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Top 20 GMAT Tips by examPAL  Part 2
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01 Oct 2018, 20:32
21. Use AI Did you know that GMAT questions can sometimes have 10 different ways to solve them? There’s no one explanation on how to get the correct answer, but there is only one way that is the fastest for you. In order to prepare you for this special, computer adaptive test, examPAL uses artificial intelligence to study how you think. We use your feedback as well, to study which tools worked best for you, and what were the reasons for your mistakes. But that’s not all: we then compare your performance to that of all other students from all around the globe. We do that in order to see if there’s a better way to solve the question  based on what we have learned about you and what we’ve learned about the different solution strategies used by all others. And if we’ve found a better way, we’ll pick the one explanation which best fits your own way of thinking. That’s because the first question we ask ourselves when we’re trying to provide an explanation is ‘who are we explaining it to?’. examPAL is the only company that moves from machine learning to machine teaching. Use it to score higher, faster.
22. How can you stay laser focused during the real test? Here’s a trick scientifically proven to remove all anxiety. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. 15 minutes before the test write down what you feel, as sincerely as possible: ‘I feel like my whole future depends on this test. My parents will be ashamed of me if I score below 800’, and so on. Now tear the page and throw it away. Research shows that letting the emotions flow and getting rid of them will calm you down and help you focus. Then take a few minutes to recite your plan  ‘I’m going to start with the Verbal section, take 2 minutes for every Critical Reasoning question…” etc. All that’s left to do is go straight in and grab that 800.
23. How can you nail Data Sufficiency? This depends on a combination between logic and technique. Almost all Data Sufficiency question revolve around logic, so the first step is to go over every Data Sufficiency question and take notes of the different logical principles used in them and which clues ‘gave them away’. As for the technique, most mistakes are made because test takers read both statements together or read one and then add the other, which makes it hard for them to separate between them. The right technique is to read the first one while completely ignoring (even hiding) the second one, and eliminate the answer choices according to what we find. Next, we read just the second one while ignoring the first one. And only if both answers (A) and (B) are eliminated, should we read both statements together.
24. The one critical thing about Critical Reasoning Don’t be tempted by the answers. That’s a trap! Most people read the question stem, a confusing blur of facts and assumptions, and then find comfort in the answers. ‘I’m not sure what they’re asking, but the answers will explain it to me.’ That’s a slippery slope. The answers are like 5 very convincing people, only one of whom is telling the truth. They are going to waste your time, and maybe even convince you to choose the wrong answers. What you need to do is practice reading the question without looking at the answers and figure out what to look for. In most cases the answer is there, in the question stem.
25. When should you use the answers in the Quant and how? When the question relates to a specific number, such is ‘What is the value of x?’, it means that x is one of the answers. We should consider whether using the answers looks faster than, say, simplifying an equation or using some kind of logic. BUT  if we’re asked ‘which of the following CAN be the value of x?’ that’s a clear sign to use the answers, because it means all other answers cannot be the value of x, and will be eliminated. The best way to use the answers is usually to start with the middle one. That’s because in most questions we’ll be able to estimate whether the answer is too small or too large, and use this to eliminate not just the middle answer, but two other answers as well.
26. The difference between expressions and equations An equation has two sides, an expression has only one. But more importantly, when we are asked to find the value of a variable in an equation, that means it appears in the answers. So in an equation we can use the answers. On the other hand, a variable in an expression can take any value, which means that we can plug in any number. For example, the value of 2x over x is always 2, no matter which x we choose.
27. How should you memorize Powers formulas? Here’s the logic behind these formulas. Think of the basic operations as belonging to three levels: the basic level  addition and subtraction; the middle level  multiplication and division; and the high level  power. Now the energy required to merge two expressions into one makes them go one level down. Let’s see what I mean by this: a to the power of b times a to the power of c becomes a to the power of b plus c. See that? Multiplication replaced by addition. In the same way Division becomes subtraction. And, also in the same way, a power of power becomes multiplication: x to the power of y, all to the power of z becomes x to the power of y times z.
28. How should you memorize the rules of angles between parallel lines? Simple  it’s all about FUN. F  U  N. The F and the N show you which two angles are equal, and the U shows which angles add up to 180 degrees.
29. Symmetry Symmetry is one of the most important Alternative tools in Geometry. When shapes, such as a regular polygon, are symmetric, it means that what we see on one side is identical to what we see on the other side. That’s a great way to find faster solutions without resorting to formulas.
30. Rate and Work in Data sufficiency  Since Data Sufficiency questions revolve around logic, when it comes to Rate and Work we’ll look for the rule of three: Speed, Time and Distance, or Rate, Time and The Amount of Work  we must know two in order to find the third. And we don’t need to calculate anything.
31. How can you comprehend what you read? The answer is reading, comprehension, more reading, and more comprehension. You read some, then you stop and ask yourself what you were told up to now. Then you read some more, and repeat to yourself the accumulated data. This will save you the need to reread the text every time you’re asked a new question. Less time, better focus. When should you stop? Whenever there’s a new piece of information or whenever you see a ‘stop sign’, such as a connecting word: ‘Bla Bla Bla, but…’ Stop! What we’ll read next is contrary to Bla Bla Bla.
32. How can you tell you should estimate the result? First sign  calculation seems too complicated. You’re not supposed to calculate how much is 11 to the power of 5. Second sign  the answers are far apart. Even if you could calculate, why waste the time? And the third possible sign: the question uses the magic word ‘approximately’.
33. Should you look at the clock while practicing questions? Getting used to the clock running is a good bit of practice. Also, taking into account the time it took you to answer using a certain tool can help in assessing whether it is the right tool for you. If simplifying an equation took you 4 minutes, why not use the answers next time?
34. The logic behind right triangles The hypotenuse is the largest side. Looking for a logical solution? That’s your rule.
35. Never use your intuition when it comes to probability. Probability is crucial to our survival  it is why we should be extremely careful crossing a highway but have no need to look both ways while walking in the woods. BUT our intuition is often wrong. Did you know that if you cross 5th avenue on a Sunday morning, there’s a greater chance that a guy named John Johnson, driving a yellow cab and wearing a black tshirt will run you over, than there is that you’ll win the national lottery? Nonetheless, we keep buying lottery tickets and not cemetery plots. When it comes to probability, our intuition is often wrong.
36. Most formulas we use in the GMAT are of the form A times B equals C Such as speed times time equals distance or percentage times the whole equals the part. What they all have in common is that they share the same logic: direct ratio between A and C and between B and C; and an inverse ratio between A and B.
37. Geometry: The three ways to calculate the EXACT length of a side of a line segment 1. Using the pythagorean theorem; 2. Using a formula of perimeter, area or volume; or 3. Using the proportions of similar shapes.
38. Geometry: The three tools we can use to estimate the length of a line segment 1. Using the rule that in a triangle, a side opposite a larger angle is greater; 2. Using the rule that in a triangle, the length of a side is between the sum of the two other sides and the difference between them. 3. Using the rule that the largest chord in a circle is the diameter.
39. 2 overlapping sets  a visual solution approach. When it comes to TWO overlapping sets, there are many different variations and two kinds of ‘stories’ the question tells  one in which the overlap is an exact number, and one in which the overlap has a range of possible values. Both cases can be solved visually the same way: by drawing a simple axis.
40. 3 overlapping sets  a visual solution approach. The question can be solved visually by drawing a Venn diagram using three circles.
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