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Top 10 Myths About Your GMAT Score—Debunked!

December 31, 2014 by

At Kaplan Test Prep, we talk to future MBAs every day, so the GMAT is a hot topic of conversation. Those conversations come with their share of myths that are just begging to be busted. So, to celebrate the beginning of 2015, we’re also counting down the top 10 GMAT myths … and then debunking them!

10. GMAT math is really tough. 

False. GMAT math is deceptively simple—high-school-level simple. The GMAT assumes that you have mastered those basic concepts, and it challenges you to a mental duel based on them that requires critical thinking and a strategic approach.

9. I can always pull out my trusty calculator!

Sorry, but you can’t. Other than on the Integrated Reasoning section, there are no calculators allowed on the GMAT. The bad news: if you’re uncomfortable with mental arithmetic, you will struggle. The good news: no calculator means that the GMAT will only … Read full post

Does GMAT Integrated Reasoning Matter?

October 17, 2014 by

2014 Business School Admissions Officers Survey Results

According to our 2014 survey of admissions officers at over 200 business schools across the United States*,  60% say that an applicant’s score on the GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning section (launched in June 2012) is not currently an important part of their evaluation of a prospective student’s overall GMAT score.  

This represents a slight uptick from Kaplan’s 2013 survey, when 57% said an applicant’s GMAT Integrated Reasoning score was not important.  Despite that finding, our survey also finds that 50% of business schools pinpoint a low GMAT score as “the biggest application killer,” confirming that applicants still need to submit a strong score overall. And because GMAT takers receive a separate score for the Integrated Reasoning section, poor performance on this section cannot be masked by stronger performance on the Quantitative, Verbal or Analytical Writing Assessment sections of the Read full post

The 4 Sections of the GMAT Practice Test

August 12, 2014 by

What is the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test)?

If you’re thinking of going to business school but haven’t yet looked into GMAT test dates or taken a GMAT practice test, not to fear! You’ve come to the right place to learn about the format, timing, and scoring of the GMAT test and GMAT practice test, the latter of which we offer free on our website year-round.

The CAT (computer adaptive test) and GMAT scoring

Understanding how the CAT works and approaching GMAT practice questions with a few targeted strategies will help you get in fighting form for your GMAT test date.

A CAT is more than just a digital version of a written exam. It actually adapts to your performance as you’re taking the test. When you begin each category, the computer assumes you have an average score and gives you a question of medium difficulty. As you answer … Read full post

Business School Tell All is Available Online: Get Insider Info Now and For Free!

November 13, 2013 by

Would you like to know what business school admissions officers from top schools like Harvard, Mercer, Rice, and Northwestern really care about when they consider your application? We surveyed top schools so that we can share their insights with you!

Check out streaming video of our Business School Tell All to get answers to these (and more!) questions:

  • What’s the most important admissions factor?
  • What’s the biggest application killer?
  • Are potential business schools watching you on social media?
  • Are schools accepting the GRE as well as the GMAT?
  • Does your Integrated Reasoning score matter?

If you have questions, reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter, or ask us here in the comments!


 … Read full post

Integrated Reasoning: 9 months in

March 21, 2013 by

Integrated Reasoning (IR) hit the GMAT in June 2012. Here we are, nearing the end of March 2013. Schools have been receiving IR scores from applicants for the last nine months. I have been teaching the section for that long, as well.  Amazingly, Kaplan’s first blog post about Integrated Reasoning was nearly three years ago on June 25, 2010, and my first of many posts involving IR was published on Halloween 2011 (although I first mentioned it in September of that same year). All this to acknowledge the notable history the IR section has already accrued and to tee us up for a little “where are they now” segment.

