Increasing Your GMAT: Best Of Andrew Geller



Advice on Practice Tests

In terms of your timing: NEVER use the pause button. I wish that button could be removed from all practice tests. If you don’t have time for a practice test or expect to be interrupted in the middle of it, then it might be more beneficial to work on something else. Practice as you want to perform. You might also improve your timing by getting better at moving on from questions for which you don’t have a plan so that you can put some time back on the clock. This is especially important on the Quant.

Study Tips When You Have Little Time

I would focus on working backwards through the Official Guide (starting with the hard questions), working through the hard/medium in the question pack (in timed sets), and taking all of the Official GMAT CATs (the two free GMAT CATs and the two from the exam pack). Try to “plan” your attack on questions rather than “reacting” to questions. Take your time to think about how you want to approach something before starting in with the number crunching. It is OK to get a lot of questions wrong. The important thing is to have an organized review so that you learn how to approach the questions in the right way.

[Here are] two things to help with [your] review:

1. Take a screenshot of every question that you get wrong or have a tough time with. Put these screenshots in a folder. Work through (5 to 15 questions) a portion of that folder every day. When you are 100% on a question then take it out of the folder.

2. To help with your approach, search for the questions in the GMAT forums. Usually there is at least one good explanation.

I scored a 740. Do you have any tips that could put me at a 770+ score?

Considering that you’re already scoring well in the Quant, you could improve your timing and accuracy by working on some really tough questions. Two suggestions:

1. Question of the Day on the Atlantic GMAT site. There are about 100 really tough questions there along with full explanations. Work through those and I can pretty much guarantee that you will learn some helpful Quant strategies.

2. GMAT Club Quant CATs. GMAT Club has 25 Quant sections. These are great training for people who want to push the Quant. I would take a month or so and knock out all of them. These are tough so don’t worry about the scores.

I know that you’re not asking about verbal but for that last 1% you might look to LSAT Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. These questions provide really challenging practice that should give you an edge on the GMAT verbal.

How do you approach conversions?

Conversion is one those GMAT quant fundamentals that is certainly worth sorting out early on in your studying. I have seen students tackle tough rate problems, only to bungle the conversion at the end and ultimately get the wrong answer. It’s always good to double check what units the question is asking for.

So what we’re talking about here is converting from one unit to another whether it be miles to kilometers, dollars to pounds, or minutes to seconds.

One way to tackle this is to set up a proportion. This will always work and doesn’t require you to remember anything special except for how to set up a proportion, a skill that you will need on the rest of the GMAT as well.

Let’s say that you want to know how many feet are in 96 inches. Well, you know that there are 12 inches in one foot. If you double the number of inches to 24 then the number of feet must also double. With that principle in mind you can find any number of feet given a certain number of inches and vice versa.

The left hand side of the equation should be the proportion or ratio that you know. In this case we know that for every 1 foot you get 12 inches. The right side of the equation should follow the same format as the left, meaning that if you have Feet/Inches on the left you need to have Feet/Inches on the right. You can’t have Feet/Inches = Inches/Feet.

The amount of feet in 96 inches is your variable (what you are solving for) so we can label that X.

1 Foot/12 Inches = X Feet/96 Inches

(X feet)(12 Inches) = (1 foot)(96 Inches)

X = 96/12

X = 8

If you are doing a multi-step conversion, say from seconds to hours, it can help to approach one conversion at a time. In this case, from seconds to minutes and then from minutes to hours.

Whether you are a GMAT expert or beginner, it is good policy to double check that your answer is in the correct format. This comes up in a variety of question types but I have seen it most often in Rate/Work and Geometry questions.

DON’T MISS: Why the GMAT Has Gotcha Questions

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.