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Posted on
23
Jul 2019

Why Is GMAT Prep Expensive?

Cost of the GMAT Prep

I’m Mike Diamond, head of instruction. I’m Jaymes Kine, one of the lead instructors here. And we are here to talk to you about some of the questions that we have gotten on our fancy social media platforms. Why in God’s name is preparing for the GMAT soo expensive? Can’t I just you know muscle through this with sheer will, determination and self-prep, free resources? And for some small portion of the population you totally can, but, by in large learning to absolutely master the GMAT is like starting from scratch and building a car. You need to at the very least have other people help you make parts, give you schematics, all that, even if you are putting it together yourself. This is not something most people want to do or more importantly have time to do. So why is the cost of GMAT prep soo high?

The GMAT Is An Investment

And I think also the thing to think about is it’s an investment. You need to take the GMAT so that you can go to business school. You want to go to business school so you can become an executive of some sort, somewhere, right? I mean, most of the people, and listen there are those of you out there that are going to B-school to make the world a better place and that’s absolutely awesome and for anyone whether you are going for profit or for the love of humanity, if you have got a need, we have a scholarship program.

So somewhere below here you can find a link to our scholarship application. Let’s be clear, the scholarship we are discussing is an Apex scholarship!

10 Points on the GMAT is worth $80 000!

So, when it comes down to it, the GMAT is an investment and doing well on the GMAT has a significant measurable impact on the amount of money that you are going to make throughout your life. And it might be more than you think. We have actually done some analysis internally and when you compare the salaries coming out of schools, from top schools to very good schools and you adjust for everything else, and just looks at admissions chances and financial aid and GMAT, every 10 points on the GMAT is worth, and I know you actually haven’t seen this document.

Yeah. Guess! Every 10-point increment on the GMAT, how much is it worth?In annual income? In net present value. Lifetime! 10 points? 10K? Keep Going! 30K? 50? About 50 thousand Pounds, 80 thousand US Dollars in lifetime earnings. And that sounds sort of ridiculous until you think about …. Wait, that’s every 10 points? Every 10 points? Well think about it, if you get a 720 and get into Stanford versus a 620, do a great school like, Fox, your lifetime earnings for those 100 points, the difference is going to be more than 800 000 dollars. That’s a lot of dollars!

The Apex Instructor Difference

And so it’s an investment, but from the other side, for us, for what we do. We love what we do! And we are not really in it for the money. I think everyone that’s worked here… Well I mean I am, you have to pay me! Yes! But I do love teaching! We have all started… I think every instructor here started out helping friends, helping family, helping friends of friends, and at some point sort of rolled in and said, well this is something that I enjoy. This is really fun! And it can help me have a fulfilling career.

Why is GMAT Prep soo expensive?

But there is opportunity cost, for you Economics majors out there. Ooh, talking to you! Why is GMAT preparation soo expensive?

Well if you go to a test prep factory and they hire someone who scored a 680 or a 700, just got out of school, doesn’t have teaching experience, they are not paying them very much, they’re actually probably paying them less than they are worth because that’s how big corporations work. Not to get too political. But, you know, they are getting paid $20/hour.

That’s why earlier on in my career I didn’t know this existed. Being a real tutor. It’s also why many of them don’t do it full time. I mean you can see when you go on any of those other websites, and you look for courses available by this specific teacher, they’ve got like 1 or 2 nights a week maybe. Because they are moonlight, doing something else to pay the bills. Still, a lot of excellent teachers, hey you got to make ends meet. But, we don’t want them, because they’re doing something else and it’s just a financial thing for them.

That’s actually one of the things that I’ve been happiest with is going from just teaching on the side and moonlighting and doing that to let’s do this fulltime because I didn’t like my other job and I always liked the few hours a week I was teaching and now I like all the hours that I am teaching. Yeah, when Jaymes joined us he became full time, all our instructors do this full time, just the GMAT!

Apex instructors have score 770+ on the GMAT

And for a GMAT score of, well we all have 770’s and above, we can go to top business schools and work at, I used to be at a hedge fund. Oh, we fancy! We can go do all sorts of stuff. We totally fancy!

So hiring a GMAT tutor is like hiring a professional whether it is an attorney, an accountant, a psychiatrist. Looking for that budget doctor? Yeah, exactly! You wouldn’t get your knee operated on by someone who was like I can do it a little cheaper but I went to a worse medical school.  Right, Zoology is medicine, in a way! I’ve done plenty giraffe knee replacements! That’s actually a pretty big deal!

