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Break Your “Good” GMAT Study Habits! What Learning Science Can Teach U [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Break Your “Good” GMAT Study Habits! What Learning Science Can Teach Us About Effective GMAT Studying
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Distractions are bad. Routine, concentration, and hard work are good. These all seem like common-sense rules for studying, right? Surprisingly (for many people, at least), learning science tells us that these “good habits” may actually be hurting your learning process!

When you were in college, your study process probably looked something like this: for a given class, you’d attend a lecture each week, do the readings (or at least most of them), and maybe turn in an assignment or problem set. Then, at the end of the semester, you’d spend a week furiously cramming all of that information to prepare for the test.

Since this is the way you’ve always studied, it’s probably how you’re approaching the GMAT, too. But I have bad news: this is not an effective approach for the GMAT!

Taking notes then cramming the night before the test is beneficial for tests that ask you to recite knowledge: “what were the major consequences of the Hawley-Smoot tariff” or “explain Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.” You can hold a lot of facts  -for a brief time – in your short-term memory when cramming. You memorize facts, you spit them out for the test… and then, if you’re like me, you find that you’ve forgotten half of what you memorized by the next semester.

Why the GMAT is Different

The GMAT doesn’t reward this style of studying because it’s not simply a test of facts or knowledge. The GMAT requires you to know a lot of rules, of course, but the main thing that it’s testing is your ability to apply those concepts to new problems, to adapt familiar patterns, and to use strategic decision-making. You’ll never see the same problem twice.

Shallow memorization is not nearly enough. You need deep conceptual understanding.

In How We Learn*, science writer Benedict Carey outlines decades of research about how this kind of learning happens. Many of the findings go against what you probably thought were “good” study habits.

Distractions are a Good Thing

Your teachers or your parents probably told you: “always study in the same, quiet space. Create a ritual of studying, and keep it consistent.” And of course, that’s good advice to a point; if it’s too loud or distracting to think, you won’t learn very much.

But Carey tells us that subtle variations in our routine – going to a different room, or library, or coffee shop; alternating between light background music, silence, or the hum of people talking – can actually improve our learning. When we’re studying, we’re also subconsciously registering clues from the world around us, and weaving them into what we’ve learned. Different subconscious markers create richer connections.

These connections are further strengthened if you review the material in a different context than you initially learned it. As Carey says, “each alteration of the routine further enriches the skills being rehearsed, making them sharper and more accessible for a longer period of time.”

Study Less… More Often

There’s a good reason why you don’t remember most of the material you spent long hours cramming before the final: long study sessions are bad for retention.

If you want to hang onto the information that you’re working so hard to learn, you should try what learning scientists call “the spacing effect.” Don’t try to learn a topic in one long sitting. Instead, study a little bit, then return to it a few days later. According to Carey, “people learn at least as much, and retain it much longer, when they distribute – or ‘space’ – their study time than when they concentrate it.”

If you plan to spend 90 minutes learning exponent rules, for example, it’s more effective to spend 45 minutes on it on Tuesday, then return to the topic for another 45 minutes on Thursday or Friday (or even better, three 30-min sessions) rather than just concentrating your learning into one long session.

Get Mixed Up

Stay organized and see it through until completion. Guess what? Those ideas are wrong, too.

Data suggests that instead of studying one topic until you’ve mastered it, then moving onto the next, you should mix up your studying. If you’re quizzing yourself on quadratics, mix in a few questions from inequalities, weighted averages, etc. By throwing your brain some curve balls, you’re training yourself to adapt and make strategic choices. It may seem more confusing at first, but forcing yourself to think more will cause you to learn and remember more.

The post Break Your “Good” GMAT Study Habits! What Learning Science Can Teach Us About Effective GMAT Studying appeared first on GMAT.
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GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Instructor Auditions: Decision In A Day (New York  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2015, 03:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Instructor Auditions: Decision In A Day (New York City)
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Manhattan Prep offers instructors flexible hours and great pay ($100/hour for all teaching and $116/hour for all tutoring). As a Manhattan Prep instructor, you will have autonomy in the classroom, but you will also be joining an incredibly talented and diverse network of people. We support our instructors by providing students, space, training, and an array of curricular resources.

Our regular instructor audition process, which consists of a series of videos and mini lessons, usually takes weeks, even months, to complete. Through this process we winnow an applicant pool of hundreds down to a few people each year.

We are offering a one-day event on March 1st for teachers interested in working with us. Candidates who attend will receive a decision that day. The event will take place at our company headquarters at 138 West 25th St., 7th Floor, in Manhattan, New York City.  It is open to candidates who live in the tri-state area, have taught before, and are experts in the GMAT, LSAT, or GRE.

The day will include several rounds of lessons, as well as other activities. Each round will be pass / fail. The day will begin at 10 am. It may last as late as 5:30 pm for those who make it through the final round. Candidates will need to prepare lessons for some rounds; we will send more detailed instructions to candidates when they sign up for the event.

To register, please email Rina at auditions@manhattanprep.com by Thursday, February 26. Please include in your email a resume including your teaching experience and a score report.

The post GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Instructor Auditions: Decision In A Day (New York City) appeared first on GMAT.
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Tackling Max/Min Statistics on the GMAT (Part 2) [#permalink]

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New post 11 Feb 2015, 05:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Tackling Max/Min Statistics on the GMAT (Part 2)
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Last time, we discussed two GMATPrep® problems that simultaneously tested statistics and the concept of maximizing or minimizing a value. The GMAT could ask you to maximize or minimize just about anything, so the latter skill crosses many topics. Learn how to handle the nuances on these statistics problems and you’ll learn how to handle any max/min problem they might throw at you.

Feel comfortable with the two problems from the first part of this article? Then let’s kick it up a notch! The problem below was written by us (Manhattan Prep) and it’s complicated—possibly harder than anything you’ll see on the real GMAT. This problem, then, is for those who are looking for a really high quant score—or who subscribe to the philosophy that mastery includes trying stuff that’s harder than what you might see on the real test, so that you’re ready for anything.

Ready? Here you go:

“Both the average (arithmetic mean) and the median of a set of 7 numbers equal 20. If the smallest number in the set is 5 less than half the largest number, what is the largest possible number in the set?

“(A) 40

“(B) 38

“(C) 33

“(D) 32

“(E) 30”

 

Out of the letters A through E, which one is your favorite?

You may be thinking, “Huh? What a weird question. I don’t have a favorite.”

I don’t have one in the real world either, but I do for the GMAT, and you should, too. When you get stuck, you’re going to need to be able to let go, guess, and move on. If you haven’t been able to narrow down the answers at all, then you’ll have to make a random guess—in which case, you want to have your favorite letter ready to go.

If you have to think about what your favorite letter is, then you don’t have one yet. Pick it right now.

I’m serious. I’m not going to continue until you pick your favorite letter. Got it?

From now on, when you realize that you’re lost and you need to let go, pick your favorite letter immediately and move on. Don’t even think about it.

(This assumes, of course, that your favorite letter is still in the mix. If you were able to narrow down the answers, and you crossed off your favorite letter, then obviously don’t pick that one!)

Okay, let’s solve this thing. What did you do first?

Image

I glanced at the beginning of the text and saw that it said average (arithmetic mean). I then glanced down to the answers to see how precise I was going to have to be with calculations. The answers are very close together, so estimation isn’t going to work. I’m going to have to do real math.

Okay, time to read the problem and jot down the given info.

Image

Because the problem gives the median, arrange the numbers in order from smallest to largest (this is a general requirement whenever calculating or displaying a median).

Hmm. That second sentence of the problem is going to take some work. It’s a relationship between the first and last number…but I don’t know the actual value of either one.

Time to set a variable: let’s call something x. My natural inclination would be to call the smallest number x, but I’ve learned to ask myself one important question before arbitrarily assigning that variable: what am I trying to find?

In this case, they asked for the largest possible number, so it’s better to call the last number x. That way, I’ll be solving for the thing that they want; I’m less likely to make a mistake and accidentally solve for x = the smallest number.

If the largest number is x, then the smallest is (1/2)x – 5:

Image

 

What next? If the average is 20 and there are 7 numbers, then the sum must be (Average)(number of terms) = (20)(7) = 140.

Pause for a moment and look at everything you’ve got. What’s the best plan from here?

Image

They want to maximize the largest number, that x. Only one number is set, the middle one (20). All 7 numbers have to add up to 140.

So what needs to happen in order to make x as large as possible?

Since the sum is fixed, the first 6 numbers need to be minimized in order to get the last number to be as large as possible. This step is the key to all max/min problems: figure out what you can influence and either maximize or minimize (as needed) to get to the desired outcome.

Look back at your notes to remind yourself of the restrictions. The fifth and sixth numbers cannot be less than the median of 20. They could equal the median, though, so set these values to 20:

Image

 

That leaves a sum of 140 – 20(3) = 80 for the remaining 4 numbers.

Now, what about the second and third values? Again, they can’t be smaller than the first one, but they could equal it. Set all three equal to (1/2)x – 5.

Check it out: you now have a way to express each of the remaining four numbers in terms of that single variable x. Time to set up an equation and solve!

Image

The largest possible number in the set is 38.

The correct answer is (B).

I originally intended this to be a 2-part series, but I just found another GMATPrep max / min problem, so join me next time for another look at this topic!

Key Takeaways for Max/Min Problems:
(1) Figure out what variables are “in play”: what can you manipulate in the problem? Some of those variables will need to be maximized and some minimized in order to get to the desired answer. Figure out which is which at each step along the way.

