## #1 GMAT Critical Reasoning Trick: What’s the Question? [Video]

An incredibly common trap that test takers fall into on GMAT Critical Reasoning problems is answering the wrong question. Like how Reading Comprehension wrong answer traps are designed to mimic the wrong part of the passage (check out our #1 Reading Comprehension Trick video for more on this), GMAT Critical Reasoning wrong answer traps are designed to answer good questions about the passage and its topics — just not the question that is actually being asked.

This is further complicated by the fact that many Critical Reasoning GMAT questions are written using confusing or vague language that require interpretation to figure out exactly what you’re supposed to be looking for. So how can we be sure to answer the right question on GMAT Critical Reasoning problems?

In “#1 GMAT Critical Reasoning Trick: What’s the Question?”, we walk through the top trick for avoiding classic wrong answer traps on Critical Reasoning GMAT questions: putting the question into your own words, making sure to clarify any vague language.

Watch the video to see how we use this trick to solve a real GMAT Critical Reasoning problem!

For more quick Verbal tips, check out the videos for our #1 Reading Comprehension Trick and our #1 Sentence Correction Trick!

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy GMAT Critical Reasoning studies!

## 7 Tips for Retaking the GMAT [Video]

Retaking the GMAT is common, but it is most often not very successful — the average score improvement on a second try is only about 30 points. In some cases, that’s enough to get into your dream school, but in many others, it’s a waste of a \$250 test and weeks or months of study.

So how can you be sure that your GMAT retake won’t leave you needing to schedule yet another retake? In “7 Tips for Retaking the GMAT”, we walk you through the top tips for getting the score you want on your retake test day.

To achieve your goal score, it’s important to approach your GMAT retake differently than your previous attempt(s), as well as to use your previous test experience to your advantage. In these 7 tips, we cover

• whether or not you should be retaking the GMAT (it isn’t for everyone).
• when you should schedule your GMAT retake based on how much time you’ll need to get the score improvement you want (and how to calculate this yourself using your previous GMAT score).
• how you should structure your study leading up to retaking the GMAT.
• how you should approach the day of your GMAT retake itself.

We also dig into the value of investing in certain study tools (such as the GMAT Enhanced Score Report and personalized programs/tutoring) for building out and sticking to a study plan that will work for you.

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy GMAT studies, and good luck retaking the GMAT!

## #1 GMAT Reading Comprehension Trick: How to Avoid Trap Answers [Video]

Wrong answer choices on Reading Comprehension GMAT questions are designed to include words, phrases, and ideas from the passage the question is tied to. This means that many wrong answer choices look right, since we can find “evidence” for them in the text. We can only successfully prove that the answer choice is wrong if we carefully read and understand the context of the related portion of the passage, which is both easy to mess up and tremendously time consuming when applied to every single wrong answer choice.

So how can we avoid getting confused by and wasting time on these wrong answer traps? In “#1 GMAT Reading Comprehension Trick: How to Avoid Trap Answers”, we explain one of the most valuable GMAT Reading Comprehension tips: making predictions.

Before even looking at the answer choices on Reading Comprehension questions, we should spend time attempting to answer the question in our own words based on information from the passage — in other words, we should make a prediction for what the correct answer will be. Only after we’re confident in our prediction should we look at our answer choices.

If we make a solid prediction, the correct answer choice will often be immediately apparent, as it will match our prediction perfectly. This allows us to bypass the wrong answers altogether, meaning there’s no way for us to get caught in their traps! In the case that the correct answer isn’t immediately obvious, we’ll still be able to quickly eliminate most (if not all) of the wrong answer traps for not matching our prediction, increasing our accuracy and saving us time.

Watch the video to see how this strategy is applied on a real Reading Comprehension GMAT question!

Used in conjunction with the GMAT Reading Comprehension tips from our GMAT Reading Comprehension Question Types video, making predictions can transform your performance on the Reading Comprehension section. Making predictions is also a valuable strategy on the Critical Reasoning section, where wrong answer choices are often closely related to the wrong part of the passage.

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

## How to Plug in “Smart” Numbers on GMAT Math: 4 Tips [Video]

Like we discussed in our Online Lesson: Introduction to Data Sufficiency video, picking numbers should not be our go-to strategy for most questions on the GMAT Math section. Most problem types aren’t easily solved by plugging in numbers. Then, even on the problems where number picking is a viable strategy, most test takers approach it incorrectly, which causes them to waste time and confuse themselves. So when is this strategy actually useful? And how can we use it to improve our GMAT Math score?

In “How to Plug in ‘Smart’ Numbers on GMAT Math Problems: 4 Tips”, we’ll teach you how apply one of the most misused GMAT Math strategies successfully on test day with four GMAT Math tips.

While number picking shouldn’t be our first resort on any GMAT Math problem, some questions lend themselves more to number picking than others. Our first tip explores how we can identify questions that are good candidates for number picking.

In our second tip, we delve into our goals for number picking. One of the reasons that number picking is not always an effective strategy is that test takers often plug numbers in randomly without considering how the result will impact which answer choice they’ll pick. We look at how we should have different objectives for different GMAT Math question types, and how these goals will impact the types of numbers (as well as how many numbers) we pick.

