GMAT Score on Resume
Posted on
28
Dec 2021

Does Your GMAT Score Belong On Your Resume?

We here at Apex get a lot of questions from our clients asking if putting their GMAT score on their resume will help them during their job search. And our answer is, it depends! For some jobs, your GMAT score can be a deciding factor for prospective employers, for others they won’t even consider your GMAT score. This can be confusing when it comes to structuring your resume during your job search. We have a standard rule of thumb here at Apex. 

Before we get to that, it is important to understand what a GMAT score is, and what it says about you.

GMAT Score – How important is it? 

The GMAT evaluates your quantitative and qualitative capabilities as well as your analytical writing skills. It tells admissions committees that you can handle the rigors of an MBA program. And in doing so, compares you against other GMAT test-takers using its percentile ranking system

GMAT Score on Resume Survey While most top business schools require GMAT scores for the admissions process, not every company does. A 2018 Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC) survey determined that only 6% of surveyed companies use applicants’ GMAT scores in their employee selection process. Apart from that 6%, 21% stated that though a high GMAT score may help a potential job candidate, the GMAT overall doesn’t normally play a significant role in the selection process. While the majority of companies (72%) don’t consider GMAT scores at all.

This may seem to answer your question regarding whether your GMAT score belongs on your resume. But be aware! The 6% of companies that do use GMAT scores to vet job candidates are the crop businesses in the world. All major banking, investment, and consulting firms, including Accenture and Goldman Sachs, require high GMAT scores for all positions – even internships. 

Most of these firms specialize in quantitative-intensive labor. As a result, the quantitative section tends to carry more weight. For example, if a candidate has an overall score of 680, but a quantitative score of 51, he or she has a good chance of getting an interview at a major firm.

Before deciding whether to put your GMAT score on your resume, consider the following: 

Firstly, you should only list your GMAT score on your resume if it happens to be very strong. Think, over 700+, strong. There is no need to add your score if a prospective employer questions why you were not able to score higher. 

Second, it depends on where you are applying. Employers who tend to consider the GMAT score are the same industries that value the MBA: finance, banking, consulting. When applying to any of these industries, you can be fairly sure that they will respond favorably to your GMAT score (provided you have a strong one!). 

Third, you need to consider the reason one would take the GMAT: The GMAT is a psychometric exam, it measures more than just what you know. The GMAT also measures how you think. Numerous industries have tests for prospective applicants in order to weed out those who may not be an intellectual fit in their company. That means your GMAT score will signal to the HR department that you are a strong candidate and you successfully pass the testing bar. 

Final Remarks

Ultimately, whether you add your GMAT score to the resume is up to you. It comes down to where you are applying, what your score is, and whether your potential employer has a test for prospective applicants. Not only do we help our clients achieve an elite 700+ GMAT score, but we also provide them with advice during their university and job search. If you are in the middle of studying for the GMAT and are looking for a private GMAT tutor, our elite tutors have all scored over a 770 on the GMAT and have years of professional experience with tutoring. You can meet with us for a 30-minute complimentary consultation call. To learn more about what it means to add your GMAT score to your resume, you can watch Mike explain further in this video

 

Contributor: Dana Coggio 

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Why Should You Hire The Most Expensive GMAT Tutor?
Posted on
05
Oct 2021

Why Should You Hire The Most Expensive GMAT Tutor?

By: Apex GMAT  
Date: October 5, 2021

You’ve made up your mind and have decided to hire a GMAT tutor to guide you through the process of preparing for the GMAT exam. Your goal is to get a good enough score to get accepted into your dream MBA program. But how can you decide which GMAT tutor to hire when there are so many different tutors out there? Well, we’ve got the answer for you: hire the most expensive GMAT tutor on the market. Here’s why:

You could argue that “the most expensive,” doesn’t necessarily mean the best, but in our case it actually does. Our clients’ GMAT scores are proof of that. After working with Apex GMAT, Justin managed to go from a 580 to a 710 and landed a place at the University of California’s Haas School of Business. David managed to break through the 700 mark and achieve a score of 750 on the exam, going on to attend Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business for his MBA.

Besides the hundreds of clients that we have worked with to achieve scores within the 700 range, all of our tutors have scored 770 and above on the exam. They have many years of teaching experience both outside of the GMAT and within the GMAT sphere, so they know the test in and out.  With the customized one-on-one tutoring experience that clients get from working with Apex tutors, they are sure to receive a premium service with stellar results. 

In this article, we’ll tell you more about what working with the most expensive GMAT tutors on the market can offer you and 3 reasons why you should hire him/her.

GMAT Tutoring is an Investment!

The first thing to keep in mind is that working with an elite GMAT tutor does not come at an average GMAT tutoring price. Thus, you should not be expecting an average GMAT preparation experience. From the first call with us until your successful GMAT score, admissions to B-school, and beyond, Apex tutors are there to lend a hand. Instead of thinking about your GMAT prep as a stage in the application process,  consider it as an investment in your educational journey.

If you select the correct tutor the first time around, you can actually save money on tutoring, grad school costs through scholarships, and develop relationships with mentors who will be willing to help you at any stage in your academic and professional life. Attending one of the top business schools in the world is a commendable achievement and attaining a great GMAT score can open that door for you. The only thing that will almost guarantee you that awesome score is hiring the best GMAT tutor to help you prepare and we’re here to make that happen for you.

