# GMAT Studying: Correct Answers Can Be a Bridge to Success.

For about a year, I always used the same method to solve the following GMAT problem:

*How many liters of water must be evaporated from 50 liters of a 3 percent sugar solution to get a 5 percent sugar solution?*

“This is simple percentages,” I would say. “Just start by taking 3% of 50 liters, which is 3 over 100 times 50, which comes out to 1.5 liters sugar…”

But one day, teaching this same quantitative problem, a student’s hand shot straight up. “Yes, James?” I said. (That wasn’t his real name, by the way, but it will do.)

“Eli, who cares about the sugar?”

I paused. “Well, the sugar will help us figure out the solution.”

“But you don’t need it!” James explained. “I’ve been a chemical engineer for years, so I do this problem all the time. The sugar is a constant. The amount of sugar doesn’t change, and that amount is always equal to the concentration times the volume. So just do CV = CV; 50 times 3 is equal to the final volume times 5!”

I paused, impressed, and amazed—and have taught his timesaving shortcut ever since.

However, there is a bigger lesson here than simple mixture problems. I had approached that problem uncritically. I “knew” how to find the right answer, so I never gave it a second thought. I spent far more time prepping the combination and probability problems given their complexities and hidden challenges. As a result of my complacency, I made extra work for myself.

In other words, the takeaway is this: don’t focus exclusively on your mistakes. **Review your correct answers as carefully as your errors**. There might be a time-saving shortcut that you missed the first time through. Or better yet, you might have used such a technique that you can notice, reconstruct, and repeat! It’s very tempting to spend all of your time studying those red X’s on your quizzes and CATs. But avoid that trap; looking at your right answers as well as your errors will help you stay positive, and more importantly, will give you many opportunities to raise your score.

## @KaplanGMATPrep

## July 13

Road to #bschool events are around the corner. Check out the Carlson School of Management profile to get ready http://t.co/rvXWxZk5Vz #GMAT

## Kaplan GMAT Prep

## July 10

Anyone thinking about heading to the midwest for bschool? Check out this week's bschool profile, University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management: http://bit.ly/16rXsKY

University of Minnesota: Carlson School of Management

blog.kaplangmat.com

The University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, located in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, has a rich history and over 50,000...