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FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Common Math Errors on the GMAT 
Do you ever make mistakes on GMAT math that just don’t make sense when you review? That’s not unusual, and in fact, it’s probably one of the most common reasons to miss easy GMAT math problems. Here’s why:
A lot of GMAT math errors are based on memorization. Suppose that you want to simplify the following expression: 0.00004 x 103 Quick, which of the following rules is correct?
In this article, I’ll list a handful of mistakes that people often make on GMAT math. Then, I’ll share a selfcheck you can use to avoid each one. Because everyone is different, some of these mistakes may be easy for you to avoid. For others, you might decide to doublecheck every single time. 1. Decimals and exponents Let’s go back to the example above. 0.00004 x 103 Instead of memorizing which way to move the decimal, think about whether the decimal’s value should become larger or smaller. Ten raised to a negative power, like 103, is a fraction. In this case, it’s equal to 1/1,000. Multiplying something by a small fraction will definitely make it smaller. A small decimal has more zeroes in front of it. So, to simplify this expression, you want to add more zeroes in front of the 4. To remember how many zeroes to add, think about dividing by 10. Each time you divide a decimal by 10, you’d add in one zero. Dividing by 103, which is what we’re doing in this problem, is the same as dividing by 10 three times. So, you need to add three zeroes. The right answer is 0.00000004. 2. Decimals and percents When you want to find 0.05% of 13,000, what do you multiply 13,000 by? It’s easy to lose a decimal place or two and end up with an answer that’s off by a factor of 10. Here’s the solution. The literal meaning of the percent symbol is “/100”. In fact, the percent symbol sort of looks like a division sign with two zeroes, symbolizing a 100. Any time you see a math expression including a percent, write it on your paper as if the percent sign said “/100” instead. For this question, you’d write the following on your paper: 0.05/100 x 13,000 This simplifies to 0.05 x 130, or 6.5. You can use this trick even when there are variables involved in the expression. For instance, a question might ask you “If y% of x equals 50, what is x% of y?” Write this as follows: (y/100)(x) = 50 (x/100)(y) = ? In both cases, the left side of the expression simplifies to xy/100. So, they’re equal, and the answer to the question is 50. 3. Variables in fractions Simplifying a fraction that only includes numbers is relatively straightforward, although the math might be tedious. But, when the fraction includes variables, the math gets less obvious. Here’s an example of something you might have on your paper while doing a GMAT math problem: (x + 7y) / (y²) You may have memorized a rule that says “you can cancel common terms from the top and bottom of a fraction.” But that rule comes with some fiddly little caveats, like the fact that you aren’t allowed to do this: (x + 7y) / (y²) (x + 7) / (y) Here’s another way to think about it that’s more reliable. Factor out the same value from both the top and the bottom of the fraction. Then, you can “cancel” (divide) both of those terms. In the example above, you can’t factor a y out of the top of the fraction. So, you aren’t allowed to cancel the y. But, in this example, you can: (y³ + 7y) / (y²) y(y² + 7) / y(y) (y² + 7) / y If you’ve made this mistake before, commit yourself to thinking each time: what am I factoring out of the top and bottom of this fraction? If you can’t factor it out, you don’t get to divide by it! 4. Properties of 0 There are two common Number Properties rules in GMAT math that relate to the number 0. Unfortunately, they’re almost identical to each other, and it’s so easy to get them switched around!
All even numbers have one thing in common: if you divide them by 2, you don’t end up with a fraction or a remainder. For instance, 2,476 is even, because if you divide it by 2, you get a round number with nothing left over. The same is true of, say, 18. This rule of thumb will always accurately tell you whether a number is even. What happens when you divide zero by two? You get zero. 0/2 = 0 Sure enough, there’s no fraction or remainder. So, by our rules, zero is definitely even. Why isn’t zero positive or negative? This is a trickier one, because it depends, in part, on language. In some languages other than English, zero is actually said to be both positive and negative. However, on the GMAT, it’s neither. On the GMAT, a good general strategy is to visualize a number line. Numbers to the left are smaller than numbers to the right. Anything to the left of zero is negative, and anything to the right of zero is positive. And because zero itself is neither to the left nor to the right of zero, it can’t be positive or negative. 5. Dividing by variables How do you solve this equation? 3x = x² The obvious first move is to divide both sides by x, giving you this answer: 3 = x But, that’s actually a big problem. Why? Because x doesn’t necessarily equal 3. In fact, x could also equal 0. (Plug 0 into the equation 3x = x², and it works out just fine!) You could memorize a rule: “equations that have the same variable in every term also have 0 as a solution, on top of whatever solution you come up with.” But, here are two alternatives.
x² – 3x = 0 x(x – 3) = 0 This gives you two solutions: x = 0, and x = 3. The other alternative is to be extra careful never to divide anything by zero. That includes variables! If a variable might equal zero, then you still can’t divide by it. After all, you might be dividing by zero without realizing it. The right approach is the same one as shown above: instead of dividing out an x (don’t do it, since it might equal zero!), focus on factoring it out without dividing. To do that, put both terms on the same side of the equation, then factor out the x that they have in common. 6. Dividing by variables, with a twist There’s one other situation where it’s dangerous to divide by a variable: when you’re simplifying an inequality. This causes even bigger problems than the ones shown above. For example, suppose you’re trying to simplify this inequality: 3x If you just divide by x, you get this: 3 That’s perfect, except that it’s the wrong answer. x definitely doesn’t have to be bigger than 3! For instance, x could be 1: 3(1) = 3 (1)2 = 1 3 You may already know a rule about dividing inequalities: if you divide or multiply an inequality by a negative number, you have to flip the sign. That causes more problems when you’re dividing or multiplying by a variable. You don’t know the value of the variable, so you don’t know whether it’s negative or not! So, maybe you have to flip the sign, or maybe you don’t. There’s no way to tell. That’s the issue. The solution is to never divide an inequality by a number unless you know for sure whether it’s positive or negative. If you know that x is positive, you can go ahead and do the division above. If you know that x is negative, you can still do the division, you just have to flip the sign! But if you aren’t sure, you can’t divide by x. What can you do instead? It depends on what the overall GMAT problem looks like. On problems like these, it’s often possible to solve more quickly and easily by testing numbers. Or, you can do something similar to the approach from the previous tip: 3x 0 – 3x In other words, x² – 3x is positive. Therefore, x(x3) is positive. Next, use some Number Properties facts. The product of x and x3 is only positive if x and x3 are both positive, or x and x3 are both negative. That will happen in exactly two situations. If x is greater than 3, then x and x3 are both positive, so their product is positive. Or, if x is less than 0, then x and x3 are both negative, so their product is positive. So, the correct answer is this: x 3 7. Negative variables This conversation about positive and negative numbers leads us to our final tip. Quick: is the following number positive or negative? x Especially in Number Properties problems, which often ask you whether a value is positive or negative, this can trip you up. It’s easy to see the negative sign when you’re working fast and assume that you definitely have a negative number. After all, 2 is negative, so why not x? However, that’s only true if x itself is positive. If x is negative, then the number above is actually positive. For instance, if x = 5, then x = 5. To avoid mistakes, imagine putting individual variables inside of parentheses. x is really (x). Therefore, if x = 5, then x = (x) = (5) = 5. After all, two negatives make a positive. This can also help you remember what to do when you raise a variable to a power. x² really equals (x)², so if x = 5, then x² = (5)² = 25. Just don’t accidentally include anything else inside of the parentheses! If you do this, you’ll be able to simplify expressions including negative variables correctly. You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. [b] is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. [/b]Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post Common Math Errors on the GMAT appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Quick GMAT Math Hacks 
[img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2019/12/mprepblogimageswave139e1575494245444.png[/img] Here are a few of the most useful quick GMAT math tricks I’ve learned over the years. They won’t show up on every problem, or even on every Quant section. But, if you happen to use one of these GMAT math hacks on test day, it could save you anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. [b]Number Properties[/b] [list] [*]The product of two consecutive integers is always divisible by two, the product of three consecutive integers is always divisible by three, and so on. [/*] [*]To check whether a complicated expression is even or odd, plug in 0 and 1. For instance, try the expression 2x3 + x2 + x. If you plug in 0, you get 0, which is even. If you plug in 1, you get 4, which is also even. So, this expression is always even. [/*] [*]If you want to find all of the factors of a number by guessing and testing, you can stop when you reach the square root of that number. For instance, if you’re finding all of the factors of 228, you can stop checking numbers when you hit 15, since that’s approximately the square root of 228. [/*] [/list] [b]Geometry[/b] [list] [*]If you double the side length of a shape (such as a square or triangle), its area quadruples. If you halve the side length, its area is quartered. [/*] [*]Learn the [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gre/blog/gregeometrythreewaystospotsimilartriangles/]three ways to spot similar triangles[/url], so you’ll instantly recognize that two triangles are similar without having to prove it from scratch. [/*] [*]If a problem tells you a shape is a rectangle, don’t forget that the shape could be a square! In fact, a square is often a good case to test on [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtoreviewadatasufficiencyquestion/]Geometry Data Sufficiency[/url] problems. [/*] [*]If a GMAT math problem asks you whether a point is on a line, plug the coordinates of the point into the equation for the line. If you get a valid result, then the point is on the line. For example, the point (2, 6) is on the line y = 2x + 2.[/*] [/list] [b]Word Problems[/b] [list] [*]The average of a set of numbers always has to be somewhere in the middle of that set. It can’t be larger than the largest number in the set, or smaller than the smallest number. This is useful for weighted average problems: if you average the weights of 6 cats that each weigh 10 pounds, and 8 dogs that each weigh 30 pounds, the result will be somewhere in the middle in between 10 and 30. The more evenly spread the numbers are, the closer the average will actually be to the middle. [/*] [*]Only use a Venn diagram for rare “3group” overlapping set problems. For almost all overlapping sets, the Overlapping Set Matrix is quicker and easier. [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtohandle3groupoverlappingsetsonthegmat/]Both are described in this article[/url]. [/*] [*]You’ll sometimes see rates problems that look like this: if it takes four people twelve days to sew eight jackets, how long does it take ten people to sew ten jackets? A quick trick for approaching these is to start with the original statement, and then “scale” it upwards or downwards. Here’s what that might look like: [/*] [/list] It takes 4 people 12 days to sew 8 jackets. 1 person will take 4 times as long to do the same amount of work, so it will take 1 person 48 days to sew 8 jackets. If that 1 person sews ⅛ as many jackets, it will take ⅛ as many days. So, it takes 1 person 6 days to sew 1 jacket. If a person takes 6 days to sew a jacket, then it will take 10 people 6 days to sew 10 jackets (one per person). The answer is 6. [b]Fractions, Decimals, and Percents[/b] [list] [*]When a fraction has zeroes on the end of both the numerator and the denominator, chop off the same number of zeroes from each (just make sure you count carefully!). 1,000,000 / 5,000 simplifies to 1,000 / 5. [/*] [*]Likewise, if a fraction has decimals in both the numerator and denominator, you can simplify by moving both decimal places by the same amount and in the same direction. For instance, 0.0007 / 0.14 = 0.007 / 1.4 = 0.07 / 14 = 0.7 / 140 = 7 / 1,400. [/*] [*]Use [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gre/blog/heresthesafestwaytohandlegrepercentageproblems/]this technique to directly translate percent problems from English into math[/url] without having to convert between decimals and percents. [/*] [/list] [b]Working with Numbers[/b] [list] [*]You can use a similar ‘scaling’ technique to calculate percents, fractions, or decimals. For instance, if you want to find 0.1% of 50,000, start like this: [/*] [/list] 10% of 50,000 is 5,000. So, 1% of 50,000 is a tenth of 5,000, or 500. So, 0.1% of 50,000 is a tenth of 500, or 50. The answer is 50. [list] [*]To quickly divide a number by 5, divide it by 10 first, then multiply by 2. For example, 1,880/5 = 1,880/10 * 2 = 188 * 2 = 376. [/*] [*]Arithmetic can be easier if you “split up” or rearrange the numbers before you do the math. Suppose that you need to calculate 117 – 98. Rewrite this as 117 – 100 + 2, or 17 + 2, which equals 19. [/*] [*]Use a similar technique to quickly calculate the square of a number that’s close to an easy value.[/*] [/list] 79² = (80 – 1)² = 80² – 2(80) + 1 = 6,400 – 160 + 1 = 6241 [list] [*]To find a good common denominator, think of a value (if there is one) that both numbers are divisible by. Divide [b]one[/b] of the two numbers by that value. Then, multiply that by the other number. [list] [*]For example, to find a common denominator between 25 and 15, note that both are divisible by 5. So, divide 25 by 5, which gives you 5, then multiply that by 15, giving you 75. 75 would be a good common denominator.[/*] [/list] [/*] [*]It can be useful to memorize the approximate square roots of 2 and 3: √2≈1.4 and√3≈1.7. To remember this, at least if you’re in the US, think of two dates: Valentine’s Day is on 2/14 and St. Patrick’s Day is on 3/17. [/*] [*]To estimate other square roots, think of a perfect square that’s as close as possible to the value you’re dealing with. (You have your perfect squares memorized, right…?) Estimate based on that—so, for instance, √79 is a bit smaller than √81, which equals 9. [/*] [/list] [b]What Next?[/b] Math isn’t the most important part of the GMAT math section! [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/whatthegmatreallytests/]Strong executive reasoning skills trump math knowledge[/url]. So, while these tips and tricks are useful, if you’re having a tough time with the math section, incorporate some work on [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/everythingknowgmattimemanagementpart3/]timing[/url], [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/whichgmatproblemsshouldiguessonpart3makinggreatguessesonquantproblems/]guessing[/url], [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/the4mathstrategieseveryonemustmasterpart1/]problemsolving strategies[/url], and [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtohandlegmatstresswithoutfreakingout/]stress management[/url]. But keep some pages in your notes for these GMAT math tricks, plus any others you may come across while studying: you never know what may turn out to be useful. [b]You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. [/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/][b]Check out our upcoming courses here[/b][/url][b].[/b][b] [/b][b][/b] [b][b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/chelseycooley/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgre%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=CooleyBioGREBlog&utm_campaign=GRE%20Blog][img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gre/wpcontent/uploads/sites/19/2015/11/chelseycooley150x150.jpg[/img][/url] is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington.[/b] [/b]Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/#instructor/336]Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here[/url]. The post [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/quickgmatmathhacks/]Quick GMAT Math Hacks[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat]GMAT[/url]. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT Rate Problems 
If this post is 1500 words long, and you can process 120 words per minute, then how long will it take you to read this whole post? If you could read 20% faster, then what effect would that have on how long it takes you to read the whole thing? If I were adding 80 words per minute to the blog post, then how long (at your original speed) would it take for you to reach the end? Those questions were a taste of the often daunting world of GMAT Rate problems. Before we get any deeper, we should acknowledge that Rate problems do not seem to be tested as frequently on GMAT Quant nowadays as they once were. So while you’ll see plenty of Rate problems in the Official Guides and on Manhattan Prep’s practice GMATs (take a free one), you might not see many or any of these on your real GMAT. Nevertheless, Rate problems are one of the most common requests I get from tutoring students. Because these problems usually come in Word Problem format and take on many different flavors, students frequently feel like there is too much density or variety for them to handle. Indeed, there are a variety of moves we might employ, and a variety of formulas/relationships that would be useful to know, depending on the situation. Let’s discuss. Useful Formulas onto flashcards until they’re 2nd nature.[/*] [*]The biggest thing that helps me is Making Up My Own Number for Distance or Work, when one isn’t provided.[/*] [*]To get some harder questions correct, you may find that Scaling Up Ratios or Reciprocal Thinking is the easiest way to arrive at the answer.[/*] [*]It can pay to develop some chops at Approximating, especially since some of these problems might be good contenders for skipping.[/*] [/list] You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Patrick Tyrrell is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Los Angeles, California. He has a B.A. in philosophy, a 780 on the GMAT, and relentless enthusiasm for his work. In addition to teaching test prep since 2006, he’s also an avid songwriter/musician. Check out Patrick’s upcoming GMAT courses here! The post GMAT Rate Problems appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT Data Sufficiency: Get 5 Extra Minutes 
What if I told you that you could have five extra minutes on the quantitative section of the GMAT? Would you be interested? Good, because this is going to get a little technical. I’m also going to assume you’ve had some experience with Data Sufficiency problems on the GMAT Math section. You should also have practiced testing cases to solve these problems: here’s a good introduction to that strategy in case you’re unfamiliar. Part 1: Practical Application Now, to save yourself the five minutes I promised, you have to understand something I’m naming the Moliski Theorem. Though I’ve heard it discussed by several people, I’m naming it after my colleague Liz Moliski, who was the first person I saw actually float this idea while teaching a class. The theorem applies to any Data Sufficiency question that has a yes/no answer. For example, the theorem is applicable to this Data Sufficiency question: Did Rocky the dog eat more dog treats this year than he did last year?
