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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Posted on
07
Jul 2020

Speed And Distance Problems On The GMAT

Speed and distance problems are among the most complained about problems on the GMAT. Numerous clients come to us and say they have difficulty with speed and distance problems, word problems, or work rate problems. So we’re going to look at a particularly difficult one and see just how easy it can be with the right approach.

1. The Two Cars Problem

Two cars are travelling in the same direction. Car A is travelling at a speed of 58 miles per hour and car B is travelling at 50 miles per hour. If car A is 20 miles behind car B, how long will it take car A to pass car B by 8 miles?

A) 2 hours
B) 1½ hours
C) 4 hours
D) 5½ hours
E) 3½ hours

In this problem, we have two cars – car A and B. Car A begins 20 miles behind car B and needs to catch up. Our immediate DSM (Default Solving Mechanism) is to dive in and create an equation for this and that’s exactly what we don’t want to do.

These types of problems are notorious for being algebraically complex, while conceptually simple. If you hold on to the algebra, rather than getting rid of it, you’re going to have a hard time.

2. Speed and Distance Problems – Solution Paths

In this problem, we’re going to build up solution paths. We’re gonna skip the algebra entirely. We’re going to take a look at an iterative way to get to the answer and then do a conceptual scenario, where we literally put ourselves in the driver’s seat to understand how this problem works. So if we want to take the iterative process we can simply drive the process hour-by-hour until we get to the answer.

3. Iterative Solution Path

We can imagine this on a number line or just do it in a chart with numbers. Car A starts 20 miles behind car B – so let’s say ‘A’ starts at mile marker zero and ‘B’ starts at 20. After one hour ‘A’ is at 58, ‘B’ is at 70 and the differential is now -12 and not -20. After the second hour ‘A’ is at 116, ‘B’ is at 120. ‘A’ is just four behind ‘B’. After the third hour ‘A’ has caught up! Now it’s 4 miles ahead. At the fourth hour it’s not only caught up but it’s actually +12, so we’ve gone too far. We can see that the correct answer is between three and four and our answer is three and a half.

Now let’s take a look at this at a higher level. If we take a look at what we’ve just done we can notice a pattern with the catching up: -20 to -12 to -4 to +4. We’re catching up by 8 miles per hour. And if you’re self-prepping and don’t know what to do with this information, this is exactly the pattern that you want to hinge on in order to find a better solution path.

You can also observe (and this is how you want to do it on the exam) that if ‘A’ is going 8 miles an hour faster than ‘B’, then it’s catching up by 8 miles per hour. What we care about here is the rate of catching up, not the actual speed. The 50 and 58 are no different than 20 and 28 or a million and a million and eight. That is, the speed doesn’t matter. Only the relative distance between the cars and that it changes at 8 miles per hour.

Now the question becomes starkly simple. We want to catch up 20 miles and then exceed 8 miles, so we want to have a 28-mile shift and we’re doing so at 8 miles an hour. 28 divided by 8 is 3.5.

4. Speed and Distance Problems – Conceptual Scenario Solution Path

You might ask yourself what to do if you are unable to see those details. The hallmark of good scenarios is making them personal. Imagine you’re driving and your friend is in the car in front of you. He’s 20 miles away. You guys are both driving and you’re trying to catch up. If you drive at the same speed as him you’re never going to get there. If you drive one mile per hour faster than him you’ll catch up by a mile each hour. It would take you 20 hours to catch up. This framework of imagining yourself driving and your friend in the other car, or even two people walking down the street, is all it takes to demystify this problem. Make it personal and the scenarios will take you there.

Thanks for the time! For other solutions to GMAT problems and general advice for the exam check out the links below. Hope this helped and good luck!

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Posted on
11
Jun 2020

Snack Shop GMAT Problem

The Snack shop GMAT problem is an average or a mean problem. A characteristic of many average problems is that one big takeaway right at the outset is that the answer choices are clustered tightly together. We want to refrain from making any calculations.

The problem is below:

snack shop problem

1. Selecting A Solution Path

If they’re looking for a level of precision, the estimation solution path isn’t available to us. However, if we dive into the problem, right from the first sentence we have sort of a conclusion that we can create via either a graphic or accounting solution path.

