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EMPOWERgmat Blog

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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12425
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2016, 09:51
3 Aspects of Test Day That You Probably Have NOT Trained For

The GMAT is a predictable, standardized Test, so Test Takers have the potential to properly learn the content that will appear on the Exam. Over the Course of their studies, many GMATers improve their scores to a high-enough level that they feel comfortable scheduling their Official GMAT appointments. Without fail though, a certain percentage of those same Test Takers score at a significantly lower level on Test Day (relative to how they were scoring on their practice CATs). Their shock at earning a lower score almost always ends in the following phrase: “I don’t know why my score dropped….” There ARE common reasons why a Test Taker’s performance can suffer though and those reasons involve aspects to Test Day that the GMATers did not properly train to face.

1 – Poor sleep the night before the Exam. Most Test Takers don’t get nervous the night before they take a practice CAT, so this issue doesn’t occur very often except right before Test Day. You can handle it though by sticking to a normal bedtime routine. Consuming a glass of hot green tea and/or taking low-dose Melatonin can also help with the sleep process. As with all things, it’s best to experiment with these options well BEFORE your GMAT.

2 – Travel time to the Testing Center and the Registration process. On Test Day, you don’t just sit down at your home computer and get to work - it takes TIME to get to Test Center and go through the identification process. For most Test Takers, that ‘chunk’ of time will be anything from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. During that time, you will be thinking about the Exam and likely burning ‘nervous energy.’ A significant drop in score (especially during the Verbal section) can happen because a Test Taker trained to have enough energy to face a 4-hour Exam, NOT a 1.5 hour lead-up followed by a 4-hour exam. Planning out your CATs so that you have to travel to a different location (and spend a reasonable amount of time doing so) can help you to better train for what WILL happen on Test Day.

3 – The 8-minute break isn’t really 8 minutes. On Test Day, you are NOT allowed to enter and exit the Computer Lab at any moment. You have to be ‘escorted’ in and out every time, which means that you have to wait for a Center Employee to assist you. Since there will be more Test Takers than employees, there is a reasonable chance that you will have to wait for assistance, which means that your 8-minute break will begin while you’re still in the Computer Lab. You might also have to wait to get back into the Lab; after 8 minutes, your GMAT will continue on (the timer for the next section will begin whether you are in front of your computer or not). To properly train for this, you should practice for a 7-minute break with the goal of doing every ‘break task’ in a relatively speedy and efficient manner (eat a snack, drink, run to the restroom, etc.).

While these issues might seem minor, they can absolutely impact your performance on the Official GMAT (and sometimes to a HUGE degree). Since the GMAT is such an important piece of the overall application process, you simply cannot afford to be casual with the details. The traits that are required to score 700+ are more than just Test-taking knowledge and skills – you need to know about EVERYTHING that will occur on Test Day so that you can properly train to face all of it.

To that end, we’re here to help.

GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12425
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2017, 11:55
You CAN Cement Your Future With the Choices that YOU Make in 2017

We’re now just beginning the first full week of 2017 and this is a time of year when many people look to define their goals for the coming 12 months. The start of any year can be seen as representative of the potential for new opportunities, journeys and challenges and it can provide you with a great ‘leaping off’ point for some career-defining (and future-defining) work. Since you’re reading this article, you’re almost certainly considering Business School as part of that future. You might even be in the process of working on your applications, studying to take the GMAT or just beginning to gather information on the entire process. Regardless of what ‘step’ you might be on, now is the perfect time to make some big choices that will most certainly impact your future.

For those Working On Round 2 or Round 3 Application Deadlines:

At this time of year, application deadlines are certainly coming up fast. Many applicants become so ‘locked in’ to a particular set of deadlines that they miss out on the bigger picture issues. Business School Admissions Officers are savvy people – they know when an applicant ‘looks good’ and when an applicant doesn’t (or is just ‘so so’). Each applicant has one chance to make an amazing first impression - and if you don’t think that your application truly provides that impression, then something has to be done about that.

