#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.

Watch the video to learn more!

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!

How to Start Preparing for the GMAT: 4 First Steps


So you’re ready to study for the GMAT. But where should you start? The demands of prepping for the exam can be overwhelming, but if you know how to begin, you’ll set yourself up for success.

In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about how to start preparing for GMAT test day, including when to start studying, how to make a prep plan, and what to focus on first. Continue reading “How to Start Preparing for the GMAT: 4 First Steps”

The Best GMAT IR Practice: 200+ Questions for Your Prep


For many students, there’s an air of mystery surrounding the GMAT Integrated Reasoning section.  Designed to test real-world skills, the IR section can seem more complicated to study for than the other sections of the exam. In this guide, I’ll help you find the best tools for GMAT integrated reasoning practice.

First, I’ll talk about what the IR section tests and the types of questions you’ll see on it. Next, I’ll talk about what you need to prepare for the IR and what you should look for in your IR practice materials. Then, I’ll review both official and unofficial practice materials so that you have a good starting place to begin your practice. Finally, I’ll give you some tips for making the most out of your Integrated Reasoning GMAT practice.

Continue reading “The Best GMAT IR Practice: 200+ Questions for Your Prep”

The 6 Best GMAT PDFs for Your Prep


If you don’t have regular access to a computer or another web-enabled device, or if you simply like using pen and paper, studying with a GMAT PDF can be another way to prepare on your GMAT preparation journey.

There aren’t many high quality GMAT PDF resources out there, but in this guide, I’ll give you links to some of the best ones across a number of categories. I’ll also talk about the pros and cons of using a GMAT PDF as you’re preparing to take the GMAT.

Continue reading “The 6 Best GMAT PDFs for Your Prep”

The Best GMAT Essay Template to Help You Ace the AWA


The essay portion of the GMAT, known as the Analytical Writing Assessment, probably doesn’t resemble the kinds of essays that you’ve written for college.  Luckily, the essay task itself and the prompts that you’ll encounter for it are fairly formulaic. This means that your approach to writing the essay can be boiled down into a template. A template is like a blueprint or a model: it gives you a predesigned, customized format and structure. You’ve likely written outlines for essays before—the GMAT essay template is similar but a bit more detailed, as anything that is standard can be pre-written out, so that all you have to do is fill in the specifics. 

If you’ve already done some research, you know that there are several variations of GMAT essay templates out there—both individual high scorers and a few test prep companies have offered up their own template styles, based on the approaches they like best. In this post, we’ll go over what the GMAT essay assignment is, how a template can help you nail it, and give you a few example templates that reflect different kinds of approaches you can take. Finally, we’ll discuss how to make your own template based on what works best for you.

Continue reading “The Best GMAT Essay Template to Help You Ace the AWA”

GMAT Sample Tests: The Best Way to Start Studying


If you’ve looked at any GMAT study plan or enrolled in any GMAT prep classes, you’ve probably noticed that the first thing either one will have you do is take a full-length GMAT sample test. That’s because taking GMAT practice tests is a great way to establish your baseline skills and monitor your progress as you move towards test day. But where can you find sample tests to incorporate in your GMAT prep?

In this guide, I’ll talk about how to use sample GMAT tests to get started with your studying. First, I’ll discuss why it’s so important to take sample tests in the first place. Next, I’ll discuss what makes a good sample GMAT (all sample GMATs are not created equal). Then, I’ll give you links to free official and unofficial sample tests you can use. Finally, I’ll talk about how you can use GMAT sample tests to further your studying and get you closer to achieving your GMAT goal score.

Continue reading “GMAT Sample Tests: The Best Way to Start Studying”

GMAT Remainder Problems: 3 Key Tips

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t thought about remainders in over ten years, when you first learned about long division in elementary school. Remember those lessons on what we call the number that’s left over in a division problem? Yeah, that number’s called a remainder.

And guess what? Remainders show up a lot on the GMAT. Of course, the remainder problems you’ll encounter on the GMAT are much different than the ones you worked on when you were ten years old. GMAT remainder questions can often be quite tricky, but don’t worry! In this guide, I’ll give you a comprehensive overview of GMAT remainder problems so that you feel ready to solve them when you see them on test day.

Continue reading “GMAT Remainder Problems: 3 Key Tips”

#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.

Happy GMAT Reading Comprehension studies!

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.

Watch the video to learn more!

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!