You’ll get a Premium GMAT Tutoring Experience! 

By working with the most expensive tutors you are affording yourself the opportunity to work with experts, whose goal will be to successfully guide you through the process. You’ll also receive a higher level of expertise and personal attention than with a medium-priced service. With the personalized approach that is offered by our tutors, each tutor strives to provide clients with the most efficient and effective preparation for success. By personalizing the service to your strengths and weaknesses, you have the opportunity to improve your skills in a shorter time frame. 

Still not sure why our service is more expensive than others? For a more detailed explanation, watch this video.

How an Expensive GMAT Tutor Can Help you?

Now that you have a better understanding of what the most expensive GMAT tutor offers, here are 3 reasons why you should hire one to help you prepare for the GMAT: 

Overcoming scoring plateaus!

Working with an instructor that has many years of experience means that you are in good hands. They will have a deep understanding of the test and its structure which makes it easy for them to guide their clients to elite 700+ scores, no matter their academic background or starting GMAT score. They have worked with hundreds of clients and they will instantly know what your situation is and how to teach you for success. By using a personalized approach with every single client, they can easily pinpoint your weaknesses and will help you work on improving them. The end results are bound to be better than if you’d study on your own or prepare with a medium-priced service. In this case, the premium service you get definitely justifies the price you pay. 

They will lead the way to the top MBA programs! 

You don’t want a great GMAT score just for the sake of it. The end goal is to land a place at one of the top Business Schools out there, so that’s why nailing the GMAT exam is so essential to your future. That being said, working with instructors that have continuously worked with numerous students towards that same goal is the best way to go about it. These instructors know what each of the top MBA programs is looking for in terms of GMAT scores and how a certain GMAT score can boost your application. They will also have connections to the top programs you’re intending to apply to and will be able to give you advice on how to stand out as an applicant.

A mentor for life!

This experience won’t just provide you with an instructor that will guide you through the GMAT exam. Instead, you’ll get to nurture a relationship with a mentor who will have your back for life, mentoring you through any stage of your academic and professional journey. Use your mentors’ experience to advise you about the best business schools, the right path thereafter, job interview and pay negotiation advice, business advice, and networking for success.

Make sure to check out our top 5 GMAT tutors that operate globally and take pride in their expertise before you decide on which one to hire.

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance that the most expensive GMAT tutor has when it comes to your future, you are ready to make that decision.

Make the smart decision and invest in your future!

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7 Daily Practices For GMAT Success - GMAT Guide
Posted on
08
Jul 2021

7 Daily Practices For GMAT Success

By: Apex GMAT
Contributor: Ruzanna Mirzoyan
Date: 8th July 2021

7 Things You Need To Do Daily When Preparing For The GMAT (GMAT Guide)

  1. Visualize success and the value you will get in the end
  2. Review a the GMAT sections
  3. Set a time limit for each day
  4. Do not forget to reward yourself
  5. Forget about the target score only focus on improvement
  6. Give yourself a pep talk 
  7. Evaluate Yourself Honestly

     Achieving a great score on the GMAT exam is not an easy task. The overall preparation process is daunting for a majority of test takers, especially for non-native English speakers. It requires diligent work and a daily checklist that you need to follow. So how do you come up with a plan that works? This article covers seven tips for successful GMAT prep which will guide you throughout the entire process. Even though every individual taking the exam has different expectations, experiences and may be approaching the test in a different way, sticking to a daily routine is an integral part of test success; the most difficult thing is adhering to it, avoiding procrastination and maintaining motivation. Therefore, after learning all the exam basics, such as the timing, the sections, and the preparation materials, it is worth creating a checklist to help keep you on track.

Visualize success and the value you will get in the end

The thought of success can create happiness! Once we attain something that seemed difficult initially, the suspense wears off, and the excitement rapidly grows. By taking time every day to imagine achieving your goal you can stay motivated and on the right path. When we experience happiness our brain releases serotonin, the hormone responsible for happiness. By keeping the picture of accomplishment in our mind, this happiness never fades. Hence, if every day contains even a tiny bit of happiness, even the most complex struggles seem simpler to overcome. Whether the GMAT exam is a struggle or not, happiness and motivation are something that one undoubtedly always lacks. Do your best to look at the bigger picture and think of the steps that will expedite reaching the top.

Review the GMAT exam sections

Whether you have a private GMAT tutor or are studying on your own, be sure to review difficult parts of the overall format of the exam every day before going through your study materials, for example the data sufficiency answer choices. You may do a short quiz on quantitative, verbal, or integrated reasoning to keep pace with timing and question types. You can consider this form of revision as stretching your brain muscles before the main exercise. Doing a simple GMAT quiz each time will make you more cautious about time management and remind you about the type of questions that you may have already mastered in previous study sessions.

Set a study time limit for each day

As it is said, time is the only non-redeemable commodity, so proper allocation is a fundamental key to success. We recommend you have a specific time allocation for GMAT prep each day. That can be some time for weekday preparation and extension on the weekends. Ensure the limit you set for yourself is reasonable because procrastinating one day and doubling the hours the next day does not work out. It does not matter how many months you have on your hands; the significant thing is precise allocation. If you want to get a decent score, you must spend approximately 100-120 hours reviewing the materials and practicing. However, top scorers usually  spend 120+ hours studying. Whether you belong to the former or the latter category, remember that time is the most expensive investment you are making. At the same time keep in mind that your study-life balance should be of utmost importance. 

