GMAT - Verbal
Approximately one-third of the GMAT Verbal problems you see will be of the Critical Reasoning variety, in which you read a paragraph (or two short paragraphs representing a dialogue) of up to 125 words and then answer a question based on it. While the general instructions are relatively straightforward, there are three things you must do in order to succeed on these problems.
1. Select the only correct answer.
The official instructions for Critical Reasoning read: “For these questions, select the best of the answer choices given.” This wording can cause some real problems for examinees who interpret it very literally. Why? Because looking for “the best” answer implies that there may be more than one “good” answer. That’s dangerous in practice, because you could look at the right answer and think “I get why that’s better than mine (but mine is still good)” and therefore overlook a fatal flaw in your thinking. This is risky on test day because it leads to your spending energy ranking or otherwise comparing answer choices more subjectively when, in reality, there is only one correct answer and the other four are definitely incorrect. Continue reading…
Here is the second part of the GMAT Reading Comprehension Article from Manhattan Review Germany, a provider of GMAT tutoring in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich. In this article, they reveal Manhattan Review’s best five strategies how to tackle GMAT Reading Comprehension questions. If you have missed the first part of this post, you can find it here.
Let’s see how these tips might help. Here is a Reading Comprehension exercise from Manhattan Review’s Study Companion. The subject matter is the historic transition from classical physics to quantum physics. It is intellectually difficult; so the challenge is to read quickly AND to get a handle on the author’s central argument on the first read through:
However inventive Newton’s clockwork universe seemed to his contemporaries, by the early twentieth century, it had become a sort of smugly accepted dogma. Luckily for us, this deterministic picture of the universe breaks down at the atomic level.
The clearest demonstration that the laws of physics contain elements of randomness is the behavior of radioactive atoms. Pick two identical atoms of a radioactive isotope, say naturally occurring uranium 238, and watch them carefully. They will begin to decay at different times, even though there was no difference in their initial behavior. We would be in big trouble if these atoms’ behavior were as predictable as expected in the Newtonian world-view, because radioactivity is an important source of heat for our planet. In reality, each atom chooses a random moment at which to release its energy, resulting in a nice steady heating effect. The earth would be a much colder planet if only sunlight heated it and not radioactivity. Probably there would be no volcanoes, and the oceans would never have been liquid. The deep-sea geothermal vents in which life first evolved would never have existed. Continue reading…
Today’s GMAT tip comes from Manhattan Review Germany, a provider of GMAT Prep courses in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich. In this article, they reveal Manhattan Review’s best 5 strategies for tackling GMAT Reading Comprehension questions. In fact, the tip is so detailed that we had to split it into two parts!
Reading Comprehension is probably the least fun part of the GMAT. The texts are frequently turgid, their subject matter is arcane, the questions are difficult to understand and the answer choices seem indistinguishable. Nonetheless, there is no way to avoid Reading Comprehension. There will be at least three, maybe four, passages to read in the test and at least 12, maybe 14, questions to answer in total. So it is good to go in with a positive attitude and with a clear strategy to extract maximum points in the minimum amount of time. Here are five tips to guide you:
- Don’t expect to be stimulated
The texts are often dull, poorly written and concern subjects you either find uninteresting or know little about or have difficulty understanding. Don’t worry about that. Everybody is in the same boat as you. Don’t beat yourself up over not having read up on ceramics or superconductors or the lives of amphibians or the latest research on medieval poetry. The test givers don’t expect you to have any expertise on abstruse subjects. They are testing your ability to read quickly, to extract and process information efficiently and to draw inferences and make logical connections even when you know next to nothing about the material. Do keep in mind that there will be at least one passage that involves an issue in the natural sciences.So, settle down, grit your teeth, accept the challenge and start reading. Learning to focus is key. Before the test, practice reading esoteric texts to find out what best helps you to concentrate while you’re reading. Making notes is usually helpful. Remember: You’re not writing notes that you intend to use to prepare for finals. You’re writing notes primarily to help you to focus on the text. Continue reading…
Here is the second part of the Critical Reasoning tip from Manhattan Review UK, a provider of GMAT tutoring in London. In this post, they reveal Manhattan Review’s best 5 strategies how to tackle GMAT Critical Reasoning questions. If you have missed the first part of this post, you can find it here.
