1 + 2 + 3 + 4) + 6*1*(1 + 2 + 3 + 4) = 6*1000*10 + 6*100*10 + 6*10*10 + 6*10 = 6*10*(1000 + 100 + 10 + 1) = 1111*6*10 = 66660 Note that finally, there aren’t too many actual calculations, but there is some manipulation involved. Let’s look at a GMAT question using this concept now: What is the sum of all four digit integers formed using the digits 1, 2, 3 and 4 (repetition is allowed) A) 444440 B) 610000 C) 666640 D) 711040 E) 880000 Conceptually, this problem isn’t much different from the previous one. Using the same basic counting principle to get the number of integers possible, the first digit can be chosen in 4 ways, the next one in 4 ways, the next one in again 4 ways and finally the last digit in 4 ways. This is what some of the numbers will look like: 1111 1112 1121 … and so on till 4444. As such, we will get a total of 4*4*4*4 = 256 different integers. Now we need to add these 256 integers to get their sum. Since each digit has an equal probability of occupying every place, out of the 256 integers, 64 integers will have 1 in the units place, 64 will have 2 in the units place, another 64 integers will have 3 in the units place and the rest of the 64 integers will have 4 in the units place. The same is true for all places – tens, hundreds and thousands. Therefore, the total sum will be: 64*1000 + 64*2000 + 64*3000 + 64*4000 + 64*100 + 64*200 + … + 64*3 + 64*4 = 1000*(64*1 + 64*2 + 64*3 + 64*4) + 100*(64*1 + 64*2 + 64*3 + 64*4) + 10*(64*1 + 64*2 + 64*3 + 64*4) + 1*(64*1 + 64*2 + 64*3 + 64*4) = (64*1 + 64*2 + 64*3 + 64*4) * (1000 + 100 + 10 + 1) = 64*10*1111 = 711040 So our answer is D. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and Twitter! Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! The post Quarter Wit, Quarter Wisdom: Permutation Involving Sum of Digits appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: ASU Offers Free MBA: What This Means for You 
Is it a twenty million dollar marketing gimmick? Or is it simply the “most innovative business school in the world” being the most innovative business school in the world? Arizona State University’s Carey School of Business has announced that a MBA from their school will now come free of charge, no strings attached. Why would a school do this? The university believes that they will be able to build a better community of students, more entrepreneurial and higher achieving, by making the program free. Amy Hillman, Dean of the Carey School of Business, said in a recent statement, “If someone has a great startup idea, and they know they would be more successful in their venture if they had the skills and networking that an MBA would give them, they might be concerned about spending the money because it takes away from the capital needed for the startup venture.” Arizona State is currently the 30th best business school in the country according to US News and World Report, so they are certainly no slouch when it comes to producing great MBAs. The average GMAT score at the school is 673. So how much will students save going to Arizona State? Currently, tuition for ASU’s fulltime MBA program is $54,000 for instate residents, $87,000 for outof state residents and $90,000 for international students – not too shabby. The school also announced they will grow their class size by about 40% to 120 lucky students. So the total investment by Arizona State will be about twenty million dollars annually. Naturally, the school expects application volume to rise precipitously after this generous offer and hope their yield (number of students who accept enrollment offers) will also rise. They also think they can attract better business school candidates who will do some quick math and see just how much money they attend by perhaps choosing a school that might be a bit lower on the rankings than where they could have gone otherwise. All of this should hopefully pay off for Arizona State by sending them up the business school rankings, much of which is determined by the factors above. How are they paying for all of this? Back in 2003, a real estate investor named William Polk Carey made a fiftymillion dollar naming gift to the school, which has apparently paid off for Arizona State. “His investment in us can allow us to invest in these students,” added Hillman. What does this mean for business school applicants? Well first of all, you probably want to make sure you consider Arizona State, especially if you are targeting any of the top 30 schools. While many people might not consider heading west for their MBA, Arizona State has a lot going for it – it is located near Phoenix which has many large employers of business school graduates such as Intel and Honeywell. Finally, this this should also serve as a reminder to students to really think about the costs of business school. Many educators are starting to think the MBA is just getting t0o expensive; this is a good time to make sure you do the math before jumping at a school that might be a tad better ranked than ASU, but far more expensive. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. The post ASU Offers Free MBA: What This Means for You appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Don't Panic on the GMAT! 
