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FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 5 Reasons That Studying for the GMAT Sucks 
Let’s face it. Except for the folks who write the test and prepare you for the test, no one really loves the GMAT. Any anyone who tells you otherwise either scored an 800 with no prep or is lying. But selfinflicted misery loves company, so in no particular order, let’s take a look at some of the things that suck and more importantly, how to cope:
Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Joanna Graham 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: You're Not in High School Anymore: 3 Ways to Effectively Study in College 
I remember when I received my first syllabi during my first week of college, I was amazed to discover that most of my professors would be determining grades based solely on two tests: the midterm and the final. A few professors also included homework or participation points, but these were negligible compared to the tests; at most, they counted for 15% of the final class grade. And in fact, some of my professors – especially those teaching the large lecture classes, which tended to have 100 + students – didn’t even assign homework. In other words, my professors left it entirely up to us students to figure out how we wanted to learn, memorize, and review new material to prepare for the major tests. At the time, this style of teaching was completely alien to me. In highschool, my teachers had given daily homework and frequent inclass quizzes that they regularly graded, and that they often counted towards approximately 30% of the final class grade. In other words, I was used to a system in which learning was extremely structured, in which I was given constant feedback about my performance, and in which my grade didn’t depend so heavily on just a few tests. But, as soon as I began college, it was up to me to figure out not only how learn and digest new material, but also to monitor my performance so that I’d know if I was ready for test day. It takes many freshmen a good deal of time to finally adjust to this new college learning environment. To ease your transition, I’ve broken down the major differences between how to study in high school and how to study in college. 1. Give Yourself Homework In highschool, teachers assign so many inclass exercises and so much daily homework that students naturally begin to absorb new material. In college, this is rarely the case. Although the classes I attended in college varied in size and structure, a “handsoff” teaching style was the norm, whether the class was large or small. In fact, even in the smaller classes I took as an upperclassmen, my professors tended to assign 23 intensive research papers during the semester that we students would be graded on, rather than handing out daily worksheets. Overtime, one of the most valuable skills I learned in college was to “give myself homework”. After I’d been taught new material in class, I’d do something like review my notes and do a mockquiz with friends who were also in the class with me. Depending on the class, I’d also do things like work on practice problems in my textbooks on my own time, or reread assigned reading that the professor had discussed in class. Although giving yourself extra work in college may sound superfluous or fastidious, it in truth helped me maintain a balanced, healthy schedule when I was in college. Rather than saving all my studying until the night before the midterm – only to discover that I didn’t remember key concepts I’d been taught weeks ago because I’d never reviewed them, or that I didn’t understand certain material after all – I was aware of what concepts I did and didn’t understand, and I was able to split my studying into manageable chunks. 2. Go to Office Hours In high school, I was able to ask my teachers for help during class – especially when we were doing inclass exercises. In college, most classes consist of lectures and group discussions, so students aren’t able to ask for extensive help during class. However, almost all professors hold what’s called “office hours”, or a set time every week when professors are in their university office and are available to help. One of the biggest mistakes I made as a freshman was skipping these office hours, simply because I was already very busy with just my class schedule. I thought that I didn’t have time to spend my evenings in office hours, as I already spent most of my mornings and afternoons in class, or studying. However, just as it’s up to college students to monitor their performance, it’s also up to college students to proactively pursue help when they are struggling. If you don’t do well on your midterm, your professor will not schedule a personal meeting with you – the way highschool teachers often will. If you aren’t understanding key concepts, and you don’t say anything to your professors during office hours, they won’t take the initiative to work through any concepts you aren’t understanding with you, or to show you how to manage the material they’ve said you need to know by test day. But don’t be scared! Although professors tend to take a handsoff approach, they are extremely willing to help – if you ask. 3. Keep Your Professor Informed About Your Essay Topics and Research Materials Essays and research papers in college are a much bigger deal than essays in highschool. In highschool, teachers often give you almost all of the material you need to write the essay. However, in college, professors often require you to write longer essays that utilize multiple sources from your university library. This means that professors expect you to find your own materials, but that they do give you several weeks advanced notice before a paper is due, so that you can begin your research. During this preliminary period, it’s crucial that you speak to your professor during office hours about what books you plan on using for your paper, as well as what ideas you have for your paper. That way, if you’ve chosen weak evidence, or haven’t fully thought through your own topic, your professor will be able to point you in a better direction. In sum, the most important thing you will learn in college is not a set of formulas, or a bunch of theories, but how to learn. I know these differences between studying in college and highschool might seem daunting! However, you will find that the extra work you have to do in college will give you a much better sense of who you are and how you think, which is one of the reasons why college truly is a lifetime investment. Need some help with your college application? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE College profile evaluation! By Rita Pearson 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: Small Numbers Lead to Big Scores 
The last thing you want to see on your score report at the end of the GMAT is a small number. Whether that number is in the 300s (total score) or in the singledigits (percentile), your nightmares leading up to the test probably include lots of small numbers flashing on the screen as you finish the test. So what’s one of the most helpful tools you have to keep small numbers from appearing on the screen? Small numbers on your noteboard. Have you found yourself on a homework problem or practice test asking yourself “can I just multiply these?”? Have you forgotten a rule and wondered whether you could trust your memory? Small numbers can be hugely valuable in these situations. Consider this example: For integers x and y, 2^x + 2^y = 2^30. What is the sum x + y? (A) 30 (B) 40 (C) 50 (D) 58 (E) 64 Every fiber of your being might be saying “can I just add x + y and set that equal to 30?” but you’re probably at least unsure whether you can do that. How do you definitively tell whether you can do that? Test the relationship with small numbers. 2^30 is far too big a number to fathom, but 2^6 is much more convenient. That’s 64, and if you wanted to set the problem up that way: 2^x + 2^y = 2^6 You can see that using combinations of x and y that add to 6 won’t work. 2^3 + 2^3 is 8 + 8 = 16 (so not 64). 2^5 + 2^1 is 32 + 2 = 34, which doesn’t work either. 2^4 + 2^2 is 16 + 4 = 20, so that doesn’t work. And 2^0 + 2^6 is 1 + 64 = 65, which is closer but still doesn’t work. Using small numbers you can prove that that step you’re wondering about – just adding the exponents – isn’t valid math, so you can avoid doing it. Small numbers help you test a rule that you aren’t sure about! That’s one of two major themes with testing small numbers. 1) Small numbers are great for testing rules. And 2) Small numbers are great for finding patterns that you can apply to bigger numbers. To demonstrate that second point about small numbers, let’s return to the problem. 