Posted on
Aug 2022

Undoing Exponents: Radicals and Roots

As you will definitively have to deal with radicals on the GMAT and Executive Assessment (EA), we’ve put together an article for you to master the topic. Addition is “undone” by subtraction, multiplication is “undone” by division, and the powers notated by exponents are “undone” with a piece of notation called a radical.

√  the radical

The number, variable, or expression inside or under the radical is referred to as the radicand, and sometimes there is a small number called the index nestled in the “crook” of the radical.

When no index appears, the index is understood to have a value of 2. (This will make sense momentarily.) Unfortunately there exists no one-word name – like “addition” or “multiplication” for what exponents do. For an exponent of n, we use the phrase “raising to the nth power.” For a radical with an index of n, we use the phrase “taking the nᵗʰ root.” Exponents notate powers, radicals notate roots. If there is an “invisible” index of 2, the notated value is called the square root of the radicand (the number inside or under the radical). If the index is 3, the notated value is called the cube root of the radicand. For all integers above 3, we use the usual ordinals (fourth root, fifth root, etc.)

√36 the square root of 36

³√125 the cube root of 125

√81 the fourth root of 81

If you’ve studied your powers chart from the first article in this series, you should recognize those radicands. Here’s a simple way to represent how radicals “undo” exponents:

x = a     √a = x

If the nᵗʰ power of x equals a, then the nth root of a equals x. Radical expressions like this notate the number x which, when multiplied by itself n times (or, to use exponents, raised to the nᵗʰ power), equals a. Exponential expressions “start with” a base and raise it to a power, notating a value (in our case the variable a). Radical expressions “start with” the full value notated by some exponential expression and use the exponent from this expression as a root, notating the base of the exponential expression (in our case the variable x). To use our examples above:

√36  the square root of 36  x² = 36, x = 6

³√125  the cube root of 125  x³ = 125, x = 5

√81  the fourth root of 81  x = 81, x = 3

Now you have another reason to learn your common powers: when you see one of those special numbers underneath a radical, you can quickly evaluate the radical expression. This is akin to how knowing your times tables makes division really easy.

Another quality of roots is that they can be “translated” into fractional exponents according to the following rule:

√(x) = xᵃ⁄ⁿ

(√x) = xᵃ⁄ⁿ

Two forms are shown because the position of the exponent a is irrelevant. It can be considered “within” and “before” the radical operation as in the first version or “above” and “after” the radical operation as in the second version.

As always, this rule can be reversed.

xᵃ⁄ⁿ = n√(xa)

xᵃ⁄ⁿ = (n√x)a

Seeing fractional exponents written in GMAT and EA questions is quite rare, but sometimes a given radical expression that doesn’t break down easily is better notated as a fractional exponent for the sake of seeing potential algebraic simplifications.

This correlation between radicals and fractional exponents brings up the key point that radicals and exponents are just different – or reverse – ways of notating the same thing. Therefore all the exponent rules apply to radicals as well. The radical versions appear less frequently than the exponent versions but are still valuable pieces in your toolkit.

Equal bases with different roots are rather unusual; combining or collapsing roots with the same index is certainly more common. And just as we can have a “power of a power,” we can have a “root of a root.”

These rules bring up a final important point about radical expressions: they often need to be simplified. Mathematicians don’t like to leave numbers inside radicals when it is possible to express the same value differently, so many answer choices on the GMAT and EA involve simplified versions of radical expressions. Here’s an example for our purposes:


We’ll have to get into some number properties to show what happens here. One of our radicals rules states that this radicand 630 can be broken into factors and represented as multiple radical expressions. Let’s break down 630 to its prime factors.

630 = 2 * 3² * 5 * 7

√630 = √(2 * 3² * 5 * 7)

Given an index of n, any n (number) of the same prime factor can be placed inside their own radical. Since we are taking a square root here (with an understood index of 2), we only need two of the same prime factor in order to do this. Here we can do it with our 3s.

√630 = √(2 * 3² * 5 * 7)

√630 = √(3²) * √(2 * 5 * 7)

Now the power of 2 and the root of 2 on the 3 cancel each other out.

√630 = √(32) * √(2 * 5 * 7)

√630 = 3 * √(2 * 5 * 7)

√630 = 3√70

When simplifying a radical expression, use the index as a key. Given an index of n, look for sets of n (number) of the same prime factor. For each of these sets, bring one of that prime factor out in front of the radical. Here’s another example:


A key step to shortening the process is recognizing 216 as 63. Let’s line up our prime factors:

2 * 3³ * 5

Remember that we’re taking a cube root this time, so we’re looking for sets of three of the same prime factor. We can make two sets from our 2s (since we have six of them) and one set from our 3s. So two 2s and one 3 come out from the radical, leaving only the 5.

³√8640 = 2 * 2 * 3 * ³√5 = 12³√5

To close this article, let’s try a couple of official GMAT problems involving radicals:

If n = √(16/81) , What is the value of √n?

  1. 1/9
  2. 1/4
  3. 4/9
  4. 2/3
  5. 9/2

This problem benefits from knowing both your rules and your powers. Knowing your rules lets you represent this radical expression as √16/√81, and knowing your powers lets you easily recognize √16 as 4 and √81 as 9, leading to answer choice C, 4/9. Here’s one more:

In the formula w= P/√v, Integers p and t are positive constants. If w=2 when v=1 and if w=1/2 when v=64, then t=

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 16

First we are told that w = 2 when v = 1. 

2 = P / √1

Here you need to recognize a fact we haven’t mentioned yet: that any root (or power) of 1 is still 1. This makes sense when you think about multiplying 1 by itself again and again – the value never changes. Therefore the denominator of the expression equals 1, and P must equal 2. Armed with this knowledge, you can make use of the second given fact: w = ½ when v = 64.

½ = 2/√64

4 = √64

If you recognize 64 as 26, you can use your “power to a power” rule to change 26 to 43, leading you to answer choice C.

