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Taking the Best Approach When Solving Data Sufficiency GMAT Questions [#permalink]

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FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Taking the Best Approach When Solving Data Sufficiency GMAT Questions
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Sometimes, we get questions which we cannot neatly bracket as Arithmetic/Algebra/Geometry etc. In fact, the higher level questions usually focus on more than one subject area.  The trick in these questions is to assimilate all your knowledge from various areas and then think how best to solve.

Today we have such a question for you – you could get really lost in it or could solve it in a few seconds if you take the right track. The trick is starting on the right track and that is why you have 2 mins per question available to you else 40 secs per question would have been sufficient!

Question: This game season, five divisions are going to play. Out of all the teams in each division, 6, 9, 12, 13 and 14 teams have qualified from the respective divisions. Each division will hold its own tournament – where a team is eliminated from the tournament upon losing two games – in order to determine its champion. The five division champions will then play in a knock-off tournament – a team is eliminated as soon as it loses a game – in order to determine the overall champion. Assuming that there were no ties and no forfeits, what is the maximum number of games that could have been played in order to determine the overall league champion?

(A) 89

(B) 100

(C) 102

(D) 107

(E) 112

Solution: Is it a max-min problem? Perhaps, but which guiding principle of max-min will we use to solve this problem? First think on your own how you will solve this problem.

Will you focus on the method or the result i.e. will you worry about who plays against whom or just focus on each result which gives one loss and one win? If you don’t worry about the method and just focus on the result, you can use a concept of mixtures here. In mixture questions, we focus on one component and how it changes. Here, we need to keep track of losses. Let’s focus on those and forget about the wins. As given, there were no ties so every loss has a win on the other side.

Every time a game is played, someone loses. We can give at most 2 losses to a team since after that it is out of the tournament. Don’t worry about against who it plays those two games. Whenever a team loses 2 games, it is out. The team could have won many games but we are not counting the wins and hence, are not concerned about its wins. As discussed, we are counting the losses so each win of that team will be counted on the other side i.e. as a loss for the other team.

Consider the division which has 6 teams – what happens when 12 games are played? There are 12 losses and each team gets 2 losses (we can’t give more than 2 to a team since the team gets kicked out after 2 losses), so all are out of the tournament. But we need a winner so we play only 11 games so that the winning team gets only 1 loss. We want to maximize the losses (and hence the number of games), therefore the winning team must be given a loss too.

So maximum number of games that can be played by the district in its own tournament = 2*6 – 1 = 11

Similarly, the division with 9 teams can play at most 2*9 – 1 = 17 games.

The division with 12 teams can play at most 2*12 – 1 = 23 games.

The division with 13 teams can play at most 2*13 – 1 = 25 games.

The division with 14 teams can play at most 2*14 – 1 = 27 games.

This totals up to 11 + 17 + 23 + 25 + 27 = 103 games

Now we come to the games between the district champions.

We have 5 teams. 1 loss gets a team kicked out. If the teams play 4 games, there are 4 losses and 4 teams get kicked out. We have a final winner!

Hence the total number of games = 103 + 4 = 107

There are a lot of variations you can consider for this question.

Say, if we need to minimize the number of games, how many total games would have been played?

Notice that the only games you can avoid are the ones in which the 5 district champions lost. You do still need 2 losses for each team to get the district champion and one loss each for four district champions to get the winner. Hence, at least 107 – 5 = 102 games need to be played.

Look at it in another way:

To kick out a team, it needs to have 2 losses so if the district had 6 teams, there would be 5*2 = 10 games played.

Similarly, the division with 9 teams will play at least 2*8 = 16 games.

The division with 12 teams will play at least 2*11 = 22 games.

The division with 13 teams will play at least 2*12 = 24 games.

The division with 14 teams will play at least 2*13 = 26 games.

This totals up to 10 + 16 + 22 + 24 + 26 = 98 games

Now we have 5 champions and they will need to play at least 4 games to pick a winner.

Therefore, at least 98 + 4 = 102 games need to be played.

You can try other similar variations – what happens when a team is kicked out after it loses 3 games instead of 2? What happens if you don’t have the knock-off tournament and instead need each district champion to lose 2 games to get knocked out?

Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog!
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How to Succeed During Your Summer Internship [#permalink]

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New post 06 Apr 2015, 12:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: How to Succeed During Your Summer Internship
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You survived the perilous and anxiety ridden seven-month journey that is internship recruiting. After enjoying a few months of post-recruiting relaxation it’s time to wrap up your 1st year of business school and start your internship. Many students think once they receive their summer internship offer the hard part is over. That could not be further from the truth. Securing a full time job offer after your summer internship can be just as difficult as it was to initially get your internship offer.

Here are four tips to help ensure success during your summer internship:

1) Prepare in Advance

Start your internship the right way by coming in as prepared as possible. Many employers will provide a preview of your summer project, brand, or rotation. Use this information to research everything you can to provide yourself an advantage once your summer internship begins. Beginning your internship with even a cursory knowledge of an industry, client, or competitors can create a positive early impression.

2) Set Goals

The easiest way to prevent surprises come offer day is to make sure you are working towards the right goals and objectives during your internship. These can be both task specific goals as well as overall summer goals that ensure you are addressing all of the requirements necessary to receive an offer. Working with your supervisor to clearly articulate goals for each of these scenarios upfront will help position you for success.

3) Work Smart

Succeeding in an MBA internship is not just about working hard. Most interns will work as hard as they can to try to receive a full-time offer.  However, working hard is not enough to secure an offer; you must also work efficiently and in line with cultural norms at your firm.

4) Ask For Feedback

The best way to work smart is to make sure you are executing your deliverables in the proper fashion. By creating a feedback loop, with your supervisor, where open lines of communication exist concerning your performance, you can ensure that you are meeting all of the firm’s expectations. Some internship programs have structured feedback baked into the assessment process. Others internship programs are more informal. Identify which type fits your internship program and make sure you are leveraging the value of feedback to excel in your summer internship.

Follow these four tips and your full-time offer will be in your hands before you know it!

Thinking of going to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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3 Ways to Stay Calm in the Chaos of Campus Life [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2015, 17:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 3 Ways to Stay Calm in the Chaos of Campus Life
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You’re trying to organize your calendar. You have a Spanish Club meeting at 4pm. Happy hour at 6pm. Then you have to come home and pack for your girls trip over the weekend… Your roommate keeps talking about how she bombed her organic chem exam. She keep repeating herself, so head into the kitchen for some peace and quiet. Suddenly you see a mound of dishes…

You want to pull your hair out.

Adjusting to college life can be complicated from the social aspect, to coursework, to extracurriculars. It’s easy to become overwhelmed or burned out. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you acclimate to campus life:

1. BALANCE. Sometimes becoming involved on campus and handling coursework can be challenging. Be sure to keep your “eye on the prize” as our expert SAT instructor, Courtney Tran, says. You are in college to broaden your educational background and become a scholar in your major of choice. Focus on your academics before jumping into campus clubs and events. Once you have a hold on your coursework and studies, then start to explore involvement with student organizations. Easing into this transition will give you the ability to know what you can and cannot take on while still maintaining that high GPA you need for your scholarship. It is helpful to start small when you begin to participate in clubs; but once you are ready for more – speak up! If you have found that “balance” of academics and activities, reach out to Directors of your student organizations and express you are interested in a leadership role.

2. BE MINDFUL. Another way to assist with keeping calm in campus life is to take time for yourself. You committed to having a movie night with your new BFF from Anthropology class, but you haven’t been to your dorm room in 4 days straight! Postpone these plans and have an evening to yourself. Go to a yoga class, plan an hike, start reading that new fiction book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf. Whatever gives you sense of peace, be sure to do some sort of personal activity once a week. Maybe you find solace in spending 3 hours playing Assassins Creed. Perhaps it is going for a long run. Whatever it may be, this time away from the social and studious aspects of life will give you the necessary tools to stay in touch with yourself and be mindful of what you need personally to continue to excel in college.

3. EXPLORE. It is helpful to take yourself out of the collegiate lifestyle to realize… there is a world outside of college! We often become so enthralled and captivated in our new campus setting, we forget to go beyond the dining hall and dorms. Be sure to explore your new surroundings. This will help pull you out of the chaos of college life and help you to stay grounded. If you’re attending school at Stanford, look up art shows, check out museums, or visit San Francisco and eat at that Thai restaurant with 376 Yelp reviews. If you’re in Boston, push the boundaries and go outside of Cambridge. Explore state parks or neighboring cities. Find the new coffee shop and opt to study there for an afternoon rather than the same on-campus Starbucks that you frequent. Look for spots that aren’t associated with your university. This will keep you cognizant of the world. Embrace your college town beyond it’s “college town” reputation.

The first year of college is trying, transitional, and triumphant. Remember to stay “cool” while attending school so to find balance in social and academic success. Best of luck on you college applications!