(2) You’ll need to know your math concepts in order to figure out clever ways to maximize and minimize. In the case of a set of numbers for which the median is specified, that set has to be laid out from smallest to largest—that’s a requirement for median problems. Once that’s done, you now have restrictions for the different numbers: each one has to be greater than or equal to the number just before it (to the left). It also has to be smaller than or equal to the number after (the one to the right). These restrictions are key in helping you determine how to maximize or minimize one particular number in the set.

(3) Did you make a mistake—maximize when you should have minimized or vice versa? Go through the logic again, step by step, to figure out where you were led astray and why you should have done the opposite of what you did. (This is a good process in general whenever you make a mistake: figure out why you made the mistake you made, as well as how to do the work correctly next time.)

 

* Copyright Manhattan Prep. Question cannot be distributed or posted elsewhere without permission.

The post Tackling Max/Min Statistics on the GMAT (Part 2) appeared first on GMAT.
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

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How to Infer on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Infer on the GMAT
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We’re going to kill two birds with one stone in this week’s article.

Inference questions pop up on both Critical Reasoning (CR) and Reading Comprehension (RC), so you definitely want to master these. Good news: the kind of thinking the test-writers want is the same for both question types. Learn how to do Inference questions on one type and you’ll know what you need to do for the other!

That’s actually only one bird. Here’s the second: both CR and RC can give you science-based text, and that science-y text can get pretty confusing. How can you avoid getting sucked into the technical detail, yet still be able to answer the question asked? Read on.

Try this GMATPrep® CR problem out (it’s from the free practice tests) and then we’ll talk about it. Give yourself about 2 minutes (though it’s okay to stretch to 2.5 minutes on a CR as long as you are making progress.)

“Increases in the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in the human bloodstream lower bloodstream cholesterol levels by increasing the body’s capacity to rid itself of excess cholesterol. Levels of HDL in the bloodstream of some individuals are significantly increased by a program of regular exercise and weight reduction.

“Which of the following can be correctly inferred from the statements above?

“(A) Individuals who are underweight do not run any risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream.

“(B) Individuals who do not exercise regularly have a high risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream late in life.

“(C) Exercise and weight reduction are the most effective methods of lowering bloodstream cholesterol levels in humans.

“(D) A program of regular exercise and weight reduction lowers cholesterol levels in the bloodstream of some individuals.

“(E) Only regular exercise is necessary to decrease cholesterol levels in the bloodstream of individuals of average weight.”

Got an answer? (If not, pick one anyway. Pretend it’s the real test and just make a guess.) Before we dive into the solution, let’s talk a little bit about what Inference questions are asking us to do.

Inference questions are sometimes also called Draw a Conclusion questions. I don’t like that title, though, because it can be misleading. Think about a typical CR argument: they usually include a conclusion that is…well…not a solid conclusion. There are holes in the argument, and then they ask you to Strengthen it or Weaken it or something like that.

When the test writers asks you to infer something, they are not asking you to draw that kind of conclusion. They’re not even asking you to infer in the way that we normally use that word in the real world. Rather, they are asking you to deduce something that must be true according to the available information in the argument or passage.

Cats are my favorite type of pet. What can you infer from that statement?

In the real world, you might think that I have a cat, or that I’ll play with or pet your cat if I come over to your place, or that if you asked me to choose between a free pet cat and a free pet lizard, I would obviously choose the cat.

There’s just one little problem. I’m seriously allergic to cats. So, while those scenarios might be generally likely for someone who says that cats are her favorite type of pet, not one of the scenarios has to be true.

What does have to be true? I don’t like dogs as pets better than I like cats as pets. (To all my dog-lover readers: I do like dogs. They just require more care. And anyway, I’m allergic to both, so the point is moot for me. J)

It also must be true that I am familiar with at least one other type of pet; otherwise, I couldn’t make the judgment call to say that cats are my favorite type of pet.

This, then, is what we need to find among the answer choices: something that must, unequivocally, be true according to the evidence they gave us in the argument or passage.

Okay, ready to talk about the problem?

Step 1: Identify the Question
What kind of question type is it? The word inferred is the giveaway: this is an Inference question type. They may also use language like (emphasis added):

Which of the following assertions is most strongly supported by the evidence above?

Which of the following conclusions can most properly be drawn from the information above?

Once you know the question type, you also know that the argument will contain only premises, no conclusion, and your task will be to deduce something that must be true from that information.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument
Okay, now let’s tackle the crazy technical language of the argument.

Here’s what I thought and wrote while I did the problem. Your own thought process won’t be exactly the same as mine and, of course, your notes will probably look quite different, since we all have our own ways of abbreviating things. (Note: Inf = inference.)

Image

Image

Okay, maybe I should motivate to exercise more. But right now I have to finish this GMAT problem. Image

Step 3: State the Goal
The goal on Inference questions is to deduce something that must be true from the given information. It’s not necessary to use all of the given information. It’s only necessary to avoid going beyond the given information.

Work from Wrong to Right
As I work through the answers, I keep track of my thoughts on my scrap paper, either crossing letters off or giving them little ~ symbols if I’m going to keep them in and come back to them later.

Image

Okay, I need to compare (B) and (D).

“(B) Individuals who do not exercise regularly have a high risk of developing high levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream late in life.”

“(D) A program of regular exercise and weight reduction lowers cholesterol levels in the bloodstream of some individuals.”

They both match a lot of the language in the passage, but when I re-read carefully, I noticed an extra detail in answer (B): “late in life.”

The argument doesn’t say anything about when this stuff happens: when we’re young, middle-aged, old. I could imagine that people have higher risk later in life…but that’s the same as you imagining that I would play with your cat, since I like cats so much. It might be true, but it doesn’t have to be true.

Answer (D), on the other hand, doesn’t go beyond the scope of the argument at all. In fact, it matches the final chain we put together for the argument: I go to the gym and lose weight, that raises my HDL, and that lowers my cholesterol. Yay! Note also that this answer choice is very middle-of-the-road: it claims that this will work only for “some individuals,” which is exactly what the argument says.

The correct answer is (D).

Looking for more practice on Inference questions? Here’s another CR Inference problem. If you’d like to try some RC, check out this compilation article on all RC question types.

Take-aways for Inference and science-y questions:
(1) Your goal on an inference question is to deduce something that must be true given the evidence in the argument or passage. Don’t go beyond what the text says and don’t make a “real-world” inference (something that could be true but doesn’t have to be true).

(2) Ignore the science! Well, no, you can’t ignore it entirely. But you can ignore some of it. Start by using your SC skills to look at just the basic sentence: the subject and the verb. Then start adding in the extra info, piece by piece.

(3) Did you notice that we never had to go back to that last part of the first sentence, exactly how the body’s cholesterol levels are lowered? Sometimes, you can ignore some of the technical info forever. If possible, just try to understand why it’s there, not necessarily what it’s actually saying, so that you’ll know later whether you need to come back to it. (In this case, I knew that it was trying to explain why cholesterol levels went down. But I never needed that info!)

 

* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.

The post How to Infer on the GMAT appeared first on GMAT.
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

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Tackling Max/Min Statistics on the GMAT (part 3) [#permalink]

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New post 17 Feb 2015, 09:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Tackling Max/Min Statistics on the GMAT (part 3)
Image

Welcome to our third and final installment dedicated to those pesky maximize / minimize quant problems. If you haven’t yet reviewed the earlier installments, start with part 1 and work your way back up to this post.

I’d originally intended to do just a two-part series, but I found another GMATPrep® problem (from the free tests) covering this topic, so here you go:

“A set of 15 different integers has a median of 25 and a range of 25. What is the greatest possible integer that could be in this set?

“(A) 32

“(B) 37

“(C) 40

“(D) 43

“(E) 50”

Here’s the general process for answering quant questions—a process designed to make sure that you understand what’s going on and come up with the best plan before you dive in and solve:

Image

Fifteen integers…that’s a little annoying because I don’t literally want to draw 15 blanks for 15 numbers. How can I shortcut this while still making sure that I’m not missing anything or causing myself to make a careless mistake?

Hmm. I could just work backwards: start from the answers and see what works. In this case, I’d want to start with answer (E), 50, since the problem asks for the greatest possible integer.

I could also use a similar process to the one discussed in the last installment of this series, but I’d shortcut the process a bit by not actually drawing out all 15 blanks.

On the real test, you generally only have time to try one solution method, so try these both out now to see what you think would work best for you on the test. I’ll show both solution methods below.

Working Backwards
Ordinarily, you’d start with answer (B) or (D) when working backwards from the answer choices. In this case, though, the problem asks for the greatest possible value, so start with the largest answer choice.

median
smallest number (- 25)
smallest to largest

(E) 50
25
50 – 25 = 25
25 to 50

The problem specified that the 15 numbers are all different. If that’s the case, then 25 can’t be both the smallest number and the median, or middle, number in the set. Eliminate answer (E) and try (D) next.

median
smallest number (- 25)
smallest to largest

(E) 50
25
50 – 25 = 25
25 to 50

(D) 43
25
43 – 25 = 18
18 to 43

Can you make 25 the median? List it out. If there are 15 numbers, then 25 should be right in the middle, at position #8. There need to be 7 numbers smaller than 25.

18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Bingo! There are 7 different numbers all less than 25, so #8 can be 25. There are then another 7 numbers on the other side, the last of which has to be 43 (since the largest number has to be 25 more than the smallest number, 18).

The correct answer is (D).

Do the Algebra
Here’s how to answer the question the way we did last week, by “logic-ing” it out via algebra. First, you need to draw out what’s going on, but in some nicer way than drawing out 15 little lines. Here’s what I came up with:

Image

Next, the range is 25, so the difference between the largest and the smallest is 25. Set the largest to be x (since that’s what they asked for) and the smallest to x – 25:

Image

In order to maximize x, what do you need to do to the other numbers?