Our third and fourth GMAT Math tips explore how to pick “smart” numbers to meet these goals. First, we look at how thinking about categories of numbers can give us a window into which numbers “work” in our problem and which numbers don’t. Then, we consider how to pick specific numbers within these categories for quick math without a calculator.

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy GMAT Math studies!

## Grammar Order of Operations: Prioritizing GMAT Sentence Correction Rules [Video]

I spend a lot of time on online GMAT forums, and one thing I see all the time is test takers ruling out their first few wrong answer choices based on something relatively unimportant like an ambiguous pronoun. Nobody ever told them that some GMAT Sentence Correction rules matter more than others! In fact, some GMAT Sentence Correction “rules”, are more like “suggestions” — some things that test takers consider “errors” are only wrong if there aren’t any worse errors in the other answer choices.

So how do we ensure that we’re eliminating the most egregious errors first and saving the less important errors for last? In “Grammar Order of Operations: Prioritizing GMAT Sentence Correction Rules”, we walk through which GMAT grammar rules are most important and how to ensure you’re not ruling out a correct answer for an unimportant reason.

When solving a complex math equation, we use the concept of order of operations to determine when to look at each part of the equation. We start by evaluating anything that’s in parentheses, then we apply exponents. Next, we multiply and divide, and finally we add and subtract. If we do these steps in the wrong order, we often end up with the wrong answer for our equation.

Just like math has PEMDAS, there is an order of operations for GMAT grammar rules. We can use this grammar order of operations to eliminate answer choices in order from most important to least important. So when we evaluate answer choices using our GMAT Sentence Correction rules, we should look for errors in in the following order:

1. Meaning Errors
2. Hard Grammar Errors
3. Rhetoric Errors

This means that if we notice a rhetorical issue (like an ambiguous pronoun), we should wait to eliminate the answer until we are sure that there are no more meaning or hard grammar errors in any of the other answer choices.

In the video, we walk through the different kinds of errors in GMAT Sentence Correction rules that fall into each category, such as misplaced modifiers, parallelism, concision, etc. We also discuss how Idiom and Diction Errors can sometimes fall into either the Hard Grammar category of GMAT grammar rules or the Rhetoric category, and how test takers need to be especially careful with them — watch the video to find out why!

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy GMAT Sentence Correction studies!

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is well-known as one of the top business schools in the United States. But why do real MBA candidates choose Kellogg? What exactly does it take to get in? And how important is the GMAT in the admissions process?

In “Ask a Kellogg MBA: Admissions and GMAT FAQ”, we sit down with Yuan Geng, a Kellogg MBA and Director of GRE and TOEFL here at PrepScholar. She answers our questions about Kellogg MBA admissions and responds to some GMAT FAQ, including:

1. Why Kellogg?
2. What was the Kellogg MBA application process like when you applied?
4. How did you study for the GMAT?
5. Did you do anything to study for the GMAT that you wouldn’t recommend to students currently preparing for the test?

Watch the video to hear her answers!

If you like the “Ask a ______ MBA: Admissions and GMAT FAQ” focus of this video, feel free to request an interview focused on a different business school in the YouTube comments! You can also check out our Ask a Wharton MBA video here.

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy studies!

## Online Lesson: GMAT Reading Comprehension Question Types [Video]

Like we discussed in our GMAT Time Management Made Simple video, different types of Reading Comprehension questions deserve different amounts of time on test day. But what types of questions are there on the Reading Comprehension section of the GMAT? How do we determine which of these questions to spend more or less time on? And what can we do to save time on each type of questions?

In “Online Lesson: GMAT Reading Comprehension Question Types”, we discuss the different types of Reading Comprehension GMAT questions you’ll see on test day, how to recognize them, and how to approach each one.

We can break down Reading Comprehension GMAT questions into “quick” and “not so quick” questions.

• The “quick” questions are ones we should be able to answer based on our initial skim of the passage — we often think of them as “general” questions. These include Main Idea, Logical Structure, and Perspective questions.
• “Not so quick” Reading Comprehension GMAT questions, on the other hand, require test takers to recall specific details from the text or to extrapolate information that isn’t explicitly stated in the passage. These questions should not be addressed by an initial skim and require us to take additional time to look back through the passage. They include Supporting Idea, Inference, and Application questions.

So how do we know which questions belong to which of the GMAT Reading Comprehension question types? Each question type asks for something specific, and typically asks for it using certain words and phrases exclusive to that question type. If we know which clues to look for in the question stem and answer choices, we can determine how to approach and how much time to spend on each of the GMAT Reading Comprehension questions we see on test day.

Watch the video to learn how to identify each of the GMAT Reading Comprehension question types!

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

## Learn the 8 Most Common GMAT Idioms Mistakes [Video]

With so many idioms GMAT test writers love to use, idioms on the Sentence Correction section are already challenging. But what is even more difficult is when test writers intentionally use similar idioms in answer choices in the hopes of confusing test takers. In “The 8 Most Common GMAT Idioms Mistakes”, we go over the idioms that test takers most frequently mix up in GMAT Sentence Correction idioms problems.