If you enjoyed this video about the cost of GMAT prep, watch our GMAT Confidence video.

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Posted on
08
Jul 2019

GMAT Confidence

GMAT Confidence

I’m Mike Diamond Head of instruction. I’m Jaymes Kine one of the lead instructors here. And we’re here to talk to you about some of the questions that we’ve gotten on our fancy social media platforms. Yeah, so first of all thank you guys. We asked for you guys to give us some questions you have asked the questions and I guess kind of talked ourselves into a corner because now we have to answer them. Do you have the answers? I have the answer guide! You know, that’s pretty much, just so you know, that’s always the GMAT instructors trick, is we have the answer guide that’s the only difference. It’s actually totally not the trick, the trick, this is actually a great place to start. Okay!

Prep Materials

What materials to use. But I want to talk especially about the quality materials out there. There’s a wide variety of materials out there. There are a lot of materials, you’ve got a wide variety of quality I think is what you’re saying. Wide variety of quality but even the good materials in terms of the problems often do a great disservice to our clients by saying this is how you do it. Right, you look in the back and you see this especially, it’s more apparent with the quantitative. Yeah. Here’s all the algebra you need to do, right, and so many times it’s not about the answer it’s about thinking about other solution paths and getting around the answer. Yeah, and this is actually something that happens a lot I think, it’s mainly one of the major pitfalls for self-prep.

Is when you’re studying on your own we read through the official guide or whatever books you may have. By the way we recommend always getting the official guide, other books to supplement are great, but at least the official guide. We have our own materials that we would we would recommend obviously, but let’s go to the official guide on the answers there. When people are self-prepping they will go through the official guide then they’ll be reading the official answers which as Mike just said, they start with here’s the algebra problem and work you all the way through every algebraic step.

GMAT Confidence

I don’t know if you guys can tell we haven’t rehearsed and this is actually a GMAT moment. Yeah, we maybe should have rehearsed, you know failing to plan is planning to fail I think is what we say. Yes and no though, but we have all the answers. We don’t need to go over the answers in advance we don’t need a script because we live and breathe the GMAT this is all we do. And in that way this is a strong parallel for the GMAT. When you’re sitting the exam you don’t need to know the answers in advance ABCD whatever. If you have the tools and the knowledge, the experience, the expertise, then the answers are going to flow. And all that I think adds up to GMAT confidence to know you can go into that test and you can take it right.

Now we may be over confident here but it’s something we’re working on right. But being confident when you get to the test is definitely key. And it’s often a characteristic of really high achieving test takers, to be sure our instructors none of them went to the test saying, ” Oh, I’m nervous I’m not going to do well,” and when we take follow-up tests from time to time that’s that’s not a question. And that’s characteristic of just about everyone I’ve met, clients, instructors, whatever that have scored above that 720/730 mark. Yeah, I think irrational confidence is probably my best my best characteristic as a test taker really. That’s your best characteristic overall! Oh, thanks man!

If you enjoyed this video, see: Quant Versus Verbal.

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Posted on
06
Jul 2019

Quant Versus Verbal

Quant Versus Verbal

It’s time for quant versus verbal. The final showdown. Yeah, oh wait, we have to…

We have to talk about quant and verbal. Right! So quant versus verbal, one of the most common questions we get. Where should I start?

Should I focus more on the quant or the verbal? What do you think Mike?

Quant

It won’t surprise our lovely viewers that it all depends on the person but let’s talk in some generalizations. One thing you might be surprised by, maybe not so surprised to learn, is that a distinct majority of the people we work with come to us for quantitative help versus verbal help.

At least that’s what they state upfront. Many of them end up only getting quant anyhow but a lot of people state that they only need quant and then they end up needing verbal help as well. Once your quant outstrips your verbal you want to bring them up to parity because that’s highly rewarded by the scoring algorithm.

Right! But that said, we talk in fact we talk a lot of shit every day. Yeah mostly. We talk, we read, we write, we live, we’re immersed in a world of language, a verbal world. Where even math professors only math a few hours a day. Okay yeah there is a verb – to math! This is not a GMAT word but it’s an Apex word because we math frequently. Yes!

Fluency

So the issue there is fluency. If you’re already fluent in English, all the lessons you need to learn are much more easily attainable. Whereas with quantitative concepts even ones you think you know, often there’s more context. So you need a longer time period and more contact density with them in order to absorb all the stuff you need to then be flexible with them the same way you’re likely already flexible with the English language.

