Category Archives: GMAT Quantitative Strategy

GMAT Quantitative Errors: Understanding Incorrect Answers

When most people miss a GMAT quant question, the ensuing chain of events tends to be some version of the following: refer to the answer explanation, make sure they understand the explanation, re-do the question, and move on to the next question. Though such an approach certainly benefits test-takers whose only issue is conceptual, it grossly oversimplifies the numerous factors involved in the problem-solving process….

GMAT Data Sufficiency: “I don’t know” vs “Not Sufficient”

If you’ve been preparing at all for GMAT data sufficiency, you’ve probably been confronted with situations in which the information in the statement seems inscrutable. You know that it’s telling you something, but you’re not quite sure what, if any, relevance the information has to the question in the prompt. This, in and of itself, is a fairly common situation. Even though almost all Data Sufficiency statements…

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 Calculations: Avoid the Dirty Work!

If you’ve been studying for the GMAT, you’ve inevitably found yourself in a situation where you were thinking “If only I had a calculator!” Many of my students express this sentiment, especially when doing weird digits questions or when forced to evaluate seemingly impossible percentages or fractions. I’m going to say here what I tell all my students: If you’re bemoaning the lack of access…

Analyzing a 700+ Data Sufficiency Question

As a full-time GMAT geek, the question of what exactly constitutes a difficult GMAT question occupies more of my time than I’d like to admit. This curiosity was only reinforced two weeks ago, when I took my annual official GMAT. Much to my relief, I was able to again score a perfect 51 on the Quant (and, for anyone who’s curious, I have the score…

Factoring Exponential Expressions

Most of the time on the GMAT, manipulations with exponents are fairly straightforward. Usually, you’ll see two terms with a common base, and you’ll be expected to divide or multiply those terms (such as: 25 / 23 or 35 x 38). However, when you get to some of the higher-level questions, you’ll be expected to handle situations in which none of the exponent rules that you’ve learned will apply….

Factoring Exponential Expressions

Most of the time on the GMAT, manipulations with exponents are fairly straightforward. Usually, you’ll see two terms with a common base, and you’ll be expected to divide or multiply those terms (such as: 25 / 23 or 35 x 38). However, when you get to some of the higher-level questions, you’ll be expected to handle situations in which none of the exponent rules that you’ve learned will apply….

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…

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….