In order to maximize x, you need to maximize x – 25 while still allowing it to be the first integer in a series of different integers with a median of 25. In other words, count down from 25, in position #8, to the largest number that you could put in position #1:

Image

If you feel comfortable counting this out on your fingers, feel free. I think I’d be at least somewhat likely to make a careless error doing that, so I’d probably write out the bottom half (the 8 down to 1) and the first number (25). From there, I’d probably just count it in my head while pointing to each blank.

Okay, so the first one is 18 = x – 25, so x = 18 + 25 = 43. Done!

The correct answer is (D).

Key Takeaways for Max/Min Problems:
(1) Figure out what variables are “in play”: what can you manipulate in the problem? Some of those variables will need to be maximized and some minimized in order to get to the desired answer. Figure out which is which at each step along the way.

(2) Don’t forget to consider other strategies, such as working backwards, when appropriate. On this one, I’d argue that working backwards may be easier than going through the max/min steps (at least, it was for me), because the problem dealt with integers and the answer choices weren’t horrible numbers. It was a little lucky that we only had to try two answers, but it wouldn’t have taken that much longer to try the others.

(3) Did you make a mistake—maximize when you should have minimized or vice versa? Go through the logic again, step by step, to figure out where you were led astray and why you should have done the opposite of what you did. (This is a good process in general whenever you make a mistake: figure out why you made the mistake you made, as well as how to do the work correctly next time.)

* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.

The post Tackling Max/Min Statistics on the GMAT (part 3) appeared first on GMAT.
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

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When Your High School Algebra is Wrong: How the GMAT Breaks Systems of [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2015, 02:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: When Your High School Algebra is Wrong: How the GMAT Breaks Systems of Equations Rules
Image
If you have two equations, you can solve for two variables.


This rule is a cornerstone of algebra. It’s how we solve for values when we’re given a relationship between two unknowns:

If I can buy 2 kumquats and 3 rutabagas for $16, and 3 kumquats and 1 rutabaga for $9, how much does 1 kumquat cost?

We set up two equations:

2k + 4r = 16

3k + r = 9

Then we can use either substitution or elimination to solve. (Try it out yourself; answer* below).

On the GMAT, you’ll be using the “2 equations à 2 variables” rule to solve for a lot of word problems like the one above, especially in Problem Solving. Be careful, though! On the GMAT this rule doesn’t always apply, especially in Data Sufficiency. Here are some sneaky exceptions to the rule…

2 Equations aren’t always 2 equations

On DS questions, the GMAT wants you to assume that if you have 2 equations, you can always solve for the values of 2 variables. Consider:

What is the value of x?

   (1)  2x – y = 5x – 4

   (2)  6x + y = 8 – y

At a first glance, we see that each statement has an equation with x and y in it. We assume that those aren’t sufficient on their own, but if we combine them, then 2 equations should allow us to solve for 2 variables. Right? Give it a try – see what values you get…

If you actually try to solve, you’ll see that statement (1) simplifies to 3x + y = 4. And statements (2) simplifies to… exactly the same thing! We didn’t really have 2 equations – we actually had 2 versions of the same equation. The answer would be E, not C.

2 variables aren’t always 2 variables

Try this one:

What is the value of m?

   (1)  m – 2n = 6

   (2)  3m – n = 9 – (m + n)

Again, at a first glance it looks like each equation has 2 variables, so we’ll need both statements to solve. What happens when you simplify statement (2), though? The –n on each side will cancel, leaving us with a value for m. That’s sufficient!

We have to actually do the work to ensure that a) neither variable cancels out or b) we don’t secretly have the same equation. We can’t just jump to a conclusion without doing the work!

The “Combo”

If p + 3q = 6r, what is the value of p?

   (1)  2r – q = 5

   (2)  r + 2q = 20

Here, if we combine the two statements, we can solve and find that q = 7 and r = 6, and then we can easily solve for the value of p. So it seems like the answer should be C, right? But of course the GMAT is sneakier than that…

Sometimes 2 equations will let us solve for the values of 2 variables, but that’s not what the question really asked! First, rephrase the question:

If p + 3q = 6r, what is the value of p?

 p = 6r – 3q              → what is the value of 6r – 3q?

                                    →  what is 3(2r – q)?

                                    →  what is 2r – q?

If that’s our question, then clearly statement (1) gives us a value for that expression. We didn’t need the value of each variable individually, we just needed a value for the “combo” of 2r – q.

The Integer Constraint

If I asked you to solve for x, and just gave you the equation 13x + 5y = 90, you wouldn’t be able to do it. One equation will never let you solve for two variables – that’s what we learned in high school. But see what happens when we have a word problem:

If xylophones cost $13 apiece and…. [I can’t think of an instrument that starts with ‘y.’ Let’s just say ‘zithers’] zithers cost $5 apiece at the Discount Music Emporium. If Wolfgang purchased at least one xylophone and one zither, then how many xylophones did Wolfgang buy?

   (1)  He spent a total of $90 on xylophones and zithers.

   (2)  He bought the same number of xylophones as zithers.

If we use both statements together, we get 13x + 5z = 90 and x = z. Two equations, so we can solve for two variables. But look again at the statements individually!

The second statement doesn’t help, because that “same number” could be anything. On the first statement, though, ask yourself: are there multiple combinations of $13 and $5 amounts that could add to $90?

Because the numbers of xylophones and zithers have to be positive integers, we’re just looking for combinations of multiples of 13 and multiples of 5. As it turns out, there’s only one combination that adds up to $90: 13(5) + 5(5). Statement (1) – just one single equation! – was sufficient because the integer constraint restricted it to one possibility.

The Quadratic

Another way that the GMAT will try to mess with our expectations about “2 equations → 2 variables” is by giving us two equations that create a quadratic:

What is the value of k?

   (1)  j + k = 9

   (2)  jk = 20

If we combine these two equations, we’ll get a quadratic:

20/k + k = 9

20 + k2 -9k = 0

(k – 5)(k – 4) = 0

We find that k could equal 4 or 5, but we’ll never know which.  Quadratics give us two potential values, but they’re insufficient to give us a single value for a variable (unless there’s a constraint, or a perfect square). Here, the answer would be E.

Check your assumptions!

Remember, the GMAT likes to thwart your expectations! Don’t assume that two equations will always be needed (or sufficient) to solve for two variables.

For more examples of these “2 equations ≠ 2 variables,” try these problems. See if you can pinpoint which exception is being used in each:

OG 13/2015: DS #17, 23, 56, 59, 67, 68, 78, 114, 132, 156

* k = 2

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Want a Better GMAT Score? Go to Sleep! [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 22:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Want a Better GMAT Score? Go to Sleep!
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This is going to be a short post. It will also possibly have the biggest impact on your study of anything you do all day (or all month!).

When people ramp up to study for the GMAT, they typically find the time to study by cutting down on other activities—no more Thursday night happy hour with the gang or Sunday brunch with the family until the test is over.

There are two activities, though, that you should never cut—and, unfortunately, I talk to students every day who do cut these two activities. I hear this so much that I abandoned what I was going to cover today and wrote this instead. We’re not going to cover any problems or discuss specific test strategies in this article. We’re going to discuss something infinitely more important!

#1: You must get a full night’s sleep
Period. Never cut your sleep in order to study for this test. NEVER.

Your brain does not work as well when trying to function on less sleep than it needs. You know this already. Think back to those times that you pulled an all-nighter to study for a final or get a client presentation out the door. You may have felt as though you were flying high in the moment, adrenaline coursing through your veins. Afterwards, though, your brain felt fuzzy and slow. Worse, you don’t really have great memories of exactly what you did—maybe you did okay on the test that morning, but afterwards, it was as though you’d never studied the material at all.

There are two broad (and very negative) symptoms of this mental fatigue that you need to avoid when studying for the GMAT (and doing other mentally-taxing things in life). First, when you are mentally fatigued, you can’t function as well as normal in the moment. You’re going to make more careless mistakes and you’re just going to think more slowly and painfully than usual.

Second, your brain continues to form new memories as you sleep. When you are trying to remember a bunch of new rules or solution strategies, you need good sleep to help cement that information in your long-term memory. In particular, when you’re studying a bunch of new things at once, you need your memory to make strong and distinct memories. Otherwise, your memory won’t be able to retrieve what you need, or it’ll mix up multiple memories—and that obviously isn’t what you want to happen on test day.

Many people aren’t getting adequate sleep even when they’re not taking on a challenge like the GMAT, and their lives are messier as a result. Make sleep a priority. Your brain will thank you.

#2: Exercise
Stick to your normal exercise routine, whatever that is. For some people, that means walking to do all of your errands and carrying things home, or cleaning the house. Some people play sports. Others hit the gym multiple times a week.

The point is to keep doing what you normally do; don’t try to increase your study time by taking away from your second-best recharge time (after sleep). Exercise helps you to get rid of stress and generally gain a boost of energy. There’s even a two-for-one bonus: regular exercise helps you sleep better at night.

Reward yourself
A bonus piece of advice. I started this post talking about giving up some regular social activities to make time for studying. You are going to have to make some sacrifices, of course, but don’t become a hermit. You do need breaks and you do need to keep up with your social connections. When I’m studying intensely, my rule is that Friday is a no-study zone. That day, I take a break and do something that I want to do.

(Friday also becomes my “substitute” day if I’m burned out earlier in the week and want to skip a day of study. That’s fine—but then I lose my day off on Friday. Sometimes, this motivates me to push through when I’m feeling that I want to blow off my studies for a day. Other times, I do decide to study on Friday instead; if I’m willing to do that, then I know my brain really does need the break right now.)