How many dog treats did Rocky the dog eat this year?
That’s it! Is your mind blown yet? Cause mine is. You see, up until I saw Liz teach, I’d always assumed you needed two concrete examples of the statement that got you two different answers to the question in order to show that the statement is not sufficient. Defining those examples was timeconsuming. The Moliski theorem not only obviates the need for the second example, it also makes it extremely simple to define the single example you’re looking for. Since I now only need to define and find half the examples than I did before, I have been able to solve Data Sufficiency problems in half the time that it took me previously, going from two minutes (on average) down to one. I have seen at least five yes/no Data Sufficiency questions on each of my practice tests, meaning this idea has bought me at least five full minutes of extra time. I’m going to show you a Data Sufficiency problem. Try to solve it on your own first. Then we’ll apply the Moliski theorem. If x and y are integers, is the product xy even?
Now let’s find our examples. Can I find an example of statement (1), which says x – y xy is odd? Sure I can: 7 and 5, for example. 7 – 5 is 2, that’s less than 3. The product 7 · 5 is 35, which is odd. Statement (1) is therefore not sufficient. Moving on to statement (2): I want to find numbers where x + y is odd, and also where the product xy is odd. Well that’s impossible, since if x + y is odd, then one or the other must be even, meaning when I multiply them together, there’s no way I’ll ever get an odd number. Since I couldn’t find my example, statement (2) is sufficient. Now we know that the correct answer is (B). Are you excited yet? Try this supertough problem: Is x > 0?
Try to find a negative number x that would make statement (1) true. So, I know that x2 x be negative? Sure, as long as it’s a negative fraction like –12. Statement (1) is not sufficient. Now try to find a negative number for x that would make statement (2) true. If x3 > x, can x be negative? There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, let’s just use x = –12 again. If you cube that, it’s greater than what you started with. So statement (2) is also not sufficient. And oh, by the way, since –12 is an example that satisfies both statements, and gives us the “no” answer we’re looking for, the correct answer to this question is (E). LET’S GOOOOOOO Part 2: A Small Caveat and Other NonEssential Nerdy Stuff That You Can Read If You’re Interested, but I’m Mostly Writing It Because I Don’t Want Liz to Get in Trouble Occasionally, the Moliski theorem fails. Here’s an example: Is x > 10?
Don’t, however, let the rain fall on your parade quite yet. The “always no” situation is exceedingly rare; in my professional experience, it shows up on roughly 1% of all Data Sufficiency questions (probably even fewer, to be honest). So, we are still looking at a strategy that works 99+% of the time and saves you 5+ minutes: personally, I’m willing to accept that risk. Finally, here’s what I think is the true genius of the Moliski theorem: It sidesteps the single most common error I see my students make when tackling Data Sufficiency problems, which is to misinterpret the question as a rule. By explicitly hunting for a “no” answer, the Moliski theorem forces you to consider that negative possibility right upfront, so that you don’t have to remember to look for it later when you’re already kneedeep in a fog of calculations and algebra. Epilogue When I first started teaching the GMAT, I never dreamed I’d see a day when I could get away with testing just one case per Data Sufficiency statement as opposed to two. Now that day is upon us. I hope your life is as changed as mine. You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Ryan Jacobs is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in San Francisco, California. He has an MBA from UC San Diego, a 780 on the GMAT, and years of GMAT teaching experience. His other interests include music, photography, and hockey. Check out Ryan’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post GMAT Data Sufficiency: Get 5 Extra Minutes appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Succeed in Business School 
Your business school wants you to have a successful career. There’s one cynical reason and one neutral reason why: the cynical one is that if you do have a successful career, you will tell everyone you know that you went to, say, the Rady School of Management, and then those people will then want to send their application fees, and ultimately their tuition checks, to said institution, and if you have a really successful career, you may even get in touch with your philanthropic side and get a building named after you at your alma mater. The neutral one is that business schools exist to help you grow the national economy, and your success is the school’s (and ultimately the nation’s) success. Whatever your personal outlook is on the matter, your business school does want you to succeed, and knowing that can help you in a few ways. How to Succeed in Business School: The Application Let’s start with the application process. One of the best tools business schools have at their disposal for ensuring their students succeed after graduation is the ability to select students whom they believe will succeed. This seems like an obvious point, but it completely explains the Olympic athlete with a GMAT score that’s 100 points lower than yours in the chair next to you when you go to do campus visits. I don’t care if she doesn’t know how many factors 441 has, that young woman can do a gainer with two and a half somersaults like nobody’s business, and more to the point, she had to work for years with singleminded focus towards a goal that very few people ever achieve. I think she’s sufficiently demonstrated the skills to succeed in the workforce; wouldn’t you agree? Now, you may not be an Olympic athlete, but you have certainly persevered through adversity before. You may have gotten a promotion at your job, or even been charged with leading a new team at your company. You have done something in your life that will show an admissions committee that you will be successful in your career; your best bet is to figure out what that is and highlight it. How to Succeed in Business School: Once You’re In Once you’re done with your applications, you’ve been accepted, and you arrive on campus, your school will be there to support you. At most schools, you’ll be placed in a study group of around 4 or 5 students, and you’ll turn in all your homework as a group; your school is trying to prepare you to work with diverse teams. You’ll take a core curriculum for a large part of your first year; your school wants you to have a basic understanding of accounting, operations, economics, marketing, finance, and organizational strategy. A criticism I’ve read of business schools is that classes are not as academically rigorous as they would be in other graduatelevel programs, but I think that criticism might be somewhat beside the point since business school serves a slightly different purpose: you should go to your classes not necessarily because you want to become an expert in one particular subject, but rather you should go because you will learn the language of business, and you will gain insights that will help you better manage your team or organization down the road. You’ll also have access to school clubs, trips, networking events—you name it. Again, all of this is intended to give you a leg up in your career. Takeaways Here’s the point: your school wants you to succeed, and the way to do that is:
KEEP READING: Is the MBA Worth It? Go Beyond ROI. You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Ryan Jacobs is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in San Francisco, California. He has an MBA from UC San Diego, a 780 on the GMAT, and years of GMAT teaching experience. His other interests include music, photography, and hockey. Check out Ryan’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post How to Succeed in Business School appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Inference Questions: The Black Sheep of the GMAT Critical Reasoning Family 
A quick note: this is a pretty deep dive into a single GMAT Critical Reasoning question type. If you’re just beginning to learn CR strategy, check out The GMAT Critical Reasoning Mindset or How to Master Every GMAT Critical Reasoning Question TypeInference questions are not super common on GMAT Critical Reasoning, usually only accounting for 1 of your 10 CR questions. However, it tends to be a question type that students miss more frequently, in both CR and Reading Comprehension. Some of this stems from the inherent difficulty, but much of it can result from students’ possessing an incorrect or incomplete sense of what they’re supposed to be doing on these problems. There are seven main question types in Critical Reasoning: Explain Discrepancy, Role of Bold, Strengthen, Weaken, Evaluate, Assumption, and Inference. Inference question types are pretty unique. Unlike Assumption, Evaluate, Strengthen, Weaken, and Role of Bold, Inference questions are not based on arguments. And unlike Assumption, Evaluate, Strengthen, Weaken, and Explain Discrepancy, Inference questions are not usually about presenting your brain with some form of cognitive dissonance. RELATED: Top 10 Tips for GMAT Critical Reasoning How to Learn GMAT Critical Reasoning In addition to learning the patterns surrounding analyzing Plans, Predictions, and Causal Explanations, we should also be learning a little index card’s worth of technique for each of these seven main question types. For each question type, we’re trying to memorize the following:
What Keywords in the Question Stem Tell Me It’s an Inference Question? Here are a few examples of Inference question stem wording: – If the statements above are true, which of the following must be true? – If the information above is correct, which of the following is most strongly supported? – The claims above most strongly support which of the following assertions? – Which of the following can be properly inferred from the passage? One of the most salient features is the noun being used to describe the paragraph we read. Remember, when we’re doing Strengthen, Weaken, Evaluate, and Assumption, we’re going to almost always see the paragraph described as one of the following: argument, plan, prediction, or hypothesis. Those nouns connote the idea that there will be an opinion within the paragraph: Arguments have an opinionated conclusion, based on some (untouchable) evidence. Plans have the opinion that if we follow this plan, we will achieve the stated goal. Predictions contain a conclusion that is in the future tense, thus an opinion. Hypothesis means that our author will be opining some ‘causal explanation’ for a curious fact. With Inference, you see that the nouns being used connote that we’re just reading some facts: statements, information, claims, or passage Inference may be asked in the “must be true / properly inferred” style (indicating 100% provability), or they may be asked in the “most strongly supported” style (indicating that the correct answer is the most provable claim, even if not 100% provable). Students often confuse “most strongly support” Inference question stems with a Strengthen question stem. INFERENCE: The statements above most strongly support which of the following conclusions? STRENGTHEN: Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the argument? The two big differences are that Inference deals with statements/information, while Strengthen deals with arguments/plans/hypotheses, and that in Inference questions the paragraph provides support for the correct answer choice, while in Strengthen questions the correct answer choice provides support for the paragraph. Now you tell me, how do you tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Or better yet, one of my favorite SNL premises ever, how do you tell the difference between Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney? What am I Reading For on an Inference Question? Here’s the real reason for the season. I wanted to write this blog because any time I’ve asked students this question, I’ve always gotten blank faces or wrong answers. People are tempted to say something like, “The conclusion and premise?”, “the assumption?”, “the gap?” These answers indicate that students are still in default Critical Reasoning mode, thinking that they’re about to read another argument or plan. Remember, Inference is specifically not giving us arguments and plans. We’re just getting two or more facts and being asked which answer is derivable from those facts. To draw a valid inference = to draw a valid conclusion. Validity means that we can derive an idea from the available evidence without speculation or exaggeration. In Reading Comp, correct answers to Inference questions usually paraphrase something we know from the passage, but they use new and unexpected wording or some sort of inverted syntax. Pretend that in line 20 of an RC passage we are told that “George Washington wore a military cap to his Inauguration as the first President of the U.S.” Can we infer that (A) He wore the cap because it was a cold January day. (B) All former generals have to wear military caps. (C) He thought it flattered his deep blue eyes. Of course not. None of those are provable claims. They are speculations or overstatements. We can infer weird restatements such as these: (A) Not all Presidents are sworn in hatless. (B) On the first day of the American Presidency, at least some parts of the first President’s scalp were not visible. (C) People seeing George Washington for the first time at his Inauguration could not have conclusively determined Washington’s level of baldness. The personality of CR Inference questions is a little different: the correct answer almost always pulls together two or more facts provided. Pretend we read a CR Inference paragraph that said, “George Washington wore a military cap to his Inauguration as the first President of the U.S. He wore this same cap during the Battle of Yorktown.” Can we think of a safely worded claim that pulls information from both sentences? A) Presidents do not always begin their terms wearing totally new garments. “Presidents begin their terms” pulls info from the first sentence. “Not wearing totally new garments” comes from knowing that the cap he wore on Inauguration day had been worn before at the Battle of Yorktown. So, in summary, what are we reading for when we read an Inference paragraph? We are reading for two or more facts that could be synthesized in order to derive a true claim. Very often, this synthesis comes about because the two or more facts contain some overlapping piece of information (in this case, both facts referenced GW’s hat). There are four main types of Inferences, which I will detail a little later: 1. Mathy 2. Apply a Rule 3. Causal 4. Straddle the Pivot How, and to What Extent, Should I Prephrase a Potential Correct Answer on Inference? We are reading to see if we can combine two or more of the provided facts to derive some true claim (or incredibly likely claim, if we’re doing “most supported”). When we successfully find an available inference we can make from the paragraph, we should certainly anticipate that the correct answer will probably reinforce or reward that. But we should stay very flexible. Ultimately, the only standard of right or wrong on Inference is, “Could you prove this answer choice, using only the information provided in the paragraph?” So the correct answer is under no obligation to tie everything together or to present the ‘coolest’ takeaway. The correct answer just has to be the most provable claim. Keep any inference you discovered in your mind as your mantra of what the correct answer will probably sound like, but give each answer choice a fair hearing by asking, “Could I prove this, using the statements I just read?” What will frequently happen with correct answers is that they will be a spinoff inference of what we inferred. For example, if we inferred “Spain outscored France in the first half”, the correct answer might say “Spain scored at least once in the first half”. If we inferred “the cost of paying for parking was more than the combined costs of taking the train and taking a Lyft from there”, the correct answer might say “The Lyft ride was cheaper than the cost of paying for parking”. Those answers can feel annoying, because we’re like, “Yes, but I know even more than that!” It doesn’t matter. You can sign off on the truth of those answers, so they are correct. In general, expect that when you walk out of your real GMAT, you’ll reflect on all the stuff you studied that you never even saw on your test and feel like, “Yes, but I know even more than that!” “Why did I spend a week working on Combinatorics, only to have ZERO combinatorics questions on my exam!” “Sir, I’m just a janitor at the Pearson testing center. I’m not sure why you’re screaming at me.” Are There Any Tendencies Relating to the Paragraph or the Answer Choices? As I hinted before, there are four main types of Inferences, so we can learn to read the paragraph while seeing if we pick up on the scent of any of these.