In September 2012, I wrote a blog post titled “Does my Integrated Reasoning score matter?” At the time, IR had been actively battling GMAT test takers for three months. On the minds of nearly all test-takers-in-training was the potential … Read full post

GMAT’s Integrated Reasoning Scoring Scale is Out

May 28, 2012 by

Although it is yet to be seen how Integrated Reasoning scores will actually be used by admissions committees, we do now at least know what they will look like.  Starting June 5, 2012, the New GMAT goes live with one less essay (Issue) and one more section (Integrated Reasoning).  Contrary to what some might have heard, your performance on the new IR section will not impact your 200-800 point GMAT score.  Rather, you will now receive five separate scores across four separate scales.

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) – 0 to 6 points in ½-point increments
  2. Integrated Reasoning (IR) – 1 to 8 points in 1-point increments
  3. Quantitative – 0 to 60 in 1-point increments
  4. Verbal – 0 to 60 in 1-point increments
  5. Aggregated Quant and Verbal (Total Score) – 200 to 800 points in 10-point increments

On test day, immediately upon completing the exam you will receive … Read full post

The New GMAT: Integrated Reasoning, pt. 4

February 25, 2012 by

In our final post of the New GMAT Integrated Reasoning question format series, we are going to dive into the fourth of four new question formats test takers will see as of June 2012: Multi-Source Reasoning.  Previously, we looked at Graphic Interpretation and Two-Part Analysis question formats; two of the four new formats GMAT test takers will see in the upcoming Integrated Reasoning section.  In this post, we will continue our new format probe with an examination of Table Analysis questions.

From the test maker’s website regarding Multi-Source Reasoning questions:

“Click on the page to reveal different data and discern which data you need to answer the question.”

My first impression of Multi-Source Reasoning questions: wow.  Out of the four new formats, MSRs are, for me at least, the most interesting, the most unique, and perhaps the most challenging.  They remind me of assessment centers, actually.  If you have … Read full post

The New GMAT: Integrated Reasoning, pt. 1

February 15, 2012 by

Let’s have a quick look at one of four new question formats test takers will see on the New GMAT among the twelve Integrated Reasoning questions in the new section: Graphics Interpretation.  From the test maker’s website:

“Interpret the graph or graphical image and select the option from a drop-down list to make the answer statements accurate.”

For your enjoyment, GMAC provides four in-format graphics consisting of two or three questions each (click here to get started).  While the answers are provided, unfortunately the explanations are not.  Also, be sure to either write down the answers you choose or look at the correct answer before you move onto the next graphic.  If you answer all of them consecutively with the plan to go back and review them consecutively, you will be disappointed (like me!).

As for this inquisitor, I found the Graphics Interpretation questions to be pretty interesting.  The … Read full post

The New GMAT: Integrated Reasoning

February 13, 2012 by

The new section of the GMAT, called Integrated Reasoning, is going live on June 5, 2012.  While we here at Kaplan implore everyone in the free world to take the GMAT before this date, we are hard at work preparing for the test change so we can start training our bar-setting students to blow it out of the water when the time comes.

In a series of four short posts, I am going to focus on the new question formats that comprise the twelve Integrated Reasoning questions test takers will see in the new section.  In part 1, we’ll have a look at Graphic Interpretation questions.  But before we get into it, here are some FYI question specification bullet points I found here on

  • A given prompt, or question setup, may have multiple questions.
  • All answer choices for a single question are presented on the same
  • Read full post

GMAT Arbitrage

February 12, 2012 by

Arbitrage is a glorious thing.  Simply put, arbitrage happens by exploiting differences in price for the same good.  Say the currency exchange market (forex) in Asia is trading the US dollar at 1.5 British pounds per USD (yes, I know it’s actually the other way around these days, but let’s have some fun), while the European market is trading 1.25 British pounds per USD.  I could leave New York, head to Tokyo, and buy a whole bunch of British pounds with my US dollars, say $100 worth.  With my newly minted £150, I could then fly off to London and sell them in exchange for dollars.  Since in London I get $1.00 for every £1.25, then due to the market inefficiency I will receive $120 back, yielding a nice $20 profit on my original investment.   Yay for me!  (And all I had to do was circumnavigate the globe.  … Read full post


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