Need some AP help or still have questions about college admissions?  Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

By Shay Davis

 
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4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Second Year of Business School [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2015, 17:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Second Year of Business School
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You’ve survived the 1st year of business school – congrats! Memories of those challenging core classes, long nights preparing for case interviews and student led conference feel distant in your mind. You didn’t think you would make it through that summer internship from hell but you managed and now return to campus with an offer in hand and your entire 2nd year in front of you.

For many, your 2nd year of business school will be more relaxing and less stressful, especially if you have an offer in hand. So how do you make the most of your final year in business school? Follow these tips below to ensure a productive last year on campus.

Skill Development

Remember why you are at business school! Your 2nd year is a great time to really focus on any remaining gaps in your business training. For some, its functional, where specific areas like leadership, teamwork, and creativity need to be refined. For others, industry knowledge gaps in areas like finance or marketing are key to ensuring success in future professional endeavors. By targeting these gaps with applicable coursework you can leave business school with a polished professional skill set.

Career

If you have secured a job in advance of your second year, your remaining time on campus is the perfect opportunity to prep for your future career. Engaging in specific training for programs like PowerPoint or Excel can help you hit the ground running on your first day in the office. It is also important to continue to stay abreast of the latest happenings within your industry and firm. Most employers will maintain contact with you throughout your 2nd year and will sometimes connect you with current employees. Remain impressive in all of these discussions to continue developing your reputation within the firm.

If you were unable to secure a full-time offer after your summer internship, there is nothing to worry about. Many 2nd year students, even those with full-time offers will be recruiting as well. Recruiting should be a key focus if you’re still looking. The earlier you are able to wrap up recruiting, the faster you can switch your focus to other more enjoyable areas of your 2nd year experience.

Relationship Building

I avoided using the term networking here because these relationships are exclusively focused on developing stronger bonds with your classmates. These relationships should not be focused simply on career related items but instead on cultivating long lasting relationships. One of the greatest benefits of business school is the vast amount of connections that can stem from your relationship with the university. Take the time during your 2nd year to develop these relationships through student clubs, dinners, trips, and social outings.

Travel

Finally, make sure to travel! When else will you have all of this free time to travel the world and create timeless memories? Once you start your full time job, the ability to travel for weeks on end becomes more and more unlikely, so enjoy the flexibility while you can.

Your 2nd year of business school should be a wonderful time as you close out one of the most transformative experience of your life. Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you and cap off your time in business school the right way.

Thinking of going to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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A Simple Shortcut to Help You on the Quantitative Section of the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2015, 09:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: A Simple Shortcut to Help You on the Quantitative Section of the GMAT
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There are certain strategies that we all know, and yet, for whatever reason, sometimes hesitate to use during the exam. Some students are unusually skilled in algebra, for example, and so when we discuss the option of picking numbers, they dutifully nod and decide that this approach isn’t for them, that picking numbers is an unsatisfying shortcut that robs them of the opportunity to display their algebraic virtuosity.

The problem with this line of thinking is that our goal on the test isn’t simply to answer the questions correctly, but to do them within the confines of a challenging time constraint. So while it might feel more satisfying for the quantitatively-inclined to solve a complicated system of equations than it would feel to use a strategy, a strictly algebraic approach can be counterproductive, even if done correctly.

Take this Official Guide* question, for example:

During a trip, Francine traveled x percent of the total distance at an average speed of 40 miles per hour and the rest of the distance at an average speed of 60 miles per hour. In terms of x, what was Francine’s average speed for the entire trip?

A. (1800 – x) /2

B. (x + 60) /2

C. (300 – x ) / 5

D. 600 / (115 – x )

E. 12,000 / ( x + 200)

Here’s what happens if we do this algebraically: let’s say that the total distance traveled is ‘D.’ If x% of the trip is spent traveling 40mph, then this distance can be represented as (x/100)*D. This means that the remaining distance, during which Francine will be traveling at 60mph, will be [1 – (x/100)]*D.

Here’s what this will look like in a standard rate table:

R
T
D

Part 1
40
[(x/100) * D]/40
(x/100) * D

Part 2
60
[[1 – (x/100)]*D]/60
[1 – (x/100)]*D

Total

Ugh
D

 

Well, good luck. Incidentally, this is how the Official Guide solves this question in their explanations. This approach will get you to the answer. But it will likely be difficult and time-consuming.

So rather than suffer through the brutal algebra required above, we can pick numbers. I always appreciate symmetry in my math problems, so let’s say that Francine went the same distance at 40mph as she did at 60mph. If this is the case, then she went 50% of the distance at 40mph, and x = 50.

Next, we can pick any distance we like for both parts of the trip. To make the arithmetic as simple as possible, let’s pick a number that’s a multiple of both 40 and 60. 120 will work nicely. Now our table will look like this:

R
T
D

Part 1
40

120

Part 2
60

120

Total

 

Life is much improved. We can see that Francine spent 3 hours going 40mph and 2 hours going 60mph, so now we can fill in the rest of the table:

R
T
D

Part 1
40
2
120

Part 2
60
3
120

Total
R
5
240

 

Solving for R, we get R*5 = 240. R = 48.

Not so bad. So we know that if x = 50, the average rate should be 48. Now all we have to do is plug 50 in place of ‘x’ in all the answer choices, and once we get to 48, we’ll have our answer.

Before we proceed, let’s think about this from the perspective of the question-writer for a moment. If we were trying to make this question more challenging, where would we put the correct answer? Considering that the average test-taker will start with A and work her way down, it makes sense to put the correct answer towards the bottom of our options, as this will require more work for the test-taker. Let’s get around this by starting with E and working our way up.

E. 12,000 / (x + 200)

Substituting 50 in place of ‘x’ we get:

12,000 / 250

Rather than doing long division, I’ll rewrite 12,000 as 12*1000 to get

12*1000/250

That becomes 12 * 4 = 48. That’s what we want. We’re done. The answer is E.

Takeaway: There are no style points on the GMAT. We don’t want the approach that would most impress our fellow test-takers, we want the approach that gets us the right answer in the shortest amount of time. Percent questions that involve variables are excellent opportunities for simplifying matters by picking numbers.

Moreover, when we find ourselves in a situation that requires testing the answer choices, we want to remember that the problem will be more challenging if the correct answer is D or E, so while this won’t always be true, it is the case often enough that it’s beneficial to start by testing E and systematically working our way up. As soon as we have our answer, we’re finished. We can save the impressive mathematical flourishes for our finance classes.

*Official Guide question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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SAT Tip of the Week: 3 Ways You Should Study for the Essay [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: 3 Ways You Should Study for the Essay
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For many hopeful college applicants, the essay can feel like one of the most stressful portions of the SAT. It is not simply that it is the first section of the SAT, which is certainly stressful, or that so little time is allotted to complete the essay, another legitimate concern, but also that there is no way to know the question that will be posed and thus no way to know if the right example will pop into the brain of the nervous test taker while he or she is taking the test. These are all valid concerns for all the college hopefuls out there, but all of these concerns can be addressed by studying for the essay in the right way, and yes, you can study for the essay! Here are three tactics that can help alleviate some of the stress of this section and prepare students to rock the SAT essay.

1. Study Potential Examples

The idea of preparing examples for an unknown prompt is baffling to many students, but it is absolutely true that students can have examples prepared in advance of the test. The SAT tends to ask very general questions. It would be out of character for the SAT pose a prompt like, “What are the strongest ways to increase the market-share of a digital product using open-source platforms?” I’m sure that this is an important question to someone, but there is no way to ensure that all high school students have been exposed to the necessary information to answer this question.

The SAT is NOT looking for the single correct answer, they are looking to see if students are capable of making an argument in writing. The SAT, therefore, asks very general questions that can be addressed by a number of different examples. An example of a potential SAT question is something more like, “Is it necessary for people to sacrifice individual wants for the group to succeed?” The general nature of this question allows it to be addressed in varied ways. Most books, historical movements, or current events, which are the best examples to use to support a thesis on the SAT, are complex and contain at least one aspect that can be used make a general argument. Pick ten of your favorite books, historical figures or movements, or recent events and study them in detail. World War II is one that I have used, and it can be applied to nearly every SAT question I have ever encountered. In the above example, the sacrifice of individual soldiers, the rationing of resources for the war effort, and the use of women in the factories to produce the materials of war, which contributed to the US success in the war effort, show how individual sacrifice is necessary for the success of the group. I would fancy up my wording a little bit, but that is all the information I need for an entire paragraph of my essay. The test makers get that this essay must be completed in 25 minutes, so they are not looking for Shakespeare. If a student can pick an example that is on topic and say HOW it supports the thesis, he or she is already doing ninety percent of what they need to.

