# The GMAT

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How To Ace TheGMATIn 1 MonthCompanion Guide to Online Video CourseThe GMAT Pill Study Method www.gmatpill.comZeke Lee2012Page 1

Table of ContentsChapter 1: Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATHow To Prepare For GMAT In 1 MonthSyllabus: Detailed 5-day Plan For Each SectionGMAT Test Dates And RegistrationWhere Your 250 Fee GoesWhen To Take The GMAT And Why Earlier Is Usually BetterThe 1 GMAT Strategy You Need To KnowGMAT Psychology And Timing StrategiesVisualize SuccessHow To “Do” GMAT QuestionsGetting Into A Top Business SchoolGMAT: Management Consulting & Investment BankingGMAT VS SATGMAT Gets Popular With European Schools45678912141619262931Chapter 2: Verbal: Sentence CorrectionQuestionsAnswer KeySample Frameworks33344243Chapter 3: Verbal: Critical ReasoningQuestionsAnswer KeyChapter 4: Verbal: Reading ComprehensionI. Reading the PassageII How to Approach RC Questions.III. Standard Question TypesIV Key Take Aways4849565859606672Page 2

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMAT8:30-9:30pm: Redo ALL the 600 and 700 level questions inthe GMAT Pill, pausing each video. Again, you SHOULD beable to get ALL of these correct. After all, you’ve alreadyseen these questions before!Syllabus: Detailed 5-day Plan for each section(SC/CR/DS/PS)We say “5-day Plan” but realistically we know most ofyou will not study 5 days in a row straight. So this is planmight span out over 7-10 days assuming you take a dayor two to rest during this time. These 5 days are the daysthat you dedicate to studying for SC.Day 3-6 (Monday-Wednesday) 10pm-11pm before yougo to bed: Go through at least 10 questions each day.This should take you 30 minutes. Additionally, Go throughthe set of 10 questions that you went through the previousday–with the mentality that you should get all of themcorrect. This should take you 20 minutes as you budget 2minutes per question. Refer back to GMAT Pill videos forthought process.Day 1 (Saturday) 10am: Dedicate 2 hours to focus onthe 10 Core Framework videos. Rewind and forwardaccording to how comfortable you are with the material.Noon-1pm: Get Lunch1:30pm – 4:30: Dedicate 3 hours to 600 Level Questions.Pause each video and try to answer the questionyourself. Then hit the play button and see how yourthought process compares to mine.Day 2 (Sunday): 11am-noon: browse through the 10Core Frameworks again, spending more time on thevideos you are less familiar with.1:30pm-3:30pm: Start looking at some practice questionsin the Official Guide. Mark the ones you get wrong on thefirst try. Review the explanations for the ones you getwrong3:30-4:30: Redo ALL of the practice questions you justwent through with the mentality that you SHOULD beable to get ALL of them correct. After all, the ones yougot wrong you already saw the explanation!Page 5

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATcenters are not open on wkends, though you mayoccasionally find a Saturday here or there that could beopen.Browse the test center list before you actually register here.GMAT Test Dates And RegistrationWhen Do I Take the GMAT? When are the GMAT TestDates?It’s not like the SATs where everybody takes the exam atone time. You sign up to take theexam INDIVIDUALLY, whenever you are free. Yes, that’sright. The only thing to consideris when the test center (whichever test center you wantto go, preferably close to where youlive) is open.How much does the GMAT cost? GRE Cost? 250 to register for the GMAT exam. 50 to reschedulebefore 7 days of exam.Why should I take the GMAT now?Well, your GMAT test score is valid for 5 Years. Five yearsis a long time. So even if you arejust out of college, it might make sense to take the examnow while you are still in study mode.How Do I Register for the GMAT?You must create an account withMBA.com, then proceed through the steps to choose atesting center and available time. Once you do that, youmake your 250 payment and you’llhave officially registered for the GMAT exam.Additionally, it is very stressful studying for the exam whileworking full time so the best way to avoid this is to take thetest when you have a break.But, BEFORE YOU REGISTER, you should browsearound the available test centers in your area and seegenerally when they would be free. Your GMAT TestDate will be determined by when your closest test centeris available and reserving that date. You shouldschedule at least a month in advance to make sure thattime slot is open. Also, it’s good to know that most testPage 6

