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Category Archives: GMAT COMPASS


Meaning Issues in Sentence Correction

If you’ve been following the GMAT forums, you’ve probably come to learn that GMAC (the creators of the GMAT) recently announced that many of the Sentence Correction questions on the exam are trending away from Idiom and toward Meaning. Hearing of this news, many people studying for the exam have recently called me in a panic, worried that all the time they spent poring over…

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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…

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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….

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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….

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Causality on the GMAT

One of the most common types of arguments you’ll see on the GMAT will be cause-and-effect. A cause-and-effect argument can best be thought of as one arguing that a certain fact or phenomenon directly brings about another one. One of the pitfalls of any causal argument is that the seemingly apparent causal connection might not actually exist. Let’s take a look at a typical causal…

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Additional GMAT Practice

As an independent GMAT tutor with a knack for the unconventional, I work with many students who, for whatever reason, couldn’t quite crack the GMAT by just working through the Official Guide or with a set of books from a given company. Often, the difficulties these students encounter are a function of impersonal classrooms or discrepant learning styles or even just lack of structure. Remedying…

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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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