Do not forget to reward yourself

It is not a secret that the GMAT is burdensome and overwhelming, and preparing for it can be stressful and oftentimes disheartening. Not having small rewards to look forward to can lead to demotivation. Rewards are things that rejuvenate your broken concentration. Try something like the Pomodoro Technique. This technique helps break down time into intervals with short breaks. Instead of breaks, you can think of something ‘non-GMAT related’ that will make you regain focus. For example, by grabbing a quick snack, meditating, or walking around the house or even watching a short YouTube video. Whichever works best for you, make use of it; even brief respites retain your stamina. Finally, never forget about the bigger reward; your final score. 

Forget about the target score, only focus on improvement

GMAT preparation practices do generate plight both in physical and mental states. It is crucial to remind oneself of the improvement phases. We agree that everything you are going through is for the final score. But focusing on the final score too much can frustrate you if you are not making big leaps towards it, which in turn can be counter productive. All successful practices dictate that you should focus on one thing at a time, which improves every day until the exam day. When the exam day comes, you will utilize all the knowledge and effort to get the highest GMAT score possible. Keeping daily track of your improvements relieves some of the burden on your shoulders. Even the tiniest advantage acquired can be a game changer. For instance, finishing each section a minute earlier than before will eventually contribute to achieving more significant results on the exam day, or perfecting a solution path which has you approaching a host of GMAT problems in a more efficient manner. These small wins can be the fuel to keep you going. 

Give yourself a pep talk 

I am sure you receive a lot of support from the people surrounding you. However, self-encouragement is of the utmost importance. Look around, see what others are doing at your age and inspire yourself. Choose wisely between the tradeoffs. Such as choosing to study instead of partying. Giving yourself a daily pep talk will make you more enthusiastic about reaching your objectives. A recent scientific study has shown that talking to yourself dwindles anxiety and stress while boosting performance. This is no less true for GMAT test preparation. Give yourself motivational and instructional pep talks. This method promotes positivity as motivational talks cheer you up and keep up the eagerness to study and strive for more, while a self-instructional talk directs detail-orientation and accentuates what exactly you need to do for that particular day. For example, start every day by loudly stating what should be done for the day. It helps with thinking about the mechanisms of every individual task and visualizing methods to complete them correspondingly. 

Evaluate Yourself Honestly

Of course, you need all the encouragement and self-support to reach your goals, but especially during GMAT exam preparation, you need to be hard on yourself if required. If you need a 650+ GMAT score, you should be aware that it will not be a piece of cake. Give yourself credit for what you are doing right, but also consider aspects of the GMAT problems that you need to elaborate on and master additional skills. The dominant thing is separating the action from the person because you are evaluating your actions and not you as a person; you should not upset yourself but rather detect the triggers of low performance and challenges and make yourself accountable for such actions with a plan to move forward from them successfully. Ultimately, the ability to discern your flaws and work on personal evolution is an inherent quality for capacitating your abilities and aptitudes and pulling it off in life. 

We hope that adding these practical and mindful aspects to your daily preparation will be helpful as when you are preparing for an exam like the GMAT, being in the right mind frame can be as important as doing the quant or verbal practice. Whether you have a GMAT private tutor or not, it is on you to maintain motivation during the entire process. We suggest you develop a GMAT test strategy along with these seven tips to attain greater productivity and manifest superb performance. Make studying for the GMAT a daily habit and success will follow. 

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When to Hire a Private GMAT Tutor?
Posted on
08
Jun 2021

When to Hire a Private GMAT Tutor?

By: Dana Coggio
Published: 8th June 2021

Once you have made the decision to get your MBA, the next challenge awaits you: Studying for and taking the GMAT. You’ve purchased the books, set up a study schedule, prepared yourself mentally for the task that lays before you. (This infographic provides you with handy tips for your GMAT study prep). And yet, as you begin studying, you find yourself stuck and unsure of what to do next. First things first, it is important for you to understand that this is perfectly normal. The GMAT is an exam that tests more than just your quantitative and analytical skills, it is meant to score your ability to think critically and outside of the box. If you find yourself rereading sections of your GMAT prep books or googling various study tricks and tips, it might be time to consider getting yourself a private GMAT tutor.

That in and of itself seems a daunting task. Where do you even begin with finding someone capable of helping you achieve your goals? Well, before you look for a private GMAT tutor, it is necessary that you first understand when to get yourself a private tutor. This important step means you, and your tutor, are ready to work together to achieve a well thought out goal.

Establish your Goals

Before you begin looking for a private GMAT tutor, you need to know what your GMAT and MBA goals are. Perhaps you are striving for a 700+ and looking to apply to a top-tier MBA program. Or maybe you are looking to up your score by 50 points to be considered more competitive for your dream MBA. Whatever the reason, you need to have a good grasp on why you are taking the GMAT and what your goals are.