What About Answer Choice Tendencies? Since we are trying to find the most provable claim, this is a question type for which strong or new language in the answer choices should be a big red flag. There are three big categories of strength of language: CERTAIN: all, only, never, unless, requires, must MORE THAN 50%: most, typically, generally, usually, likely, tends to, probably AT LEAST ONE: some, sometimes, can, may, might, not all, not always, need not When you’re doing Reading Comp, Assumption, or Inference, you should always consider the two stronger levels of language to be red flags; this doesn’t mean they’re automatically wrong, but it means you have to research in the passage whether you’re justified in saying something this strong. Meanwhile, when you’re doing Strengthen, Weaken, or Explain Discrepancy, all of which begin with the words “Which of the following, if true, most …”, then the weakest level of language is a red flag. An answer choice isn’t going to have much impact if it’s only saying “at least in one case this is true”. Inference Questions: Takeaways In summary, if we want to improve at Inference questions on RC and CR, we need to remember that we’re not allowed to speculate or exaggerate. We’re only allowed to pick answers we feel like we can derive from the provided information. If nothing is 100% provable, then pick the most provable option. If you need to guess quickly, avoid strong language. For CR, you can go one layer farther and proactively read the paragraph looking for facts that can be combined. In particular, if you see quantified wording, look for a mathy inference. If you see causal wording (e.g., “because of this”, “due to”, “this allows”, “this makes possible), look for a causal inference. If you see a Rule (e.g., “if/then”, “always”, “only”, “ensures”, “requires”, “guarantees”), look for an inference you can make by applying that rule to a specific situation. If you see the paragraph is divided up by a but / yet / however, think about what safely worded claim you could create that would integrate both sides of that pivot. And if you’d like to submit an entry into a drawing contest I’m sponsoring, provide one drawing of a crocodile eating Dylan McDermott and another one of an alligator eating Dermot Mulroney. You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Patrick Tyrrell is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Los Angeles, California. He has a B.A. in philosophy, a 780 on the GMAT, and relentless enthusiasm for his work. In addition to teaching test prep since 2006, he’s also an avid songwriter/musician. Check out Patrick’s upcoming GMAT courses here! The post Inference Questions: The Black Sheep of the GMAT Critical Reasoning Family appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Study for the Executive Assessment (EA) – Part 2 
[img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2020/01/mprepblogimageswave153e1578975233224.png[/img] Are you preparing for the Executive Assessment exam? [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart1/]In part 1 of this series[/url], we talked about the major study materials you’ll want to use and some guidelines for planning the length of your studies. Today, let’s dive more deeply into the question types and content areas for the Integrated Reasoning and Verbal sections of the Executive Assessment (EA). [b]Executive Assessment (EA): Integrated Reasoning (IR)[/b] When talking about the GMAT, I’d normally leave Integrated Reasoning to the last, since this section doesn’t matter as much on the GMAT. On the EA, however, [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/aboutexecutiveassessment/]the IR score is incorporated into your Total score[/url] (along with Quant and Verbal), so you do have to be wellprepared for IR. As on the GMAT, you will answer 12 IR problems in 30 minutes and you will have access to an onscreen calculator. On the EA, though, you will complete the problems in 2 separate panels of 6 problems each. Within one panel, you can do the problems in any order you like. Some people like to go through first and answer just the ones that seem easy to them, then do a second pass to try the harder ones. You’ll also need to keep track of your timing. At approximately the halfway mark, you’ll want to submit the first panel and start working on the second one; once you do this, you can’t go back to the first panel, so there’s a psychological factor to take into account. We’ll talk more about timing in the [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart3/]next installment of this series[/url], but I do want to introduce one idea now: the “bail” problem. A “bail” problem is one that you just don’t want to do. (Okay…that’s all of them. But it’s one that you actually are not going to do.) Assume that you’re going to bail on one problem per panel—you’re literally just going to guess in 3 seconds and reallocate that time to other problems in the section. Why? Unless you’re trying to get everything right so you can [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/jobs/instructor/]teach for us[/url]…you don’t need to get everything right. And standardized tests are notorious for not giving us enough time to answer all the questions to the best of our ability. So rather than spreading 30 minutes across 12 problems, spread that 30 minutes across 10 problems and give yourself a better chance of actually answering a majority of those 10 correctly. We’ll talk more about this in the final installment of this series—just plant in your brain right now the idea that you are *not* going to try to do it all. There are four IR problem types. If you manipulate and analyze data at your job already, then at least two of these problem types will feel nottooweird to you: Tables and Graphs. MultiSource Reasoning (MSR) problems can be a little more complicated, but they are primarily about synthesizing data and information from multiple sources—presumably you already do this on a daily basis at work. The fourth IR type, TwoPart, is a pretty classic “standardizedtest” type of problem: You’re asked a multiplechoice problem and have to solve for or find the answer (the twist, as the name TwoPart implies: You have to find two answers for each problem). The more verbal or analyticalreasoning questions do not require any outside factual knowledge, but you will need some factual knowledge for the more quantfocused questions. The released official IR questions test the following quantitative concepts: [list] [*][b]Arithmetic[/b], including such concepts as PEMDAS and unit conversion, as well as manipulations involving fractions, percents (including interest rate), and ratios.[/*] [*][b]Algebra[/b], including linear equations and formulas / functions / sequences. The latter can sometimes be quite advanced—those are good “bail” questions (guess and move on).[/*] [*][b]Applied[/b] (story) problems, including a lot of statistics (average, weighted average, median, and correlation), as well as some rates & work and general applied story problems (translate and solve).[/*] [*][b]Geometry[/b] includes some very basic “common sense” geometry (e.g., knowing that the square footage of a room can be found by multiplying the length and width). You don’t need to know any “real” geometry formulas / concepts for IR.[/*] [/list] Want to try one? GMAC has posted some official [url=https://www.gmac.com/executiveassessment/prepare/integratedreasoningsection]sample IR questions[/url] on its website. I mentioned earlier that our [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATIntegratedReasoningEssayResources/dp/1506219675/]Integrated Reasoning & Essay guide[/url] says GMAT on the front cover but actually fully includes EA strategy as well as GMAT strategy in the guide itself. (Every time we talk overall strategy, the book will have two sections: one for EA and one for GMAT. If you use this guide, read the EA part and skip the GMAT part.) [b]Executive Assessment (EA): [/b][b]Verbal Reasoning[/b] The Verbal section on the EA will consist of the same three problem types that appear on the Verbal section of the GMAT, but you’ll only have to answer 14 problems. You’ll have 30 minutes or approximately 2 minutes and 8 seconds per problem (on average), and you’ll answer in two panels of 7 problems each. [b]Sentence Correction (SC)[/b] SC problems are grammar problems: You’ll be given a sentence and 5 answer choices, representing variations on that sentence. You have to say which version of the sentence is the best one—logical, unambiguous, and without any grammar errors. Plan to study all major rules and areas for SC: meaning, sentence structure, modifiers, parallelism & comparisons, and so on. If you’ve never had a solid grounding in grammar (including how to recognize different parts of speech), then you may want to start with something like our [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATFoundationsVerbalPracticeManhattan/dp/1506249892]Foundations of Verbal strategy guide[/url] and work your way up to the regular Sentence Correction unit in our [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATAllVerbaldefinitiveManhattan/dp/1506249043]All the Verbal strategy guide[/url]. In that second book, learn the main lessons for the major grammar topics and ignore anything that the book says is more advanced or more rarely tested (especially in the advanced chapters found in the All the Verbal Companion ebook that comes with the physical book). The [url=https://www.gmac.com/executiveassessment/prepare/verbalsection/sentencecorrectionsamplequestions]sample SC questions[/url] posted on GMAC’s site are skewed a little toward the easiertomedium side, but they’re a good introduction to the problem type. [b]Critical Reasoning (CR)[/b] CR problems provide you with a short argument or plan and ask you to critique it in some way. You might be asked to do something with the conclusion (strengthen it, weaken it, identify an assumption underlying it). You might be asked to give a conclusion (inference) or fix a problem (explain a discrepancy). The official EA CR questions cover the full range of [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtomastereverygmatcriticalreasoningquestiontype/]GMAT CR question types[/url], with an emphasis towards Inference and Strengthen questions. There are also a decent number of Weaken, Find the Assumption, and Discrepancy questions. We can’t necessarily assume that the official test will follow these same trends. The GMAT tends to emphasize Find the Assumption and Weaken at about the same rate as Strengthen and Inference, so I would expect something similar to hold true for the EA. If you use the CR unit of our All the Verbal strategy guide, study the whole unit but prioritize Strengthen, Weaken, Find the Assumption, and Inference. The Companion ebook that comes with this strategy guide includes an extra chapter on wrong answer analysis for CR that you might find useful. Here are some official [url=https://www.gmac.com/executiveassessment/prepare/verbalsection/criticalreasoningsamplequestions]sample CR problems[/url]. [b]Reading Comprehension (RC)[/b] This is a classic standardized test problem type: You read several paragraphs of information and then answer several questions about that same passage. So far, our teachers taking the real exam have all been given one RC passage with 4 related questions. We have a small number of data points so far, but we’re assuming that this is the standard pattern and most people will see this. The passages and question types in the EA official tool run the gamut—Science, Social Science, and Business topics, and all of the usual question types. As on the GMAT, Specific Detail and Inference questions are by far the most common, with a smattering of Primary Purpose / Main Idea and various minor types. As with the rest of verbal, use the entire RC unit in our All the Verbal Strategy guide. In short: You can really use everything in the [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATAllVerbaldefinitiveManhattan/dp/1506249043]All the Verbal Strategy guide[/url]. And finally, here are some official [url=https://www.gmac.com/executiveassessment/prepare/verbalsection/readingcomprehensionsamplequestions]sample RC problems[/url]. Note: These sample problems are shown one at a time—one passage and one problem. The real test will always give you one passage and all of its accompanying problems together in a row. They won’t split up the problems the way this sample set does. That’s it for IR and Verbal. Next time, we’ll talk about the Quant section as well as overall study strategies. [b]NEXT: [/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart3/]How to Study for the Executive Assessment (Part 3)[/url] [b]For information about our Executive Assessment Complete Course [/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/executiveassessment/][b]click here[/b][/url][b].[/b] [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/staceykoprince/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceBioLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog][img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2015/06/staceykoprince150x150.png[/img][/url] [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/staceykoprince/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceBioLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog]Stacey Koprince[/url] is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California.[/b] Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most wellknown instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceCoursesLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog#instructor/86]Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here[/url]. The post [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart2/]How to Study for the Executive Assessment (EA) – Part 2[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat]GMAT[/url]. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Study for the Executive Assessment (EA) – Part 3 
[img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2020/01/mprepblogimageswave1521e1578976294596.png[/img] Are you preparing for the Executive Assessment exam? In [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart1/]part 1[/url] of this series, we talked about the major study materials you’ll want to use and some guidelines for planning the length of your studies. In [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart2/]part 2[/url], we dove more deeply into the question types and content areas for the Integrated Reasoning and Verbal sections of the Executive Assessment (EA). Now, we’re going to do the same for the Quant section; we’re also going to talk a bit more about study planning. [b]Executive Assessment (EA): Quantitative Reasoning[/b] The Quant section will consist of the same two question types (Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency) that appear on the Quant section of the GMAT, but you’ll only have to answer 14 of them. You’ll be given 30 minutes or just over 2 minutes per question; this is about the same as on the GMAT. The single biggest difference is that geometry* has been removed from the EA. But, yes, I had to add an asterisk there. Did you know that, among mathematicians, coordinate plane is considered algebra, not geometry? (I learned this in high school…but I completely forgot until it came up again for the EA.) So it’s true that geometry is not on the EA…but since coordinate plane is really algebra, it can show up on the EA. I find that a little annoying, but I was heartened to see that, of the 100 quant questions in the EA official tool, exactly one is a geometry problem. So I went into my EA just assuming that I would ignore any coordinate plane questions I might see—and I didn’t see any at all. (I do, of course, know geometry, since I also teach the GMAT, but I wanted to take the EA in the way that I’m advising my students to take it.) I have had students see a geometry problem, but I haven’t (yet) had anyone tell me that they’ve seen more than one. So, best guess, you’ll see either 0 or 1 coordinate plane problem…so decide whether that is worth any of your precious study time. I personally would not study it and would just make that one of my bail questions (more about this in [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart2/]part 2[/url]). If you’ve studied for the GMAT and are familiar with the strategies Choose Smart Numbers, Work Backwards, and Test Cases, you can definitely use these strategies on the EA, too. You also can (and should!) estimate—I found I was able to do this even more than on the GMAT. As far as the rest of the quant material, the EA appears to test everything else that the GMAT tests. If you’re using our books to study, I would emphasize the following: [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATFoundationsMathPracticeManhattan/dp/1506207642][b]GMAT Foundations of Math[/b][/url] Nearly everything! [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATFoundationsMathPracticeManhattan/dp/1506207642]We use this book heavily[/url] in our [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/executiveassessment/]EA live course[/url]. You can skip geometry entirely or look just at coordinate plane, if you want. Otherwise, do learn the rest of this guide. (Although the title says GMAT, everything in this guide applies to the EA with the exception of most of the geometry topics.) [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATAllQuantdefinitiveManhattan/dp/1506248543][b]All the Quant[/b][/url] [url=https://www.amazon.com/GMATAllQuantdefinitiveManhattan/dp/1506248543]This book[/url] is split into 5 units by major content area. Within each unit, there are also strategy chapters—how to