This concludes our survey of radicals on the GMAT and EA. Next time we will introduce negatives to exponential expressions.

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Posted on
Aug 2022

Why Choose Private EA Tutoring?

Achieving a great score on the EA exam is necessary to be considered for a spot in top MBA programs. So it is in your best interests to prepare for the test in the best manner possible. When it comes to EA prep, there are a variety of options on the market, from self prep to online classes and private instruction. The method you select is a personal choice and based on factors such as your needs, budget and learning style. One on one EA tutoring is undoubtedly the best way to prepare for the EA if you are aiming to achieve an elite score and obtain acceptance to a top MBA program. There are various factors that make this prep option integral to not only attaining a high score on the test but also achieving in business school.

Customized Learning

With a one on one EA tutor, instructors focus on teaching you what you don’t know or might find challenging rather than what you already know. Often in larger settings tutors will have to go over materials that you are already confident in, resulting in periods of times where you have nothing to do and are bored in your prep. This can also derail your EA prep goals and in some cases confuse you about the skills that you already know.

Furthermore, your brain works differently from someone else, therefore, your go-to problem solving methods will be different. When tackling a test like the EA, which involves utilizing creative thinking and unique problem solving skills it is beneficial to have a tutor to help you identify new approaches that might be easier for you, as well as to heighten the skills that you already possess. Having the versatility and focus to go over different explanations and methods to tackle specific problems in a group setting is often overlooked due to time constraints and the rigidity of the course material.

A main benefit of one on one EA instruction is that the lessons, self prep, schedule and the infrastructure for successful studying are customized around you and your needs in order to achieve EA success.


Preparing for the EA can take between 90-120 days, but with private instruction, prep goals can be achieved in a shorter amount of time. Albeit, this is dependent on your starting skills and dedication. With personalized instruction, your time will be used more efficiently and effectively. Lessons can be targeted to topics you need improvement on and can be changed according to your style of learning. Go as slow or as fast as you need, and spend as much time improving on whichever section of the EA you require assistance with. With the guidance of an instructor, you can accomplish all this while avoiding the typical EA prep traps.


EA Private tutoring gives you the flexibility to study on your own schedule. So if you are a full time employee, student or have other responsibilities to work around, one on one instruction can be tailored to those needs. This is why Apex has tutors across the globe who can fulfill your tutoring needs in any timezone.


To take advantage of our free 30 minute EA consultation call with our professional instructors, visit: Inquire Now

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Posted on
Aug 2022

How to Study for the EA: 5 Useful Tips

Getting an MBA is a fundamental step towards many dream careers. For many decades standardized tests have been a huge part of the graduate and MBA application processes. The target scores of such exams vary from school to school, but there is a certain minimum score (or score range) that every applicant has in mind  in order to increase their chances to get into their dream program. In this article, you will find five important tips on how to study for the EA exam efficiently and effectively.

1. Design Your Own Study Plan

When you begin your EA journey, it is very important that you take the time to design your own study plan and schedule that will reflect your availability, your current skills, as well as the approximate date of your exam. You can find various study plans online that will help you understand how to study for the EA. The search results might not necessarily be bad, but there is a huge chance that there will be at least one aspect within the plan that won’t fit your goals. That’s why you should carefully review and revise all the aspects of your goals and targets in the scope of the exam and create your individual plan.

2. Identify Your Weaknesses

A second and equally important step for you could be finding out your weaknesses. After carefully reviewing the exam structure and familiarizing yourself with the sections, it is important that you be able to specifically concentrate on the sections that you are relatively weak at. If it is the quant section, for instance, then you might want to spend the first few days building your foundations in the basic concepts of Algebra, and then move on from there. If reading is something you’re not very fond of, then a good approach could be starting to read some articles from different fields to enhance your comprehension skills. 

3. Choose the Right Materials

It is very easy to find different materials on the EA exam, but it is crucial for you to pick the right ones. A simple search for “how to prepare for the EA” will yield tons of results, but not all of them can really be helpful. One way to make sure you’re working with the right materials is to constantly compare them with the practice tests that you’re taking. Although you will never see the exact same questions in the real exam, it is still possible to compare and contrast the practice exams and the materials that you’re using to understand if they reflect each other. Another tip is to work with materials that are as new as possible so that you are up to date with the latest modifications and adjustments of the exam. 

4. Track Your Time

You should never rush when it comes to fully preparing for your EA exam to make sure you understand all the concepts as well as possible. However, it is equally important for you to sharpen and enhance your time management skills when studying for the EA. 

Make sure you’re following your study plan and allocating appropriate time to each section, concentrating on the ones you are more worried about. You can track your time using different tools to make sure that you’re wise when it comes to your valuable time.

5. Practice!

As clichè as it may sound, one of the most important aspects of your EA prep is practice. You will never fully grasp the level of your growth and the outcomes of your studying if you do not allocate enough time to practice tests. Make sure to take them regularly (but not too often) in order to keep track of your progress. Not only will it provide you with an approximate score, but it will also reveal the weaknesses that you still might have before your exam day!


To conclude, we had prepared 5 tips for you on how to study for the EA. These are very important steps to consider when preparing for the test. It is crucial to know that you need to build your own and very individual study plan. In addition, you will need to be able to recognize your own weaknesses and have a way to track your work on them and your own development, as revealed during the practice tests that you will take.

Finally, time is valuable! On the exam, and when you allocate your free time to study, be sure you track it and make the most of it!

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Posted on
Aug 2022

Understanding Exponents

A key piece of algebraic notation on GMAT and Executive Assessment (EA)  quant problems is the exponent. Exponents appear on many kinds of quantitative problems, so fluency with exponents (and radicals) is an indispensable skill for achieving a competitive quant score. Odds are, you already have some idea of what exponents “mean” in algebraic language, but let’s clarify your definition by exploring how exponents relate to the more fundamental operations of addition and multiplication.

