December 31, 2014 by

At Kaplan Test Prep, we talk to future MBAs every day, so the GMAT is a hot topic of conversation. Those conversations come with their share of myths that are just begging to be busted. So, to celebrate the beginning of 2015, we’re also counting down the top 10 GMAT myths … and then debunking them!

10. GMAT math is really tough.

False. GMAT math is deceptively simple—high-school-level simple. The GMAT assumes that you have mastered those basic concepts, and it challenges you to a mental duel based on them that requires critical thinking and a strategic approach.

9. I can always pull out my trusty calculator!

Sorry, but you can’t. Other than on the Integrated Reasoning section, there are no calculators allowed on the GMAT. The bad news: if you’re uncomfortable with mental arithmetic, you will struggle. The good news: no calculator means that the GMAT will only … Read full post

# The Two Most Common Errors in GMAT Data Sufficiency

December 30, 2014 by

GMAT data sufficiency questions test your ability to analyze a quantitative problem and recognize which information is necessary to figure out the solution.  What a data sufficiency question does NOT test you on is your ability to calculate and number-crunch.  A simpler way of addressing this might be to ask yourself a question as you work through a data sufficiency problem: “Is this enough?”  Keep this in mind as you evaluate (and on test day, avoid) two specific common errors that test-takers make while taking the GMAT.

Error #1: Combining statements when unnecessary

This is done when a test-taker looks at both statements and says “Yes, if I have both pieces of information, then I can figure out the answer, so together the statements are sufficient.”  However, you must remember that you’re also asked if either statement ALONE is enough to answer the question.  Understanding the differences among all … Read full post

December 29, 2014 by

Let’s first note the two reasons why we read in everyday life:

1)    We read because we are required (for real-life purposes) to be knowledgeable about the content we are reading: studying for a history exam, delivering on a business proposal, etc.

2)    We read because we have a natural interest in the topic at hand, as in leisurely reading: a novel, an analysis of a favorite sports team, etc.

You may have already known that the GMAT does not use particularly “interesting” topics.  Most content of a GMAT reading comprehension passage deals with topics such as a biological process, a historical event, or a technological innovation.  It would be silly to simply hope that your passages on the GMAT will be about specific topics that interest you.

However, you should also not view the passages as a set of details and factoids to be memorized.  Any reading passage may … Read full post

# MBA Rankings, Record Salaries, and Women MBAs in Business School News

December 12, 2014 by

From Duke and Yale University’s new spots in MBA rankings and which MBA programs have produced the most billionaires, to programs geared toward women MBAs, lucrative compensation packages, and—everybody’s favorite—infographics, let’s dig into the latest in business school news.

Who’s rising in MBA rankings?

While Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is basking in the glow of capturing top billing in last week’s new Bloomberg BusinessWeek MBA rankings, the biggest winners on the 2014 list are the near-dozen other MBA programs who made big strides.

The most noteworthy improvement belongs to Yale University’s School of Management, which jumped 15 spots to sixth place—its highest spot ever in any of the major (and many) rankings. (Poets & Quants)

Want to be a billionaire?

You’re in good company among the MBA crowd. Check out this list of MBA programs that have produced the most billionaires. None of the contenders will … Read full post

# Picking Numbers on GMAT Data Sufficiency: Permissible vs. Sufficient

December 8, 2014 by

One of the hallmark points of confusion on GMAT Data Sufficiency is the dreaded Yes/No question.

In a Value question, such as “What is the value of x?” the question of sufficiency is a familiar one: if you can solve for x, you have sufficiency.  But in a Yes/No question, especially when variables are involved, finding a solid answer can be a much cloudier process.

Sample GMAT Data Sufficiency Yes/No Question

The best way to clear this fog is with a concrete example.  Let’s look at this Data Sufficiency question, along with its first statement:

Is x positive?

(1) x^2 > 1

Is Statement (1) sufficient to answer the question?  Unless you have a comprehensive understanding of the underlying Number Properties at work here, your first reaction to this statement is likely to try out different numerical values for x, because working with real numbers instead of variables will … Read full post

# The Latest in MBA News: Finance Still in Favor, New MBA Rankings on the Way

November 25, 2014 by

Check out some of the latest MBA news from media outlets across the world. From changes in the business school applicant pool due to current economic trends to a sacked socialist government official heading back to business school, as well as soon-to-be-updated U.S. News and World Report rankings for MBA programs, there’s a lot to share!

• Newly minted MBAs from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business made finance the industry of choice once again this year. Why? Money. And lots of it. Think incredibly lucrative compensation packages. Nearly 30% of 2014 Stanford Graduate School graduates accepted job offers in finance, up from about a 25% last year. Forget those who say finance is out of favor in MBA programs—it’s still very much a top choice. (Quartz)
• Changes in the economy and culture have transformed the makeup of the business school applicant pool. Knowing these trends can help you craft

# 4 Tips for a High GMAT Score

November 19, 2014 by

You don’t just want to increase your GMAT score, you want to get a high GMAT score, right? You’ve come to the right place. Our veteran teacher Gene Suhir has detailed advice for what sets GMAT high scorers apart from the pack. Take note.

4 Tips for a High GMAT Score, from Kaplan Expert Gene Suhir

1. GMAT high scorers are really good at picking and choosing their battles wisely.  They understand that they WILL be getting certain questions wrong on test day, and that being perfectionists can hurt them (getting a problem right after 5 minutes is a Pyrrhic victory).
2. High scorers recognize patterns that others don’t, so they are able to correct the mistakes they made previously on similar problems.  Meanwhile, others continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over again because they fail to see the similarities between the problem they’re working

# Setting a GMAT Score Target

November 3, 2014 by

What should your GMAT score goal be?  This is one of the biggest initial steps in your GMAT process.  We can help you set  your target score as well as achieve it, but it’s not as simple a process as you might imagine.

Setting a GMAT Score Target

1. Research your possible MBA programs.  Compile a list of all the programs you’d like to attend.  Be thorough in your research and clearly identify why you would like to attend each institution that makes it onto your list.
2. Find out the average GMAT score for admitted students to each of your listed programs.  If, for some reason, you cannot find that information online, call the admissions office and ask.  Don’t be afraid to reach out!
3. Set an above-average target GMAT score.  Take a look at the highest average score on your program list; to be safe, you want to hit above the

# Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning Matter?

October 17, 2014 by

According to our 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States*,  60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score.

This represents a slight uptick from Kaplan’s 2013 survey, when 57% said an applicant’s GMAT Integrated Reasoning score was not important.  Despite that finding, our survey also finds that 50% of business schools pinpoint a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a strong score overall. And because GMAT takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on the Quantitative, Verbal or Analytical Writing Assessment sections of the Read full post

# Score Preview Added to the GMAT

June 26, 2014 by

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) announced on Wednesday that prospective business students taking the GMAT will now be able to preview their unofficial scores on Test Day before deciding whether to report or cancel them. This change will be effective for all GMAT test takers at all testing locations starting on June 27, 2014.

Up until now, GMAT test takers have been given the option of reporting or canceling their scores immediately after taking the test but before seeing their unofficial scores. Under the new process, test takers will see their unofficial scores — Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal, and Total — and will be given two minutes to decide whether or not to accept them. If a choice is not made, their scores will be canceled by default. In addition, test takers who decide to cancel their scores at the test center will be able to reinstate them within … Read full post

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