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GMAT Studying: Correct Answers Can Be a Bridge to Success.

May 13, 2012 by

GMAT blogFor about a year, I always used the same method to solve the following GMAT problem:

How many liters of water must be evaporated from 50 liters of a 3 percent sugar solution to get a 5 percent sugar solution?

“This is simple percentages,” I would say. “Just start by taking 3% of 50 liters, which is 3 over 100 times 50, which comes out to 1.5 liters sugar…”

But one day, teaching this same quantitative problem, a student’s hand shot straight up. “Yes, James?” I said. (That wasn’t his real name, by the way, but it will do.)

“Eli, who cares about the sugar?”

I paused. “Well, the sugar will help us figure out the solution.”

“But you don’t need it!” James explained. “I’ve been a chemical engineer for years, so I do this problem all the time. The sugar is a constant. The amount of sugar doesn’t change, … Read full post

GMAT Permutations: Putting Things in Order

May 6, 2012 by

GMAT blogI want you to think back to when you were in grammar school (strange how often the test for business school has us thinking about grammar school).  Specifically, I want you to think about gym class and every time you needed to pick teams.  For purposes of today’s discussion, let’s say we are picking a baseball team from the students in class.  Now I realize that for some of you this was a traumatic experience, and GMAT teachers are no exception to that – we are not particularly notable for our athletic prowess.  However, this scenario can help you understand a difficult question type on the GMAT – permutation problems.

A permutation problem will ask you to determine the number of ordered subsets of a certain size that exist in a group.  If we move away from GMAT speak, this means permutations will occur when you must perform two actions.  … Read full post

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