Articles published in October 2011

Challenge Problem Showdown – October 31th, 2011

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We invite you to test your GMAT knowledge for a chance to win! Each week, we will post a new Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for a free Manhattan GMAT Prep item. Tell your friends to get out their scrap paper and start solving!

Here is this week’s problem:

The ratio, by weight, of the four ingredients A, B, C, and D of a certain mixture is 4:7:8:12. The mixture will be changed so that the ratio of A to C is quadrupled and the ratio of A to D is decreased. The ratio of A to B will be held constant. If B will constitute 20% of the weight of the new mixture, by approximately what percent will the ratio of A to D be decreased?

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How To Use Your Strategy Guides

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This article, written by Abby Pelcyger and Stacey Koprince, was adapted from our upcoming book, The GMAT Roadmap: Expert Advice Through Test Day. The full book will be available mid-November.

gmat roadmap coverIf you wanted to meet every neighbor on your block, you wouldn’t re-introduce yourself to your best friends who live a few doors down, or to the guy who has you over for a barbeque every fourth Sunday. Rather, you would identify which neighbors you don’t know, and go knock on their doors. The same is true for learning GMAT content. If you are already solid on a bunch of content, reading a whole book on stuff you already know and doing practice problems you could do blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back won’t improve your score. You need to identify the content that you do not yet know, or are still shaky on, and concentrate your efforts there.

The Strategy Guides are written to provide comprehensive coverage of GMAT-level content. It is your job to ascertain how to most effectively use the guides. Here’s what we recommend:

  • If you know that you don’t know the content covered in a Strategy Guide chapter, are shaky and/or rusty on the material, or feel that there must be a faster way than how you currently approach the subject, read the chapter. Create a cheat sheet for the chapter by taking notes on key points that you want to remember, but don’t yet have memorized. Then, test your learning by completing all of the In Action problems at the end of the chapter. Make sure to check your answer and review the solution after completing each problem”not after completing the whole set. There is no better way to internalize how not to do something correctly than to repeat an incorrect method fifteen times in a row!
  • If you know that you know the content covered in a Strategy Guide chapter, quiz yourself to prove it! Turn to the In Action problems at the end of the chap¬ter. They are listed from easiest to hardest, so try numbers 3 and 8. If you do not get those problems right, read the chapter. If you do get those problems right, complete numbers 11“15. Make sure to check the answers after completing each problem. If you get them all right, move on to the next chapter. If you get them mostly right, skim the chapter and focus in on the pieces of information that you need to fill the holes in your knowledge.
  • If the Strategy Guide leaves you confused, it is likely that you have holes in the foundational knowledge on which the GMAT content is built. While reading the Strategy Guide, refer back to the appropriate chapters of the Foundations books, as needed, to fill in these gaps.

The Process for Tackling Any Critical Reasoning Problem

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Did you know that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free? We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.


I’ve been in full-on writing mode lately as we update our Strategy Guides (look for the 5th edition in 2012, in time to start prepping for the Next Generation GMAT!). A couple of our teachers have been doing extensive research on every available official Critical Reasoning problem, and now we’re synthesizing everything. Although we’re still in development mode, I want to share some of our take-aways with you so that you can start to benefit from them right away! Read more

The Next Generation GMAT: Integrated Reasoning

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In September, GMAC held a Summit for the benefit of the test prep crowd “ all of us, basically. We’ve talked already about a lot of the information that came out of that conference, and we’ve got one last topic for you today: the Next Generation GMAT. As many of you have heard, the GMAT is changing in June of 2012.

The below quotes are all from GMAC or Dr. Lawrence Rudner (Chief Psychometrician, GMAC) and all quotes are copyright 2011 Graduate Management Admissions Council. The headers below are the names of the individual articles from which the information and quotes came.

How is the GMAT changing?

Currently, the GMAT consists of two essays scored on a 0 to 6 scale, a quantitative section and a verbal section, each scored on a 1 to 51 scale, and a total combined score for the quant and verbal sections scored on a 200 to 800 scale.

The new test will drop the Analysis of an Issue essay but keep the Analysis of an Argument essay, scored on the same scale. The quant and verbal sections and scoring, as well as the total score, will also remain the same. A new 30-minute Integrated Reasoning section will be added and it will have its own separate scoring scale; we don’t currently have information about this because they are still in the final stages of determining the scoring system. GMAC has said it expects to release the IR scoring scale in April of 2012.

