Category Archives: GMAT Study Tips


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…

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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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