When applying to highly ranked, competitive Programs, the level of competition is remarkably high. Schools such as Stanford and Harvard typically accept just 6%-10% of applicants during any given year. It’s worth noting that almost all of the applicants who don’t receive an invite to those Schools ARE exceptional applicants, but something clearly could have been better in their applications. To that end, a higher GMAT score MIGHT be the issue, but it’s usually beneficial to consult with an Admissions Expert on your OVERALL application to be sure. While that service can be expensive, the expertise provided cannot be randomly found online for free.

For those Rushing to make a Round 2 Deadline:

Here’s a straight-forward question that should help you to prioritize your goals:

What’s MORE important… getting your application in for Round 2 OR greatly increasing your chances of getting into your first-choice Business School?

Business School is rarely a ‘right now or never’ opportunity. While it’s understandable that most applicants would rather get accepted to Business School sooner rather than later, rushing to try to make a deadline (especially to a competitive Program) is usually NOT a good idea. Applicants who rush often present an application that falls short of their potential and THAT is something that must be avoided. For practical purposes, it might actually be best for your FUTURE if you push back your application deadline to a later Round (in this case, Round 3) or to the next application cycle (which typically begins in September). While that choice usually doesn’t make applicants happy, the BIG PICTURE goal is what matters. Having an extra 6 months to put together an amazing OVERALL application with a fantastic GMAT score would almost certainly increase your chances of getting into your first-choice Business School (and would certainly be better than rushing forward at the last minute with a hastily assembled application).

For those Just Beginning their GMAT Studies:

The following article applies to you no matter when you begin your GMAT studies…

http://www.topmba.com/blog/5-important- ... at-studies

Remember that every part of this process is standardized and predictable, so you don’t have to stumble through it on your own. There are Experts at every point in the process who can help you to succeed.

To that end, we’re here to help.

GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12425
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 22:13
3 Ways to Potentially Improve Your Overall Application (Even After You’ve Sent It In!)

During application season, most Business School applicants assume that once they’ve submitted their applications that the process of applying to Business School is ostensibly over. While they are certainly free to believe that (and can ‘rest on their laurels’), they’re missing out on several steps that they can take to potentially improve the strength of their overall applications.

Most Business Schools receive thousands of applications across the application Rounds. All of those applications take time to review – often weeks or even months can go by before an Admissions Committee has decided whom to invite to attend School. Forward-thinking applicants can use that time to their advantage in any of the following ways:

1 - Retake the GMAT and score higher – Every Business School has what it considers an acceptable ‘range’ of GMAT scores that the School expects each applicant to score in (and the lower end of that range for most Programs would likely surprise most applicants). If you have a concern that your current GMAT score is only ‘good enough’, then there’s the potential to retest and submit a higher score. With GMAC’s retesting policies, you have the ability to take the GMAT every 16 days (but no more than 5 times in any 12 month period). You could potentially take the GMAT another 2-3 times while the Admissions Committees are reviewing applications. With the proper study materials and a little extra study time, you could replace a strong GMAT score with an amazing one.

2 – Request an Interview – Certain Programs require an interview as part of the application process, while others keep it as an optional part (they tend to interview applicants who they ‘like’ but are not completely ‘sold’ on) and others don’t do interviews at all. One of the subtle things that Business School AdComs look for in applicants is ‘degree of interest’ in that specific Business School. Every applicant clearly is interested in attending (since they all applied), but there is a marked level of difference between someone who just sends in the application and someone who reaches out to request an interview. Additionally, Schools often encourage an Applicant to visit the Campus and take a guided tour, sit in on some classes, connect with current students and meet members of the Admissions Committee. Each of these activities can go a long way in conveying how serious you are in attending that Program.

If you’re granted an interview, then that’s great – you’ll have the opportunity to go in and really ‘market yourself’ directly to the people who decide who to invite. If you’re not granted an interview, you might still get the subtle ‘credit’ that comes with asking for one.

3 – Report any significant accomplishments that occur (promotions, awards, etc.) – This one is generally a far rarer opportunity than the other two, but still has the potential to make a difference. All Schools (and especially the ultra-competitive ones) are looking for “leaders”, so anything that you can offer that proves your ability to lead (or achieve) can serve as an extra reminder of how fantastic an applicant you are. The fact that you’re also able to make big achievements while in the process of putting together your applications and/or immediately after applying has the added benefit of showing that you can succeed in multiple ways in the same general timeframe.