Verbal

Right! I think a big part of that is that the verbal section is the verbal section but the math section is math in English. They’re not just equations. They’re not just giving you specific mathematics problems per se. They are giving you math problems wrapped up in words.

Too true, and that goes both ways, there are quantitative problems particularly on the critical reasoning and a lot of times these aren’t: here are some numbers figure it out. Rather, the cost-of-living index is growing more quickly than inflation, more than pensions or something like that. Where you have some sort of abstract inequality buried in a property – they require mathematical reasoning.

And just for all of our other viewers who might not be from Philadelphia. He meant buried in the problem that’s what that was. Buried not buried? Yeah okay. Although, if you are from Philadelphia don’t spit out your water, it’s okay to say buried, but that’s how it goes.

That’s how it goes, so anyway there’s a lot of overlap on the GMAT but especially on the quantitative side, a lot of the difficulty is puzzling out what you need to answer, not doing the equation but you’re saying what that hell is this asking me for?

Non-Native English Speakers

You know and this is something else that we feel like a lot of the other the other outfits, the other test prep factories don’t really do enough, they don’t do a good enough job in my opinion. Emphasizing what many of you may be thinking right now which is verbal help and mathematical help with verbal for non-native English speakers. There are plenty of students who come Apex who are actually very good mathematicians as it were and it’s the English that they need a little bit of help with. Not as it pertains to the verbal section but actually it’s the English on the quant section that’s difficult.

Absolutely, there’s vocabulary, there’s context, but what’s really important here is that native speakers and non-native speakers pick up language differently. Even the way you learned English if you’re a non-native speaker affects how we approach working with you on the verbal. So if you’re a non-English speaker don’t be too concerned that that’s a disadvantage. You know something I’d like to point out to my students quite often is that the GMAT is actually created specifically for native English speakers and a lot of the test itself is meant to trick native English speakers. So coming at it actually from a non-native speaking background can actually help you kind of skip over all of the little traps that are set up for native speakers. So don’t despair, it’s not that you’re at a distinct disadvantage, you just some different work to do to prepare.

Yeah, different advantages, having access to secondary grammars whether it’s your native language or whether you took say, Spanish in high school.

I’m fluent in emoji actually I can tell that from your text messages it’s frankly disturbing.

If you enjoyed this video, watch GMAT Confidence

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Posted on
21
Jun 2019

Number Theory Problem Form – Wedding Guest

Number Theory Problem – Wedding Guest

Today we’re going to be looking at what at first seems to be an allocation problem. But on further reflection actually turns out to be a much simpler number theory problem. If we take a look at the problem stem these numbers 143 and 77. They stick out to us and they stick out not just because they don’t seem to have any relative association but also because they’re sort of odd-looking numbers they don’t look like most the numbers were used to seeing. Say 48 or 24 or 36 something easily divisible clearly breakable into factors. Here were given these two disparate numbers and we’re being asked to formulate not what the tables are made up of but how many tables there are.

Solving the Problem

So we look at these two numbers and we examine first the 77 because it’s a simpler lower number. 77 breaks into factors of 7 and 11. This clues us in as to what to look for out of the 143. 143 must have a factor of 7 or 11. And in fact 143 is evenly divisible by 11 and it gives us 13. Which means that there are 11 possible tables that is the maximum number of tables are 11. Each one has 13 people from the bride side and 7 people from the groom’s side. 13 plus 7 there’s 20 people at each table. Times the 11 tables is 220. And we can back check our math, 143 plus 77 is 220. We don’t need to go that far but that might help deliver some comfort to this method. So in reality this is a very creative clever way the GMAT is asking us for a greatest common factor.

Graphical Solution Path

Another way to think about this is that we need an equal number of groups from the bride and groom side. The number of people on the bride’s side doesn’t have to equal the number of people on the groom’s side. We just need them broke in into the same number of equal groups. Graphically, the illustration shows us how a certain number of different sized groups combined into this common table. So 13 and 7 and we have 11 groups of each.

Problem Forming

This is a great problem to problem form. It will give you some additional mental math or common result experience by forcing you to figure out numbers that you can present that at first don’t look like they match but in fact do have a common factor. You’ll notice that if they had given you 16 people and 36 people finding that common factor might be easier.