Having a clear mindset means you can search for a private GMAT tutor whose skills match your goals. This also means you are not wasting precious time with your GMAT tutor recapping where you see yourself in 20 years. As GMAT tutors can be pricey, it is important to optimize your time with your tutor. Additionally, it is important to research how private tutors can help you achieve your goal. If you are interested in increasing your score above a 700, for example, our article on how private GMAT tutors help you in this task can be read here: How Can Private Tutoring Help You Score 700+ on the GMAT?

Establish your baseline

One of the most important things you can do when starting to study for the GMAT is to take a practice exam. You can find a free practice GMAT exam HERE. Once you have taken the practice GMAT exam, you will have a better understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. However, knowing how to strengthen your weakness or grow your strengths may seem intimidating. This is why, when looking for a private GMAT tutor, you should go into your first meeting with a clear understanding of where you score on the GMAT and what some of your initial GMAT prep challenges are.

This gives your private tutor a better understanding of what aspects of the GMAT you struggle the most with and which parts require only brief reviews. Even better would be to take the mock GMAT exam with your tutor present so that they provide you with more knowledgeable feedback and study plans. In Apex’s case for instance, in a 2.5 hour assessment session an instructor puts you through your paces to see where you need the most help and where they should focus your efforts to get the most leverage in your allotted prep time.  

Begin Studying

So, you have created achievable goals and established your baseline GMAT score. You are confident about beginning your studying, and yet, as the weeks pass and the GMAT exam comes closer you realize you aren’t anywhere near where you want to be. This is an important realization for you as a student. If you recognize that no matter how many hours you commit to studying or how many practice exams you take your understanding of the material is not increasing then, perhaps, it is time to turn to a professional to support you in your journey.

A private GMAT tutor will not only help you in comprehension of the materials, but they also will give you confidence and the support to achieve your goals while holding you accountable to your studies. This scoring plateau phenomenon is what most GMAT prep students face at one point or another during the GMAT journey. 

Investing in a GMAT tutor

When it is time to look for a private GMAT tutor it is important to know that this decision is an investment. Although they may not always say so outright, numerous MBA students at many top-tier universities invested in a private GMAT tutor to help them study for the exam. Investing in a private GMAT tutor is an investment in your future and can pay off in the long run even after you have been admitted to your dream MBA program. Working with a high achieving tutor can be pricey.

The costs associated with a reputable GMAT tutor should reflect the investment they put into helping you achieve your goals. Your time is valuable, and so looking for a private GMAT tutor shouldn’t be the main objective of your studies but investing a couple hours to find the right fit can pay off in the end as a stellar GMAT score will not only help in your MBA application process, but it could land you quality scholarships and a place at some of the top consulting firms after b-school.  

Where to look for a GMAT tutor

Finding a proper GMAT tutor means finding a tutor who works with you to achieve your goals. There are a lot of GMAT tutors on the market who claim to ‘know the secret’ or can ‘guarantee a score’. Be wary of these tutors, as there is no true way to guarantee success. Success on the GMAT comes down to you as an individual and the time you invest in studying. A private GMAT tutor is there to help guide you and support you on your GMAT study journey. It is important to find a reputable GMAT tutor whose skills and ways of teaching match how you learn and your goals.

On an average search engine, a deluge of offers and potential tutors appear, and this plethora can seem quite overwhelming.  Luckily, Apex GMAT offers a complimentary 30-minute session with one of our instructors. This session gives you the opportunity to gauge whether or not a private GMAT tutor is right for you. To learn more about where to find a fitting GMAT tutor, check out our article on How to Select a GMAT Tutor.

Finally…

…whether you are 6 months into studying or you are just starting the process, it is never too late to invest in a GMAT tutor. The sooner you do, however, the more your tutor can support you and the more you can get out of the experience. We have worked with clients who are 8 months into their GMAT journey and beaten down to newcomers who are looking at the test through fresh eyes, so we have heard it all before.

Knowing when to get a GMAT tutor is vital to your success. We highly suggest signing up for a complimentary consultation with one of our tutors, as they can help you more narrowly define when to find a GMAT tutor and if a GMAT tutor is right for you. You can sign up for a complimentary 30-minute slot HERE. Still unsure, feel free to listen HERE for some testimonials from people, just like you, who invested in a private GMAT tutor and are very glad they did! 

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Posted on
19
May 2021

GMAT Algebra Problem – Parts – Hotdogs & Donuts

GMAT Algebra Problem Introduction

Hi guys. Today I’m here with a classic GMAT Algebra problem, what we call a parts problem. And if you take a look at this problem you’re going to realize that it just looks like a bunch of algebra. But the key here is in how you frame it. We’ve got this diner or whatnot selling hot dogs and then after that point, so imagine like a timeline, they start selling donuts. Then they give us a piece of information about hot dogs to donuts over that course of secondary time but then give us this overarching total number of food products sold.

Distill The Ration

So what we need to do are two steps: the first one is fairly straightforward. We see that we have to get rid of the hot dogs that were sold in advance in order to distill the ratio but then the ratio can seem very, very complex, especially because it just tells us seven times and a lot of times the GMAT will do this as a way to throw us off the scent. So when we have seven times, what that means is we have eight parts. That is it’s saying for every one of these we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven of these. Meaning in total there are eight. So while seven is kind of a scary number, eight is a number we can divide by easily. You always want to look for that when you’re given a ratio of one thing to another especially when they say something times as many.