You’ve made it. After months of study, mountains of flash cards, and enough time spent on our YouTube channelthat you’re starting to feel like Brian Galvin is one of your roommates, you’re at the test center and the GMAT — not the essay or something, but the real GMAT, in all its evil glory, complete with exponents and fractions — is about to begin. You’re nervous but excited, and cautiously optimistic for the first question: maybe it’ll be something like “What’s (2²)³?” or a work rate problem about how long it’d take George Jetson to burn down a widget factory. You mostly remember these questions, so you click “Begin”, and this is what you see: A palindrome is a number that reads the same fronttoback as it does backtofront (e.g. 202, 575, 1991, etc.) p is the smallest integer greater than 200 that is both a prime and a palindrome. What is the sum of the digits of p? A) 3 B) 4 C) 5 D) 6 E) 7 Thud. I don’t know about you, but I’m petrified. I mean, yeah, I know what you’re saying — I’m the bozo who just dreamed up that question — but I don’t know where it came from, and I’m sort of thinking I might need to summon an exorcist, because I must be possessed by a math demon. What does that question even say? How the heck are we going to solve it? This is such a common GMAT predicament to be in that I’m willing to bet that 99% of test takers experience it: the feeling that you don’t even know what the question is saying, and the sense of creeping terror that maybe you don’t know what any of these questions are saying. This is by design, of course. The test writers love these sort of “gut check” questions that test your ability to calmly unpack and reason out a cruel and unusual prompt. So many students take themselves out of the game by panicking, but like any GMAT question, once we get past the intimidation factor, the problem is simple at heart. Let’s try to model the process. We’ll start by clarifying our terms. Palindrome, palindrome … what on earth is a palindrome!? Is that some sort of hovercraft where Sarah Palin lives? Where are our flash cards? Maybe we should just go to law school or open a food truck or something, this test is absurd. Wait, the answer is right in front of us, in the very first line! “A palindrome is a number that reads the same backtofront as it does fronttoback.” Phew, OK, and there are even some examples. So a palindrome is a number like 101, 111, 121, etc. Alright, got that. And it’s prime … prime, prime … OK, right, that WAS on a flashcard: a prime number is a number with exactly two factors, such as 2, or 3, or 5, or 7. So if we were to make lists of each of these numbers, primes and palindromes, we’d have Primes: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, … Palindromes: 101, 111, 121, 131, … and we want the first number that’s greater than 200 that appears on both lists. OK! Now let’s think of where to start. We know our number is greater than 200, so 202 seems promising. But that can’t be prime: it’s even, so it has at least three factors (1, itself, and 2). Great! We can skip everything that begins/ends with 2, and fast forward to 303. That looks prime, but what was it that Brian kept telling us about divisibility by 3 … ah, yes, test the sum of the digits! 3 + 0 + 3 = 6, and 6 divides by 3, so 303 also divides by 3. Our next candidate is 313. This seems to be our final hurdle: a lot of quick arithmetic. That’s what the question is testing, after all, right? How quickly can you factor 313? It sure seems that way, but take one last look at the answers. The GMAT tests efficiency as much as anything else, and it has a way of hiding easter eggs for the observant. Our largest answer is 7, and what’s 3+1+3? 7! So this MUST be the answer, and any time spent factoring 313 is wasted time. We made it! In hindsight, that didn’t really feel like a math problem, did it? It was testing our ability to: 1) Remember a definition (“prime”) 2) Actually read the question stem (“a palindrome is…”) 3) Not panic, and try a few numbers (“202”? “303”?) 4) Realize that heavy calculation is for suckers, and that the answer might be right in front of us (“check the answers”) So we just had to remember, actually read the directions, have the courage to try something to see where it leads, and look for clues directly around us. I don’t know about you, but if I were running a business, those are exactly the sort of skills I’d want my employees to have; maybe these test writers are on to something after all! Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post Don't Panic on the GMAT! appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Here is How You Navigate and Understand the Endless Mass of College Mailings 
During junior and senior year of high school you will probably receive literally thousands of letters, emails, and solicitations from colleges trying to convince you to apply and attend them. On top of this, you’ll also tour potentially dozens of colleges, adding even more information to your already stuffed brain. Given the sheer volume of this info and the uniform positivity that colleges like to present themselves with, it is no surprise that many students get overwhelmed and don’t know how to sift through it all. If you do feel overwhelmed, know that you aren’t alone. It’s really difficult to differentiate between colleges when all of their mailings seem to be saying the same thing. To overcome this it’s key to train your eye to look beyond the gloss and see the information for what it really is. The first step to being productive with college information is understanding the college’s perspective in sending things to you. Colleges always want to paint themselves in a positive light. No matter what the situation is, a college will never portray itself as a bad place to attend. If a school is large it will emphasize its abundance of opportunities; if a school is small it will emphasize its intimate learning environment. Never does a large school say you’ll just be a face in the crowd, nor does a small school say you’ll feel constricted. The perspectives colleges show you are always skewed. Students featured in pamphlets will be the ones who are incredibly involved and filled with school spirit; rarely do they reflect the average attendee. Tour guides are often on script and relay information and opinions they may not entirely agree with. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all the information colleges present you with is wrong; it does mean, however, that students need to look beyond the face value of the words and think critically about whether a school is really a good fit. Admissions officers’ job is to make their colleges seem appealing; your job is to consider whether the college is appealing to you. Okay, now you know what colleges are trying to accomplish in their solicitations. The next step is figuring out what to do with this now decipherable information. Being an active reader and seeker of specific information is a great way to accomplish this. Colleges fill their letters with positive information, so you have to figure out what positive adjectives really mean the most to you. While “intellectual curiosity,” “diversity,” “collaborative,” and “friendly” are all ostensibly good things, it’s the students’ job to figure out which of those (and other characteristics) are most important to them. Otherwise, every college will seem like the best place on earth and there will be no way to decide where to attend. Pick a few characteristics that are really important to you and seek those out when reading college mail. This filter will make the endless stream of mail a bit easier to sift through. Once you’ve figured out the sort of vibe you want from your college and have found seem to at least somewhat