do Data Sufficiency, for example, or a series on Arithmetic vs. Algebra. Do all of the strategy chapters in every unit except for geometry. For math topics, I’ll list the specific areas within each unit that are most likely to show up on the EA. [b]Unit 1: Fractions, Decimals, Percents, and Ratios[/b] – Fractions – Percents – Ratios – For an extrahigh quant score: Digits and decimals [b]Unit 2: Algebra[/b] – Exponents – Roots – Linear equations and combos – The basics of inequalities and max/min – For an extrahigh quant score: Quadratics and formulas [b]Unit 3: Word Problems[/b] – Translations – Statistics (average, median, weighted average) – Rates – For an extrahigh quant score: Work and overlapping sets [b]Unit 4: Number Properties[/b] – Divisibility and prime – Odd, Even, Positive, Negative – For an extrahigh quant score: Probability and/or combinatorics—but only if you like these topics [b]Unit 5: Geometry[/b] – Nothing, unless you like coordinate plane (but nothing more than that!) The All the Quant guide comes with an accompanying ebook containing advanced math topics—no need to study any of them. [b]Setting up your studies[/b] Big picture, most people will need to do more work on quant than on verbal or IR to start—just remember that you are going to have to build those skills, too. I’m going to recommend the same general structure that we use in our courses. Begin by gaining a good grounding in the foundationallevel material, particularly math topics that you learned when you were 11. Does PEMDAS, aka order of operations, ring a vague bell? Do you remember how to add fractions or solve an equation? It’s deep in your brain somewhere—you just have to remind yourself and do some practice to get the skills back. Give yourself a couple of weeks for this level. (If you take one of our courses, we do build this into the program—but I would recommend signing up for a course that doesn’t start for ~23 weeks and then working through as much of the Foundations of Math material as you can before the course starts.) When you need a break from the Quant stuff, familiarize yourself with the different verbal and IR question types and how they work. When you feel okay about your ability to do math on paper again (you don’t have to feel great—just okay), start diving in earnest into the three main strategy guides (IR & Essay, All the Quant, and All the Verbal). Use my earlier guidelines to decide what to prioritize and in what order you want to do things. I don’t recommend doing all of one section of the exam and only then moving on to another section. Your brain actually learns better when you’re moving among topics. (It feels harder that way—but that’s a sign that your brain is actually learning better. It’s like physical activity—you know it was a good workout or game when it actually tires you out a bit.) Plan to study multiple days a week (ideally 4 to 6 days)—it’s far better to do a little every day than to do nothing all week and then try to cram in 6 hours of study on Sunday. Your brain can only learn so much in a day; then it needs to go to sleep and make good memories of everything you learned before you can start to layer more on top. Set up a study calendar that goes something like this: [b]Day 1[/b]: Quant (Fractions and Ratios); Verbal (SC) [b]Day 2[/b]: Quant (Data Sufficiency); IR (Tables) [b]Day 3[/b]: Quant (Percents); Verbal (CR) [b]Day 4[/b]: Break [b]Day 5[/b]: Quant (review and practice problems); IR (Tables) [b]Day 6[/b]: IR and Verbal review and practice problems [b]Day 7[/b]: What went well and what needs more work? Set up next week. Plan out specific study appointments (with assignments / topics) for the upcoming week. Have an idea of what you want to do the week after that, but don’t actually plan out the daytoday until you see how this week goes. You may have to go back over a certain area again—or you may discover that you’re already good at something and can go faster or reallocate some time to a different area. After about a week or two, take a practice test ([url=https://www.gmac.com/executiveassessment/prepare/officialprep]GMAC sells 4 official practice tests[/url]). Spend a couple of days analyzing it after. Pay more attention to the areas you’ve already studied—how did they go? What stuck and what needs a review? For the areas you haven’t studied yet, does your test performance indicate any areas you should prioritize—or deprioritize? (There are two areas to deprioritize: The things you’re already good at and the things that you’re really not good at. Don’t spend time learning the hardest material—first, learn the material that’s not as hard for you. You may discover that that gets you to your goal score and you never have to learn the hardestforyou stuff!) Then, go set up next week’s study plan taking that practice test analysis into account. As you go, continue to take a practice test every couple of weeks—both to gauge how you’re progressing and to help you diagnose your strengths and weaknesses so you can set up an effective study plan for the coming couple of weeks. [b]Practice under timed conditions[/b] It’s critically important to do practice problems under testlike conditions, including timing. At heart, the EA is an executive reasoning / decisionmaking test, even while it tests you on math, logic, and grammar. As you do every day at work, you’re going to have to distinguish between good, mediocre, and bad opportunities and decide how to spend your limited time and mental energy accordingly. You can study problems as long as you want after you’re done trying them—but when you first try them, time yourself and hold yourself to standard timing conditions. Also use your studies to figure out what you don’t want to do, so you know when to bail on the test. And that’s exactly what we’re going to dive into next time! [b]NEXT: [/b]How to Study for the Executive Assessment (Part 4) [b]For information about our Executive Assessment Complete Course [/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/executiveassessment/][b]click here[/b][/url][b].[/b] [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/staceykoprince/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceBioLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog][img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2015/06/staceykoprince150x150.png[/img][/url] [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/staceykoprince/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceBioLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog]Stacey Koprince[/url] is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California.[/b] Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most wellknown instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceCoursesLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog#instructor/86]Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here[/url]. The post [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart3/]How to Study for the Executive Assessment (EA) – Part 3[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat]GMAT[/url]. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Study for the Executive Assessment (EA) – Part 4 
[img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2020/01/mprepblogimageswave154e1579014067916.png[/img] Are you preparing for the Executive Assessment (EA) exam? In [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart1/]part 1[/url] of this series, we talked about the major study materials you’ll want to use and some guidelines for planning the length of your studies. In [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart2/]part 2[/url] and [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart3/]part 3[/url], we dove more deeply into the question types and content areas for the Integrated Reasoning, Verbal, and Quant sections of the exam and we also talked about overall study planning. In the final installment of this series (this one, right now!), we’re going to dive into time management on the Executive Assessment. [b]Time management on the Executive Assessment (EA): The basics[/b] Each section is 30 minutes long and has either 12 or 14 questions, so you have a bit over 2 minutes, on average, to answer each question. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t want to try to answer everything. An average of 2 minutes is just not enough time! I’m actually going to recommend that you plan to bail on 2 or 3 questions per section—guess within the first 1530 seconds and go spend that precious time elsewhere. If you follow this recommendation, then you can average 2.5 minutes per Quant and Verbal question and a whopping 3 minutes per Integrated Reasoning question. As a reminder, the questions will be split into two panels per section, so you’ll have six or seven problems in each panel. Plan to bail on one question per panel; if you hit a second really annoying problem in one of the panels, give yourself the freedom to bail on one extra question (for a total of three across both panels). Before you go in, have a list of Bail Categories—things you hate and know that you’re not very good at. In my case, I bail instantly on combinatorics and I’m also going to bail on what I call Too Annoying To Do problems. An example of the latter: A Roman numeral problem (3 questions for the price of 1!) that has 4+ variables (ugh) plus some other annoying feature, such as absolute value symbols on both sides of an equation. Basically, know what annoys you and, when you see too many annoying details in a single question, get out fast. [b]Marking questions for later[/b] What if you’re not sure whether you want to bail? Or maybe you see something that you can do, but you think it will take you longer than average. As you work through any one panel, you’ll be given the option to mark questions to return to later (as long as you are still on that panel). At the end of that panel, you can see a list of any questions you marked and then jump right back to a particular question. This is a great feature as long as you know when and how to use it—and when and how not to use it. First, note that you do need to make a distinction between marking and bailing. When you decide that something isn’t worth doing ever, don’t mark it for later “just in case.” Make the executive decision, put in a random answer, and move on forever. (Do put in a random answer—there’s no penalty for getting something wrong.) Next, when you do decide to mark something, still put in a random answer right now. It’s possible that you might not make it back later, and you don’t want to waste a chance to get lucky. Let’s see how this all plays out section by section. [b]EA time management: Integrated Reasoning[/b] In IR, bailing on 2 or 3 questions will leave you just 9 or 10 questions to do, so you’ll be answering 4 or 5 questions per panel. You’ll have 30 minutes to do those problems and your goal is to use approximately half the time (15 minutes) for each panel. First, let’s define “bail” questions. Don’t try to do it. Don’t try to make an educated guess. Don’t even mark it to come back later. Just pick randomly, move on, and forget about this one forever. Bail on these kinds of questions: [list] [*]This is a big weakness of yours[/*] [*]You’ve read the problem and don’t understand what they’re asking or telling you—or you have no idea what to do with that information[/*] [*]You think you might know how to do it, but it would take you way too long (>4 minutes)[/*] [/list] Now, let’s talk about the ones you do want to mark for a possible later return. First, be stingy. Generally speaking, mark only one per panel; at the most, mark two. You’re not going to have a ton of time left at the end; the last thing you want to do is spend a minute trying to figure out which of 3 marked problems you should actually return to…and then run out of time before you can try any of them. When you mark a question for a possible later return, also put in a random answer right now. You may not actually make it back to this problem later, so it’s better to have a guess locked in, just in case. As I mentioned, there’s no penalty for getting something wrong. Mark these kinds of questions: [list] [*]You know how to do this but it will take somewhat longer than average (3.5 to 4 minutes)[/*] [*]You’re thinking, “I know how to do this! I just did it last week! But I’m blanking right now.”[/*] [/list] For the first category, you just want to make sure that you don’t prevent yourself from getting to the last two questions because you spent extra time on one long one earlier. Save that long one for last, just in case. The second category is something that is in your brain somewhere, but you’re having trouble pulling up the memory right now. Sometimes, if we set the thing aside for 5 or 10 minutes, our brains will continue trying to figure it out subconsciously and then, when we look at it again, we’ll retrieve the memory: Oh, yeah! This is how to do this problem! So if you run into one of those, “But I know how to do this!” problems, don’t waste time trying to retrieve the memory right now. Let it percolate in the back of your brain while you do other stuff—then come back at the end (if you have time) to see whether you can pull up the memory now. How does this play out? The first panel pops up. On your first run through the problems, you’re going to bail fast on one and save one for later, so you’re going to try to answer four. (And maybe you bail on two or save two for later, so you try to answer three.) When you get to the end of the first panel, the test is going to ask whether you’re ready to move to the next one. Glance at the timer, which will be counting down from 30 minutes. How far are you from 15 minutes left? IR questions typically require 23 minutes, so we’re going to be pretty strict about timing. If the number is higher than 16 or higher, notice how much time you still have before you get to 15, then go to your marked question (or, if you marked two, glance at each quickly and pick one) and get to work. When you’re done, glance at the timer again and decide from there whether to try another problem or to close out this panel and move to the next panel. If you have fewer than 16 minutes left, however, it’s time to move to the next panel. [b]EA time management: Verbal and Quant[/b] Quant and Verbal will work very similarly, except that you’ll be answering 7 questions per panel rather than 6—so you’ll have a little bit less time per problem, on average. (But Q and V problems are also not as complicated—usually—as IR problems.) Still bail on one problem per panel (and you can bail on one extra in one of the panels). Still mark one problem to come back to (or maybe two). Some Quant and Verbal problems can be answered in 12 minutes, so you’ve got a judgment call to make: [list] [*]14 or fewer minutes left? Go to the second panel; don’t go back to any marked questions from the first panel.[/*] [*]More than 14 minutes left? You have a decision to make: Should you return to a marked question in the first panel or move on to the second panel?[/*] [/list] If you’re in the second situation, it will depend both on how much time you have and what your marked problem looks like. If you’re already below the 15minute mark, give yourself 10 seconds to look at your marked problem. If it falls in the category, “Oh yeah, I remember how to do this now, and it’s something I can do in a minute!” then go for it. Otherwise, move on. If you have more than 15 minutes left, still take a look at your marked problem. If you know how to do it but it’s going to take 2+ minutes, only move ahead if you still have the time to do it and move to the second panel with 15 (or more) minutes left. If you’re blanking on it or you find yourself thinking any variation of, “But I should know how to do this…”—forget about it. Move to the next panel. [b]In sum[/b] If you’re coming to the EA from the GMAT, make sure you educate yourself on the [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/shoulditakethegmatortheexecutiveassessment/]major differences between the two exams[/url]. There aren’t many—but you will need to make some adjustments, especially in the area of time management. [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart1/]Plan for a minimum of 4 weeks[/url] and probably closer to 6 to 8 (since you have lots of other things going on in your life too, right?). If you need a higherthanaverage score or are extrabusy and can’t study much, you may need closer to 3 to 4 months. Study [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart2/]IR, Verbal[/url], and [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart3/]Quant[/url] pretty equally—you’re looking to get fairly even scores across all three sections, as much as possible. If you’re going for an EMBA, your total score goal (as of this writing) is 150+, and if you’re going for a regular MBA, your score goal is 155+—but do some research yourself whenever you are reading this to make sure things haven’t changed. You’re going to want to practice from the official EA tools available—but you’re also going to need some testprepcompany materials to teach you the underlying skills and content for the exam. And you’re going to need to set up a study plan for yourself. Good luck and happy studying! [b]KEEP READING: [/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/whattheexecutiveassessmentreallytests/]What the Executive Assessment Really Tests[/url] [b]For information about our Executive Assessment Complete Course [/b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/executiveassessment/][b]click here[/b][/url][b].[/b] [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/staceykoprince/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceBioLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog][img]https://cdn2.manhattanprep.com/gmat/wpcontent/uploads/sites/18/2015/06/staceykoprince150x150.png[/img][/url] [b][url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/instructors/staceykoprince/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceBioLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog]Stacey Koprince[/url] is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California.[/b] Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most wellknown instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/?utm_source=manhattanprep.com%2Fgmat%2Fblog&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=KoprinceCoursesLinkGMATBlog&utm_campaign=GMAT%20Blog#instructor/86]Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here[/url]. The post [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/howtostudyfortheexecutiveassessmenteapart4/]How to Study for the Executive Assessment (EA) – Part 4[/url] appeared first on [url=https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat]GMAT[/url]. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Business School Application Requirements: An Overview 
