Strategies, Sample Questions, and Random Ramblings.

by ejkiv

December 11, 2015

Admissions Consulting Firms: Stacy Blackman Consulting

by ejkiv

August 11, 2015

What Makes for the Best GMAT Prep Course Well, this may be a little shameless, but we wanted to share with you why we think that we have the best gmat prep course around. This is not to discount some of the other top prep companies; they actually have a lot of great material and great instructors. Where we feel we differentiate ourselves is in our ability to pinpoint your weaknesses. Our educational platform was built with modern technology that allows for personalization in a course that...

by ejkiv

August 10, 2015

Okay, Okay. I get that you want a bunch of GMAT practice questions, and you will find them here. However, I also want to talk to you about how you should be using these problems in your study. So, humor me for a minute and read about the strategy you should employ when working through your studies, and at the end of the post, you will get some practice questions to work on. Less is more I have helped thousands of students prepare for the GMAT, and there are two ends of the spectrum...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

The reason that we covered combinations and permutations before GMAT probability is that the more difficult probability problems will use these concepts. Probability measures the likelihood that something will happen and will be measured in fractions or decimals. This is always expressed with a number that is between 0 and 1 inclusive. The foundation of probability comes from this equation: If you flip a coin, the probability of getting heads is .5 because there is one outcome out of 2 pos...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT functions are really just fancy ways to write out equations. There is no reason for you to be scared of this question type (I know I sound like a broken record on this, but it is true). Functions look like this: f(x)= x+1 This pronounced ‘f of x equals x plus 1.‘ Really, you can think of the f(x) portion of this as you would the variable y in a linear equation. The main difference is that the value inside the parenthesis will tell you what to plug into the x variable. So, for this func...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Symbolism tends to be ominous only because of people’s lack of confidence. When an unfamiliar symbol is thrown into the mix, people think that they missed something along the way. The key point here is that when you see a symbol it has no meaning outside the context of the question in which it was given. You will see something like this: All you need to do is act in a similar fashion to the function problems we just discussed and plug the 4 in where the x was and the 3 where the y was. Not...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

The way that GMAT sequences are written is what tends to make them most difficult for people. Once you get this part down, you will be in good shape. If we look at a basic sequence: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 ..... We could write this sequence like this: Basically, the subscript is simply a term number and we could write the equation for this sequence as follows: This is not terribly different from functions at this point; for whatever term number you are looking for you just plug that term n...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Permutations and combinations are two areas that most students do not want any part of, but as you will see it is really about developing a true understanding of what the formulas represent instead of memorizing the formulas. In all reality, in this section more than any other, I will encourage you to throw out the formulas used to calculate the solutions. First, let’s define what the difference between a combination and a permutation is exactly. Combinations and permutations are both ways t...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT coordinate geometry is another topic that is not overly prevalent on the exam, but again worth preparing for so that you do not waste points that are attainable. So, let’s start with the basics and build into some of the concepts that will be tested on the GMAT. <a href="http://gmatprepster.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/GMAT-Coordinate-Geometry.png"></a> Above is the coordinate plane. The two lines, x and y, are axes of the coordinate plane and are perpendicular to each other intersec...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT Solids are simply 3-dimensional shapes and are one area where people tend to struggle because they try to memorize a set of formulas for the two things you might have to calculate for solids: surface area and volume. However, this section does not have to be difficult. A small bit of logic can help you sift through all of the formulas. Really the only two solids that are tested on the GMAT, in terms of formulas, are rectangular solids (including cubes) and cylinders. You may come across ...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Circles are another favorite of the GMAT test writers. You might think that this should be a no brainer topic as there are only two formulas and a couple of terms that most of us learned about circles, but the integration of other geometry concepts is what makes gmat circle problems tough - and the few things you might not remember from high school. A term that you absolutely must know is π . The approximate value of π is 3.14. This may come into play in some calculations in DS problems, but...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Although not a major topic on the GMAT, polygons are worth discussing as there are a few quick tips that can help on the exam as you run across some tough questions. Also, the only polygons that you are likely to come across are the following: If you see a polygon on the exam it will likely be a ‘regular’ polygon. This means that all of the sides and interior angles are equal to each other. This comes in handy as you are asked to calculate pieces of the figure. First, you will have to kno...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