Good luck and happy studying!

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Should I take the GMAT or the GRE? [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2015, 09:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Should I take the GMAT or the GRE?
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Most business schools now accept both the GMAT and the GRE, so which one should you take? I’ve written on the topic before but it’s been nearly a year and I’ve got some updates.

The conventional wisdom has been that the math is easier on the GRE. Though many schools do accept the GRE, rumors abound that students who take this test are at a bit of a disadvantage because they are expected to do better on the (easier) quant section. Anecdotally, we have heard a few admissions officers admit that they do think about this (strictly off the record, of course). Most admissions officers, though, have said this doesn’t matter to them at all, including several officers at the top 10 schools.

So we’ve come up with a series of decisions to help you make this choice. The first three questions are “deal-breakers”—that is, a certain answer will point you definitively to a specific test (the GMAT, as it happens). The fourth question is…murkier. We’ll address that in a little bit.

#1: Do all of “your” schools accept the GRE?
This one is obvious. All business schools (that ask for a standardized test score) accept the GMAT. Most—but not all—accept the GRE. If you want to apply to any schools that require the GMAT, such as London Business School MBA (at the time of this publication), then you’ll be taking the GMAT.

#2: Do any of “your” schools prefer the GMAT?
Most schools that accept both tests don’t express a preference between the two. Some schools, though, do say that the prefer the test. They publish this preference right on their web site, so go look up all of your schools and see what they say about the GMAT / GRE requirement for admissions.

As of the date of this article, Columbia, Haas (Berkeley) and Anderson (UCLA) all state that they prefer the GMAT, even though they do accept the GRE. If you want to apply to one of these schools, I recommend that you take the GMAT. (Note: these aren’t the only three schools that prefer the GMAT; I just picked out the three most well-known ones that do. You still need to research your schools!)

#3: Do you want to go into banking or management consulting after b-school?
The major banks and consulting firms ask for GMAT scores when you apply. (Some of them even ask for undergraduate GPA and SAT scores. I think that data is irrelevant after someone has a b-school GPA and GMAT scores but I’m not the one making the hiring decisions!)

We don’t know how these companies will react when candidates start to want to submit GRE scores instead, but given that we haven’t yet heard of a bank or consulting firm asking for “GMAT or GRE” scores, it’s a safe bet to take the GMAT.

#4 Now it gets messy
If you made it through that gauntlet without a definitive push towards the GMAT, then you’ve got a tougher decision to make. I’m going to split people into two broad categories here: those who haven’t started studying yet (or barely started studying) and those who have been studying for one test for a while and are considering a switch to the other test.

If you’re new to the process…

If you’re relatively new to all of this, then you’ll need to try to assess your strengths and weaknesses based upon how you did on various subjects in school.

Are you better at vocabulary (GRE) or grammar (GMAT)? Do you also think that better area would be easier for you to improve even further?

Are you better at geometry and data interpretation (emphasized more on GRE)? Or are you better at story problems and number theory (such as divisibility, odds and evens, etc.)? The latter is emphasized more on the GMAT.

Do you hate the reading and analysis stuff that shows up on the verbal section? If so, you’re stuck: both tests cover reading comprehension and arguments. Both tests also require you to write an essay. On the GRE, you’ll actually write two essays. On the GMAT, one essay was replaced with the Integrated Reasoning section (a mix of quant and verbal). This IR section may eventually become a factor in deciding which test to take, but right now, the IR score isn’t used much in the admissions process.

Both tests also put you under pretty serious time pressure. Some people like the fact that you can jump around among the questions in one section on the GRE; on the GMAT, you have to answer each question to get to the next one and you can’t go back. In practice, you actually won’t have time to go back to many (if any!) questions on the GRE, but knowing you have that option can reduce stress during the test—something to consider if you have a history of anxiety during high-pressure tests.

If you’ve been studying and are considering a switch…

First, you need to figure out whether a switch will be worth the additional cost (time and money). It may just be that you are burned out and could use a break.

Is the current test “fatal” for you in some way that the other test wouldn’t be? For example, if you’re struggling with vocab, but much better at grammar, then a switch from GRE to GMAT might be wise. If GMAT stories and number theory are driving you crazy, but you actually kind of like geometry and graphs, then maybe you should switch to the GRE.

If, on the other hand, you’re struggling most with the reading (passages and arguments), or you aren’t a fan of algebra, then switching tests isn’t going to do much for you, since both tests cover those topics.

If you do switch, expect to start at a lower level than your scoring level on the current test; after all, you’ve been studying for a while and made at least some progress. The question is whether the lower starting level is still high enough to mean that you can reasonably lift your score beyond the equivalent scoring level of your current test.

How to tell? Take one week to study for the “other” test. If the “other” test is the GMAT, study data sufficiency, sentence correction, and timing. If the “other” test is the GRE, study quantitative comparisons, the two vocab question types (sentence equivalence and text completions), and timing.

Then take a practice test. How far off are you? (Note: the two tests use different scoring scales, but you can estimate based upon the percentile rankings that you earn.) (Note #2: you can get one free practice test just by signing up for a free account on our respective GMAT and GRE websites. Most companies offer a free practice test.)

If you’re new but really, really dedicated…

If you just can’t decide based upon what we discussed earlier, you can follow a similar path to the one I described in the last section: take two weeks to study, one for each test (and take two practice tests).

If your percentile rankings are within 15 to 20 percentile points, then you don’t have a major advantage on one test versus the other. If your percentile rankings differ by more than that, then you might have a major advantage on one test.

You also need to take into account whether you had any major timing problems that might have significantly hurt your score. On any standardized test, timing is a major factor. If you run out of time on one section of one of the tests and don’t finish all of the questions, your score will drop (in some cases, quite a lot). This is really just due to messing up the timing, though—not to a fundamental disadvantage on that particular type of test. You have to master timing no matter which test you take.

If the timing was okay on both tests, though, and you see a very large (> 20 percentile point) difference in scores on the quant or verbal sections, then you may want to consider studying for the test on which you earned the higher score.

If all else fails, get some outside advice
This isn’t an easy question to answer. If you find yourself in the middle of this debate without a clear way to make a decision, I highly recommend getting some outside advice. You can visit me on our forums; let me know your situation (everything you’ve already tried, scores, etc.) and we can discuss. (Do let me know that you’ve read this article—otherwise, I’ll start asking you things like, “Did you research your schools to make sure they take the GRE?”)

You may also want to talk to an admissions consultant. I’m a big fan of mbaMission, and there are plenty of other firms out there. Call them up and ask for help! (Note: many consulting firms will offer free advice online or a free phone consultation. Check their websites for details and sign up for any free offers!)

Join us next time…
Most people who are considering switching tests have been studying for the GMAT and are considering a switch to the GRE. Next time, we’ll talk more about how to kick your study back into gear if you decide to stick with the GMAT. In a later article, we’ll talk about what to do if you do decide to switch to the GRE.

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Upcoming Event: Access MBA Tour (Montreal, Toronto, & Vancouver) [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2015, 06:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Upcoming Event: Access MBA Tour (Montreal, Toronto, & Vancouver)
The prestigious Access MBA Tour will once again take place in Montreal on March 21 at the Hyatt Hotel, in Toronto on March 23 at the Metro Convention Centre, and in Vancouver on March 26 at the Marriott Pinnacle. With a groundbreaking One-to-One event concept, Access MBA helps business professionals tap into the global leadership pool by matching them with international business school programmes. Worldwide leader in One-to-One events, the Access MBA Tour features over 125 business schools and visits more than 65 cities per year. The Tour gives candidates the unique opportunity to meet Admissions Directors from some of the world’s best business schools during individual, face-to-face meetings.

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About the Access MBA Tour

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Access MBA Tour is the leading global organiser of One-to-One events, connecting qualified candidates with Admissions Directors around the world.

The aim of the events is to match selected candidates with top-ranked international business schools. The innovative ″One-to-One″ event concept was founded by Advent Group in 2004 and has set a new standard for educational events in the industry.

The Tour currently takes place in over 55 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Canada, Asia and Africa. It will travel to 35 international destinations this Fall with 130 of the most prestigious business schools from 30 countries. Of the total, 70% are in the Top 100 MBA programmes worldwide. Schools participating in the Tour include Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University, Sauder School of Business – Unviersity of British Columbia, University of Victoria – Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, Simon Fraser University – Beedie School of Business, HEC Montreal, Hult International Business School, IE Business School, Bentley University Graduate School of Business, IESE Business School, ESSEC Business School, EDHEC, Insead, London Business School, IESE, IE Business School, HEC Paris, Esade, Duke, Kellogg-WHU, Georgetown, and many others.

 

One-to-One Meetings: The First Step to Admission

Each One-to-One event gives MBA candidates the chance to meet individually with Admissions Directors of the world’s best business schools, providing a premium face-to-face opportunity for candidates to impress the recruiters. Access MBA is based on a simple and original concept: a candidate has twenty minutes to illustrate his or her suitability for admission, as well as to objectively evaluate which MBA programme is the best for his or her career and aspirations. Upon registering online for a One-to-One event, candidates are hand-selected, contacted over the phone, and matched to the best business schools for them by our team of expert consultants.

Prospective MBA students that would like to participate in the Tour must register on the following registration pages:

 

Montreal, March 21: http://www.accessmba.com/montreal/index.html?ui=WXMYRZ1423663615

Toronto, March 23: http://www.accessmba.com/toronto/index.html?ui=O!50IK1423663561

Vancouver, March 26: http://www.accessmba.com/vancouver/index.html?ui=6RF17E1423662840

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Free Webinar Series: 5 Steps to Your Dream MBA [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2015, 15:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Free Webinar Series: 5 Steps to Your Dream MBA
Are You Prepared for B-School Admissions?

