### 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….

### 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…

### Understanding the GMAT CAT: Verbal Success is More Important than Quantitative Success

A lot of the students who come to me looking for tutoring are looking for intensive work in the Quantitative section of the GMAT. This, of course, makes sense. Many people studying for the GMAT haven’t taken a math course since high school, and the idea of doing a weighted average question in Data Sufficiency often inspires a reaction somewhere between mild dread and existential…

### 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…

### GMAT Inconsistency

I recently began working with a student who is confronting a fairly unique challenge. She is fantastic at Quant, but the two times she took the GMAT, her Verbal scores varied wildly: 36 her first sitting and 15 the next. When confronted with such a situation, my first assumption is that the student’s problem is only somewhat conceptual. After all, if she was able to…

### Some Common GMAT Myths

If you’re looking to ace the GMAT, you’re faced with two fundamental challenges: mastering the content of the exam and understanding the nature of the test. Mastering the content of the test is no easy feat, but because of persistent myths about the exam, many students end up taking the wrong approach toward the GMAT itself. Here, I’ve listed and dispelled some of the most…

### Understanding the GMAT CAT: Perfection isn’t necessary

GMAT test-takers are an ambitious breed. Most of the students I encounter work full-time, have various extracurricular projects, and still find time to devote 10 – 15 hours each week to GMAT preparation. This is of course an admirable trait, and one that often translates well into GMAT success. The downside, though, is that most people gunning for 700+ on the exam believe that a…

### Prime Factors on the GMAT

Some of the most common Number Properties questions on the GMAT require you to recognize how many times a certain number is a factor of another number. For example “If 81 =3x, then x = ?” Most students answer this question correctly because they recognize that 81 can be re-written as 34, thus making the answer 4. This may seem like a simple concept, but, as…