There are several types of GMAT quadrilaterals, or four-sided figures, that you will need to know when taking the GMAT. We will look at the area perimeter and other properties of each figure individually. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Trapezoid: A quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides Area = ((b1+b2)/2)×h Perimeter = the sum of all sides (they can all be different lengths so there is no shortcut. __________________...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT Right triangles are everywhere on the exam. Make sure you spend some good time studying the portions of this chapter so that you can easily move between the rules, and you do not have to spend too much time recalling the relationships. There are two components to GMAT right triangles: Hypotenuse: The longest side, which is also opposite the right angle. Legs: The two sides that meet to form the right triangle. For the area of the right triangle the legs make up the base and height. Y...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Triangles are everywhere on the GMAT. Even in problems where you do not see any gmat triangles, there are often ways to draw triangles in the diagram that aide you in solving the problem. It is paramount that you understand all of these rules and can comfortably move between them. There are three types of triangles that will be prevalent on the exam: Isosceles Triangle: A triangle that has two sides that are of equal length and two angles of equal measure (these are opposite the sides of eq...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT Line (no different from regular lines): A geometrical object that is straight, infinitely long and infinitely thin. Segment: A line that has endpoints. Parallel: Two lines or segments that never meet - designated as // - AB // CD Perpendicular: Two lines or segments the intersect to form a 90° angle. In drawings, this is represented with the drawing: . Typically, these definitions will not be outright tested. Or, you will not see a question that asks you to define a parall...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

These problems are often referred to as combined work or even simultaneous work problems. In reality they are combined rate problems, but worth their individual attention. The rate equation is the exact same here, but typically, instead of distance we are computing some output. This means: GMAT work problems are just like a rate problem in which you add the rates for a combined rate. Thus, the sum of two rates will give you the combined output. Or: These problems will typically entail ...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

This is another one of the topics that you will likely see more of in your first year of business school than on the GMAT, but getting down a few pieces of terminology and understanding how they are used will make your stress level come down if you see one on the exam and during your first year finance class. Principle: The amount of an investment Simple Interest: Interest that is paid on the principle alone You do not have to memorize the formula above, but know that the interest am...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT mixtures come in a variety of different forms, but generally mixture problems are just weighted average problems. There are a few differences that we will go over, but think of them in the same manner. This is an example: Solution A consists of 20% iodine and solution B is 5% iodine. If 15 ounces of solution B is mixed with solution A to make a combined solution of 10%, how many ounces of solution A are used? For this we can just set up a weighted average problem: We will use the ...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Honestly, a rate is exactly the same thing as a ratio. You are simply comparing two numbers with GMAT rates. However, because GMAT rates typically are based on some unit of time the question types are a little different than the ratio question types. Most often this is some output per unit of time: miles per hour meter per second sales per year However, rates can also be between other things: sales per customer window per building customers to table Ratios can be used to show this re...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

As we showed in the previous section, ratios can be represented in percent form. As such, GMAT percents are also a way to show the relationship between numbers. First let’s cover the format of percents: Clearly to move from percent to decimal you divide by 100. Also, being able to move interchangeably between fractions, decimals and percents will help tremendously on GMAT percents problems. Personally, I will always try to convert back to fractions as the math tends to be the easiest. As ...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT ratios are no different than other ratios. A ratio is simply a relationship between two numbers. You may see ratios of more than two numbers, and we will look at that soon; however, even that is just a series of relationships. Most often you will see a ratio represented with a colon (:). Yet, a ratio can be set up as a fraction or potentially even a decimal or percent. Shortly we will discuss how being able to move between formats can help cut down on time spent on individual problems. ...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

GMAT Statistics. It is probably one of the most hated classes in the entire business school experience. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about a lot of the complexities for quite some time, however this is a section that is getting more play in exams lately, in fact you are likely to see 2 or 3 questions on this topic come exam day. Average is the one concept that is covered, and we have already covered 2 sections related to this subject. Here are a few more: Range: The difference between th...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Since the theme of this content is to do things as simple as possible, as quickly as possible, and make as few mistakes as possible, I am going to leave out many of the ways that other books may describe this section. Quite frankly, the equations are easy to mess up and venn diagrams (except in one case) do not represent the information in an easy to read manner. But first, what are GMAT overlapping sets? It is a way to describe two pieces of independent information relating to a singular gr...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

A weighted average is really just a type of average, but there is a bit different way that you can think about these types of problems that will be very helpful in many others. In fact, the methods used in this chapter will help you with with Rates, Work, and Mixture problems that we will discuss in the word problems section. Spend the time to understand it now, and you will be ahead of the game. The ability to handle gmat weighted averages quickly can free up 2-4 minutes on the exam for othe...

by ejkiv

July 19, 2015

Average is synonymous with mean/arithmetic mean and it is defined by a simple equation: This equation will be the backbone to everything that we work on with GMAT averages, but there will be ways to simplify this as we move along. A basic example would be: What is Dan’s average test score if he scored an 80, 85 and 96 on his three exams? Now, 261 divided by 3 is not the end of world, but you can imagine how these numbers might get a little harder to handle if they started to get much l...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