comply with that, it’s then time to add some more depth to your search. The standard advice is to visit and tour the colleges you are particularly interested in. I wholeheartedly agree with this counsel, but I also think it’s important to go beyond the standard activities that colleges offer to prospective students. Tours are great for seeing campus, getting a general feel for a school, and developing a sense of whether you feel at home at a school; however, real life is not like a college tour. Be sure to look beyond the tour and check out what the students on campus seem like. Do they look busy? Rushed? Engaged in fascinating conversations? Happy to be there? Like people you might be friend with? It’s crucial that the daytoday vibe of a college campus feels good to you, since you have to make sure you’ll enjoy the everyday grind of your life at the college you decide on. After all, a typical day in college involves going to class and doing homework, not being shepherded around campus learning where the libraries are! It’s equally important to spend time on campus doing things that aren’t sanctioned by the admissions office. Just like in the letters they send you, admissions officeapproved events will be designed to paint the school in an attractive light. These events are valuable, but complementing them with sitting in on classes and talking to random students significantly adds to the value of your visit. If you can, talk to professors and students and ask them the tough questions that mean a lot to you. These people are more likely to be unfiltered and can help you gain a fuller understanding of what life at a college is really like. Adding together this candid feedback and the wellmanicured information from prospective student brochures allows you to get a diverse variety of perspectives that you can then apply your own filter to in order to make your college decisions. Above all else, remember that your college decision is ultimately your decision. You want it to be guided by a genuine understanding of what different colleges are like. To do this most accurately you have to see through schools’ facades and seek out ways to see what life is really like at the colleges you’re interested in attending. Happy searching! Trying to figure out the college for you? Have you figured out where you want to apply and need help with your application? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! By Aidan Calvelli The post Here is How You Navigate and Understand the Endless Mass of College Mailings appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: Be the Best of the Best on the SAT 
I’m not particularly brilliant, despite what my grandmother will tell you after a glass of wine. NO ONE (not even Grams) would describe me as a genius, especially when they hear the things I yell at the TV during a UNC basketball game. So how did I score in the 99th percentile on one of the most competitive standardized tests in the country? I am certainly diligent, and it did take some hard work and practice, but there was nothing I accomplished that I feel like another hard working young person couldn’t accomplish as well. In order to dominate the SAT, you really only need to focus on 6 things: 1) Know the SAT The SAT is a very specific test that is set up in a very specific way. Even with the changes that are occurring with the format of the 2016 SAT, the style of questions and the tactics used by the SAT writers are fairly consistent from year to year. I have looked at so many SAT’s at this point that I can often point out the wrong answers in a question just because of how they are phrased. This is not a magic trick and can be learned with practice. For example, the SAT does not favor overly specific or overly allinclusive answers, and it also favors fractions over decimals because they are easier to work with without a calculator. These are small pieces of information that make the SAT much easier to approach, so start looking at practice tests today and work with an instructor who really knows the SAT well to learn how to easily identify test writer tactics. 2) Is the Answer in the Passage? This is the question you should be asking when you are tackling a reading analysis question. All of the answers in the Reading Comprehension section are based on things directly stated in, or heavily implied by, the passage. Questions also usually ask you about a specific portion of the passage, so the better question would be, “Is the answer in this portion of the passage?” There are times when a section is continuing from something that comes before it or establishing something that comes after it, but usually you are looking for what is directly stated in the lines that are referenced in the question. Never say an answer “could” be true! It either is or it isn’t correct, and that is based on whether or not the answer is accomplished by, or stated in, the passage. The final caveat is the answer is usually the same idea represented in the passage but restated in different words, so don’t be distracted by plagiarized words from the passage that aren’t actually part of a full correct answer. 3) Show Your Work and Know Your Terminology Avoid “silly” mistakes by writing out all your steps in the Math section! Be very careful not to lose negatives and to distribute anything outside of parentheses to all the terms in the parentheses. Also, review your basic math terms in advance of the test (i.e. Natural Numbers, Whole Numbers, Rational Numbers, Geometric and Arithmetic sequences, etc.). Know what isosceles, equilateral and right triangles are and what those distinctions mean. Overall, the biggest part of answering math questions is knowing what the questions are asking, and the worst feeling in the world is knowing how to answer a question but then bubbling in the wrong answer because you made a silly mistake. 4) Start Working on Problems That Aren’t Obvious If you don’t know how to solve a problem, just start working on it anyway. The easiest way to start is to write down your givens and any applicable formulas. Often time, this can at least give you a hint as to what you are able to accomplish. If the unknown you are looking for is a part of the given equation, try to solve for it – if not, see if you can use the information given to solve for other things that might help you ultimately find the answer. Feel free to use real numbers if problems involve equations but does not give you numbers. This may help you to figure out a range of answers or could provide insight into what the equation will produce. Just make sure not to sit there and do nothing, there is always something to try! 5) Know the Parts of a Sentence It sounds pretty basic, but just identifying what the subject, verb, and (sometimes) object in a sentence can be very helpful in determining the most common errors in SAT Identifying Sentence Error questions. Also be sure you can recognize a prepositional phrase, an introductory phrase, and descriptive phrase, as these are also useful in identifying incorrect parts of sentences. 6) Check for What Could be an Error When Correcting Sentence There are really only a finite number of things that could be wrong in a sentence, so, especially in the Identifying Sentence Error questions, look for what could be wrong. Does the underlined portion contain a subject, verb, pronoun, idiomatic phrase, or punctuation? If you know what could be wrong, its much easier to see if something is wrong. As an example, one tricky error occurs when multiple words that are supposed to represent the same object or objects disagree. For example: There is no way to know if the problems with the neighbor’s homes are caused by the roof or if they are caused by cracks in the foundations that have gone unnoticed. This is very tricky, but the problem here is with number of items mentioned. There are multiple “homes” and the sentence refers to multiple “foundations,” so to use the singular “roof” is incorrect. These errors of numbers can be hard to spot, but if you are looking for them, you can certainly learn to identify them. With all of theses tools you are set to achieve at the highest level on the SAT. Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT. The post SAT Tip of the Week: Be the Best of the Best on the SAT appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: You Can Do It! How to Work on GMAT Work Problems 