So as you problem form this try and do it in a way that sort of obscures the common factor. Either try it maybe where they have multiple common factors and you tweak things like what is the greatest number what is the fewest number of tables. Or even do a perspective shift and take a look at say how many guests are represented at each table. Or on the bride’s side or on the groom’s side. Of course there are conceptual shifts to this and you can make this story about anything. Once you control the story or rather the structure of the story this problem becomes very very straightforward.

Hope this helped I look forward to seeing you guys soon.

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Philadelphia GMAT Seminar
Posted on
29
May 2019

GMAT SEMINAR – LOS ANGELES

GMAT SEMINAR - LOS ANGELES

GMAT Seminar in Los Angeles

Receive everything you need to overcome the GMAT in one intensive GMAT filled weekend.

  • Comprehensive GMAT content
  • Includes a Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning and Admissions Consulting Workshop.
  • Furthermore, get 6 months access to the Apex online learning platform which includes 5500+ GMAT questions and 5 CATs.

 

Course Descriptions

Verbal Course:

A full day of prep for the verbal section of the GMAT. Providing you with the necessary skills to tackle Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction with elevated techniques.

Quantitative Course:

An entire day of prep for the quantitative section of the GMAT will equip you with higher level solution paths, necessary to tackle both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions.

Full Course:

In addition to both the verbal and quantitative days, the full course also includes Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment prep.

Full Course Plus :

This course gives you access to a personal tutor for 2 hours and comes at a value of $500. You can choose to have a private tutoring session with a 770+ scoring GMAT instructor. Alternatively, you can use this time to work with an experienced Apex admissions consultant.

Day 1: 12pm-6pmDay 2: 9am-6pmDay 3: 9am-6pm
Structure Of The TestQuantitative FundamentalsSentence Correction
AWA – Analytical Writing AssessmentQuantitative Skills & AlgebraReading Comprehension
IR – Integrated ReasoningGeometry & Advanced QuantCritical Reasoning

GMAT Seminar in Los Angeles

We want you to gain the most from your experience with APEX, therefore we offer the following with any sign up to our seminar events:

    • All learning materials from the seminar – our full curriculum
    • 6 months access to APEX’s online GMAT learning platform
    • 5 CATs

Full Course Plus Additional Resource:

    • 2 hours of private GMAT assistance or Admissions Consulting assistance (Valued at $500).

Natalie Mathews

Director of Marketing

P: +1 267 575 7737

E: [email protected]

To arrange a brief complimentary consultation with an instructor before the seminar please feel free to reach out to me. 

Read more
Philadelphia GMAT Seminar
Posted on
29
May 2019

GMAT SEMINAR – BERLIN

GMAT SEMINAR - Berlin

GMAT Seminar in Berlin

Get everything you need to overcome the GMAT in one intensive GMAT filled weekend.

  • Receive our comprehensive GMAT content
  • Benefit from a Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning & Admissions Consulting Workshop.
  • Get 6 months access to the Apex online learning platform which includes 5500+ GMAT questions and 5 CATs.

 

Course Descriptions

Verbal Course:

A full day of prep for the verbal section of the GMAT.  Provides you with the necessary skills to tackle Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction with elevated techniques.

Quantitative Course:

A full day of prep for the quantitative section of the GMAT. Equips you with higher level solution paths, necessary to tackle both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions.

Full Course:

In addition to both the verbal and quantitative days, the full course also includes Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment prep.

Full Course Plus :

This course gives you access to a personal tutor for 2 hours and comes at a value of €500. You can choose to have a private tutoring session with a 770+ scoring GMAT instructor or use this time to work with an experienced Apex admissions consultant on your B-School applications.

Day 1: 12pm-6pmDay 2: 9am-6pmDay 3: 9am-6pm
Structure Of The TestQuantitative FundamentalsSentence Correction
AWA – Analytical Writing AssessmentQuantitative Skills & AlgebraReading Comprehension
IR – Integrated ReasoningGeometry & Advanced QuantCritical Reasoning

GMAT Seminar in Berlin

We want you to gain the most from your experience with APEX, therefore we offer the following with any sign up to our seminar events:

    • All learning materials from the seminar – our full curriculum
    • 6 months access to APEX’s online GMAT learning platform
    • 5 CATs

Full Course Plus Additional Resource:

    • 2 hours of private GMAT assistance or Admissions Consulting assistance (Valued at €500).

Natalie Mathews

Director of Marketing

P: +44 (0) 79 4361 2406

E: [email protected]

To arrange a brief complimentary consultation with an instructor before the seminar please feel free to reach out to me. 