2^30 again is a number that’s too big to deal with or “play with,” but 2^6 is substantially more manageable. If you want to get to: 2^x + 2^y = 2^6, think about the powers of 2 that are less than 2^6: 2^1 = 2 2^2 = 4 2^3 = 8 2^4 = 16 2^5 = 32 2^6 = 64 Here you can just choose numbers from the list. The only two that you can use to sum to 64 are 32 and 32. So the pairing that works here is 2^5 + 2^5 = 2^6. Try that again with another number (what about getting 2^x + 2^y = 2^5? Add 16 + 16 = 32, so 2^4 + 2^4), and you should start to see the pattern. To get 2^x + 2^y to equal 2^z, x and y should each be one integer less than z. So to get back to the bigger numbers in the problem, you should now see that to get 2^x + 2^y to equal 2^30, you need 2^29 + 2^29 = 2^30. So x + y = 29 + 29 = 58, answer choice D. The lesson? When problems deal with unfathomably large numbers, it can often be quite helpful to test the relationship using small numbers. That way you can see how the pieces of the puzzle relate to each other, and then apply that knowledge to the larger numbers in the problem. The GMAT thrives on abstraction, presenting you with lots of variables and large numbers (often exponents or factorials), but you can counter that abstraction by using small numbers to make relationships and concepts concrete. So make sure that small numbers are a part of your toolkit. When you’re unsure about a rule, test it with small numbers; if small numbers don’t spit out the result you’re looking for, then that rule isn’t true. But if multiple sets of small numbers do produce the desired result, you can proceed confidently with that rule. And when you’re presented with a relationship between massive numbers and variables, test that relationship using small numbers so that you can teach yourself more concretely what the concept looks like. The best way to make sure that your GMAT score report contains big numbers? Use lots of small numbers in your scratchwork. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Brian Galvin 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Finding the Product of Factors on GMAT Questions 
We have discussed how to find the factors of a number and their properties in these two posts: Writing Factors of an Ugly Number Factors of Perfect Squares Today let’s discuss the concept of ‘product of the factors of a number’. From the two posts above, we know that the factors equidistant from the centre multiply to give the number. We also know that the behaviour is a little different for perfect squares. Let’s take two examples to understand this. Example 1: Say N = 6 Factors of 6 are 1, 2, 3, 6 1*6 = 6 (first factor * last factor) 2*3 = 6 (second factor and second last factor) Product of the four factors of 6 is given by 1*6 * 2*3 = 6*6 = 6^2 = [Sqrt(N)]^4 Example 2: Say N = 25 (a perfect square) Factors of 25 are 1, 5, 25 1*25 = 25 (first factor * last factor) 5*5 = 25 (middle factor multiplied by itself) Product of the three factors of 25 is given by 1*25 * 5 = 5^3 = [Sqrt(N)]^3 If a number, N, can be expressed as: 2^a * 3^b * 5^c *… The total number of factors f = (a+1)*(b+1)*(c+1)… The product of all factors of N is given by [Sqrt(N)]^f i.e. N^(f/2) Let’s look at a couple of questions based on this principle: Question 1: If the product of all the factors of a positive integer, N, is 2^(18) * 3^(12), how many values can N take? (A) None (B) 1 (C) 2 (D) 3 (E) 4 Solution: Since the product of all factors of N has only 2 and 3 as prime factors, N must have two prime factors only: 2 and 3. Let N = 2^a * 3^b Given that N^(f/2) = 2^(18) * 3^(12) (2^a * 3^b)^[(a+1)(b+1)/2] = 2^(18) * 3^(12) a*(a+1)*(b+1)/2 = 18 b*(a+1)*(b+1)/2 = 12 Dividing the two equations, we get a/b = 3/2 Smallest values: a = 3, b = 2. It satisfies our two equations. Can we have more values for a and b? Can a = 6 and b = 4? No. Then the product a*(a+1)*(b+1)/2 would be much larger than 18. So N = 2^3 * 3^2 There is only one such value of N. Answer (B) Question 2: If the product of all the factors of a positive integer, N, is 2^9 * 3^9, how many values can N take? (A) None (B) 1 (C) 2 (D) 3 (E) 4 Solution: Since the product of all factors of N has only 2 and 3 as prime factors, N must have two prime factors only: 2 and 3. Let N = 2^a * 3^b Given that N^(f/2) = 2^(9) * 3^(9) (2^a * 3^b)^[(a+1)(b+1)/2] = 2^(9) * 3^(9) a*(a+1)*(b+1)/2 = 9 b*(a+1)*(b+1)/2 = 9 Dividing the two equations, we get a/b = 1/1 Smallest values: a = 1, b = 1 – Does not satisfy our equation Next set of values: a = 2, b = 2 – Satisfies our equations All larger values will not satisfy our equations. Answer (B) Note that we can easily use hit and trial in these questions without actually working through the equations. This is how we will do it: N^(f/2) = 2^(18) * 3^(12) Case 1: Assume values of f/2 from common factors of 18 and 12 – say 2 [2^9 * 3^6]^2 Can f/2 = 2 i.e. can f = 4? If N = 2^9 * 3^6, total number of factors f = (9+1)*(6+1) = 70 This doesn’t work. Case 2: Assume f/2 is 6 [2^3 * 3^2]^6 Can f/2 = 6 i.e. can f = 12? If N = 2^3 * 3^2, total number of factors f = (3+1)*(2+1) = 12 This works. The reason hit and trial isn’t a bad idea is that there will be only one such set of values. If we can quickly find it, we are done. Why should we then bother to find it at all. Shouldn’t we just answer with option ‘B’ in both cases? Think of a case in which the product of all factors is given as 2^(16) * 3^(14). Will there be any value of N in such a case? Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure tofind us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! 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! 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Our Thoughts on NYU Stern's MBA Application Essays for 20152016 
Application season at the NYU Stern School of Business is officially underway with the release of the school’s 20152016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. Essay 1: Professional Aspirations Why pursue an MBA (or dual degree) at this point in your life? What actions have you taken to determine that Stern is the best fit for your MBA experience? What do you see yourself doing professionally upon graduation? (750 words) This is a very multilayered essay coming from Stern that provides the candidate a great opportunity to share their professional game plan and why Stern is a key element to this game plan. The two essays are naturally structured to give candidates a chance to touch on both the professional and the personal side of their application. The way this prompt is worded signals that applicants should touch on the past a bit to provide context to what has brought the applicant to this point in their professional journey. Stern is looking for a few things in this essay. First, it must be apparent that you have a clear understanding of where you come from and where you are going professionally. Stern is looking for selfreflective applicants who are clear on their professional aspirations. Addressing the concept of “Why Now” is a critical element in drafting a successful essay. Second, it must not only be clear of the candidate’s interest in the Stern MBA, but also what steps the candidate has taken to identify and realize this fit. Stern is looking for specifics here, so don’t shy away from the details about your primary and secondary research. The rationale and the likelihood of success in reaching these identified career goals, given matriculation to Stern, is also a key aspect of how the school will evaluate candidates. Connecting these uniquely personal development goals to the unique offerings of the Stern MBA is critical to showcasing fit with the program. Essay 2: Personal Expression Please describe yourself to your MBA classmates. You may use almost any method to convey your message (e.g. words, illustrations). Feel free to be creative. Similar to openended essay prompts at other elite programs, Stern wants to know who you are. Stern provides a bit of an alternative approach to this new trend by allowing applicants the chance to respond to the question across various multimedia options. If some of the alternative options work better for the narrative you are trying to communicate, then this could be a unique and creative approach to answering the question. This essay feels like an obvious area to focus on more personal elements that would be relevant to someone whom you are about spend a lot of time with over the next two years. This essay is a natural area to show off your interpersonal skills and how you plan to utilize them while working closely with your classmates. Think creatively about how you plan to share your response even if you are only using words. Creativity is not only limited to the medium – how you structure and organize your response could be another interesting way to stand out. Just a few thoughts on the new essays from Stern, hopefully this will help you get started. If you are considering applying to NYU Stern, download our Essential Guide to NYU Stern, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. Ready to start building your applications for Stern and other top MBA programs? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Should I Take the GMAT Multiple Times? 