Much of the work that would go into these tasks comes down to the individual. However, it’s important to make sure that your efforts are respectful of the process. You can always communicate with the respective Admissions Office(s) to schedule a visit or if planning to submit supplemental information.

When it comes to improving your GMAT score though, there are almost certainly study materials that you haven’t tried and areas that you can still improve on. Considering the grand ‘scale’ of what goes into applying to Business School, the fact that you can still make a significant improvement with just a little more effort (and AFTER the application deadlines have passed) is something that every applicant has to consider. To that end, we’re here to help.

GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12425
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2017, 11:33
Learning to Solve Quant Questions in More than Just One Way (part 1)

The Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a ‘math test’ – it’s a ‘critical thinking test’ that uses math as the subject through which you can prove your critical thinking skills. While the Quant section does require that you complete lots of basic calculations as you work through the section, the GMAT will NEVER require that you complete complex calculations to get to the correct answer… so if you CHOOSE to approach questions in that way, then you will likely limit how high you can score. If one of your goals is a Q51, then you would find it really helpful to build up a multitude of Quant skills, instead of focusing on complex, long-winded ‘math approaches’ that often take longer to implement than other more-strategic options and increase the chances of you making little mistakes along the way.

The GMAC Official Guide is a fantastic book of practice questions – and if you don’t have a copy, then you should absolutely purchase one for your studies.

Consider the following question that appears in the Diagnostic Test of the GMAC Official Guide. It’s question #8 in the Problem Solving section of the Diagnostic – and has appeared in the last several versions of that book:

If a certain toy store’s revenue in November was 2/5 of its revenue in December and its revenue in January was ¼ of it’s revenue in November, then the store’s revenue in December was how many times the average (arithmetic mean) of its revenues in November and January?

1/4
1/2
2/3
2
4

This is a fairly mid-level prompt; it’s a little wordy but the ‘math’ behind it isn’t too difficult. How would you approach it? Would you use algebra? Do you recognize that there are at least two OTHER ways to get to the correct answer (and one of those approaches requires almost no math…)?

Take a moment to answer this question in whatever way you choose. Write everything down and – in the next post - we’ll compare your approach to the three options that I’ve hinted at.

GMAT Assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
Rich

If you have any questions about anything in this thread, then you can feel free to contact me directly via email or PM.
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12425
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2017, 21:33
Learning to Solve Quant Questions in More than Just One Way (3 approaches)

In the prior post, I hinted that there were (at least) 3 different approaches to solving the included OG Diagnostic question. Here they are:

1st Approach: Algebra

The explanations provided in the Official Guide often focus on the ‘math approach’ as that is that standard approach taken in most math books. However, that type of approach is often step-heavy and arguably takes the longest to complete.

For this prompt, we can create 3 variables:

N = revenue in November
D = revenue in December
J = revenue in January

With the information in the first half of the prompt, we can create two equations:

N = (2/5)(D)
J = (1/4)(N)

We’re then asked to calculate (D) / [(N+J)/2]

With the given equations, we can translate each variable ‘in terms of’ D and plug in… Again, this is tedious, step-heavy work, but you can view it in the Official Guide if you like.

2nd Approach: TESTing VALUES

Many questions in the Quant section can be solved with a Tactical approach (and part of your training should focus on learning those approaches and when certain Tactics are applicable). Here, we are given no actual values to work with, so we can choose our own.

Based on the fractions involved, the common denominator would be 20, so let’s start with D = 20…

IF….
D = 20 then
N = (2/5)(D) = 8
J = (1/4)(N) = 2

Now, we just have to place D = 20, N = 8 and J = 2 into the question….

(20) / [(8 + 2)/2] = (20) / (5) = 4

This is the answer to the question - and you’ll get that same result regardless of the values that you choose to TEST (as long as your numbers ‘fit’ the given equations). This approach has the benefit of being fast and easy (consider the work involved - we’re really just adding and multiplying small numbers together). With fewer steps, you’re also less likely to make a little mistake along the way.

