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Pigeonholing GMAT Questions

This post is inspired by a recent student of mine who was able to improve from a 480 on his diagnostic to a 660 on the real GMAT. He was great at categorizing GMAT questions, but he really started seeing a jump after he took the below advice to heart. If you spend enough time…

No “Almosts” on GMAT Verbal

So you’ve been studying a couple months for the GMAT. You’ve seen an increase in your Verbal score, but now you’ve suddenly plateaued. When you do a set of 20 Critical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension questions, you consistently get 15 right, but you’ve been stuck at this rate for a couple weeks. But, there’s good…

GMAT Timing Tip: Is It Time to Guess?

If you even scratch the surface of a GMAT prep book, a GMAT forum, or just a random GMAT conversation on the street (those do happen, I swear), you’ll hear something about the scoring algorithm — that you MUST get the first 10 questions right, that you’re doing poorly if you get an easy question…

How to Study for the GMAT: Fooled by Randomness

Because of the unique nature of the GMAT, many test-takers find that their progress hits a plateau about a month or two into their preparation. This fact isn’t a denunciation of the student’s ability or their study materials, but, more often than not, a consequence of how these students prepare for the exam. If you’re…

GMAT Verbal: Can You Really Improve Your Critical Reasoning?

Conventional GMAT wisdom suggests that you should spend the majority of your time preparing for the Quantitative section. The reasoning behind this claim is largely valid: The Quantitative section tests mathematical reasoning in a highly nuanced way, and before you can even begin to learn and recognize these nuances, you need to brush up on…

GMAT Timing Tip: The Sunk Cost Fallacy

When students call me to discuss issues they’ve been having in their preparation, one of the most common concerns I hear is timing. Be it on practice tests or on the real thing, basically all GMAT test-takers experience a time crunch at some point during the test, if not throughout the entire exam. Now, if…

GMAT Anxiety: Your Worst Enemy or Your Best Ally

Everyone who takes the GMAT suffers from at least some anxiety. I’ve taken it three times and scored 760+ each time, but even at my last sitting, I remember feeling that rush of adrenaline and nerves as the test started. In the back of your mind, you will always wonder whether they will suddenly throw…

GMAT Calculations: Avoid the Dirty Work!

If you’ve been studying for the GMAT, you’ve inevitably found yourself in a situation where you were thinking “If only I had a calculator!” Many of my students express this sentiment, especially when doing weird digits questions or when forced to evaluate seemingly impossible percentages or fractions. I’m going to say here what I tell…

Meaning Issues in Sentence Correction

If you’ve been following the GMAT forums, you’ve probably come to learn that GMAC (the creators of the GMAT) recently announced that many of the Sentence Correction questions on the exam are trending away from Idiom and toward Meaning. Hearing of this news, many people studying for the exam have recently called me in a…

Analyzing a 700+ Data Sufficiency Question

As a full-time GMAT geek, the question of what exactly constitutes a difficult GMAT question occupies more of my time than I’d like to admit. This curiosity was only reinforced two weeks ago, when I took my annual official GMAT. Much to my relief, I was able to again score a perfect 51 on the…
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