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GMAT Quantitative Concept: Disguised Quadratics

If you’ve been studying for the GMAT, you’ve probably encountered situations that require knowledge of quadratic equations and how they work. In so doing, you’ve also probably memorized the following three equivalencies: (x + y)2 = x2 + 2xy + y2 (x – y)2 = x2 – 2xy + y2 (x – y)(x + y) = x2 – y2 Knowledge of these three equations will, without a doubt, come in handy on…

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GMAT Data Sufficiency: Breaking Your Assumptions

One of the most widespread mistakes I see students make on Data Sufficiency concerns the information they consider when evaluating a statement. To properly determine whether a statement is sufficient, you must be focused on using only the information given. If, for example, a statement only tells you that -10 < x < 10, but says nothing else, then you can’t assume that x is an integer, and you…

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GMAT Sentence Correction the NYC Transit Way

Recently, while riding the subway, I saw an ad that captures one of the most common GMAT Sentence Correction errors. If you live in New York, you’ve probably seen it: “This poster can make you happier than any other on the subway.” Though I’m sure most subway riders have more pressing concerns than the nuances of English grammar, this ad caught my attention because, much…

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GMAT Anxiety: Do Something!

As a full-time GMAT tutor, I work with many people who have taken the exam at least once before, and, in many cases, multiple times. For many of these students, the GMAT is no longer “just” a test they need to get into a good business school, but something almost existential. Though I hesitate to endorse any view of the GMAT as an all-encompassing, life-shattering…

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GMAT Shortcuts

An enduring myth among many test-takers (GMAT and otherwise) is that standardized test preparation is simply a matter of memorizing a few rules and shortcuts and implementing these tricks on test day. This belief is only reinforced by large test-prep companies like The Princeton Review and Kaplan, whose curriculum is oriented around such superficial techniques. Unfortunately, I’ve had to break the news to a few…

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GMAT Sentence Correction: “That” versus “Which”

One of the common grammatical stumbling blocks for GMAT test-takers concerns the appropriate use of “that” and “which.” Although the difference between “that” and “which” will almost never be the make-or-break difference in a GMAT Sentence Correction question, understanding when each term is correct can help you quickly eliminate choices on test day. The key difference between “that” and “which” is the following: “That” introduces…

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GMAT Sentence Correction: Relative Clauses

As an independent GMAT tutor, I find that many of the students I work with struggle on Sentence Correction because they find it difficult to breach the gap between grammatical intuitions and concrete grammatical rules. In such cases, I find that students benefit most from clearly delineating the grammatical rules that appear on the test and learning how to identify them. In this and subsequent…

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The Logic of GMAT Data Sufficiency

I recently received an e-mail from someone undergoing a mini-crisis over GMAT Data Sufficiency. I’ve decided to share the e-mail and my thoughts with the GMAT world: “… so critical reasoning isn’t much of a problem, nor is problem solving. But I can’t, for the life of me, wrap my mind around data sufficiency. And, really, I don’t understand why it appears on the GMAT….

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The Logic of GMAT Data Sufficiency

I recently received an e-mail from someone undergoing a mini-crisis over GMAT Data Sufficiency. I’ve decided to share the e-mail and my thoughts with the GMAT world: “… so critical reasoning isn’t much of a problem, nor is problem solving. But I can’t, for the life of me, wrap my mind around data sufficiency. And, really, I don’t understand why it appears on the GMAT….

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The Most Common GMAT Data Sufficiency Mistake

As anyone who has prepared for the GMAT would attest to, the GMAT data sufficiency is probably the trickiest component of the test. Along with requiring an abundance of abstract thought, its strange wording and structure naturally induce students to make mistakes. Here, I’m going to discuss the #1 mistake students make on data sufficiency: They don’t evaluate the statements independently! Let’s look at a…

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