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Your Business School Application: Start Yesterday

February 4, 2014 by

Anyone interested in full-time MBA programs hopefully already knows that most institutions have Round 1 application deadlines in or near the month of October. Yet, it is likely that a sizable percentage of those interested, perhaps even the majority, do not know anything about business school application rounds at all, much less when the deadlines are.

This bit of b-school trivia is all too often something folks begin figuring out over the summer months. When people do uncover the information, they will likely feel that they have all the time in the world. They might even congratulate themselves for starting so early!

Then, when the grindstone really gets leaned into and all the aspects of an application package begin to take shape, it hits countless aspirants: they really ought to have begun the process much, much sooner.

Time flies and there is a lot to be done. Those looking to … Read full post

Technology and Your GMAT Prep

January 30, 2014 by

The GMAT is in many ways a technological marvel. Thousands of locations across the globe instantly report scores on the same test. The computer-adaptive test adapts to your skill level, adjusting difficulty on a question by question basis. Every center is equipped with a state-of-the-art palm scanner for additional security.

Technology can also help you prepare for this test. Every GMAT student knows that paper-based quizzes can’t produce a test-like experience. Full-length practice Computer Adaptive Tests, like those offered by Kaplan, are key to success. You can take the online prep a step further; most GMAT prep books, like Kaplan’s or the Official Guide, are also available as PDFs. Learning your lessons from a tablet or computer screen get your eyes used to reading on a monitor, and forces you to take your notes on separate scratch paper and not directly on the questions themselves. The more test-like … Read full post

Writing the GMAT Argument Essay

January 27, 2014 by

As you probably know by now, with the inclusion of the Integrated Reasoning (IR) section came the exclusion of the one of the previously required essays.  Before the test change, GMAT test takers built the Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) score on the backs of two essays: Analysis of an Argument and Analysis of an Issue.  These two essays would be scored independently—by one human and one computer—then those two scores would be averaged for a total AWA score on a 0-6 point scale in ½-point increments.  In order to keep total testing time at 3.5 hours, test makers decided to cut the thirty-minute Analysis of an Issue essay and insert a thirty-minute Integrated Reasoning section. Now, only the GMAT Argument essay remains.

So what can you make of this decision?  Are you better off with the Argument essay over the Issue essay?  And, if so, is there a way we … Read full post

Test Your GMAT Sentence Correction Skills: The Explanations

January 23, 2014 by

Hopefully you’ve already tried out our GMAT Sentence Correction quiz. If not, stop right now and do so! There’s great value in trying these questions on your own first before reading the explanations.

Now, on to the explanations to these questions…

GMAT Sentence Correction Quiz
Just like Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, so Parliament is the legislative body of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • A) Just like Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, so
  • B) As Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States,
  • C) As Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, in the same way
  • D) Just as Congress is the legislative branch of the Federal government of the United States, so
  • E) Just as the Federal
  • Read full post

Test Your GMAT Sentence Correction Skills

January 21, 2014 by

I’m always telling you to practice, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. It’s true, all those short study sessions, over time, add up. To that end, I’ve made a short GMAT Sentence Correction quiz for you, designed to take just about five minutes. Ideally, when you’re at your Test Day Best, you’ll be running through Sentence Correction questions in an average of one minute each. Note the important words in that sentence: Ideally, Test Day Best, and average.

Today, you’ll set your timer for five minutes for this quiz, and it will give you a sense of how you’re doing on pacing with GMAT Sentence Correction questions. Don’t castigate yourself if you’re not done within five minutes – that just means that you need to devote more time and practice to this question type. This practice quiz is just practice, and will give you a sense … Read full post

GMAT Score Comparison by Country: U.S. comes in 54th

January 20, 2014 by

Mean GMAT scores are influenced by all sorts of factors and are, of course, derived from compiling scores significantly above, significantly below, and all points in between a plotted average. Plus, it is certainly worth noting the vast differences in the individual human beings that are submitting these scores. These folks undeniably come from extremely different educational histories and socio-economic statuses. Each person decides on his or her own level of preparation in order to achieve wildly different target scores relevant to wildly different admissions criteria. And the list of mitigating factors goes on and on. Nonetheless, comparing arithmetic mean GMAT scores from nation to nation tells an interesting if not complete story and raises at least a few novel questions.

The U.S. has long been criticized for an educational system that appears to be less than it ought to be considering the wealth of the nation. Arguably, the most … Read full post

Tips for a High GMAT Score

January 16, 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.

Advice for GMAT High Scorers, from GMAT Expert Gene Suhir 

  • 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).
  • 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 on and
  • Read full post

GMAT Critical Reasoning: How to Make Predictions

January 13, 2014 by

If you still need to be convinced about the value of making predictions on the GMAT, then read this: Beating GMAT Verbal by Making Predictions. Now that we are all on board, let’s learn how to do it…

When a Critical Reasoning (CR) question pops up on the screen, adept test takers know to read the actual question first. The Question is always found in the middle between the Stimulus and the Answer Choices. By reading the question first and, thus, depending solely on the type of CR question posed, the test taker knows how to most efficiently and effectively untangle the stimulus above.

There are many different types of CR questions, but most of them will fall under the category we at Kaplan like to call the Argument Family. The members of the Argument Family are Assumption, Strengthen, Weaken, Flaw, and Evaluation. The correct answer to every question … Read full post

How To Get the Most Out of Your GMAT Practice

January 10, 2014 by

We regularly share GMAT practice problems for you to try on your own, and then follow up with complete answer explanations. In my experience as a Kaplan teacher, I’ve found that many students read through the explanations quickly and then move on, often missing out on the wealth of learning that can be had from thorough engagement with answer explanations. It’s my mission to help you “suck the marrow”, so to speak, out of these explanations.

Here’s how to get the most out of our most recent (and every) GMAT practice problem and answer explanation. I’ll use the GMAT Data Sufficiency Geometry problem that we posted earlier this week (you might want to pause now and give it a try before reading further.)

  • Work through the problem using the answer explanation as your guide. Take as long as you need to understand the explanation fully. Ask us any
  • Read full post

GMAT Data Sufficiency Practice Question – The Solution

January 9, 2014 by

Did you try out our GMAT Data Sufficiency practice question? If not, take a couple minutes now to give it a try before reviewing the explanation.

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks on the Geometry and DS skills you need to solve this one…

One way to find the area of a quadrilateral is to divide it into triangles and add the areas of the triangles, which can be found using the formula for the area of a triangle: (1/2)(Base)(Height).
If you add dashed lines to the diagram connecting points A and C and points B and D, you will see that the quadrilateral is composed of 4 right triangles:

You can see that one side of each triangle is a radius of one of the circles; for example, AB is a radius of circle A and is the hypotenuse of triangle ABE. Also, you’ll notice that triangles … Read full post


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