We often get asked by clients how many times they should take the GMAT before they move on to other components of the application. Of course this largely depends on your score, but if you find yourself disappointed with your initial test results, you will generally want to try again. Broadly speaking, schools don’t really care how many times you take the test, and will only consider your highest score. Know that they won’t combine separate components into one score, but will consider your best overall score from one sitting as your “application score.” Having said that, it is also generally agreed upon that schools don’t want to see applicants taking the exam a dozen times. This can communicate negative qualities to the admissions committee such as poor time management skills, slow learner syndrome, or good old fashioned poor judgment or misalignment of priorities. So how many times? Three is the number we hear most often as acceptable or reasonable. Schools tend to think that if you haven’t achieved your max or close to it in three tries, you may be left behind in a typical bschool curriculum. Now, don’t panic if you have already taken the test four or five times. This is not the kind of thing that will get you rejected. If a candidate who has taken the GMAT five times is not admitted, I can almost guarantee it was for other reasons. Still, schools like to see folks practicing within conventions, just like they want to see that you can craft a one page resume or stay within the word count on an essay. While the most common question on this topic is about how many times are too many, there can also be a big question around whether or not taking the exam only once is enough. This question must focus a bit more on one’s score. If you exceeded the average for the school to which you are applying, you’re “done with one.” But if your score came in under the average, or you felt you did worse than your true potential, you should consider retaking. We don’t like to tell clients that the average GMAT score at a particular school is a mandatory hurdle, and actually point most often to the 80% range of scores at the schools as a better measure, but if you only take the test once and score noticeably below the average, it may be sending the message that you are not up for the challenge, or cannot manage your time well enough to prepare to do better. In short, you should take the GMAT at least twice if your score is below your target school’s average, but no more than three times unless there are extenuating circumstances. If your score still falls short in your mind, it’s time to move on to other ways you can offset it in your application. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Create Breakthrough MBA Application Essays with MiniStories 
In many of the great business school application essays, candidates who are able to leverage creative writing tactics as the baseline for their essay responses create breakthrough essays. Now business school essays should remain polished and professional, but breakthrough essays tend to create a compelling and visual portrait of the situation and circumstances addressed with a response to an essay prompt. Ministories are a great way to ensure you are capturing all of the most interesting and engaging aspects of your profile. The thought behind these ministories is that they should be designed to be independent of the essay questions asked by schools. Select stories that reflect the four dimensions of Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork and Maturity emphasized by many MBA programs that you can later apply to the specific essay questions asked from each school. The focus should be on highlighting your strongest and most indepth personal, professional, and extracurricular life experiences. One of the most valuable aspects of creating ministories is that you don’t necessarily need any external information. The process is entirely about you and your background, so whether it is in the heart of application season or during a quieter period like the springtime, a candidate can create these valuable anecdotes. When identifying these stories, don’t limit them to only one aspect of your profile. Include anecdotes from undergrad, extracurricular activities, work experience, and personal life to develop a diverse array of talking points for potential essay responses. Aim for 58 ministories covering a diverse set of experiences. With each story, include a short description and some supporting bullets describing some of the players involved and why the situation was transformative to you, focusing especially on its impact and what you learned from the experience. Remember, what is most important in these ministories is the “how” and not just the “what”. Think critically about your thought process in each scenario and the impact of your decisions. The best essays combine multiple personal elements and touch on different characteristics and skills developed. For the sake of this exercise you want to briefly summarize how the main takeaways and characteristics are represented in the story. Once these ministories are completed and the essay topics are available, the next step is to match relevant stories to essay topics. Utilize this structured and creative approach to most effectively tackle those daunting business school essays and create breakthrough essays that will stand out in the application process. Considering applying to MBA programs? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: TRYangles! 
Triangles are one of the first shapes that we learn in elementary school, and yet they are often the source of much consternation on the SAT. Though there is much to know about trigonometry that can require complex and intricate calculations, the knowledge of triangles required for the SAT is actually quite concise. Here is a quick review of the basics of triangles and how they might be used on the SAT. The Basics: A triangle has three sides and three angles. All the interior angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees. In math speak : A + B + C = 180. This means if you have two angles of any triangle, you can always find the third (something that comes up frequently on the SAT). The largest side is opposite the largest angle and the smallest side is opposite the smallest angle. Pythagorean Theorem: This is only useful for right triangles, but right triangles are great on the SAT because they give you all the information needed to find the area of a triangle (which, of course, is ½ A *B, or ½ base * height). The pythagorean theorem states: A² + B² = C², which means if you have two sides of a right triangle, you can always find the third. Common right triangles that have easy to remember side ratios are triangles with a 3x4x5x relationship, and a 5x12x13x relationship. These Pythagorean triples are useful because if two of the sides of a right triangle have this side relationship, the third must follow suit. For example if two sides of a right triangle are 10 and 8, then the third side must be 6 {6810 is the same as 3(2) – 4(2) – 5(2), hence the “x” in the paragraph above}. Special Triangles: Identifying these special triangles saves a step when doing the work of the Pythagorean theorem. An equilateral triangle, when split in half, becomes a 30 – 60 – 90 triangle, which has the side relationship shown above of X – X √3 – 2X, where X is the side opposite the 30 degree angle. If you cut a square in half you get an isosceles, right triangle or a 45 – 45 – 90 triangle. This has the side relationship S – S – S√2, where is one of the sides opposite the 45 degree angle. These special triangles are given on the formula sheet of the SAT but it is very useful to commit them to memory, as it is quite time consuming to constantly refer to the formula sheet when you think you have encountered a special triangle. An interesting characteristic of the sides of triangles is as follows: If A=5 and B= 8, then 3 < C < 13. C must be between 3 and 13.In triangle ABC, BC < A < B+C. This is to say, any side on a triangle must be between the absolute value of the sum and the difference of the other sides of the triangle. Here is an example question that will use some triangle knowledge: “A rectangular pasture has twelve equally spaced poles on its southern border, and sixteen equally spaced poles on its eastern border. A diagonal pathway from the eastern corner of the pasture to the center of the pasture is 40 ft. How many feet of fencing would be required to build a fence around the entire pasture?” The first step is always to draw and label what is given. We are given a rectangular pasture that has twelve equally spaced poles on its southern border, and sixteen equally spaced poles on its eastern border. We label the distance between poles as X and we notice that we now have two sides of a triangle, one 12x and one 16x. We remember the rules of Pythagorean triples and deduce that the diagonal of this triangle would have to be 20x. We then look for what the problem is asking us to find. We have to find the perimeter of the pasture, but all that is given is the length of a pathway from the eastern corner of the pasture to the center of the pasture. AHA! We now know the length of HALF of the distance of the diagonal of the rectangular pasture! We also know that the FULL diagonal is 20x. We set up a simple equation to solve for X, remembering to double the length given from the center to the corner of the field. 2(40) = 20x 80 = 20x x = 4 We then use our answer for X to find the length and width of the pasture and add everything together, remembering to multiply the length and width by two, to find the perimeter. 16 (4) = L = 64 12 (4) = W = 48 2W +2L = 2(64) + 2(48) = 224 Voila! The perimeter of the whole field is 224ft, so that is how much fencing will be needed. Triangles are a very useful tool that is often used in tandem with other math shapes and concepts on the SAT. Through an understanding of triangles, one can develop a greater understanding of many difficult problems on the SAT. 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Our Thoughts on Ross' MBA Application Essays for 20152016 
Application season at the University of Michigan’s Ross MBA program is officially underway with the release of the school’s 20152016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. Essay 1: What are you most proud of and why? How does it shape who you are today? (400 words) This is a typical “accomplishment” essay, and with the limited word count it would be wise to focus on one accomplishment in the most direct fashion possible. Dig deep as you identify what topic to discuss as these types of openended questions give applicants an opportunity to really differentiate themselves from the competition. Breakthrough applicants will align their personal, professional, or academic stories around some of the relevant values expressed by the Ross MBA. Don’t be afraid to select a topic that extends outside of your professional career. Many candidates will opt to go the professional route, so consider “zigging” when the rest “zag.” Remember admissions committees will be reading a lot of essays so stand out by allowing them to explore a topic a bit more unique then the mundane. Also, keep in mind that you will have time to talk about your professional career and highlight some of your past accomplishments via the second essay. Finally, don’t think if your accomplishment does not involve $100 million in savings or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro that your response will not be well received. What makes your response to this question relevant is the impact this accomplishment had to YOU. Essay 2: What is your desired career path and why? (400 words) This is a traditional “career goals” essay. This type of question should come as no surprise to any candidate applying to business school. In fact, your response to this question should involve what initially drove your interest in business school to begin with, so Ross will be expecting a pretty polished essay here. Many candidates will write generic essays outlining their career goals that could be relevant to any MBA program. What will separate breakthrough candidates from the masses is how personalized the essay reads. Ross will be looking for you to combine your well thought out career goals with specifics on how you plan to utilize their program to reach these goals. Also, if relevant, connect your goals to an underlying passion you have for the role or industry. This will make your interest more tangible and highlight underlying elements of your personal story. Just a few thoughts on the new batch of essays from Ross that should help you get started. If you are considering applying to NYU Stern, download our Essential Guide to NYU Stern, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. Ready to start building your applications for Stern and other top MBA programs? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Should I Take the GMAT or the GRE? 
