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How Do You Study for the GMAT? Part I: The Calendar

December 13, 2013 by

Studying for the GMAT is not something that most test-takers take lightly and is usually a commitment of 2-3 months or more. While most of you studying for a test like the GMAT often know what to study, you probably have many questions about how to study. Study schedules can definitely vary depending on your particular situation such as goal score, starting score, work schedule, school schedule, and family obligations, but, based on a long history of working with students and studying how we learn, here are some general rules of thumb to remember as you begin to form your personalized study schedule.

The first thing to know about studying for the GMAT is that this is not a test that you can cram for. Studying for the GMAT is like preparing for a marathon. You want to build up to test day with a plan that builds … Read full post

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Percentile Distribution Scale

July 4, 2012 by

Data, data, data…  After 20 days and 6,229 test takers since the new Integrated Reasoning (IR) section went live on June 5th of this year, GMAC has compiled and published the first IR percentile distribution table.  A mean score of 4 out of 8 will land you in the 46th percentile and a 5 will get you to the 54th (See below for the complete rankings).

So what does this mean for you and your GMAT prep?  Well, a couple of things.  First, your IR score goal ought to be somewhere between 5 and 8.  As I’ve mentioned before, anyone’s target score needs to be relevant to their respective programmatic goals.  Since no one—including schools—have any idea what to do with IR scores just yet nor what the average IR score of an admitted applicant is/will be, your best bet is to focus on turning in a score … Read full post

GMAT Product Update: Kaplan’s New GMAT Course

July 2, 2012 by

Being the best means never letting up—always moving forward and always striving to be even better.  It is with great excitement that we officially launch our new and improved GMAT prep course offerings.

As always, you can choose to study with Kaplan GMAT On Site, Classroom Anywhere, On Demand, or GMAT One-On-One – and we have revamped all of these GMAT prep course packages. From the textbook to the number of class sessions, our students get more and better of everything.  Let’s take a look at some of the features and details of the new course:

  • 11 class sessions: We have added 2 sessions.  Our new GMAT course is now comprised of  11 class sessions. If you’re in an instructor-led course (On Site or Classroom Anywhere), your session structure will include Fixed and Flex sessions to heighten personalization, convenience, and in-depth, structured training (more on this in a moment).
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Kaplan’s GMAT Course Undergoes Continuous Improvement

June 16, 2012 by

One thing I like about Google is that they are constantly churning out both new products and improvements to additional products.  Google knows that in order to stay relevant and lead the market, innovation is fundamental.  Kaplan does, too.

For more than 70 years, Kaplan has been training ambitious individuals to reach and exceed their goals on standardized tests so they can reach and exceed their goals professionally.  We have been teaching the GMAT to prospective business students almost since its inception in 1954.  In short, Kaplan Test Prep is a product leader and, like Google, we have multiple teams devoted to continuous product improvement and innovation.

Instead of letting all this hard work and commitment go unnoticed, I want our students to know what is going on behind the scenes.  Not only do the smart people behind these projects deserve some recognition, but it is also important that … Read full post

GMAT Essays: Avoid Fallacy Fallacy

June 13, 2012 by

Scene: a busy street. A businessman in a suit and tie stands before a cloth covered table. A fortune teller sits on the other side of the table, peering into a crystal ball.

Fortune teller: “I see danger in your future, you are at grave risk! For $20, I shall peer into this crystal ball and tell you how disaster can be avoided!”

Businessman: “What a load of $&#%! Fortune telling is nonsense, and there is no way you could see my future through the crystal ball. I’m certain I’m in no danger whatsoever!”

Businessman walks across the street without looking and is run over by an ice cream truck.

So, GMAT students, was the fortune teller right? Was she genuinely psychic? Did her crystal ball receive emanations from the spirits predicting the future?

Of course not. Scientific consensus is that psychic powers don’t exist, and even the superstitious … Read full post

New GMAT Transition Coincides with Venus Transit

June 10, 2012 by

June 5, 2012 has finally come and gone.  To those of us within the gravitational pull of the GMAT, this date was no less than a celestial event.  June 5th not only marked the transit of Venus across the sun, but also the launch of the New GMAT.

What has changed?  A new section called Integrated Reasoning (IR) has replaced the Analysis of an Issue essay and taken its time allotment.  Hence, the GMAT is still the same total length.  That is, you write a 30-minute Analysis of an Argument essay, then take the new 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section, then take the 75-minute Quantitative section, and finally complete the 75-minute Verbal section (note: you get two 8-minute breaks; one between IR and Quant, and then another between Quant and Verbal).

Integrated Reasoning questions appear in four different formats and across twelve questions total in the 30-minute time frame.  … Read full post

The New GMAT Begins Today

June 5, 2012 by


The GMAT has changed this morning–and Kaplan is here to make sure you’re ready to take on the new test. To make sure the changes don’t provide any bumps on the road to crushing your b school applications, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • From today forward, the new GMAT will include an Integrated Reasoning section. It will take place after the Argument Essay, in lieu of the Issue Essay. Since it will last 30 minutes, the overall time to sit for the test will remain the same. The IR section is scored on a scale of 1-8, while the AWA score of 1-6 will now be based on the Argument Essay alone.
  • There are 4 question types on Integrated Reasoning. To see samples of those questions, and for the latest on the new test, visit our GMAT Test Change information center,
  • Kaplan’s
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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

GMAT Studying: How to Stay Motivated

April 23, 2012 by

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

The GMAT: Demystified and Digestible

March 28, 2012 by has always been one of my favorite websites for all things MBA/business school/GMAT.  Tons of excellent information and always done well.  They recognize a good thing when they see it over there and Kaplan has put together an infographic that ties up the GMAT’s history and current state into a nice neat little package for all to see.

Interestingly, the infographic follows along a recently posted YouTube video Kaplan tossed out into the ether.  Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already done so, and carefully comb through our New GMAT dedicated website www.testchange.comRead full post

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