Solving the GMAT Problem

We take that thirty thousand two hundred knock off the fifty four hundred and get to twenty four thousand eight hundred and lo and behold that’s divisible by eight meaning each part is going to be 3100. Notice there’s no complex division there, 24 divided by 8, 800 divided by 8 and that’s the sort of mental math we can expect from the GMAT always. Which as you’ve seen before: if you’re doing that you’re doing something wrong.

Each part is 3100 and we’re concerned with the seven parts so we can either scale that 3100 up by seven into 21700, again the math works out super smoothly or we can take the 24800 knock off 3100 and get to that 21700. Notice in the answer choices there’s a few things to address sort of common errors that might be made.

Reviewing the Answer Signals

On one of the answer choices what you’re looking at is dividing the total, the 30 200 by eight and multiplying by seven that is seven eighths of it without getting rid of those first 5400. Another answer is close to our 21700 correct answer and this is also a fairly reliable signal from the GMAT.

When they give you a range of answers but two of them are kind of tightly clustered together a lot of times it’s going to be one of the two and that second one there is to prevent you from too roughly estimating. But at the same time if you’re short on time or just in general you want to hone down and understand what you’re supposed to do that serves as a really strong signal. And then one of the answer choices is the 1/8 of it rather than the 7/8.

Clustered Answer Choices

I want to speak a little more deeply about that signal about those two tightly clustered answer choices because as I said it can help you narrow to a very quick 50/50 when you’re constrained for time or this problem is just one that’s really not up your alley but it also can be leveraged in a really, really neat way.

If we assume that one or the other is the answer choice we can differentiate these two different answer choices by what they’re divisible by and so notice the 21700 is very clearly, with strong mental math is divisible by seven. Where the other one is not. Also neither of them are divisible by eight. We can look at these two say okay one of them is probably right, one of them is divisible by seven, the other one is not, so there’s our right answer and we can move on to the next problem. So I hope this helps. Write your comments and questions below. Subscribe to our channel at Apex GMAT here and give us a call if we can ever help you.

To work on similar GMAT algebra problem/s see this link: Work Rate Problem.

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Posted on
08
Apr 2021

GMAT Factorial Problem: Estimation & Scenario Solution

GMAT Factorial Introduction

Factorials and divisibility, together. Two mathematical kids from opposite sides of the tracks, they come together and fall in love and they create this problem. Here we’re asked what numbers might divide some new number 20 factorial plus 17. As a refresher, a factorial is simply the number times each integer below it. So in this case, 20! is equal to 20 x 19 x 18 …. x 3 x 2 x 1. It’s a huge number. And it’s not at all possible to process in GMAT time. What we want to notice about any factorial is that it has as factors every number that it contains. So 20! is divisible by 17, it’s divisible by 15, it’s divisible by 13, 9, 2, what have you and any combination of them as well.

What The GMAT is Counting On You Not Knowing

When we’re adding the 17 though, the GMAT is counting on the idea that we don’t know what to do with it and in fact that’s the entire difficulty of this problem. So I want you to imagine 20! as a level and we’re going to take a look at this graphically. So 20! can be comprised by stacking a whole bunch of 15’s up. Blocks of 15. How many will there be? Well 20 x 19 x 18 x 17 x 16 x 14 times all the way down the line. There will be that many 15’s. But 20! will be divisible by 15. Similarly, by 17, by 19, by any number. They will all stack and they all stack up precisely to 20! because 20! is divisible by any of them.

Answer

So when we’re adding 17 to our number all we need to see is that, hey, 15 doesn’t go into 17, it’s not going to get all the way up there. 17 fits perfectly. 19? guess what? It’s too big and we’re going to have a remainder. So our answer here is B, only 17.

For other problems like this, other factorials, and what have you, please check out the links below and we will see you next time. If you enjoyed this GMAT problem, try your hand at this Science Fair Problem.

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Posted on
10
Mar 2021

GMAT Ratio Problem – Mr. Smiths Class

GMAT Ratio DS Problem

Expressing Different Notations

Hey guys!

Expressing different notations is often challenging when you’re first starting out on the GMAT and by different notations mean percentages fractions decimals ratios. We learn all these separately and we tend to of them as separate systems of math when in fact they’re all different expressions of the same math. One half is no different from 0.5 is no different from 50 percent there are different ways of the same thing.

Breaking Down The Problem

In this problem all their testing is our ability to shift notations. We’re being asked what the ratio, keyword ratio, is between boys and girls in the or what do we need is just that a ratio it’s fairly straightforward. So they’re probably going to come to us with weird information that doesn’t quite look like a ratio. The big thing to note before we dive in is that when we’re being asked for a ratio. In fact, when we’re being asked for any sort of relative notation, fractions, percentages, anything that needs a base that is compared to a whole. We don’t need precise numbers.

Possible ways to solve this problem

So this leaves us open either to run scenarios if we want to or to deal entirely in the relative. So we’re looking for an expression of that ratio in a non-ratio sort of language. Number one tells us there are three times as many boys and girls. We can run a scenario with 3 boys, 1 girl, 75 boys, 25 girls, but we’re being given that ratio. It’s being expressed in language rather than with the term ratio or with the two dots : in between but it’s still a ratio. So it’s sufficient!

What Did You Miss?