At first glance, applying to business school can seem overwhelming. But at the end of the day, this comprehensive process gives you a chance to show admissions officers who you really are and what differentiates you from other applicants. We will break down the requirements, but these are the basic components of the business school application:
Resume: Most programs will require you to provide a professional resume. Your resume provides admissions officers with an overview of your story and your trajectory. They are looking to understand what you have accomplished in your career (and life!) so far. In addition to career accomplishments, your resume should also include information about your academic history and any community or personal achievements. Essays: Each school has specific essay requirements. For example, some require just one essay while others require multiple, and word counts will vary. Regardless, this is the part of the application where you get to show admissions officers who you are, what differentiates you, and how you would fit into their program. It is important to take the time to brainstorm what each school’s questions are asking and how you can best answer them based on your life experiences. It is also important to make sure you answer the question being asked and that you do so in a thorough way. Almost all programs will ask in some way about your goals and your fit with their program, so be sure to have done your homework and to give details about how you would get involved and make an impact. Additionally, if you have any unexplained circumstances in your application—such as a low GPA, low test score, or gap in work experience—you can use the optional essay to briefly explain the situation. Shortanswer responses: Each school will require you to complete a base application consisting of questions about your background, family history, education, professional experience, community involvement, and other basic information about you. Some will also include questions about your goals or interest in their program. This part of the application can be timeconsuming and somewhat tedious, so strive to complete it sooner rather than later. Letter(s) of recommendation: Most business schools will require one or two letters of recommendation. These should almost always come from people who know you in a professional context. It is important to choose recommenders who know you well and can discuss specific examples of your work. For example, it is not enough for the recommender to say you are a strong leader or a team player—they need to actually discuss and demonstrate who you are through reallife examples. It is also, of course, important to choose people whom you believe would portray you in the most positive light. Please note that many business schools ask recommenders similar questions, but they are not identical, so your recommenders will need to make sure they are providing the information asked for each program. Interview: Each school handles interviews in its own way, but in general, most offer interviews only to select candidates who pass an initial successful review. The MBA interview is an opportunity to continue to show admissions officers who you are, why you are interested in their program, and how you would fit in. This is also where they get to see your personality and interpersonal skills. The interviews are generally 30 minutes long, conducted by admissions officers or trained secondyear students or alumni, and take place on or offcampus. We know the interview may seem daunting, but remember that you already have all the answers—the MBA interview is all about you! Business School Application Requirements: Takeaways Each component of the business school application is important, but because of the holistic nature of this process, it is possible for candidates to succeed even if they are not equally strong in all areas (for example, a lower test score may be offset by an otherwise solid application). MBA application requirements allow you to provide a complete view of who you are and why you deserve a place in a school’s program! If you are looking for some guidance on your business school applications or wondering how much time each application component will actually take to prepare, we encourage you to sign up for a free 30minute consultation with mbaMission. During this session, we will honestly assess your candidacy and recommend what we truly feel is best for you. RELATED: When Should I Take the GMAT? Kim Leb has been assisting and encouraging MBA applicants in their business school pursuits since 2012 and truly enjoys all aspects of the admissions process. Also accepted to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia Business School, she ultimately decided to pursue her MBA at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a meritbased full scholarship. While there, she interviewed applicants to the fulltime MBA program as a member of the Ross Admissions Student Committee. mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a fulltime and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with a free 30minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. The post Business School Application Requirements: An Overview appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: GMAT Quant Tips: Mental Math 
If your goal is to take some time pressure off of the quantitative section of the GMAT, you should ask yourself: what are the skills I will need over and over during that section, and what are the skills I will only need once or twice? Too often I see my own students spending hours to get incrementally faster at, for example, weighted averages; that’s an area where understanding the basic concept is probably sufficient. Instead, invest the most time in the thing you’ll be doing the most often: calculation! One of the questions you’ll hear me ask in my classroom a lot is, “Do you really need paper for that?” There’s a massive speed (and arguably accuracy) benefit to learning to do calculations in your head. To help me give some examples, I enlisted the help of my dad, a retired math teacher! He feels the same way about mental math that I do, so I asked him to write some questions that he thinks students shouldn’t need a pencil for, and I would try to solve them as quickly as I possibly could. Here are some of the questions he asked me and my answers. Dad: Margo counted a total of 1800 sheep and cows during the week she visited New Zealand. If she counted five sheep for every cow, how many more sheep than cows did Margo count? Ryan: Well, there are actually lots of ways to do this. It’s a 5 to 1 ratio, which means there are 6 parts total (represented by the 1800). So if I divide by 6, that’s 300, which is the cow part of the ratio. So there are 300 cows, and there are 1500 sheep, and the difference between those is 1200. But if the numbers were trickier, you could just say the difference is 4 parts out of 6, or 2 parts out of 3, so the answer is just twothirds of the total. Dad: Let’s say that Steph Curry made 40% of his 3point field goal attempts last year. If he made 280 3pointers, how many 3pointers did he attempt? Ryan: One nice way to deal with percents is with benchmarks: 1%, 5%, 10%, 50%. I think 10% is going to be an easy benchmark here. If 280 is 40% of the total, I could divide by 4 to get 70, which is 10% of the total, which means 700 is 100% of the total. So that would be 700 3pointers attempted. Dad: If the dinner bill came to $44 and you wanted to leave a 15% tip, how much money would you leave altogether? (Assume there’s no tax involved.) What if you wanted to leave a 20% tip? Ryan: This is another benchmarking question. 10% is easy, because you just move the decimal point. A 10% tip, in other words, would be $4.40, so a 20% tip would just be twice that much, which would be $8.80. That’s the easiest, so I’ll start there. 15% is a little trickier, because I also need a 5% benchmark. The 10% we already know is $4.40; the 5% would be half that, which is $2.20. If I add those two together, that’s going to get us to 15%. So $4.40 plus $2.20 is $6.60; that would be a 15% tip. Dad: At Ikea, Sonam bought a square table whose area was 1.44 sq. meters. How many centimeters long was each side of the table? Ryan: Well, I don’t want to convert to square centimeters; I would rather just keep working in meters, then convert at the very end. So if the table is 1.44 square meters, then that’s 1.2 meters on each side, and I know that because 144 is the square of 12. That means that 1.2 times 1.2 would be 1.44. This is where it pays to know your perfect squares; if you don’t just recognize that 144 is a perfect square, then this problem is going to be very difficult. So let’s see: if each side of the table is 1.2 meters, that means it’s 120 centimeters, since I have to multiply by 100, which I can do by moving the decimal point two places to the right. Ryan: So here’s my question for you, which I think is particularly relevant to the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT. When students asked you “why do we need mental math when we have calculators,” what did you say? Dad: The more you practice doing mental math, the more facile you become with numbers, because you’re constantly thinking about shortcuts. It’s going to improve your mathematical ability all around, but even beyond that, it’s quicker as you develop more confidence, and you’ll realize it’s a much more fun way to do something then taking out a calculator and pushing a bunch of buttons. Plus, there’s an error factor with calculators, because students will often miskey something, which leads to another issue: I taught middle schoolers, and when they used calculators, I always wanted them to consider what an appropriate answer would be or not be. Before you hit the equals button, give me a ballpark figure. Now go ahead and press equals, and see if you were close. GMAT Mental Math – Takeaways Hopefully, these problems have given you a few ideas about how to improve your calculation speed; if you’re studying for the GMAT, you’ll find plenty more speed tips in Manhattan Prep’s “Foundations of GMAT Math” book. But before you go, I do have one final tip for you: every so often, complete a study session wherein you solve absolutely everything in your head. You may be slow at first, but it’s a great way to improve. When I was studying for the test, I would do problems during my lunch break, but I would sometimes forget to bring my pencil with me, so I had to really hone my mental math skills! In retrospect, those study sessions were probably some of the most effective ones. RELATED: Common Math Errors on the GMAT You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Ryan Jacobs is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in San Francisco, California. He has an MBA from UC San Diego, a 780 on the GMAT, and years of GMAT teaching experience. His other interests include music, photography, and hockey. Check out Ryan’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post GMAT Quant Tips: Mental Math appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Know What to Do On Any GMAT Problem 
You’ve studied, and studied, and studied, and studied. You can rattle off the first twenty perfect squares and the definition of a dependent clause. You know the fourstep process for Critical Reasoning and the formula for the volume of a cylinder. So, why are you still missing GMAT problems? First: it’s not because you haven’t done enough problems yet, and the solution isn’t to seek out more and more problems to try. The number of possible problems on the official GMAT is both practically infinite, and extremely limited. What I mean is that you can’t possibly see every single problem you might see on your test ahead of time. But if you’ve gone through the Official Guide to the GMAT, you have been exposed to every concept that might show up on the test. After a certain point, you’ve seen all the problems you need to see, and you’ve memorized everything you need to memorize. If your score still isn’t where you’d like, something’s missing. Here’s what it is. On test day, the GMAT won’t ask you to list the first twenty perfect squares or define a dependent clause. In other words, the GMAT won’t tell you what to do. It tells you to solve a problem, but it doesn’t tell you whether to draw a table, write some equations, find the core of the sentence, or take a wild guess. It only provides the problems: what you actually do—what you think, what you write, and how you decide on an answer—is completely up to you. So, part of taking the GMAT successfully is making good, fast decisions about what to do, without any help. Take Sentence Correction, for example. Should you find the core of the sentence, or should you focus on the modifiers? Should you make sure all of the verbs are in the same tense, or should you find the antecedent for each preposition? A good testtaker has a set of mental clues she relies on. Whether she realizes it or not, when she sees one of these clues in a problem, it tells her something about what to do next. And where does she get these clues? From the way that she studies practice problems. Add a new page to your error log right now. It only needs two columns: When I see this clue… …do/think this When you review a practice problem, start by breaking down the correct way to solve it. Break it all the way down into simple steps. For instance, if you’re doing Sentence Correction, one step might be tofind the core of the sentence. Write these steps down in the column on the right, under “…do/think this.” Include any notes or examples you need to remember exactly what you were supposed to do. Now here’s the hard part. What was the clue, in the problem, that told you to take that step? When are you supposed to find the core of the sentence? Maybe the sentence was extremely long, with a ton of modifiers, and you couldn’t parse it at all without simplifying it in your head. Maybe the clue was a singular/plural split, which can be a hint to go find the main subject and verb. Whatever it was, put it in the column on the left, under “When I see this.” There’s no way to preview the exact problems you’ll see on your official GMAT. But I promise that the problems on your official test will contain the exact same clues as the practice problems in the Official Guide. They’ll be mixed up and out of order, but they’ll be there! And the more time you spend thinking about them, the more likely you are to know what to do when you see a new problem. So, add that section to your error log, and skim through it once or twice a week (maybe when you spend time reviewing old problems?). If you have no idea what to do when you see a new problem, carefully tease it out as you review, focusing not just on how to solve the problem, but on how the GMAT pushes you in the right direction. KEEP READING: 8 Essential GMAT Study Tips You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. [b] is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. [/b]Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post Know What to Do On Any GMAT Problem appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Breaking: GMAT Price to Increase on February 4 
On February 4th, the cost to take the GMAT will increase from $250 to $275 in the US* and Canada (*excluding US territories). If you were already planning to sign up soon, put a note on your calendar right now to register by February 3rd in order to lock in the lower price. If you weren’t planning to choose your specific test date for a while yet, then I wouldn’t rush to sign up now just to save $25. Business school is going to be a lot more expensive—don’t shoot yourself in the foot to save a fraction of a percent of your total bschool costs. (Besides, if you sign up hastily and have to change your test date, you’ll pay more than $25 to do so.) GMAC hasn’t increased the exam price in 15 years, so I’m not surprised (the last couple of years, I’ve been waiting for it!). As much as I don’t want to pay more for anything, it’s true that they have to keep up with inflation, too. Good luck and happy studying! Aren’t sure when to get started with GMAT prep? Stacey is hosting a free event about the GMAT on Feb 6. Sign up for So You Think You Want to Take the GMAT? here. Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most wellknown instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here. The post Breaking: GMAT Price to Increase on February 4 appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: MBA Career Paths: What Are You Going to Do? 