The foundations of all arithmetic are the operations of addition and subtraction. We could even say just addition, since subtraction can be notated as the addition of a negative value. Why have I left out multiplication and division? Well, because multiplication is nothing but an efficient way to notate a special case of addition, and division is nothing but multiplication in reverse. The special case of addition is this: when you want to add up a large number of groups that are all the same size. Let’s say you want to know how many eggs are in stock at your local grocery store. You won’t count the eggs one by one; you’ll count the cartons, since you know that each carton contains 10 or 12 eggs, depending if you’re in America or Europe. You could “show your work” for counting the eggs like this:

12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 . . .

But this would get out of hand. Multiplication was created for just such a job. Instead of writing out the addition of 217 dozens of eggs, you can write this:

(# of eggs) = 217 * 12

This is many times better than stringing together 217 twelves with plus signs, but the outcome is the same.

The relevance to exponents is this: just as multiplication efficiently notates successive additions of the same value, exponents efficiently notate successive multiplications by the same value.

To stay in the realm of our “eggs at the grocery store” scenario, let’s imagine that a local farm starts out with 5 hens and wants to double its egg-laying workforce every year for the next 7 years. We could notate the target number of hens at the end of the seventh year like this:

5 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 640

But this is a bit impractical. In scenarios where the population of a bacteria doubles hundreds of times, notating with multiplication simply won’t do. We need a better tool, and the tool is exponents. Returning to our hen population example, exponents work like this:

5 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 640

5 * 2 = 640

Rather than stringing together seven 2s with multiplication signs, we can place a 7 as an exponent of the 2 to notate the same thing. When we do this, the 2 is called the base of the exponential expression. The value represented by x is called the nth power of x or “x to the nth power. In the latter option, “power” is often left tacit, so in our hen scenario, we would verbalize the value of the final population as “five times two to the seventh (power)” or, for a slight simplification, “five times two to the seven” The terms squared and cubed are used for exponents of 2 and 3, respectively. 6² is “six squared”; 5³ is “5 cubed.”

This proper understanding of exponents as shorthand for multiplication makes sense of their properties. Many an algebra student has been tripped up by expressions like this:

x * x

Seeing the multiplication sign, a novice might incorrectly infer that x * x = x²⁸ and be confused by the correction that the exponents should be added, not multiplied, yielding x¹¹. Breaking down the exponential expressions x and x to their “original” multiplicative forms should add clarity.

x⁷= x * x * x * x * x * x * x

x⁴ = x * x * x * x

x⁷ * x⁴ = (x * x * x * x * x * x * x) * (x * x * x * x) = x¹¹

Now we can see that the multiplication of the exponential expressions x and x is nothing but a chain of multiplications of the variable x: 11 of them, to be exact. And the best way to notate a string of eleven “x’s” in multiplication is with an exponent of 11.

The product of equal bases with different exponents is the base raised to the sum of the exponents. x * x = xᵃ⁺ᵇ

With this rule in place, it follows that it can be reversed by “splitting” an exponential expression into two groups.

x¹¹ = x⁷ * x⁴ = x⁶ * x⁵ = x¹⁰ * x

As shown, the way you “split” your expression is flexible. Different algebraic scenarios can benefit from different “splits.”

When the operation is division instead of multiplication, the resulting exponent is calculated via subtraction instead of addition.

x⁷ / x⁴ = (x * x * x * x * x * x * x) / (x * x * x * x)

(x * x * x * x * x * x * x) / (x * x * x * x) = x³

The quotient of equal bases with different exponents is the base raised to the difference of the exponents. x / x = x⁽ᵃ⁻ᵇ⁾

This covers multiplication and division of equal bases with different exponents. Simple rules also exist for multiplication and division of different bases with equal exponents.

x³ * y³ = (xy)³

Again, breaking down the exponential expressions to their “original” multiplicative forms shows why this works:

x³ * y³ = (x * x * x) * (y * y * y)

Everything here is in multiplication, so we can reorder and regroup the factors any way we like.

(x * x * x) * (y * y * y) = xy * xy * xy = (xy)³

Don’t forget the parentheses around your base. Note that we need the parentheses to group the xy as a unit, as opposed to xy³ = x * y*y*y.

Of course, this rule works in reverse as well.

(xy)³ = x³ * y³

Again, different algebraic scenarios call for different algebraic solutions. Both the combination and the “splitting” of algebraic expressions are useful tools in different contexts.

xᵃ * yᵃ = (xy)ᵃ

(xy)ᵃ = xᵃ* yᵃ

As you probably guessed, the same rule applies for division.

x³/ y³ = (x/y)³

And the “proof:”

x³ / y³ = (x * x * x) / (y * y * y) = (x/y) * (x/y) * (x/y) = (x/y)³

And finally, the generalized form of the rule, accompanied by the reversal:

xᵃ / yᵃ = (x/y)ᵃ

(x/y)ᵃ = xᵃ/ yᵃ

One more rule remains to be covered in this introduction. To preview it, let’s return to our idea of “splitting” an exponential expression into pieces:

x¹¹ = x⁷ * x⁴ = x⁶ * x⁵ = x¹⁰ * x

No one said that we have to limit ourselves to two “pieces.” We can keep “splitting” as many times as we want.

x¹¹ = x⁸ * x³ = x⁴ * x⁴ * x³ = x² * x² * x² * x² * x³

Here we see an x³ term multiplied by a string of four “x²” terms. But isn’t there a more efficient way to notate such a string of multiplications? Yes, with exponents! An exponential expression itself can become the base of another exponent.

x³ * x² * x² * x² * x² = x³ * (x²)⁴

Remember that our (x²) term started out as x. This reveals the rule for simplifying “nested” exponential expressions, or what we call a “power to a power”:

(xᵃ)ᵇ = xᵃ * ᵇ

xᵃ * ᵇ = (xᵃ)ᵇ

This rule makes sense when you know that exponential expressions are “made of” successive multiplications. Four groups of two “x’s” in multiplication is the same thing as 8 “x’s” in multiplication. And you know the drill: the reversal of the rule – where a single exponent is factored to create a “nested” expression – is just as useful as the “original” version.