Let’s continue with our strategies for GMAT Critical Reasoning with the remaining two strategies and a comprehensive example:
4. Find the flaw in the assumption
In Weaken arguments the conclusions are not warranted because the assumptions are flawed. There are many examples of flawed assumptions. Here are just a few of them: Continue reading…
Today’s GMAT tip comes from Manhattan Review UK, a provider of GMAT Prep courses in London. In this article, Manhattan Review reveals 5 strategies for successfully tackling GMAT Critical Reasoning questions. In fact, the tip has so much detail that we had to split it into two parts.
More than any other part of the GMAT, Critical Reasoning needs to be approached strategically. Each of the four Critical Reasoning question types—Assumption, Inference, Explanation/Paradox and Method of Reasoning—has its own corresponding strategy. Four question types—four strategies.
Let us deal first with Assumption questions, because they account for something like 70% of all of the Critical Reasoning questions. Moreover, something like 60% of the Assumption questions consist of so-called Weaken questions; that is, questions that require you to weaken/undermine/challenge the argument’s conclusion. Here are five tips on how to attack Weaken questions: Continue reading…
Today’s GMAT tip comes from Professor Joern Meissner, PhD, founder and chairman of Manhattan Review GMAT Prep. In this article, he provides Manhattan Review’s five best strategies for GMAT Sentence Correction questions. Read on to see what he has to say!
Here are Manhattan Review’s five top strategies for attacking Sentence Correction questions:
- Don’t expect the right answer to read like a sentence crafted by Henry James or Gustave Flaubert. The best sentence is often the best of a bad bunch—it’s the one with the least number of egregious errors. Therefore, don’t be put off if the sentence you choose sounds awkward. If the worst thing about it is that it sounds like something your boss might dash off in an office memo, don’t worry.
- More than half of the Sentence Correction exercises will involve at least one Subject-Verb agreement issue. Therefore, always make sure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row and that all of the subjects are properly aligned with their verbs. Remember, a subject has to agree with a verb, as a matter of number and as a matter of logic.
- Make sure your pronouns are lined up properly with their antecedents. If the antecedent is plural, the pronoun replacing it must be plural. This is a particularly important issue in long, convoluted sentences in which it is easy to forget a pronoun’s antecedent.
- Get your comparatives sorted out. “As” goes with “as”; “more,” “less” and “fewer” go with “than.” Never combine the two. Sentences such as “The girls fared as well or better than the boys.” It has to be one or the other: “The girls fared as well as the boys.” Or “The girls fared better than the boys.”
- Make life easy for yourself and narrow your choices down as quickly as possible. Spot the critical issue and eliminate the answer choices that obviously come down on the wrong side of it.
Take a look at the following sentence from Manhattan Review’s course material as an example: Continue reading…
Each year thousands of individuals begin journeys that they hope will ultimately lead to an acceptance offer from top-tier business schools around the world, and for the majority of these applicants one of the first steps on the b-school path is studying for and taking the GMAT exam. With the 2012-2013 application season wrapping up, a whole new cohort of aspiring MBA students are beginning to get serious about their own school choices and application materials. Most schools won’t be releasing their updated application requirements until later in the summer, so one concrete element of their application that they can start working on now is properly preparing themselves for taking the exam. We sat down with the founders of the major online GMAT communities (Beat The GMAT and GMAT Club) as well as the Director of Academic Programs at leading GMAT test prep firm, Veritas Prep. These individuals have a combined wealth of experience to draw upon when providing helpful tips and insights to share with anyone contemplating an application to business school in 2013-14. In the article that follows, readers will have the opportunity to learn about common misconceptions many test takers have about the exam, successful approaches to creating a study schedule, specific tips that can help those who struggle with either the verbal or the quant sections, and valuable insights on how to approach retaking the test. We additionally have checked in with the official information provided by GMAC, the organization that creates and administers the GMAT exam.
