Month: April 2015

Idiomatic Usage

Sentence Correction — Idiomatic Usage

One of the most important things that test-takers need to keep in mind about the GMAT® Sentence Correction is that it is a test of Written and not Spoken English. This distinction comes to the fore when phrases that sound correct to the ear are in fact incorrect as per the GMAT® and as we will see in this post the converse can also be true — what sounds incorrect to the ear can in fact be error-free. One of the best examples of this is the usage of Such As V Like.

The Conclusion Question

Critical Reasoning – The Conclusion Question 1

Of all Critical Reasoning Question Types on the GMAT® , the conclusion question is probably the easiest of the lot. The only thing that one needs to remember is that the conclusion should not be a possibility but a certainty based on the information given. Test-takers sometimes tend become adventurous and choose options that are not fully supported by the information since the correct option seems too obvious. But on the GMAT® it is the most straightforward option that turns out to be the conclusion.

GMAT Venn Diagrams

How To Tackle Problems Involving Venn Diagrams

Problems involving Venn Diagrams do make a compulsory appearance on the Quantitative section of the GMAT® . But oftentimes it makes a lot of sense to treat these problems like logical reasoning problems rather Venn Diagrams. In fact in some cases you might not need to draw any diagram at all! The GMAT® problem below is the best illustration of the same. DIRECTIONS: Each data sufficiency problem below consists of a question and two statements, labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data are given. You have to decide whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. Using the data given in the statements plus your knowledge of mathematics and everyday facts (such as the number of days in July or the meaning of counterclockwise), you are to option A if statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; B if statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; C if BOTH …

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How To Increase Your Speed On Sentence Correction – 2

In the previous Sentence Correction post we saw how answer options on the GMAT® SC display a 3/2 split that you should use to crash your solving time. Let us look at a few more GMAT® questions with the 3/2 split. 3/2 Spilt at the end of the options – Clue in the non-underlined part preceding options Rising inventories, when unaccompanied correspondingly by increases in sales, can lead to production cutbacks that would hamper economic growth. (A) when unaccompanied correspondingly by increases in sales, can lead (B) when not accompanied by corresponding increases in sales, possibly leads (C) when they were unaccompanied by corresponding sales increases, can lead (D) if not accompanied by correspondingly increased sales, possibly leads (E) if not accompanied by corresponding increases in sales, can lead In the above sentence the 3/2 split is at the end of the underlined part; the choice is between ‘lead’ and ‘leads’.

GMAT Scoring

How is the GMAT score calculated?

The best way to start is to have a look at what your actual Official GMAT Score Report will look like. The image below is of only a part of the Score Report, so that we do not divulge the details of the test-taker. The Verbal & Quant Scores have a range from 0 – 60 but the actual range of scores that test-takers get is narrower. The actual range of scores is from 9 to 44 for the Verbal section with 45 being rare and 7 to 50 for the Quantitative section, with 51 being rare (though not at the IIT close to where I stay ☺).

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GMAT Quantitative – Concepts Not Formulae

In a previous post, we had discussed how the GMAT® does not really test formulae but logic. Along with logic, higher level GMAT problems test conceptual clarity. Such problems can be solved in almost no time, provided you know the concepts, and will leave you with time to solve the time-taking word problems. The GMAT® question below is a very good example of the same. DIRECTIONS: Each data sufficiency problem below consists of a question and two statements, labeled (1) and (2), in which certain data are given. You have to decide whether the data given in the statements are sufficient for answering the question. Using the data given in the statements plus your knowledge of mathematics and everyday facts (such as the number of days in July or the meaning of counterclockwise), you are to option A if statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; B if statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked; …

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How To Increase Your Speed On Sentence Correction – 1

Of the 41 questions on the Verbal section of the GMAT® approximately 15 will be Sentence Correction questions. Of these 15 questions around 7 questions will clearly have options that display a 3/2 split. This split is one of the fastest ways to solve SC questions under 1:49, which is average the time available per question on the GMAT®. Let us look at the example below to understand what we mean by a 3/2 split. Some psychiatric studies indicate that among distinguished artists the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times as prevalent as in the population at large. (A) the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times as prevalent as in (B) the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times more prevalent than in (C) the rates of manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times more prevalent when compared to (D) manic depression and major depression are ten to thirteen times as prevalent when compared to …

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Critical Reasoning: Correlation-Causation 3

In the previous two posts, we saw how Weaken-Type Critical Reasoning questions based on correlation-causation passages can be solved in under a minute. Just to summarize, X and Y are correlated does not mean X is causing Y since there is no evidence to prove that the direction of causation is from X to Y, it can also be from Y to X So based on arguments that conclude that X is causing Y since X and Y are correlated, Assumption and Strengthen questions can also be asked. Assumption Type: The assumption is that Y is not causing X. A researcher discovered that people who have low levels of immune-system activity tend to score much lower on tests of mental health than do people with normal or high immune-system activity. The researcher concluded from this experiment that the immune system protects against mental illness as well as against physical disease. The researcher’s conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions? (A) High immune-system activity protects against mental illness better than normal immune-system activity does (B) …

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Critical Reasoning: Correlation-Causation — Weaken Question 2

In the previous post, we saw how Critical Reasoning questions on the GMAT® are based on rules of formal logic. We took the specific case of the arguments that incorrectly assume that correlation implies causation. Just to summarize, X and Y are correlated does not mean X is causing Y since there is no evidence to prove that the direction of causation is from X to Y, it can also be from Y to X there can be a different reason, Z, for the occurrence of Y. So based on arguments that conclude that X is causing Y since X and Y are correlated, there can be three types of questions that can be asked — Weaken, Assumption and Strengthen. Weaken Type: Correct Option will always show that in fact Y is causing X (third cause Z is usually not given in the options since it will make the answer two obvious) Researchers have concluded from a survey of people aged 65 that emotional well-being in adulthood is closely related to intimacy with siblings earlier …