THE GMAT • What is the GMAT and how is it used? • What does the test involve? • How can you best prepare? Part One What is the GMAT and how is it used? The basics • What GMAT means • How the GMAT may be used – by schools • one of several metrics • test of character – by you • application • CV • learning Part Two What does the test involve? Test overview • • • • • • Essay (AWA) ~ 30 minutes Integrated Reasoning ~ 30 minutes 8 minute break Quant ~ 75 minutes 8 minute break Verbal ~ 75 minutes The less important bits 1 • Analytical Writing Assessment – importance – how to ace it • template • keep it simple • be clear & concise – preparation • planning – timing • plan, write, review The less important bits 2 • Integrated Reasoning – importance 1. according to GMAC 2. according to schools & tutors – preparation • question types • synthesising information – timing – all multiple choice The less important bits 3 • Do – stay calm ~ you know what to expect – keep it simple (AWA) – do what you can (IR) • Don’t – take them too seriously – show off (AWA) – worry about getting everything right (IR) Your mission in the first hour is… Be fresh and focused for Quant and Verbal! Quant overview • 37 questions – almost exactly 2 mins per question made up of… • 22 Problem Solving (normal Maths) • 15 Data Sufficiency – same theory, different format Verbal overview • 41 questions – a little less than 2 mins per question • Sentence Correction – correcting grammar and style • Critical Reasoning – a question about an argument • Reading Comprehension – what it sounds like N.B. • In both sections, question types are mixed up • All questions are multiple choice (A-E) Problem Solving 1 The two big areas of theory are.. Number Properties and Algebra Problem Solving 2 Other reasonably important areas are.. Fractions & Percentages Powers & Roots Statistics Rate & Ratio Geometry Problem Solving 3 And finally, don’t worry too much about.. Sequences Venn diagrams Coordinate geometry Functions Probability Combinatorics Symbolism Data Sufficiency 1 • Requires same theory as Problem Solving • You are asked a question • You are given statements (1) and (2) • You decide whether the statements give sufficient information to answer the question There are two types of questions… Data Sufficiency 2 “What is the value?” questions Example What is the value of x + y? (1) x = 3 and y = 5 (2) a = 2 and b = 1 We can answer with (1) but not with (2) Data Sufficiency 3 A similar example What is the value of x + y? (1) x = 7 (2) y = 11 We need both statements together to answer the question; one statement on its own is not enough Data Sufficiency 4 Yes / No questions Example Is x a prime number? (1) 6 < x < 8 (2) x has two factors Got an answer? Data Sufficiency 5 Either statement on its own is sufficient to know that the answer is Yes N.B. If a statement (or statements) is sufficient to give a definite answer of NO, that’s ok too Sentence Correction 1 Theory required: Rules of (old-fashioned, formal, written) English grammar AND An understanding of (good) style in written English Sentence Correction 2 Format: • You are given a sentence, some or all of which is underlined • You must replace the underlined portion with one of five options • Answer choice A is always the same, i.e. the sentence is correct as it stands Critical Reasoning 1 Format: • You are given an argument. Arguments may contain the following: – Premise (fact) – Assumption – Conclusion (opinion) • You get a question on that argument – multiple choice answers Critical Reasoning 2 Sample questions: • What would strengthen/weaken the argument? • On what assumption is the argument based? • What would help us to better evaluate the argument? Reading Comprehension 1 Format: • You are given a passage of ~350 words • Any topic ~ no outside knowledge needed • You answer 3 (or sometimes 4) multiple choice questions Reading Comprehension 2 Sample questions: • What is the primary purpose of this passage? • The author would most likely agree with which of the following statements? • Theory A differs from Theory B on which of the following points? Part Three How can you best prepare? What To Do 1 Quant first steps • Learn the theory • Use a Maths book • Do one topic at a time • Practise processes until they become automatic What To Do 2 OG questions • Start with the lower-numbered questions in each section as they’re easier (supposedly) • Work out what you don’t know, or can’t do, and then fix it How To Do It 1 When you sit down to study, HAVE A LEARNING OBJECTIVE Never an amount of questions Never a set time By the end of this session… What do I want to have achieved? I want to be better at….. what? How To Do It 2 When going through the OG, DO EACH QUESTION (AT LEAST) 3 TIMES 1. Test conditions 2. Long as you like 3. Review (later) How To Do It 3 REVIEW EVERYTHING! (especially when you’re tired after work ~ save new questions for when you’re fresher) FIND YOUR WEAKNESSES Fixing it 1 I didn’t know what to do =( • Look for clues – Keywords – Answer choices • Compare similar questions Fixing it 2 It took too long =( • Practise processes • Learn to read questions (clues / similar questions) • Find shortcuts • Just get the answer however you can! Fixing it 3 I don’t understand this topic very well =( • • • • Go back to basics Work on one topic at a time Practise until you do understand Ask for help Fixing it 4 I made a silly mistake =( • Work out why – copying error – going too quickly – messy working – misread the question • Always re-read the question! Top tips 1 Have a timing strategy • Time as an investment ~ ROI • Faster and slower ~ what difference does it make? Top tips 2 Use the answer choices • Issues • Similarities and differences • Clues, common elements Top tips 3 Learn to eliminate wrong answers Problem Solving skills • • • • • • Multiplication and division Prime factorisation Identifying number properties Deriving algebraic equations Solving algebraic equations Applying formulae • Reading the question Data Sufficiency skills • Being methodical • Finding a method that works for you Sentence Correction skills • Applying rules of grammar • Spotting small differences • Developing an instinct for the sound of a sentence • Giving reasons why things that sound wrong are wrong Critical Reasoning skills • Simplifying an argument – line of reasoning • Identifying premises, assumptions, conclusions, inferences etc. • Knowing what is ‘outside the scope’ • Clarifying the two sides of an argument – double negatives Reading Comprehension skills • Speed reading • Summarising • Mind-mapping or other note-taking – descriptive vs argumentative • Identifying keywords • Recognising synonyms Resources • • • • • GCSE level Maths book The Official Guide to GMAT Review A book on English grammar and style mba.com free software Other online resources e.g. khanacademy.org More fun ways to prepare • • • • • • • Sudoku Spot the difference Crosswords Card games Philosophy Old newspaper reports Numbers in everyday life Deliberate mistake 1 Is x a prime number? (2) x has two factors Statement (2) is the definition of a prime number, therefore statement (2) is sufficient BUT… Deliberate mistake 2 Is x a prime number? (1) 6 < x < 8 x does not have to be an integer, therefore statement (1) is NOT sufficient Area 51 This is slide #51 What are the properties of 51? Slide 52 51 = 3 x 17 (it has no other properties, so if 51 appears in a question it’s probably because it divides by 17) And 52? 52 = 2 x 26 52 = 4 x 13 (4 suits of 13 cards) etc.