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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How-to GMAT: No Calculator? Use These Mental Math Tips Instead
Posted on
07
Sep 2021

How-to GMAT: No Calculator? Use These Mental Math Tips Instead

The GMAT is an exam largely focused on numbers and numerical data. And while doing math on the GMAT should be avoided sometimes it is inevitable. True, the test-taker is given a calculator for the duration of the Integrated Reasoning section but the same cannot be said for the Quantitative Reasoning Section. 

This article is going to provide some smart calculation shortcuts and mental math tips to help you go through some arithmetical questions without losing too much time and help you get a higher score on the GMAT Quant.

The Basics

Before explaining any methods for dividing and multiplying with ease, let’s make sure we have revised a few simple rules:

  • Numbers with an even last digit are divisible by 2 – 576 is and 943 is not;
  • Numbers with a sum of digits divisible by 3 are also divisible by 3 – 3,465 for example (3+4+6+5=18);
  • If the last 2 digits of a number a divisible by 4, the number itself is divisible by 4 – 5,624 for example (because 24/4=6);
  • Numbers with last digit 0 or 5 are divisible by 5;
  • Numbers that can be divided by both 2 and 3 can be divided by 6;
  • Similar to numbers divisible by 3, numbers divisible by 9 must have a sum of digits divisible by 9 – 6,453 for example;
  • If the last digit of a number is 0 it is divisible by 10;

With that out of the way, we can move onto some more advanced mental math techniques.

Avoid division at all costs

Don’t divide unless there is no other option. And that is especially true with long division. The reason why long division is so perilous is that it is very easy to make a careless mistake as there are usually several steps included in the calculation, it takes too much time, and to be honest, few people are comfortable doing it.

Fortunately, the GMAT doesn’t test the candidates’ human-calculator skills but rather their capacity to think outside the box and show creativity in their solution paths, especially when under pressure – exactly what business schools look for.

However, sometimes you cannot avoid division, and when that is the case remember: Factoring is your best friend. Always simplify fractions especially if you’ll need to turn them into decimals. For example, if you have 234/26 don’t start immediately trying to calculate the result. Instead, factor them little by little until you receive something like 18/2 which is a lot easier to calculate.

A tip for factoring is to always start with smaller numbers as they are easier to use (2 is easier to use compared to 4, 6, or 8) and also look for nearby round numbers. 

If you have to calculate 256/4 it would be far less tedious and time-consuming to represent 256 as 240+16 and calculate 240/4+16/4=60+4=64. Another example is 441/3. If we express it like 450-9 it is far easier to calculate 450/3-9/3=150-3=147.

Dividing and Multiplying by 5

Sometimes when you have to divide and multiply by 5 (you’ll have to do it a lot) it would be easier to substitute the number with 10/2. It might not always be suitable for your situation but more often than not it can be utilized in order to save some time.

Using 9s

With most problems, you could safely substitute 9 with 10-1. For example, if you have to calculate 46(9) you can express it as 46(10 – 1) which is a lot more straightforward to compute as 46(10) – 46(1) = 460 – 46 = 414

You can also use the same method for other numbers such as 11, 8, 15, 100, etc:

18(11) = 18(10 + 1) = 180 + 18 = 198

28(8) = 28(10 – 2) = 280 – 56 = 224

22(15) = 22(10 + 5) = 220 + 110 = 330

26(99) = 26(100 – 1) = 2600 – 26 = 2574

Dividing by 7

The easiest way to check if a number is divisible by 7 is to find the nearest number you know is divisible by 7. For instance, if you want to check if you can divide 98 by 7 you should look for the nearest multiple of 7. In this instance either 70, 77, or 84. Start adding 7 until you reach the number: 70 + 7 = 77 + 7 = 84 + 7 = 91 + 7 = 98. The answer is yes, 98 is divisible by 7 and it equals 14

Squaring

When you have to find the square of a double-digit number it might be easier to break the number into components. For example, 22^2 would be calculated like this:

22^2
= (20 + 2)(20 + 2)
= 400 + 40 + 40 + 4
= 484

Similarly, if you have to find the square of 39 instead of calculating (30 + 9)(30 +9) you could express it like this:

39^2
= (40 – 1)(40 – 1)
= 1600 – 40 – 40 + 1
= 1521

You can use the same approach when multiplying almost any double-digit numbers, not only squaring. For example 37 times 73:

(40 – 3)(70 + 3)
= 2800 + 120 – 210 – 9
= 2701

Conclusion

This ends the list of mental math tips and tricks you can utilize to make the Quant section a bit less laborious. Keep in mind that no strategy or shortcut would be able to compensate for the lack of proper prep so it all comes down not only to practicing but doing so the right way.

For more information regarding the GMAT Calculator, GMAT Calculator & Mental Math – All You Need To Know, is a very insightful article to read.