Rate questions, so far as I can remember, have been a staple of almost every standardized test I’ve ever taken. I recall seeing them on proficiency tests in grade school. They showed up on the SAT. They were on the GRE. And, rest assured, dear reader, you will see them on the GMAT. What’s peculiar is that despite the apparent ubiquity of these problems, I never really learned how to do them in school. This is true for many of my students as well, as they come into my class thinking that they’re just not very good at these kinds of questions, when, in actuality, they’ve just never developed a proper approach. This is doubly true of work problems, which are just a kind of rate problem. When dealing with a complex work question there are typically only two things we need to keep in mind, aside from our standard “rate * time = work” equation. First, we know that rates are additive. If I can do 1 job in 4 hours, my rate is 1/4. If you can do 1 job in 3 hours, your rate is 1/3. Therefore, our combined rate is 1/4 + 1/3, or 7/12. So we can do 7 jobs in 12 hours. The second thing we need to bear in mind is that rate and time have a reciprocal relationship. If our rate is 7/12, then the time it would take us to complete a job is 12/7 hours. Not so complex. What’s interesting is that these simple ideas can unlock seemingly complex questions. Take this official question, for example: Pumps A, B, and C operate at their respective constant rates. Pumps A and B, operating simultaneously, can fill a certain tank in 6/5 hours; pumps A and C, operating simultaneously, can fill the tank in 3/2 hours; and pumps B and C, operating simultaneously, can fill the tank in 2 hours. How many hours does it take pumps A, B, and C, operating simultaneously, to fill the tank. A) 1/3 B) 1/2 C) 2/3 D) 5/6 E) 1 So let’s start by assigning some variables. We’ll call the rate for p ump A, Ra. Similarly, we’ll designate the rate for pump B as Rb,and the rate for pump C as Rc. If the time for A and B together to fill the tank is 6/5 hours, then we know that their combined rate is 5/6, because again, time and rate have a reciprocal relationship. So this first piece of information yields the following equation: Ra + Rb = 5/6. If A and C can fill the tank in 3/2 hours, then, employing identical logic, their combined rate will be 2/3, and we’ll get: Ra + Rc = 2/3. Last, if B and C can fill tank in 2 hours, then their combined rate will be ½, and we’ll have: Rb+ Rc = 1/2. Ultimately, what we want here is the time it would take all three pumps working together to fill the tank. If we can find the combined rate, or Ra + Rb + Rc, then all we need to do is take the reciprocal of that number, and we’ll have our time to full the pump. So now, looking at the above equations, how can we get Ra + Rb + Rc on one side of an equation? First, let’s line our equations up vertically: Ra + Rb = 5/6. Ra + Rc = 2/3. Rb+ Rc = 1/2. Now, if we sum those equations, we’ll get the following: 2Ra + 2Rb + 2Rc = 5/6 + 2/3 + 1/2. This simplifies to: 2Ra + 2Rb + 2Rc = 5/6 + 4/6 + 3/6 = 12/6 or 2Ra + 2Rb + 2Rc = 2. Dividing both sides by 2, we’ll get: Ra + Rb + Rc = 1. This tells us that the pumps, all working together can do one tank in one hour. Well, if the rate is 1, and the time is the reciprocal of the rate, it’s pretty obvious that the time to complete the task is also 1. The answer, therefore, is E. Takeaway: the most persistent myth we have about our academic limitations is that we’re simply not good at a certain subset of problems when, in truth, we just never properly learned how to do this type of question. Like every other topic on the GMAT, rate/work questions can be mastered rapidly with a sound framework and a little practice. So file away the notion that rates can be added in work questions and that time and rate have a reciprocal relationship. Then do a few practice questions, move on to the next topic, and know that you’re one step closer to mastering the skills that will lead you to your desired GMAT score. *GMATPrep question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter! By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here. The post You Can Do It! How to Work on GMAT Work Problems appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 7 Tips That Will Keep You Awake and Focused While Studying 
I didn’t have much trouble doing well in high school. Unfortunately, this meant that I never felt much pressure to develop focus skills. I regularly zoned out in class and procrastinated on my homework. In my senior year, I even won the yearbook award for Most Likely to Fall Asleep In Class. Enter UC Berkeley, known globally for its competitive student body and academic rigor. I was thrilled to be in such an enriching and challenging environment, but I struggled in freshman year to keep up with everyone around me. I simply couldn’t sit down and pay attention, even though I loved what I was studying. I’ve gotten much better at it, but I still have trouble focusing now and again. Fortunately, over the years I’ve come up with a set of goto remedies:
[*]Move to another table, room, or study space. Sometimes changing tasks just isn’t enough variety to wake me up. Other times, something in my room is distracting me without my even noticing it. Moving to another spot can often solve both problems.[/list] [*]Make a really detailed todo list. For instance, if I need to write a short paper, I’ll list “come up with a title”, “write introduction”, “first draft”, “edit”, and “conclusion” as separate items. Once I see all my work listed out, I feel less overwhelmed by it—plus, I get the simple but sweet satisfaction of checking off items as I finish them.[/list] [*]Grab a healthy snack, go for a run, or take a nap. Focus problems can come from physical problems. I tend to semiconsciously eat less, sleep less, and exercise less when I’m really swamped in work, so a brief checkin with my body can work wonders.[/list] [*]Turn off the music. I try to work to music sometimes to keep myself awake and energetic, but other times it’s distracting.[/list] [*]Turn on a song. If I just need a brain break, I’ll sometimes choose exactly one fun song, promise myself that I’ll get right back to work the moment it’s over, and spend a few minutes lost in the music.[/list] [*]Turn on SelfControl, if I find myself drifting onto Facebook or surfing the web instead of working. SelfControl is a fantastic study app for both Mac and Windows that lets you set up your own custom website blacklist and then block access to those sites for however long you need to study.[/list] Keep these things in mind and you’re bound to find success while studying. Best of luck with your finals this semester! Are you starting to plan for your college applications? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament. The post 7 Tips That Will Keep You Awake and Focused While Studying appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: What to Do if You're Struggling with GMAT Solutions 
