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High Level GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice

April 18, 2014 by

GMAT reading comprehensionWe’ve recently discussed GMAT Reading Comprehension question types and patterns in detail, so it’s time to try your hand at identifying question types and answering some difficult practice questions.

GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice: The Passage

“Strange Bedfellows!” lamented the title of a recent letter to Museum News, in which a certain Harriet Sherman excoriated the National Gallery of Art in Washington for its handling of tickets to the much-ballyhooed “Van Gogh’s van Goghs” exhibit. A huge proportion of the 200,000 free tickets were snatched up by homeless opportunists in the dead of winter, who then scalped those tickets at $85 apiece to less hardy connoiseurs.

Yet, Sherman’s bedfellows are far from strange. Art, despite its religious and magical origins, very soon became a commercial venture. From bourgeois patrons funding art they barely understood in order to share their protegee’s prestige, to museum curators stage-managing the cult of artists in order … Read full post

GMAT Stress Management: Improve Your Performance

April 17, 2014 by

Last time I talked about anticipation stress and how it can impede your preparation for the GMAT. Keep working on conquering that kind of stress.

Now, let’s talk about the other type of stress that I mentioned in my previous blog entry – test day/performance stress. On test day, there is a chance that you might experience one of the following situations:

  1. Getting stuck on a question
  2. Losing focus
  3. Starting to panic

What to do if you get stuck on a question

If you get stuck on a question, don’t spend an unnecessary amount of time on it.  Think about employing a guessing strategy and move on.  Good test takers realize that everyone misses a point here or there – they have to get the MOST points, not all the points. After about 2 minutes of work on a question, if you haven’t yet reached an answer, it’s a good … Read full post

GMAT Stress Management: Anticipation Stress

April 15, 2014 by

Are you dealing with any of these potentially stressful situations?

1) Paying on student loans
2) Trying to secure an impressive job
3) Making time to network with friends
4) Attempting to date in the Google Glass world

You get the idea. Now, you want to go to business school and all the admissions officers and literature talk about how important the GMAT is for successful applications.

Did you need any more stress?

The Benefits of Stress

Stress can be a good thing: Stress produces adrenaline which can help increase concentration and focus your mind. On the other end of this, however, adrenaline can cause an increase in anxiety, sweaty palms, nervous ticks, and nausea. You are going to have adrenaline when you take the test – you MUST learn to control and use it to increase your score. Stress management is part of your GMAT prep strategy.

Think about … Read full post

How to Beat GMAT Reading Comprehension – Part II

April 14, 2014 by

As I mentioned in my previous exploration of GMAT Reading Comprehension, most of the questions focus on the author’s purpose, so if you can at least identify her main idea as you slog through the passage, the author will guide you to the right answer in three out of four of those main question types:

  • The correct answer to a Global question is essentially a statement of the author’s purpose
  • The right answer choice to Inference questions, even though these can seem completely speculative, will never contradict the author’s purpose, and is often directly informed by that purpose.
  • Logic questions look for an answer that addresses why our author has included a detail or a paragraph in her passage; the why is that that detail or paragraph always serves her purpose.

Common GMAT Reading Comprehension Trap Answers

Now comes the fun part: beating the test designers at their … Read full post

How to Beat GMAT Reading Comprehension

April 11, 2014 by

There are some fortunate beings among us who seem to thrive on GMAT Reading Comprehension problems. The rest of look on with veiled mirthless smiles at these blessed souls, all the while muttering under our collective breaths, “what, are ya nuts!” If you’re like most of us mere mortals, Reading Comp is a complete pain: long, nearly incomprehensible passages on subjects about which we know little or nothing, and care even less, followed by inscrutable questions that seem to have been devised by the Sphinx herself.  What’s to be done to tackle this part of the Verbal section?

