Important GMAT Online Updates
Posted on
06
Oct 2021

Important GMAT Online Updates – Beginning October 20, 2021!

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Dana Coggio
Date: October 6, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things, the GMAT™ exam is among them. With the integration of online solutions over the past year and a half, the official Graduate Management Admissions Council has made the decision to make some of these changes permanent. As the GMAT is now permanently available online, the GMAC has decided on implementing important GMAT updates which will offer more cohesion between online and live testing platforms. 

  • Scoring Policy Update 

On October 20th, 2021, online delivered GMAT exams will come with 5 free score reports. Test takers have 48-hours to utilize these score reports. Any additional score reports can be sent for the standard fee. Also, the online platform will continue to offer test takers the flexibility of viewing their score report before deciding to send their scores to the programs of their choice. 

  • More Online GMAT Testing Opportunities! 

The GMAC took test taker feedback to heart. This means they have decided to allow for retesting options across delivery channels. This will help test-takers who may have intended to take the exam at a compromised test center. Additionally, test takers will not have a limited number of online testing options. Rather, their online tests will count towards the total number of GMAT exam attempts – 5 in a rolling 12-month period and a total of 8 in their lifetime

These adjustments offer test-takers:
– Flexibility in their schedule
– More prep and application strategies
– Additional opportunities for performing their best on test day

  • Online Pricing

The last update affects the GMAT Online pricing. Online fees for the GMAT exam (including registration, reschedules, and cancellations) will align with in-person, test center fees located in the same region. 

 

Important to keep in mind is that these GMAT Online Updates take effect on October 20, 2021.

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How Difficult is the Executive Assessment
Posted on
10
Jun 2021

How Difficult is the Executive Assessment?

By: Dana Coggio
Published:  10th June 2021

How Difficult is the Executive Assessment?

As subjective as that question is, you are not the first person to be asking it. When comparing the Executive Assessment to the GMAT a general conclusion has been reached that this test is easier. As it is geared towards individuals who have already been working in the field of business and management for quite some time, there is an expectation for people taking the exam that they may not have an exorbitant amount of time put towards studying and preparing. At 1.5 hours, the Executive Assessment takes only half as long as the GMAT. Quant questions on the exam are geared towards individuals who have been out of school for quite some time, and thus may not remember basic high school or college math techniques so some of the quantitative sections that you would find on the GMAT are not on the Executive Assessment, such as Geometry.

Even the format of the exams is not as strict as that of the GMAT. During the exam, you will have the ability to jump around from question to question within a section. Unlike the GMAT, where each question is successive without the possibility to review, the EA gives you the possibility to return to questions to redo or review them. Keep in mind, however, that you will not receive any additional time to review your questions.

Taking all this into account, it is quite impossible to give a quantifiable answer on whether or not the EA is difficult. Given its structure and the amount and type of questions, it can be assumed that the Executive Assessment test is easier, if not of the same caliber, as the GMAT test.

Structure of the EA

Simply put, the Executive Assessment test is designed and structured to best cater towards individuals who may be too busy with work, family, or other important priorities to commit to the GMAT. Meant for EMBA programs, the Executive Assessment is similar to the GMAT in that it tests and measures your complex judgement, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

The Executive Assessment is a 90-minute exam split up into three sections and scored between 100 and 200 points. The three sections are the Verbal Section, the Quantitative Section, and the Integrated Reasoning Section. (Feel free to click on the links to read more on these sections – as they may appear on the GMAT – and how to study for them). All three sections are 30-minutes in length, with the Verbal and Quantitative sections having a total of 14 questions and the Integrated Reasoning having 12. Similar verbal and quantitative questions can be found on both the Executive Assessment and the GMAT. The Integrated Reasoning Portion, on the other hand, is weighted exactly the same as the other two sections. This is different than on the GMAT where the Integrated Reasoning is weighted less than the other sections.  

Another striking difference between the GMAT and the EA is how it is administered online. Unlike with the GMAT, those who take the EA are given the opportunity to review their answers and change any responses they would like. Another difference is that the EA’s Quantitative and Verbal sections are section adaptive (compare that to the GMAT which is question adaptive. You can read more about the structure of the GMAT HERE.) The sectionality of the EA means that there are two subsections within each portion of the test that consists of 7 questions each. This is an advantage for the test taker as, at the end of each section, you have the possibility to review your answers and change any responses within the subsection. 