Correction!! Number one states there are three times as many girls as there are boys. Why do we leave that error in? To point out that here it doesn’t matter. We’re not looking to determine whether the ratio is 1 boy to 3 girls or 3 girls to 1 boy or 3 boys to 1 girl. The only thing that matters, the threshold issue on this problem, is getting to a single specific ratio. What that is or in this case even reversing the boys and girls doesn’t matter because it’s a referendum on the type of information that we have. The moment we have a quantitative comparison of boys and girls coming from number one we know that number one is sufficient. Being able to have flexibility and even focus on the more abstract thing you’re looking for sometimes leads to careless errors on the details though and this is important. Many times those careless errors don’t matter, freeing yourself up to make those and understanding that you don’t have to manage the nitty-gritty once you have the big abstract understanding is very important.

Looking at Statement No. 2

Number two goes fractional, telling us that 1/4 of the total class is boys. We can break that into a ratio by understanding that a ratio compares parts to parts whereas a fraction is part of a whole so one out of four has a ratio of one to three. If this isn’t immediately obvious, imagine a pizza and cut it into four slices. One slice is one quarter of the total pizza the comparison of the one slice to the other three slices is the ratio one to three so if you get one slice and your friends get the other ones. The ratio of your slice to the others is 1:3. You have 1/4 of the total so two is also sufficient. Therefore, the answer choice here is D.

Hope this helped guys! Practice this skill of going in between these different notations because it’s one that pays off in dividends. Check out the links below for other problems and we’ll see you again real soon.

If you enjoyed this GMAT Ratio DS Problem, try your hand at this Triangle DS Problem.

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Permutations with Restrictions GMAT Article
Posted on
02
Mar 2021

Permutations with Restrictions

By: Rich Zwelling, Apex GMAT Instructor
Date: 2nd March, 2021

So far, we’ve covered the basics of GMAT combinatorics, the difference between permutations and combinations, some basic permutation and combination math, and permutations with repeat elements. Now, we’ll see what happens when permutation problems involve conceptual restrictions that can obscure how to approach the math.

To illustrate this directly, let’s take a look at the following Official Guide problem:

The letters D, G, I, I , and T can be used to form 5-letter strings as DIGIT or DGIIT. Using these letters, how many 5-letter strings can be formed in which the two occurrences of the letter I are separated by at least one other letter?

A) 12
B) 18
C) 24
D) 36
E) 48

Did you catch the restriction? Up until the end, this is a standard permutation with repeats combinatorics problem, since there are five letters and two repeats of the letter ‘I’. However, we’re suddenly told that the two I’s must be separated by at least one other letter. Put differently, they are not allowed to be adjacent.

So how do we handle this? Well, in many cases, it’s helpful to set aside what we want and instead consider what we don’t want. It seems counterintuitive at first, but if we consider the number of ways in which the two I’s can appear together (i.e. what is not allowed) and then subtract that number from the total number of permutations without any restrictions, wouldn’t we then be left with the number of ways in which the two I’s would not appear together (i.e. what is allowed)? 

Let’s demonstrate: 

In this case, we’ll pretend this problem has no restrictions. In the word “DIGIT,” there are five letters and two I’s. Using the principle discussed in our Permutations with Restrictions post, this would produce 5! / 2! = 60 permutations. 

However, we now want to subtract out the permutations that involve the two I’s side by side, since this condition is prohibited by the problem. This is where things become less about math and more about logic and conceptual understanding. Situationally, how would I outline every possible way the two I’s could be adjacent? Well, if I imagine the two I’s grouped together as one unit, there are four possible ways for this to happen:

II DGT

D II GT

DG II T

DGT II

For each one of these four situations, however, the three remaining letters can be arranged in 3*2*1 = 6 ways. 

That produces a total of 6*4 = 24 permutations in which the two I’s appear side by side.

Subtract that from the original 60, and we have: 60 – 24 = 36. The correct answer is D

As you can see, this is not about a formula or rote memorization but instead about logic and analytical skills. This is why tougher combinatorics questions are more likely to involve restrictions.

Here’s another Official Guide example. As always, give it a shot before reading on:

Of the 3-digit integers greater than 700, how many have 2 digits that are equal to each other and the remaining digit different from the other 2 ?

(A) 90
(B) 82
(C) 80
(D) 45
(E) 36

Explanation

This is a classic example of a problem that will tie you up in knots if you try to brute force it. You could try writing up examples that fit the description, such as 717, 882, 939, or 772, trying to find some kind of pattern based on what does work. But as with the previous problem, what if we examine conceptually what doesn’t work?

This will be very akin to how we handle some GMAT probability questions. The situation desired is 2 digits equal and 1 different. What other situations are there (i.e. the ones not desired)?  Well, if you take a little time to think about it, there are only two other possibilities: 

  1. The digits are all the same
  2. The digits are all different

If we can figure out the total number of permutations without restrictions and subtract out the number of permutations in the two situations just listed, we will have our answer. 

First, let’s get the total number of permutations without restrictions. In this case, that’s just all the numbers from 701 up to 999. (Be careful of the language. Since it says “greater than 700”, we will not include 700.)

To get the total number of terms, we must subtract the two numbers then add one to account for the end point. So there are (999-701)+1 = 299 numbers in total without restrictions.