I currently work at a top business school and am therefore able to keep my finger right on the pulse of bschool trends. Earlier this week, I had a discussion with our Director of Admissions about the GRE. It seems that over the past several years, there has been a subtle migration away from GMAT exclusivity among the top bschools for several reasons. Firstly, there has been overall a pretty remarkable downward trend in application volume. This drop in number of applications has put a dent on revenues for schools as well as in the overall quality of the application pool. It makes sense: fewer applicants generally will mean fewer top applicants (not always true, but in this case, the percentage of good, better and best applicants seems to hold pretty constant no matter how many applicants there are in total). Neither result is attractive to these top schools. One way to combat the drop in application volume is to try and reach outside the normal circles for folks who might think of applying to bschool who perhaps would not have in the past. Accepting the GRE instead of the GMAT is one way top schools have broadened their search. Because the GRE is widely considered a more “accessible” test for the general graduate school population, it has never in the past been given serious consideration by the bschools, who are in agreement that the GMAT is a better indicator of bschool success. Granted, the GRE does not have a large enough statistical base to test its predictability for bschool success yet, but old traditions die hard. Enter Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, the first and last bastion of high quality business school reputations. Certainly if you are Harvard, Stanford or Wharton, your reputation will not be dampened using any test for admission (even “guess how many fingers I am holding up behind my back?”) — the point is, no matter what these super elite schools do, their rankings will likely not suffer. So, they started accepting GRE scores in lieu of GMATs. This did indeed give them a broader look at those interested in graduate school and has enticed more students to choose bschool as their graduate education path. As could probably have been predicted, so goes H/S/W, so goes the rest of the bschool world, and sure enough, over the past several years, more and more schools have been quietly accepting GRE scores. So which test should you use as part of your application package? If your target school accepts the GRE, should you use that instead of the (some argue more difficult) GMAT? This is indeed the question. In some respects, the GRE is a tempting alternative. For starters, it’s about $100 cheaper to take the test, which for some postcollege, recessiondamaged applicants, is real money. Additionally, the test is not quite as rigorous on the quantitative side, making it for some, a less punishing preparation process. There is also the argument that it could help you stand out in the crowd, since with fewer applicants submitting GRE scores, you force yourself out of the general application pool and into a category which will require the admissions committee to consider you separately from the crowd. Is this true? The Admissions Director I spoke with said it makes no difference whether someone submits the GMAT or the GRE, but I argued that simply due to the new nature of the discussion, there will naturally be more attention drawn to applicants with GREs. This could be simply a psychological phenomenon, and of course the risk is that the lack of reliable data out there with which to compare scores could put applicants in a noman’s land without any real evidence of aptitude. At least with the GMAT, the scores are very well established and everyone knows what a 550 means vs. a 650 or 750. As more GRE scores show up in admissions committee evaluations, we will begin to establish some better standards for exactly what a good score is as compared to the GMAT, but as for now, it’s really anybody’s guess what that score should be. The other challenge for bschools who are now accepting the GRE is what to do with the scores when the time comes to tally statistics for rankings. The GMAC as well as the BW and US News rankings boards have indicated that schools need only list whether or not they accept the GRE, and are presently not required to report their average scores (which in the case of some schools, could be the average of as few as one or two applicants’ scores). Again, as more data comes online, we may start seeing a dual category, with schools listing both their GMAT average and their GRE average. I wouldn’t bet on this, however. The same bschool traditions and history which established the GMAT in the first place will be hard to sway in another direction. The computer adaptability of the GMAT test and other technological advances it has made vs. the GRE is keeping it in a position of superiority for now. In the final analysis, I would say that if the GMAT is kicking your tail, you might at least try your hand at the GRE, just to see if perhaps the test better meets with your abilities. If your target schools accept the GRE for admission and your score on the GRE is impressive, who knows? You might just be able to “slip in through the back door” while other applicants who are relying on mediocre GMAT scores get lost in the proverbial shuffle. Applying to business school? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 3 Bad Reasons to Pursue an MBA Degree 
Obtaining an MBA degree is one of the most transformative experiences that a businessperson can undertake. Many articles are written that tout the value of this degree, with current MBA students and alums reflecting on the beneficial impact business school has had on both their professional and personal lives and all of the good reasons one should pursue an MBA. But is this degree for everyone? I’d like to take a look at the other side of this equation and discuss some bad reasons for getting an MBA. Pursuing an MBA can be one of the toughest decisions a young professional has to make, so it is even more important to make it for the right reasons in order to avoid other potentially negative implications. Consider the three aspects listed below as you decide whether you are at risk of pursuing an MBA for all of the wrong reasons: 1) Money Is the only reason you are applying to business school to make more money? Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make more money – this is a legitimate goal for all working professionals – but if that is your primary goal, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. This goal can be problematic because with business recruiting, there are no guarantees that you will actually make more money in the end. Often times, MBAs who solely focus on making more money target high paying industries such as management consulting and investment banking that may not necessarily fit with their true career development goals or personalities. Not reaching salary goals after business school is a common complaint from alums that pursue MBA degrees for nonholistic reasons. 2) Prestige MBA programs are looking for the best and the brightest young professionals, and many applicants are pursuing the MBA programs with the best reputations. Of course, there is nothing wrong with pursuing toptier programs, but when interest is more about prestige and arrogance and less about fit, potential issues can arise. My advice here is to focus on the highest ranked programs that align best to your development needs and represent a numerical and cultural fit. 3) Boredom Are you just bored with your current job? This is a very common scenario for many applicants who see business school as a way out. MBA programs are looking for candidates who are running towards something, not away from something. If your interest in truly pursuing an MBA is not honest, no matter the program you attend you will continue to search for “what’s next.” Utilize the tips above to help you decide if right now is the best time for you to apply to business school. Considering applying to MBA programs? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: GMAT Tip of the Week: 10 MustKnow Divisibility Rules For the GMAT (#3 Will Blow Your Mind!) 
