Posted on
28
Jun 2022

3 Most Common GMAT Mistakes Made During the Exam

The GMAT is a unique type of exam that tests a broad area of knowledge as well as various skills such as time management, working well under pressure, and strategy building. You will be given a relatively short amount of time to answer each question, and you need to be well aware of how you should approach each type of question. You may already feel that many things can go wrong during the exam. While it is normal to make mistakes, being prepared for the exam by knowing  potential exam “traps” will help you deal with any unexpected situations. One of the best ways to prepare for such situations is by learning from others’ mistakes. Thus, we’re going to walk you through some of the most common GMAT mistakes that test-takers make during the exam and give our advice on how to avoid them.

1. Memorized Answers 

A common GMAT mistake that test takers make while preparing for the exam is memorizing the questions and answers from the practice exams rather than understanding and learning from each question. This strategy is pretty useless as the same exact questions from the practice tests will NOT  repeat on the official GMAT exam. Also, this strategy is prone to causing real problems to test takers during the exam since they (most probably) will have a limited array of techniques to use to tackle different question types. 

Keep in mind that you have about 2 min per question. Because of this you should have a strategy and logical method of tackling and solving each question type before the exam takes place. During your GMAT preparation, you should understand the question types and what you are required to do on each of them. The questions from each section have aspects to them which can be tricky to understand at the beginning. If you find yourself struggling to understand  questions and solution paths you can always look for professional help. For example, private GMAT tutors are people who have extensive experience when it comes to taking – and studying for – the GMAT. A proper private GMAT tutor can give you valuable advice on how to avoid common mistakes on the different GMAT sections.

2. Wrong Time Strategy

As the GMAT is a time-constrained exam, having the right time strategy is crucial during the exam. Knowing that they are pressed for time, many students tend to allocate their time wrongly which negatively affects their performance. Having a short amount of time to answer each question means it may be tempting to look for shortcuts to save time. For example, many students try to save some extra time by scanning questions in order to get a rough understanding of what is being asked. In this way, they believe they will have more time to analyze the option choices and  find the right answer faster. Unfortunately, this strategy rarely yields the expected results because students get stuck between 2-3 choices, meaning they will have to re-read the question. Hence, answering just one question will take more time than they had anticipated. 

The remedy for this common GMAT mistake is a combination of a proper timing strategy and a proper approach for solving different types of questions. Instead of looking for ways to solve the question for the least possible time and compromising the accuracy of your answer, try to find the right approach to solve the question. Having the right approach means that you will spend just the right amount of time. While preparing for the GMAT exam, pay enough attention to problem solving methods as well as the time you take to solve each question. 

3. Refusing to Admit You Don’t Know Something

Another common GMAT mistake hides in the students’ inability to admit that they don’t know the answer to a particular question. Instead they attempt to guess the answer. This is, of course, an action of last resort. Nevertheless, it’s naive to think that even if you have studied for hundreds of hours, you will know the answer to every question. Keep in mind, the GMAT exam is not designed for you to answer every single question right. The GMAT test has a computerized adaptive format, meaning it employs a special algorithm to adjust to your level of proficiency as you progress through the questions. It will give you several easy, intermediate, and hard questions, and you have to try to give an answer to all of them.

Instead of agonizing over a few questions and wasting valuable time trying to solve them, you have to take your best educated guess and move on. Otherwise, you are losing your chance of getting other questions correct. It is far more important to get through the entire exam rather than to answer every question correctly. Your score will be calculated collectively from all questions and it won’t be determined only by the questions that you don’t know. Show what you have learned and don’t worry if you can’t answer all the questions.

Conclusion

The GMAT is a challenging exam because it hides many potential traps that can easily mislead test-takers who, under pressure, often make careless mistakes. You should understand that making mistakes is normal and be prepared to make some yourself. Here at Apex, we are more than happy to support you on your GMAT journey and assist you in every step of the process. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors who can help you ace your exam and learn strategies to avoid GMAT mistakes!

 

Contributor: Diana Materova

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GMAT Myths
Posted on
10
Feb 2022

Top 5 GMAT Myths Debunked

1. It’s harder than the GRE

One of the most common GMAT myths is that it is presumably more difficult than the GRE. 

In their essence, the two exams are different when it comes to their test design, structure, and scoring system. Therefore, their level of difficulty would vary depending on a person’s individual traits. It is only natural that different people will find different things easy. The important question you can ask yourself is which exam would be easier and more suitable for you

The GRE contains three sections – Analytical Writing, Quantitative, and Verbal section. The GMAT, on the other hand, contains four sections – Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and an Integrated Reasoning section. 

GMAT Verbal vs GRE Verbal

GMAT vs GRE VerbalWhile the GMAT mostly tests people’s grammar and reasoning, the GRE focuses on vocabulary. If you are knowledgeable of complex words, you’ll find the GRE easier. Once again, the level of difficulty is a rather subjective issue. The GMAT Verbal section is 65 minutes while the GRE Verbal section comprises two 30-minute sections.  

GMAT Quantitative vs GRE Quantitative

The two tests contain the same math content: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, ‘Real-life’ problems. The difference comes from the way the math is tested. 

The GMAT is not designed to examine your ability to calculate complex mathematical operations but rather your critical thinking and logical approach to problems. To compare, the GRE tests your basic mathematical skills and understanding of concepts. Keep in mind that the GMAT is MBA-program specific. Given the MBA’s quantitative focus, there is more emphasis on that portion of the exam. The GRE, on the other hand, is meant for a plethora of graduate programs, from art history to engineering

2. Expertise in math and English is necessary

Being a proficient English speaker and having great mathematical skills will surely help you score high on the GMAT. Nevertheless, the latter are not requirements. Don’t forget that the GMAT is not designed to test your mastery in these fields but to examine your critical thinking skills. 