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATShould I study first and then schedule the exam orschedule the exam and then study?This is a personal preference. I would recommend you toschedule the exam a few months in advance when youintend to take it. Pay the 250 (yes, not cheap) it costs totake the exam so that you are invested into the exam–forcing you to study. Otherwise, if you casually study forthe exam, you may never progress anywhere.The 1 GMAT Strategy You Need To KnowMany GMAT students mistakenly believe that focusingtheir study on math is the best strategy to raising theirGMAT score.Sure, if you have a known weakness in math you’ll need tobrush up on your math skills and logic. And yes, the GMATmath is significantly more difficult than the SAT math (moreemphais on logic and structuring the problem rather than onpure calculation).But at the end of the day, doing well on the VERBAL sectionis more important to your overall score than if you didequally well on the MATH section–this is ESPECIALLY truein the 700 range. If you are targeting this score range, youMUST polish up your verbal section.Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some data focusing on thehighest levels of scoring: 700 rangeIf you score 99th percentile in Verbal (49V), and yourQuant score is 39M 57th percentile Total (730, 96th percentile)41M 63th percentile Total (730, 96th percentile)43M 70th percentile Total (740, 97th percentile)Notice it does not matter how many extra points this studentcan get on quant. In the end, her score is around the samePage 9

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATLet me say that again:Doing well in Quant is good, but not as good asdoing well in Verbal!This is almost ridiculous! A high quant score and averageverbal score yields a LOWER score than a high verbalscore and an average quant score!Indeed, the GMAT is biased towards success on theverbal section!!Why would the GMAT creators do this?score of 730 whether her math score is 39 or 43. Doingwell in Verbal pays off!My best guess is one of supply and demand (ah yes,how relevant to an exam for business school). The influxof non-native English speakers from internationalcountries who are strong in quant but weak in verbal andjust the plain fact there are more people that are great atquant (where there is always a correct answer) than thenumer of people who are familiar with the idiomaticintricacies of the English language and inductivereasoning.Now is the opposite true? What if a student scoresoutrageously well in Quant but average in Verbal?If you score 99th percentile in Math (51V), and yourVerbal score is 30V 57th percentile Total (670, 85th percentile)32V 65th percentile Total (690, 88th percentile)34V 70th percentile Total (710, 92nd percentile)But whatever the TRUE reason is, it does NOT matter.What does matter is what this bias in the GMAT meansto you. If your verbal abilities are not strong, then youMUST improve them.Notice doing extremely well in quant does not guaranteeyou a good score. In fact, an average score in the 57thpercentile for verbal and a perfect quant score only giveyou a (670, 85th percentile). Doing well in Quant is good,but not as good as doing well in Verbal!Page 10

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATany prep program or service to teach you reasoning.I strongly believe that ANYBODY can master the sentencecorrection section, but NOT anybody can master the readingcomprehension or critical reasoning.OK, I believe you. I need to improve my verbal score.But will studying necessarily improve my score?Yes and no. Depends on how you study. There arepeople who spend 6 months studying and do not see anyimprovements on their score. And then there are those(including me but also many others, I’m sure) who scoredin the 70th percentile and then studied for 2 weeks andscored in the 98th percentile on the real thing.You need to target your studying. There are 3 sections tothe verbal:1) Sentence Correction2) Critical Reasoning3) Reading ComprehensionBy far, the easiest way to boost your score quickly isto ACE the Sentence Correction part of the exam. It’seasier than you think. While the GMAT test makers haveunlimited imagination in making questions for criticalreasoning and reading comprehension, they can onlytest you on sentence correction in so many ways. If youmaster all possible TYPES of questions on the sentencecorrection AND VARIATIONS on those concepts, thenyou can go into the test with CONFIDENCE that you willace the entire sentence correction part of the exam.You need to take a different mindset when preparing forcritical reasoning and reading comprehension. Yes, thereare some tips and tricks you can use to help guide youthrough these sections, but it is much more difficult forPage 11

