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Tag Archives: GMAT tutor


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….

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GMAT Timing Tip: Is It Time to Guess?

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…

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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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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: 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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