You clicked, didn’t you? You’re helpless when presented with an enumerated list and a teaser that at least one of the items is advertised to be – but probably won’t be – mindblowing. (In this case it kind of is…if not mindblowing, it’s at least very powerful). So in this case, let’s use click bait for good and enumerated lists to talk about numbers. Here are 10 important (and “BuzzFeedy”) divisibility rules you should know heading into the GMAT: 1) 1 1 may be the loneliest number but it’s also a very important number for divisibility! Every integer is divisible by 1, and the result of any integer x divided by 1 is just x (when you divide an integer by 1, it stays the same). On the GMAT, the fact that every integer is divisible by 1 can be quite important. For example, a question might ask (as at least one official problem does): Does integer x have any factors y such that 1 < y < x? Because every integer is divisible by itself and 1, that question is really just asking, “Is x prime or not?” because if there is a factor y that’s between 1 and x, x is not prime, and there is not such a factor, then x is prime. That “> 1″ caveat in the problem may seem obtuse, but when you understand divisibility by 1, you can see that the abstract question stem is really just asking you about prime vs. notprime as a number property. The concept that all integers are divisible by 1 may seem basic, but keeping it top of mind on the GMAT can be extremely helpful. 2) 2 It takes 2 to make a thing go right…in relationships and on the GMAT! A number is divisible by 2 if that number is even (and a number is even if it’s divisible by 2). That means that if an integer ends in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8, you know that it’s divisible by 2. And here’s a somewhatsurprising fact: the number 0 is even! 0 is divisible by 2 with no remainder (0/2 = 0), so although 0 is neither positive nor negative it fits the definition of even and should therefore be something you keep in mind because 0 is such a unique number. The GMAT frequently tests even/odd number properties, so you should make a point to get to know them. Because any even number is divisible by 2 (which also means that it can be written as 2 times an integer), an even number multiplied by any integer will keep 2 as a factor and remain even. So even x even = even and even x odd = even. 3) 3 It’s been said that good things come in 3s, and divisibility rules are no exception! The divisibility rule for 3 works much like a magic trick and is one that you should make sure is top of mind on test day to save you time and help you unravel tricky numbers. The rule: if you sum the digits of an integer and that sum is divisible by 3, then that integer is divisible by 3. For example, consider the integer 219. 2 + 1 + 9 = 12 which is divisible by 3, so you know that 219 is divisible by 3 (it’s 3 x 73). This rule can help you in many ways. If you were asked to determine whether a number is prime, for example, and you can see that the sum of the digits is a multiple of 3, you know immediately that it’s not prime without having to do the long division to prove it. Or if you had a messy fraction to reduce and noticed that both the numerator and denominator are divisible by 3, you can use that rule to begin reducing the fraction quickly. The GMAT tests factors, multiples, and divisibility quite a bit, so this is a critical rule to have at your disposal to quickly assess divisibility. And since 1 out of every 3 integers is divisible by 3, this rule will help you out frequently! 4) 4 Presidential Election and Summer Olympics enthusiasts, be fourwarned! You already know the divisibility rule for 4: take the last two digits of an integer and treat them as a twodigit number, and if that’s divisible by 4 so is the whole number. So for 2016 – next year and that of the next presidential election and Brazil Olympics – the last twodigit number, 16, is divisible by 4, so you know that 2016 is also divisible by 4. If you fail to see immediately that a number is divisible by 4 given that rule, fear not! Being divisible by 4 just means that a number is divisible by 2 twice. So if you didn’t immediately see that you could factor a 4 out of 2016 (it’s 504 x 4), you could divide by 2 (2 x 1008) and then divide by 2 again (2 x 2 x 504) and end up in the same place without too much more work. 5) 5 Who needs only 5 fingers to divide by 5? All of us – divisibility by 5 is so easy you should be able to do it with one hand tied behind your back! If an integer ends in 5 or 0 you know that it’s divisible by 5 (and we’ll talk more about what extra fact 0 tells you in just a bit…). 6) 6 Your favorite character from the hit 1990’s NBC sitcom “Blossom” is also an easytouse divisibility rule! Since 6 is just the product of 2 and 3 (2 x 3 = 6), if a number meets the divisibility rules for both 2 (it’s even) and 3 (the sum of the digits is divisible by 3) it’s divisible by 6. So if you need to reduce a number like 324, you might want to start by dividing by 6, instead of by 2 or 3, so that you can factor it in fewer steps. 7) 7 Ah, magnificent 7. While there is a “trick” for divisibility by 7, 7 occurs much less frequently in divisibilitybased problems (as do other primes like 11, 13, 17, etc.), so 7 is a good place to begin to think about a strategy that works for all numbers, rather than memorizing limiteduse tricks for each number. To test whether a large number, such as 231, is divisible by 7, find an obvious multiple of 7 nearby and then add or subtract multiples of 7 to see whether doing so will land on that number. For 231, you should recognize that a nearby multiple of 7 is 210 (you know 21 is 7 x 3, so putting a 0 on the end of it just means that 210 is 7 x 30). Then as you add 7s to get there, you go to 217, then to 224, then to 231. So in your head you can see that 231 is 3 more 7s than 7 x 30 (which you know is 210), so 231 = 7 x 33. 8) 8 8 is enough! As you saw above with 4s and 6s, when you start working with nonprime factors it’s often easier to just divide out the smaller prime factors one at a time than to try to determine divisibility by a larger composite number in one fell swoop. Since 8 = 2 x 2 x 2, you’ll likely find more success testing for divisibility by 8 by just dividing by 2, then dividing by 2 again, then dividing by 2 a third time. So for a number like 312, rather than working through long division to divide by 8, just divide it in half (156) then in half again (78) then in half again (39), and you’ll know that 312 = 39 x 8. 9) 9 While “nein” may be German for “no,” you should be saying “yes” to divisibility by nine! 9 shares a big similarity with 3 in that a sumofthedigits rule applies here too. If you sum the digits of an integer and that sum is a multiple of 9, the integer is also divisible by 9. So, for example, with the number 729, because 7 + 2 + 9 = 18, you know that 729 is divisible by 9 (it’s 81 x 9, which actually is 9 to the 3rd power). 10) 10 We’ve saved the best for last! If a number ends in 0, it’s divisible by 10, giving you a great opportunity to make the math easy. For example, a number like 210 (which you saw above) lets you pull the 0 aside and say that it’s 21 x 10, which means that it’s 3 x 7 x 10. Working with 10s makes mental (or pencilandpaper) math quick and convenient, so you should seek out opportunities to use such numbers in your calculations. For example, look at 693: If you add 7, you get to a number that ends in two 0s (so it’s 7 x 10 x 10), meaning that you know that 693 is divisible by 7 (it’s 7 away from an easy multiple of 7) *and* that it’s 7 x 99 because it’s one less 7 than 7 x 100. Because the GMAT rewards quick mental math, it’s a good idea to quickly check for, “If I have to add x to get to the nearest 0, then does that give me a multiple of x?” (297 is 3 away from 300, so you know that 297 = 99 x 3). And since 10 = 2 x 5, it’s also helpful sometimes to double a number that ends in 5 (try 215, which times 2 = 430) to see how many 10s you have (43). That tells you that 215 = 43 x 5 because 215 x 2 = 43 x (2 x 5). Working with 10s can make mental math extremely quick – we’d rate numbers that end in 0 a perfect 10! Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! By Brian Galvin 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Our Thoughts on Stanford GSB's Application Essays for 20152016 