 2. Time Your Practice

The essay is supposed to be completed in 25 minutes, which is significantly less time than many students are used to. It is important for a student to get a feel for what 25 minutes is so that he or she does not get overwhelmed on the day of the test. Though it doesn’t sound like a lot of time, 25 minutes is plenty of time to accomplish the task of writing a simple argumentative essay, especially since the examples are already primed and ready to go. The real benefit of doing timed practice is that it teaches students not to get too bogged down with one particular paragraph or idea. Always err on the side of clarity over style. As long as the argument is clearly supporting the thesis, the essay will be in a good place. Don’t be afraid to state explicitly, “ this [example] clearly demonstrates [thesis].”

 3. Make An Essay Template

This is the real key to preparing for the essay. The essential make up of a five paragraph essay is simple. There is an introduction which presents the topic, states the thesis, acknowledges the opposition, and lays out how the essay will argue its point of view. There are three body paragraphs which use examples to support the thesis. Finally, there is a conclusion which restates the thesis and briefly reminds the reader what it has just read. This is all a five paragraph essay is! Because it is so formulaic in its structure, and because the topics are always essentially taking a side on some issue, the majority of the essay can be “written” beforehand in the form of a template. By plugging in this formula, it is easy to essentially create a template for what to say. Here is an example introduction using a template (*Note: the function of the sentence within the introduction is in (), and the information to be added is in []):

“The notion that [Prompt] has been demonstrated in numerous contexts to be [true/false] (Thesis). Though there are some who would argue that [whatever opposition might say], this perspective does not adequately reflect the intricacies and complexities of [topic] (Acknowledgment of opposition). ([General statement about why topic is important or why thesis is true]). Three demonstrations of [thesis] are [Example One], [Example Two], and [Example Three] (How Thesis Will Be Defended).”

The entire essay can essentially be sketched out in advance in the same way as above. By determining the structure in advance, more time can be dedicated to showing how the examples demonstrate the thesis.

By using these techniques to study for the SAT essay, students can virtually guarantee that in the moment of taking the SAT they will be able to focus all their brain power on clearly showing how the prepared examples show their thesis and not get caught up in the paralysis caused by stress. Happy studying test takers!

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminarevery few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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Exploit the Gap in Logic on Critical Reasoning GMAT Questions [#permalink]

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New post 09 Apr 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Exploit the Gap in Logic on Critical Reasoning GMAT Questions
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When dealing with strengthen or weaken Critical Reasoning questions, it’s important to have a rough idea of what the correct answer should look like. This process is often called “predicting” the correct answer, and it helps tremendously to avoid tempting but incorrect answer choices. It’s important to note that you won’t always be able to guess the exact answer choice provided, but you can get within the ballpark. After all, the correct answer is something that will hinge on the inevitable disconnect between the conclusion stated and the evidence provided in the passage.

Let’s focus on this disconnect first. If the GMAT provided you airtight arguments that were absolutely perfect, there would be no simple way to strengthen or weaken them. As such, the arguments provided inevitably have some kind of gap in logic contained between the conclusion and the evidence that theoretically supports that conclusion. Your goal is to identify that gap and either attempt to seal it up (strengthen) or rip it apart (weaken).

Of course, a dozen different answers could all weaken the same conclusion, so it’s not always possible to predict the exact answer ahead of time. However, all the answers that weaken the conclusion stem from the same gap (not banana republic) in logic, whereby the evidence provided does not quite support the conclusion stated. If you can identify the conclusion and the gap in logic, you tend to do quite well on these types of questions.

Let’s look at an example to illustrate this point:

Researchers have recently discovered that approximately 70% of restaurant lemon wedges they studied were contaminated with harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and fungal pathogens. The researchers looked at numerous different restaurants in different regions of the country. Most of the organisms had the potential to cause infectious disease. For that reason, people should not order lemon wedges with their drinks.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion above?

A. The researchers could not determine why or how the microbial contamination occurred on the lemon wedges.

B. The researchers failed to investigate contamination of restaurant lime wedges by harmful microorganisms.

C. The researchers found that people who ordered the lemon wedges at restaurants were equally likely to contact the diseases caused by the discovered bacteria as were people who did not order lemon wedges.

D. Health laws require lemons to be handled with gloves or tongs, but the common practice for waiters and waitresses is to handle them with their bare hands.

E. Many factors affect the chance of an individual contracting a disease by coming into contact with bacteria that have nothing to do with lemons. These factors include things such as health and age of the individual, as well as the status of their immune system.

There is a lot of text to review for this question, so let’s begin by identifying the conclusion. (Pauses an appropriate amount of time for review). The final sentence “For that reason, people should not order lemon wedges with their drinks” is the conclusion. In fact, the first three words can be removed, as they simply point to the fact that everything previous to that sentence is evidence to back up the ultimate conclusion. The passage concludes that we should not order lemon wedges (Antilles).

Let’s examine the evidence provided to back this up: 70% of the wedges observed are contaminated, and this contamination can lead to infectious diseases. Furthermore, the study was conducted in various locations across the country. This means we can’t weaken the conclusion by simply going two towns over. Apart from that, the sky’s the limit.

At first blush, this passage seems like a classic causation/correlation problem. The majority of lemon wedges are contaminated, so we shouldn’t order the lemon wedges in order to avoid falling ill. Well what if something else (say the water) was contaminated, leading to tainted lemon wedges. Then we’d avoid the wedges without avoiding the underlying cause of the diseases. In the general sense, avoiding the lemon wedges may not have the desired effect because there is nothing guaranteeing that it is solely the wedges that cause infectious diseases.

Now let’s look at the answer choices, keeping in mind that the correct answer choice should weaken the conclusion that the wedges are somehow responsible for any potential illness.

Answer choice A, “the researchers could not determine why or how the microbial contamination occurred on the lemon wedges”, doesn’t help in any real way. Just because you don’t understand how a virus works doesn’t make it any less dangerous to you (e.g. the Walking Dead). The problem is still the lemon wedges, even if no one is sure why. This answer choice can be eliminated.

Answer choice B, “the researchers failed to investigate contamination of restaurant lime wedges by harmful microorganisms” is quite obviously out of scope. Lime wedges have very little to do with lemon wedges (despite what Sprite says), so the cleanliness of the lime wedges is irrelevant to avoiding the lemon wedges. It is possible to be tempted by this answer choice if you conflate lemon with lime, especially if you’re tired, but a thorough analysis convincingly knocks this choice out.

Answer choice C, “the researchers found that people who ordered the lemon wedges at restaurants were equally likely to contact the diseases caused by the discovered bacteria as were people who did not order lemon wedges” is spot on. We had predicted that the problem was about lemon wedges being correlated to infectious disease without necessarily causing them. This answer choice tells us that people who didn’t order the lemon wedges were exactly as likely to fall sick as those who did. Therefore, avoiding the lemon wedges (the conclusion) will have no effect on your likelihood of feeling sick. This will be the correct answer, but we should look through the remaining two choices nonetheless.

Answer choice D, “health laws require lemons to be handled with gloves or tongs, but the common practice for waiters and waitresses is to handle them with their bare hands.” is almost certainly true, but does not weaken the conclusion. Newsflash: Not everyone follows health code guidelines. (I’ve seen Ratatouille). If anything, knowing such an uncouth practice is commonplace would strengthen the idea of not ordering lemon wedges. Answer choice D is incorrect, as our goal is to weaken the conclusion.

Finally, answer choice E, “Many factors affect the chance of an individual contracting a disease by coming into contact with bacteria that have nothing to do with lemons. These factors include things such as health and age of the individual, as well as the status of their immune system” is also true, but orthogonal to the issue of lemon wedges. Perhaps you could claim that healthy people have fewer risks in ordering lemon wedges, but still it would be a health risk. This answer does not weaken the conclusion in any way, and must therefore be discarded as well.

As indicated before, your prediction might not match exactly the correct answer choice, but it will exploit the gap in logic between the conclusion and the evidence. There will inevitably be (at least) one disconnect between the conclusion and the supporting evidence presented, your goal is to identify and elaborate upon that gap. If you successfully do that on test day, you can go toast your score with a celebratory drink, lemon wedges and all.

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Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam.  After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since.
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GMAT Tip of the Week: Writing the AWA Without Engaging Your Brain [#permalink]

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FROM Veritas Prep Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Writing the AWA Without Engaging Your Brain
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Writing a Friday GMAT Tip of the Week post on a tight deadline is a lot like writing the AWA essay in 30 minutes.

30 minutes is not a lot of time, many say, and because an effective essay needs to be well-organized and well-written it is therefore impossible to write a 30-minute essay.

Let’s discuss the extent to which we disagree with that conclusion, in classic AWA style.

In the first line of a recent blog post, the author claimed that writing an effective AWA essay in 30 minutes was impossible. That argument certainly has at least some merit; after all, an effective essay needs to show the reader that it’s well-written and well-organized. But this argument is fundamentally flawed, most notably because the essay doesn’t need to “be” well-written as much as it needs to “appear” well-written. In the paragraphs that follow, I will demonstrate that the conclusion is flawed, and that it’s perfectly possible to write an effective AWA essay in 30 minutes or less.