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATNeurophysiologist researchers at Stanford University (myalma mater) and University of Chicago evaluated theefficacy of visualization. They compared two sets ofbasketball players. The first group practiced playing whereasthe second group only imagined practicing. The players whodidn’t physically practice, but visualized peak performance,improved 23 -30 percent in their actual basket-shootingability, whereas the students who physically “practiced” sawlittle improvement. (source)Cognition: Think extreme positivity and confidence.Visualize SuccessImagine: It’s test day–thereal deal. Not a practiceexam. You’ve walked byor driven by your testcenter a few days earlierso you know what it lookslike. You imagine yourselfwalking into the testcenter. You know yourtest is in front of acomputer at one of thosetesting centers. Visualizeyourself going throughthe directions on thecomputer.In a way, this is a chicken and egg problem. You need todo well on GMAT questions in order to be confident. Andyou need confidence in order to get the tough GMATquestions correct. But you should develop a little of eachand have them grow upon each other.Spend at least five minutes at a time imagining differentdetails about taking the test. Visualize yourself spottingsentence structures based on keywords or commas.Visualize yourself checking for X & Y consistency forSC questions or recognizing a Data Sufficiency Percentvs. Actual Number question. You know what to look forand where the pitfalls are (multiple % data pointswithout any actual number data points are useless ifthey ask you a “how many” question).Your visualization scene doesn’t need to be the sameeach time, but you need to tap into a sense ofaccomplishment, calm, and confidence. Do this everymorning and before bedtime.Bad thoughts:1) I suck at math.2) There’s no way I’ll finish the exam.3) English is not my first language, I can’t do it.Good thoughts:1) Math is not my strong point, but this math isn’t rocketscience. Sure, I get some wrong, but looking back at them–thePage 14

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATthat I got wrong and see myself think through itcorrectly as if I were sitting in for the real exam.My strategy will be to first get as many correct GMATpractice questions as I can. Then I’ll try to get thosequestions correct in as little time as possible. Anyquestion the GMAT throws at me will be answeredcorrectly and tossed away as I wait for the next one.Bring it!questions are actually pretty easy. I just need tobecome familiar with the different ways that the GMATcan test me on these relatively simple concepts that Ilearned in high school. I can do that! No problem!2) GMAT is a timed test. I’ve had tons of timed testsbefore. I just need to come in with the right thoughtprocess and get enough practice that I have theconfidence to know when I am positively sure about aGMAT question. By being super confident in an answerin as little time as possible, I know know I’ll be able tonail the super easy ones in less than one minute and theharder ones in less than 2-3 minutes. Confidence lessdouble checking/rereading less time.3) Although idioms are a part of the GMAT, a lot of thequestions actually don’t test the idioms. A lot of timesthere are other concepts tested alongside the idiomsand as long as I focus on that portion of the question,understand the key frameworks, and recognize howthose concepts can show up in test questions, I’ll be fine.Extreme positivity:I’m going to kickass on the GMAT. Sure, I’ve been tocollege and failed tons of exams. But the GMAT is somuch easier–it’s high school material repackaged infancy, awkward questions. I just need to get used to it.My goal is to follow a study plan. I’ll stick to it and keeppushing myself. Heck, I’ll even visualize the questionsPage 15