Today’s GMAT Tip comes to us from Kaplan. In this article, Kaplan GMAT instructor Bret Ruber explains how to approach sentence correction questions on the GMAT:
Because the GMAT is a standardized test, understanding the structure of certain questions types can give you an advantage on test day. Specifically, by understanding how the test maker is setting up a type of problem, you can move through the problem more quickly, giving yourself time for more advanced problems.
On GMAT sentence correction questions, you will be given a sentence, part of which is underlined. In order to answer correctly, you must choose the answer that makes the underlined portion grammatically correct.
The first pattern to keep in mind in these questions involves answer choice (A). The first answer in sentence correction problems will always be the same as the original sentence. Thus, the first way test takers can save time is by not reading this answer choice, as it mirrors the underlined portion in the problem. Continue reading…
Today’s GMAT tip comes from test prep firm ManhattanGMAT. In this article, they provide helpful tips for approaching Reading Comprehension questions on the GMAT. Read on to see what they have to say!
Which type of RC passage is your favorite – social science, business, hard science? Just kidding! I know that most people don’t have a favorite type (though most of us have a least favorite type).
Let’s try one out. Because of space constraints, I’m not going to give you the full passage, but I promise I’ll give you everything you need to know in order to answer the question. This problem is from the free set of questions that comes with GMATPrep. Give yourself up to 1.5 minutes to read the passage excerpt and approximately another 1.5 minutes to answer the question.
* ” The modern multinational corporation is described as having originated when the owner-managers of nineteenth-century British firms carrying on international trade were replaced by teams of salaried managers organized into hierarchies. Increases in the volume of transactions in such firms are commonly believed to have necessitated this structural change. Nineteenth-century inventions like the steamship and the telegraph, by facilitating coordination of managerial activities, are described as key factors. Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century chartered trading companies, despite the international scope of their activities, are usually considered irrelevant to this discussion: the volume of their transactions is assumed to have been too low and the communications and transport of their day too primitive to make comparisons with modern multinationals interesting. Continue reading…
Today’s GMAT Tip comes to us from Kaplan. In this article, Kaplan GMAT instructor Bret Ruber provides helpful advice on answering Sentence Correction questions with modification errors:
Of all of the common errors that appear in the sentence correction portion of the GMAT, modifiers are usually the last type for which test-takers look. However, modification errors are among the most common types of errors on the GMAT and finding these errors right away can often lead you directly to the correct answer.
When checking for modifier errors, you should keep in mind that the GMAT will feature three kinds of modifiers. The first is adjectives. Adjectives are used to modify nouns. For example, in the phrase, “the blue chair,” ‘blue’ is an adjective modifying the noun ‘chair.’
The second is adverbs. Adverbs are used to modify all parts of speech except nouns. Therefore, adverbs will be used to modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Adverbs are usually created by adding ‘ly’ to the end of an adjective. For example, the adjective, “quick” becomes the adverb, “quickly.” Continue reading…
Today’s GMAT Tip comes to us from Kaplan. In this article, Kaplan GMAT instructor Bret Ruber provides helpful advice on answering Sentence Correction questions that feature pronoun errors:
Today we will be looking at a sentence correction problem that features a pronoun error. Pronoun errors are fairly common on the GMAT, so you want to be ready for them. Remember, when you see a pronoun, it must match its antecedent (the word it is replacing) in number and it must be unambiguous – that is, you must know without any doubt what the pronoun’s antecedent is.
During World War II, “code talkers” were Native American soldiers that were specifically recruited to develop codes based in the Navajo language; these codes made any intercepted communications virtually indecipherable.
(A) that were specifically recruited to develop codes based in the Navajo language
(B) who were specifically recruited to develop codes based in the Navajo language
(C) that used the Navajo language to develop the codes they were specifically recruited for
(D) that, when specifically recruited, developed codes based on the Navajo language
(E) who were specifically recruited to develop codes based on the Navajo language