Now to assemble all of our rules:

xᵃ * xᵇ = x⁽ᵃ⁺ᵇ⁾

x⁽ᵃ⁺ᵇ⁾ = xᵃ + xᵇ

xᵃ / xᵇ = x⁽ᵃ⁻ᵇ⁾

x⁽ᵃ⁻ᵇ⁾ = xᵃ/ xᵇ

xᵃ * yᵃ = (xy)ᵃ

(xy)ᵃ = xᵃ * yᵃ

xᵃ / yᵃ = (x/y)ᵃ

(x/y)ᵃ = xᵃ/ yᵃ

(xᵃ)ᵇ = x⁽ᵃᵇ⁾

x⁽ᵃᵇ⁾ = (xᵃ)ᵇ

And before we try a few official GMAT problems, let’s take a look at some powers of integers you should know:

The main reason for knowing these powers is for something I call “backwards recognition.” If you don’t memorize these and you need to evaluate 54 or 27 in order to solve a problem, you can probably multiply your way through the powers easily enough. But it’s another thing to see 625 or 128 in a problem and immediately know “that’s 54” or “that’s 27.” Such backwards recognition can help you make sense of problems that may look confusing at first.

As a final reminder of the “power to a power” rule, powers of 4 are left out of this list because they are contained within the powers of 2. Every even power of 2 is also a power of 4. For example, 16 = 24 = 42, 64 = 26 = 43, so on and so forth.

Let’s try some official GMAT problems involving exponents. Here’s a simple one to get you started:

216 is 

  1. 2 more than 2¹⁵
  2. 16 more than 2¹⁵
  3. ½ of 2³²
  4. 2 times 2
  5. 2 times 2¹⁵

If you’ve gotten your head around exponents, this is a 15-second problem. Notice that answer choices C and D both imply the same incorrect rule: that doubling the exponent on the 2 doubles the overall value. Even if you don’t know your exponent rules, you could eliminate these answer choices on logic alone because they are indistinguishable. Answer B doesn’t make much sense, and answer A confuses the rules of exponents with the rules of multiplication. (2 * 16) is 2 more than (2 * 15), but the difference between 216 and 215 is much greater. Answer E gets it right. Increasing the value of the exponent by 1 means to multiply by the base one more time.

Here’s another:

At the start of an experiment, a certain population consisted of 3 animals. At the end of each month after the start of the experiment, the population was double its size at the beginning of that month. Which of the following represents the population size at the end of the 10 months?

  1. 2³
  2. 3²
  3. 2 * 3¹⁰
  4. 3 * 2¹⁰
  5. 3 * 10²

If you understood our example with the hens, this should be another easy one. We need to start with 3 and then double our value (multiply by 2) 10 times. Exponents enable us to notate this series of multiplications as 3 * 2¹⁰, answer choice D.

Now for some data sufficiency:

What is the value of  6ʸ ?

  1. 2⁽ˣ⁺ʸ⁾ = 32
  2. 3⁽ˣ⁺ʸ⁾ = 243

If you know your exponent rules, you should immediately note that 6x6y can be alternatively written as 6ˣ⁺ʸ. Since this is DS, you don’t necessarily need to know which power of 2 equals 32 or which power of 3 equals 243; it’s enough to recognize that each statement on its own locks in the value of the exponent “x + y” and therefore the value of the 6ˣ⁺ʸ expression that we were asked about. (But ideally you will study your powers enough to know right away that 32 = 2 and 243 = 3.) The correct answer choice is D.

Here’s our final problem for this article:

What is the smallest integer n for which 25ⁿ > 5¹²?

  1. 6
  2. 7
  3. 8
  4. 9
  5. 10

This is a case where backwards recognition of powers makes all the difference. 25 should be immediately recognizable as 52. Therefore the given inequality can be rewritten in either of the following ways:

(5²) > 5¹²

25 > 5⁽²×⁶⁾ . . . 25 > (5²) . . . 25 > 25

The second way gets you to the correct answer more quickly, but the first is rather more intuitive. The “power to a power” rule states that the exponents should be multiplied:

(5²) > 5¹²

> 5¹²

Plugging in a 6 makes the exponents equal (2 * 6 = 12), and since the bases are now equal, the expressions would be equal as well. Therefore the smallest integer that works is 7, answer choice B.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this intro to (or review of) exponent properties. As you will definitely come across exponents on the GMAT test, we think that this article is something you need to read carefully! Next time we’ll learn how to “undo” exponents with an inverse operation.

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Posted on
Aug 2022

GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning section is designed to test your ability to analyze and solve problems using multiple sources of information. This part of the GMAT tests your ability to reason by using both verbal and numerical abilities. You will be asked to interpret data from tables, charts, and graphs, draw conclusions from given information and solve problems based on two or more sets of data. 

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section is not a test of your knowledge in any particular content area. Rather, it measures your ability to analyze complex problems with many contributing factors included within them.

What is the Structure of the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section?

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section is made up of 12 questions to be completed in 30 minutes. 

What is the Scoring on the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section?

The GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section is scored on a scale from 1 to 8 in single-digit intervals. You will receive a separate score for the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section, which will be reported separately from your Verbal and Quantitative scores. The GMAT Integrated Reasoning score will not affect your total score (200-800), but schools will be able to see it. 

What are the different types of questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section?  

There are four types of questions in the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section: 

Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, and Two-Part Analysis. 

Multi-Source Reasoning

Multi-Source Reasoning is an important measure of your ability to examine data from multiple sources and analyze each source carefully in order to answer questions. Some will ask that you recognize discrepancies among different pieces, while others may call for drawing conclusions or determining if certain information should be considered relevant.

There are two formats for Multi-Source Reasoning questions:

Multiple-choice questions: Read the question carefully and make sure you understand what is being asked and choose the best answer out of the five choices.

