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GMAT Problem Solving Practice: The Solution

February 3, 2014 by

Did you try out Friday’s GMAT problem solving practice question? If not, give it a try before you look at the solution. Here’s a reminder:

A theater charges $12 for seats in the orchestra and $8 for seats in the balcony.  On a certain night, a total of 350 tickets were sold for a total cost of $3,320.  How many more tickets were sold that night for seats in the balcony than for seats in the orchestra?

  • (A) 90
  • (B) 110
  • (C) 120
  • (D) 130
  • (E) 220

The first step in this problem is to translate the word problem into math.  You can write two equations based on the information in the question stem.  Call the balcony seats B and the orchestra seats R (avoid using the letter O as a variable because it looks like the number 0.) Now, you can write one equation based on the number … Read full post

GMAT Problem Solving Practice

January 31, 2014 by

It’s time again for some GMAT practice. Hey, I know you’re gearing up for a weekend of football and snacks, but why not set aside a few minutes to try this practice problem before you put on your beer hat? Here, I’ll even give you some hints to help you out…

When you encounter a word problem that you need to solve algebraically, write out your equations first, then solve.  Then, when you get the solution, make sure that you are answering the question being asked.

GMAT Problem Solving Practice

A theater charges $12 for seats in the orchestra and $8 for seats in the balcony.  On a certain night, a total of 350 tickets were sold for a total cost of $3,320.  How many more tickets were sold that night for seats in the balcony than for seats in the orchestra?

GMAT Coordinate Geometry

August 1, 2012 by

The key to many GMAT coordinate geometry questions is to remember that coordinate geometry is just another way of expressing the possible solutions to a two variable equation.  Each point on the line in a coordinate plane corresponds to a solution for the equation of that line.

The base equation for a line is y = mx + b, where b is the y intercept, or the point at which the line crosses the y-axis, and m is the slope, or the steepness of the line.  More specifically, the slope of a line is the change in the y coordinates divided by the change in the x coordinates between any two points on the line.

While understanding the basic format for an equation of a line can be very useful on the GMAT quantitative section, you will encounter GMAT problems in which it is faster and easier to think … Read full post

GMAT Test Day: What to Expect

July 21, 2012 by

Most students, after careful study, know what to expect on test day in terms of GMAT content.  However, it also important to know what to expect when you arrive at the Pearson Center.  Just as you have learned and practiced GMAT strategies, you should have a plan for handling your breaks and using your scratch sheets wisely.

When you first arrive at the Pearson Center, you will use your ID to check in and register a digital scan of the vein patterns in your palm.  Afterwards, you will place all of you personal items in a locker.  These include ID’s, watches, phones, wallets, keys, and even tissues.  You will not be able to bring anything with you into the testing room.  Furthermore, you will not be able to access these items during breaks in the test.

Once you are ready to get started, you will scan your … Read full post

GMAT Quantitative: Two Types of Mixture Problems

July 19, 2012 by

Mixture problems show up frequently on the quantitative section of the GMAT and fall into two basic categories.  As each type of mixture question will be approached in fairly different ways, it is important that you know the difference between them.

First, there are mixture problems that ask you to alter the proportions of a single mixture.  These questions could, for example, tell you that you have a 200 liter mixture that is 90% water and 10% bleach and ask how much water you would need to add to make it 5% bleach.  The key in this type of question is the part of the mixture that is constant – in this case the bleach.  While we are adding water, the amount of bleach stays the same.  First, determine how much bleach we have.  10% of 200 is 20 liters.  Next, we know we want those 20 liters to equal … Read full post

GMAT Prep: When to Take the Test

July 12, 2012 by

For those of you who recently received your undergraduate degree, you may already know that you want to go to business school and get your MBA some day but are not sure exactly when.  If this is the case, you may be unsure of the best plan for taking the GMAT.

GMAT scores are good for five years.  If you expect to go to business school further than five years in the future, you can’t take the GMAT yet.  However, if you plan to start within this time frame, you will do yourself a favor by taking the GMAT sooner rather than later.

First, you are still used to studying for school.  While this may not seem like a big deal after 16 years of education, just a few years in the workforce and away from academia can make it difficult to jump back into studying.  Additionally, as you … Read full post

GMAT Critical Reasoning: The Denial Test

July 7, 2012 by

In your GMAT preparation you have probably learned to tackle critical reasoning assumption questions by identifying the conclusion of the argument, followed by the evidence and then looking for the missing link between these, which will be the central assumption.  However, you have also probably encountered GMAT problems in which you either cannot figure out what the assumption is before you go to the answer choices or the assumption you found is not listed as an option.  When this happens you want to be ready with a backup strategy.

The standard backup strategy for assumption questions – and do keep in mind this should not be used as a primary strategy, since it is more time consuming than the usual approach – is the denial test.

The denial test is based on the idea that the assumption is something that must be true in order to link the evidence … Read full post

GMAT Scores: The Essay is Still Important

June 30, 2012 by

Often times, the portion of the GMAT most neglected by students is the writing sample.  While this section of the test is certainly less important than your overall 200 to 800 score, you still want to make sure that you know how to handle it.

The essay is graded on a scale from 1 to 6 and most business schools are expecting you to achieve a score of 4 or higher.  While the difference between a 4, 5, or 6 is not all that influential on your admissions prospects, receiving a score lower than a 4 can have a negative impact on your application.

While the integrated reasoning section, which was recently added to the GMAT, replaced the issue essay, the argument essay remains a part of the test.  In fact, it will be the very first section you see on test day.

The key to the essay … Read full post

GMAT Quant: Not Revolutionary – Just Radical

June 7, 2012 by

One of the most common mistakes that I see students make when practicing for the GMAT is the misapplication of the rules that govern square roots.  When approaching a question that involves radicals, it is vital that you know not only the rules that you must follow, but also the operations that are commonly believed to be rules, but are not.  On test day, the wrong answer choices will almost always be derived from the latter.

If you need to manipulate a square root, you must remember two key rules.  First, that √(ab) = √a x √b and, second, that the √(a/b) = √a/√b.  For example, if you need to simplify √20, you can rewrite it as √(4×5).  When choosing which factors to use, always look for perfect squares.  Since 4×5 includes the perfect square 4, it is better than 2×10, which does not include a perfect … Read full post

GMAT Average Speed Problems

May 30, 2012 by

Imagine you are driving from Chicago to Los Angeles, and you want to know what your average speed needs to be to reach Los Angeles in a certain number of hours.  You would probably start by determining the speed you will be able travel during certain parts of your journey.  Since most of the distance will be covered by highway, you might plan to travel most of the distance at 70 miles per hour.  However, you will also want to plan for some traffic when you are still in or near Chicago and when you get close to Los Angeles.  During these parts of your journey let’s say you can plan to travel at 30 miles per hour.

When calculating the average speed at which you will be traveling, you need to avoid the trap of just averaging these speeds together and planning on an average speed of 50 miles … Read full post

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