This post was written by Harold Simansky, an mbaMission Senior Consultant. A couple of contradictory truisms are floating around the business school admissions world: 1) the most successful applicants articulate a very clear career trajectory when they apply to business school; and 2) 80% of business school students go off and do something completely different from what they said they were going to do on their application. When you think about it, this is not too much of a contradiction. On the one hand, business schools do not want students who are still “figuring things out” and who may spin their wheels when it is time to find a job. By laying out a detailed career trajectory, candidates assure business schools that they know what a real career looks like—that they understand that going to business school does not mean you can go from being an accountant to an astronaut, regardless of which school you attend. On the other hand, business school is a transformative experience for most and will almost certainly get students thinking in new ways about themselves and their careers. If 80% of MBAs are doing something unexpected after business school, that sounds about right. So, the question becomes: “What do business school students actually do once they graduate?” If you guessed working in consulting, you are probably right (though it is somewhat school dependent). Anywhere from a quarter to a third or more of business school graduates will be headed into consulting, be it at one of the big three strategy firms (McKinsey, Bain, and BCG); more tech or operationally focused firms such as Deloitte and EY; or any number of specialty firms. If you think this is a large number, you should have seen it a few years ago when consulting firms were basically grabbing anyone they could. The reason for this decline in MBAs going into consulting is because the tech giants have begun drawing more and more MBAs to their companies. When you look at the names of top MBA recruiters, you will likely see Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and other tech firms gathering more than their fair share of business school graduates. Interestingly, many of the graduates who are going to these big companies are not your classic “let me go to Amazon so I can be a product manager and have a job for life” types. Instead, they may be the exact opposite in that they are “wannabe” entrepreneurs who join one of Apple’s or Facebook’s internal startup groups to learn how to actually pursue an opportunity and build a company around it. For example, if you want to be a biotech entrepreneur, there is no better place to start than Verily, Google’s life sciences group, where you live entrepreneurship without having to eat ramen every night and sleep on your parents’ couch. Of course, if you do want to eat ramen every night and sleep on your parents’ couch (i.e., be a real entrepreneur), will you find your cofounder in business school? Probably not. The exciting notion of two classmates writing a business plan on a napkin in the school cafeteria and riding it to an IPO is a great story but not much more. Although exact numbers are hard to find, the average number of MBAs heading to a true startup is likely very low, maybe 5% if not lower. A similar “I thought it was more” number is the number of business school graduates going into the world of nonprofits and social impact. While writing about how you want to join a triplebottomline company makes for a compelling business school essay, few graduates actually do. For example, at Yale—the grandfather of all schools focused on preparing leaders for social impact and the nonprofit world—fewer than 5% of graduates go into this space, while almost 50% go into consulting. Wow! And what about all the other things MBA graduates do? While one traditional choice was investment banking (IB), that is no longer quite the case. More investment bankers are now lacking an MBA, as are folks in private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC)—though for both IB and PE, where you go to school matters. This does not just mean Harvard or Wharton; future masters of the universe should check out NYU and Cornell, which both have a very strong pipeline to Wall Street. Another industry where there are fewer and fewer MBAs is consumer products, which includes companies such as Procter & Gamble and Kraft. However, the reason for the drop in MBAs in this industry has more to do with student interest than anything else: MBAs are simply less interested in these more staid companies despite them providing the ultimate “finishing school” for MBAs interested in marketing and operations. Although MBAs are landing in plenty of other places—including real estate, human resources, financial services, and manufacturing—one place students are not visiting as much is their school’s career center. Only a few years ago, more than 90% of all MBAs got their jobs through the formal recruiting process, but that number keeps on shrinking and shrinking. Now, 75% is closer to the mark at most schools, and that number is even lower in some instances. This speaks to the fact that business school students must own the process of finding a career and a job. Completing your business school application was your first attempt at laying out a career; the next step is the recruiting process, when you must go out there, plan your career, and then find the right job for you. Are you looking for more information on popular MBA career paths? mbaMission’sCareer Guides were written in conjunction with industry insiders who provide intriguing perspectives on the fields. Each guide delivers valuable information including the following:
A graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management, Harold Simansky offers his clients more than five years’ experience as a dedicated MBA admissions consultant, in addition to several years helping his colleagues complete their business school applications. His clients have been accepted at more than 30 different institutions, including all the top U.S. and international MBA programs. Among his success stories are applicants who “ran the table” and were granted admission to every school they targeted, as well as candidates with distinct backgrounds for whom Harold found programs that uniquely suited their personalities and needs. mbaMission is the leader in MBA admissions consulting with a fulltime and comprehensively trained staff of consultants, all with profound communications and MBA experience. mbaMission has helped thousands of candidates fulfill their dream of attending prominent MBA programs around the world. Take your first step toward a more successful MBA application experience with afree 30minute consultation with one of mbaMission’s senior consultants. The post MBA Career Paths: What Are You Going to Do? appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Manhattan Prep Earns Top Spot in Recent GMAT Score Improvement Survey! Except…We Need To Talk… 
I was naturally very interested to hear that my company, Manhattan Prep, had earned the top spot for score improvement in the recent Poets & Quants survey of GMAT test prep companies. The excited part of me wants to dance around shouting, “Yay! Manhattan Prep is the best!” But the rational part of me is saying…hmm. Of course, I think we’re the best too, but I don’t think that average score improvement is a great metric to use (no disrespect to Poets & Quants, which I think is an excellent resource for aspiring business school students). I’d rather that you talk to friends, look at verified reviews from a source like Trustpilot, and attend any free sessions available to judge for yourself. (I’ve got a free session coming up soon—come say hi!) The study concludes that all of our GMAT students who responded to the survey had an overall average improvement of 91.3 points, higher than any other company’s average. We also had the highest average improvement for GMAT classes (104.1 points) and classes plus tutoring (118.8 points). That sounds fantastic! Why am I questioning this? A few reasons, actually. (The teacher in me has to add: Bonus points if you brainstorm yourself before you keep reading.) What was the starting point? Let’s start at the starting point. Is our class students’ 104.1 point jump from, for example, 400 to 504.1? Or is that 104.1 points from, for example, 640 to 744.1? The impressiveness of “104.1″ depends pretty heavily on your starting point—it’s far harder to improve by 100 points at the higher end of the scale. Imagine that, for some reason, a particular company tends to attract people who have higher average starting scores. For instance, my company offers an Advanced GMAT Course for which we require a 650 minimum starting score to enroll. Our students in this class can literally only improve by 150 points—or fewer, if they started higher than 650—so how would you factor that into this study? (Despite that, we still ended up with the highest average improvement in this study, but I could easily imagine a different scenario in which one company’s average score improvement was lower than another’s and yet more impressive—if their students were ending with higher actual scores.) Is this sample representative? When you get to bschool you’re going to learn about sampling in statistics. A good data set, or sample, is representative of the population you’re trying to study. When that data set doesn’t properly represent the desired population for some reason, your data is skewed in some way and you risk drawing faulty conclusions. I have two big questions around the representativeness of the data sample in this study. I’ll start with my greater concern. (1) Are the subgroups comparable? Someone who slacks off obviously isn’t going to have the same results as someone who works more diligently. Maybe—on average—the people willing to spend money on a class are also more serious about studying in the first place. By the way, this is called selfselection bias; you’ll need to know this concept for bschool, too. Let’s extend that idea. The article mentions puzzlement as to why tutoring results weren’t the best of all—you’re paying a premium, so you should get better results, right?¹ It’s very common for people to do what they can on their own before spending money on tutoring (a significant percentage of our tutoring students do this). This is a smart use of your money—only use the tutor for what you really need—but this leaves less “lift” available to attribute to the tutoring because you’re only using it for the last, hardest 3050 points. If certain types of students tend to selfselect into classes or tutoring—or into choosing one particular company for some reason—then that introduces bias into the data and into any comparison you make across companies. These factors could be controlled for in a randomized study, but that would be a far harder study to conduct. (2) Who participated in the study? My second biggest concern revolves around participation bias (another key concept you’ll need for bschool²). People are more likely to report their experience with something if they’re either really happy or really upset and that can skew the data. (That’s why it’s so frustrating to read Yelp reviews—you can always find 5 people who LOVE this restaurant and 5 others who absolutely hate it. And there might be 500 who felt pretty good about it but didn’t bother to write a review.) The smaller the number of data points, the more risk that participation bias could significantly skew the results. While 1,000 data points overall is a good number, some of the cuts of the data in this survey are well under 50 data points. I’m really uncomfortable drawing any conclusions based on 15 or 30 data points. All of the above, by the way, is why you’ve never seen any Manhattan Prep claim about score improvement in our 20 years in this business. There isn’t a great but costefficient way to get truly representative data for this calculation and, even then, your starting point makes a big difference in evaluating how good that score improvement is. A 40point improvement is seriously impressive if your starting point is 720. (And, hey, then you and your 99th percentile score can work for us!) Is there anything you do like about this study? Sure! The main data point applying to Manhattan Prep did come from more than 100 respondents, so that makes me feel a little better about our stat. It’s still the case that, as happy as I am to see any article in which Manhattan Prep is ranked #1 for something good, I just don’t feel comfortable accepting the accolade based on this particular data point. As I said, I still think we’re the best, but I’d rather try to prove that via other means—and, mostly, I’d like you to decide for yourself³ what you think best fits your needs and learning style. (Wait, did I just refuse to accept our Oscar? ) 1 Yes, I’m a geek and have footnotes in a blog post. My colleague Reed Arnold pointed out to me that the tutoring students in the study also reported a much lower number of tutoring hours compared to class hours for those in classes—so you could potentially argue that the tutoring was more efficient in terms of hours spent per point earned. 2 Shoutout to my colleague Daniel Fogel for telling me the official name of this type of bias. 3 I’m hosting a free webinar in a couple of weeks—click that link for details. Come say hi and ask questions about the GMAT! You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most wellknown instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here. The post Manhattan Prep Earns Top Spot in Recent GMAT Score Improvement Survey! Except…We Need To Talk… appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: “I’m Bad at Math” And Other Lies You Tell Yourself 