Percentiles of the GMAT vs EA

There is little data available on Executive Assessment scores and their impact on school admissions. This is because the Executive Assessment first came out in 2016. The Executive Assessment has published that a score of 150 ranks an individual as being in the 50th percentile, though more percentiles have not been released. That being said, preliminary data show that a score of 168 and above places an individual within the 99th percentile.

As with the majority of admissions processes your score is just one of many factors that is taken into account when you apply for an EMBA program. However, for admission to a top-tier EMBA program, scoring above a 150 is very important. Even better would be to score above a 163 which would set you apart from other applicants. If you are interested in EA prep materials or finding a private tutor to help you in your journey to reach your goal click HERE.  

How the EA is scored

The Executive Assessment score ranges from 100-200. However, according to GMAC, it is not possible to score lower than a 120 or higher than a 174. Thus, scoring above a 160 makes an applicant more competitive. Because the Executive Assessment is designed for individuals who have quite a few years of practical experience under their belt, the questions on the exam are meant to draw upon the knowledge you may have gained during your work experience. That being said, you should still take the time to study for the exam so that you can answer the questions being asked within a narrow timeframe. Just like with the GMAT, study materials for the EA are available as well as tutors who can help you achieve your desired score. More information on various prep materials can be found HERE. If you are interested in learning more about a potential EA tutor, you can set up a complimentary call with an APEX instructor HERE

 

Where the EA is accepted

Many top-tier business schools accept your EA exam results. The following schools are some (but not all) which do accept the EA exam in place of the GMAT for their EMBA Programs:

  1. Chicago Booth   
  2. INSEAD   
  3. Duke Fuqua  Yale School of Management
  4. Emory – Goizueta Business School   
  5. NYU – STERN         
  6. Berkeley Haas          
  7. ESMT Berlin  UNC – Kenan Flagler Business School        
  8. London Business School
  9. University of Oxford Vlerick Business School      
  10. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton 
  11. MIT Management. Sloan School        
  12. IE Business School     
  13. University of Virginia                

 

 

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Posted on
06
Aug 2020

Probability GMAT Problem

Probability GMAT Problems can be super complex if you don’t frame it correctly. One of the keys to looking at probability problems, particularly conditional probability and independent probability problems, is breaking each part up into its own entity, and a lot of times this clarifies the problem.

1. Introduction To The XYZ Probability Problem

Let’s take a look at this ‘XYZ’ probability problem. Xavier, Yvonne, and Zelda are solving problems. We’re given the 3 probabilities for correct answers and we’re being asked what’s the probability of X being right and solving it, Y solving it, and Z not solving it.

The first thing we can look at is, say: “Well what’s the probability of Zelda not solving it?” And it’s just going to be the flip, the other side of 5/8 to bring us up to 1. If she solves it 5 out of 8 times, she’s not going to solve it the other 3 out of 8 times. So, we’re dealing with 1/4, 1/2, and 3/8.

2. Doing The Math May Seem Simple

The math here is straightforward, multiply them together. But that might not be readily apparent, or at the very least, just plugging it into that formula can get you into trouble. So, here’s where owning it conceptually and mapping it out with a visualization helps you take command of this problem. 

3. Xavier Getting It Correct

Since each probability is independent of the others we can look at them independently. What’s the probability of Xavier getting this correct? 1 out of 4 times. So, we can say in general, for every four attempts, he gets it correct once or 25%. If, and only if Xavier gets it correct can we move on to the next part – Yvonne.

4. Yvonne Getting It Correct

Xavier gets a correct 1 out 4 times then what are the chances that Yvonne gets a correct? 1 out of 2. So to have Xavier get it correct and then Yvonne get it correct it’s going to be 1 out of 8 times – 1/4 times 1/2.

It’s not that we can’t look at a Yvonne when Xavier gets it incorrect, it’s that it doesn’t matter. From a framing perspective, this is all about only looking at the probability for the outcome that we want and ignoring the rest.

5. Zelda Getting It Incorrect

Xavier: 1 out of 4, Yvonne: 1 out of 2, gets us to 1 out of 8. Then and only then, what are the chances that Zelda gets it incorrect? 1 out of 8 trials brings us to X and Y are correct, then we multiply it by the 3/8 that Zelda gets it incorrect. That gets us to 3/64. 3 out of every 64 attempts will end in ‘correct’, ‘correct’, ‘incorrect’.

This is one of those problems that may have to go through a few times but once you attach the explanation to it, you can’t mess up the math.