Multiple-dichotomous choice questions: You will be provided with three sentences, numeral values, or algebraic expressions and you will need to decide if it meets certain conditions. For example, you will need to determine if a statement is true or if an algebraic expression is consistent with the sources or if it can solve the problem presented. 

Multi-Source Reasoning Question Strategies:

  • Based on the facts supplied, choose the answer options with the most support.
  • Analyze each source of information thoroughly, since the questions need a thorough knowledge of the facts offered.
  • Examine the questions carefully to ensure that you understand what is being asked.
  • Expect to be unfamiliar with the content covered.

Table Analysis

Table Analysis  assesses your ability to sort and evaluate a table of data to identify whether the information is useful or meets particular criteria. A brief statement describing the table or offering further information may be included. The question then asks you to choose one of three sentences, statements, numerical values, or algebraic expressions and indicate whether or not each one fits a certain requirement.

To analyze a table you might need to:

  • Find the mean, median, and/or range.
  • Determine probabilities and/or proportions.
  • Compare entries and find colorations between them. 

For example, you might be asked to:

  • If a statement is true, according to the provided table.
  • If a numerical value is consistent with the information in the table.

Table Analysis Question Strategies:

  • Take your time reading the question.
  • To identify the data analysis necessary, carefully read each word, statement, numerical value, or algebraic expression.
  • Examine the table and related text to see what kind of information is offered.
  • On the basis of the conditions stated, carefully evaluate each phrase, statement, numerical value, or algebraic expression.

Graphics Interpretation

Graphics Interpretation  measures the ability to interpret information displayed in graphs or other graph images to identify relationships and draw conclusions.

To read graphs, determine what information is represented on each axis. This can be done by carefully examining any labels or scales that may appear with the axes and title of the graph itself; it’s also important to take note if there are accompanying text strings below these items which provide additional insights. Determine the appropriate values on the horizontal and vertical axes to determine the value of a data point on the graph.

Graphics Interpretation Question Strategies:

  • Carefully read any associated content. If there is more text, it may help to clarify.
  • Examine the options in the dropdown menu before beginning any work.
  • Select the one that best completes the sentence.

Two-Part Analysis

Two-Part Analysis is designed to measure your ability in solving complex problems that can be quantitative, verbal, or some combination of both. Also your ability to make relationships between two entities. 

You might be asked to:

  • Compute the amounts of two distinct components in a combination 
  • Determine something that would be lost and/or something that would be gained in a tradeoff
  • Determine the maximum number of two distinct items that may be purchased within a certain budget.
  • Determine a first and second act that, when taken simultaneously, would bring a corporation into compliance with a new rule.

Two-Part Analysis Question Strategies:

  • Do not select an answer until you have thoroughly reviewed all of the available options.
  • Determine if tasks are dependent or independent of one another.
  • Remember that one answer choice can be the right answer for both columns.

There is no one right way to approach these questions, but it is important to be sure to carefully read the questions and identify what is being asked. To score well on this section, you will need to practice identifying relationships and drawing conclusions from data. . Expect to be unfamiliar with the content covered.

Are there any questions that you still have about the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section? Register now for a free consultation with one of our top tutors. With some practice, you will be able to approach the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section with confidence 

Contributor: Cynthia Addoumieh

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Posted on
Aug 2022

How to Start Preparing for the GMAT From Scratch

One of the most crucial decisions to make before beginning to prepare for the GMAT is to decide when is the ideal time to start preparing for the exam. You do not want to begin your prep too early and risk forgetting all that you have learned by the time your test date rolls around, yet on the other hand, you also do not want to leave your prep to the last minute and avoid giving yourself the appropriate amount of time to grasp the concepts needed to excel on the exam. Answering this question is not as straightforward and easy as it might sound. Taking the following factors into consideration will help you arrive at a better decision: your current English and Math skill set, your target GMAT score, the amount of time you can prep per week, and other similar questions. Nevertheless, with a sensible preparation strategy, one should be able to score well on the GMAT after about 3 months of dedicated preparation. 

University Requirements

Most business schools consider the GMAT as a crucial data point in the admissions process. But your GMAT score goal depends on what universities you want to gain acceptance into since every university has its own GMAT score requirement. So, it is best to begin your GMAT journey by researching the schools or programs that you wish to apply to and check out their average GMAT score for recently admitted candidates. From there, you can begin to gather some information regarding their application deadlines as this will provide you with a better idea of when to schedule your exam and how to adjust your study plan accordingly. 

GMAT Study Plan Strategies

We are great believers in one size doesn’t fit it all approach when it comes to prep, so instead of suggesting a fixed timeline you can follow while preparing for your GMAT, we thought of something else. You decide to start your prep with whichever section you like, for each section we have provided some recommendations, strategies, and tips you can incorporate in your GMAT study plan.

Time and Stress Management 

Before we get to the suggestions there are some significant factors to consider before and during your GMAT test preparation and these include time and stress management. A good start is reading a handful of blogs and articles that suggest many tips and strategies that can help you improve your time and stress management skills. If you want to learn more about how to master stress, how a private GMAT Tutoring can assist you with that, and more click Here.

GMAT Basics

Become Familiar With the GMAT Format and Content

Prepare yourself for what you are about to encounter during the next 3 months and on the day of your GMAT exam. All you need to know about the GMAT, its structure, sections, timing, scoring, and more can be found Here

Solve Some Problems

After you familiarize yourself with the GMAT structure you can move on to solving a few problems from each section. This will give you a general idea of how questions are formulated, what concepts you need to brush up on or start learning, how long it takes for you to solve them etc.