Most conspicuously, the author leans on the 30-minute limit for writing the AWA essay, when in fact the 30 minutes only applies to the amount of time that the examinee spends actually typing at the test center. In fact, much of the writing can be accomplished well beforehand if the examinee chooses paragraph and sentence structures ahead of time. For this paragraph, as an example, the transition “most conspicuously” and the decision to refute that claim with “in fact” were made long before I ever stopped to type. So while the argument has merit that you only have 30 minutes to TYPE the essay, you actually have weeks and months to have the general outline written in your mind so that you don’t have to write it all from scratch.

Furthermore, the author claims that the essay has to be well-written. While that’s an ideal, it’s not a necessity; if you’ve followed this post thus far you’ve undoubtedly seen a number of organizational cues beginning and then transitioning within each paragraph. However, once a paragraph’s point has been established the reader is likely to follow the point even if it’s a hair out of scope. Does this sentence add value? Maybe not, but since the essay is so well-organized the reader will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Moreover, while the author is correct that 30 minutes isn’t a lot of time, he assumes that it’s not sufficient time to write something actually well-written. Since the AWA is a formulaic essay – like this one, you’ll be criticizing an argument that simply isn’t sound – you can be well-prepared for the format even if you don’t see the prompt ahead of time. Knowing that you’ll spend 2-3 minutes finding three flaws in the argument, then plug those flaws into a template like this, you have the blueprint already in place for how to spend that time effectively. Therefore, it really is possible to write a well-written AWA in under 30 minutes.

As discussed above, the author’s insistence that 30 minutes is not enough time to write an effective AWA essay lacks the proper logical structure to be true. The AWA isn’t limited to 30 minutes overall, and if you’ve prepared ahead of time the 30 minutes you do have can go to very, very good use. How do I know? This blog post here took just under 17 minutes…

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By Brian Galvin
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I'm Waitlisted: Now What? [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2015, 10:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: I'm Waitlisted: Now What?
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Hooray!  Admissions decisions have arrived!!

Unfortunately, instead of a clear decision, you find out that you have been waitlisted.  Your friends may know exactly where they will be attending college in the Fall or at least the couple of schools they are deciding between, but you are stuck in limbo.

So what can you do? If you are on multiple college waitlists, ask yourself the questions below:

1. Analyze your acceptances and the schools where you were waitlisted.  Of all of the schools, which school is your top choice where you would be happy to attend?

2. If your top choice college (identified in the first question) accepted you, don’t worry about the waitlist!  Remember, you have until May 1st to submit your intent to enroll and any related initial deposits.

3. If your top choice school put you on the waitlist, there are a couple of steps you can take to show them that you are serious about attending.

  • Do you have any new information you can provide the college that happened after you submitted your application?  Do you have new grades, honors, or awards?  For example, did your Aca Deca team make the semi-finals?  Did you get a promotion at your job?  Did you get that A in AP Calculus after working really hard to raise it from a C?
  • Is there another teacher who can write a recommendation on your behalf?  This recommendation should sing your praises and be able to provide the college with information about why they would be missing out if they passed up on admitting you as a student.
Some notes of caution:

  • Do not pester the admissions officer or admissions office.  This means do not call them every day.  Do not send multiple emails to them every day.  If you have a lot of questions, pick up the phone and call the admissions office.  Make sure you have all of your questions written down so that you’re not wasting the admissions office’s time.
  • Do not inundate the admissions office with EVERYTHING that you have done in the past several months.  They already know about the activities and accomplishments you outlined in your application so there is no need to provide that information to them again.  Select the most important accomplishments that will set you apart from other waitlisted applicants.
  • Have a back-up plan.  The number of students on any given waitlist will far outnumber the number of spots they have for admission.  What will you do if you don’t get off the waitlist? Waitlist decisions can come as late as the early Fall, but you don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t have a choice when it comes to college.  Decide whether you want to put a deposit down at a college you would attend if you do not get off the waitlist or if you will be enrolling in a community college and applying to transfer down the line.  The point is, you never know what will happen so be prepared for any scenario!
Still have waitlisted or college admissions questions? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

By Jennifer Sohn Lim,Assistant Director of Admissions at Veritas Prep.
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How to Solve Advanced Compound Interest Questions on the GMAT [#permalink]

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FROM Veritas Prep Blog: How to Solve Advanced Compound Interest Questions on the GMAT
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We have discussed simple and compound interest in a previous post.

We saw that simple and compound interest (compounded annually) in the first year is the same. In the second year, the only difference is that in compound interest, you earn interest on previous year’s interest too. Hence, the total two year interest in compound interest exceeds the two year interest in case of simple interest by an amount which is interest on year 1 interest.

So a question such as this one is very simple to solve:

Question 1: Bob invested one half of his savings in a bond that paid simple interest for 2 years and received $550 as interest. He invested the remaining in a bond that paid compound interest (compounded annually) for the same 2 years at the same rate of interest and received $605 as interest. What was the annual rate of interest?

(A) 5%

(B) 10%

(C) 12%

(D) 15%

(E) 20%

Solution:

Simple Interest for two years = $550

So simple interest per year = 550/2 = 275

But in case of compound interest, you earn an extra 605 – 550 = $55

This $55 is interest earned on year 1 interest i.e. if rate of interest is R, it is

55 = R% of 275

R = 20

Answer (E)

The question is – what happens in case you have 3 years here, instead of 2? How do you solve it then? Here is a small table of the difference between simple and compound interest to help you.

Say the Principal is P and the rate of interest if R

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It gets a bit more complicated though not very hard to solve. All you need to do is solve a quadratic, which, if the values are well thought out, is fairly simple to solve. Let’s look at the same question adjusted for three years.

Question 2: Bob invested one half of his savings in a bond that paid simple interest for 3 years and received $825 as interest. He invested the remaining in a bond that paid compound interest (compounded annually) for the same 3 years at the same rate of interest and received $1001 as interest. What was the annual rate of interest?

(A) 5%

(B) 10%

(C) 12%

(D) 15%

(E) 20%

Simple Interest for three years = $825

So simple interest per year = 825/3 = $275

But in case of compound interest, you earn an extra $1001 – $825 = $176

What all is included in this extra $176? This is the extra interest earned by compounding.

This is R% of interest of Year1 + R% of total interest accumulated in Year2

This is R% of 275 + R% of (275 + 275 + R% of 275) = 176

(R/100) *[825 + (R/100)*275] = 176

Assuming R/100 = x to make the equation easier,

275x^2 + 825x – 176 = 0

25x^2 + 75x – 16 = 0

25x^2 + 80x – 5x – 16 = 0

5x(5x + 16) – 1(5x + 16) = 0

x = 1/5 or -16/5

Ignore the negative value to get R/100 = 1/5 or R = 20

Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog!
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You & Your Major: Don’t Get Too Attached [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2015, 13:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: You & Your Major: Don’t Get Too Attached
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I absolutely love my major. I’ve been studying international relations since the end of my freshman year; two years in, it’s still my favorite field. I think it’s incredible that seven billion people, despite all their differences and disagreements, are able to coexist through governments and agreements. I love my professors, read the news religiously, and travel around the world to take political science classes from different countries’ perspectives. It’s awesome.

That being said, one of the best choices I ever made in college was taking courses outside of my major.

Originally, it was an accident; I decided to switch from political economy to political science more than halfway through the class registration process, so most of the political science courses I needed were already full. Fortunately, I had plenty of space left in my four-year class plan to take the courses I needed, so I signed up for a dance class, a physics class, and a history class to round out my schedule.

Since then, I’ve gone out of my way every semester to take a course in a new field. I know I don’t have the time time (or the academic stamina) to become an expert in each field I explore, so I take friends’ and professors’ recommendations for great intro-level courses in biology, art, anthropology, and even tennis. I don’t like every field I try—the best thing I learned from a course in philosophical history is that I don’t like philosophical history—but discovering how much I do find interesting has made the whole experiment worth it.

Today I can explain the basic science behind earthquakes, dance to jazz music without making a fool of myself, and analyze a classical painting. Many of my electives have helped me to understand my own field better; for instance, learning Chinese and perfecting my Spanish have enhanced my understanding of Asian and Latin American cultural and political current events.

Colleges list more subjects and courses than any one student will ever be able to actually take, and after graduation you’ll lose much of your access to that huge store of knowledge. Your undergraduate years are more than just a rite of passage into the working world, or a means to a higher salary; they also offer exposure to fields you’ve never heard of, or fields you never knew you’d love. At least for me, investigating those fields was more than worth the extra few hours of class.

Keep this in mind as you register for courses. Go explore!