Application season at Stanford GSB is officially underway with the release of the school’s 20152016 essay questions. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach these new essay prompts. Essay 1: What matters most to you, and why? (750 words) The dreaded Stanford openended essay prompt has been one of the most feared parts of the school’s application process for years. For many students the more open the prompt the higher the anxiety – couple this with the inherent pressure that results from applying to Stanford, and many students derail their chances of success before they even put pen to paper. Many students struggle with how to tackle this type of essay question and with Stanford, it’s best to follow the direction provided by the Admissions Committee. The “what” of your essay is less important than the “why.” Stanford GSB, as much as any other program, truly wants to know who you are. So give them the chance by offering up some direct insight into who you are as a person. Introspection is key in this essay, and walking the AdComm through the “what” of the question, as well as why you are uniquely motivates by this “what”, will serve to humanize your candidacy and make your response more personal. Stanford strives to admit people, not just GMAT scores or GPAs, so make sure you let them into your world. Breakthrough candidates will utilize structured storytelling effects to craft a compelling narrative that brings the Stanford AdComm deep into the candidate’s world. This essay honestly at its core is about getting to know you, so don’t miss the opportunity by trying to craft the perfect answer for what you feel the AdComm wants to read. Essay 2: Why Stanford? (400 words) This is a typical “Why School X Question,” however, you will want to avoid the typical boilerplate response with Stanford and dive a bit deeper here. Think of this prompt in two parts: “Why MBA?” and “Why Specifically a Stanford MBA?” Be specific and connect your personal and professional development goals to the unique programs at Stanford that are relevant to your success. Breakthrough candidates will not only select clear, wellaligned goals, but will connect these goals with a personal passion that makes their candidacy feel bigger than just business. Now do not reach here, the more authentic this personal passion is the better it will connect with the AdComm, but for years Stanford has maintained a track record of looking for something a bit different in their candidates. Just a few thoughts on the new essays from Stanford, hopefully this will help you get started. For more thoughts on Stanfords’s deadlines and essays, check out another post here. If you are considering applying to Stanford GSB, download our Essential Guide to Stanford, one of our 14 guides to the world’s top business schools. Ready to start building your applications for Stern and other top MBA programs? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: How to Compare Effectively During the GMAT 
A lot of GMAT test takers complain about insufficient time. This is understandable as far as the Verbal section is concerned. We all have different reading speeds and that itself accounts for a lot of time issues in the Verbal section. Obviously then there are other factors – your comfort with the language, your comprehension skills, your conceptual understanding of the Verbal question types, etc. However, timing issues should not arise in the Quant section. Your reading speed has very little effect on the overall timing scheme because most of the time during the Quant section is spent in solving the question. So if you are falling short on time, it means the methods you are using are not appropriate. We have said it before and will say it again – most GMAT Quant questions can be done in under one minute if you just look for the right thing. For example, of the four listed numbers below, which number is the greatest and which is the least? 2/3 2^2/3^2 2^3/3^3 Sqrt(2)/Sqrt(3) Now, how much time you take to solve this depends on how you approach this problem. If you get into ugly calculations, you will end up wasting a ton of time. 2/3 = .667 2^2/3^2 = 4/9 = .444 2^3/3^3 = 8/27 = .296 Sqrt(2)/Sqrt(3) = 1.414/1.732 = .816 So we know that the greatest is Sqrt(2)/Sqrt(3) and the least is 2^3/3^3. We got the answer but we wasted at least 23 mins in getting it. We can do the same thing very quickly. We know that the squares/cubes/roots etc of numbers vary according to where the numbers lie on the number line. 2/3 lies in between 0 and 1, as does 1/4. The Sqrt(1/4) = 1/2, which is greater than 1/4, so we know that the Sqrt(2/3) will be greater than 2/3 as well. Also, the square and cube of 1/4 is less than 1/4, so the square and cube of 2/3 will also be less than 2/3. So the comparison will look like this: (2/3)^3 < (2/3)^2 < 2/3 < Sqrt(2/3) That is all you need to do! We arrived at the same answer using less than 30 secs. Using this technique, let’s solve a question: Which of the following represents the greatest value? (A) Sqrt(3)/Sqrt(5) + Sqrt(5)/Sqrt(7) + Sqrt(7)/Sqrt(9) (B) 3/5 + 5/7 + 7/9 (C) 3^2/5^2 + 5^2/7^2 + 7^2/9^2 (D) 3^3/5^3 + 5^3/7^3 + 7^3/9^3 (E) 3/5 + 1 – 5/7 + 7/9 Such a question can baffle someone who believes in calculating everything. We know better than that! Note that the base values in all the options are 3/5, 5/7 and 7/9. This should hint that we need to compare term to term and not the entire expressions. Also, all values lie between 0 and 1 so they will behave the same way. Sqrt(3)/Sqrt(5) is the same as Sqrt(3/5). The square root of a number between 0 and 1 is greater than the number itself. 3^2/5^2 is the same as (3/5)^2. The square (and cube) of a number between 0 and 1 is less than the number itself. So, the comparison will look like this: (3/5)^3 < (3/5)^2 < 3/5 < Sqrt(3/5) (5/7)^3 < (5/7)^2 < 5/7 < Sqrt(5/7) (7/9)^3 < (7/9)^2 < 7/9 < Sqrt(7/9) This means that out of (A), (B), (C) and (D), the greatest one is (A). Now we just need to analyse (E) and compare it with (B). The first term is the same, 3/5. The last term is the same, 7/9. The only difference is that (B) has 5/7 in the middle and (E) has 1 – 5/7 = 2/7 in the middle. So (E) is certainly less than (B). We already know that (A) is greater than (B), so we can say that (A) must be the greatest value. A quick recap of important number properties: Case 1: N > 1 N^2, N^3, etc. will be greater than N. The Sqrt(N) and the CubeRoot(N) will be less than N. The relation will look like this: … CubeRoot(N) < Sqrt(N) < N < N^2 < N^3 … Case II: 0 < N < 1 N^2, N^3 etc will be less than N. The Sqrt(N) and the CubeRoot(N) will be greater than N. The relation will look like this: … N^3 < N^2 < N < Sqrt(N) < CubeRoot(N) … Case III: 1 < N < 0 Even powers will be greater than N and positive; Odd powers will be greater than N but negative. The square root will not be defined, and the cube root of N will be less than N. CubeRoot(N) < N < N^3 < 0 < N^2 Case IV: N < 1 Even powers will be greater than N and positive; Odd powers will be less than N. The square root will not be defined, and the cube root of N will be greater than N. N^3 < N < CubeRoot(N) < 0 < N^2 Note that you don’t need to actually remember these relations, just take a value in each range and you will know how all the numbers in that range behave. Getting ready to take the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! 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! 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Catching Sneaky Remainder Questions on the GMAT 
One of my favorite topics to teach is remainders. We learn about remainders in grade school and when I introduce the topic in class, the response is often amused incredulity. It isn’t hard to see that when 16 is divided by 7, the remainder is 2. How can it possibly be the case that something we learned in fifth grade is included on a test that helps determine where we go to graduate school? But in mathematics, seemingly basic topics often have broader applications. So let’s consider both simple and complex applications of remainders on the GMAT. The most straightforward scenario is for the question to ask what the remainder is in a given context. We’ll start by looking at an official Data Sufficiency question of moderate difficulty: What is the remainder when x is divided by 3? 1) The sum of the digits of x is 5 2) When x is divided by 9, the remainder is 2 Pretty straightforward question. In Statement 1, we could approach by simply picking numbers. If the sum of the digits of x is 5, x could be 14. When 14 is divided by 3, the remainder is 2. Similarly, x could be 32. When 32 is divided by 3, the remainder will again be 2. Or x could be 50, and still, the remainder when x is divided by 3 will be 2. So no matter what number we pick, the remainder will always be 2. Statement 1 alone is sufficient. Note that if we know the rule for divisibility by 3 – if the digits of a number sum to a multiple of 3, the number itself is a multiple of 3 – we can reason this out without picking numbers. If the sum of the digits of x were exactly 3, the remainder would be 0. If the sum of the digits of x were 4, then logically, the remainder would be 1. Consequently, if the sum of the digits of x were 5, the remainder would have to be 2. Again, in Statement 2, we can pick numbers. We’re told that when x is divided by 9, the remainder is 2. To quickly generate a list of numbers that we might test, we can start with multiples of 9: 9, 18, 27, 36, etc. Then, we can add two to each of those multiples of 9 to get the following list of numbers: 11, 20, 29, 38, etc. All of these numbers will give us a remainder of 2 when divided by 9. Now we can test them. If x is 11, when x is divided by 3, the remainder will be 2. If x is 20, when x is divided by 3, the remainder will be 2. We’ll quickly see that the remainder will always be 2, so Statement 2 is also sufficient on its own. The answer to this question is D, either statement alone is sufficient. That’s not too bad. But the GMAT won’t always be so conspicuous about what category of math it’s testing. Take this more challenging question, for example: June 25, 1982 fell on a Friday. On which day of the week did June 25, 1987 fall. (Note: 1984 was a leap year.) A) Sunday B) Monday C) Tuesday D) Wednesday E) Thursday If you’re anything like my students, it’s not blindingly obvious that this is a remainder question in disguise. But that is precisely what we’re dealing with. Consider a very simple case. Say that June 1 is a Monday, and I want to know what day of the week it will be 14 days later. Clearly, that would also be a Monday. And if I asked you