Take a Diagnostics Test

Whether you have begun your GMAT prep or are still at the starting line, you should take a diagnostic test towards the start of your prep so that you can track your progress. As the name itself suggests, the point of this test is to diagnose, based on your Quantitative, Verbal, and Integrated Reasoning scores, your strengths and weaknesses. Something to keep in mind; you should take the exam under the same exact conditions as the actual GMAT exam. This is an excellent representation of how the GMAT exam is conducted. To take the GMAT practice exam click Here


Take the diagnostics test only after you have worked on some problems and you have become familiar with the GMAT format. Taking the diagnostics test without having solved any types of questions before isn’t going to be of much help. Since you probably haven’t been exposed to a format like that before, your diagnostics test score isn’t going to be very high and this might lead to you feeling more stressed (and you SHOULDN’T).

Analyze Your Results

Constantly analyzing your results during your GMAT prep is essential. While you are in the process of reviewing the results of your diagnostics test, it would be helpful to ask yourself some questions to better understand the difficulties you encountered. Take note of any patterns when analyzing the solutions of some questions you got wrong or maybe you weren’t totally confident about. What section/s did you find most challenging? Which types of questions within each section were you struggling most with? Also, don’t forget to ask yourself questions about the “bigger picture” like: Were you able to finish every section? Did you feel anxious? How did you feel at the end of the test?

This will help you decide which section and/or types of questions you should concentrate your efforts into improving, and whether you need to work on your time or stress management. 


When looking at all the questions (even the ones you got right), don’t only analyze the answer, think about what you could have done differently. In this way, you train your brain to think more critically and solve problems more efficiently, making your GMAT prep much more effective. This is applicable to all the sections. 

Quant Section

Familiarize Yourself With the GMAT Quant Section

Read up about the types of quantitative questions and content that you are most likely to come across during your 3 months of preparation, mock tests, and your GMAT test.

Review GMAT Math

Before diving deeper into preparing for this section, take some time to brush up on some of the formulas, definitions, and topics of the Math section. Make sure to not only memorize or write down the formulas but to understand why those work. So, next time you encounter a problem that requires a formula to be solved, you will be surprised how much easier it will be for you to recall the formula.

Learn the Underlying Concepts Related to Each Topic

In this section, you will come across some specific wording that can be fundamental to finding the solution to the problems. In order to avoid getting stuck during the exam and wasting your precious time, learning about the most frequently used concepts will be helpful. 


Don’t focus on only one type of question. This might sound unreasonable since we often are used to hearing that it’s more effective to concentrate on one area at a time. However, our instructors say that blocked practice is not the way you should prepare for the GMAT test. Instead, they suggest that you should aim for an interleaved practice and/or work. Alternating between the types of questions while preparing has shown to lead to enhanced long-term retention and improved capacity to transfer learned knowledge. 

Verbal Section 

Make yourself acquainted with the GMAT verbal section

A great way to start working with the verbal section is to become familiar with the overall structure of this section. To learn more about this section, how it is scored, and some insights about its subsections click Here.

Learn how to Tackle Each Type of Question

There are three types of questions in the verbal section and their purpose is to test certain skills. This means that for each of them you have to use a particular approach. Reading articles about strategies you can use to solve these types of questions can be of great help. Another practical thing to do is read about articles related to common mistakes made in the section and how to avoid them.

Read Reading Comprehension-like Articles

Besides reading articles related to tips and common mistakes, reading Reading Comprehension-like writing is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the style and content of Reading Comprehension passages. Articles from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Financial Times, Scientific American, and Businessweek are the best way to begin to interact with the text. You will notice that during your GMAT test, you will navigate the different sections of passages more easily. 

Integrated Reasoning Section

Become Familiar With the GMAT Integrated Reasoning Section

Get informed about how long this section lasts, what is its total number of questions, and what types of questions you will encounter. Then you can move on to learn more about its purpose and what makes this section different from the others. 

Brush up on Your Graph Reading Skills

For the most part, this section depends on the same math, verbal, and critical reasoning skills that you will need for the other sections of the GMAT. Keeping in mind that the inclusion of diverse graphs is what gives this section its uniqueness. Spend some time getting comfortable with interpreting data from various sources.

Enhance Your Knowledge of All Four Types of Questions

As you might have noticed a pattern already, reading about common mistakes, strategies, tactics, etc. for each type of question and putting them into practice is what you can do when reviewing every section of the GMAT exam.

AWA Section 

Get acquainted with the GMAT AWA section. This is the step that, as you have seen so far, applies to every section. You can’t anticipate doing well on a task without knowing what is expected from you. An introductory article regarding the AWA section can be read  here

Review sample AWA templates. This is something that might come in handy when you need to format your essays. With some modification, these templates can be used on test day. 

Don’t spend a lot of time on AWA. Since this section is not as important as the others as it doesn’t contribute to the all-important 800 score, try to not overwork yourself with this section. Writing an essay or two per week will help you get used to the structure you will use on your GMAT essay and will suffice. 

Review and Relax

During the last week don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. Instead, try to take care of your mind and body as much as you can. One last brief review focused primarily on the sections or type of questions you struggled most with will be enough.  Finally, the most important tip, don’t forget to enjoy your GMAT preparation journey.

Bonus tip. Don’t take a lot of mock and practice tests; no one learns best under pressure. This might also sound like a counterintuitive tip to suggest but it’s the truth. Here is an article that explains why practice tests shouldn’t be overused during your GMAT prep.


Contributor: Uerda Muca

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Posted on
Jul 2022

Is the GMAT Unfair to Non-Native Speakers?

The GMAT is the most important test when it comes to MBA admissions and we have extensively written and talked about it in our blog. As Apex is a global brand, we have worked with clients from different parts of the world with various backgrounds and levels of English language skills. The exam requires a decent level of English fluency as test takers must not only get through the verbal sections of the exam, but understand the quantitative questions which can also have challenging language aimed to confuse the reader.

Is the GMAT Intentionally Harder for Non-Native Speakers? 

Despite non-native speakers experiencing a more difficult time with the GMAT than native speakers, the test is not designed to intentionally be difficult for non-native English speakers. The GMAT is not testing English language skills – unlike some of the other standardized tests e.g. the GRE – but rather it tests logic, understanding and decision making skills. 