If you enjoyed this GMAT probability problem, try your hand at these other types of challenging problems: Combinatorics & Algebra

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One on One GMAT Tutoring Your Way to GMAT Success
Posted on
04
Aug 2020

One on One GMAT Tutoring: Your Way to GMAT Success

When it comes to GMAT tutoring, we at Apex have learned that there are a set of core characteristics that all successful GMAT test takers embody; no matter their industry, degree, personal traits, or prior levels of knowledge. In this article, we’ll:

  • explore each of these eight core characteristics
  • deconstruct a few of the faulty assumptions that test takers bring to the process
  • distinguish one-on-one GMAT tutoring as an efficient way for most people to achieve a competitive GMAT score and build a solid foundation for an MBA program.

Many people preparing for the GMAT believe that it’s the instructor’s responsibility to implement their own expertise and style to improve one’s current skill level and address one’s weaknesses. The reality, however, is more of a two-way street, where the important element is the compatibility between a tutor’s teaching style and a student’s learning style. A qualified instructor is one that first examines the way a client processes new information and perceives problems, and the techniques he or she uses to address those problems. Only after a tutor has understood one’s learning style can he/she match professional guidance with the needs of the client.

8 Ways One-on-one GMAT Tutoring Gets You to a 700+ Score on the GMAT

1. Creating a Productive & Efficient Learning Structure

Oftentimes, test takers seek GMAT tutoring because they have stumbled upon enough types of challenging problems that they can’t tackle alone, or they’ve reached the peak of their self-preparation but still seek higher results. One-on-one tutoring differs from self-prep and group work with a tutor in terms of the learning environment and having the benefit of external perception of your performance. With private GMAT tutoring, communication dynamics are on a much more personal, and personalized, level – yielding stronger results much more quickly than alternative solutions.

The privacy and trust inherent in a one on one GMAT tutoring setup permit test takers to feel comfortable sharing their weaknesses in a safe environment and tackle those things that are challenging to them without worrying about how they will be interpreted by peers. The comfort afforded by this situation should not be underestimated. A private GMAT tutor not only helps with improving one’s technique and self-knowledge but also strives to create a healthy and secure learning environment that is vital for:

  • reducing test anxiety
  • building GMAT confidence
  • improving studying habits
  • avoiding distractions and disruptions of the learning process
  • encouraging freedom to ask questions
  • nurturing motivation

2. Constant Two-way Feedback

A fundamental rule of management states, “No feedback is bad feedback”. Another is “What gets measured gets managed.” When preparing alone or within a group, a future test taker will not have a clear indication about how effective they are performing until they take a practice exam, and even then the exam only focuses on specific metrics. A good private GMAT tutor will know what to look for, what to measure, and what feedback to give to provide rapid and lasting results. They will guide you through questions that are matched to your current level of skill, meaning that you will be consistently receiving feedback on your methodology, time allocation, implementation of knowledge, and solution paths as you progress through your GMAT preparation. This ongoing back and forth communication will allow you to identify your weak spots in self-prep as well, and revisit appropriate material to deepen your understanding of less comfortable concepts.

3. Learning at Your Own Pace, and Then Speeding It Up

Timing is the most crucial aspect of the GMAT that you need to master to achieve a great score. Naturally, everyone excels at tackling some problems and needs more time to solve others. Tutoring can hone your timing decisions and your tutor can create a customized plan for timing allocation across a range of problems depending upon your relative strengths and weaknesses.

Studying with a private GMAT tutor will also allow you to spend the right amount of time on each aspect of the exam according to your scoring needs. This lets you avoid inefficiencies and master only those techniques that will be most useful to you in order to fulfill your potential.

4. Developing Specific Skill Sets to Tackle Each Section of the GMAT

The GMAT test is a complex exam designed not to test high school knowledge, but rather core character traits like adaptability, time management, critical thinking, logical reasoning, and multitasking. You cannot achieve a high GMAT score if there is a significant difference between your performance in each section of the exam. A private GMAT tutor can give you the best insights on how to build, manage, and combine the different skills needed to get a great end result and achieve parity between your verbal and quantitative scores.