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Join Manhattan GMAT and three other leaders in the MBA admissions space— mbaMission, Poets & Quants, and MBA Career Coaches

—for an invaluable series of free workshops to help you put together a successful MBA application—from your GMAT score to application essays to admissions interviews to post-acceptance internships.We hope you’ll join us for as many events in this series as you can. Please sign up for each sessions separately via the links below—space is limited.

Session 1: Assessing Your MBA Profile and GMAT vs. GRE 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (7:30- 9:00 PM EDT) SIGN UP HERE

Session 2: Selecting Your Target MBA Program and How

to Study for the GMAT in 2 Weeks

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (7:30- 9:00 PM EDT) SIGN UP HERE

Session 3: Writing Standout B-School Admissions Essays

and Advaced GMAT: 700+ Level Sentence Correction

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 (7:30- 9:00 PM EDT) SIGN UP HERE

http://www.manhattangmat.com/classes/details/14498Session 4: 7 Pre-MBA Steps to Your Dream Internship and

Advaced GMAT: 700+ Level Quant Strategy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 (7:30- 9:00 PM EDT) SIGN UP HERE

Session 5: Questions and Answers with MBA Admissions Officers

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 (7:30- 9:00 PM EDT) SIGN UP HERE

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Should I re-take the GMAT? If so, how? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2015, 07:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Should I re-take the GMAT? If so, how?
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So you’ve taken the test and you aren’t entirely happy with your score. How do you decide whether to re-take the test?

It might be the case that your score is close to what you wanted, but not quite all the way there. Alternatively, you may be trying to decide whether to stick with the GMAT or switch to the GRE (and, if so, I recommend you follow that link I just inserted).

If you already know that you do want to stick with the GMAT, read on.

Should I re-take?
There are two main reasons someone might want to go for a higher score. The most common is that you think a better score will improve your chances of getting into business school or of obtaining certain internships once in school. Some people also feel that achieving a certain score is a personal goal and they want to meet that challenge.

If you’re trying to gauge whether a better score will make a big difference, start researching. What’s the average or median score for last year’s incoming class at your preferred schools? (Look at whatever data the school publishes—different schools might publish data in different forms.) Are you in range? Are you strong? If you are already above the average or median at that school, then adding 30 points might not make as big a difference as, say, earning a promotion at work.

Check GPA statistics as well. You have a little leeway for your GMAT score to be lower if your GPA is higher than the average for admitted students; if your GPA is lower, however, then it would be better to have an above-average GMAT. (Also, all of this just means that you have a chance, not that you’ll definitely get in. These are only two of many parts to your application!)

You can also factor in a few “fuzzy” things. Are you a non-native English speaker who just learned to speak English in the last few years? Make sure the school knows that; you might get a little bit of a break on the GMAT requirement. Do you have something extra-special about your application that few b-school applicants have? If you are a professional athlete, a non-profit administrator, or the president of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, you’re likely to stand out.

Why might I NOT want to re-take?
Business schools don’t care if you take the GMAT a second time but get a lower score; most schools consider only your highest score, so this isn’t a deterrent to re-taking the test.

The main drawback associated with preparing for the GMAT again is time—specifically, what else you could have been doing with that time. Are you also filling out applications right now? Will a re-take use up time that you had originally planned to spend on other parts of the application? If your application is not the best that it can be all around, then it might not matter so much whether your GMAT score is a little higher.

Alternatively, your time might be better spent on plugging a hole elsewhere in your application. No volunteer or community experience? That might be more important than another 30 points on the GMAT. Almost on the cusp of a promotion? Maybe you can accelerate the timetable by working more for the next few months and be able to put the promotion on your application. Don’t have much leadership experience? Volunteer for some project or launch something new at your company. Start a mentor program at your company and volunteer to manage it (and take on a mentee yourself). Offer to put together a training program in an area of your expertise.

I’m going to re-take the GMAT. What do I do?
The rest of this post will talk about what to do if you need a relatively modest increase (30 to 80 points). If you are looking for a larger increase, then you will need a more comprehensive plan for your re-take.

First, gather data. Write down everything you remember about the test: what seemed easy, what seemed hard, whether you had any timing or mental fatigue issues, and so on. (Note: if you’re reading this but haven’t yet decided whether to re-take, write down everything you remember right now. Seriously! I’ll wait. It’s important to get the information down on paper as soon as possible after the test is over.)

If you would like, order the Enhanced Score Report from GMAC. This report will give you additional data about your test performance (follow the link to see exactly what you’ll get).

Finally, analyze your most recent non-GMATPrep practice test (or, if it has been a while, take a new practice test). I’m specifying that you use something other than GMATPrep because it doesn’t provide much data with which to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. If you take one of our CATs, use this article to analyze it.

Answer these questions:

1. Consider the main question types. Did one type feel consistently more difficult? Do you remember any especially difficult individual problems? Why were they so difficult for you? Did you feel like you spent way too much time on certain types of questions? Which ones?

→Your responses to this set of questions will help you to understand on a more global level where you might need to spend your study time.

2. Next, consider timing.

a. Did you finish each section comfortably on time (within 2 or 3 minutes of the time limit), or did you run out of time? Try to quantify on how many questions you had to rush and how much you had to rush. Alternatively, did you finish significantly early? How much time did you have left? Were you rushing even more than was really necessary?

b. Even if you finished the section on time, you might still have mismanaged your timing. Check the per-question timing statistics in your MGMAT CAT. Did you generally avoid going more than about 45 seconds longer than the average on any individual question (that is, you didn’t spend way too much time on any question)? Did you generally spend at least 45 seconds on any SC or at least 1 minute on any other question (that is, you didn’t rush way too much on any question)?

→ Timing mismanagement is a major cause of underperformance on the GMAT. The bad news: if you don’t fix timing problems, it will be tough to improve your score very much. The good news: people who can fix their timing problems are the most likely group to see improvement on a subsequent official GMAT. If you have to have a problem, timing mismanagement is a good problem to have.

3. How did you feel about the content that you saw on the test? You should expect to have some way-too-hard questions, as well as some that you felt were relatively easy. You should also expect, at times, to think, “I should know how to do this!” but you can’t remember or figure it out for some reason. Were there more than a few in any of these categories? What were the specific content areas that gave you the most trouble?

→ Your answers here, coupled with your answers to the first two sets of questions, will help you to pinpoint more precisely what you need to study to pick up a modest number of additional points.

4. Everyone experiences some amount of nervousness and mental fatigue during the GMAT. Was yours significant enough to impair your performance?

a. Did you feel a constant nervousness throughout the exam? Did you feel like you were panicking at any point or your mind just went blank? Did you experience: a racing heart, sweaty palms, nausea, difficulty breathing?

→ If anxiety was enough of a problem to impair your test performance significantly, you need to take concrete steps to lower your anxiety before you take the test again. For most, it will be enough to seek out freely available resources and try various techniques that can help to lessen anxiety. For those who are experiencing anxiety severe enough to cause serious physical symptoms, you may need to work with a professional (a doctor or therapist) who can suggest more targeted techniques or prescribe medication.

b. Did you start to feel that you were unable to concentrate? Did you have to read things two or three times before you finally registered what you were reading? (Note: I’m not talking about having to read a really hard or convoluted sentence twice. I’m talking about those times when you read something and then you realize that you have absolutely no idea what you just read.)

→ Everyone experiences mental fatigue during this long test, but there are ways to try to minimize the effects. In addition to what I wrote in the article I just linked, also remember that the decisions you make about when to keep going on a hard problem have implications for your mental energy. If you spend too much time (and, therefore, mental energy) on a subset of very hard problems—which you’re likely to miss anyway, since they’re so hard—then you may find yourself without enough mental energy to finish the test strongly.

I want 100+ more points
In that case, plan to spend at least 8 weeks, possibly longer. You may need to take a class or workshop or work with a tutor; if so, still do the analysis described above. It will help you to choose a targeted program for your specific needs, in particular if you decide to work with a tutor. Alternatively, you may decide to work on your own. If so, this article can help get you started: Developing a Study Plan.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and happy studying!

 

The post Should I re-take the GMAT? If so, how? appeared first on GMAT.
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

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B-School News: US News 2016 MBA Rankings Released [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2015, 15:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: B-School News: US News 2016 MBA Rankings Released
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U.S. News & World Report today released the 2016 Best Graduate School rankings.  Like our friends at mbaMissionhave reminded us, all rankings should be approached with skepticism and that “fit” (be it academic, personal or professional) is far more important.

That said, here’s how the top 15 American business schools stack up this round:

1. Stanford University

2. Harvard University

3. University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)

4. University of Chicago (Booth)

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)

6. Northwestern University (Sloan)

7. University of California, Berkeley (Haas)

8. Columbia University

9. Dartmouth College (Tuck)

10. University of Virginia (Darden)

11. New York University (Stern)

11. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross)

13. Duke University (Fuqua)

13. Yale University

15. University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)

See the full list and check out the rankings by MBA programs and specialties, here.

The post B-School News: US News 2016 MBA Rankings Released appeared first on GMAT.
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

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How to Switch from the GMAT to the GRE [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2015, 13:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Switch from the GMAT to the GRE
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Lately, we’ve been talking about how to decide which test to take, as well as what to do if you decide to stick with the GMAT. What if you decide to switch from the GMAT to the GRE? That’s what we’ll tackle today! (Next time, we’ll talk about what to do if you want to switch from the GRE to the GMAT.)