(Another way to see this is that the range between 701 and 999 is the same as the range between 001 and 299, since we simply subtracted 700 from each number, keeping the range identical. It’s much easier to see that there are 299 numbers in the latter case.)

Now for the restrictions. How many of these permutations involve all the digits being the same? Well, this is straightforward enough to brute force: there are only 3 cases, namely 777, 888, and 999. 

How about all the digits being different? Here’s where we have to use our blank (or slot) method for each digit:

___ ___ ___

How many choices do we have for the first digit? The only choices we have are 7, 8, and 9. That’s three choices:

_3_  ___ ___

Once that first digit is in place, how many choices do we have left for the second slot? Well, there are 10 digits, but we have to remove the one already used in the first slot from consideration, as every digit must be different. That means we have nine left:

_3_  _9_  ___

Using the same logic, that leaves us eight for the final slot:

_3_  _9_  _8_

Multiplying them together, we have 3*9*8 = 216 permutations in which the digits are different.

So there are 216+3 = 219 restrictions, or permutations that we do not want. We can now subtract that from the total of 299 total permutations without restrictions to get our final answer of 299-219 = 80. The correct answer is C.

Next time, we’ll take a look at a few examples of combinatorics problems involving COMBINATIONS with restrictions.

Permutations and Combinations Intro
A Continuation of Permutation Math
An Intro To Combination Math
Permutations With Repeat Elements
Permutations With Restrictions
Combinations with Restrictions
Independent vs Dependent Probability
GMAT Probability Math – The Undesired Approach
GMAT Probability Meets Combinatorics: One Problem, Two Approaches

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An Intro to Combination Math GMAT Article
Posted on
23
Feb 2021

An Intro to Combination Math

By: Rich Zwelling, Apex GMAT Instructor
Date: 23rd February, 2021

Last time, we looked at the following GMAT combinatorics practice problem, which gives itself away as a PERMUTATION problem because it’s concerned with “orderings,” and thus we care about the order in which items appear:

At a cheese tasting, a chef is to present some of his best creations to the event’s head judge. Due to the event’s very bizarre restrictions, he must present exactly three or four cheeses. He has brought his best cheddar, brie, gouda, roquefort, gruyere, and camembert. How many potential orderings of cheeses can the chef create to present to the judge?

A) 120
B) 240
C) 360
D) 480
E) 600

(Review the previous post if you’d like an explanation of the answer.)

Now, let’s see how a slight frame change switches this to a COMBINATION problem:

At a farmers market, a chef is to sell some of his best cheeses. Due to the market’s very bizarre restrictions, he can sell exactly two or three cheeses. He has brought his best cheddar, brie, gouda, roquefort, gruyere, and camembert. How many potential groupings of cheeses can he create for display to customers? 

A) 6
B) 15
C)
20
D) 35
E) 120

Did you catch why this is a COMBINATION problem instead of a PERMUTATION problem? The problem asked about “groupings.” This implies that we care only about the items involved, not the sequence in which they appear. Cheddar followed by brie followed by gouda is not considered distinct from brie followed by gouda followed by cheddar, because the same three cheeses are involved, thus producing the same grouping

So how does the math work? Well, it turns out there’s a quick combinatorics formula you can use, and it looks like this: 

combinations problem

Let’s demystify it. The left side is simply notational, with the ‘C’ standing for “combination.” The ‘n’ and the ‘k’ indicate larger and smaller groups, respectively. So if I have a group of 10 paintings, and I want to know how many groups of 4 I can create, that would mean n=10 and k=4. Notationally, that would look like this:

combinatorics and permutations on the GMAT, combination math on the gmat

Now remember, the exclamation point indicates a factorial. As a simple example, 4! = 4*3*2*1. You simply multiply every positive integer from the one given with the factorial down to one. 

So, how does this work for our problem? Let’s take a look:

At a farmers market, a chef is to sell some of his best cheeses. Due to the market’s very bizarre restrictions, he can sell exactly two or three cheeses. He has brought his best cheddar, brie, gouda, roquefort, gruyere, and camembert. How many potential groupings of cheeses can he create for display to customers? 

A) 6
B) 15
C)
20
D) 35
E) 120

The process of considering the two cases independently will remain the same. It cannot be both two and three cheeses. So let’s examine the two-cheese case first. There are six cheese to choose from, and we are choosing a subgroup of two. That means n=6 and k=2:

combinations and permutation on the gmat, combination math on the gmat

Now, let’s actually dig in and do the math:

combinatorics and permutations on the GMAT, combination math on the gmat

combinatorics and permutations on the GMAT, combination math on the gmat

From here, you’ll notice that 4*3*2*1 cancels from top and bottom, leaving you with 6*5 = 30 in the numerator and 2*1 in the denominator:

combinatorics and permutations on the GMAT, combination math on the gmat That leaves us with:

6C2 = 15 combinations of two cheeses

Now, how about the three-cheese case? Similarly, there are six cheeses to choose from, but now we are choosing a subgroup of three. That means n=6 and k=3:

solving a combinatorics problem

From here, you’ll notice that the 3*2*1 in the bottom cancels with the 6 in the top, leaving you with 5*4 = 20 in the numerator:

combination problem on the gmat answer

That leaves us with:

6C3 = 20 combinations of three cheeses

With 15 cases in the first situation and 20 in the second, the total is 35 cases, and our final answer is D. 