Since the exam is entirely in English, you need to have a good understanding of how the grammar of this language works. You should also be fluent enough not to be hindered when trying to understand what you are being asked or what a certain paragraph means. You need to be able to express yourself well when presenting an argument. Other than that, English language proficiency is not required when taking the GMAT.

When it comes to math, it is advisable to have an understanding of basic mathematical concepts like probability, combinatorics, equations, basic statistics, and manipulations with powers and roots. Still, many of the problems are high-school-level math and don’t require expertise. If you have the right approach, you can solve problems with ease

3. You need to spend a year to prepare

Dedicating a whole year to prepare for an exam seems like a daunting task for many. Luckily, it is also not necessary. This is just another misconception related to GMAT preparation. While the time one will need to master their skills is strongly individual, many candidates have achieved good results for a relatively short period of time. 

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), for example, offers an 8-week study timeline for successful performance. According to the GMAC, people who performed well on the exam spent on average 3-6 months to prepare. The results of their 2016 self-reported Prospective Student Survey state that, in general, people who study more, get better results. Candidates who spent 80 hours or more preparing said they scored 600 or higher. 

Spending a long time studying won’t necessarily guarantee you a high score. Numerous factors can affect your performance. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, being productive, and effectively managing your time are some of them.

4. Drilling problems is the best way to prepare

Taking a diagnostic test to figure out our strengths and weaknesses and set a baseline for measuring your progress is crucial if you are a beginner. Continuously solving practice test after practice test though, won’t do you any good and is just one of the many GMAT myths for successful preparation among test-solvers. 

By drilling on GMAT problems you will lose hours of your spare time that you can otherwise use more constructively. Attempting problem after problem, without shaking things up, will most likely lead to very little improvement in the long run. 

Instead, spending time identifying strengths and weaknesses should be a part of your study plan. It is a good idea to take a look at answer explanations and eliminate unhelpful or time-consuming approaches and solution pathways. An excellent GMAT preparation also includes establishing a time management strategy and finding the right work-rest balance.

5. A 700 score is required for a top program

Debunking one of the most well-known GMAT myths is crucial for reducing anxiety among applicants. According to the official GMAC Benchmarking Tool, the mean GMAT score is 568.21, and only about 10% of the test-takers score above 700 each year.

Truth to be told, although a 700 score may be helpful for being accepted to top programs worldwide, it is not necessary. Business schools consider a variety of factors when evaluating applicants. 

While the GMAT score is an important part of the admissions procedures for graduate schools, as it allows an objective comparison between individuals, it is certainly not the only important factor to be considered. A strong application can still be reviewed even if the candidate doesn’t have a 700+ GMAT score.

Another aspect of examining GMAT results that should be taken into account is that a given score might be suitable for one business school but unsuitable for another. Thus, depending on your goals, you might need to take a look at the average GMAT scores your dream school accepts.

 

Naturally, this whole process can be much easier if you have someone who can guide you along the way, like a one on one GMAT tutor. Here at Apex, we give every potential client the opportunity of a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with a 770+ scoring instructor.

 

Contributor: Reneta Georgieva

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GMAT Prep Schedule
Posted on
21
Dec 2021

How To Create A GMAT Prep Schedule That Works For Your Busy Life

Goal-seeking, busy professionals, who want to apply to an MBA program for broadening their professional aspects, experience a hard time fitting GMAT preparation into their hectic schedules. It is a tough decision when deciding when to prepare for the GMAT between a busy 9-5 schedule. But remember, nothing is impossible so long as there is desire. 

The GMAT is a type of test that necessitates both accuracy and time management in order to achieve a high score. Hence, sometimes a tight working schedule actually helps with time management skills. In many cases, the more you manage your time, the more productive and efficient you can become. If you are a busy professional striving for a top MBA, but struggling to make a decision on whether to start preparing for the GMAT or not, this article will guide you through the decision making process. Even if you have already made the decision to proceed,  you will learn some tips and strategies that will guide you throughout the entire process while helping you to come up with the most perfect schedule.

1. Never say never

Self-hesitation is very common. Hearing about someone’s bad or good experience with the GMAT is helpful for guiding your own journey, but don’t let their experiences dictate your own. Just because you hear some opinion from the other person, doesn’t mean that the same principle can apply to you. Remain motivated and do not fall into the trap of self-deception. Humans have a strong tendency to stick to what is easier rather than looking for multiple solution paths to their problems. Concentrate on the idea that your problem is combining a helpful GMAT prep schedule with a busy life. 

Eliminate excuses completely. There are no excuses holding you back. No matter how busy life gets. We unconsciously tell ourselves that we are so busy and do not have time. By doing this, things get even harder to swallow and our brain is close to exploding. However, if you were to calculate the hours you put towards social media sites, you’d be shocked how much time is wasted! Taking a Brain Break can be helpful, but not at the expense of your studying. The first tip is never to reject opportunities for studying. You can always find a moment to study for the GMAT with a busy life and schedule. 

2. GMAT is temporary, but long-lasting success is not

Your life can always be busy. Maybe you work a lot or have kids, but it becomes busier with the idea of preparing for the GMAT. Important to remember is that this stress is ‘temporary’.

A working professional’s GMAT preparation can take anywhere from 2-4 months. If your day starts at 9 am, you can make yourself wake up at 7 am to do some studying in the morning. For some, their brain works best in the morning, while for others the afternoon or evening is best for studying. Whichever it is, be sure to start the day with some brain stretching, such as doing GMAT preparation tests or quizzes that will facilitate delving deeper into the topic. Do the main exercise in the morning, and whenever you have time during the day, such as during your lunch time, you can do GMAT reading or solve some quant problems in order to be involved in active learning. 