Read more
Philadelphia GMAT Seminar
Posted on
06
May 2019

GMAT SEMINAR – LONDON

GMAT SEMINAR - London

GMAT Seminar in London

Get everything you need to overcome the GMAT in one intensive GMAT filled weekend.

  • Receive our comprehensive GMAT content
  • Benefit from a Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning & Admissions Consulting Workshop.
  • Get 6 months access to the Apex online learning platform which includes 5500+ GMAT questions and 5 CATs.

 

Course Descriptions

Verbal Course:

A full day of prep for the verbal section of the GMAT.  Provides you with the necessary skills to tackle Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction with elevated techniques.

Quantitative Course:

A full day of prep for the quantitative section of the GMAT. Equips you with higher level solution paths, necessary to tackle both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions.

Full Course:

In addition to both the verbal and quantitative days, the full course also includes Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment prep.

Full Course Plus :

This course gives you access to a personal tutor for 2 hours and comes at a value of £500. You can choose to have a private tutoring session with a 770+ scoring GMAT instructor or use this time to work with an experienced Apex admissions consultant on your B-School applications.

Day 1: 12pm-6pmDay 2: 9am-6pmDay 3: 9am-6pm
Structure Of The TestQuantitative FundamentalsSentence Correction
AWA – Analytical Writing AssessmentQuantitative Skills & AlgebraReading Comprehension
IR – Integrated ReasoningGeometry & Advanced QuantCritical Reasoning

GMAT Seminar in London

We want you to gain the most from your experience with APEX, therefore we offer the following with any sign up to our seminar events:

    • All learning materials from the seminar – our full curriculum
    • 6 months access to APEX’s online GMAT learning platform
    • 5 CATs

Full Course Plus Additional Resource:

    • 2 hours of private GMAT assistance or Admissions Consulting assistance (Valued at £500)

Natalie Mathews

Director of Marketing

P: +44 (0) 79 4361 2406

E: [email protected]

To arrange a brief complimentary consultation with an instructor before the seminar please feel free to reach out to me. 

Read more
Philadelphia GMAT Seminar
Posted on
06
May 2019

GMAT SEMINAR – WASHINGTON DC

GMAT SEMINAR - Washington DC

GMAT Seminar in Washington DC

Get everything you need to overcome the GMAT in one intensive GMAT filled weekend.

  • Receive our comprehensive GMAT content
  • Benefit from a Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning & Admissions Consulting Workshop
  • Get 6 months access to the Apex online learning platform which has 5500+ GMAT questions and 5 CATs.

 

Course Descriptions

Verbal Course:

A full day of prep for the verbal section of the GMAT.  Provides you with the necessary skills to tackle Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction with elevated techniques.

Quantitative Course:

A full day of prep for the quantitative section of the GMAT. Equips you with higher level solution paths, necessary to tackle both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions.

Full Course:

In addition to both the verbal and quantitative days, the full course also includes Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing Assessment prep.

Full Course Plus :

This course gives you access to a personal tutor for 2 hours and comes at a value of $600. You can choose to have a private tutoring session with a 770+ scoring GMAT instructor or use this time to work with an experienced Apex admissions consultant on your B-School applications.

Day 1: 12pm-6pmDay 2: 9am-6pmDay 3: 9am-6pm
Structure of the testQuantitative FundamentalsSentence Correction
AWA – Analytical Writing AssessmentQuantitative Skills & AlgebraReading Comprehension
IR – Integrated ReasoningGeometry & Advanced QuantCritical Reasoning

GMAT Seminar in Washington DC

We want you to gain the most from your experience with APEX, therefore we offer the following with any sign up to our seminar events:

    • All learning materials from the seminar – our full curriculum
    • 6 months access to APEX’s online GMAT learning platform
    • 5 CATs

Full Course Plus Additional Resource:

    • 2 hours of private GMAT or Admissions Consulting assistance (Valued at $600)

Natalie Mathews

Director of Marketing

P: +1 (267) 575-PREP

E: [email protected]

To arrange a brief complimentary consultation with an instructor before the seminar please feel free to reach out to me. 

Read more
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Posted on
09
Apr 2019

Sleep Affects Your GMAT Preparation

Sleep Affects GMAT Preparation

So what is the number one thing that gets in the way of GMAT performance and preparation for that matter? It’s not quantitative, it’s not verbal, it’s no problem type or rule or anything like that. In fact, it’s a good night’s sleep or more particularly, it’s consistently having a good night’s sleep.