Need more guidance in planning for college? Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation!

Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament.

 
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What to Expect During Consulting Recruiting as a First Year MBA Studen [#permalink]

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FROM Veritas Prep Blog: What to Expect During Consulting Recruiting as a First Year MBA Student
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Management consulting is one of the most popular career tracks for enterprising MBA students. In fact at some top feeder schools, this career track can represent upwards of 40% of accepted job offers. Consulting recruiting in business school is one of the most competitive and hotly contested industries for summer internships. Firms tend to only test drive a fraction of their full time hires during summer internship programs, so limited spots exist for 1st year students.

Once on-campus, interested students will be surprised at the number of other students going out for consulting. This is a common occurrence at most top feeder programs, so if a career in management consulting is really your goal this should not deter you. For many schools there is a recruiting grace period that begins once you get on-campus and extends a few weeks into your first quarter/semester. This serves to allow you some time to transition into life as a student without the pressure of recruiting. However, once this grace period is over, consulting recruiting will kick into high gear. You may receive a few introductory emails from consulting firms at first but the firm specific 1st Year Presentations is the official launch of the recruiting season.

During these presentations, consulting firms will introduce themselves to interested students in a formal setting. Depending on your program and the company, this may occur on-campus or off-campus at a hotel, restaurant or other private space. During this event you will have the chance to learn about firm values, meet consultants, sign-up for the mailing list, and view the summer internship recruiting calendar. The next phase involves you getting to know the firm and the firm getting to know you. This is primarily done through email, personal calls from working consultants, and “coffee chats” which are one on one in-person conversations. Also, firms may host events on campus through your consulting club about various topics related to working in the industry. During this process, firms will build a profile on potential recruits based on measurables like your resume and GMAT score but also your perceived fit. All of these elements will feed into who gets on the coveted interview list.

For most programs, interview season kicks off in the new year so resist the urge to get started on case prep much earlier than this. A common issue 1st Year students struggle with is getting burned out from doing too many mock interviews. Trust experienced 2nd Year students and club leadership as they should be offering organized and structured prep for you. During interview season each firm has a different process but all involve multiple rounds with junior and senior consultants testing you with both case and behavioral questions. Once you secure your offer and make a decision on what firm to spend your summer with, the recruiting process finally ends.

However, one thing you will learn about consulting recruiting is that it never really ends and after accepting the offer, and especially during your internship, you will constantly be evaluated. This can be an anxious and exhausting process so make sure to leverage your peers for support as you navigate consulting recruiting.

Thinking of going to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.
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Simplify Your Calculations on Data Sufficiency GMAT Questions [#permalink]

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FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Simplify Your Calculations on Data Sufficiency GMAT Questions
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In a previous post, I emphasized the importance of minimizing the number of variables we assign when tackling word problems in Data Sufficiency. This philosophy also works quite well when dealing with complicated geometry questions. Let’s say, for example, that you had an isosceles triangle. We know that in isosceles triangles, two sides will be equal and the angles opposite those sides will be equal to each other. Rather than call the angles ‘x,’ ‘y,’ and ‘z,’ we can designate the two equal angles as ‘x.’ Because these two angles sum to 2x, the remaining angle must be 180-2x, as the interior angles of a triangle always sum to 180.  Now we have one variable to deal with, rather than three, and this greatly simplifies any future calculations we’ll have to make.

Let’s apply this logic to an extremely challenging 700+ level Data Sufficiency question*:

We’re given the following:

Image

In the figure shown, point O is the center of the circle and points B, C, and D lie on the circle. If the segment AB is equal to the length of line segment OC, what is the degree measure of angle BAO?

  • The degree measure of angle COD is 60
  • The degree measure of angle BCO is 40
That is a complicated-looking figure. Your instinct might be that you don’t have time to draw it, but these kinds of questions will be designed specifically to thwart our intuition if we attempt to do too much work in our heads. So the first thing to do is draw the figure on our scratch pad, and mark the relationships we’re given. We’re told that segment CO is equal to AB, so we’ll designate that relationship. We’ll also call angle BAO, which we’re asked about, ‘x.’ Now we have the following:

Image

Fight the impulse to jump to the statements now. In a harder question like this, we’ll benefit from taking more time to derive additional relationships from the question stem. Psychologically, this is often a struggle for test-takers. You’re conscious of your time constraint. You want to work quickly. The trick is to trust that this pre-statement investment of time will allow you to evaluate the information provided in the statements more efficiently, ultimately saving time.

Now the name of the game is to try to label as much of this figure as we can without introducing a new variable. Notice that segments CO and BO are both radii of the circle, so we know those are equal. Our diagram now looks like this:

Image

Next, look at triangle ABO. Notice that segments AB and BO are equal. If angles opposite equal angles are equal to each other, we can then designate angle AOB as ‘x’ because it must be equal to angle BAO, as those two angles are opposite sides that are of equal length. Moreover, if the three interior angles of a triangle will sum to 180, the remaining angle, ABO, can be designated 180-2x. This gives us the following.

Image

No reason to stop here. Notice that angles ABO and CBO lie on a line. Angles that lie on a line must sum to 180. If angle ABO is 180-2x, then angle CBO must be 2x. Now we have this:

Image

Analyzing triangle CBO, we see that sides BO and CO are equal, meaning that the angles opposite those sides must be equal. So now we can label angle BCO as ‘2x.’ If angles CBO and BOC sum to 4x, the remaining angle, BOC, must then be 180-4x, so that the interior angles of the triangle will sum to 180.

Image

We’ve got enough at this point that we can very quickly evaluate our statements, However, there is one last interesting relationship. Notice that angle COD is an exterior angle of triangle CAO. An exterior angle, by definition, must be equal to the sum of the two remote interior angles. So, in this case, Angle COD is equal to the sum of angles BCO and BAO. Therefore COD = 2x + x = 3x, which I’ve circled in the figure. (Triangle CAO is outlined in blue in the figure below to more clearly demarcate the exterior angle.)

Image

That’s a lot of work. Determining all of these relationships will likely take close to two minutes. But watch how quickly we can evaluate our statements if we’ve done all of this preemptive groundwork:

Statement 1: Angle COD = 60. We’ve designated angle COD as 3x, so 3x = 60. Clearly we can solve for x. Sufficient. Eliminate BCE.

Statement 2: Angle BCO  = 40. We’ve designated angle BCO as 2x, so 2x = 40. Clearly we can solve for x. Sufficient. Answer is D.

Notice, all of the heavy lifting for this question came before we even so much as glanced at our statements.

Takeaway: For a challenging Data Sufficiency question in which you’re given a lot of information in the question stem, the best approach is to spend some time taming the complexity of the problem before examining the statements. When you work out these relationships, try to minimize the number of variables you use when doing so, as this will simplify your calculations once you’re ready to go to the statements. Most importantly, don’t do too much work in your head. There’s no need to rely on the limited bandwidth of your working memory if you have the option of putting everything into a concrete form on your scratch pad.

*GMATPrep question courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council.

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By David Goldstein, a Veritas Prep GMAT instructor based in Boston. You can find more articles by him here.
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MBA Admissions Timeline: When You Should Take the GMAT, Ask for Recomm [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2015, 14:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: MBA Admissions Timeline: When You Should Take the GMAT, Ask for Recommendations, and More
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As we are putting final touches on R3 applications, it is already time to start thinking about the next application cycle for many of you.  This is especially true if you want to apply in R1.  Deadlines that seem distant always have a way to sneak up on those who are unprepared.  To help you in the planning process, we thought it would be useful to outline what a well thought-out timeline for a successful business school application might look like.  This is written for the average applicant; some might be able to pull it off in a much shorter period (not recommended), others, such as non-traditional applicants, might need a lot more time.

For the purposes of this exercise it is useful to divide the complete application into the following streams of work:

  • Tests: GMAT or GRE, and TOEFL (for most international applicants);
  • School selection: school visits, desktop research, primary research or informational interviews with alums;
  • Online applications: essays, resume and general information;
  • Recommendations: selecting recommenders and preparing them to write amazing recommendations.
Roughly speaking, the above work streams are listed in the order they should be approached.  There is certainly some overlap between the different streams, and you should build in some flexibility in your timeline.  The best way to develop a timeline is to work backwards from admissions deadlines.  Starting with the online application, it generally takes about 3 months to complete the essays, resume (which might have to tweaked for each school) and gather all information you need to complete the online application.  For a September deadline, it means you should start brainstorming and drafting essays in early June.  It is generally a good idea to complete the resume first as it serves to create a summary of who you are and what you have achieved.

Regarding your recommenders, you should prepare them to write those amazing letters of recommendations.  Don’t just tell them which schools you applying to and send them the email with instructions.  Instead, provide them with an updated resume, relevant examples of leadership and an overview of what themes you are trying to convey in your application.  (Having started the essays and resume already you will be well prepared for this.)  This should happen about 6-8 weeks before the first deadline, or by early July for a September deadline.