How do I study?
The overall way that you want to study doesn’t actually change that much; rather, you’ll just need to change what you are studying, as discussed later in this article.

First, you’ll need to determine whether the way that you’ve already been studying is actually the optimal way. If not, then you’ll need to make some changes, regardless of whether you stick with the GMAT or switch to the GRE.

The GMAT and the GRE are both executive reasoning tests; that is, the test makers want to know how you think and make decisions. You of course need to know content (certain facts, rules, formulas) in order to do well on either test, but that level of study is not enough; you also need to lift yourself to a second level of understanding that allows you to think your way through these sometimes bizarrely-worded problems as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Follow the two links I put in the last paragraph. Take some time to just think about the concepts presented there. Has this been your approach to studying so far? If so, great. Keep thinking and working in that way.

If not, however, recognize that you’re going to need to start studying with this new mindset, regardless of whether you take the GMAT or the GRE.

What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Any time you’re developing or revising a study plan, you’ll want to put together a solid analysis of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you have been studying for the GMAT for a while, then you should have some practice CAT data. (If not, or if it has been more than 6 weeks since you last took a CAT, then you’ll need to take one to get the data. Make sure to take the test under official conditions, including the essay and IR sections, length of breaks, and so on.)

Analyze your most recent two CATs (this link tells you how to analyze Manhattan Prep CATs). If you haven’t taken MPrep CATs, you can still read through that link to get an idea of how you want to analyze your data from another test. Your goal is to split all question types and content into one of three buckets:

Bucket 1: Strengths. I’ll still study and practice these but not as heavily as other areas.

Bucket 2: Low-hanging Fruit: These are my easiest opportunities for improvement. Careless mistakes. Things that I get wrong fast. Things that I get right but just a little too slowly.

Bucket 3: Weaknesses. These are areas that I’ll ignore until I’ve worked out my Bucket 2 issues. Things that I’m likely to get wrong even if I give myself unlimited time. Things that I get right but way too slowly. Things that use up way too much mental energy, even if I get them right.

Your primary focus until your next practice test will be working a lot to improve Bucket 2, while maintaining Bucket 1 skills and getting Bucket 3 questions wrong fast (yes, seriously!).

[Aside: there are certain things that will stay in Bucket 3 forever. I’m terrible at combinatorics and I’m pretty bad at 3D geometry. That’s been true since my very first practice GMAT, nearly 20 years ago! When I see these, I’ll give it a look in case the problem is very similar to one that I do remember how to do, but otherwise, I pick my favorite letter and move on.]

Okay, now that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you need to familiarize yourself with the differences between the GMAT and the GRE.

What new things do I have to learn?
The Essays

You won’t care as much about one difference, so let’s get it out of the way. At the beginning of the GMAT, you write an essay. The GRE also asks you to write essays (two this time) and one of these is in the same format as the GMAT essay, so you don’t need to re-study for that.

The other GRE essay, though, is different. Instead of asking you to analyze an argument, it asks you to develop a thesis (provide your opinion) on a given issue. Think something like: Coke is better than Pepsi. Discuss whether you agree or disagree and why. You’ll need to learn how to write this type of essay.

Quant

Next, for the quant section of the test, you’re going to need to learn about the different question types contained on the GRE. The most important one is Quantitative Comparisons (QC).

The GRE also includes “select all that apply” question formats (with no partial credit). These questions still test the same overall topics, but you’ll have to learn how to approach this somewhat different set-up to the question. You’ll learn this from the books or other resources you identify to help you study specifically for the GRE.

The GRE tests Data Interpretation (DI) on the quant section; on the GMAT, this material shows up mostly in the Integrated Reasoning section. If you have not yet studied data and graphs for the GMAT, or you didn’t study it much, then you’ll need to learn this for the GRE.

[In Manhattan Prep’s book set, we’ve combined QC and DI into one book, so if you already have our GMAT books, you likely won’t need to get the content-specific GRE books (algebra, geometry, etc.). You may be able to get away with adding just the Quantitative Comparisons and Data Interpretation strategy guide.]

The timing on the two tests is also quite different, so you’ll have to learn how to handle 20 quant questions in 35 minutes on the GRE, or about 1 minute 45 seconds per question on average. In general, QC questions should be faster than the other types, about 1 minute 15 seconds on average, allowing you to spend about 2 minutes on average for the others.

Verbal

Most of your new efforts on verbal will be geared towards the two vocabulary question types, Sentence Equivalence and Text Completions. You may find it useful to buy pre-made vocabulary flash cards or to make your own. (I prefer to make my own; I find that it’s much easier to learn a word if I have to think about what I want to write on that word’s flash card in the first place.)

Again, if you are already using Manhattan Prep materials, you can use what you already have for Reading Comprehension (RC) and Critical Reasoning (CR). Note that, on the GRE, both of these question types fall into the one category Reading Comprehension (that is, nothing is called Critical Reasoning on the GRE).

All of the GMAT RC material can also appear on the GRE. For CR, the following GMAT question types also appear on the GRE: Describe the Role (called Analyze the Argument Structure on the GRE), Strengthen and Weaken, Explain a Discrepancy, and Inference.

In other words, there are more GMAT CR question types than GRE, so you can drop some of the GMAT types. All of the types that show up on the GRE also show up on the GMAT, so you won’t have to learn about any new types just for the GRE.

Again, the timing will be different on the GRE. You’ll need to answer 20 verbal questions in just 30 minutes, or about 1 minute 30 seconds per question on average. The vocab question types should average about 1 minute each, allowing you the necessary time to read the RC passages and answer these questions.

How do I make a study plan?
We’ve already talked about part of the process (analyzing your strengths and weaknesses). You may decide to take a class or work with a tutor, in which case your teacher will give you specific assignments. If not, you’ll need to develop your own study plan.

The article that I just linked talks about how to build a GMAT study plan, but the steps apply to both tests; you can use it to build a GRE study plan just as well. Don’t forget to reassess as your skills change! When you take a new practice test (a GRE one this time), analyze it to see where you’ve improved and where you’re now (or still) struggling. Then use that information to update your study plan.

Takeaways for switching from GMAT to GRE
(1) Make sure that you’re going into your studies with the right overall mindset (executive reasoning!) and that you know how to lift yourself to the “second level” of study.

(2) Begin your studies by concentrating on the aspects that are new to you: the different question types and topics that are tested on the GRE. Once you build those skills up to a competent level, you’ll review all aspects and question types.

The post How to Switch from the GMAT to the GRE appeared first on GMAT.
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

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How to Switch from the GRE to the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2015, 08:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Switch from the GRE to the GMAT
Image
Lately, we’ve been talking about how to decide which test to take, as well as what to do if . What if you decide to switch from the GRE to the GMAT? That’s what we’ll tackle today! (We have also talked about what to do if you want to switch from the GMAT to the GRE.)

How do I study?
The overall way that you want to study doesn’t actually change that much; rather, you’ll just need to change what you are studying, as discussed later in this article.

First, you’ll need to determine whether the way that you’ve already been studying is actually the optimal way. If not, then you’ll need to make some changes, regardless of whether you stick with the GRE or switch to the GMAT.

The GRE and the GMAT are both executive reasoning tests; that is, the test makers want to know how you think and make decisions. You of course need to know content (certain facts, rules, formulas) in order to do well on either test, but that level of study is not enough; you also need to lift yourself to a second level of understanding that allows you to think your way through these sometimes bizarrely-worded problems as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Follow the two links I put in the last paragraph. Take some time to just think about the concepts presented there. Has this been your approach to studying so far? If so, great. Keep thinking and working in that way.

If not, however, recognize that you’re going to need to start studying with this new mindset, regardless of whether you take the GRE or the GMAT.

What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Any time you’re developing or revising a study plan, you’ll want to put together a solid analysis of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you have been studying for the GRE for a while, then you should have some practice CAT data. (If not, or if it has been more than 6 weeks since you last took a CAT, then you’ll need to take one to get the data. Make sure to take the test under official conditions, including the essays, length of breaks, and so on.)

Analyze your most recent two CATs (this link tells you how to analyze Manhattan Prep CATs). If you haven’t taken MPrep CATs, you can still read through that link to get an idea of how you want to analyze your data from another test. Your goal is to split all question types and content into one of three buckets:

Bucket 1: Strengths. I’ll still study and practice these but not as heavily as other areas.

Bucket 2: Low-hanging Fruit: These are my easiest opportunities for improvement. Careless mistakes. Things that I get wrong fast. Things that I get right but just a little too slowly.

Bucket 3: Weaknesses. These are areas that I’ll ignore until I’ve worked out my Bucket 2 issues. Things that I’m likely to get wrong even if I give myself unlimited time. Things that I get right but way too slowly. Things that use up way too much mental energy, even if I get them right.

Your primary focus until your next practice test will be working a lot to improve Bucket 2, while maintaining Bucket 1 skills and getting Bucket 3 questions wrong fast (yes, seriously!).

[Aside: there are certain things that will stay in Bucket 3 forever. I’m terrible at combinatorics and I’m pretty bad at 3D geometry. That’s been true since my very first practice GRE, more than 10 years ago! When I see these, I’ll give it a look in case the problem is very similar to one that I do remember how to do, but otherwise, I pick my favorite letter and move on.]

Okay, now that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you need to familiarize yourself with the differences between the GRE and the GMAT.

What new things do I have to learn?
The Essays and Integrated Reasoning

You won’t care as much about one difference, so let’s get it out of the way. At the beginning of the GRE, you write two essays. The GMAT also asks you to write an essay but in place of the second essay you’ll have to do the Integrated Reasoning section, a multiple-choice section that mixes quant and verbal skills.