what day of the week it would be 16 days later, you’d know that it would be a Wednesday – two days after Monday. Put another way – because we’re dealing with weeks, or increments of 7 – all we need to do is divide the number of days elapsed by 7 and then find the remainder in order to determine the day of the week. 16 divided by 7 gives a remainder of 2, so if June 1 is a Monday, 16 days later must be 2 days after Monday. Suddenly the aforementioned question is considerably more approachable. From June 25, 1982 to June 25, 1983 a total of 365 days will pass. 365/7 gives a remainder of 1, so if June 25, 1982 was a Friday, June 25 1983 will be a Saturday. From June 25, 1983 to June 25, 1984, 366 days will pass because 1984 is a leap year. 366/7 gives a remainder of 2, so if June 25, 1983 was a Saturday, June 25, 1984 will be 2 days later, or Monday. We already know that in a typical 365 day year, the remainder will be 1, so June 25, 1985 will be Tuesday, June 25, 1986 will be Wednesday and June 25, 1987 will be Thursday, which is our answer. Takeaway: the challenge of the GMAT isn’t necessarily that questions are asking you to do difficult math, but that it can be hard to figure out what the questions are asking you to do. When you encounter something that seems unfamiliar or strange, remind yourself that virtually every problem you encounter will involve the application of a concept considerably simpler than the nebulous wording the question might suggest. *Official Guide questions 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Our Thoughts on Yale SOM's Application Essay for 20152016 
Application season at the Yale School of Management is officially underway with the release of the school’s 20152016 essay question. Let’s discuss from a high level some early thoughts on how best to approach this year’s single essay prompt from Yale: The Yale School of Management educates individuals who will have deep and lasting impacts on the organizations they lead. Describe how you have positively influenced an organization as an employee, a member, or an outside constituent (500 words maximum). Again, Yale only has one essay this year so candidates must make sure to really double down on this aspect of the application. The first step should be to sift through anecdotes within your personal, professional and academic careers to discuss in this essay. It’s not enough to simply select an example where you made a big impact, but instead, one where the full breadth of your interpersonal skills are on display. The ideal social skills to highlight are ones that jive with the Yale SOM mission. This year, Yale brings back their same essay prompt as last year, so if you are a candidate who applied in the 20142015 application season or got a head start on your essays by benchmarking against that essay, you are in luck. This is a hybrid “influence”/“impact” essay where applicants are asked to describe a unique personal, professional, or academic situation where they have made a difference. Also, it would be wise to leverage some of the clues within the prompt itself. Words like “deep”, “lasting”, “lead” and “influence” should serve as elements of the story you should lean on to make your case. Make sure the example(s) selected have a bit more staying power –Yale is looking for sustainable impact you have had on an organization. The typical candidate will tell the Admissions Committee how they influenced an organization. Breakthrough candidates won’t just tell the AdComm how they influenced an organization, but instead will show the underlying process in how it happened. Introspection will be a key element to any successful Yale SOM essay, relating why this specific anecdote is significant to YOU. Finally, consider if and then how this experience will allow you to make a similar impact on the greater Yale SOM community as a whole. Just a few thoughts on this year’s essay from Yale, hopefully this will help you get started. If you are considering applying to Yale SOM, download our Essential Guide to Yale, one of our 13 guides to the world’s top business schools. Ready to start building your applications for Stern and other top MBA programs? Call us at 18009257737 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Think Like Einstein to Answer GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions 
I recently read Manjit Kumar’s, Quantum, which is about the philosophical disagreement between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein with respect to the nature of reality. In high school physics, we learned about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, which posits that we can never know both the position and the momentum of an electron with absolute certainty. The more precisely we measure an electron’s position, the less we know about its momentum, and vice versa. There are two ways to interpret this phenomenon. Einstein thought that an electron had a defined position and momentum. We simply weren’t capable of documenting both at the same time due to the clumsiness of our measuring instruments. Bohr, on the other hand, believed that an electron didn’t have a position or momentum until we measured it. In other words, the electron doesn’t exist before it’s observed (which, of course, raises knotty metaphysical questions about how the observer exists, if the observer is herself made of subatomic particles, none of which exist before they’re observed. But this one is a little harder to connect to the GMAT, so the reader is invited to contemplate such a conundrum in his or her own time, once the test is in the rear view mirror). Though physicists, by and large, are more likely to accept Bohr’s interpretation than Einstein’s, on the GMAT we’ll want to reason more like Einstein, particularly when it comes to Data Sufficiency. In almost every class I teach, a student will ask a question along the lines of, “Is it possible that, in a value question, Statement 1 will tell you definitively that x equals 8, and that Statement 2 will tell you definitively that x equals some other number?” The answer is a resounding “No” – x has a unique value, the question is whether we can definitively divine what that value is. If Statement 1 tells us decisively that x = 8, Statement 2 cannot tell us that x equals, say, 10. Let’s see how this principle can be helpful in action: If a certain positive integer is divided by 9, the remainder is 3. What is the remainder when the integer is divided by 5? 1) If the integer is divided by 45, the remainder is 30. 2) The integer is divisible by 2 Statement 1 tells me that when I divide an integer by 45, I get a remainder of 30. So I could test 75, because that will give a remainder of 30 when divided by 45 (And, just as importantly, it gives a remainder of 3 when divided by 9 – I have to satisfy the conditions embedded in the question stem too!). The question asks me for the remainder when the integer is divided by 5. Well, 75/5 will give no remainder, so the remainder, in this case, is 0. Let’s see if that will always be the case. Next, we’ll test 105, which gives a remainder of 30 when divided by 45, and gives a remainder of 3 when divided by 9 [note: I can generate fresh numbers to test by simply adding the divisor, 30, to the previous number I test (75 + 30 = 105)]. Clearly 105/5 will give a remainder of 0, as any number that ends in 5 will be divisible by 5. The same will be true of 145, or 175, or 205. The remainder, when the integer in question is divided by 5 will always be 0, so Statement 1 is sufficient. Now let’s reason like Einstein. We know that the answer to the question has a definitive value of 0. That can’t change. The only way Statement 2 can be sufficient is if it gives us that same value. So let’s pick a number that is divisible by 2 but gives a remainder of 3 when divided by 9. 12 will work. The remainder, when 12 is divided by 5, is 2. All we need to see is that we did not get 0. We don’t have to test another number. Statement 2 cannot, alone, be sufficient, because we already know – the Einsteins that we are – that the value in question is 0. Statement 2 cannot tell us that the value is definitively 2 (if we continued to test, we’d eventually find values that gave us a remainder of 0 when we divided by 5, but because there are other possibilities, Statement 2 doesn’t give us enough information to determine, without a doubt, that the value is 0). We’re done. Statement 2 is insufficient. The answer is A: Statement 1 alone is sufficient. Note that this same logic will work on “YES/NO” questions as well. If Statement 1 tells us that the answer to the question is definitively “YES”, Statement 2 cannot tell us that the answer is definitively “NO”, and vice versa. Recognizing this can save us valuable time. Takeaway: Although Niels Bohr might say that there is no answer to a Data Sufficiency question until we evaluate a statement, for these questions we want to think more like Einstein and recognize that, in the mind of the questionwriter, there is an objective answer – the question is whether we have enough information to definitely deduce what that answer is. There may be no objective reality in the quantum world, but on the GMAT, there most certainly is. *GMATPrep 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, YouTube 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. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: SAT Tip of the Week: Making the “Order of Difficulty” Rule Simple 
