During my time as a GMAT instructor for Kaplan Test Prep, I have had the great pleasure to work with a select few individuals who display such foresight and reason as they stare down the barrel of their future that I hold a special place of respect and admiration for them. Taken individually, they comprise a highly diverse group, but the one thing all have in common is that they are fresh out of undergrad and studying for the GMAT.
I know what happens after undergraduate commencement: life. The vast majority of my aspirant MBAs are 3-5 years into their professional lives by the time they start positioning themselves for b-school. As the reality of the GMAT sets in, these individuals are soon overwhelmed and questioning how they might be able to pull off GMAT study in addition to all of the other things that were already … Read full post
The key to many GMAT coordinate geometry questions is to remember that coordinate geometry is just another way of expressing the possible solutions to a two variable equation. Each point on the line in a coordinate plane corresponds to a solution for the equation of that line.
The base equation for a line is y = mx + b, where b is the y intercept, or the point at which the line crosses the y-axis, and m is the slope, or the steepness of the line. More specifically, the slope of a line is the change in the y coordinates divided by the change in the x coordinates between any two points on the line.
While understanding the basic format for an equation of a line can be very useful on the GMAT quantitative section, you will encounter GMAT problems in which it is faster and easier to think … Read full post
Piecing together the time to study for the GMAT can be challenging. In today’s blog, I’m going to talk about three students (whose names I’m changing to protect their identities). Each had a major obstacle to studying, and each overcame it in a different way. I hope these students’ examples can help some of you reach your GMAT and MBA goals.
Case Study 1: Vincent, the Entrepreneur
The Challenge: Vincent was a busy man when I was tutoring him. His schedule was very flexible—his main source of income was a business that he started and ran himself—but he was distracted at all hours by emails and phone calls related to his work.
The Solution: Vincent needed a time and place where he could study in peace.
Because of his flexible work schedule, it was easier for Vincent to find time than it is for some other students. He … Read full post
For those of you who recently received your undergraduate degree, you may already know that you want to go to business school and get your MBA some day but are not sure exactly when. If this is the case, you may be unsure of the best plan for taking the GMAT.
GMAT scores are good for five years. If you expect to go to business school further than five years in the future, you can’t take the GMAT yet. However, if you plan to start within this time frame, you will do yourself a favor by taking the GMAT sooner rather than later.
First, you are still used to studying for school. While this may not seem like a big deal after 16 years of education, just a few years in the workforce and away from academia can make it difficult to jump back into studying. Additionally, as you … Read full post
In your GMAT preparation you have probably learned to tackle critical reasoning assumption questions by identifying the conclusion of the argument, followed by the evidence and then looking for the missing link between these, which will be the central assumption. However, you have also probably encountered GMAT problems in which you either cannot figure out what the assumption is before you go to the answer choices or the assumption you found is not listed as an option. When this happens you want to be ready with a backup strategy.
The standard backup strategy for assumption questions – and do keep in mind this should not be used as a primary strategy, since it is more time consuming than the usual approach – is the denial test.
The denial test is based on the idea that the assumption is something that must be true in order to link the evidence … Read full post
I’ve been studying for the GMAT for some time now, and I’m fighting an uphill battle. My score increases a little bit each week, but I’m still not hitting my goal. Recently, I started to feel defeated, so I decided to take a break. I closed my books and took some time to rest my mind. As a result, I had to change my test date to the end of May. I also decided that if I don’t get the score I want, I will go ahead and study the new Integrative Reasoning section of the test and retake the GMAT again in August. I was so gung-ho in the beginning, I think I may have psyched myself out. I’m sure many test-takers have had this happen. I am writing this to let you know, you’re not alone.
My hiatus has allowed me to re-charge and re-focus. I’m getting back … Read full post
I was having a conversation with my students this past Monday evening, checking in on how prep is progressing for them. That class marked the close of the first third of their course and perhaps the first quarter of their prep schedule—a good time for anyone to take stock of where you’re at and how well it’s going.
Invariably, everyone who preps for the GMAT comes to the same realization: I need more time than I’d anticipated. We walk into this test with the well-earned self-perception that we are smart, quick on the uptake, and just need a little grease on some old gears so we can score a 700+. Yeah…
Once you begin really taking your prep seriously and learning what the GMAT is all about, you very quickly realize that your initial surface scratch has revealed a massive and intricate world for which you need a … Read full post
Over the past few years, I have done a great deal of soul-searching to find my passion. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to pursue a career in marketing and focus on the digital/social media space. Social media is my passion. I am continuously amazed at the new and innovative ideas that are evolving every day. My idea of relaxation is tweeting or reading case studies. Sounds like fun right? Haha! After some further research on positions and titles in the digital space, I realized that getting an MBA would be the next step that I needed to make a career change.
Why do I mention all this? Well, as I have begun studying for the GMAT, there have been times when I felt discouraged. I didn’t score well on my first CAT and I am having problems understand some of the question types. Thoughts of inadequacy … Read full post
Back in December, I had my own Test Day. With all my time recently focused on the GMAT, I was a little concerned that the LSAT would be a little tough, but a few practice tests told me that I still remembered my stuff from when I taught prospective law students many years ago. In the days leading up to the test, I didn’t worry about it too much. This was a mistake.
It wasn’t that I needed to study more. The GMAT and the LSAT overlap significantly (good news for those of you considering joint JD/MBA programs!), and one of the advantages of working for Kaplan is that I get to study test-prep every day with my students. I knew the material backwards and forwards.
The problem was one of scheduling. Unlike the GMAT, which has tests every day, the LSAT is four times a … Read full post
I spend a lot of time teaching. By virtue of this profession, I spend a lot of time fielding questions. I actually thrive on questions. Questions tell me many things. Each of the following line items begins, “If my students are asking questions, it means…”
- They’re engaged.
- Class rapport is healthy.
- We’ve created a learning environment.
- This is a concept I need to spend more time on right now.
- This is a concept I need to revisit and work into subsequent lessons.
- I am asking sufficient/appropriate questions.
- My delivery is off and I need to adjust.
- They care.
- They are learning.
- I am doing my job.
Make no mistake, I truly do love questions. Which is why I hate the statement that precedes so many of the questions I love: “This is a dumb question…”
No! It’s not! Let me ask you this—in your previous history as a student, each … Read full post