This section is different enough from the others that you will have to study how to answer these questions and how to manage your time during the section. At the time of this publication (in March 2015), schools aren’t using IR scores much, so this section is less important, though this could change in the future.

Quant

Next, for the quant section of the test, you’re going to need to learn about one different question type contained on the GMAT: Data Sufficiency (DS).

The GMAT dives more deeply into number properties, story problems, and some algebra concepts, so you may need to get GMAT books for these topics versus continuing to use your GRE books.

The timing on the two tests is also quite different, so you’ll have to learn how to handle 37 questions in 75 minutes on the GMAT, or about 2 minutes per question on average.

Verbal

Most of your new efforts on verbal will be geared towards the grammar question type, Sentence Correction (SC). You’ll definitely need to get some materials that teach you the grammar and meaning issues that are tested on SC.

Again, if you are already using Manhattan Prep materials, you can use what you already have for Reading Comprehension (RC), but you will need to get new materials for Critical Reasoning (CR). The CR question types on the GRE are also tested on the GMAT, but the GMAT contains additional CR question types that don’t appear on the GRE.

Again, the timing will be different on the GMAT. You’ll need to answer 41 verbal questions in 75 minutes, spending about 1 minute 20 seconds on SC, 2 minutes on CR, and about 6 to 8 minutes total for RC passages and questions.

How do I make a study plan?
We’ve already talked about part of the process (analyzing your strengths and weaknesses). You may decide to take a class or work with a tutor, in which case your teacher will give you specific assignments . If not, you’ll need to develop your own study plan.

Takeaways for switching from GRE to GMAT
(1) Make sure that you’re going into your studies with the right overall mindset (executive reasoning!) and that you know how to lift yourself to the “second level” of study.

(2) Begin your studies by concentrating on the aspects that are new to you: the different question types and topics that are tested on the GMAT. Once you build those skills up to a competent level, you’ll review all aspects and question types.

The post How to Switch from the GRE to the GMAT appeared first on GMAT.
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

_________________

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Posts: 137
How to Switch from the GRE to the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2015, 10:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Switch from the GRE to the GMAT
Image
Lately, we’ve been talking about how to decide which test to take, as well as what to do if . What if you decide to switch from the GRE to the GMAT? That’s what we’ll tackle today! (We have also talked about what to do if you want to switch from the GMAT to the GRE.)

How do I study?
The overall way that you want to study doesn’t actually change that much; rather, you’ll just need to change what you are studying, as discussed later in this article.

First, you’ll need to determine whether the way that you’ve already been studying is actually the optimal way. If not, then you’ll need to make some changes, regardless of whether you stick with the GRE or switch to the GMAT.

The GRE and the GMAT are both executive reasoning tests; that is, the test makers want to know how you think and make decisions. You of course need to know content (certain facts, rules, formulas) in order to do well on either test, but that level of study is not enough; you also need to lift yourself to a second level of understanding that allows you to think your way through these sometimes bizarrely-worded problems as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Follow the two links I put in the last paragraph. Take some time to just think about the concepts presented there. Has this been your approach to studying so far? If so, great. Keep thinking and working in that way.

If not, however, recognize that you’re going to need to start studying with this new mindset, regardless of whether you take the GRE or the GMAT.

What are my strengths and weaknesses?
Any time you’re developing or revising a study plan, you’ll want to put together a solid analysis of your strengths and weaknesses.

If you have been studying for the GRE for a while, then you should have some practice CAT data. (If not, or if it has been more than 6 weeks since you last took a CAT, then you’ll need to take one to get the data. Make sure to take the test under official conditions, including the essays, length of breaks, and so on.)

Analyze your most recent two CATs (this link tells you how to analyze Manhattan Prep CATs). If you haven’t taken MPrep CATs, you can still read through that link to get an idea of how you want to analyze your data from another test. Your goal is to split all question types and content into one of three buckets:

Bucket 1: Strengths. I’ll still study and practice these but not as heavily as other areas.

Bucket 2: Low-hanging Fruit: These are my easiest opportunities for improvement. Careless mistakes. Things that I get wrong fast. Things that I get right but just a little too slowly.

Bucket 3: Weaknesses. These are areas that I’ll ignore until I’ve worked out my Bucket 2 issues. Things that I’m likely to get wrong even if I give myself unlimited time. Things that I get right but way too slowly. Things that use up way too much mental energy, even if I get them right.

Your primary focus until your next practice test will be working a lot to improve Bucket 2, while maintaining Bucket 1 skills and getting Bucket 3 questions wrong fast (yes, seriously!).

[Aside: there are certain things that will stay in Bucket 3 forever. I’m terrible at combinatorics and I’m pretty bad at 3D geometry. That’s been true since my very first practice GRE, more than 10 years ago! When I see these, I’ll give it a look in case the problem is very similar to one that I do remember how to do, but otherwise, I pick my favorite letter and move on.]

Okay, now that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you need to familiarize yourself with the differences between the GRE and the GMAT.

What new things do I have to learn?
The Essays and Integrated Reasoning

You won’t care as much about one difference, so let’s get it out of the way. At the beginning of the GRE, you write two essays. The GMAT also asks you to write an essay but in place of the second essay you’ll have to do the Integrated Reasoning section, a multiple-choice section that mixes quant and verbal skills.

This section is different enough from the others that you will have to study how to answer these questions and how to manage your time during the section. At the time of this publication (in March 2015), schools aren’t using IR scores much, so this section is less important, though this could change in the future.

Quant

Next, for the quant section of the test, you’re going to need to learn about one different question type contained on the GMAT: Data Sufficiency (DS).

The GMAT dives more deeply into number properties, story problems, and some algebra concepts, so you may need to get GMAT books for these topics versus continuing to use your GRE books.

The timing on the two tests is also quite different, so you’ll have to learn how to handle 37 questions in 75 minutes on the GMAT, or about 2 minutes per question on average.

Verbal

Most of your new efforts on verbal will be geared towards the grammar question type, Sentence Correction (SC). You’ll definitely need to get some materials that teach you the grammar and meaning issues that are tested on SC.

Again, if you are already using Manhattan Prep materials, you can use what you already have for Reading Comprehension (RC), but you will need to get new materials for Critical Reasoning (CR). The CR question types on the GRE are also tested on the GMAT, but the GMAT contains additional CR question types that don’t appear on the GRE.

Again, the timing will be different on the GMAT. You’ll need to answer 41 verbal questions in 75 minutes, spending about 1 minute 20 seconds on SC, 2 minutes on CR, and about 6 to 8 minutes total for RC passages and questions.

How do I make a study plan?
We’ve already talked about part of the process (analyzing your strengths and weaknesses). You may decide to take a class or work with a tutor, in which case your teacher will give you specific assignments . If not, you’ll need to develop your own study plan.

Takeaways for switching from GRE to GMAT
(1) Make sure that you’re going into your studies with the right overall mindset (executive reasoning!) and that you know how to lift yourself to the “second level” of study.

(2) Begin your studies by concentrating on the aspects that are new to you: the different question types and topics that are tested on the GMAT. Once you build those skills up to a competent level, you’ll review all aspects and question types.

The post How to Switch from the GRE to the GMAT appeared first on GMAT.
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

_________________

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Posts: 137
Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars Program Deadline: March 27 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2015, 08:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars Program Deadline: March 27
Image
Do you work for a non-profit? How about promote positive social change? Manhattan Prep is honored to offer special full tuition scholarships for up to 16 individuals per year (4 per quarter) who will be selected as part of Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars program. The SVS program provides selected scholars with free admission into one of Manhattan GMAT’s Live Online Complete Courses (a $1299 value).

These competitive scholarships are offered to individuals who (1) currently work full-time in an organization that promotes positive social change, (2) plan to use their MBA to work in a public, not-for-profit, or other venture with a social-change oriented mission, and (3) demonstrate clear financial need. The Social Venture Scholars will all enroll in a special online preparation course taught by two of Manhattan GMAT’s expert instructors within one year of winning the scholarship.

The deadline is fast approaching: March 27, 2015! 

Learn more about the SVS program and apply to be one of our Social Venture Scholars here.

 

Studying for the GMAT? Take our free GMAT practice exam or sign up for a free GMAT trial class running all the time near you, or online. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!

The post Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars Program Deadline: March 27 appeared first on GMAT.
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

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GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Instructor Auditions: Decision In A Day (NYC April [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2015, 17:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Instructor Auditions: Decision In A Day (NYC April 12th)
Image

Manhattan Prep offers instructors flexible hours and great pay ($100/hour for all teaching and $116/hour for all tutoring). As a Manhattan Prep instructor, you will have autonomy in the classroom, but you will also be joining an incredibly talented and diverse network of people. We support our instructors by providing students, space, training, and an array of curricular resources.

Our regular instructor audition process, which consists of a series of videos and mini lessons, usually takes weeks, even months, to complete. Through this process we winnow an applicant pool of hundreds down to a few people each year.

We are offering a one-day event on April 12th for teachers interested in working with us. Candidates who attend will receive a decision that day. The event will take place at our company headquarters at 138 West 25th St., 7th Floor, in Manhattan, New York City.  It is open to candidates who live in the tri-state area, have taught before, and are experts in the GMAT, LSAT, or GRE.

The day will include several rounds of lessons, as well as other activities. Each round will be pass / fail. The day will begin at 10:30 am. It may last as late as 5:30 pm for those who make it through the final round. Candidates will need to prepare lessons for some rounds; we will send more detailed instructions to candidates when they sign up for the event.

To register, please email Yanilda at auditions@manhattanprep.com by Wednesday, April 12. Please include in your email a resume including your teaching experience and a score report.

