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There’s No Such Thing as a 700 Level GMAT Question

One of the most popular questions I get asked by my students: “Can you tell me where to find 700 level GMAT questions I can practice?” To which I have a reply ready: “I’d love to help you! But what’s a 700 level GMAT question?” Read more

A Quick Idea to Improve Your GMAT Critical Reasoning Overnight

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.

Today, I want to share with you one of the easiest and quickest ways I’ve ever found to improve your accuracy when doing GMAT Critical Reasoning questions. Read more

A GMAT Timing Lesson from the German Bobsled Team

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.

Did you watch any of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang? If not, you missed out not only on some curling action that brought the house down*, but also on the most spectacular hockey shootout goal I’ve ever seen. If you saw it, you know the one I’m talking about! But there’s one other important thing you may have missed: an important lesson about GMAT timing. Read more

What Learning to Play the Piano Can Teach You about Studying for the GMAT

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.

Before I was a GMAT teacher, I was a piano teacher. At my first job out of college, I would go house to house giving piano lessons to kids. The most important lesson I had for them was always the same: practice slowly, correctly, and in small, manageable pieces. Read more

I’ve Got Two Weeks…

I recently tutored a student “ let’s call her Jane “ who came to me two weeks before her test. Here’s the discussion we had:

Jane: Right now, I’m doing well on the verbal section, consistently scoring in the 80th to 90th percentile on my practice tests. However, my math isn’t as good “ the highest I’ve scored is 48th percentile. I got a 630 on my most recent practice test, but I’d really like to score a 720. My GMAT date is two weeks from today.

Ryan: Why a 720?

Jane: I don’t know, I just heard that’s what you need to get into a top school.

Ryan: Well, let’s assume that you score in the 85th percentile on the verbal section, an average performance for you. To get a 720, you’d need to hit the 90th percentile on the quant section. Did you know that?

Jane: OH MY GOD NO! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?

Should You Take a GMAT Prep Course?

In my 9-session courses, all students are invited to try the first session for free. At the end of that trial session, one or more students invariably ask me, do I need to take this course to get a good score on the GMAT?

In a word, no. In fact, I scored a 760 on my first attempt, and I didn’t take a prep course. But then again, I devoted my lunch hour to studying for more than two months straight. Every. Single. Workday.

I’d like to think I’m a smart guy, but even so, there’s no way I could have scored a 760 without putting in significant study time. That is true for 99.99% of the GMAT-taking population, prep course or no. If you want to get the most out of my class, be prepared for an hour of homework every day for the duration of the course.

Return of the Hardest Easy Math Problem in the World

The last blog post I wrote showed how modifiers can fool people on quant problems “ here’s the link.

Several of my students who got the baseball problem from that post correct dismissed the issue entirely and scoffed at me for showing them such an easy problem, then inevitably missed a variant of the problem I’m about to show you. Try it for yourself, and watch out for the modifiers!

The town of Malmo, Sweden has only two late-night food options: Pizza and Kebab. All sellers of late-night food have either a street permit or a permanent store permit. 60% of all the late-night food sellers in Malmo are street vendors that serve Kebab; 20% of all the late-night food sellers who have a permanent store serve Pizza. If Malmo’s ratio of total street permits to total permanent store permits is exactly 7 to 3, what percentage of all late-night food sellers in Malmo serve pizza?

(A)  10%

(B)  16%

(C)  24%

(D) 30%

(E)  70%

(If you’re not sure how to approach this problem, try brushing up on overlapping sets, covered in the Manhattan GMAT Word Problems strategy guide. Then come back and give it a shot.)

The Hardest Easy Math Problem in the World

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 was hanging out with a friend of mine the other day. She is a graduate student, and she asked me a question that she had come across during her research: Read more

Integrated Reasoning Problems With Multiple Solutions

After seeing quite a few Integrated Reasoning problems floating around out there, I’ve found that one of the toughest situations to deal with is when instead of providing a single solution, the GMAT constructs a world with multiple possible solutions and then asks you to pick something that works within those parameters. Let me show you an example:

x, y and z are positive integers. The sum of x and y is 40. The positive difference between y and z is 20.

In the table below, identify values for x and z that are together consistent with the information. Make only one selection in each column.

x z
15
20
25
45
60

Found the answer yet? If not, I think I might know why: You’re trying to solve for y. The problem is, y could be almost any integer from 1 to 39, as long as you pick values for x and z that work. You could figure out x and z for every single value of y, but that’s a very time-consuming strategy! Without the answer choices, there are more than 50 different solutions to this problem. So what is a better strategy than trying to solve for y?