Author 
Message 
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 47880

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME ON THE GMAT
[#permalink]
Show Tags
29 Oct 2014, 07:30
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: How to Manage Your Time on the GMAT

One of the most common misconceptions on the GMAT is that you have to solve every question in about 2 minutes. This of course stems from the fact that you have 75 minutes to answer 37 quantitative questions (or ~2.03 minutes per question) and 75 minutes to answer 41 verbal questions (or ~1.83 minutes per question). Both figures can be approximated to roughly two minutes per question on average; however, this does not mean that every question will take you 2 minutes to solve.
If you’ve been reading (my) GMAT blogs, you’ve undoubtedly come up against questions that would take over 3 minutes to solve for almost anyone. How can an exam with a strict average like the GMAT give you questions that can’t reasonably solved in less than 3 minutes? Unsurprisingly, it’s because some questions can be solved in less than 1 minute. As long as things average out to two minutes (or less), you’re golden.
Let’s consider two simple examples. If I took the set {2, 2, 2, 2, 2}, then the average would clearly be 2. This is achieved by taking the sum of all the numbers and dividing by the number of terms. Now if I took the set {½, ½, 3, 3, 3), then the average would still be 2! (exclamation mark, not factorial, although both work). While both numbers have the same average, the standard deviation (dispersion around the mean) is very different for the two sets. Simply put, if you can solve some questions in 30 seconds, then you have extra time for other, longer questions.
Earning some extra time by correctly answering questions quickly can be an invaluable tool in order to finish all the questions on this exam. I’d like to focus on a concept that gets asked relatively frequently on the GMAT that can be solved in 30 seconds or less if you understand the concept:
256 teams play in a state soccer tournament. A team is eliminated from the tournament after one loss. In the first round, all 256 teams play one game. If a team wins, it advances to the next round, where it plays another winning team. This process repeats itself until only one team is left, having advanced through each round without losing. How many games are played in the tournament?
Many sports buffs will recognize this set up as a singleelimination tournament. This format is used in football, soccer, Olympic sports and myriad other competitions when time is of the essence (so not baseball). 256 is a large, unwieldy number, so let’s unlock the concept of this question by using a smaller similar example: The upcoming World Cup. (I’m taking the long bet on Australia)
Once the initial groupings reduce to 16 teams in the elimination round, two teams will face each other and one will lose and therefore be eliminated. Thus the 16 teams will play 8 games, eliminating 8 countries and allowing the other 8 passage through to the next round. In the next round, 4 more games will occur pitting one team against another, leaving 4 teams standing after 12 total games. The 2 semifinals will then whittle the teams down to 2 finalists after 14 total games. The final game will be played and leave only 1 country to claim the championship, as well as bringing the total number of games played to 15. Thus we need 15 games to bring 16 teams down to 1.
The executive summary of the paragraph above is simply that it will take n – 1 games to execute a singleelimination tournament. If there are 16 teams, you need 15 games. Had there been 32 teams, they would have played 31 games to crown a champion. You’ll also notice that many times the number of teams competing is a power of 2, as this set up allows for a smooth tournament where every team plays the same number of games. The same principle applies if you have, say, 21 teams as well. It would still take 20 games to get one victor.
Therefore, regardless of the number of teams participating in a singleelimination tournament, every game always eliminates one team, and therefore you always need n – 1 games to crown a champion. Once you recognize that the question is asking about singleelimination tournaments, you don’t have to do anything other than subtract 1 from the number of teams and the question is done. Even if you double check the question before submitting next, you can solve these questions in 30 seconds, freeing up extra time for more challenging questions. If you understand the concept, some GMAT questions can be solved in the time it takes to sit through a television commercial. So don’t turn a simple question into an infomercial. (where’s Billy Mays when you need him).
Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!
Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam. After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since.

ForumBlogs  GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
_________________
New to the Math Forum? Please read this: Ultimate GMAT Quantitative Megathread  All You Need for Quant  PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW: 12 Rules for Posting!!! Resources: GMAT Math Book  Triangles  Polygons  Coordinate Geometry  Factorials  Circles  Number Theory  Remainders; 8. Overlapping Sets  PDF of Math Book; 10. Remainders  GMAT Prep Software Analysis  SEVEN SAMURAI OF 2012 (BEST DISCUSSIONS)  Tricky questions from previous years.
Collection of Questions: PS: 1. Tough and Tricky questions; 2. Hard questions; 3. Hard questions part 2; 4. Standard deviation; 5. Tough Problem Solving Questions With Solutions; 6. Probability and Combinations Questions With Solutions; 7 Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions; 8 12 Easy Pieces (or not?); 9 Bakers' Dozen; 10 Algebra set. ,11 Mixed Questions, 12 Fresh Meat DS: 1. DS tough questions; 2. DS tough questions part 2; 3. DS tough questions part 3; 4. DS Standard deviation; 5. Inequalities; 6. 700+ GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions With Explanations; 7 Tough and tricky exponents and roots questions; 8 The Discreet Charm of the DS; 9 Devil's Dozen!!!; 10 Number Properties set., 11 New DS set.
What are GMAT Club Tests? Extrahard Quant Tests with Brilliant Analytics





Manager
Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 156
Concentration: Finance, Finance

Re: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME ON THE GMAT
[#permalink]
Show Tags
31 Oct 2014, 02:01
Excellent post. Kudos to you. Can you please share similar more posts to learn concepts which have not been frequently discussed.



NonHuman User
Joined: 09 Sep 2013
Posts: 7684

Re: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME ON THE GMAT
[#permalink]
Show Tags
31 Jan 2018, 02:09
Hello from the GMAT Club BumpBot! Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up  doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos). Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
_________________
GMAT Books  GMAT Club Tests  Best Prices on GMAT Courses  GMAT Mobile App  Math Resources  Verbal Resources




Re: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME ON THE GMAT &nbs
[#permalink]
31 Jan 2018, 02:09






