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GMAT Quantitative Errors: Understanding Incorrect Answers

When most people miss a GMAT quant question, the ensuing chain of events tends to be some version of the following: refer to the answer explanation, make sure they understand the explanation, re-do the question, and move on to the next question. Though such an approach certainly benefits test-takers whose only issue is conceptual, it…

GMAT Critical Reasoning vs Data Sufficiency: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Traditional GMAT wisdom suggests that the skills needed for success on the Verbal section overlap little, if at all, with one’s quantitative abilities. Given our educational system and the very fact that the GMAT has separate Quantitative and Verbal sections, such a distinction seems uncontroversial and downright obvious. But, as we all know, the structure…

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…

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…

Factoring Exponential Expressions

Most of the time on the GMAT, manipulations with exponents are fairly straightforward. Usually, you’ll see two terms with a common base, and you’ll be expected to divide or multiply those terms (such as: 25 / 23 or 35 x 38). However, when you get to some of the higher-level questions, you’ll be expected to handle situations in which…

GMAT Data Sufficiency: Breaking Your Assumptions

One of the most widespread mistakes I see students make on Data Sufficiency concerns the information they consider when evaluating a statement. To properly determine whether a statement is sufficient, you must be focused on using only the information given. If, for example, a statement only tells you that -10 < x < 10, but says nothing else,…

GMAT Shortcuts

An enduring myth among many test-takers (GMAT and otherwise) is that standardized test preparation is simply a matter of memorizing a few rules and shortcuts and implementing these tricks on test day. This belief is only reinforced by large test-prep companies like The Princeton Review and Kaplan, whose curriculum is oriented around such superficial techniques.…

The Logic of GMAT Data Sufficiency

I recently received an e-mail from someone undergoing a mini-crisis over GMAT Data Sufficiency. I’ve decided to share the e-mail and my thoughts with the GMAT world: “… so critical reasoning isn’t much of a problem, nor is problem solving. But I can’t, for the life of me, wrap my mind around data sufficiency. And,…

The Most Common GMAT Data Sufficiency Mistake

As anyone who has prepared for the GMAT would attest to, the GMAT data sufficiency is probably the trickiest component of the test. Along with requiring an abundance of abstract thought, its strange wording and structure naturally induce students to make mistakes. Here, I’m going to discuss the #1 mistake students make on data sufficiency:…

Some Common GMAT Myths

If you’re looking to ace the GMAT, you’re faced with two fundamental challenges: mastering the content of the exam and understanding the nature of the test. Mastering the content of the test is no easy feat, but because of persistent myths about the exam, many students end up taking the wrong approach toward the GMAT…

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