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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 … Read full post

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

January 20, 2014 by

Earth_the Blue MarbleMean 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
  • Read full post

GMAT Critical Reasoning: How to Make Predictions

January 13, 2014 by

GMAT critical reasoningIf 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:

GMAT Data Sufficiency Geometry

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 … Read full post

GMAT Data Sufficiency Practice Question

January 7, 2014 by

This year, I’d like to learn to play chess. I imagine that I’m going to have to read some about chess, but mostly practice playing it a whole lot in order to learn the game. I suppose that I’m going to have to find a willing partner – someone who has the patience to play chess with a novice.

Here’s some good news for you: as you learn to “play” the GMAT, you have a willing partner – Kaplan. The best way to increase your score on the GMAT is to practice. Seems obvious, right? Well, it’s just like any skill you’re trying to acquire – the more you do it, the more comfortable you become with it, the more you understand the nuances, the ins and outs, and the closer you become to being an expert.

So, let’s play a practice round. No worries, this is a … Read full post

Set Your GMAT Score Goal

January 2, 2014 by

Do you know what your GMAT score goal should be?  Do you know how to figure that out?  Look, you need a target score and I need you to set it.  Here’s how:

  1. Do some research.  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 what the average GMAT score is 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.
  3. Take the highest score and make it higher.  Add on twenty points or so and set that as your target score.  Remember, an average is comprised of scores that are higher and lower than the mean presented.  You want to be on the top side of that
  4. Read full post

Using Common Knowledge on GMAT Critical Reasoning: The Solution

January 1, 2014 by

Did you try out last year’s Critical Reasoning practice question? Okay, it was really only a few days ago, but that was 2013, and we’re fresh into 2014. Let’s start off strong with breaking down this GMAT Critical Reasoning question in a way that will allow you to grab points on GMAT Test Day.


Step 1: Identify the Question Type

The direct wording in the question stem clearly indicates a weaken question.

Step 2: Untangle the Stimulus

The conclusion here is that companies employing overseas call centers will be more profitable than companies that do not. The evidence is that these companies save more with overseas call centers than do companies that don’t use them.

Step 3: Predict the Answer

The argument, however, assumes that all other elements of the businesses will remain the same. As we head to the choices, we should be looking for a fact … Read full post

Top 5 Secrets of GMAT High Scorers

December 31, 2013 by

It’s the time of year for countdown lists, so I’m sharing with you my advice for how to become a high scorer on the GMAT. It takes serious drive and dedication, and these five tips will help you on the path to success.

The Top 5 Secrets of GMAT High Scorers…

#5: Average test-takers see the GMAT as a fearsome roadblock, or a nuisance. 700+ test-takers see the test as an evenly matched competitor, and not something superior, and thus look at it as an exciting challenge.

#4: They balance strengths & weaknesses; quant and verbal.

#3: They welcome mistakes, because mistakes are where new points will come from. They look for patterns of holes or flaws in their game on every question, and find a resolution that’s achievable under test conditions.

#2: They train rigorously (instead of studying). They have a set training schedule in … Read full post


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