Next time, we’ll talk about what happens when we have permutations with repeat elements.

In the meantime, as an exercise, scroll back up and return to the 10-painting problem I presented earlier and see if you can find the answer. Bonus question: redo the problem with a subgroup of 6 paintings instead of 4 paintings. Try to anticipate: do you imagine we’ll have more combinations in this new case or fewer?

Permutations and Combinations Intro
A Continuation of Permutation Math
An Intro To Combination Math
Permutations With Repeat Elements
Permutations With Restrictions
Combinations with Restrictions
Independent vs Dependent Probability
GMAT Probability Math – The Undesired Approach
GMAT Probability Meets Combinatorics: One Problem, Two Approaches

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Triangle With Other Shapes on the GMAT
Posted on
16
Feb 2021

Triangles With Other Shapes

By: Rich Zwelling, Apex GMAT Instructor
Date: 16th February, 2021

As discussed before, now that we’ve talked about the basic triangles, we can start looking at how the GMAT can make problems difficult by embedding triangles in other figures, or vice versa. 

Here are just a few examples, which include triangles within and outside of squares, rectangles, and circles:

triangles in other shapes GMAT article

Today, we’ll talk about some crucial connections that are often made between triangles and other figures, starting with the 45-45-90 triangle, also known as the isosceles right triangle.

You’ve probably seen a rectangle split in two along one of its diagonals to produce two right triangles:

triangles in other shapes gmat article gmat problem

But one of the oft-overlooked basic geometric truths is that when that rectangle is a square (and yes, remember a square is a type of rectangle), the diagonal splits the square into two isosceles right triangles. This makes sense when you think about it, because the diagonal bisects two 90-degree angles to give you two 45-degree angles:

triangles in other shapes gmat article, 45 45 90 degree angle

(For clarification, the diagonal of a rectangle is a bisector when the rectangle is a square, but it is not a bisector in any other case.)

Another very common combination of shapes in more difficult GMAT Geometry problems is triangles with circles. This can manifest itself in three common ways:

  1. Triangles created using the central angle of a circle

triangle in a circle, gmat geometry article

In this case, notice that two of the sides of the triangle are radii (remember, a radius is any line segment from the center of the circle to its circumference). What does that guarantee about the triangle?

Since two side are of equal length, the triangle is automatically isosceles. Remember that the two angles opposite those two sides are also of equal measure. So any triangle with the center of the circle as one vertex and points along the circumference as the other two vertices will automatically be an isosceles triangle.

2. Inscribed triangles

triangle inscribed in circle, gmat problem

An inscribed triangle is any triangle with a circle’s diameter as one of its sides and a vertex along the circumference. And a key thing to note: an inscribed triangle will ALWAYS be a right triangle. So even if you don’t see the right angle marked, you can rest assured the inscribed angle at that third vertex is 90 degrees.

3. Squares and rectangles inscribed in circles

rectangle in circle, gmat geometry

What’s important to note here is that the diagonal of the rectangle (or square) is equivalent to the diameter of the circle.

Now that we’ve seen a few common relationships between triangles and other figures, let’s take a look at an example Official Guide problem:

A small, rectangular park has a perimeter of 560 feet and a diagonal measurement of 200 feet. What is its area, in square feet?

A) 19,200
B) 19,600
C) 20,000
D) 20,400
E) 20,800

Explanation

The diagonal splits the rectangular park into two similar triangles:

triangle in other shapes gmat problem

Use SIGNALS to avoid algebra

It can be tempting to then jump straight into algebra. The formulas for perimeter and diagonal are P = 2L + 2W an D2 = L2 + W2, respectively, where L and W are the length and width of the rectangle. The second formula, you’ll notice, arises out of the Pythagorean Theorem, since we now have two right triangles. We are trying to find area, which is LW, so we could set out on a cumbersome algebraic journey.

However, let’s try to use some SIGNALS the problem gives us and our knowledge of how the GMAT operates to see if we can short-circuit this problem.

We know the GMAT is fond of both clean numerical solutions and common Pythagorean triples. The large numbers of 200 for the diagonal and 560 for the perimeter don’t change that we now have a very specific rectangle (and pair of triangles). Thus, we should suspect that one of our basic Pythagorean triples (3-4-5, 5-12-13, 7-24-25) is involved.

Could it be that our diagonal of 200 is the hypotenuse of a 3-4-5 triangle multiple? If so, the 200 would correspond to the 5, and the multiplying factor would be 40. That would also mean that the legs would be 3*40 and 4*40, or 120 and 160.

Does this check out? Well, we’re already told the perimeter is 560. Adding 160 and 120 gives us 280, which is one length and one width, or half the perimeter of the rectangle. We can then just double the 280 to get 560 and confirm that we do indeed have the correct numbers. The length and width of the park must be 120 and 160. No algebra necessary.

Now, to get the area, we just multiply 120 by 160 to get 19,200 and the final answer of A.

Check out the following links for our other articles on triangles and their properties:

A Short Meditation on Triangles
The 30-60-90 Right Triangle
The 45-45-90 Right Triangle
The Area of an Equilateral Triangle
Isosceles Triangles and Data Sufficiency
Similar Triangles
3-4-5 Right Triangle
5-12-13 and 7-24-25 Right Triangles

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