Bonus Tip! Avoid passive learning. Do not spend too much of your time preparing with GMAT videos

3. Have an established approach on do’s and don’ts

You know that you should make time for studying, but it might be the case that you don’t have a predetermined plan for the day. The most significant thing is to maintain consistency. Develop a regular plan which prioritizes studying, as even the busiest professionals can make themselves prioritize things that have a high probability of falling behind on the list. 

Do not underestimate the result of your GMAT cramming in five minutes spurts during the day. Even if you have 5 minutes, create quality study techniques by reviewing your work. The materials learned can fall into your short-term memory and be easily forgotten afterwards. Do a math exercise regularly and do not focus on too many things several days in a row. Try to split everything equally during the day so you do not get tired out by the same GMAT section. 

Finally, keep it fresh. Go back and forth between the sections but always remember that reviewing what you have done and even planning the review process beforehand is a must. 

4. Enjoy the GMAT process

Making things work for a busy life is intimidating especially if you do not like it, as including one more thing can actually ruin your entire mood and attitude towards the other things. It is true that concentrating on multiple tasks or things at once can break your mind and result in less productive outcomes. This is why time-management is a key strategy in your GMAT prep schedule. If you have a specific time for each one of your tasks, you are able to enjoy the process and focus on one thing at a time. 

Suppose you have developed a plan to study for half an hour during your break, it means real-time studying without noise and distractions. Make it a habit to study during your allocated time and fall into deep amnesia regarding the other things that are currently disturbing you. It is hardly the case that you will think “I am so happy the GMAT prep time has come! I need to study during my one-hour break that I was supposed to be resting.”

However, at least the inner aim of looking at the bigger picture of what will happen after the temporary challenge and time sacrifice will make you enjoy the GMAT journey. Sometimes it is better to look into the future rather than the present. The future goal is the satisfaction of future GMAT success. 

Conclusion

It might take time, but adopting these four tips into your preparation process can help you create an efficient GMAT prep schedule. Remember what you are working towards. Your GMAT journey is not only about the final result, but also about the skills learned in the process. We here at Apex are more than happy to support you on your journey. You can sign-up for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call with one of our instructors!

 

Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan

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GMAT Test Day Checklist
Posted on
26
Oct 2021

GMAT Test Day Checklist: Getting Ready for your Test Day

GMAT Test Day Checklist

The GMAT has strict rules and guidelines for test-takers, that’s why it is important for you to be prepared beforehand to avoid unnecessary fees such as rescheduling one for your test appointment.

In this article, you will find some advice for the time leading up to your test day and the key items that you should bring with you to the testing center.

The Day Before

1. Rest up: find activities that will help reduce your stress and anxiety.

After dedicating a good chunk of your life to preparing for the test, an approaching test day can cause heightened stress levels. So it is important to spend the day before the test doing activities that will help you reduce your anxiety. Resting, eating healthy food, meditating, talking to supportive friends and family members, or even taking a walk will help you clear your mind from the impending test day nerves and will give your brain a well-deserved break before the big day. 

2. Check the location of your test.

Visiting the test center where your GMAT test will take place will help you familiarize yourself, not only with the location but also with the route on your way there. This will help you reduce the unknown come test day and help you prepare part of your day as well as manage your time accordingly on your test day.

Tip: Try to go during the same time as your scheduled appointment!

3. Review the items list and check what you are allowed to bring with you.

The GMAC provides a list of things that you can bring to the test center. Make sure that you review this list carefully. Making sure that you have everything prepared beforehand will reduce the possibility of you forgetting something important. This will help you avoid unnecessary last-minute-panic and lead to a calm process and day leading up to the test.  

4. Appointment confirmation letter.

Make sure you have your appointment confirmation letter or email with yourself at the entrance of the test center as you might be asked to show this letter. Make sure to have the letter and any necessary documents printed the day before so that come test day you can focus on just the test.  

5. Review your notes.

Do not aim to review all the topics you have previously learned the day before the exam. At this point, you should be confident in what you have learned and should really be giving your brain some time to relax. If you do this you will only be making yourself more stressed and can sometimes confuse yourself. However, if you would like to spend some time dedicated to GMAT prep, a light reminder of your collected study highlights will suffice to provide reassurance.

The Day of the Test

1. A valid photo ID.

You must have a valid GMAT-approved photo ID with yourself to be allowed to take your test. Not complying with this rule might lead to termination of your scheduled GMAT appointment. Make sure that it is included in your list of things to collect the day before the test. 

2. Names of the MBA programs.

You will have one chance to submit your GMAT scores to five of your chosen MBA programs right after the exam has ended at no cost. Considering which schools you would like to submit scores to beforehand will result in you not making a rash decision. You will also feel quite tired and drained after the grueling exam and this is not a good time to be making these important decisions. So take some time before the test day to consider your schools and have them ready come test day.  

3. Prescription eyeglasses.

If you wear prescription glasses you will need to provide your prescription when signing in to take the test. Make sure that you have this handy in order to make the process faster as well as to avoid having to cancel your test day. 

4. Sweater.

The temperature in test centers varies, so it is important to be ready for either a hot or cold testing room. This is so you will not be affected by the temperature during your test. Make sure to dress appropriately for the daily temperature but bring an additional sweater with you just in case the room is cold. Remember the test is more than three hours long so having to take it while uncomfortable is going to throw you off your game.  

5. Water and snacks for during the breaks.

You can’t bring your drinks and snacks into the test room. However, you can access them during your breaks. Make sure to have some snacks handy in your locker, such as fruit, protein bar, or trail mix. A healthy snack that will help you boost your energy levels during the long hours of your test.

