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…

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Conventional GMAT wisdom suggests that you should spend the majority of your time preparing for the Quantitative section. The reasoning behind this claim is largely valid: The Quantitative section tests mathematical reasoning in a highly nuanced way, and before you can even begin to learn and recognize these nuances, you need to brush up on the basic mathematical content that appears on the exam. All…

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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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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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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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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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One of the common grammatical stumbling blocks for GMAT test-takers concerns the appropriate use of “that” and “which.” Although the difference between “that” and “which” will almost never be the make-or-break difference in a GMAT Sentence Correction question, understanding when each term is correct can help you quickly eliminate choices on test day. The key difference between “that” and “which” is the following: “That” introduces…

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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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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…

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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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