One of the most misleading parts of the whole GMAT experience is the process of reading the solution to a math problem in the Quant section. When you try the problem, you struggle, sweat, and go nowhere; when they explain the problem, they wave a snooty, knowitall magic wand that clears everything up. But how did they think of that? What can you do to think like them (or barring that, where do they keep that magic wand, and how late do we have to break into their house to be sure they’re asleep when we steal it)? The short answer is that they struggled just like you did, but like anybody else, they wanted to make it look easy. (Think of all the time some people spend preening their LinkedIn or their Instagram: you only ever see the flashy corporate name and the glamour shot, never the 5 AM wake up call or the 6 AM look in the mirror.) Solution writers, particularly those who work for the GMAC, never seem to tell you that problem solving is mostly about blundering through a lot of guesswork before hitting upon a pattern, but that’s really what it is. Your willingness to blunder around until you hit something promising is a huge part of what’s being tested on the GMAT; after all, as depressing as it sounds, that’s basically how life works. Here’s a great example: I haven’t laid eyes on it in thirty years, but I still remember that the rope ladder to my childhood treehouse had exactly ten rungs. I was a lot shorter then, and a born lummox, so I could only climb the ladder one or two rungs at a time. I also had more than a touch of childhood OCD, so I had to climb the ladder a different way every time. After how many trips up did my OCD prevent me from ever climbing it again? (In other words, how many different ways was I able to climb the ladder?) A) 55 B) 63 C) 72 D) 81 E) 89 Just the thought of trying 55 to 89 different permutations of climbing the ladder has my OCD going off like a car alarm, so I’m going to look for an easier way of doing this. It’s a GMAT problem, albeit one on the level of a Google interview question, so it must have a simple solution. There has to be a pattern here, or the problem wouldn’t be tested. Maybe I could find that pattern, or at least get an idea of how the process works, if I tried some shorter ladders. Suppose the ladder had one rung. That’d be easy: there’s only one way to climb it. Now suppose the ladder had two rungs. OK, two ways: I could go 01 then 12, or straight from 02 in a single two step, so there are two ways to climb the ladder. Now suppose that ladder had three rungs. 01, 12, 23 is one way; 02, 23 is another; 01, 13 is the third. So the pattern is looking like 1, 2, 3 … ? That can’t be right! Doubt is gnawing at me, but I’m going to give it one last shot. Suppose that the ladder had four rungs. I could do [01234] or [0134] or [0124] or [024] or [0234]. So there are five ways to climb it … wait, that’s it! While I was mucking through the ways to climb my fourrung ladder, I hit upon something. When I take my first step onto the ladder, I either climb one rung or two. If I climb one rung, then there are 3 rungs left: in other words, I have a 3rung ladder, which I can climb in 3 ways, as I saw earlier. If my step is a tworung step instead, then there are 2 rungs left: in other words, a 2rung ladder, which I can climb in 2 ways. Making sense? By the same logic, if I want to climb a 5rung ladder, I can start with one rung, then have a 4rung ladder to go, or start with two rungs, then have a 3rung ladder to go. So the number of ways to climb a 5rung ladder = (the number of ways to climb a 3rung ladder) + (the number of ways to climb a 4rung ladder). Aha! My pattern starts 1, 2, 3, so from there I can find the number of ways to climb each ladder by summing the previous two. This gives me a 1, 2, 3, … rung ladder list of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and 89, so a 10rung ladder would have 89 possible climbing permutations, and we’re done. And the lesson? Much like a kid on a rope ladder, for a GMAT examinee on an abstract problem there’s often no “one way” to do the problem, at least not one that you can readily identify from the first instant you start. Very often you have to take a few small steps so that in doing so, you learn what the problem is all about. When all else fails in a “bignumber” problem, try testing the relationship with small numbers so that you can either find a pattern or learn more about how you can better attack the bigger numbers. Sometimes your biggest testday blunder is not allowing yourself to blunder around enough to figure the problem out. Congratulations: that’s the hardest GMAT problem you’ve solved yet! (And bonus points if you noticed that the answer choices differed by 8, 9, 9, and 8. I still have OCD, and a terrible sense of humor.) Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! The post What to Do if You're Struggling with GMAT Solutions appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: 3 Most Common Mistakes You Want to Avoid On the ACT Math Section 
The ACT Math has one major advantage compared to the ACT English and Reading portions: no “best answer” choices. Instead, there will be only one possible, objective, absolute correct selection to make. So if your calculator spits out a number that isn’t A, B, C, D, or E, you know you need to redo your math. If you’ve taken algebra and geometry classes in your high school career, you will know 99% of the content of the exam. The trick is avoiding simple errors in your calculations that also yield a multiple choice answer. The following is an example excerpted from a sample math question on the ACT website: This is a simple solveforx scenario that most ACT Math testtakers are familiar with. Note the answer choices. With both sides of the equation balanced properly, the correct answer is E. Say, for instance, that a student who knew how to balance equations accidentally added three instead of subtracting 3 to one side. The answer yielded, “1,” is among of the multiple choice. C. In this way, the multiple choice selections for the majority of the ACT Math portion rely on students making errors in basic operations. Below are a few of those common errors:
2(x+2) = 2x – 4. It’s a simple rule, but always be wary of negative signs on the ACT Math. [*] Square Roots:[/list] The square root of 64 is 8. But it’s not the *only* square root. 8 is the other. This detail is especially important on questions that concern quadratic functions or ask for the “number of possible solutions.” [*] Percent Change:[/list] Take the given, simplified example: “A $100,000 investment grows by 50 percent in the course of 2015.= What is it’s new value in 2016?” Too many students will solve this question using the equation below: 100,000 x .50 = $50,000 Whenever calculating new value in a percent growth problem, the solution must be higher than the original value. 100,000 x 1.50 = $150,000 ==> This is correct. The new value = $150,000. The difference = $50,000. As always, if time allows, the most valuable strategy is to check your answers before proceeding to the next problem. A quick calculation to make sure that your multiple choice selection satisfies the conditions and equations of the original question will catch most of these errors! For more tips on acing the ACT and getting into the most competitive universities in the nation, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Madeline Ewbank is an undergraduate at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where she produces student films, interns for the Department of State, and teaches ACT 36 courses. She is excited to help students achieve their college aspirations as a member of the Veritas Prep team. The post 3 Most Common Mistakes You Want to Avoid On the ACT Math Section appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Is Technology Costing You Your GMAT Score? 