6. Do your best!

Finally, try to keep in mind how hard you have worked to get to this point. Do your best! If you feel that you can do better after the test, speak to one of our 770+ scoring instructors about what went wrong and we will be happy to help assist in preparing for any further attempts at the GMAT!

Tip: It is usual for candidates to take the test more than once, so do not be discouraged if you need to as well.

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GMAT In NYC - ​​How To Manage The GMAT When Working On Wall Street
Posted on
21
Oct 2021

GMAT In NYC – ​​How To Manage The GMAT When Working On Wall Street

Working on Wall Street in New York City is very rewarding and prestigious. However, it is also difficult and challenging, especially when you are working and planning to take the GMAT at the same time. This article is a guideline that will help you merge your work and busy schedule with your GMAT preparation. 

Statistics show that there is a tendency for the following professionals to take the GMAT in NYC:

  • Economists
  • Researchers
  • Managers
  • Politicians
  • Financial Specialists

Obviously, these specialists already have a lot on their plate, and it must be hard to prepare for the GMAT with their huge workload. However, the GMAT test can open new doors, give you a competitive advantage in your desired field, and offer you more opportunities. So, here comes the importance of establishing a work-life balance that every professional needs to maintain in order to achieve success. 

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial not just for your health and relationships, but also for your productivity and, ultimately, your performance. Simply said, if you don’t see work as a chore, you will work harder, make fewer mistakes, and be more likely to become brand champions in whatever you put your mind to! 

The Happiness Index suggests that businesses which develop a reputation for promoting a healthy work-life balance have become highly appealing, especially given how tough it is to recruit and keep younger employees these days.

“Replacing an employee costs on average approximately £30,000 and takes up to 28 weeks to get them up to speed,” according to Oxford Economics. With this in mind, it may be prudent to keep your current staff satisfied. Work-life balance can help you attract a desirable talent pool for new hires while also increasing retention rates. It will save time and money while maintaining a high level of internal talent.

GMAT In NYC – GMAT Prep Tips for Busy Professionals 

1. Know Where to Begin

Don’t just jump into your GMAT preparations without thinking. Because most professionals don’t have much time on their hands, it’s critical to be able to focus on the appropriate things. There are a plethora of GMAT prep materials available. If you don’t know where to begin, or how to begin, the possibilities may quickly consume you.

Obtaining a high-quality evaluation is an excellent place to start. You will not only have a better understanding of the GMAT criteria, but you will also have a more focused study strategy. Knowing if you need to spend more time on particular quantitative parts than others, for example, provides you a good starting point for your preparation.

2. Know Your GMAT Goal

Once you are all set to start your GMAT prep, it is important to understand what goals you have in terms of the test. In other words, you need to ask yourself, “What score do I need?”, “How much can I possibly get out of the time I am going to devote to my preparation?”, “What are the target scores of the institutions I am applying to?” and so on. These questions will help you be more organized and resolute in terms of what to expect from yourself and what you can do for those expectations. Here is a thorough analysis of a good GMAT score that can help you on the way. 

3. Build Your Learning Style

It’s a reality that people learn in different ways. You might be tempted to sign-up for the first online GMAT self-study preparation package that comes your way since it appears to be handy. However, it may be too late to discover that 1) these pre-packaged GMAT online resources are often too generic and of poor quality, and 2) studying with a tutor, for example, would have benefitted you more.

It pays to do your homework and select the alternatives that will be most beneficial to you. You won’t waste money and time by jumping from one strategy to the next this way. Investing the time to explore your choices from the start can help you prepare for the GMAT in a more efficient and successful manner.

GMAT Test Prep

When it comes to the actual test preparation, the best way to get the most stellar GMAT results is to have a personalized tutor. This option works best for individuals who are already working and don’t really have the time to set their studying plan, keep track of the progress and guide themselves. Rather, having a tutor will solve the problem, as they will do most of the job.

The Apex Way of GMAT Prep

As mentioned above, having a personalized GMAT tutor is the key to success, especially if you have a busy professional life. Apex GMAT offers the most comprehensive GMAT Preparation on the market today. We exclusively offer 1-on-1 private GMAT tutoring, both in-person and online, in order to deliver the strongest results for clients who simply want the best, most efficient preparation available, and the most comprehensive GMAT Preparation on the market today. We have experience working with busy professionals who have limited time due to their huge workload, and we’ve still been able to help them achieve astonishing results.

4. Make Good Use of the GMAT Practice Tests

Using practice exams as part of your GMAT preparation is a good idea, but only if you utilize them properly. Only use these exams to track progress at regular intervals. If you’re studying for 90 days, instead of taking a practice exam every week, restrict yourself to three times throughout that time. Take one at the start of your preparation to serve as a baseline, one in the middle, and the final one two weeks before your real test date. You can utilize the results of the last practice exam to improve your preparation.

5. Know Your Test Center

Once you are sure you want to begin your GMAT journey, it is very important to be aware of where your test is going to take place. This is so that you can pre-visit it, familiarize yourself with the environment in advance, and have an understanding of the rules and regulations. Here is a more detailed article that covers everything you need to know about the New York GMAT test center. 

Final Thoughts

Taking the GMAT in NYC while being a busy professional can be stressful. Hence, in this article, we tried to present the importance of a work-life balance and some effective and efficient ways to merge GMAT prep with a busy work schedule. We also highlighted the importance of having a personal tutor, when one doesn’t have the time to style their own studying schedule. Apex GMAT is one of the trailblazers in the field that can help you achieve a stellar GMAT score. Finally, we presented some final tips to build an effective studying plan and end up with a good performance on the GMAT.