How To Beat GMAT Reading Comprehension

Well, if you’ve looked into any part of the GMAT with the least little bit of attention, you will have noticed that this beastly test is filled with recurring patterns, and, though widely varying Reading Comp passages hardly seem likely to harbor repeated patterns, the questions Read full post

Beating the GMAT: Intelligence is Insufficient

April 8, 2014 by

Ping pong playerUndoubtedly, the GMAT can be a frustrating test to learn how to beat. Most who find themselves in battle with it end up following a red herring by questioning what the heck this test has to do with business. Entertaining this line of inquiry is a fool’s errand and takes the focus off the necessary work. Further, getting distracted by a why-do-I-have-to-what-does-this-have-to-do-with-anything mindset constructs cognitive walls that impede progress.

Rest assured: the GMAT is a valid and useful tool for assessing your business school application package. If you want more information as to the how-and-why of GMAT validity, read this and this or go here. Despite the legitimacy of the exam, I always like to offer brief comments to my students regarding the relevance of GMAT questions and tested skills to managerial acumen when the opportunity arises. The reactions I get are seldom revelatory, but I like to sow … Read full post

Top 3 GMAT Time Management Strategies

April 7, 2014 by

GMAT time managementTime management is a very important element of the GMAT. Those of us who have chosen this path are juggling so many different deadlines and time constraints, and effective time management is critical to ensuring your success. Here are my top 3 GMAT time management strategies while preparing Test Day!

1. Be specific

Early in my career, I was introduced to the idea of a model calendar and I still utilize it to this day. When creating my model calendar, I’m specific. I don’t just list Monday – ‘GMAT PREP’.  I choose a day, specific time, and list the aspect of the test that I plan to review. On Monday from 7 – 9pm, I concentrate on Data Sufficiency questions, Tuesday from 8-10pm is dedicated to Sentence Structure, etc.  This strategy helps me feel confident that I have covered the five question types and one CATRead full post

Don’t Fall for Common Misconceptions About the GMAT

April 1, 2014 by

April 1st is here, and you know what that means: pranks, jokes, and odd press releases in which companies make outrageous claims, like: “Wow, Google says they’re going to set up a colony on Mars!” . . . “Hey, Nike has invented an anti-gravity shoe!” . . . “Whoa, did you see that Taco Bell is going to start serving breakfast?” (Wait, that one is true.)

On one level, most of us are naturally skeptical of any seemingly suspicious claim made on April Fools’ Day. One another level, what harm is it to entertain the thought? Perhaps some of us choose to believe these stories simply because we want them to be true.

When it comes to the GMAT, be careful to separate what you want to be true, and what is actually true. Don’t fall for the common misconceptions that so … Read full post

GMAT Study Tip: Do the “Write” Thing

March 31, 2014 by

I take notes.  I write things down.  Those statements may sound less than novel, but more and more such actions seem to be just that.  In the classes I teach, both for Kaplan and at DePaul, it is the rare student I observe actually taking notes and it is the rare student who clamors for pen and paper to assist in communication during group work or to record the communication that takes place.  Instead, most learners and communicators either do not use a pen and paper at all or they have developed the lesser habit of using a computer to capture important information. However, I’ve got a GMAT study tip that will change your approach.

In a FastCompany article I came across the other day, it looks like some there’s data offering a few more bones on the pile advocating for taking the ol’ reliable route of writing things down.  … Read full post

Is GMAT Tutoring Right for You?

March 25, 2014 by

Tutor 3Why Does GMAT Tutoring Work?

It is different than the classroom prep experience, where the agenda is set and you work at the rate established by the rest of the students in class and the teacher’s lesson book. While some students function perfectly within the classroom environment, others find that they need the focused, flexible attention of tutoring in order to flourish.

Do you learn best in a one-on-one, face-to-face setting?

When you work one-on-one with an expert Kaplan GMAT tutor on your own schedule and at your own pace, you can create the ideal test prep experience for YOU. With GMAT Private Tutoring you’ll work with a rigorously trained instructor who will focus exclusively on your needs. Do you need to spend more time on a specific area? No problem. Prefer to breeze through a section that’s easier for you? You got it. With GRE Tutoring, your test prep … Read full post


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