The post GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Instructor Auditions: Decision In A Day (NYC April 12th) appeared first on GMAT.
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

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GMAT Problem Solving Strategy: Test Cases [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2015, 16:00
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT Problem Solving Strategy: Test Cases
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If you’re going to do a great job on the GMAT, then you’ve got to know how to Test Cases. This strategy will help you on countless quant problems.

This technique is especially useful for Data Sufficiency problems, but you can also use it on some Problem Solving problems, like the GMATPrepÒ problem below. Give yourself about 2 minutes. Go!

* “For which of the following functions f is f(x) = f(1 – x) for all x?

 Image

 

Testing Cases is mostly what it sounds like: you will test various possible scenarios in order to narrow down the answer choices until you get to the one right answer. What’s the common characteristic that signals you can use this technique on problem solving?

The most common language will be something like “Which of the following must be true?” (or “could be true”).

The above problem doesn’t have that language, but it does have a variation: you need to find the answer choice for which the given equation is true “for all x,” which is the equivalent of asking for which answer choice the given equation is always, or must be, true.

All right, so how are we actually going to test this thing? Here are the steps:

First, choose numbers to test in the problem.

Second, double check that you have selected a valid case. If the problem provided any restrictions, make sure that you didn’t pick numbers that violate those restrictions.

Third, test your numbers in the answer choices to eliminate wrong answers.

But wait, I’m not even sure I understand the question yet. Let’s take a minute to wrap our heads around the function notation. What’s the significance of saying that f(x) = f(1 – x)?

The f letter signals a function. Normally, you’d see something like this:

f(x) = 3x + 19

What that’s saying is “every time I give you a specific value for x, multiply it by 3 and then add 19.”

The question stem, though, has something weird: it’s got that f(x) thing on both sides of the equation. What’s that all about?

Glance down at the answers. They’re all normal functions (that is, they look the way we expect functions to look). So there’s really only one f(x) function for each answer, but we’re supposed to solve the function in two different ways. First, we solve the function for f(x). Then, we solve the same function for f(1 – x). If those two solutions match, then the answer choice stays in. If the two solutions do not match, then we get to cross that answer choice off.

All right, ready to try the first case? Pick something easy for x, making sure you follow any restrictions given by the problem, and test those answer choices.

Let’s try x = 2 first.

Case #1:

x = 2

(1 – x) = -1

The question is: f(x) = f(1 – x)?

Rewrite it: does f(2) = f(-1)?

Image

Okay, answers (A), (B), and (C) are definitely gone. Time to try another number, but only with answers (D) and (E). How about something weird, like x = 0?

Case #2:

x = 0

(1 – x) = 1

The question is: f(x) = f(1 – x)?

Rewrite it: does f(0) = f(1)?

Image

You may be thinking, wait! We’re not supposed to have undefined on this test, so this is an invalid case! Check the question stem again. They don’t say anything about not being able to use 0. In fact, the question stem specifies “for all x.”

All we’re doing here is looking for a match, and 0 does not equal undefined, so this really is good enough to say that choice (E) is wrong.

The correct answer is (D).

Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and only need to try one case. In fact, on this problem, if we’d started with x = 0, we’d have eliminated all four wrong answers right off the bat. But I wanted to show you the typical case, and typically you’ll have to try two different cases, sometimes three.

Once you eliminate an answer, though, it’s gone for good, so each case gets faster, as you try fewer and fewer answers. Once you have only one answer left, you’re done. (On a really hard problem, you might not get down to one answer, but you will likely be able to eliminate at least one or two of the wrong answers.)

The other thing I’ll point out here is that this is quite a complex problem (I received it towards the end of a GMATPrep on which I scored 51—so the difficulty level is up there). There’s some necessary thoughtful thinking upfront in order to figure out the best path through this thing, and you do need to feel pretty comfortable with functions in order to be able to interpret the unusual set-up.

Key Takeaways: Test Cases on Problem Solving
(1) If a PS problem asks you what must or could be true (or the equivalent language), then you are likely going to be Testing Cases to solve this problem. Remember your three steps: (1) choose numbers, (2) double-check that you chose valid / allowable numbers, and (3) test the answer choices using those numbers. Typically, you’ll have to try 2 or 3 cases to get down to one answer.

(2) Before you dive in and start testing cases, do make sure that you understand what’s going on in the problem. This is true for any quant problem: take a step back and think through the best path. If you just dive in and start calculating, you’re more likely to get yourself into trouble.

* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.

The post GMAT Problem Solving Strategy: Test Cases appeared first on GMAT.
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Updates from Manhattan GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2015, 08:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Manhattan Prep Instructor Wows With Record-Setting Jeopardy Win
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Yesterday, the whole wide internet was shocked by the Jeopardy dominance of “This dude Michael”, but here at Manhattan Prep we weren’t surprised at all.  We already knew that dude was smart and we knew that dude had the mathematical wherewithal to bet $7,000 without batting an eyelash.


Here at MPrep we know that dude as Michael Bilow (one of those people who command such respect that he must always be talked about using his last name lest anyone in earshot mistakenly attribute an anecdote or joke to some less deserving Michael).  On Jeopardy, he lived up to his legend taking  home the fourth highest single-day winnings in Jeopardy history: $57,198.


Michael Bilow joined the Manhattan Prep family in 2011 using his perfect GRE score and spectacular teaching chops to secure a role as an LA-based GRE instructor. A few years later we realized we needed more Bilow in our business so we asked him to join the Marketing Department. He took a position as our Business Data Analyst, while continuing to teach GRE classes and pursue his PhD. After seeing him flawlessly juggle those responsibilities, we never had any doubt that he would take the Jeopardy world by fire.


By now the whole country knows of Bilow’s intellectual prowess, but we know so much more. Michael is a dedicated practitioner of improv, a delightful presence in Google Hangout meetings, and a stylish dresser. We can’t wait for his next trip to the New York City headquarters so he can buy us a drink with his winnings after he takes a quick a nap in a tutoring pod.


Congrats, Michael Bilow!  Keep it up!

 

The post Manhattan Prep Instructor Wows With Record-Setting Jeopardy Win appeared first on GMAT.
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

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GMAT Student Trends: What Do Your Fellow Test-Takers Want To Do With T [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2015, 11:01
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT Student Trends: What Do Your Fellow Test-Takers Want To Do With Their GMAT Score?
Yesterday, the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC, the organization that makes the GMAT) released its annual mba.com Prospective Students Survey, a wide-ranging study of nearly 12,000 prospective GMAT-takers and graduate-school-applicants. While this survey is designed primarily to target the needs of graduate schools, there are some interesting data points that you, the aspiring student, may want to know.

Why do people want a graduate business degree?
The survey identified three main groups of people:

Career switchers (38% of respondents): these prospective students are looking to switch industries or job functions and hoping that a graduate degree will give them the boost they need to make the change successfully. People in this group are more likely than the overall pool of respondents to be age 24 or older and living in the U.S. or Canada. The size of this group has dropped by 8 percentage points in the last 5 years, perhaps not surprising as the economy has picked up since 2010.

Career enhancers (34%): these prospective students are seeking a graduate degree primarily to enhance their existing careers, whether planning to keep their current jobs or move to a new employer. People in this group are more likely than the overall pool of respondents to be female, under the age of 24, and living in Asia-Pacific, Europe, or the U.S. The size of this group hasn’t changed much in the past 5 years.

Aspiring entrepreneurs (28%): these prospective students hope to start their own businesses, possibly even before they earn their degrees, though only about 10% have already started businesses. People in this group are more likely than the overall pool of respondents to be male and living in the Middle East, Africa, Central or South Asia, or Latin America This group increased by about 9 percentage points in the past 5 years.

These three groups show some very interesting regional differentiation:Image

What does that mean for you? First, it’s just interesting to know. Image
Second, it gives you a sense of whether you are coming from a more “common” demographic or whether you will stand out more from the crowd. If the former, then you’ll want to look for other ways to make your story stand out.

Want kind of degree do people want to get? What kind of program do they want to attend?
The survey includes some very interesting data about the types of degrees people want. First, let’s address the two main categories of degrees: MBA and specialized. A little over half of the respondents were firmly focused on MBA degrees, while about 22% said that they want a specialized degree (such as a Master of Finance). The remaining 26% were considering both types of programs (it was unclear whether they are considering getting a dual degree or whether they just haven’t made up their mind about which type of degree to get).

Check out the graph below. Of the people considering only an MBA program, about 32% were most interested in a full-time 2-year program and 27% were aiming for an accelerated full-time 1-year program. For those considering only a specialized degree, Master of Accounting and Master of Finance programs are by far the most popular programs.Image

The report did not indicate what these numbers looked like in the past, but I would speculate that more people today are interested in a shorter study timeframe than 5 years ago. As the economy picks up, people don’t want to spend a full 2 years out of the work force, particularly those who are looking to stay in the same industry after graduate school. (This is just my anecdotal take based on the questions and comments I hear from students in my classes and on our forums.)

The below data reflects two combined categories: those who know they want a specialized degree and those who are still considering both types of degrees. There are distinct preferences by region for the two most popular specialized degrees.Image

There’s strong interest in a Master of Finance degree in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Those considering a Master of Accounting degree are most likely to live in the Asia-Pacific region or the U.S.

Want to read more?
If you’d like to read more, hop on over to the GMAC website and download the full report. If you have any interesting insights to share, or want to discuss something you find intriguing, let us know in the comments!

 

The GMAT® is property of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. All data cited is from GMAC’s 2015 mba.com Prospective Students Survey.

The post GMAT Student Trends: What Do Your Fellow Test-Takers Want To Do With Their GMAT Score? appeared first on GMAT.
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

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