Contributor:
Nemrout Safarian 

 

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2 Types Of GMAT Videos That You Should Include In Your Prep
Posted on
14
Oct 2021

2 Types Of GMAT Videos That You Should Include In Your Prep

As everything is shifted online due to the recent global events, students have had to find ways to prepare for the online GMAT exam from the comfort of their own homes. The good news is that they no longer need to sit down and read books and guides to excel at the GMAT. Times have changed and there are now so many handy sources that can help you succeed. And now more than ever, people are including GMAT videos in their preparation strategy and are relying on them as sources for information and different solution paths.

GMAT Prep Videos

GMAT prep videos are especially important for visual learners who tend to learn better by looking at the information presented to them. Watching videos as part of the learning process has proven to be a good approach that definitely improves the learning experience for most students. Videos are also more time-effective as you get to access and absorb information in a shorter period of time. However, one thing to be mindful of is not to focus only on videos while preparing for the exam, as other mediums can offer just as much information as a video does.

GMAT prep videos can prove to be very helpful if they are utilized in a moderate way and are a great way to give you insights on what to expect on the exam day. They usually come in 2 main types and we will tell you more about how to utilize them in this guide: 

Problem Videos

The first type of GMAT prep video is the problem video. These usually include solved examples and problem-solving strategies. They aim to show you concrete examples and clear illustrations of how best to look at the problem and solve it in an efficient manner. If you are struggling with probability or combinatorics problem types, videos explaining these will aid you in the problem-solving process.

One such example is this video where Mike, our Head of Curriculum, explains in detail the solution path for a Percentage Problem commonly found in the GMAT exam. He goes into detail about the process of coming up with a solution to the problem and discusses every single answer choice in order to give you a better understanding of how to tackle the problem and how to get to the correct answer.

Another GMAT video to look out for is the Strategies video where you’re presented with different strategies and some best practices that you can use to go about a certain type of problem on the GMAT exam. These videos can really come in handy, especially because they are more generalized and you can easily use the approach shown on the video for a lot of problems you come across. Here’s an example of a strategy video, where Mike explains the best ways to approach a Data Sufficiency problem in the GMAT.

GMAT Advice

The second type of GMAT prep video that you can utilize to help you with your preparation are GMAT advice videos.

Generally, experience videos give you a better perspective of what to expect on exam day. Here’s an experience video where you are given more information about the online GMAT and how to go about taking it.

Another type of GMAT advice video to watch out for is the testimonial videos. These include actual test-takers’ testimonials and you’ll get to hear more about other people’s experience with certain aspects/sections of the exam. That way, you can definitely find ones that you can relate to and use to your own advantage. This is David’s testimonial where he discusses working with ApexGMAT and how that improved his score immensely. 

Key Takeaways

It is clear now how essential GMAT prep videos can be when it comes to your preparation. 

But there is one last thing to keep in mind: do NOT use these GMAT videos as your only source to help you with your prep. They can be especially helpful as they cover different topics in a short amount of time, but they can never replace detailed guides and actual practice.

 

Contributor: Altea Sulollari

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5 GMAT Study Habits To Incorporate Now To Avoid Procrastination

5 GMAT Study Habits To Incorporate Now To Avoid Procrastination

You have everything prepared. Your desk is neat and tidy, your books are placed perfectly within reach, your computer is on, and your flashcards are written. Perhaps you have brewed a fresh cup of coffee and have just settled in with every intention to study for the next few hours. But lo and behold, 3 hours later, you find yourself glued to your phone, having wandered down the youtube rabbit hole and watching your fifth 20-minute video on how paint dries! 

You can’t help but be frustrated with what just happened. And it happens more often than people would like to think. Whether it is spending hours cleaning your room or gazing wistfully out the window, procrastination is every student’s worst nightmare and biggest foe. 

When studying for the GMAT, you will encounter opportunities to procrastinate around every corner. So how do you overcome these distractions? We have 5 tips and tricks which you can incorporate into your study schedule to help you avoid GMAT procrastination. Whether you are just starting out, or you are already months deep into your study schedule, these habits can be incorporated now and follow you throughout your GMAT journey and into your professional future. 

1. Acknowledge when you procrastinate

Maybe you are staring out the window because it is a beautiful day, or you are maddeningly vacuuming your home because it’s been needing to get done. Regardless, you’re procrastinating. And the first step in overcoming procrastination is to admit when you are procrastinating. If you find yourself in the middle of a cleaning session, there is no need to stop in the middle of your task. Rather, re-evaluate why you are cleaning. Is it to avoid studying or is it because you’ve been meaning to vacuum for a while.

Regardless, finish what you are doing. Finish vacuuming, finish staring out the window, finish cooking or cleaning. While completing your task, however, begin thinking about your study schedule. What will you be studying and for how long? Once you complete your GMAT procrastination task, sit down and begin studying. You should have spent the last hour(s) mentally preparing for the studying session, and by the time you are ready to begin your body and mind should be fully primed. 

2. Create a list and a reward system 

Yes, this may sound cliche, but lists (and rewards) help! Before sitting down to study, write out what you are planning on doing during the session. Create a list with high-priority and low-priority tasks. Establish a rewards system. What do you crave most when studying? Do you want to take a walk? Clean? Chat with a friend? After completing a high-priority task, reward yourself with a cleaning session, or a quick walk around the block. This will keep you on your toes and create a rhythm which your body adapts to. 