I recently read Sherry Turkle’s Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. While the book isn’t about testing advice, per se, its analysis of the costs of technology is so comprehensive that the insights are applicable to virtually every aspect of our lives. The book’s core thesis – that our smartphones and tablets are fragmenting our concentration and robbing us of a fundamental part of what it means to be human – isn’t a terribly original one. The difference between Turkle’s work and less effective screeds about the evils of technology is the scope of the research she provides in demonstrating how the overuse of our devices is eroding the quality of our education, our personal relationships, and our mental health. What’s amazing is that these costs are, to some extent, quantifiable. Ever wonder what the impact is of having most of our conversations mediated through screens rather than through hoary old things like facial expressions? College students in the age of smartphones score 40% lower on tests measuring indicators of empathy than college students from a generation ago. In polls, respondents who had access to smartphones by the time they were adolescents reported heightened anxiety about the prospect of facetoface conversations in general. Okay, you say. Disturbing as that is, those findings have to do with interpersonal relationships, not education. Can’t technology be used to enhance the learning environment as well? Though it would be silly to condemn any technology as wholly corrosive, particularly in light of the fact that most schools are making a concerted effort to incorporate laptops and tablets in the classroom, Turkle makes a persuasive case that the overall costs outweigh the benefits. In one study conducted by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer, the researchers compared the retention rates of students who took notes on their laptops versus those who took notes by hand. The researchers’ assumption had always been that taking notes on a laptop would be more beneficial, as most of us can type faster than we can write longhand. Much to their surprise, the students who took notes by hand did significantly better than those who took notes on their laptops when tested on the contents of a lecture a week later. The reason, Mueller and Oppenheimer speculate, is that because the students writing longhand couldn’t transcribe fast enough to record everything, they had to work harder to filter the information they were provided, and this additional cognitive effort allowed them to retain more. The ease of transcription – what we perceive as a benefit of technology – actually proved to be a cost. Even more disturbing, another study indicated that the mere presence of a smartphone – even if the phone is off – will cause everyone in its presence to retain less of a lecture, not just the phone’s owner. I’ve been teaching long enough that when I first started, it was basically unheard of for a student’s attention to wander because he’d been distracted by a device. Smartphones didn’t exist yet. No one brought laptops to class. Now, if I were to take a poll, I’d be surprised if there were a single student in class who didn’t at least glance at a smartphone during the course of a lesson. One imagines that the same is true when students are studying on their own – a phone is nearby, just in case something important comes up. I’d always assumed the presence of these devices was relatively harmless, but if a phone that’s off can degrade the quality of our study sessions, just imagine the impact of a phone that continually pings and buzzes as fresh texts, emails and notifications come in. The GMAT is a fourhour test that requires intense focus and concentration, so anything that hampers our ability to focus is a potential drag on our scores. There’s no easy solution here. I’m certainly not advocating that anyone throw away their smartphone – the fact that certain technology has costs associated with it is hardly a reason to discard that technology altogether. There are plenty of welldocumented educational benefits: one can use a long train ride as an opportunity to do practice problems or watch a lecture. We can easily store data that can shed light on where we need to focus our attention in future study sessions. So the answer isn’t a draconian one in which we have to dramatically alter our lifestyles. Technology isn’t going anywhere – it’s a question of moderation. Takeaways: No rant about the costs of technology is going to be terribly helpful without an action plan, so here’s what I suggest:
By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here. The post Is Technology Costing You Your GMAT Score? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Quarter Wit Quarter Wisdom: Cyclicity of Units Digits on the GMAT 
In our algebra book, we have discussed finding and extrapolating patterns. In this post today, we will look at the patterns we get with various units digits. The first thing you need to understand is that when we multiply two integers together, the last digit of the result depends only on the last digits of the two integers. For example: 24 * 12 = 288 Note here: …4 * …2 = …8 So when we are looking at the units digit of the result of an integer raised to a certain exponent, all we need to worry about is the units digit of the integer. Let’s look at the pattern when the units digit of a number is 2. Units digit 2: 2^1 = 2 2^2 = 4 2^3 = 8 2^4 = 16 2^5 = 32 2^6 = 64 2^7 = 128 2^8 = 256 2^9 = 512 2^10 = 1024 … Note the units digits. Do you see a pattern? 2, 4, 8, 6, 2, 4, 8, 6, 2, 4 … and so on So what will 2^11 end with? The pattern tells us that two full cycles of 2486 will take us to 2^8, and then a new cycle starts at 2^9. 2486 2486 24 The next digit in the pattern will be 8, which will belong to 2^11. In fact, any integer that ends with 2 and is raised to the power 11 will end in 8 because the last digit will depend only on the last digit of the base. So 652^(11) will end in 8,1896782^(11) will end in 8, and so on… A similar pattern exists for all units digits. Let’s find out what the pattern is for the rest of the 9 digits. Units digit 3: 3^1 = 3 3^2 = 9 3^3 = 27 3^4 = 81 3^5 = 243 3^6 = 729 The pattern here is 3, 9, 7, 1, 3, 9, 7, 1, and so on… Units digit 4: 4^1 = 4 4^2 = 16 4^3 = 64 4^4 = 256 The pattern here is 4, 6, 4, 6, 4, 6, and so on… Integers ending in digits 0, 1, 5 or 6 have the same units digit (0, 1, 5 or 6 respectively), whatever the positive integer exponent. That is: 1545^23 = ……..5 1650^19 = ……..0 161^28 = ………1 Hope you get the point. Units digit 7: 7^1 = 7 7^2 = 49 7^3 = 343 7^4 = ….1 (Just multiply the last digit of 343 i.e. 3 by another 7 and you get 21 and hence 1 as the units digit) 7^5 = ….7 (Now multiply 1 from above by 7 to get 7 as the units digit) 7^6 = ….9 The pattern here is 7, 9, 3, 1, 7, 9, 3, 1, and so on… Units digit 8: 8^1 = 8 8^2 = 64 8^3 = …2 8^4 = …6 8^5 = …8 8^6 = …4 The pattern here is 8, 4, 2, 6, 8, 4, 2, 6, and so on… Units digit 9: 9^1 = 9 9^2 = 81 9^3 = 729 9^4 = …1 The pattern here is 9, 1, 9, 1, 9, 1, and so on… Summing it all up: 1) Digits 2, 3, 7 and 8 have a cyclicity of 4; i.e. the units digit repeats itself every 4 digits. Cyclicity of 2: 2, 4, 8, 6 Cyclicity of 3: 3, 9, 7, 1 Cyclicity of 7: 7, 9, 3, 1 Cyclicity of 8: 8, 4, 2, 6 2) Digits 4 and 9 have a cyclicity of 2; i.e. the units digit repeats itself every 2 digits. Cyclicity of 4: 4, 6 Cyclicity of 9: 9, 1 3) Digits 0, 1, 5 and 6 have a cyclicity of 1. Cyclicity of 0: 0 Cyclicity of 1: 1 Cyclicity of 5: 5 Cyclicity of 6: 6 Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter! Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog! The post Quarter Wit Quarter Wisdom: Cyclicity of Units Digits on the GMAT appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Do You Know the 4 Ways to Make Your Personal Statement Stand Out? 