5. Realizing Better Use of Your Time

Flexibility and accessibility of learning are key to maximizing your potential. One-on-one GMAT tutoring is:

  • Usually offered online. This means that you can schedule sessions at the most convenient time depending only on your flexibility. You can have lessons in your breaks from work, gaps between classes, during daily commutes, during holidays, in the park, etc.
  • Available at any time. This is not the case with group GMAT tutoring as classes are scheduled depending on the instructor. Apex works globally and has tutoring available in every time zone around the globe. Private GMAT tutoring should be designed to meet your lifestyle requirements and you should aim to schedule sessions when you are most productive. A technique that the best GMAT instructors adopt is to schedule sessions at a time of the day when you are supposed to sit your actual exam. This can help you simulate conditions similar to those on test day and give you important insights on how to maximize your productivity at that specific time frame.
  • Offered with different options depending on duration and material covered in the program. Whether you are a beginner or someone who already has a strong understanding of the GMAT, you can choose a specifically designed GMAT curriculum depending on what you strive to achieve. This is reflected in the amount of hours you are going to spend with an instructor and in the price of the service. At Apex we offer a complimentary first call to help you determine what course of action will be the most suitable for you depending on your current level of preparation and your GMAT aspirations.

6. Understanding Where You Excel and What You Struggle with Most

If you are aiming for an elite GMAT score, you’ll need to leverage your strengths and recognize your weaknesses. Understanding the meaning behind each question, its structure and underlying testing purpose, and the methodologies the test writers use to construct the problems are essential for success. The best one-on-one GMAT tutors are aware of the subtleties of the exam and can not only guide you around them but teach you how to leverage these subtleties for high level insights into the hardest 750+ problems. This will predispose you to uncover features of the test that most preppers have never even considered.

7. Utilizing Learning Aids

Finding and gaining access to challenging GMAT problems, authentic and reliable practice tests / mock exams, and appropriate study tools can take ages to hunt down (and cost a fortune). One-on-one GMAT tutoring allows you to refocus your valuable time as experienced instructors will already have compiled a solid database of resources and questions and show you the ones that are most relevant to your success at your current level. That way, your instructor, and not you, will spend the time filtering them according to your needs and present the ones that will have the greatest positive impact on your GMAT preparation.

8. The Expertise and Professional Mentorship of a Private GMAT Tutor

Working with an expert GMAT tutor who has scored well into the top 1%, and who knows the exam inside and out will help you accelerate your learning and move the needle of your progress in ways you only read about on GMAT blogs. Experienced instructors are trained to teach you how to overcome the different GMAT scoring plateaus and meet your personal target. The goal of great tutors is not only to show you how to answer a question correctly, but also to help you extract a methodology that can be continuously applied to other questions across the GMAT, and to problems beyond.

Apex’s tutors focus on teaching the higher order strategies that are necessary for the achievement of a 700+ score and bringing out your optimal performance. Enlisting the help of a one-on-one GMAT instructor is recommended for those who are short on time or those who already have a solid understanding of the exam and are scoring well (low to mid-600’s), but are looking to gain those extra points that will make them get into their dream MBA program and lay the groundwork for a challenging, engaging, and lucrative career.

 

Contributor: Ilia Dobrev

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Posted on
16
Jul 2020

When To Study For The GMAT?

If you are reading this at any time other than the morning, you’re probably not getting your optimal yield out of your self-prep time. Let’s talk about how the time that you spend preparing and the relative yield you get from that time can change. 

1. Time of Day

Most of us have good times and bad times of the day, and that’s tied in very deeply to our biology and our circadian rhythm. Most people are at their sharpest mid-morning. However, if you’re constantly sleep-deprived this might change. In fact, it might never be optimal. 

In order to get the best out of your self-prep time, you need to be capitalizing on the best times of the day to study. This also means to not overdo it. Don’t force yourself into studying when you’re not up for it. If you’ve worked a 10-hour day, whether on a desk, on the street, or doing big projects and travelling to a client as a consultant, your study time is very limited. Studying when you’re exhausted is not only going to be low-yield but it’s also going to take a lot out of you so that you’re not able to capture those high-yield times. 

2. Small Increments of Study Time

Instead, try self-prepping in smaller units throughout the day. Particularly in those times when you are sharpest. If you can grab 15 minutes at 10 o’clock in the morning, even if it’s a bathroom break or 20 minutes on your commute, do so. Those are really good times to prep. Doing little increments throughout the day increases your contact density but also decreases the burden from your daily schedule. 

Many of you out there are working crazy jobs, balancing a social life, and family obligations, and the GMAT can take over. Particularly, if you’re spending 10, 20, or 30 hours a week self-prepping. If you are, you’re spending too much time. You’re better off getting stronger results out of smaller increments of high-yield time rather than killing yourself and studying 3-6 hours at a time on the weekends or in the evenings. 

3. Quality Over Quantity

When you study for the GMAT and how you prepare for it are much more important than how much time you prepare. Be mindful of when you’re sharpest during the day and take at least a portion of that time and devote it to your GMAT prep, because what you’re ultimately doing is personal development. 