3. Free yourself of perfectionism 

It’s important to expect the best for and from yourself. However, striving for perfectionism on a daily basis can lead to stress and anxiety. Be realistic in what you can accomplish while studying for the GMAT. Not every day will be a perfect study day. But studying every day, whether perfect or not, will bring you one step closer to achieving your GMAT goals. Also, recognize that you may not find the perfect time to study every day. Some days are more full than others. On days where studying is difficult to sit down and accomplish, find time in between the chaos to review old concepts. Whether it is flipping through vocab flashcards or attempting a couple math problems, any form of studying is worth doing (whether perfect or not). 

4. Improve your surroundings

The age of technology is full of distractions. We suggest putting away unnecessary technology. If necessary, put your phone in another room, set it to silent, and close all unnecessary tabs on your computer. If you study better with music, we suggest listening to music which is calm and without lyrics. Lo-Fi study beats, for example, are opportune for the studying brain to zero in and focus on the task at hand. Additionally, make sure your desk and study center is free of clutter. This removes visual distractions and forces you to focus on the studying materials lying directly in front of you. If you live with multiple people, let them know that you have blocked out a certain number of hours for studying and ask them to not distract you during this time. 

5. Forgive yourself

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. We hear this a lot. But what is in the past is already behind you! So don’t fret about trying to fix what has already passed. Instead, train your focus on the task that lies in front of you, and trust that you will make the best decisions for your study schedule going forward. 

Your GMAT score and future business school opportunities are dependent on how hard you are willing to work for it. GMAT procrastination is a normal part of studying. Developing habits now which can help you manage your procrastination will make a world of difference during your GMAT journey.

Contributor: Dana Coggio

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How to study for your GMAT retake
Posted on
28
Sep 2021

How To Study For Your GMAT Retake – GMAT Preparation Strategies

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Dana Coggio
Date: September 28, 2021

You’ve studied countless hours, canceled plans with numerous friends, and even changed your diet and caffeine consumption to fuel your brain as best as possible. And yet, after all that, your final score result is just a 650. Not bad, but also not perfect. This score can get you into most Business School programs, but can it get you into that elite ‘top’ school you are aiming for? If you have the resume and top-notch essay responses to back up your GMAT score, then you may feel comfortable applying to your dream Business School with that score.

But what if you are still unsure? Is it worth spending the hundreds of dollars, and continuing the stringent study plan you had just spent months trudging through to try again? Perhaps a second attempt means you will bump up your score to a 700+, or maybe your second attempt will land you with a score of equal or – gulp – lesser value! After going through the cost-benefit analysis of such an undertaking, you may have decided on the undertaking of retaking the GMAT.

But how do you study for the GMAT the second time to guarantee a higher score? You are not alone in asking this question, and, unfortunately, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer or study plan that can guarantee a higher score and make the retake worthwhile financially and timewise. However, there are some things you can begin doing now which can help you embark on your GMAT retake journey.

Book the retake sooner rather than later

Deciding on ‘when’ to retake the GMAT can have a huge effect on your ability to succeed in the test. We suggest booking the retake sooner rather than later. This will help set a definite timeline of how long you must study and how you can expect to structure the coming weeks. Additionally, don’t wait months to retake the GMAT. Once you have decided that you will retake the exam, be sure to schedule it a couple of weeks after the last test you took. While it may seem to be a time crunch, this is because you are not starting from scratch when studying for your retake. You already have a whole host of wealth stuck in your head! It will hang around for a few weeks, requiring only brief reviews and refreshers to keep the knowledge up to date.

Focus on your weaknesses

So, you have taken your first GMAT test. You now know how you test under time pressure, and you can adjust your studying accordingly. Did you find that you struggled with the time constraints? We suggest focusing on different studying methods which will help you feel more comfortable under the time constraints. During the test you may realize that you did not study enough for certain quantitative-type questions, or your GMAT vocabulary was lacking. In this case, spend time before your retake focusing on the areas you found most challenging. By no means does this mean ‘ignoring’ your strengths, rather, spend the most time on your weaknesses, being sure to set aside a few hours a week to review and rehash the parts of the exam you feel most comfortable with.

Consult with your network

Whether you recognize it or not, the people around you are important to your mental health and wellbeing. Because studying for the GMAT is a mentally draining venture, relying on your network can help you get through the most difficult aspects of studying for the GMAT. As you already experienced over the last few months of studying, an effective student may opt for moments of quiet study rather than social events with friends and family. This doesn’t change your second time around taking the test.

However, your friends and family may be disappointed to hear that you are extending your absences from events further to study for your second round. It is important, then, to confer with them. Let them know what you are doing and why. Perhaps someone in your network had a similar experience and they can offer you advice and tips on how to rock your second round. Additionally, do not be shy to let them know how you are feeling and how they can best support you during your studying. This can help alleviate any further stress you may accumulate during the time you sequester away over the books.

Get a private tutor

It may seem obvious but hiring a private tutor who specializes in the GMAT can help push you to the next level. Often, your struggles with the GMAT can be alleviated by the unique perspectives and solution paths a private tutor can give you. Our GMAT tutors at ApexGMAT specialize in working with students who want to achieve an elite score and are looking to develop the skills to do just that. We invite all interested potential clients to sign-up HERE for a complimentary consultation call where we can discuss your GMAT and Business School goals. Our tutors are happy to work with an array of clients. Whether it is their first or fifth time taking the GMAT and whether they have 6 months to prepare or just a few weeks, we can work within your time frame and skill level to help you achieve your goals.

 

Finally, deciding to retake the GMAT means countless more hours of hard work. Deciding whether it is worth it is up to you. However, being prepared for the process of retaking the GMAT can help alleviate the stress of the decision.

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GMAT AWA - 4 Tips To Succeed
Posted on
16
Sep 2021

How-To GMAT AWA: 4 Tips To Succeed & Get a High GMAT AWA Score

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Nemrout Safarian
Date: September 16, 2021

What Is The GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) All About?

The Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) component of the GMAT assesses your ability to express your thoughts and ideas. All you have to do is critically examine the reasoning of a specific argument. You have 30 minutes to finish the AWA part of the GMAT, by analyzing an argument in the format of a newspaper editorial or a corporate statement. Because of the nature of this debate, you may typically argue for either side, and your choice of backing has little bearing on your final score. You’ll have 30 minutes to read the prompt and write your response. In the end, your essay will be assessed on a scale of 0 to 6 by both a machine and a human; your final GMAT AWA score will be the average of these two scores.

How to Improve Your GMAT AWA Score: 4 Tips

Find Out the Hidden Assumptions

What’s the best way to spot concealed assumptions? There are two key phases to this process. To begin, determine whether or not the argument is valid. If the argument is sound, the conclusion follows from the premises, and the premises have plainly stated the assumptions needed to reach the conclusion, then you can conclude that the argument is a good one. There are no hidden assumptions in this case. However, if the argument is invalid, you should carefully consider what extra premises should be added to make it legitimate. Those are the unspoken expectations. Then you may ask things like: 

1) What do these assumptions mean?
It is really important to fully understand what the assumptions you are given truly represent. In other words, figuring out which motives and “root” of the assumptions will help you come up with more reasonable conclusions.

2) Why would the argument’s proponent agree to such assumptions?
Another important aspect is to ask yourself why a specific assumption is valid,
and how it could possibly be supported. Think of reasonable, well-thought-out reasons and supporting arguments, and make sure you elaborate on them.

3) Is it reasonable to accept these assumptions?
Finally, as mentioned above, the final and most important part is to understand if it is reasonable and meaningful to accept those assumptions in the first place. It doesn’t matter how fancy they sound, or how they can support your main idea – it is all worthless unless it is reasonable to be accepted!

Avoid These Common AWA Mistakes

Ambiguous Language: Without a numerical qualification, the terms much, any, few, many, more, less, and some can be vague. When comparing amount or size, always consider the spectrum of possibilities included in vague terms.

Biased Conclusions: Bias is something you will need to avoid at all costs. Oftentimes, the reason for this is overconfidence. Being confident in what you’re writing is always good. However, being overconfident – that is, claiming things you don’t have sufficient evidence for – will hurt your AWA score. Always remember that on the GMAT, you want to be more balanced and thoughtful, rather than come up with extreme conclusions that can ruin the whole assessment. 

Incoherent Comparisons: Making comparisons in your essay might be tempting, as it seems to support your arguments and convince the reader. However, you need to be cautious when choosing this strategy. The reason for this being that sometimes you will see statements that seem to be very similar, and you may compare them, and use that similarity in your conclusions. Nevertheless, chances are, it is just a “trap” that you need to avoid at all costs. Read the statements carefully and be sure they are reasonable to compare. 

Read What You Have Written!

You need to go over what you have written at least once before you will submit it! Save some time for proofreading your essay for several reasons. First, you will be able to check the spelling and grammar, which is very important. Second, you will be confident that the flow of your essay is well thought out and that the statements flow logically. Finally, you will have the chance to make corrections or add new ideas you believe make your essay much stronger. 

Have a Good Structure for Your Essay

Write a Strong Introduction: You don’t have to start from scratch with each GMAT AWA introduction. Begin by mentioning the source of the passage. After that, concentrate on two primary tasks: summarizing the argument and explaining why it is wrong (or right). Keep it brief and sweet; three sentences should do to establish your key arguments!

Write Your Body Paragraphs: You need to have a clear and thoughtful structure when it comes to your body paragraphs. First of all, you need to understand which part you want to focus on and analyze. One way to do this is by simply summarizing the premise. Later, you will need to identify the flaw and explain why it is a flaw in the first place. One of the best ways to do this is by giving a strong example. Finally, the most fun and important part is to state and explain why exactly that specific section hurts – or supports – the argument. Make sure you are considerate and logical when you’re working on this part. 

Conclude Your Essay: When concluding your argument, keep in mind that you should not spend too much time on the conclusion. The body paragraphs are the most fundamental and important parts of your essay, and they are what determine your grade. Whereas your substantive paragraphs should be full and comprehensive, the conclusion should be succinct and to the point. Wrap things up as soon as possible so you can get back to editing and reworking your essay. Don’t go into too much detail to make things manageable and concise. You just need to summarize the argument’s key flaws. It’s sometimes enough to just state that the argument has serious flaws. Ignore the need to restate all of the key ideas from the body paragraphs. This will just take up additional space and time.

If you enjoyed this article about how to improve your GMAT AWA score, “Master the GMAT AWA section with this comprehensive template” is another insightful and helpful article to read. 

Good luck and remember to believe in yourself!

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How To Ace The GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section
Posted on
14
Sep 2021

How to Ace The GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section

By: ApexGMAT
Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan
Date: September 14, 2021

     If you are planning to apply for an MBA program, you probably got the chance to familiarize yourself with the GMAT exam and its overall format. Today, we are going to focus on the GMAT verbal reasoning section specifically. It includes categories such as sentence correction, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning. And each requires a careful analysis and sophisticated approach.

The verbal section can be a formidable struggle as there are some tiny nuances that you must draw your attention to. The verbal reasoning part of the GMAT is designed to assess your ability to read and comprehend written information, reason and evaluate arguments, and edit writing for clarity in standard written English. 

Besides learning all the skills and tools you need to ace the verbal section, we will also provide you with an overview and with the basic knowledge that you should be aware of before starting the preliminary preparation.