GMAT absolute value, and any absolute value really, is really just a way to measure the distance from zero. And, since distances can only be positive, we can rephrase absolute value as the positive difference from 0. In reality, all you need to know at the core is that the absolute value of a number is the number itself if positive or the number times -1 if it is negative. The absolute value of x is denoted |x| . To illustrate how this works, let’s look at examples: While the first are pr...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

In many ways, GMAT inequalities are exactly like equations. However, before we go into solving for inequalities, let’s make sure we understand what exactly all of the symbols mean. When looking at solving for inequalities, you can basically treat the inequality as an equal sign in all but 1 case, which we will cover shortly. So, the following example can be solved exactly as you would before: The one instance that you cannot solve as you would with an equation is when you are multiplyi...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

Quadratic equations will come in the form of something that looks like this: In this example, a, b, and c are constants. In an example that is a bit easier to digest, you will see the equation written out like this: In the above example, a=1, b=5 and c=6. You will likely not need to know the formula in its abstract form; however, variables may be in place of a constant and you will have to solve for the variable. When that happens it is very important to know that all of the constants ...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

GMAT Systems of equations will come into play when you have multiple variables and multiple equations. The general rule is that in order to solve for a linear equation with N variables you will need to have N different equations to solve for these variables. This rule is not hard and fast, but it is a good place to start. When looking at linear equations, there is only going to be 1 solution for each variable. This is different in quadratic equations, which can have multiple solutions. A...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

GMAT Linear equations incorporate everything we discussed and that you practiced in the simplifying expressions section. In this chapter, we are going to discuss solving for single variables in an equation, also know as a linear equation. Equation: A set of two different expressions that have the same value, denoted by an equal sign. There are two types of equations that we will talk about: linear equations and quadratic equations. In a few sections, we will discuss quadratic equations. The...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

Now it is time to start putting the pieces together. We have talked about some of the rules of how algebra works, but now we have to start applying some of these things in sets of information given. Expression: a phrase that contains numbers, variables and operators (like, multiply, and divide). Since we already know the order of operations and have had some work with variables, we are just going to jump right into some examples. 6(x-y) + 4x + 5y The first thing to note is that the 6 must...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

GMAT Exponents There are a variety of different rules that you are going to have to memorize on exponents. There is no way around this, as the GMAT will find ways to test your knowledge of exponents from all different angles. We will work on giving you the logic as well so that you do understand these rules and move beyond pure memorization. The basic anatomy of an exponent is as follows: In this example, x is called the base and y is called the exponent. Another example is as follows...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

The topic of GMAT remainders is not a difficult one and probably terminology that you learned back in second or third grade. You likely learned how to find a remainder through long division, and since we have banned you from long division, we are going to have to learn about remainders just a touch differently. Let’s start by looking at a few things related to remainders so that we have a basis to talk about this topic. *Obviously, you would never write a mixed fraction with a ze...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

This section is here to prevent you from making mistakes on the exam. GMAT Decimals will help you with estimation when searching for answer choices and help with timing by finding easier paths to the solution. First things First: Make flashcards of the following and memorize them! Ahem! Seriously. Go make Flash Cards! The only numbers you do not really have to know are the fractions with 7 as a denominator, but might as well be safe. Why are you memorizing all of these fractions?...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

On the GMAT fractions are going to make your life easier. Just about every problem will involve fractions on some level. The more comfortable you are with them, the better you will do on this exam. Period. Even though you are not going to see a bunch of problems specifically testing fractions alone, you are going to have plenty of opportunities to use them to make questions easier. Focus on simplification (this is going to remain a theme in this book) - if you see the fraction , simpli...

by ejkiv

July 18, 2015

It is a must that you understand the order of operations. For the most part everyone has a decent understanding of this concept; however it is worth going over and noting the few areas where people make common mistakes. First the order itself: Parenthesis Exponents Multiplication Division Addition Subtraction This is known as either PEMDAS, or sometimes with the short phrase - Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. However, you have to remember it, commit it to memory and work on it so...

by ejkiv

July 17, 2015

This section is here just to make sure that you have all the bases covered. As we mentioned before, the best way to do well on this exam is to have a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Positive and negative numbers are not explicitly a section of the GMAT, but there will be problems where it is important to consider the effects of positive and negative numbers. For this, we have put together the results of positive and negative numbers in different types of operations. It will be important t...

by ejkiv

July 17, 2015

While it may seem like evens and odds are a pretty basic concept of math, the truth of the matter is the GMAT test writers have found some crafty ways to test this concept. While some of the questions are rather simple, some of the most difficult questions on the exam can contain this concept. As for the basics, even integers are divisible by 2 and odd integers are not. Some examples: Even: 0, 2, 4, 8, 20, 30, 112, 334, -2, -4, -8, -20, -30 , -112, -334 Odd: 1, 3, 5, 9, 21, 31, 113, 33...