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At-Home GMAT Prep: A Handy Guide
Posted on
02
Sep 2021

At-Home GMAT Prep: A Handy Guide

Ready to take the next step in your academic career and select an MBA program that will open new doors for you? Well first, you need to take one of the most important exams of your life – the GMAT. This is not something you can take easily as it can potentially score you some scholarships that will help fund your education and it’s one of those things that employers will want to take a look at. That’s why people spend months preparing for the GMAT. That being said, Apex tutors suggest a prep time period of 90 to 120 days.

So, to make the process easier for you, we came up with a guide full of the best tips and tricks that will help you prepare for the GMAT at home, along with some common mistakes to avoid when prepping.

The 2 Main Benefits of At-Home GMAT Prep

It essentially comes down to you to work hard and follow some best practices. Here’s how at-home self-prep will help you succeed:

  • You’ll be able to study in a familiar place. That will make you more comfortable and having a designated GMAT prep space will keep you more focused on your progress.
  • This is a good opportunity for you to study at your own pace and at a schedule that best suits you and your needs. This is definitely a much more convenient alternative than any GMAT prep class that you can take to help you prep.

Top 5 Tips To Follow for a Successful At-Home GMAT Prep

Here are the top 5 best practices to follow when preparing for the GMAT at home:

Find a Good Location

What you want to do is have a designated space where you sit down every day and work on the GMAT. You’d want to pick a place where there are no distractions and where you’ll be able to get work done without being bothered. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to get too comfortable as you actually want to get some work done and not just end up laying down and napping every time you decide to study for the GMAT.

Give Yourself Enough Time

Make sure to start early with your GMAT preparation as the more time you have to work on improving, the higher your chances of succeeding and getting a higher score. That’s why you’d want to give yourself a minimum of 3 months to prepare depending on your prior knowledge and the level of preparation that you’ll need to succeed.

Follow a Structured Schedule

As soon as you decide to start preparing for the GMAT, you’re going to have to come up with a personalized schedule that you have to follow until the exam day. Following a schedule where you have to practice a bit every day instead of cramming everything on the last week, will keep you more focused. It will also not overwork you and you’ll have just enough time to go through every section in detail and also some extra time to take some mock tests to practice your knowledge.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

You know what they say: practice makes perfect. Well, they’re not wrong! The more practice you get before taking the actual exam, the better, especially because mock tests help you point out the areas that you need to work harder on. Mock exams also help you get used to the exam’s format and scoring system so you won’t have trouble navigating the exam in the future.

To make things easier, here are a few alternatives where you can get practice tests and official materials to practice on:

Learn to Manage Your Time!

The test-takers’ #1 pitfall is not focusing on the time when preparing for the GMAT, being well-aware that GMAT is a timed exam. We suggest practicing without a time constraint at first, just so you can get used to the format and the concepts. After you get a better understanding of what to expect, you can start timing yourself. You’d want to practice with a timer in order to actually see how well you’d perform in the real GMAT exam. Time pressure is a real thing, and what you don’t want to do is show up and not be able to finish your test on time.

Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid When Preparing for the GMAT

Now that we went over some of the best tips, let’s talk about some common mistakes that students make that you definitely need to avoid:

Procrastinating

Deciding that you need to start prepping for the GMAT in advance is one thing, but what most people end up doing is doing a little bit in the beginning and then procrastinating until it’s too late to go back. You don’t want to cram everything in the last 2 weeks: that’s not time-efficient and it won’t help you master the exam. Instead, you’ll just get more stressed and overwhelmed. In other words, try to keep the same pace throughout the whole 3-4 month period of your at-home GMAT prep in order to get the score you’re aiming for.

Stressing Way Too Much On Exam Day

It’s normal to worry about your scores as this exam can very well determine your future. However, worrying way too much can affect your performance on exam day. Instead, take your time to prepare and do your best when the time comes for you to take the GMAT, and you’ll be just fine. One extra step that you can take to help you manage the stress is visiting the test center before the exam. That way, you’ll get used to the journey and the place and you’ll also feel more relaxed if you know what to expect.  

Studying Instead Of Practicing

Another mistake students make is studying study guides instead of practicing extensively. Study guides can help you so much, but practicing on real exams is what will essentially put all that textbook knowledge into practice. So make sure to spend most of your time on actual practice, rather than focusing on learning concepts by heart.

Pro tip: Another way to help you accelerate learning is by working with a one-on-one GMAT instructor. The help of an expert can be beneficial, especially when you find that you are not making any progress with your prep or if you find yourself falling victim to any of the at-home prep mistakes listed above. These instructors know their way around the exam and will bring some structure to your at-home GMAT prep as they work around your schedule and will keep you focused on what’s important.

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