School selection starts with desktop research, includes class visits (international applicants should try to attend local information sessions), as well informational interview with alumni and current students.  Be sure to check the visiting schedule well in advance, as most schools do not offer class visits around final examinations.  Try to complete these by April (after that things you run out of options).

Standardized test results serve as an important indicator of academic abilities in the Admissions Committee’s eyes.  If you are striving for admissions to a top tier b school, you should be aiming to get it around average for that school.  This means you might have to retake it more than once.  (Non-traditional applicants, including military, get a break typically.)   Your GMAT and GRE also serve to inject some realistic expectations into your short list of schools.  Hence, getting tests out of the way early is really ideal.  For a typical applicant the tests should be completed about 4 months prior to the first deadline.  For September deadlines, it means the official GMAT should be taken in April, allowing sufficient time to retake the test if necessary.

In summary, for a September deadline, here are some milestones you should try to hit in order put yourself in the best possible situation when applying to b school :

  • GMAT: complete by April for a September deadline (4 months prior);
  • School selection: finalize by June, after taking the GMAT, and extensive primary and secondary research (3-4 months before deadline);
  • Recommendations: provide recommenders with all necessary information to write amazing letters of recommendations in early July (2 months before deadline);
  • Online applications: begin essay drafts in early June (3 months before deadline), and iterate many, many times!
Want to craft a strong application? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Marcus D.  Learn more about him here, or find the expert who’s right for you here!  Visit our Team page today.
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SAT Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Pace Yourself to a 2400 [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 09:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Pace Yourself to a 2400
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As a young test taker I remember the terror of looking up at a clock and realizing that I was only halfway through a sixty question exam while my time had dwindled to a measly ten minutes. Many adults still have stress dreams in which they are running out of time on a timed test (how unfortunate that so many cannot even escape this dread in their sleep!) The SAT is a beast of a timed test and many students have a hard time determining how to manage their time while taking this exam. While the timed nature of the test is daunting, there are a few concrete steps that can be taken to avoid a panic attack when the words “five minutes remaining” are uttered on test day.

1. Practice Real SAT Sections With A Timer

This may feel like an obvious suggestion, but it is surprising how many students go in to sit for the SAT having never actually timed themselves on any full SAT sections. A person can do the SAT question of the day until they are blue in the face, but that does not adequately prepare a student for the realities of the SAT (its worth noting that doing anything until a person is actually blue in the face may necessitate medical attention). Being prepared for the SAT is imperative to being able to use time effectively on the test day, and part of preparation is knowing what twenty five minutes feels like and what spending too much time on one question feels like. There is no substitute for practice.

2. Brainstorm for 1-3 Minutes Then Plug In Specifics To An Essay Template

The time spent figuring out how to structure an essay on the SAT is time wasted. This may sound counter intuitive as structure is a big part of what the SAT graders are evaluating, but it is this reason exactly that makes the structure of the essay the first thing that can be systematized and recycled. Instead, use a little time to brainstorm examples and allow the structure to be generated ahead of time. Essentially all a brainstorm consists of is the position on the question and the examples that will be used in the argument. For example, if the SAT essay question were, “Is failure necessary for growth?” An outline could be as simple as this

  • Failure is necessary for growth
  • ex. 1 Steve Jobs was asked to leave Apple, worked on Pixar and other companies, came back to apple a better, more creative businessman
  • ex. 2 Columbus asked many monarchs for resources to go to new world, was forced be persistent and his persistence lead to discovery
  • ex. 3 Albert Einstein was potentially dyslexic and had trouble reading, left school at 15 an failed the entrance exam to technical school, but studied on his own to became one of the most influential physicists of all time
Once this work is done, the essay is practically written. All a student must do is plug in these specifics to the general argumentative essay template that they generate ahead of time and the essay quickly writes itself. Be sure to keep an eye on the clock in this section. Should you be running out of time, forgo the third example and get to the conclusion so you have all the pieces the graders are looking for (this should only be done as a last resort).

3. Answer Reading Questions As You Read

One of the biggest problems with time management on the reading section is the time taken to read a passage multiple times. Students often read a passage once just to get the gist of it, then go back to read it again to answer all the line specific questions. This is a waste of time. The line specific questions are in chronological order and can be answered as the reader is reading the essay. Simply read the question, mark the lines the question is referring to in the test booklet, read until a few sentences past the marked lines, and, finally, attempt to answer the question (thinking of your own answer first, of course, then looking at the answer choices). This technique alone can save a LOT of time come test day. It still may be that a student will need to ponder over an answer, but the answer is in the passage so learning to access the passage as a student is answering questions not only increases time, but also increases the student’s chances of choosing the correct answer.

4. Skip Math Questions Where The Steps Are Unclear IMMEDIATELY

For most students who wish to achieve at the highest level, all questions will need to be attempted, but should a student encounter a question where the way to answer the question is unclear, the student should skip the question immediately and come back to it later. The SAT gives equal weight to every question, so spending six minutes on one question and coming up with no answer not only hurts a student on that question, but also on every question that follows. A student should attempt to answer every question that they can, so if the student does not even get to four questions at the end of a section , they have no way of knowing if they would have been able to more easily answer one of the final questions. The test is in order of difficulty, but difficulty is relative. What’s hard for one person might be simple for another, so do not waste time being baffled by a question. Be baffled, then move on quickly.

*Bonus Tip: If you have answered all the questions that you feel you can approach easily, go to the questions where you didn’t know how to start and do SOMETHING. Write out formulas, label givens, eliminate answer choices that don’t make sense. Sometimes, doing the first step will lead to others and an impossible question can become quite simple.

5. Bubble Page By Page And Do NOT Focus On The Time

These are general test taking guidelines, but are very useful. Rather than bubbling in every question as you answer it, a process that requires a lot of transferring of attention from the test booklet to the answer sheet, answer all the questions on a page then turn to the answer sheet and bubble in all the appropriate answers. This has the added bonus of making it harder to get off by one question on the answer sheet because students tend to pay more attention to the number of the question when utilizing this technique. Also, do not focus on the time. A little glance at the clock is fine, but you should be so used to the timing of the test that you feel whether or not you are spending too long on a question. If you realize that you are running out of time, do not panic. Simply do your best to complete the questions you can with accuracy (though it wouldn’t hurt to glance at the questions you have left and attempt those that seem possible to complete quickly). Perhaps you will get one or two more questions correct, instead of getting all the remaining questions wrong because you rushed through them.

The biggest thing a student can do on the day of the test to make sure that they are pacing themselves properly is to practice often and to breathe! The stress of the day can make people jittery and poorly focused, but preparation and breathing help to eliminate these problems and prepare you to to rock the SAT. So get out that timer and start practicing! Happy Studying!

Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminarevery few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

David Greenslade is a Veritas Prep SAT instructor based in New York. His passion for education began while tutoring students in underrepresented areas during his time at the University of North Carolina. After receiving a degree in Biology, he studied language in China and then moved to New York where he teaches SAT prep and participates in improv comedy. Read more of his articles here, including How I Scored in the 99th Percentile and How to Effectively Study for the SAT.
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The Questions You Should Ask in Your MBA Interview [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2015, 12:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: The Questions You Should Ask in Your MBA Interview
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One of the most important portions of a business school interview (or any interview really) is the time they give you, usually at the end, to ask any questions you may have.  Of course you should be prepared by then with thoughtful queries about the program, including specifics on specialty academic areas of interest (think: healthcare or energy tracks, etc.), activities and clubs, ratings, rankings, professors, etc., but in order to differentiate yourself and avoid asking the same exact questions everyone else does, it makes sense to tilt these questions towards your personal needs.

Try to apply the question to something which is unique to your situation, skill-set or interests.  If you can connect the questions you ask them to your unique story, you will be taking a step towards differentiation from others.  The bonus is, you are also leveraging this time to offer up even more evidence for your admission.

Here’s another hint:  people like to talk about themselves, so have at least one question that allows them to share their opinion about, and not necessarily their knowledge about the program. You don’t want to put them on the spot by asking specifics such as, “How has the male/female ratio changed over the past five years?” or “How many countries are represented in your class?”  People don’t like to be asked questions they don’t know, and doing so may undermine the rapport you have built with them thus far.  Asking them about how they feel about the school or their reasons for choosing the program or specific courses or clubs is a much safer route.

I would also avoid questions which sound too much like something they would have asked you, such as, “If you could change one thing about the program, what would it be?” Or, “What would your colleagues say about you as a teammate?”  You get the idea—you are not interviewing them, but rather using what little time you have left to get some useful information and more importantly, tell them something more about yourself.

As I have said before, feel free to have your questions on a notepad which you prepared in advance.

This is a good idea for two reasons:

1) After 45 minutes of answering questions, your adrenaline may blank out your memory for the questions you had planned to ask—awkward!