Your personal statement is a very large aspect of your college application, and often an element of the application that takes the most time to complete. Your personal statement is your opportunity to show your strengths and qualifications to your target schools while highlighting your accomplishments and differentiating yourself from the thousands of other applications stacked on the table. While sometimes writing a personal statement can seem overwhelming and stressful, it should also be simple and approachable – you’re just talking about yourself, right? Here are 4 quick tips to successfully write a standout personal statement.
[*]Be True to Yourself. Your personal statement is your opportunity to showcase an aspect of yourself that hasn’t been noted or discussed anywhere else on your application. It’s probably true that your personal experiences are not the same experiences as every other applicant to your target schools, so think critically about what sets you apart and own your story. Admissions committees are looking to learn more about you and the unique qualities that you would bring to their universities. Be authentically you, it’s the best version of yourself anyway![/list] [*]Tailor your Approach. It’s not to your benefit to copy and paste the same personal statement into each of the applications you submit. Not only will the prompts possibly be different, but each school and the type of student they are looking for may be different, too. Take time to do your research about each school and think critically about how you can portray yourself and your story in a way that accurately reflects each campus.[/list] [*]Tell a Story. Wellwritten and welltold stories are impossible to overlook and very hard to forget. Admissions committees will read hundreds of applications each season, and the best way for yours to stand out is if you tell a memorable story. When selecting which story you’d like to tell, brainstorm a list of every possible topics – these could be personal experiences, obstacles you’ve overcome, a huge accomplishment that has shaped your future goals etc. Once you’ve selected your topic, find the right angle to tell you story and make sure your angle is memorable.[/list] There you have it! 4 quick tips to successfully writing a standout personal statement. Now get your pen to paper and good luck! Need help prepping your early college applications? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! Laura Smith is Program Manager of Admissions Consulting at Veritas Prep. Laura received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, followed by a College Counseling Certificate from UCLA. The post Do You Know the 4 Ways to Make Your Personal Statement Stand Out? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Your Guide to Joining Clubs in Business School 
From your first day on campus, if not much earlier, you will inundated with information about all of the various clubs (no, not the dancing kind, unless of course your school offers a Dance Club) that your business school has to offer. The Marketing Club, the Consulting Club, the Ski Club, the Wine and Cheese Club, and maybe even the Cigars and Poker Club. Applicants are even sometimes asked to indicate which clubs they are interested in during the application process. (“Hmmm, I really like both wine and cheese. Sign me up!”) And don’t forget about “Student Government” where your section will hold elections within a few days of knowing each other for positions such as “Section President” and “Vice President of Recruiting.” Almost everyone will have joined multiple clubs and have multiple elected positions. The dirty secret, of course, is that these positions are like the participation trophy of business school – everyone gets one just for showing up. This is a particularly stark contrast to undergraduate school, where many students never get involved in oncampus activities and running a club was much more difficult because it’s hard to always get consistent support from a bunch of twentysomethingyearolds who are eager to enjoy the many other distractions of undergraduate life. But business school attendees in their midtwenties who are uber motivated and spending their own money to get a better job, they will show up in droves to improve their chances for their dream jobs. You might start to wonder what this all means to your student experience and how much or how little you should get involved. I often tell clients that there are three legs to your experience on campus: academics, recruiting and social. And you can only pick two. However, clubs typically span both recruiting and social. It can help your employer networking and look good on a resume, while also giving you more time to spend with your fellow classmates on potentially fun and engaging projects. However, let me provide a few words of caution when it comes to clubs. First, don’t overdo it. Joining a dozen clubs (all of which have a membership of ten to thirty dollars) starts to hurt more than it helps. You can’t possibly devote enough time to them – it gets expensive and if you write down a big list of these clubs on your resume, it certainly looks like you are simply padding it to make up for other deficiencies in your story. Second, try to make sure they are relevant to who you are. Are you a passionate supporter of LGBT rights? Sure, sign up for the club. Hate golfing, but think it’s what “business school” people do? Don’t waste your time. Should you try to get one of those many leadership positions? Yes, maybe one. At most two if you are really going to give it some effort. Bottom line, one of the most important things in business school and life, and something that can never be taught, is being authentic. Trying too hard to be a leader, especially if you don’t have much real leadership experience on your resume can come off fake and actually turn recruiters off. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. The post Your Guide to Joining Clubs in Business School appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Did You Get a B on Your Last Exam? Here Are 4 New Ways to Think About Your Grades in College. 
Grades are, to most people, a big deal. People obsess about grades. Grades stress people out. People think grades are the end goal of school. People give up sleep to boost their grades. Although these ideas are quite common, be careful not to stifle your learning or emotional health. In both high school and college there seems to exist a mindset that you always need to worry about getting the best grades possible. This pressure can come from all around: parents, teachers, oneself, college applications, friends, and social institutions all can contribute to this in some way. But just because this feeling of pressure is pervasive doesn’t mean that it’s good or right. Here are some ways to reimagine how to think about grades and change your learning approach in college:
[*]Learning is an end in itself. Many students treat grades as the goal of school, and learning merely as the means of achieving that goal. This makes learning a lot less important than it should be. Much of the magnificent progress in the world has come from people who are dedicated to learning and understanding for its own sake. People like Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin didn’t do their great work so that someone could give them a grade for it; rather, they did it with the understanding that knowledge, in itself, has the power to make the world a better place.[/list] [*]Focus on the thrill of discovery. If you focus on the thrill of discovery and develop a love for learning, school will be a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. You’ll also find yourself free from the stress that comes from worrying about what grade your teachers will assign you, and instead you will have the time and energy to do good work that you like and find meaning in. Incidentally, this works out really well for your grades; the more you enjoy the work you do, the better it will likely be. The better the work is, the higher the grade you’ll receive! It sounds paradoxical, but the less you focus on grades and the more you focus on learning, the better your grades will end up being.[/list] [*]Set your own standards of success. Keep in mind that a grade is an individual measure. Never use a grade to compare yourself to others, whether positively or negatively. Keep your grades to yourself and use them just as one factor in motivating yourself to change your study habits, and you’ll find that you are a lot less worried about the grades you get. A big part of human anxiety comes when we judge ourselves relative to other people; when it comes to grades, it’s healthier and more beneficial to avoid that problem entirely. Although grades do act as a sort of standard, it’s vital that you don’t hold yourself to an unrealistic standard of perfection, especially one that you don’t have direct control over. Pushing yourself to be your best is an important part of life, but it is even more important that how you ultimately see yourself originates from inside of you, not from some letter a teacher decides to put on your report card.[/list] To sum up – enjoy how much you’re learning, keep happiness one of your central goals, and remember that the better you are as a selfmotivated learner, the more fun you’ll have succeeding in school! Are you starting to work on your college applications? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! By Aidan Calvelli The post Did You Get a B on Your Last Exam? Here Are 4 New Ways to Think About Your Grades in College. appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Should You Take the ACT Plus Writing Test? 