by ejkiv

July 17, 2015

GMAT consecutive numbers are those that are evenly spaced. These are also known as arithmetic sequences, which will be discussed later, but there are so many ways in which thinking in terms of consecutive sequences can make problems easier. A set of consecutive numbers might look like this {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} or (2, 4, 6, 8, 10} or {10, 20, 30, 40, 50} or even {14, 28, 42, 56, 70}. There can be any amount of numbers within the set. You may see them written as consecutive odds, in which case t...

by ejkiv

July 17, 2015

Factors and multiples are ubiquitous on the GMAT, it seems that just about every question can either be solved or simplified by using these concepts. While they are different concepts, I felt that they are so inter-related that they should be included together. First, you must be able to distinguish between the two. As far as the GMAT is concerned, factors are less than or equal to a number while multiples are greater than or equal to a number (This is for the GMAT only - we will discuss i...

by ejkiv

July 17, 2015

GMAT prime numbers are the building blocks for so many questions. It is a basic concept, but make sure you are very comfortable with prime numbers. A prime number is a positive number that is only divisible by 1 and itself. 1 is not a prime number and 2 is the only even prime number (this is important to remember for GMAT questions). Here is a list of some of the lower value prime numbers: 2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 You should be able to recognize these very quickly, and...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

There are many parts of everything that we have covered thus far that are just as advanced as the topics that are going to be covered in this GMAT advanced section. However, on the whole the contents of the following sections tend to show up more frequently in the higher level questions. Not to say that you cannot get an easy question from the following topics; it is just less likely. It is the variations of these topics that make them difficult Even if you are not aiming for 760+, thi...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

The very thought of geometry scares people. For most, it is a topic we covered for 1 year in high school and have not looked at it since. So, understandably, this is one of the more difficult topics for many people on the GMAT. However, it does not have to be. After getting past the initial learning curve of relearning/learning the terminology, the questions can really turn out to be quite simple. Your goal for this section is to gain comfort with the terms to be used in geometry questions ...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

Word problems really encompass most of the exam. While pretty much any of the disciplines can be written in the form of a word problem, there are certain types of problems that fall almost entirely in this section. Before getting into the section it is worth studying the chart below. This chart shows a lot of cue words you will find in the word problems and what they mean. Remember that one of the important things to consider when working through word problems is to translate the infor...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

This is not your typical section in a GMAT quantitative review; however, there is no other place to put the few topics that fall into GMAT sets. Also, much of what is learned in a few of these subjects can be used to simplify problems in other areas. Average and weighted average especially will offer some core ways to think about other problems. Just because this is the shortest section does not mean that it is not important. Like always, study diligently and it will pay off in the end. <a...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

Some areas of this section, GMAT Algebra may seem elementary or simple, but do not discount the importance of mastery in these disciplines. Many people I have taught claim to have a firm grasp of these concepts, and then they struggle with problems that test the concepts we are about to go over. As I have mentioned many times thus far, the fundamentals are of the utmost importance to your success on this exam. So many of the questions become easier just by following the right steps. The s...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

GMAT number properties is just a fancy way to describe the way numbers work in relationship to each other. This is an interesting topic on the GMAT because despite the fact that the fundamental knowledge in this section is easy to learn, these questions tend to give people major headaches. It is all about thinking outside of the box when looking at a question. Do not make the foolish assumption that this stuff is so easy that you do not need to spend time reviewing this material. Even though...

by ejkiv

July 16, 2015

Welcome to our GMAT quantitative review. We have include some fantastic material on our website for absolutely free. We thought it would be helpful to get some of the basics out in the open so that you know exactly what to expect come exam day. Of course, for a more comprehensive overview, we recommend our Complete GMAT Quantitative Guide and our GMAT math course. <a href="/posts/gmat-number-properties">GMAT Number Properties</a> This is the foundational set of information on the ex...

by ejkiv

July 10, 2015

There is no GMAT study plan that is exactly right for everyone. Each individual is different. Different goals, different abilities, different amounts of study time, and the list goes on. What is important for any GMAT hopeful is to make sure that you cover all of the material that is on the exam. Sounds simple, but without an organized study guide this can be quite difficult. You also, need to be flexible. In the years I have spent preparing people for the exam, I have seen just about e...

by ejkiv

January 27, 2015

I have extremely excited to introduce GMAT Answers to the world! This project has been in the works for several years, and finally I am ready to release it to all GMAT test takers. Over the past 5 years as the Director of GMAT Operations at Stratus Prep, I have spent a lot of time in one-on-one tutoring sessions with people who were at all levels of the exam. Throughout the course of that work, I have developed a lot of strategies to help people identify weaknesses, prioritize concepts...

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