2) Having thoughtfully prepared questions in advance will demonstrate preparedness and show you are thorough.

Try to have more questions written down than you think you will need.  There’s nothing worse than leaving dead air at the end that you otherwise could have used to keep the conversation going.  Also, don’t ask them if they think you’ll be accepted or how you look compared to other candidates they are seeing.  Asking if they see any weaknesses in your profile is fine, just don’t make it seem like you are trying to get privileged information about your competition.

One final thing—this portion of the interview is also your last chance to present any evidence for your candidacy which was not covered adequately in the interview thus far, so you might consider using this time to discuss something you want them to know about you which you think might make a difference but didn’t come up during the regular interview.  If you were well prepared coming in, you will know the top three or four points you wanted to make sure they knew about you by the time you finished the interview, so don’t leave the room until those things have all been conveyed.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter.

Bryant Michaels has over 25 years of professional post undergraduate experience in the entertainment industry as well as on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs. He served on the admissions committee at the Fuqua School of Business where he received his MBA and now works part time in retirement for a top tier business school. He has been consulting with Veritas Prep clients for the past six admissions seasons. See more of his articles here.
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Start from the Beginning of GMAT Questions to Understand the Pattern [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2015, 10:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Start from the Beginning of GMAT Questions to Understand the Pattern
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If you’ve ever walked into a conversation that was in progress, you know how hard it can be to figure out what’s going on without starting at the beginning. People often timidly ask “What are we talking about?” or “Could you please start over?” in such situations. This is because being parachuted into an ongoing conversation can be quite disorienting.

Most of the time, you can eventually figure out what’s happening, but sometimes you missed an important point near the beginning and just can’t understand the situation. As frustrating as this situation may seem, imagine if, at the end of the conversation, everyone turned to you and asked you to give your detailed opinion on the debate!

On the GMAT, you will frequently be parachuted into a situation that is already in progress. This type of scenario discombobulates most people, because we’re used to a gradual progression starting from the beginning. Since you won’t be at the beginning, you will need to figure out the beginning and the end given what you know from your position in the middle. (In essence, you’re Malcolm). You may not immediately know how to solve the issue, but you can deduce the beginning by seeing where you are in the middle and attempting to reverse engineer the process.

In many ways, this is similar to the dichotomy between multiplication and division. They are, in effect, the exact same operation (multiplying by 2 is dividing by ½ and vice versa). However, people tend to find multiplication easier because you’re going forward. Going backwards is typically harder, in no small part because your brain is not used to going in that (one) direction. When you do something a hundred times a day, it becomes second nature. If you start something for the first time on the GMAT, it may seem almost impossible to solve.

Let’s look at an example of a problem that starts you off in the middle of the action:

A term an is called a cusp of a sequence if an is an integer but an+1 is not an integer. If a5 is a cusp of the sequence a1, a2,…,an,… in which a1 = k and an = -2(an-1 / 3) for all n >1, then k could be equal to:

  • 3
  • 16
  • 108
  • 162
  • 243
Sequences are excellent examples of this parachuting phenomenon because you typically need to have the previous entry in order to find the next element (like a scavenger hunt!). If you find a3, you should be able to find a4. But if you have a4, it’s a lot harder to identify a3. Since you tend to have the pattern, you have to start at the beginning to uncover the progression.

This particular sequence is made easier if you manipulate the algebra a little to get a more manageable form. Instead of the way the sequence is defined, change the pattern to an = -2/3 an-1. This small change highlights the fact that the new element is just the old element multiplied by -2/3. And since the question hinges on when the sequence changes from integers to non-integers, it’s really the denominator that will be of interest to us.

Since this is fairly abstract, let’s go through plugging in answer choice A to see what happens to the series. If k = 3, then the second element of the series would be -2/3 (3). This gives us just -2, and is still an integer. However, the next iteration, a3, would call for -2/3 (-2), which is 4/3, and not an integer. Indeed, this sequence is just calling for us to continually divide by 3, and then determine when the result will no longer be an integer. Clearly, answer choice A won’t be the right choice, as we just found that a3 was not an integer, and thus a2 would be the “cusp” as defined in the question.

Now, using the brute force approach of plugging in each answer choice will eventually yield the correct answer, but it can be tedious and time-consuming. A more logical approach would involve determining that we need a number that has many 3’s in its prime factors. Every time we divide by 3, we will get another integer, provided that we still have 3’s in the numerator. Once we’re left with a number that is not a multiple of 3, the sequence will spit out a non-integer, and the previous number will be the cusp.  Using the prime factorization of the four remaining answer choices, we get:

16 = 2^4

108 = 2 * 54 –) 2 * 2 * 27 –) 2^2 * 3^3

162 = 2 * 81 –) 2 * 3 * 27 –) 2 * 3^4

243 = 3 * 81 –) 3^5

So as we can see, one answer choice has three 3’s, the other has four and the final one has five (the seventh would be Furious). How many 3s do we actually need? Well if the fifth one must be the cusp, then we need to divide by 3 four separate times to get rid of all the 3s. After that, the fifth element will be an integer (also, an action movie), and the sixth element will be a non-integer. Since answer choice D is our educated guess, let’s double check our answer by executing the sequence on 162.

A1 = 162

A2 = -2/3 (162) = -108

A3 = -2/3 (-108) = 72

A4 = -2/3 (72) = -48

A5 = -2/3 (-48) = 32

A6 = -2/3 (32) = -64/3.

This is exactly what we wanted. We can see that each time we are multiplying the previous item by 2/3 and changing the sign. Once we get to 32, that is just 2^5 and dividing it by 3 will no longer yield an integer.

If you’d gone through the complete trial and error process, you’d quickly see that answer choices A and B are incorrect. Answer choice C, 108, comes pretty close, but cusps at A4, not A5. If you then pick answer choice D, 162, you find that you get to 108 on the second iteration, and you can skip the next four steps because you just did them. Finally, answer choice E is a tempting number to start testing with, because it is a perfect exponential of 3. However, you will get to an integer at A6, and thus you need a number with fewer 3s in the numerator.

On test day, you might be able to recognize patterns or you might have to bite the bullet and try each answer choice one by one. However, if you recognize that you need to determine what happens at the beginning before moving on to the middle and the end, you’ll have more success. You always need to understand the pattern, and that starts at the beginning. If you keep this strategy in mind, you won’t find yourself stuck in the middle (with you).

Plan on taking the GMAT soon? We have GMAT prep courses starting all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

Ron Awad is a GMAT instructor for Veritas Prep based in Montreal, bringing you weekly advice for success on your exam.  After graduating from McGill and receiving his MBA from Concordia, Ron started teaching GMAT prep and his Veritas Prep students have given him rave reviews ever since.
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7 Things to Remember Your Freshman Year (Hint: Don't Bring Too Much St [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2015, 12:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 7 Things to Remember Your Freshman Year (Hint: Don't Bring Too Much Stuff!)
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The moment I sent my SIR to UC Berkeley, I was sure I was more than ready to leave high school. College had been the big dream for most of my life–no curfews, no morning classes, no standardized testing (for the most part) and more freedom than I’d ever had before. I knew the city of Berkeley halfway decently already, so I wasn’t worried about the transition. About twenty of my high school classmates, including some of my best friends, were coming with me. I was all set up for an easy, exciting transition to college life.

Even so, I was nervous. I didn’t completely understand the academic system I was coming into, and I had never had a roommate besides my siblings. There was plenty to be excited for, but also plenty to be apprehensive about: harder classes, financial independence, more work hours, and a nearly-foreign social scene to navigate.

My transition ended up working fantastically–I found a wonderful group of friends, loved my classes, and quickly adapted to a more flexible but more intense schedule. Looking back, I’ve realized that the way I prepared for and approached my college transition was much more important than the transition itself. Here are a few of the things I learned:

1. Don’t bring too much stuff. This sounds like a tiny detail, but an emptier closet will save you lots of time and headache throughout your first few months. If you’re anything like nearly every incoming college freshman I’ve ever met, moving into a dorm room (or a suite, or an apartment) will probably mean adjusting to less storage space. Being selective about what to bring with you will ease your move-in, avoid space conflicts with your roommate, give you space to adapt to lifestyle changes in your freshman year (experimenting with fashion, realizing that microwaves/water boilers/mini-fridges/freezer boxes are dorm room lifesavers and popularity magnets, etc.), and save you the trouble of managing your belongings after the fact. It’s a pain, and a surprisingly time-consuming chore, to have to ship things back home, arrange extra-storage plans with family and friends, or cram extra drawers and shelves into your new room. When you’re going through one of the biggest transitions of your life so far, the last thing you want to have to worry about is what to do with three extra boxes of your middle school clothes.

