Read this article. It’s about how Benjamin Franklin, a notable and influential founding father of the United States, structured his life so as to be as productive as possible and always live knowing tomorrow is, in fact, today. In the article, the author, Samuel Bacharach, a labor management professor at Cornell University, lists five habits Franklin employed to ensure procrastination was not part of his personal description.
In this post, I will apply each habit as listed by the author of the article in order to provide a framework for a productive GMAT study schedule—one that begins today and does not relent until Test Day!
1. Start a group and share knowledge. GMAT study is too often a very lonely endeavor. Despite my encouragement, it is with rare frequency my students organize study groups. I could speculate reasons as to why—busy schedules, different strengths/weaknesses, not wanting to … Read full post
In a blog last last week, I talked about the importance of identifying the common question types in the reading comprehension portions of the GMAT and delved into the specifics for detail and global questions. Today, let’s continue that deeper look at the specifics for the common reading comprehension questions with a look at inference and function (logic) questions. Specifically let’s look at how to spot them, how to predict using the pattern behind the question, and how to spot the most common wrong answer types. Both of these questions generally constitute the harder or more commonly missed set of questions in the reading comprehension.
One of the most commonly missed reading comprehension questions is the inference question because of how it is treated on tests versus our common everyday use of inference. First of all, to spot them you are looking either for something that references “is … Read full post
For a previous post, a colleague of mine offered up the embedded video at the top, which I love. He said, “That video clearly demonstrates the “primacy of doing.” Ever since receiving his email, the phrase “primacy of doing” has echoed in my mind on a seemingly endless loop.
I had already begun to kick around a post idea on Kaplan’s Official Test Day Experience—mainly because I think it is one of the most attractive and impactful GMAT prep opportunities our company offers. If you are a Kaplan student who is on the fence about signing up for the Official Test Day Experience, or, you are not yet a Kaplan student and wonder what this is, here’s the scoop:
All Kaplan GMAT students* have an exclusive opportunity to take a practice test on-site at an official Pearson/VUE testing center. In fact, you can take it at the … Read full post
As you likely know, 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 their 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.
So what can we make of this decision? Now, let’s not bicker about the Integrated Reasoning section here; it is what it is and we all have to deal with it. Rather, let’s focus on the essay … Read full post
Tackling some of the tougher GMAT probability questions efficiently relies on both steady practice and your ability to make two key decisions well. First, you will need to quickly and accurately assess the total number of possible outcomes (the denominator of your probability equation). Second, within a multitude of possible approaches, you will need to determine the most efficient route to calculate the number of desired outcomes (the numerator of your probability equation).
With the clock ticking away on your GMAT CAT, figuring out the total number of possibilities can be time-consuming and fraught with room for error. For instance, if a question asks about the probability of getting at least 2 heads on 5 coin tosses, you could sit there all day writing out possibilities:
So forth and so on. I know I got dizzy with the possibilities just writing those three out. There is … Read full post
Translating word problems into algebra is a staple skill of GMAT test-takers, one that underlies countless problems in practice and on Test Day. But some challenging translations occur as part of probability and combinatorics problems. That’s because a pair of the most basic words in the English language, “And” and “Or,” suddenly become overburdened with mathematical significance.
“And” is the simpler of the two. When “And” represents independent choices—cases in which one option or arrangement has no impact on the other choice—just multiply the outcomes. For instance:
“The number of ways to purchase three board games and two video games” is an independent choice. The board games we pick have no impact on the video games we pick. So, to translate: [The number of ways to purchase three board games] × [the number of ways to select two video games]. Of course, we’d need the combination … 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
One of the simplest arithmetic rules is that when you divide something by itself, you get 1.
What’s 3/3? 1.
What’s x/x? 1
By the same logic, what do you get with, say, inches/inches?
That’s also equal to 1.
So let’s say that you need to find the number of seconds in 2 minutes. You can probably do this in your head! Multiply two by sixty and it’s 120 second. But have you ever stopped to wonder why that works? Well, you want seconds to remain, so you want to get rid of minutes—that means you want minutes on the top and on the bottom. You did the math instinctively, but if you had broken it down step by step it would look like this:
Minutes on top and bottom cancel:
Most students, after careful study, know what to expect on test day in terms of GMAT content. However, it also important to know what to expect when you arrive at the Pearson Center. Just as you have learned and practiced GMAT strategies, you should have a plan for handling your breaks and using your scratch sheets wisely.
When you first arrive at the Pearson Center, you will use your ID to check in and register a digital scan of the vein patterns in your palm. Afterwards, you will place all of you personal items in a locker. These include ID’s, watches, phones, wallets, keys, and even tissues. You will not be able to bring anything with you into the testing room. Furthermore, you will not be able to access these items during breaks in the test.
Once you are ready to get started, you will scan your … Read full post
Mastering ratio questions on the GMAT requires systematic organization of the individual pieces and a solid understanding of how ratios are typically presented and tested on test day. One of the most common presentations of ratios on test day is a question that presents a part:part or part:whole relationship and asks for the actual number of a part, the whole, or a difference between the parts.
The first thing to note about ratios is that they represent relationships between items. On the GMAT Quantitative Section, the ratio is usually in the simplest form; I call this multiple level 1 because it represents the smallest potential positive quantity for each aspect of the ratio. For instance, if a question tells you that the ratio of apples to oranges is 2:3, you know immediately that the minimum number of apples possible is 2 while the minimum number of oranges is … Read full post