Overview

      To begin with, there are 36 questions and you will be given only 65 minutes. This gives you approximately 2 minutes for each question. After the GMAT verbal preface, you might be scared to learn that you will have only 2 minutes. But once you master the techniques and relevant features, the “only 2 minutes” concern is not a concern anymore. If you have taken the TOEFL exam, you might know that there is additional reading or listening and you have no clue which one is counted towards your score. The same principle applies to the GMAT verbal part as well. There are six experimental questions, and there is no way to determine which ones are scorable and which are not. Consequently, you should account for each question equally significant during the test.

3 Types of Questions

Another thing that you should be informed about is that each question is adaptive, meaning that it is designed based on your difficulty level and whether you did well on the previous question. As it is mentioned above, there are three question types on the GMAT verbal reasoning section which are reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and sentence correction. During the first two, you will be given a passage and asked some questions regarding the information on the passage. Those will be very similar to what you have already learned from probably the SAT, TOEFL, or other standardized tests.

Reading Comprehension

There are mainly three categories on the reading comprehension question types. Such as asking you about the main idea of the passage, some details, differentiation between ideas, analyzing, inferring, and some logical shaping questions.

Critical Reasoning

The critical reasoning section will also be much alike, but it will be presented in an argument format. You will be boiling down the information by finding points that either weaken or strengthen the given argument. Finally, you will draw a conclusion based on the argument by detecting the flaws, assumptions, and any discrepancies that might be discernible.

Sentence Correction

The last part is sentence correction type of questions. Here all your knowledge of English grammar and overall written English will be tested. You should actually expect 11-16 sentence correction questions, each containing from 0 to 2 errors. You will be given multiple choice answers below to select the best fitting answer. There can be idioms, comparisons, parallelisms, subject-line agreement, etc. Even for native English speakers with a good understanding of syntax, these sentences are typically fairly long with a lot of extra description, which can be perplexing.

As a result, if you haven’t practiced these questions in advance, they may appear to be challenging. Hence, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with the overall structure and start elaborating tools and plans for acing this section and overcoming the fear of verbal English.

GMAT Verbal Reasoning Section – Tips

     Now that you have some basic understanding of the GMAT verbal section and what it consists of, it is time to gain some tips and tricks that will definitely aid you during the GMAT prep and the exam as well.

Try to nail your thoughts in English

First, we start by mentioning that you should let your brain read and grasp the English language. Try to nail your thoughts in English. When reading a passage try to understand what the writer is trying to convey and focus on the main idea, try to find out whether the author is presenting a point, arguing, telling, or criticizing someone. Even though the GMAT verbal section is not something that you can encounter every day, as it is academic and rough to digest, your brain will become stronger and stronger on absorbing such worldly-wise information.

The beginning phase can be mentally draining however you will get used to it after mastering the main important details. As previously mentioned, it is worldly-wise, meaning academically sophisticated. And what is the best approach for this? It is surrounding yourself with a lot of different words. Even when you have some leisure time, immerse yourself in English literature. Those can include fiction, magazines, or just stories. You can start with easy ones to train your brain on acquiring those types of context, then enrich it.

You might think that the process can be overwhelming as consuming that information continuously will not bring the most desired outcome. Indeed, mastering the language comes naturally rather than learning words and idioms by heart, but remember that you are not learning the language from scratch, you are adapting to the format and academic English. Before preparing for the GMAT you should already know the language. 

Work on your Memorization Skills

     Besides, being a good reader and being able to absorb information, work on the words and your memorization skills. Navigate through the words quickly and effectively. Even if you do not understand a certain word or a phrase, being able to navigate through it will strengthen your abilities to feel the language and grasp the overall meaning of a certain word or sentence.

When you first start studying, concentrate on one idea at a time. You’ll be able to make significant progress in one area this way. For example, first, focus on your vocabulary and reading, then on the grammar and sentence correction. For sentence correction, you can begin with your basic high school materials and some simple rules. If English is not the language you frequently use, then take some time to practice GMAT-related questions. Stick to one thing for a few days until you are moderately comfortable with that then move to another type of question.

And REVIEW, REVIEW, and REVIEW! No matter what you are planning to study at this point make sure to get back to it and review. Be realistic to the time you are setting aside to study, but never forget to return and fill in the gaps again time after time. 

Learn how to skim

Rapid eye movement during the GMAT verbal reasoning section preparation is vital. Skimming will help you detect the crucial keywords, get an idea of the overview and find some specific facts. Sometimes you even need to be able to forecast the answer choices from the answer choices. Looking at the answer choices and skimming through the passage or sentence will help you identify the correct definition of the passage or find out what phrase or word fits in a certain sentence in the sentence correction part. In the beginning, go at your own pace, then start skimming because of time constraints. With this technique, the overall experience will be more easily adaptable and accessible for you. 

Explain Something in your own Words

     The last piece of advice that we are going to give for your GMAT verbal preparation, is to try to explain something in your own words. If there is a passage or question that you cannot get through just try to put things in your own words and figure out what the answer is in your words and then transform it into an academic language. You are maybe in a word labyrinth, but there is always a way out, right?

GMAT verbal section is designed to be baffling with convoluted questions. However, if you can rephrase everything according to your own convenience then you can get out of the labyrinth easily. The same principle applies to the elimination strategy. For the answer choices not to come out tricky for you, come up with an answer using your own words. By doing this, you will be able to eliminate some of the answer choices and be left with a few that you can even guess with your gut feeling. 

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to cover all the basics of the GMAT verbal reasoning section – its question types, timing, difficulty level, and some tips. Be sure to develop a study regimen with a timeline of approximately 30 hours of verbal prep only, and if you are a non-native speaker we recommend twice the amount, meaning something like 60 hours. We know that it might seem a lot but you need to put in the effort to pull through. 

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