As much as you might be devoted to a job, it’s not going to be there forever. Your personal growth, a high GMAT score, and also getting into the next step of your career or the next step of your education. That should be your priority and you need to make sure you balance that with your other obligations. 

4. When To Study For The GMAT?

So remember: incremental short study breaks, or in other words, breaks from everything else you’re doing to study, can increase your contact density. If you’re tired, and this is probably the biggest takeaway, don’t force yourself to study because you’re just spinning your wheels. You are not going to get a good yield out of it. You’re better off putting on Netflix, taking a nap, spending time with loved ones, going out with friends, and getting yourself on an even keel. So that the 60 to 90 minutes a day that you can devote to GMAT is the best 60 and 90 minutes you can give it. Try to get some rest cause I know 90% of you are reading this while tired. Best of luck on your GMAT Prep Journey! 

Did you enjoy When To Study For The GMAT? Watch some of our other videos including: How to select a GMAT tutor.

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Private Tutoring
Posted on
14
Jul 2020

How Can Private Tutoring Help You Score 700+ on the GMAT?

Achieving a 700+ score on the GMAT is not a simple task. It requires significant preparation, excellent organization, and continuous motivation to learn. Studying for an exam can be overwhelming, especially when there is no one by your side to keep you motivated. Perhaps you’re struggling with quant problems or you’re not sure how to apply the strategies that you have learned. Well, don’t worry… This is where private GMAT tutoring comes into play.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should start working with a tutor in order to ace the GMAT.

       Index:

1. Individualized Learning Experience

Although the GMAT is a standardized exam, there is no one size fits all approach to success. While some students favor graphical solution paths, others are more analytical or methodical in their approach to answering GMAT questions. Some struggle with geometry, others with algebra, and others with critical reasoning. There are students who have excellent writing skills, while others, particularly ESL students, require practice to achieve a good score on the analytical writing assessment. The existence of these differences indicates that there is not only a singular path to studying for such a nuanced exam and that preparation should be customized to maximize one’s strengths and abilities.

Unlike classroom teaching where the teacher rarely deviates from the prescribed syllabus, a private GMAT tutor will tailor your learning plan based on the knowledge and skills you currently possess and their expertise. By identifying your learning style and framing your entire prep program around it, a skilled GMAT tutor will ensure that you are not only progressing through your prep but enjoying it as well.

What’s more, a perceptive private GMAT tutor will also focus your attention on the areas where you experience difficulties or need improvement, especially those areas that you can’t see for yourself. Due to this guidance and direction, you will be able to spend more time on improving, and less time repeating the same mistakes or going over content that you’ve already mastered. You’ll develop new skills that were previously lacking and adopt more favorable methods to solve difficult problems. Additionally, you will learn how to organize your time more effectively which is essential for you on the exam.

2. Personalized Attention

Although classroom teaching can prove beneficial for mastering the fundamental knowledge needed for higher level approaches, one disadvantage of learning with others is the lack of personalized attention and focus on the lowest common denominator type construal of the concepts being taught. Teachers in any classroom cannot pay attention to all of their students’ needs, especially those who struggle differently than most, or who have higher goals than their classmates. While one student might be struggling with the clustering principle that defines standard deviation as it applies to comparing different sets, another might require a refresh on calculating variance and how the underlying concept operates. Whatever your specific case may be, the help of a private tutor can address it.

By working with a top-notch tutor outside of the classroom, you’ll be able to rapidly progress and draw on personalized mental models to confidently approach GMAT problems of the highest complexity. A skilled GMAT tutor will not only help you acquire new knowledge but s/he is also going to teach you valuable meta-strategies that can be useful for you when you study for the exam. At Apex we focus on solution paths, problem forming, and many other innovative techniques that make for high-yield self preparation, and top level scores.

Moreover, a highly qualified private tutor will have a team behind him/her and copious amounts of materials and drills, while drawing upon a flexible curriculum so that your preparation can be as personalized and efficient as possible and result in the score you are striving to achieve. You shouldn’t be afraid to speak openly with your GMAT tutor about any concerns you have regarding your preparation, and your tutor should always be open to your feedback and input, rather than trying to “run the show”. Recall that the purpose of engaging a tutor is not only the acquisition of knowledge but also the attention and support you will be given.