Sleep hygiene and allowing the brain to absorb the information it’s learned in the day past, as well as prepare to absorb new information in the coming day is absolutely essential to learning any new process or skill. Yet, most professionals preparing for the GMAT are already running at a continuous sleep deficit. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to get a full eight hours of sleep every night!

Prioritization of Time

And if you say well I don’t have time between my work and my social life and the GMAT. Consider this, people who get a full night’s sleep are significantly healthier and happier than those who do not. So if you don’t have enough hours in the day, re-prioritize your time. That might mean taking yourself out of the GMAT for a little while. Actually, it should make you more cognizant of all the things you’re not doing with your time. Thereby, allowing you to refocus towards the future and why you’re preparing for the GMAT.

Way too often it’s too easy to rob Peter in order to pay Paul. That is borrow now, to pay later. When we do this with our time, we put ourselves in this downward spiral. This downward cycle where we’re focused more on the job at hand than where we’re looking to go. We see this a lot with our clients who are preparing for the GMAT.

Invest in Yourself

Being committed professionally is vital to success, it’s vital to growth and learning. At the same time, if you’re so committed that you’re putting in 12 or 14 hour days, every day, then maybe it’s time to revisit the resources you’re giving to your employer rather to yourself. Ultimately, the amount of time you invest in the GMAT, in yourself and your sleep is entirely up to you. Realize that the best outcomes come from prioritizing yourself, your learning and your career and leveraging them to be as productive as you possibly can at work, on the GMAT, at business school and ultimately beyond.

So turn the computer off, put on some soft music and go to bed.

If you liked “Sleep Affects GMAT Preparation”, be sure to watch 6 Things Most GMAT Preppers Get Wrong

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Posted on
12
Feb 2019

If you’re doing math on the GMAT, watch this.

If You’re Doing Math You’re Doing Something Wrong

I want to discuss one of the core tenents of Apex’s quantitative philosophy on the GMAT. “If you’re doing math, you’re doing something wrong.” Meaning, if you find yourself doing math, that’s a signal from the exam that you’re using a sub-optimal solution path. By math I don’t mean any calculation whatsoever, but any calculations that aren’t reasonable. That don’t come out easily, neatly and cleanly, once you’re well practiced with mental math. So it’s not that we’ll never do a calculation, but every calculation we do should be deliberate and smooth.

The Most Overused Solution Path

Let’s go a little deeper into this, because it’s a really important concept. Many, many people preparing for the GMAT spend way too much time worrying about the math. Being freaked out about the math and on the exam doing the math. The applied mathematical solution path is the most over used solution path on the quantitative side of the GMAT. Particularity among engineers, and with people who do a lot of self-prepping. They look to the back of the book or look to previous experience as students. And get caught up in the idea that their answer needs to be precise. This gets in the way of using our estimation solution path or other higher solution paths. Which can get us to the correct answer much more quickly.

The GMAT isn’t Testing Your Math Skills

How do we know that math is not what the GMAT wants us to do? It’s quite simple. If the GMAT was the referendum on how well you can do mental math, then the scores would reflect your ability to do so. MBA programs at top business schools would be filled with people with extraordinary, almost savant like mental math abilities. We know this isn’t the case.
Actually, as we improve on our mental math, we get diminishing returns with it. So we see a lot of clients getting up to the 70th, 80th, or 90th percent level even, on the quantitative side of things. Then, all of a sudden they plateau; they can’t get any higher. The reason is they are so focused on the math. They are missing the bigger logical reasoning picture or the structure of quantitative problems that doesn’t rely on doing math that allows both quick and accurate solutions.

Key Things to Avoid

While math has it’s place, we want to be sure that we’re not putting it on a pedestal. And that when we’re performing computations, we’re doing so with great deliberation, intentionality, and that we have a good reason for doing any computation we’re doing. If you find yourself diving into the equation or doing a lot of processing, stop. Say “Wait a minute, there must be a better way to do this.” Another option is that sometimes you make a basic error early on and that leads to ugly numbers and math. But you should never, never, never be multiplying decimals out to the fourth decimal. That sort of math is the true trigger, the true signal, that there’s a better way to solve the problem. When you’re self prepping, this is what you want to look for.

So by the time you get to the exam, you’re not catching yourself doing math, but you’ve already incorporated it into your process, the fact that math shouldn’t be your default.

So, remember, guys, if you’re doing math, you’re doing something wrong and you can take this one to the bank.

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