While each GMAT idiom has a very specific use on the test itself, many these idioms are used interchangeably in real life. Some even have near identical definitions. For instance, “because of” and “due to” both indicate a cause and effect relationship, but we can never replace one with the other — watch the video to learn why! These words and phrases are incredibly easy to confuse, which is what makes these GMAT Sentence Correction idioms so difficult.

While memorizing every single idiom out there and how it’s used is impossible, we’re in luck: GMAT test writers tend to use the same few tricks over and over. If we memorize which idioms GMAT test writers like to mix up the most, we’ll be prepared when a few of these GMAT idioms tricks show up on test day.

In this video, we walk through each of the 8 GMAT idioms mix ups we’ve identified as being particularly common and particularly tricky. For each, we identify the differences between the mixed up idioms. Then, we look at an example or two of how these GMAT idioms should and should not be used so you can easily eliminate wrong answer choices on test day.

Watch the video to learn the 8 GMAT mix ups you need to avoid!

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy GMAT Sentence Correction studies!

## How to Conquer GMAT Rate Problems [Video]

GMAT rate problems are a constant on the Quantitative section. Many students dread rate problems because they aren’t quick or easy — they often require a series of steps to get to the answer. To make matters worse, this series of steps is usually not immediately obvious because there are so many elements to the problem and because these elements are usually presented as part of a difficult-to-interpret word problem scenario. This means that seeing a clear path to the finish line is difficult with many GMAT rate problems.

So what should we do when we run into a rate problem that we just can’t see how to solve? In “How to Conquer GMAT Rate Problems”, we discuss one of the most valuable GMAT math strategies — taking complex problems step-by-step.

GMAT rate problems give us limited information that we can use in limited ways. At any given step, we are only able to do one or two things with the information we have. Because our options at each step are so limited, we can usually make our way to the answer by figuring out only the next step we are able to take now given the information we have, then repeating the process with the information we learn at each step until we reach our answer. While working out a full, multi-step game plan up top can be overwhelming, simply answering “What can I do with this information?” at each step is more manageable and will eventually lead us to our answer.

In the case of GMAT rate problems, the next step we are able to take is usually doing the next possible conversion — converting the value we have into any another value we can using rates from the problem. We walk through exactly what this means by solving one of the real GMAT rate problems from the GMATPrep software.

Watch the video to see how it’s done!

With this strategy, you’re ready for any multi-step rate problems GMAT test writers can throw at you. However, this isn’t all — taking problems one step at a time when the solution isn’t immediately clear is one of the broader GMAT math strategies, as we can apply it to a variety of multi-step problems. Not sure what to do with a bunch of terms with exponents? See how you can combine two or three of them, then see if it simplifies further with your new term. Have a complicated geometric figure? See which angle or side you can solve for now, then see if you can solve for more with the new information.

As a final note, this strategy applies best to distance rate problems, but it can also be used on certain work rate and interest rate questions. If you’d like more detailed information on how to solve each of these specific types of rate problem, check out our rundown of the three types of GMAT rate problems.

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy GMAT studies!

## GMAT Time Management Made Simple [Video]

Effective time management is something many GMAT test takers struggle with – with only two sections that contain many questions and multiple question types, the GMAT makes it easy to mismanage your time during a section and get behind schedule. So on the GMAT, how long should you spend on each question?

In “GMAT Time Management Made Simple”, we break down GMAT time management by the numbers.

In the first half of the video, we go over the length of GMAT Verbal and Quant. Using this information, we determine time per question for each section. We then discuss how on each section of the GMAT, time per question can vary, particularly if the question includes a passage. We use these differences to give guidance on approximate time spend per question type and per question element.

In the second half of the video, we delve into how to use this information on test day to improve your GMAT time management. Effectively managing your time on the GMAT comes down to setting checkpoints for how far you should be in the test based on how much work you have done — we walk through two tried-and-true methods for setting these checkpoints. If you’re behind schedule on one of your check-ins, your primary goal is to get back on track. As a final message, we close with a GMAT time management trick for making up for lost time quickly.

Watch the video to learn how to make the most of your time on the GMAT!

While it isn’t covered in the video, these same GMAT time management principles can also be applied to Integrated Reasoning and the Analytical Writing Assessment.

Test takers are given 30 minutes for 12 Integrated Reasoning questions. On the IR section of the GMAT, time per question should be about 2.5 minutes. However, it’s important to recognize that more complex question types, such as Multi-Source Reasoning, may be more time consuming than others. For AWA, test takers have 30 minutes to assess the given argument and write your essay. Dedicate a reasonable amount of time up top to understanding the argument and outlining your essay (directly on the screen!) before writing a single complete sentence.

To stay updated on our latest GMAT videos, you can subscribe to our new PrepScholar GMAT YouTube channel — we’ll have three new free videos every month.

Happy studies, and good luck preparing for the most important 3 hours and 30 minutes of your GMAT career!