# Category Archives: GMAT Anecdotes

### GMAT Verbal: Think Before You Write

The GMAT Verbal can be tough to crack. While GMAT Quantitative percentiles have been steadily increasing over the years (compare old GMAT Quant Percentiles from 2007 to this current Quant percentile chart), Verbal scores have mostly stagnated, with, for example, a 40 scaled score from 2007 corresponding to same percentile now (again, compare old GMAT Verbal percentiles to this current Verbal percentile chart). The increase…

### Pigeonholing GMAT Questions

This post is inspired by a recent student of mine who was able to improve from a 480 on his diagnostic to a 660 on the real GMAT. He was great at categorizing GMAT questions, but he really started seeing a jump after he took the below advice to heart. If you spend enough time studying for the GMAT, you inevitably run into advice espousing…

### GMAT Timing Tip: Is It Time to Guess?

If you even scratch the surface of a GMAT prep book, a GMAT forum, or just a random GMAT conversation on the street (those do happen, I swear), you’ll hear something about the scoring algorithm — that you MUST get the first 10 questions right, that you’re doing poorly if you get an easy question in the middle of the test, and so on (both…

### How You Approach the GMAT and Why It Matters

Let’s face it. For most people, the process of preparing for the GMAT is long and grueling. The GMAT is like the SAT and GRE, except on steroids, and the test’s algorithm will make sure to expose any weaknesses in your conceptual knowledge or approach. For most people, these facts inevitably lead to a perspective on the GMAT that is somewhere between resignation and outright…

### 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…

### How to study (and not study) for the GMAT

A wise dude named Einstein once defined insanity as such: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Despite the somewhat philosophical tenor of this quote, I find it highly applicable to the situation that confronts many GMAT test-takers. Having developed and familiarized themselves with a certain approach, many GMATers come to practice that approach habitually, even when it yields less-than-desirable…

### The downside of commercial GMAT materials

As a full-time GMAT tutor and a frequent reader of GMAT forums, I see many students who spend a decent chunk of their prep time using commercial materials. In a way, the use of commercial practice questions is almost inevitable: If you sign up with a company, you do so with the belief that its materials will accurately reflect what’s on the GMAT, and you…