3. Improved Confidence

Working with a proficient private tutor will definitely boost your confidence, and confidence is essential to exemplary GMAT performance. After a few sessions, you should expect to see how much your tutor has helped you learn and adopt fresh skills and additional perspective – about the GMAT and about yourself as a test taker  – and address the problems you thought impossible just a few short weeks prior. Almost imperceptibly you will become more proficient in your execution and more sensitive to the different ways the GMAT modulates complexity and delivers hints about the most viable and efficient solution paths (here at Apex we call these Test Reads). Thorough preparation will marginalize your fear of failure and help you combat latent (or not so latent) test anxiety so that you can manifest the high expectations that you’ve likely set at the outset of this process.

In addition, a capable private tutor will ensure that you address your anxiety about the exam in a healthy way. Aside from designing a study plan customized to your learning style, your GMAT tutor will focus on other salient, but less popular factors that affect GMAT performance; the amount of sleep you get, and overstudying, to name just two. While you might not have considered these factors, or believe them to be unimportant, they drastically influence productivity and affect test day performance. That is why an experienced GMAT tutor will do everything s/he can to make you ready, and make you feel ready, for your exam.

4. Greater Motivation

Constant preparation can be exhausting and without the proper support and encouragement, it’s normal to lose your motivation along the way. A tutor, however, can provide that motivation and understanding of what you’re going through – something well meaning friends and family cannot – so that your goals become reality.

Apart from ensuring your efficient preparation for the GMAT, a personal GMAT tutor will also be your greatest mentor, motivator, and cheerleader. S/he will be the person who will check in, see how you’re doing midweek, and encourage you the most because he/she will be personally invested in you and will have a professional stake in the outcome of your preparation. The best tutors take their clients’ successes personally, and this informs their attentiveness and personal pride. The faith that your tutor has in you should inspire you so that you can achieve your dream score and satisfy your collective expectations. Thus, you will be even more motivated than before and you will perceive the exam as an opportunity to demonstrate all the novel skills you have developed and trained throughout your preparation.

5. Higher GMAT Score

Last, but certainly not least, preparation with the help of a private tutor will result in a higher score on test day when compared to classroom learning or self-preparation alone or in combination. As we have already mentioned, lessons from a devoted private tutor will provide you with an individualized learning experience and more personalized attention which will lead to an increase in your confidence and motivation for the exam. Finally, you will learn more than just GMAT strategies from your tutor. You will learn critical and creative thinking skills, heuristics, mental models, and other thinking tools that will help you make the most of all future learning opportunities. The best tutors, like the ones here at Apex, teach you how to better learn, and become mentors and trusted advisors as you progress through your MBA and further career.

Final Notes 

To sum things up: private GMAT tutoring can be expensive but the value it will deliver will be more than worth the money. The best tutoring stays with you and will add color and perspective to your future learning, whether in your MBA, on the job, or as you progress through your career. If you want to embark on your GMAT journey with a private tutor, make sure you:

Thanks for reading this article and good luck with your GMAT preparation!

 

Contributor: Irena Georgieva

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Posted on
17
Apr 2020

The Online GMAT Part 2: Updates & Testing Experience

Mike from Apex GMAT is here to give you part two on our update about the online GMAT test that’s being rolled out in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

1. The Online GMAT Test Overview

This exam is designed to be a standalone, separate exam that’s done in the test centers. While there are going to be many similarities there are also a few key differences that you should know about. If you haven’t done so already I’d encourage you to check out part one of our video. It has a lot of key details about the exam.

2. Test Scheduling

When it comes to scheduling the exam unfortunately it seems that you can’t take an appointment that you have for a live test center and convert it to an online appointment. I’m not entirely sure why this is but due to pricing differentials, scheduling differentials, your online exam has to be a separate enrollment. Your live exam can still be rescheduled for a time when a test center opens.

3. Take it 24/7

One of the benefits of the online exam is that you can schedule to take it 24/7. It’s going to operate around the globe so there’s no middle-of-the-night blackout time. You can do it at that time of the day when you feel most pumped for the GMAT. This is really great because many times we’re forced into a time slot either because of availability or just because you might be a night owl and the testing center closes at 5:00 pm. So this is a real advantage for people who feel on at all hours.

4. Setup & Proctoring

There are several key things that are going to take place in the setup and proctoring of the exam for security purposes that you should be aware of. First off, there’s going to be a live proctor watching you during the exam. They’ll be able to see you and listen to you during the entirety of the exam. If you have a problem, if you have questions you can both buzz them in a chat or raise your hand and they’ll come on camera live. If you’re having a connection issue or there’s some technical glitch, the GMAC is pledged to be fair and not take off time from your exam. However, if you’re raising your hand for the proctor for something that wasn’t an issue, your time, your clock doesn’t stop. So in that sense, it’s just like the live GMAT.