3rd Approach: Logic (and using the ‘spread’ of the answers to your advantage)

Certain questions in the Quant section are designed with really fast ‘concept shortcuts’ in mind. This is done on purpose to reward strong critical thinkers. Business Schools are looking for EXACTLY that type of critical-thinking applicant, but the GMAT has no way to give you extra points for ‘being clever’ – it can only provide you with potential shortcuts that will save you time and decrease whatever pacing-related anxiety that you might have. As a result of finding these shortcuts, your chances of scoring higher should increase, since you’ll have more time to answer the remaining questions than someone who is using lengthy math approaches and losing time as a result.

Here, consider how the given monthly revenues relate to one another….

1 - November’s revenue is 2/5 of December’s revenue. This means that the December revenue is MORE THAN DOUBLE November’s revenue.

2 – January’s revenue is ¼ of November’s revenue. Since January’s revenue is so much smaller than November’s revenue – and we already know that December’s revenue is MORE THAN DOUBLE November’s revenue, then this means that December’s revenue is a LOT greater (FAR MORE than double) than January’s revenue.

We’re asked to compare December’s revenue to the AVERAGE of November’s and January’s…. Averaging those two smaller numbers will lead to a result that is SMALLER than November's. By extension December’s revenue will be far GREATER than double than average. Looking at the answer choices, there’s only one answer that fits that description…. 4.

Now, consider how much actual work went into the 2nd and 3rd approaches to this prompt (especially relative to the work that went into the 1st approach). Assuming that you had an equal ability to tackle this question using all 3 approaches, which one would be fastest and easiest to implement? If you’re training to be a 760+ Assassin, then you know that it’s NOT the 1st approach.

GMAT Assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
Rich

If you have any questions about anything in this thread, then you can feel free to contact me directly via email or PM.
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
V
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12425
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 17:22
The Top 10 EMPOWERgmat GMATClub Success Stories of 2017

The beginning of the new year rarely allow GMATers to rest for too long, as looming Round 2 and Round 3 application deadlines are on everyone’s minds. With the Round 2 deadlines now essentially complete for this application cycle, the Team at EMPOWERgmat took time to reflect on the various successes of our Clients. Here is a Top 10 list of stories, from GMATClub Members who raised their scores using EMPOWERgmat:

“Four years to 760 – my journey” – by souvik101990

https://gmatclub.com/forum/four-years-t ... mpowergmat

“Top 5 Schools are NEXT on my to do list! 750 (q 51, v 42)!!! - by CJRJr

https://gmatclub.com/forum/top-5-school ... t#p1916871

“530 to 730 (a50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! – by Talanc

https://gmatclub.com/forum/530-to-730-q ... t#p1836074

“Guess I can finally write one of these” – by AvalonQQ

https://gmatclub.com/forum/guess-i-can- ... t#p1827365

“How I went from v32 to v42 in one month (total score 740, Q49V42)" – by oneteam

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-i-went-f ... t#p1797142

“Long Detailed Debrief – 630 to 740 (Q48, V45)" – by Tadilliner

https://gmatclub.com/forum/long-detaile ... t#p1886728

“620 Diagnostic to 690 and finally 750 debrief” – by mtnginger

https://gmatclub.com/forum/620-diagnost ... t#p1884629

“From 620 to 670, from 670 to 730” - by Vanmotan

https://gmatclub.com/forum/from-620-to- ... t#p1847070

“Non-Native Speaker – 6-month journey from 530 to 690 with 94% Verbal” – by indogmat

https://gmatclub.com/forum/non-native-s ... t#p1795215

"720 in 2 months, 41V 47Q, EMPOWERgmat Prep" - by jackapartain

https://gmatclub.com/forum/720-in-2-mon ... 52985.html

To all those beginning their studies this year, or looking to improve on their existing scores, may 2018 be a banner year for GMAT Assassins everywhere!

GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Re: EMPOWERgmat Blog &nbs [#permalink] 11 Jan 2018, 17:22

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