As an ACT tutor, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked by students is whether or not they should take the ACT Plus Writing test. Don’t let the fancy name throw you off; the ACT Plus Writing Test is just the ACT with an essay added onto the end. Unlike the SAT essay, however, the ACT essay is optional, so most ACTtakers inevitably wonder if it’s worth the extra time and effort to prepare for the ACT essay. When I speak to any of my students about this in person, I always ask them the following questions, which I’ll now give to you:
An aside, your essay score will not affect your score for the English section, nor will it affect your composite score. In other words, if you get your dream composite score on the ACT (like a 32 or higher!) and you don’t do so hot on the essay, your overall score won’t drop. The only additional thing that happens when you take the ACT essay is that you will receive a Writing test score on a scale of 136 (as well as individual scores for Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use and Conventions) and an image of your essay will be available to colleges that you have the ACT send that test date’s scores to. This means that worrying about how the ACT essay will “make you appear to colleges” shouldn’t be a determining factor in your decision. The primary factor that will help you choose whether or not to do the essay is whether or not any of your reach or safety schools require the essay. Onto question two. If you are, at the moment, fairly certain that you won’t be applying to schools that require the essay, you may still be one the fence about taking it because you can’t quite dismiss the thought that in the future you may want to apply to a college that does require it. This is especially relevant if you are a junior, since you still have a good deal of time to get your dream score and figure out what colleges you want to apply to. If this is you, I would ask you to consider how much time you have to prepare for the upcoming ACT. If you are extremely busy in the morning, afternoon, and night with homework, extracurriculas, and other work, and you only have a month or so until the ACT, you may want to spend your time focusing on studying for the other four sections. Basically, it may be a better use of your time to focus on less, that way you can really improve your testtaking habits, rather than to try to cram everything in at once. However, once you’ve taken one official ACT, if you do need to get an essay score, you will want to start carving out time to add the essay to your studying plan. As a tutor, I believe that the ACT essay is actually fairly straightforward to prepare for, just as long as you have enough time. So, if you can commit to both writing at least 3 or 4 practice essays before test day and reviewing those tests using the ACT grading rubric so that you can steadily improve, I’d tell you to go ahead and do it. Finally, my last question for you is how comfortable you feel writing inclass essays or timed essays in general. If you struggle with these, the ACT Plus Writing may actually be an opportunity for you to improve this skill. It is a skill! In college, you will regularly be asked to write inclass essays on both your midterms and your finals, so learning how to write an essay under timed conditions while you are still in high school is a skill with long term benefits. Happy Studying! For more tips on acing the ACT and getting into the most competitive universities in the nation, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Rita Pearson The post Should You Take the ACT Plus Writing Test? appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 
FROM Veritas Prep Admissions Blog: Academics, Social or Recruiting? Pick Two... 
You might have thought your two years of business school would be a breeze. It would be a good break from the working world, a chance to recharge your batteries. You think about being back on a college campus again. You think about finally being a college student with some money in your pocket. You might even see current business school students sharing pictures on their Instagram of a recent spring break vacation or ski trip. What fun you might think! Well, we’ve got bad news for you. When it comes time to actually start going to business school, you’ll be busier than you ever could have believed. You’ll look longingly at the days when you had a real job and were getting paid a lot of money to reach your objectives. Now, it’s all about the future returns on not only the investment of your tuition dollars, but also your time. In fact, you’ll have so much that you want to do, that you’ll have to find a way to balance your time and invariably, something that is really important will have to be sacrificed. Typically, there are three legs to the business school experience: academic, social and recruiting. You’ll probably only have the time to pick two, so let’s look at each option and break them down. On the academic side – well, you are in school. You are there to learn, to become a better professional in your chosen career, so maybe it would make sense to invest a lot of time in your classes, projects and other academic work? However, many people think they are in school to get a better job, and a dirty little secret is that often recruiters don’t really care about your MBA grades. Many schools don’t even give out letter grades or calculate a GPA! Other schools ask you not to list it on your resume or report it to recruiters. So how important is academics to business school? It will be up to you to prioritize or not. The recruiting side is obvious to many. Since you are paying so much for a professional degree, you better get a really great career out of it. From preparing for interviews with case prep and company research to attending all of the various networking sessions and spending time with alumni, networking may prove to be an important priority for you just to get your foot in the door for an interview. Finally, there is the social aspect to business school. There will be plenty of time for happy hours, club events and free time to take vacations. But, have you ever tried to take part in a case discussion while hungover? Or tried to spend time at a recruiting event when all of your section mates are at the weekly happy hour? There will be many social opportunities and distractions during business school and you’ll have to figure out how to manage many different commitments while still maintaining sight of the priorities you had before you stepped foot on campus. At the end of the day, there is no right answer. Be true to yourself and what brought you to business school and you’ll make the right decision. Just remember that you can’t do everything! Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter. The post Academics, Social or Recruiting? Pick Two... appeared first on Veritas Prep Blog. 