“I’m just not a math person” is probably the most common thing GMAT students tell me about themselves on the first day of class. I’m here to tell you the same thing I tell each of those students: Odds are, you’re totally wrong. You Do Math Every Day I’ve worked with students who made it through high school, then never took another math class. I’ve worked with students who haven’t even made it to high school, much less through the math courses. And in every single case, that student has been much much better at math than they think they are. Here’s an example of a recent conversation I had with a student who told me she’s never been able to do math. Question: If x is 40% of y and 50% of y is 40, then 16 is what percent of x ? (Source: All the Quant; Chapter 5 Drill Set; Question 3.) Student: This is way too confusing. There are too many variables and percents. I don’t know how to make the equations. Me: Ok, then forget about equations. You said the percents are the confusing part. I see 40% and 50%. Which one is easier for you to deal with? Student: The 50%; that’s the same thing as saying half. Me: I totally agree. It makes me think of a big halfoff sale. So instead of saying 50% of y is 40, imagine that you pick up something at a sale. You don’t know the original price, but you know it’s halfoff, so now it’s $40. Can you figure out the original price? Student: Sure, it’s $80. Me: Exactly. So 50% of 80 is 40. Student: Oh, so y is 80. And I guess you can write an equation to get to x ? Me: Yeah, you could if you wanted to and were comfortable with it, but you don’t have to. Stick with our scenario. You’re still holding that original $80 thing, but now you discover it will actually only cost you 40% of the original — same as saying 60% off. What does that mean? Student: Well, now it’s less than $40. So maybe $30? Me: Nice estimation. 40% of the price will definitely be less than 50% of that same price, so going lower than $40 is the right move. Depending on the answer choices, saying it’s about $30 could be enough to pick the right answer, but let’s imagine we need to be more precise. You’ve probably never calculated 40% of something except in school, but you were fine with 50%. What other percents do you regularly use? Student: Uhm, I’m not sure. Me: Think about going out to a nice restaurant. Student: Oh, tip! I figure out 20%. Me: How? Student: Move the decimal over one, then double it. Me: Ok, so can you tell me what 20% of $80 is? Student: Well, that would be 8 doubled, so $16? Me: Perfect. So if 16 is 20% of 80, what do you think 40% of 80 might be? Student: Double again? So 32? Me: Absolutely. So you’ve just computed x to be precisely 32. Look back at what this question is asking. You can rephrase it now to 16 is what percent of 32? Student: So now we need to make an equation? Me: Nope. Treat it like a discount. The thing was $32, now it’s $16. What’s the sale? Student: Halfoff. Oh, so it’s 50%! Me: Totally right. Notice that at no point did I ask the student to do math she doesn’t regularly do. We all do mathematical computations every day, we just don’t put pen to paper and write out an equation so we don’t recognize it as math. Why is GMAT math so much harder? Most of it isn’t. There are a few new things you’ll have to learn, but much of it doesn’t require math you don’t regularly do or couldn’t easily do with a little refresher. It just feels harder because it makes you feel like you’re back in school when the teacher wanted you to do intense computations in very particular ways. The good news is that the GMAT doesn’t care how you get to the answer. You get the same value from a mathematically rigorous derivation that you would from a lucky guess. So pull from what you know. Pay attention to what math you’re already comfortable with, even though you don’t realize you’re doing it, and reframe the quant questions to be more realistic. How Can You Learn Math You Didn’t Even Understand in School? There are a few things you’ll have to learn, and it’s possible they will be things you have no memory of or remember being very bad at. If you were bad at it then, there’s no chance you’ll get it now, right? Wrong. One of the unfortunate features of many modern school systems is that they emphasize quantity over quality. So in any given year, your class may have had to learn ten different units, and the teacher would be forced to move from one to another whether or not you were comfortable with the previous lesson. Add to that the fact that math is cumulative, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. If you miss a major idea in one unit (and haven’t we all?), you can’t understand the next unit because it’s building on that idea. Every lesson from that point forward will be building on information you don’t have, and unless you or your teacher was great at spotting that gap, you probably just decided you have no mathematical skill and simply can’t do math. What this means for you is that if you try to learn math now, knowing it’s just a matter of finding and eliminating those gaps, you’re much more likely to be successful. There’s a relatively small quantity of mathematical concepts on the GMAT, so you can emphasize quality. Don’t settle for just learning the mechanics. Yes, it’s true that cross multiplication involves moving the denominators of the fractions over to the opposite side, but why? What does that mean? What does that represent? What’s a real life example that shows how those fractions are related and therefore proves that cross multiplication is the right method? Are You Bad at Math? Probably not. But even if you are (or at least have convinced yourself that you are), study after study has shown that intelligence is malleable. For everything you are currently good at, there was a point in your life when you were bad at it. At one point, you were bad at cooking, at driving, at speaking, and even at eating. You learned. And we don’t lose that ability to learn: to change our weaknesses into strengths. You are not naturally bad at math. You just haven’t learned the easiest way to do it yet. Remind yourself that there is no such thing as being bad at math. All intelligence, including mathematical intelligence, can change. UP NEXT: Top 9 GMAT Math Tips You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Emily Madan is a Manhattan Prep instructor located in Philadelphia, Pa. She has a master’s degree in chemistry and tries to approach the GMAT and LSAT from a scientific perspective. These tests are puzzles with patterns that students can be taught to find. She has been teaching test prep for over ten years, scoring a 770 on the GMAT and 177 on the LSAT. Check out Emily’s upcoming LSAT courses here. The post “I’m Bad at Math” And Other Lies You Tell Yourself appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How and When to Register for the GMAT 
Are you getting ready to take the GMAT? Let’s talk about the logistics of registering for and taking the exam! When Should I Register for the GMAT? You’re allowed to register for the GMAT up to 6 months in advance—but most people should register anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months in advance. Here are the factors to consider: Consideration: Do you know your current score and goal score?
How Do I Register for the GMAT? If you haven’t already, create an account on the mba.com site. (Even if you’re not planning to register any time soon, go create an account now. You’ll get access to some great free study resources.) After you log in, you’ll see the option to register for an exam. You can select several centers to compare availability. You can enter a desired date—like making a dinner reservation—or you can ask it to tell you the next available appointments. If a seat is open and you’re free, you could take the exam tomorrow! Pro tip: The further out you look, the more likely that you’ll see fewer available appointments—often only at 8am. Pearson, the organization that runs the testing centers, administers all kinds of exams, not just the GMAT, and those exams are all different lengths. So if you look 4 months out, they’ll be releasing only 8am slots. Once they see which exams are booked, they’ll release more slots in the later morning and afternoon. (This is another reason why you don’t want to book too far out, unless you’re a morning person. I think my score would drop 50 points if I took the exam at 8am.) How Much Will the GMAT Cost? As of February 2020, if you’re in the US or Canada, it’s going to set you back USD275. (This recently increased from $250. It’s the first price increase in something like 15 years, so I guess we’ll forgive them. ) In the UK, you’ll pay £225; in the EU, you’ll pay €250. If you reschedule, the fee will depend upon where you are and how far in advance you’re rescheduling.Check the mba.com site for current pricing in your country. Should I Keep or Cancel My GMAT Scores? At the end of the exam, you can choose to cancel your scores (after you see them); this won’t cost anything and the schools won’t know that you took the exam and then canceled. After you leave the test center, you have 3 additional days to cancel your scores (this time for a fee). You can also reinstate a canceled score within 4 years and 11 months of your test date (again, for a fee). Really, most people never need to consider canceling, because the vast majority of schools care only about your highest score (check with your schools to see what they say). But I know that a lot of people feel uncomfortable with the thought of leaving a really low score on record, so I generally recommend keeping your scores if your Total score is within 100 points of your goal score. Why? First, the depressing reason: You don’t know for sure that you’ll get to your goal and you need some score on record in order to apply. Second, the good reason: In certain circumstances, some interviewers or admissions officers will actually think it’s a good thing that you first got a lower score and then tried again and earned a higher one—that demonstrates perseverance. If you don’t cancel your exam, you’ll be given a paper printout of your scores (not including the essay score) when you leave. It will be called an Unofficial Score Report but it’s incredibly rare for there to be any difference on your official score report. A few days to a week after, you’ll get an email from GMAC saying that your official scores are ready (including your essay score this time); log into your mba.com account to view them. A few days after your exam, you’ll also be given the option to buy an Enhanced Score Report (ESR). The ESR provides additional data about your exam that can be quite useful if you are going to take the GMAT again. What If I Do Want To Take The GMAT Again? Remember when I said earlier to schedule your exam for more than 16 days before your application deadline? You’re required to wait 16 days between exams. If you get sick in the testing center or have some other emergency, I want you to be able to get in there again before your deadline. Plus, if you want to take it again, that’s because you want a higher score and, in most cases, that’s going to take more than 16 days to achieve. If you got sick in the testing center or you’re going back in with very little additional prep just to see whether you can eke out another 1020 points, then 16 days is fine. Other than that, though, please give yourself at least a month before you retake the exam. If you have any other questions about registering for or taking the exam, our Student Services team is ready to answer. Send us an email at gmat@manhattanprep.com or jump into a chat on our website. And as always, you can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Good luck and happy studying! Start a free Atlas account on our website and get access to a free practice GMAT and other study resources. Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most wellknown instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here. The post How and When to Register for the GMAT appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: How to Get a Perfect GMAT Quant Score 
How can you get the elusive Q51 on the GMAT? To start, let’s be clear that this question is mostly a matter of curiosity. You don’t need a 51 on Quant to score a 700 on the GMAT: technically, with a perfect Verbal score, you would only need a 36! You don’t need a 51 on Quant to get into HBS: the median score last year was 48. You don’t even need a 51 to be a test prep teacher (although if you want to work for MPrep, you do need to be in the 99th percentile)! And this is a good thing, because as you’re about to learn, getting a 51 on Quant involves at least a little bit of luck. Do you need to get every question right? As a GMAT instructor, this is a tough question for me to answer. Not because the answer is complicated, but because the answer is (as dramatic as this sounds) a little dangerous! Why? Well, suppose I say that you do need to get every Quant question right in order to score a 51. (We’ll see whether that’s actually true in a second). If that’s the case, then we’ve identified one way in which the GMAT is just like any other exam: in order to get a perfect score, you need a perfect performance. You’ve spent your entire life taking other exams that worked like that. To get an A+ on a college final, you need to get pretty much every question right. There’s a simple reason for that: on almost all college exams, your score is a measurement of how many questions you got right. So, if I say that getting a 51 on Quant means getting every question correct, it’s going to start to sound like the GMAT works the same way. You may be tempted to think that, just like a college exam, the GMAT is also trying to measure the number of questions you get right. At this point, I’d recommend that you pause and take a look at this very interesting analysis from GMAT With CJ. In addition to the insightful commentary, CJ provides some data from his students’ score reports, comparing the number of incorrect answers to the final Quant score. What I found really striking was that almost everyone who scored between a 32 and a 48 got 10 or 11 questions wrong. That’s more or less what Manhattan Prep came up with when we analyzed our own practice tests, which are based on Item Response Theory principles in the same way that the official GMAT is. (The number of incorrect answers on our practice tests is just a bit higher, because we don’t have experimental questions, which CJ excluded from his analysis of the real test.) Almost everybody misses almost the same number of questions, whether they’re getting a fantastic score or a soso one. In other words, the GMAT isn’t trying to measure how many questions you get right. And it doesn’t work the same way as a college exam. But to get a 51 on Quant…drumroll…yeah, you need to get basically every question right. Do you see why I hesitated to answer that question? You need to get pretty much every question right if you’re going to score a 51. But, because of the curious way that the GMAT’s scoring algorithm works, that doesn’t mean that more right answers = better. A perfect (or almost perfect) Quant score is an exception to the rule In order to calculate your score on Quant, the GMAT’s scoring algorithm goes through a process with a goal in mind. Its goal is to determine your “personal difficulty level”: the level of difficulty where you can sometimes, but not always, get questions right. In order to do that, it keeps an eye on how well you’re doing at each point in the test. If you’re getting a lot of questions right, it amps up the difficulty. If you’re getting a lot of questions wrong, it tones things down. By making these fine adjustments, the test eventually settles on a level that reflects exactly how good you are at answering Quant questions (assuming you take the test correctly—for instance, you don’t rush or run out of time). Suppose you’re at the very, very top of the scale and you can handle supertough Quant questions. The GMAT will start out by giving you mediumlevel questions, just like it does for everyone else. You’ll get those questions right. Then, the test will give you harder questions. You’ll get those right too. It’ll eventually start giving you the very hardest questions it has. Surprise: you’ll get those ones right as well. But then, the GMAT runs out of difficulty levels. If it had even harder questions to give you, you’d probably start missing them eventually, and in the long run, you’d end up missing about as many questions as everyone else! But there aren’t any harder questions. In a way, if you’re scoring a 50 or 51, it’s because the GMAT isn’t hard enough to accurately assess you. That’s fine, by the way. If you’re scoring a 51 on Quant, your quantitative skills are probably more than strong enough to handle everything that business school might throw at you. There’s no point in designing a test that can tell the difference between a 51 scorer who’s just barely hanging on, and a 51 scorer who could go all the way up to 60 (if 60level questions existed). Plus, the GMAT would probably have to be a lot longer to do that, and who wants that? So, that’s why a score of 51 on Quant corresponds to few, or no, wrong answers. It’s not because the test cares how many answers you get right. It’s because, once you’re at that level, the GMAT is pretty much throwing up its hands and declaring defeat: “fine, you’re so great at Quant that we can’t measure you with this test”! If you score a 51 on Quant, congratulations: you broke the GMAT. Sounds great! Now, how do I get a perfect GMAT Quant Score? If you’ve read this far, you understand what it means to get a “perfect” score on the GMAT, and why you need to get almost every question right to make that happen. We’re now asking a slightly different question: what does it take to get almost every Quant question right on the GMAT? I could go into the skills involved at length, but instead, I’ll send you to this fantastic article from GMAT instructor Patrick Tyrell, who already did the work for me. He breaks it down into four skills: automaticity; use of alternate strategies; timing; and exposure. None of those skills is easy to develop, and given that a 51 score is more of a curiosity than a necessity, it’s probably not worth the work it may take to get there. But if you’re on the road to a 51, and you’re feeling inspired, click that link to Patrick’s article and start working on your study plan. KEEP READING: Quick GMAT Math Hacks You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. [b] Chelsey Cooley is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. [/b]Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post How to Get a Perfect GMAT Quant Score appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: What You Don’t Need to Know for the GMAT 
