Tag Archives: GMAT myths


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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GMAT Verbal: Can You Really Improve Your Critical Reasoning?

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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GMAT Timing Tip: The Sunk Cost Fallacy

When students call me to discuss issues they’ve been having in their preparation, one of the most common concerns I hear is timing. Be it on practice tests or on the real thing, basically all GMAT test-takers experience a time crunch at some point during the test, if not throughout the entire exam. Now, if you’re nodding your head vigorously in agreement and expect some…

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GMAT Anxiety: Your Worst Enemy or Your Best Ally

Everyone who takes the GMAT suffers from at least some anxiety. I’ve taken it three times and scored 760+ each time, but even at my last sitting, I remember feeling that rush of adrenaline and nerves as the test started. In the back of your mind, you will always wonder whether they will suddenly throw 5 nasty combinatorics questions at you or give you 7…

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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 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…

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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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