Think of it like this: if you’re from Spain and you have lived there your entire life, only hearing Spanish every day, you would have a much easier time taking a standardized exam in Spanish than an American who has been studying it for years as a second language. The same thing goes for the GMAT. A non-native English speaker has a harder time taking the GMAT than a native speaker.

However, there are ways to ensure that non native speakers excel on the GMAT test. The way you’ve learned English (if you’re a non native speaker) affects the way we approach working with you on the verbal. Experience has shown that with the right tutoring, strategy and techniques, non-native speakers have scored above 700 on the GMAT too. Several practices could be really helpful with that and we will provide some examples and guidance. 

What Can be Done?

Reading full English articles, papers from reliable resources or academic journals such as the NY Times, Scientific American, Financial Times, will enrich your vocabulary and understanding of complex written text. 

Understanding words from context is equally as important when it comes to sentence formation. You might see words in a sentence which you don’t really understand. Getting stuck on these means losing valuable time. This is specifically important when it comes to the GMAT verbal section rather than the quant.

Instead, try to practice by finding out words you don’t know the meaning of, guessing what it means and then actually checking to confirm if you were right or not.

Listening to English speech is just as important as reading. Podcasts are a great source to listen to conversational English and get used to the way sentences flow. 

The more that you read or hear, the more your English language skills will improve over time without you even realizing it. Try to make these daily habits as consistency will result in better retention and faster growth in your English language skills. It’s about exposing yourself to this language and embracing its unfamiliarity in order to better understand it.

Writing is just as important when it comes to vocabulary and sentence formation. Practice writing GMAT questions and seek help whenever you can.

While everything mentioned above is essential, avoid focusing on the GMAT score. Score as high as you can and move on. It is not worth losing valuable time while taking the GMAT because of a few trick questions.

All things considered, personalized GMAT tutoring is highly effective for non-native speakers who need guidance. It helps our instructors address everyone’s specific needs and in this case, the fact that English is a second language will not be a barrier to getting a top score.

Can Apex Help? 

Yes, we can. Apex GMAT works very closely with all of our clients, offering exclusive one on one GMAT instruction, to offer them the best tutoring experience they can get. If one of the things they need to address is the fact that they’re not native speakers, we take care of that too. 

In most cases, whoever learns English this way, has to study the grammar and language rules and tends to be better than native English speakers who learnt the language just by listening to it and who form sentences because ‘it sounds right’. This is not always correct. 

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 from a non-native speaking background can actually help you skip over all of the little traps that are set up for native speakers.

We will make sure to address the weaknesses that a client might have as a non native speaker, specifically focusing on the verbal section. Even better, we will teach them how to use the fact that English is a second language as an advantage. 


To start off, feel free to schedule a consultation call with one of our top GMAT instructors to talk about your GMAT prep challenges and how you can overcome them. 


Contributor: Fatma Xhafa

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Posted on
Jul 2022

EA Prep Tips: How to Study Like an Expert

The Executive Assessment exam has become more and more popular among the MBA applicants lately. Many business schools require the exam, and for some of them it is optional. However, in both cases, a good score will make you more competitive and increase your chances to be accepted to your dream school. In this article, we have prepared a few EA prep tips for you that will help you prepare for the exam more effectively. 

Learn Time Management

Time is very valuable especially when it comes to preparing for an exam or any other important day. Hence, it is very important that you use it wisely and effectively. When you start preparing for your exam, make sure you are aware of your weaknesses so that you spend relatively more time on those and improve your skills. Another tip is to always keep track of your time as you practice to understand the time it takes to complete a specific question or a practice test. It is very crucial to manage your time to achieve the best results in the most optimal way. Obviously, not only is time management an important factor for your EA prep, but it is also important on exam day. Make sure you don’t let your stress affect your overall time management and you allocate appropriate time to each question.

Defeat Your Procrastination

If you find yourself procrastinating all the time, you’re not alone! This is very common among students and not only. However, you should be able to control and not let it prevent you from preparing for your exam and getting the results that you want. Set deadlines and milestones for yourself and make sure to follow them! Whenever you are about to postpone taking a practice test or reviewing a topic, ask yourself why you’re doing that. Is it something more important than your goal of being accepted to your dream school you always wanted? Most often, the answer will be no, and there is nothing else you need to push yourself and keep working hard and improving your overall performance. 

Take Practice Tests

You will never know if you’re making any progress if you don’t take practice tests! After you’ve spent enough time reviewing and studying the EA topics, take practice tests to assess your current skills and weaknesses. However, it is equally important not to overdo this. There is no need to take too many practice tests, as they won’t show any progress. Take them after you have completed a specific group of topics. Another thing to always keep in mind is that you should not expect any question you see in those practice exams on the real one. Although the questions will be similar, they will not be the same, so there is no need for you to try to memorize anything, but rather you need to master the skills necessary to solve the problems.

Take Breaks!

The last thing on our EA prep tips list we want you to consider is breaks! So far, we have only discussed what you need to do when preparing for your EA test. However, you need to know that it is equally important to take breaks. If you keep studying all day and night, it will later on affect your overall performance and will lead to lack of energy. Hence, make sure you take breaks often and do things that make you feel relaxed/happy. Listen to your favorite songs or watch the latest movie you’ve heard about to refresh your mind!


To conclude, we presented a few EA prep tips to you with the hope to help you make your preparation process better and more efficient. First, you need to learn how to manage your time wisely and get the most out of it. Secondly, you should not let your procrastination affect your overall performance and EA schedule and make sure you are consistent in your EA prep. Third, you need to take practice tests at the right time to assess your skills and readiness for the exam. Finally, you need to rest appropriately and refresh your mind by doing things you like. We hope your tips will help you to prepare for the EA in the most effective way!

Regardless of where you are in your EA journey, we here at ApexGMAT are here to help. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with all interested EA  studiers. You can contact us here! 