2. Be proactive about meeting people and maintaining friendships. Unless you’re in a small school or a specialized program, your social environment will change more frequently in college than it did in high school. In high school, it’s easy to build relationships based on shared experience and constant closeness; many of your peers took the same classes you did, and you could always find time to spend with friends since your schedules were more or less in sync. In college, however, people move apartments or rooms every year or two (or even every semester), classes are larger or more impersonal, friends study abroad or take semesters off, and hanging out begins to require more effort and time management. The college social experience is a great one, but it requires initiative.

3. Set aside some time to study. In the freshman year flurry of club meetings, parties, sports, and other social opportunities, it’s easy to forget that you have readings to do and tests to pass. It’s fine to dive headfirst into the college experience–in fact, I heartily recommend it–but don’t forget that that experience is just as much academic as it is social and personal.

4. Calculate a budget and stick to it. Costs and fees are everywhere–club dues, event tickets, supplemental materials for classes, restaurant bills, school spirit gear. A lot of activities are free for students, but plenty more aren’t. I know far too many people who accidentally splurged on one too many party dresses or orchestra concerts, and ended up with–no joke–less than ten dollars left in their wallets, with no paycheck or allowance in sight for days or weeks to come.

5. Don’t worry if you don’t find your niche immediately. Plenty of people don’t get along with the people on their dorm floor, and plenty of people only find their perfect club or major or friend group months (or even years) into college. Keep exploring classes and extracurriculars, and take comfort in the fact that there are so many new opportunities in college that there’s a good chance that your Perfect Place is there somewhere–you just haven’t run into it yet. Besides, if the issue persists, you can always consider transferring.

6. Recognize that transferring isn’t that easy and isn’t a cure-all. Beyond the logistical issues (ensuring that your credits transfer to your new institution, finding a place to live, the long applications, etc.), you don’t know for sure that you’ll be happier, or more academically/intellectually/socially satisfied, at your new school. Transferring works for some people, and doesn’t for others; if you’re considering transferring, especially if your reasons are non-academic, be sure to think long and hard about why you want to leave where you are, and what you expect to find when you’re there.

7. Most importantly: Don’t stress about it. People tend to be much more adaptable than they give themselves credit for. You’ll change and learn so much in your freshman year that you may not even care about some of the things you’re worried about before move-in day. Keep an open mind, explore new things, accept that many things will change, understand that many of those things can and will change for the better, and you’ll be fine.

Best of luck preparing for your freshman year!

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Courtney Tran is a student at UC Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Rhetoric. In high school, she was named a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and she represented her district two years in a row in Public Forum Debate at the National Forensics League National Tournament.
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An Introduction to Solving Alphametic Questions on the GMAT [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 08:01
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: An Introduction to Solving Alphametic Questions on the GMAT
Image
Today, let’s learn how to solve alphametics. An alphametic is a mathematical puzzle where every letter stands for a digit from 0 – 9. The mapping of letters to numbers is one-to-one; that is, the same letter always stands for the same digit, and the same digit is always represented by the same letter.

First focus on the big picture of the alphametic – such as, a two number is added to another two digit number to give a three digit number etc. Then look at the nitty gritty – for which digit can each letter stand?

Question 1: With # and & each representing different digits in the problem below, the difference between #&& and ## is 667. What is the value of &?

Image

(A) 3

(B) 4

(C) 5

(D) 8

(E) 9

Solution: The big picture: A two digit number is subtracted from a three digit number to give 667. So the three digit number must be a bit larger than 667. This means that the hundreds digit of #&& must be either 6 or 7. It cannot be 8 because you cannot obtain 800+ by adding a two digit number to 667.

Let’s look at both cases:

# is 6: If you subtract 66 from 6&&, you will not get 667 – the largest value you can get is 699 – 66 = 633. So # cannot be 6.

# must be 7.

Now the question is very simple

7&& – 77 = 667

7&& = 667 + 77 = 744

Answer (B)

There are many other ways in which you can solve this question including plugging in the answer choices. We should now take a look at a DS question on alphametics.

Question 2:

Image

In the correctly worked addition problem above, M, N, R, S, T and V are distinct digits. Is R > 3?

Statement 1: M, N and P are positive even integers.

Statement 2: S = 2

Solution: This is certainly harder than the PS question but our process will remain the same.

First, let’s see what information we are given in the question – the units digits of all three numbers are the same. The two-digit numbers add up to give a three digit number. The hundreds digit, S, is either 1 or 2. Three two-digit numbers cannot add up to give a number 300 or more since 99 + 99 + 99 = 297. We have no information on what the value of R can be. All we know is that R cannot be 0 because 0+0+0 = 0 but V needs to be different from R.

Let’s look at the statements now.

Statement 1: M, N and P are positive even integers.

At first, it may seem that this has nothing to do with the value of R but we must analyze what is given to be sure.

M, N and P must take distinct values out of 2, 4, 6 and 8 and add up to give the units digit of T (again, distinct)

Every time you add three even numbers, you will get an even number. Let’s see which combinations we can get:

2 + 4 + 6 = 12

2 + 4 + 8 = 14

2 + 6 + 8 = 16

4 + 6 + 8 = 18

Note that in all four cases, the units digit is one of the numbers but T must be distinct. This means that there must have been a carryover from the previous addition. So when we added the three Rs, we must have got a carryover. Had R been 3 or less, we would not have got a carryover since 1+1+1 = 3, 2+2+2 = 6 and 3+3+3 = 9. So R must be greater than 3.

One such case would be

Image

This statement alone is sufficient.

Statement 2: S = 2

The result of addition gives us a number which is more than 200. In statement 1 we saw a case in which S is 2 and R is greater than 3. Now all we have to do is find a case in which S is 2 and R is less than 3. One of these cases is

Image

So this statement alone is not sufficient.

Answer (A)

Karishma, a Computer Engineer with a keen interest in alternative Mathematical approaches, has mentored students in the continents of Asia, Europe and North America. She teaches the GMAT for Veritas Prep and regularly participates in content development projects such as this blog!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

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4 Factors to Consider when Determining if Your GMAT Score is High Enou [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2015, 12:00
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 4 Factors to Consider when Determining if Your GMAT Score is High Enough for Business School
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This is a common question we get as head consultants.  At what point is your GMAT good enough that you can move to the next stage?  If you read my previous post on timelines and milestones, I recommend getting the GMAT out of the way first as it serves to guide your school selection, and, frankly, is pretty stressful – having to take the GMAT close to a school deadline will only add to that stress.

The short answer to the question is to always retake the GMAT if you think you have a decent shot at improving the score by ~20 points.  The top tier business school admissions process is so competitive that you really cannot afford to not improve every single part of the application when possible.

That said we cannot expect every single applicant to score 750 on the GMAT.  Not everyone is capable of that score, and there are additional constraints to consider, such as time to a deadline.  Given that, I think there are some basic rules of thumb that could help guide your decision to whether to retake the GMAT.

To help guide us, let’s assume a fictitious top tier b school with a mean or average GMAT of 730, overall range of 620-780 and middle 80% range of 710-750 (meaning 10% of students score above 750, and 10% below). Let’s consider a few factors:

GMAT Range

Generally speaking, you should always strive to beat the average of the school to which they are applying.  If you haven’t done that, it means the rest of your application needs to be that much stronger and differentiated.  If it’s less strong, or if there are likely to be many similarly looking applicants, then retake.

On the other hand, if you are scoring above 750, or above the middle 80%, it means you are among the top 10% of GMAT scores for this school – probably ok to move on to other parts of the application.

If you are scoring below the middle 80% percentile, you should probably retake assuming you have the time.

Low GPA

If your GPA is low, say more than 5-10% below a school’s average, your GMAT needs to be that much higher to remove any doubt that you can handle the academic coursework (GMAT is acts as a predictor of academic aptitude).  Best to try to beat that average score, or at least get into the middle 80% range.  This is especially true if you are coming from a less reputable school.

Applicant Pools

Applicants from b school feeder industries, such as finance and management consulting, or those with engineering backgrounds are expected to help raise the average.  Just getting within that middle 80% is not good enough, you should be scoring above the average. An i-banker with a 710 is not getting that interview invite.

Industry Pools

Applicants from the government, active duty military, NGOs, or those from other non-traditional backgrounds, will typically get a break.  This doesn’t mean that you should be happy with a 650.  If you have the time, sit down and assess what sections of the GMAT are more challenging for you and attack those (a competent GMAT tutor will help you with this).

Of course, there might be plenty of personal situations and specifics to your specific situation that need to be considered, but hopefully this serves to provide some initial guidance.

Want to craft a strong application? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today. Click here to take our Free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Marcus D.  Read more articles by him here, and find the expert who’s right for you here!  Visit our Team page today.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors

_________________

Marisa

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Kudos [?]: 156 [0], given: 2

4 Factors to Consider when Determining if Your GMAT Score is High Enou   [#permalink] 21 Apr 2015, 12:00

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