The concept of “Order of Difficulty” is something that can be extraordinarily helpful to any SAT test taker. In general, the SAT orders its questions from easy to hard and on the surface, it seems to be a pretty simple concept (this information is readily available on the College Board’s website). While this is extremely important and helpful to know, it is even more essential to analyze and understand how to use this to your advantage. So let’s talk about the “Order of Difficulty” and how you can benefit from it come test day: Math Section On the Math sections, for the most part, questions go straight from the easiest to the most difficult. The one exception to this is when you have two questions that look at the same table or graph. The first of these two questions will be simpler and the second will be much more difficult. The third math section, which is both multiple choice and grid, follows a similar pattern BUT restarts at question nine when the gridin questions begin. On this section, understanding the “Order of Difficulty” phenomenon can help you catch errors. If an early problem is taking you a lot of time, you are probably doing something wrong. These problems are designed to be simple and most test takers across the board get them right. If you find yourself struggling with question one or two, start from the beginning and you will almost surely identify an arithmetic error or find that you may have misunderstood the directions. The opposite applies on later problems: if a later question takes you just a few couple seconds to figure out, chances are you fell into one of the College Board’s traps. In this case, restart the problem again and see if you can catch the error you made. Once you rectify this, you will most likely be able to answer the difficult question correctly – which will separate you from the pack – and allow you to then proceed with the rest of the section. Writing Section On the SAT Writing sections, the rule of “Order of Difficulty” also applies. The section with 35 questions will go from easy to hard for the first 11 questions of this sequence, and deal with improving sentences. The order of easy to hard restarts from questions 12 to 29 and reviews identifying sentence errors. Questions 30 through 35 do NOT follow the “Order of Difficulty” rule, so if problems are taking a while there, it is a good idea to come back to the troublesome questions later. In this section, the advanced strategies for “Order of Difficulty” center on the idea of “no error”. Many students will be hesitant to choose a “no error” answer on a later problem because they feel as if they are missing some difficult, obscure grammar rule. Generally, this leads to students picking an answer that might sound awkward or “off.” Don’t fall prey to this temptation and remember it is very common for one or two of the later Writing questions on identifying sentence errors to not have any error at all. Unless you can point to a specific grammar rule, don’t choose an answer that sounds weird just because you feel the question MUST have an error – that is exactly what the SAT wants you to do. Reading Section The Reading Comprehension section is the one area of the SAT where the “Order of Difficulty” rule doesn’t apply as frequently. Here, all of the sentence competition questions increase in order of difficulty. However, once the passagebased reading questions start, there is absolutely no order in terms of question difficulty. This means that it is possible for an early question to be very difficult. If you are stumped on one of these, the best thing to do is to move on to the next question, as no single problem is worth a large portion of your time. Unlike with passagebased reading questions, the “Order of Difficulty” concept is great for sentence completion problems. Generally speaking, easier words will be the correct answers on the earlier questions and more complex words will be the correct answers on the later questions. Even without understanding the specific definitions of some words, this pretty rudimentary concept can help eliminate some incorrect answer choices and improve your chances of getting the answer correct. “Order of Difficulty” is a fairly well known concept among test takers, and understanding it is essential. You will separate yourself from fellow test takers nationwide by working with this concept and turning it to your advantage. Still need to take the SAT? We run a free online SAT prep seminar every few weeks. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Jake Davidson is a Mork Family Scholar at USC and enjoys writing for the school paper as well as participating in various clubs. He has been tutoring privately since the age of 15 and is incredibly excited to help students succeed on the SAT. 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: 99th Percentile GMAT Score or Bust! Lesson 6: Practice Tests Aren't Real Tests 
Veritas Prep’s Ravi Sreerama is the #1ranked GMAT instructor in the world (by GMATClub) and a fixture in the new Veritas Prep Live Online format as well as in Los Angelesarea classrooms. He’s beloved by his students for the philosophy “99th percentile or bust!”, a signal that all students can score in the elusive 99th percentile with the proper techniques and preparation. In this “9 for 99th” video series, Ravi shares some of his favorite strategies to efficiently conquer the GMAT and enter that 99th percentile. First, take a look at Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5! Lesson Six: Practice Tests Aren’t Real Tests: read the popular GMAT forums and you’ll see lots of handwringing and bellyaching about practice tests scores…but not very much analysis beyond the scores themselves. In this video, Ravi (along with his alter ego Allen Iverson) talks about practice, stressing the importance of using the tests to increase your score more than to merely try to predict it. Pacing is paramount and diagnosis is divine; as Ravi will explain, practice tests are critical for learning how you would perform if that were the real thing, with the added bonus of having the opportunity to fix those things that you don’t like about that practice performance. Click HERE to check out Ravi’s latest video on this subject. Are you studying for the GMAT? We have free online GMAT seminars running all the time. And, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube and Google+, and follow us on Twitter! Want to learn more from Ravi? He’s taking his show on the road for a oneweek Immersion Course in New York this summer, and he teaches frequently in our new Live Online classroom. By Brian Galvin 
FROM Veritas Prep Blog: Oh, the Place You'll Go! How to Choose Your Study Abroad Program 
Congratulations–you’ve decided to study abroad! (If you haven’t yet, read my previous article for 9 good reasons you should take the plunge.) The next step is to decide where to go. If you still aren’t sure, here are a few tips:
[*]If you need to save money, consider traveling to countries with exchange rates that are in your favor. I was able to travel to India last year because the rate at the time was 60 rupees to 1 dollar; the only truly substantial cost I ended up having to cover out of pocket was my airfare.[/list] [*]Take any language barriers into account. If you don’t know the language already, it will take quite a lot of time to pick it up; many study abroad students never move past introductory phrases, especially if they have never had exposure to the language before. Language immersion is most effective when students already have some knowledge of the language beforehand.[/list] [*]Research the academic programs available in each country and each program you have access to. Singapore, for instance, runs plenty of great programs for science and engineering, but few for the humanities. Sticking to programs that offer you good academic opportunities in your field(s) of interest will make it easier for you to incorporate your time abroad into your overall course of study.[/list] [*]Check whether your classes abroad will transfer back to your home university. The last thing you want is to return home after a great semester abroad only to realize too late that you’re a few credits short of graduation, or a class short of declaring your major. Ensure that your fouryear academic plan can accommodate your time abroad, and check with your school and major advisors to make sure everything will line up academically.[/list] [*]Opt for longer programs, if you have the time and resources to do so. The longer you stay, the better understanding you’ll gain of your host country—which is, after all, the point of studying abroad.[/list] [*]Understand your own comfort zone. If you’ve never traveled outside of your home state before, it might not be the best idea to plan a 6month homestay in developing country where you don’t know the language and don’t understand the culture. Culture shock is real, and studying abroad can be lonely and scary if you have trouble adapting to your host country and community.[/list] [*]Go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. College is a great time to travel, and you’ll have an easier time settling in to new surroundings if you’re excited to be there.[/list] [*]Just go. Don’t get too caught up in planning the perfect trip; no matter which study abroad program you choose, you’ll learn and grow in amazing ways you never could from your home campus. Have fun, and best of luck![/list] Need help prepping your college application? 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. 