If you were the business owner immediately you’d say to yourself: Well for 10 days and an average of $400 a day I made $4000. 

This is how we want to think about averages. Many times they’ll tell us a parameter about a length of time or over a certain universe of instances and here we want to treat them all as equal.

2. Solving the Snack Shop GMAT Problem

It doesn’t matter if one day we made 420 and another day we made 380. We can treat them in aggregate as all equal and start out with that assumption. That’s a very useful assumption to make on average problems. So, we start out knowing that we made 4,000. 

What I want us to do is do a little pivot and notice from a running count standpoint how much above or below we are on a given day. So we’re told that for the first six days we averaged $360 which means each of those six days we’re short $40 from our average. That means in aggregate we’re short $240 (6 days times $40) and this has to be made up in the last 4 days.

Notice how we’re driving this problem with the story rather than with an equation. In the last four days, we need to outperform our 400 by 240. 240 divided by 4 is 60. 60 on top of the 400 target that we already have is 460. Therefore, our answer is D.

3. Graphical Solution Path

snack shop graphic solution path

If we are more comfortable with graphic solution paths, imagine this in terms of 10 bars each representing $400. Lowering six of those bars down by 40 and taking the amount that we push those first six down and distributing it among the last four bars gives us our $460 total per day.

 

If you enjoyed this Snack Shop GMAT Problem, watch “The Gas Mileage GMAT Problem” next.

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Posted on
12
Feb 2019

Profit & Loss Problem Form

The profit and loss problem form that this problem fits into is one that has strong DSM’s into mathematics. Here we are tempted to do the math in part because that’s so easy. It’s so available to us.

This is characteristic of a mid-level arithmetic problem where there are some shifts and shimmies but overall it’s a fairly straightforward problem that utilizes no more than the four basic operations. So, on the one hand, this profit and loss problem is pre-algebra or even some sort of grade school math. On the other hand, this makes the solution path much more elusive.

Before we dive into solving this problem, let’s take a look at it:

The total cost of Company X to produce a batch of t-shirts is $5,000 plus $2 per t-shirt. Each t-shirt sells for $12. The gross profit earned from producing and selling these t-shirts is the total income from the sales minus total production costs. If a batch of 20,000 t-shirts is produced and sold, then Company X’s profit per t-shirt is?

A. $9.00
B. $9.50
C. $9.75
D. $10.00
E. $11.75

Solving the Problem Using Math

So of course we can follow the math. We can add up all the costs, five thousand plus two dollars, times twenty thousand. Then contrast that with the revenue that comes in which is 12×20,000. But then we’re left with the ugly division problem that brings us to the profit per t-shirt, this is where the GMAT sticks us.

Instead of handling this in aggregate, it’s strongly preferable to handle it with a higher level solution path. Let’s take a look at a few:

Higher Level Solution Path: Distribution

One way to do this is to distribute the fixed cost over the cost per t-shirt. This is actually a lot easier than it seems. Twenty thousand t-shirts, five thousand dollars, five over twenty is one-quarter.

Therefore, it costs one-quarter per t-shirt in addition to the two dollars in variable cost. So, twelve minus two is equal to ten dollars, minus one quarter is equal to nine dollars and seventy-five cents.

Higher Level Solution Path: Graphical Equalization

We can also use a graphic equalization method in order to get to the same conclusion. If the numbers were more complicated, understanding that that shift is one-quarter down. That is the fixed cost is one-quarter down.

Then we know we’re looking for something that ends in a seventy-five cents. That allows us to eliminate all the answer choices that don’t end in 0.75. Then we can use scale to determine that 9.75 is the correct answer.

Practice Problems

There are more complicated versions of this problem form. In particular, I’d encourage you to explore being told that the t-shirt company is breaking even. Then determining the amount of variable costs or fixed cost that’s there or even the production run. Similarly, you can be given a target profit or loss, the break-even just being the zero, so it’s a bit easier and you have to reverse engineer the relationships.

Once again, this doesn’t have to be done algebraically. As you begin to appreciate the subtlety of the ratio between costs production run and total P&L all of these problems should be simplified and should be very straightforward.

Continue your GMAT practice with the Wedding Guest GMAT problem.

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