5. Technical Issues

If there’s a major technical issue, retakes are available but that’s really going to be something that’s subject to the judgment of the GMAC. We would expect that their system works very well and that the need for a true retake is going to be very rare. Coinciding with this you’re only going to be able to take the online GMAT one time. You won’t get your score immediately but rather sometime within about seven days. It’s a score that can’t be canceled because the online GMAT is designed to only be taken once.

So it’s really more of an emergency measure where people who need to take the GMAT to get an application out should be able to do so. But those same people shouldn’t be able to cancel their score because this is their ultimate attempt. That being said, there’s nothing stopping you from taking additional GMATs once the live appointments become available. Do be careful here, because it can lock you into a score that you might not want.

6. The Online GMAT Test Check-In

The check-in procedure for the exam is somewhat involved. It’s done live with a proctor and it takes 10 to 15 minutes. What they’re going to have you do is take a selfie, upload a photo or a snapshot of your photo ID. Then they’re actually going to have you walk around the room. Show them the corners, show them that your desk is clear without any papers on it. Show them the door to the room to ensure that there’s no one in the room. For the duration of the exam, including the breaks, you won’t be permitted to leave the room.

7. The Online GMAT Test Section Order

The online GMAT has a predetermined order of sections. So unlike the testing center version of the GMAT, you won’t be able to pick and choose which sections you do first, second, and so on. So after the check-in, you’ll be immediately directed to the quantitative section, then the verbal, a five-minute break, and then the integrated reasoning, and then you’re done.

8. Scratch Paper

With respect to the scratch paper that we normally get in an appointment GMAT – which is that dry erase sort of stuff – on the online GMAT you won’t be permitted to write as we understand it. You’ll have a whiteboard that should be some sort of adjustable screen window that you can scribble on and you should be able to move it around the screen for your convenience during the exam.

And this is something that we’re mildly concerned about and you know we have this saying here, “if you’re doing math you’re, doing something wrong.” That said having scratch paper and the comfort of physical pen and paper is something that a lot of people rely upon so keep this in mind as you get ready to take the online GMAT.

9. GMAT Online Calculator

Can you use a calculator on the GMAT online? This is a question that you definitely have on your mind if you’re going to take the online GMAT test. There will be an online calculator for the integrated reasoning section just like on the normal GMAT. Additionally, you’ll have a whiteboard that should be some sort of adjustable screen window that you can scribble on and move it around the screen for your convenience during the exam.

10. Extra Time On The Online GMAT Test

Finally, for those of you who have an accommodation of extra time from the exam, the online GMAT isn’t available now. However, they expect that functionality to roll out in mid-May both for time and a half and double time and that also includes an extended break instead of five minutes going to ten minutes in between the verbal and the integrated reasoning.

Check Pearson Vue’s video about the testing experience.

Thanks so much for watching, email us with any questions. We’re here to help during this time and stay safe and healthy out there.

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Posted on
16
Apr 2020

Online GMAT Exam

Hi guys. Mike here from Apex GMAT, bringing you the latest on the online GMAT exam. The GMAC just announced that they’re rolling out the online GMAT.

1. When can you take the Online GMAT Exam?

The earliest appointments that are available are April 20th and appointments extend all the way to June 15th. You should be able to log on right now to secure your appointment. All the links you need are below this video for understanding all the rules and everything else that are going to be governing the online exam. But I’m here to bring you what we know. I’ll be here again tomorrow after we have our call with the GMAC to give you additional details and context.

2. Key Information about the Exam

Most computers and most high-speed interconnect internet connections should be fine for taking the GMAT online. You will need either a PC or Mac and Windows 8.1 or 10 or Mac OS 10 point 13 or above. Windows 7 will not work and unfortunately for you hackers and private people of the world Linux and UNIX OS’s will not work.

There are some additional specifications that you need to be aware of. Number one is that you can’t connect over a VPN and a lot of firewalls might disrupt the connection. There will be a protocol for the GMAC to test your connection before you take the exam but if you’re connecting through a work computer you may run into some issues. Similarly, due to the security protocol, you won’t be able to have a second monitor hooked up and you’re going to need a webcam that’s operating at least 10 frames per second as well as an internet connection that is at least 1 Mbps.

In addition to this, there will probably be some additional protocols where you need to check in because they’re using online proctors to actively monitor your taking of the exam. This means, unfortunately, that a few countries, because of data and privacy laws, will not be able to take advantage of the online GMAT. These countries include China, North Korea, Sudan, Iran, Cuba, and Slovenia. So if you’re in one of those countries unfortunately you can’t take the online GMAT exam.