Initially, test takers will continue to receive quant and verbal scores immediately (at the test center) and the Integrated Reasoning score will be available approximately 20 days later. Eventually, we expect that the IR score will also be available immediately after the test.

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Tackling a Next Generation Integrated Reasoning Problem

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Note: This is an updated version of an article posted last year.

airplaneAs GMAC gears up to release the Next Generation GMAT in June of 2012, we’ve been taking a look at the four sample questions posted on the mba.com website.

Let’s look at the hardest one of these questions in more detail! I can’t reproduce the problem here for reasons that will be obvious once you actually start to tackle it yourself. I also can’t tell you how much time to give yourself because GMAC hasn’t given us any timing guidelines. Just take whatever time you need. (Note: all excerpts or quotes from the problem are copyright GMAC.)

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Challenge Problem Showdown – October 24th, 2011

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We invite you to test your GMAT knowledge for a chance to win! Each week, we will post a new Challenge Problem for you to attempt. If you submit the correct answer, you will be entered into that week’s drawing for a free Manhattan GMAT Prep item. Tell your friends to get out their scrap paper and start solving!

Here is this week’s problem:

The difference between positive two-digit integer A and the smaller two-digit integer B is twice A‘s units digit. What is the hundreds digit of the product of A and B?

(1) The tens digit of A is prime.
(2) Ten is not divisible by the tens digit of A.

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Determining Your Trajectory up the GMAT Mountain: Working Within Your Timeline, Pt. 2

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The GMAT RoadmapThis article, written by Abby Pelcyger and Stacey Koprince, was adapted from our upcoming book, The GMAT Roadmap: Expert Advice Through Test Day. The full book will be available mid-November.

Okay, you have your study timeline mapped out. Now, how do you use your time most effectively?

Climbing the Mountain

Look over your study timeline (for many of you, that may be the syllabus for your Manhattan GMAT class). Look at the assignment you have earmarked for the following week. Get a calendar and block off the time periods during which you will study during the upcoming week. Next to each scheduled appointment, list tasks you intend to accomplish during that time slot. Prioritize the areas that address your weaknesses (as indicated by your CAT analysis results) by placing them earliest in the week. Assign only make-up work to your last study session of the week”trust us: there’ll be plenty of it to do.

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Demystifying the GMAT

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Several weeks ago, GMAC (the people who make the test) held its biennial Test Prep Summit, and we’ve all been writing articles about it ever since.  I have more for you today “ and enough for several more articles after that, including another idioms article that I had hoped to have for you today, but the research isn’t done yet. Instead, today I’m going to share with you some very useful knowledge that has been published by Lawrence M. Rudner, Chief Psychometrician of GMAC, in his Demystifying the GMAT article series.

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Determining Your Trajectory up the GMAT Mountain: Developing a GMAT Study Plan, Pt 1

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The GMAT RoadmapThis article, written by Abby Pelcyger and Stacey Koprince, was adapted from our upcoming book, The GMAT Roadmap: Expert Advice Through Test Day. The full book will be available mid-November.

These days, almost everyone preps for the GMAT”but surprisingly few actually plan how to prep in order to maximize the chance for success. Prepping for the GMAT without a plan is like climbing a mountain without a trail map. You may be just starting out or taking a second crack at the official test, but whatever stage you are at, you need a plan. It’s our hope that this article will help guide you on your way to developing your own personalized study plan.

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Patty’s Path to Wharton: Admissions Interview (Part 6 of 8)

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Patty at WhartonThis is part 6 of a series featuring b-school advice gleaned from one of Manhattan GMAT’s own. Until recently, Patty managed marketing and student services for our sister company, Manhattan LSAT. But she chose to return to business school and started at Wharton last fall. She has agreed to share her application experiences with us  in a series called, “Patty’s Path to Wharton.”
Read Part 5 here.

This week, we’re chatting with Patty about the admissions interview. She compares the experience”especially when it takes place at a coffee shop”to a first date. You wonder what they look like, but you don’t want to be creepy and you don’t want to ask every person in the café. Should I have worn a rose? As for the awkward question of who buys, she says there are two solutions. You can get there early and buy your own, or just pay if you arrive at the same time. Offer politely, but if they say no and insist, that’s fine. Like a date.

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