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Posted on
Jul 2022

The Beginner’s Guide to EA Prep

Performing well on the Executive Assessment exam is not the easiest task to do. For those who have just started preparing for the exam, it is very important to start off their journey in the right way in order to make the preparation process fun and end up with a good score. Our purpose today is to help you create a beginner’s EA prep guide for yourself!

1. Research the Exam

The first step you need to take when forming an EA prep guide for yourself is know all the important information about the exam. Take your time to research it fully, making sure you become familiar with the sections, what each of them is about, as well as how the exam is graded. Not only will this help you feel confident about the exam overall, but it will also reveal what sections you need to focus on and how to form your study schedule. Here is a breakdown of the sections: Integrated Reasoning (12 questions), Verbal Reasoning (14 questions), and Quantitative Reasoning (14 questions). As you can already guess, EA is quite comprehensive, and it will require you to allocate appropriate time to each of the sections and practice accordingly. 

2. Design Your Study Plan

When you begin your EA journey, it is very important that you take the time to design your own study plan and schedule that will reflect your availability, your current skills, as well as the approximate date of your exam. On the Internet you can find different study plans that will help you understand how to prepare for the EA. The search results might not necessarily be bad, but there is a huge chance that there will be at least one aspect within the plan that won’t fit your goals. That’s why you should carefully review and revise all the aspects of your goals and targets in the scope of the exam and create your individual plan.

3. Work on Your Time Management

As any other exam, the EA requires you to be really good at managing your time and using it efficiently. Although you should never rush when it comes to practicing and making sure that you are confident enough about the questions, it is equally important not to spend too much time both while studying and on your exam day. Always track your time when studying and make sure that you’re allocating enough and reasonable time to each of the sections. As you progress, try to track your time and see if you are spending less or more time on specific question types/topics. This will also help you understand if you are improving your performance. When it comes to your exam day, make sure you do not spend too much time on a specific question. Although it is important to be able to answer as many questions as possible, you don’t want to be spending too much time on a single question and ignore the rest.

4. Take Practice Tests

You will never know if you are making progress if you do not take practice tests. When you are done with the very first phase of your preparation, you might want to take a practice test to better understand your strengths and weaknesses and move on accordingly. You need to keep in mind that although the questions are very similar to the ones that will show up on your exam day, they will not be the same. Another thing you want to remind yourself is that taking too many practice tests won’t be helpful. The frequency of taking practice exam depends on one’s study plan, and usually, it should be taken after studying/revising a reasonable amount of material. 


In conclusion, if you’ve just planned to take the EA and are about to start your preparation, it is important to take into consideration a few important steps. You first need to research the exam itself and be sure that you fully understand its procedure, sections, timing, etc. Next, you need to design your very own and individual study plan that will reflect your goals and skills. Another thing you want to do is manage your time wisely and use it effectively. Finally, take practice tests to understand your progress and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Using these steps, you can design your own EA prep guide for yourself that will help you get a stellar score!

Regardless of where you are in your EA journey, we here at ApexGMAT are here to help. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with all interested EA studiers. You can contact us here! 

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Posted on
Jul 2022

Enhance Your GMAT Strategy in Under 20 Minutes

Whether it has been a couple months or a couple days into your GMAT prep, finding innovative ways to incorporate GMAT prep into your daily routine can be vital to achieving the best score possible. Whether it is during your morning commute, or while getting ready for bed, here are 5 tips which can enhance your GMAT score in under 20 minutes

1. Read, LISTEN, repeat 

Some of the most handy ways to integrate GMAT learning into your everyday schedule is to use your eyes and ears. Pick-up a Newspaper, or start listening to a political podcast. These types of mediums are full of new vocabulary that you may encounter on the GMAT verbal section. If possible, we suggest writing down your new words in a separate notebook, including definition and usage. Keep this list on you, and review and refresh your memory when you get the chance. This type of exercise is great for quick learning, as you can expand your vocabulary while commuting into work or while going on a daily run. 

2. Practice Reviewing

So let’s assume you have listened to a podcast, or read an article. The next best thing, besides writing down any new vocabulary, is to practice rewriting what you have just heard (or read) in your own words. We suggest spending 10 minutes writing a summary of what you just heard or read. Then, review your work and make corrections where necessary. Try to put your newly learned vocabulary into practice during this exercise as well! This little trick is something you can do in under 20 minutes, and will help you put into practice your newly learned vocabulary while strengthening the part of your brain that deals with writing and sentence structure. 

3. Flashcards (for quant!?)

Yes, flashcards may seem cliché when it comes to studying for tests, but they work! In addition to using flashcards to memorize vocabulary, you can also use flashcards to memorize necessary math formulas. Write down tricky math formulas which you may find useful for the exam. While riding the train to work, or while brushing your teeth, flip through the flashcards! 

4. Get a Study Buddy 

Find someone who is also taking the GMAT exam and find time to study with them! Just meeting up for 20 minutes can help you get more comfortable with the exam and ask questions about their GMAT prep. Even if you are not actively studying! Grabbing coffee and complaining about the rigors of studying with a fellow GMAT test-taker. This can be a huge anxiety release (for both of you!). By sharing your studying experiences, you may even pick-up some new tricks yourself. 

5. Focus on Your Mental Health

Take those 20-minute breaks (whether alone or with a buddy). Meditate, breathe, take a walk. These simple breaks can help you succeed in the long run. Being anxious about the upcoming exam is normal. But filling up with stress won’t help you much on the day of the exam. This is why finding opportunities to study that don’t feel like studying can be helpful for your mental health. Listening to podcasts and reading a magazine article can be soothing. If you enjoy doing math, then simply jotting down some practice problems while waiting at a restaurant or before going to bed can all be things which help alleviate your stress while strengthening your GMAT knowledge. 


Regardless of where you are in your GMAT journey, we here at ApexGMAT are here to help. We offer 30-minute complimentary consultation calls with all interested GMAT studiers. You can contact us here! 

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