There are a lot of rumors and misinformation about the topics that the GMAT tests. The test writers provide plenty of good info about what the GMAT does test (here’s a good place to start, as well as the Official Guide to the GMAT), but it’s much harder to find reassurance that certain topics won’t be tested. So, let’s look at some of the topics that students ask me about the most, and get the lowdown on whether you have to study them. The “RealWorld Knowledge” Issue The party line is that the GMAT doesn’t test realworld knowledge, other than basic logical reasoning and a handful of definitions (the definition of “profit,” for example). In fact, relying on realworld knowledge can cause you to pick a trap answer on tough Critical Reasoning problems. So, don’t spend your time studying the structure of the United States government or learning the names of different scientific fields. Rumors sometimes start for a reason, though, and there’s some common sense behind the rumor that you need realworld facts on the GMAT. GMAT Reading Comprehension will give you passages that are long, dense, and difficult. Both on the GMAT and in the real world, it’s easier to understand a passage if you already have some mental context for the new facts: for instance, a scientist will find it easier to read a scientific article, even if the content is completely new to them. So, even though you don’t need to study realworld facts, one way to improve your reading comprehension for the GMAT is to read realworld material on topics similar to those tested on the GMAT. GMAT Vocabulary From time to time, students ask me whether I have a GMAT vocabulary list to study. However, unlike the GRE, the GMAT doesn’t directly test vocabulary. Instead of studying a vocabulary list, I’d recommend doing plenty of reading on topics similar to the GMAT, and also keeping a list of tricky words or phrases you encounter while doing practice problems. Do this for Quant as well as Verbal: for instance, if you misinterpret a word problem, make a flashcard to study that shows the phrase or sentence that tripped you up. GMAT Formal Logic Just like GRE students sometimes ask me about vocabulary, LSAT students sometimes ask whether formal logic is needed for the GMAT, specifically for Critical Reasoning problems. Knowing a little bit about logical reasoning won’t hurt you, but I don’t think it’s the most efficient way to spend your time. It’ll only make a potential difference on a very small number of GMAT problems, and those problems can all be solved in a less formal, more backofthenapkin way. Instead of learning more about logic, I recommend focusing on the common factors that frequently make wrong answers wrong, and perfecting your Critical Reasoning problem log. GMAT Idioms In GMAT Sentence Correction, idioms are one of the most feared topics. An idiom, almost by definition, is a rule that doesn’t make any logical sense: it just says that one way of writing something is right and the other way is wrong, for no special reason! That makes idioms intimidating. However, unless you’re missing more idioms in Sentence Correction problems than any other topic, don’t focus on studying idioms. Why? Because the workload is high and the payoff is low, making idioms a lowvalue study topic. The number of idioms in the English language is tremendous, and virtually all Sentence Correction problems test at least some kind of logical grammar rule, not just idiomatic rules. So, learning the logical stuff, like modifiers and parallelism, is more likely to gain you points. GMAT Math, Beyond the Basics Let’s turn our attention to Quant. First, let’s dispel a rumor: the GMAT doesn’t test trigonometry. Yes, it tests triangles! But you don’t need to know a single trig rule to solve any GMAT triangle problem. I can’t even think of one legitimate GMAT geometry problem where trigonometry would help. You’re allowed to forget everything you ever learned about trigonometry before taking the GMAT. The GMAT also doesn’t test calculus. Occasionally, there are maximization or minimization problems on the GMAT that could be solved with basic calculus. However, these can always be solved just as easily with noncalculus methods. As with trigonometry, I’ve never seen a GMAT problem where calculus would provide any substantial help. Finally, you don’t really need statistics, other than the basics: understand the definition of a mean, median, mode, and range. However, there’s a bit of a fuzzy area at the edge of statistics. The GMAT is allowed to mention standard deviation and variance in Quant problems. The test will never ask you to calculate the standard deviation or the variance of a set. Because of that, you don’t technically need to know the mathematical definitions. However, you should know what standard deviation and variance measure, and how they change when terms are added to a set or the existing terms are changed. If you’re a quantoriented person, memorizing the mathematical definitions may very well help you understand these concepts. So, feel free to do a little research on these aspects of statistics. However, you can succeed on GMAT quant without them. GMAT Combinatorics and Probability Do you need to study combinatorics and probability for the GMAT? Usually, when somebody asks me this, they’ve just taken a practice test and they were blindsided by one or more combinatorics/probability problems. Even if they missed a lot of other problems, they at least understood the explanations when they read them! But combinatorics and probability can be truly baffling, which can make them feel like a critical study priority. Here’s what you need to take into consideration. First, you never want to miss an easy problem on the GMAT. So, everybody should learn the basics of combinatorics and probability, and everybody should practice until they feel comfortable solving the simpler ones and handling word problems that use probabilityrelated terminology. Beyond that, most GMAT students should put these topics away. Many combinatorics/probability questions are well above the 700 level; missing a 700+ level problem has absolutely no negative effect on you, unless your goal score is very high. Learning to solve these problems is also a lot of work and involves relatively little payoff. The handful of formulas and processes you’ll need to learn are specific to only these problems, and won’t help you anywhere else on the GMAT. There aren’t that many combinatorics or probability problems on the GMAT, either. This combination of factors makes them a good candidate for your GMAT “skip list.” If you’re already scoring in the high 40s on Quant and looking to improve even further, feel free to keep studying combinatorics and probability! You’ll find some helpful resources in the Advanced Quant strategy guide. GMAT Tip: Master the Basics Thanks to how the GMAT’s scoring algorithm works, it’s better to perform flawlessly on the basics than to have a broad, but shallow, knowledge of a lot of esoteric material. If your GMAT score has plateaued, it almost certainly isn’t because there are obscure topics you haven’t covered yet. It’s more likely that you still have room to grow in the highvalue areas. Unless you’re already at a very high score (and maybe even then!), you have our permission to stop worrying about whether the GMAT will test your least favorite topic. If you’ve been studying for a while and you haven’t seen it in a practice problem, you can almost certainly let it go. KEEP READING: “I’m Bad at Math” and Other Lies You Tell Yourself You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. [b] Chelsey Cooley is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Seattle, Washington. [/b]Chelsey always followed her heart when it came to her education. Luckily, her heart led her straight to the perfect background for GMAT and GRE teaching: she has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and history, a master’s degree in linguistics, a 790 on the GMAT, and a perfect 170Q/170V on the GRE. Check out Chelsey’s upcoming GMAT prep offerings here. The post What You Don’t Need to Know for the GMAT appeared first on GMAT. 
FROM Manhattan GMAT Blog: Top 3 Tips For Fitting GMAT Studying Into a Hectic Schedule 
The GMAT is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not a given that you’ll be able to stay motivated to study without burning out, and many people find themselves studying for the GMAT for months longer than they meant to because they just needed a break. So let’s talk about how you can study without putting your life on pause. GMAT Study Tip 1: Plan Your Week of Prep Organization will be your best friend. You have dozens of things that need to be done in any given week. And because studying for the GMAT is a long process, it’s very easy to tell yourself that you can start tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. Pick a date to start and times to study and commit. Many students try to balance work and GMAT by focusing Monday through Friday on work and home obligations, then setting aside huge chunks of time on the weekend to get through their GMAT studying. If that’s the only possible way you can get your studying in, then do that, but it’s not the ideal. A more effective plan is to study a little every day, even if it ends up being less overall time spent studying. Learning science tells us that we learn best by testing ourselves. You can be told that the square root of 289 is 17. You can read it. You can repeat it aloud. But the thing that makes it stick in your mind the best is being asked: What is the square root of 289? You test yourself, and in that testing, solidify your knowledge. You now know it’s 17. This is why flashcards are often an effective learning tool. Going a little deeper, you want to wait until you almost forget a concept, then test yourself on it to bring it to the forefront of your mind. What’s the square root of 289? It’s 17. You remembered after a few seconds and through a few sentences. Good start. Now you’ll need to wait a little longer and test yourself again until you really know it. Ask it in different ways. Once you can answer the question correctly regardless of how much time has passed since you last thought of it, you have effectively learned it. What’s the square root of 289? It’s 17. Apply that to studying for the GMAT. If you plan to study for 6 hours every Saturday and Sunday, but no other days of the week, you are waiting 5 days after reading and using a new concept before you test yourself on it. Can you recall it after 5 days? Maybe. But odds are you’re going to have forgotten a lot in that time span. Instead, learn a little on Monday, then test yourself on it on Tuesday. If you can recall the concept, great. Study something new. But on Thursday, check to see if you can still recall it. Check again on Sunday. Spaced repetition is one of the most efficient ways to truly master something. By the way, try to test yourself in different ways. What’s 17 squared? You’re going to have to know both rules and strategies backwards and forwards to get a top GMAT score. (It’s 289, if you’d forgotten.) It may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for this, but you can make it happen with planning. Each week, think about everything you want to get done. It’s even better if you write it down. From that list, isolate the items that absolutely must be done this week, making sure to include daily GMAT studying. Put your absolute mustdo’s on the calendar at specific times. Give yourself start and end times for GMAT studying each day (though we do encourage you to take one day a week off from GMAT). This calendar system has two major benefits. First, it makes it way more likely that you will actually study for the GMAT each week. Second, by scheduling out your other major commitments, you don’t have to waste valuable energy worrying what you’re sacrificing by studying for the GMAT. This chosen time is GMAT study time, and you will deal with the other things at their times. GMAT Study Tip 2: Wake Up Earlier It may not be profound, but it’s effective. Most people wait until the end of the day to open their GMAT books. At that point, they’ve often put in a full day of work, made dinner, washed dishes, maybe put the kids to bed, and then they try to study. Of course this doesn’t work well. So change the system. Your mind is most active during the morning. No, wait! Don’t stop reading yet! I get it. I should not be spoken to until after my first cup of coffee. But the truth is that once you get up, get something to eat, and grab your caffeine if you (desperately) need it, you’ve found the time of the day that the brain is most able to make new memories and focus most clearly. Why? Much of it is situational. You expect to have a certain amount of time each evening, and you already have a system for what to fill it with. Waking up a half hour earlier creates unexpected bonus time. You don’t have anything that already fills that time, except sleep. If you have to go to bed half an hour earlier to wake up half an hour earlier, your studying will feel much more natural and be more impactful. It’s also better to study when you don’t have too much to think about. At the end of the day, you’ve gotten a lot done, but there’s always more you need to do. Knowing that you have time for only one more thing before you’re done for the day makes studying feel like a sacrifice. If you study, you can’t wash the dishes, you can’t watch TV, you can’t go out with friends. However, if you study first thing in the morning, then you stop worrying about it. The studying is done, and you have the rest of the day to focus on everything else going on in your life. Give yourself permission to study consistently by doing it in the morning. GMAT Study Tip 3: Utilize Shorter Study Sessions Throughout the day there are always a few minutes here and there when you have nothing to do. If you’re like me, those minutes are probably spent on social media, checking your phone, or rechecking your email for no good reason. What if you actually used those minutes to support your GMAT studies? Each week, plan out a few things you could do to study that don’t require much material or notice. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
By the way, what’s 17 times 17? Look it up if you don’t remember, then keep testing yourself! NEXT: How and When to Register for the GMAT You can attend the first session of any of our online or inperson GMAT courses absolutely free! We’re not kidding. Check out our upcoming courses here. Emily Madan is a Manhattan Prep instructor located in Philadelphia, Pa. She has a master’s degree in chemistry and tries to approach the GMAT and LSAT from a scientific perspective. These tests are puzzles with patterns that students can be taught to find. She has been teaching test prep for over ten years, scoring a 770 on the GMAT and 177 on the LSAT. Check out Emily’s upcoming LSAT courses here. The post Top 3 Tips For Fitting GMAT Studying Into a Hectic Schedule appeared first on GMAT. 