The cost for the online GMAT is two hundred dollars ($200) and you should also be able to use an existing registration to make a new appointment for the online GMAT exam.

3. Format of the Online GMAT Exam

Format wise it’s going to be almost exactly the same with the exception of the writing section – there won’t be one. So for those of you who have stamina issues on the GMAT, the good news is that the exam will be a half-hour shorter. For those of you who have experienced GMAT anxiety, which I talked about in several other videos, one of the nicest things about the online exam is that you’ll be able to take it in the comfort of your own home or your own space. Doing so is going to offer some significant benefits but also a few liabilities because you’re much more prone to be distracted when you’re in your own space.

So one of the things I would certainly recommend is preparing to sit the exam like you were going to sit at a testing center – that means, sitting up straight. Ensuring that you have as much quiet as possible, earplugs should be available to you and you should have clothes on (you know, no pajama pants). Dress as if you were taking the exam, wear shoes because these things will put you in a good headspace to be attentive in taking the exam seriously.

4. Taking the Exam with a Disability

For those of you with disabilities, the accommodations for disabilities are not yet installed in the online GMAT exam so they expect those to be available by mid-May.

5. Scoring

In terms of getting your score, right now GMAC expects that the score should be available within a week of taking the exam. I don’t know if that means that they’re going to be recalibrating the exam for any bumps or dips they see in the different format or because the exam is shorter or if they’re going to offer something much more immediately like on the real GMAT, but give it an extra level of supervision before they make it official. That’s something that we should have more information for you on tomorrow.

6. Additional Information and Help

All the pertinent information you guys need about the online exam is in the links below including the ability to register for the GMAT’s online webinar and Friday the 17th where you can have additional questions answered. Thanks so much for watching, stay safe and healthy and I wish you all the best in your online GMAT exam. Of course, if you need us for anything you can email questions to us at this address [email protected]

 

Update: Get more information about the online GMAT in this follow-up video: Online GMAT Update.

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Posted on
14
Mar 2020

Remainder Number Theory Problem

Today we’re going to be looking at the Remainder Number Theory problem:

If 23 is divided by some integer n, the remainder is 3.

I. Is n even?
II. Is n a multiple of 5?
III. Is n a factor of 120?

(A) I and II only
(B) III only
(C) I, II, and III
(D) II and III only
(E) II only

Our big question is that originally we’re given this unknown number N and we know we just have a remainder 3. So the problem is presenting us information in a way that we’re not used to seeing and what we need to do is work backwards from this to drive the core insights.

Sorting Through the Information

So if we have a remainder of 3 on 23 this means that the chunk that isn’t remainder is 20. So what can our n be in those cases that will allow us to divide out by 20 and leave this remainder 3?

Well, first we know that n has to be greater than 3 because in order to have a remainder the amount we’re dividing by has to be something greater. The moment the remainder equalizes the thing we’re dividing by of course we get one more tick in the dividing by box and the remainder goes back down to zero.

Solving

So with 23 and a remainder of 3, our key number to look at is 20. Our factors of 20, that is the things that divide evenly into 20, are 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, and 20. Of course, 1 and 2 are below 3 and so they’re not contenders. So we end up with n being 4, 5, 10, or 20.

Check Against the Statements

So for number 1: Is N even? If N can be 4 but can also be 5 then we’re not assured that it’s even. Notice the data sufficiency problem type embedded here. So N is not necessarily even.

Is N a multiple of 5? Once again N is not because N could be 4 or 5. Finally, is N a factor of 20? And in this case, it is because 4, 5, 10, and 20 as we just said are all factors of that 20 that we’re looking for. So our answer here is 3 alone, answer choice A.

More Practice

Now here’s a more challenging problem at the same form, see if you can do it and we’re going to come back and in the next video talk about the solution and give you another problem.

So if 67 is divided by some integer N the remainder is 7. Our three things to look at are whether:

    • N is even?
    • If N is a multiple of 10?
    • Or N is a factor of 120?

So give this one a try and see if you can use the principles from the easier problem on this more challenging one to make sure that you actually understand what’s going on. If not, re-watch this video and see if a review might allow you to answer this question.

If you enjoyed using this video for practice, try this one next: Wedding Guest Problem.

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Posted on
12
Feb 2019

If You’re Doing Math On The GMAT, Watch This!

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 overused solution path on the quantitative side of the GMAT. Particularly 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 its 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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