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATmost people don’t “do” questions the right way? Thatimplies that I “do” questions the right way.Well, let me answer that for you.First, let me say that I am NOT naturally “smart.” Unlikesome people who naturally “get it”–I usually have towork at it.Second, even though I’m not naturally smart, I’vedeveloped a mental strategy that helps me get to where Ineed to be.You see, I used to be a nationally ranked cellist andpianist(I admit I was overshadowed by my arch-nemesis,Yo-Yo Ma–pictured here at the Nobel Peace Prizeceremony–so I never quite made it on the internationalscene.haha ).How to “Do” GMAT Questions – Lessons From AMaster CellistGoing through the painstaking process of learning andmemorizing hours of musical literature and performingthem under pressure taught me a few things thatare surprisingly relevant to GMAT studying.OK, so you’ve registered for the GMAT and got a holdof the Official Guide to the GMAT.You’re gonna “do” a bunch of practice questionsand then you’ll be prepared for the GMAT. Right?Wrong!You: “What?!! Learning cello is related toGMATstudying?”“Me: Uh-huh ”Sure, it’s a good idea to “do” GMAT questions, but Iwould say 95% of people don’t have the rightMINDSET when it comes to “doing” questions.Obviously, I should have some reason for making aclaim like that. I mean, who the heck am I to say thatThink about it. “Doing” GMAT questions is like “practicing”new music. At first it’s completely new to you. But youhave to process the new material in your head until youtotally understand it. You can explain it. You can recite it.You understand it.Page 16

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATSo how do you get from A to B?So how do you get from “this is completely newto me” to “I know this” ?“DO” GMAT Questions Like a MusicianWell, in learning new music you don’t memorize thewhole thing at first glance! You first take a smallchunk, like the one below:Focus on the right side.Now that you’ve got the first question or measuredown, now you focus on the second measure. Dothe same thing.Find the pitfalls, avoid them, arrive at the correctanswer.Sure you might get “stuck” here and there, but whenyou’re ready–start from the beginning of thequestion and go all the way through and mark yourcorrect answer.But of course you need to subdivide this chunk. Sofocus on the first measure first:OK, now that you’ve got questions #1 and #2 correctseparately, let’s see if you can go through both of themall the way through without stopping or hesitating.You want to make sure you can think through bothquestions confidently without any hiccups.Sometimes, being exposed to #2, will alter how you mightdo #1. So you want to test yourself to see if you cango through both #1 and #2 without hesitation–AS IF itwere a performance–AS IF it were the real GMAT.Focus on the left side.Figure it out note by note.Identify where the beats are.Identify the sentence structure and any commasyou might see at first glance.And find the correct way to play this and arrive at thecorrect answer.When you’re ready, play this first measure all the waythrough without stopping and mark your correctanswer. Then move on.Page 17

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATYou see, this is how I would learn to master a musicalpiece. Break it into chunks. Subdivide the chunks andfocus over and over. Then move to the next one andfocus over and over. Then combine the two subchunks, practice and practice—until I master thatsubchunk.So start all over. See if you can plow throughquestions #1 – #30 without stopping and gettingALL of them right. After all, you SAW the answerexplanations. So if you really “understood” the answerexplanations, then you should have no problem goingthrough the questions.The same is true for “doing” GMAT questions.First you go through a question. Check the answer.What the heck did you do wrong? How could you haveanswered that question correctly. Did you do a stupidmistake? Did you not see a comma or an obvioussentence structure that you should have seen? Readthe explanation.This is the approach you should be using when you“do” GMAT questions. Once you redo all 30 questionsstraight through. Now do another 30 questions. Thencombine all 60 questions and see if you can runthrough all of them straight through without mistakes.If you subdivide, think through groups of questions,and then REDO all those questions in different ordersAS IF you were sitting for the real exam and you areaware of time pressure, I guarantee your studyingwill be that much more effective than what youare currently doing now.OK, move on to the next question. Do the samething. Look at the explanation. Maybe you got it right,maybe there was a quicker, more efficient way ofarriving at the correct answer. Why did you miss thatmore efficient way? How could you have thought aboutit better so you would arrive at the correct answerfaster?Keep doing this until by the end of the day you domaybe like 30 questions. Now by the time you do 30questions, you probably forgot what the questionsor answers were for question #1.Page 18

Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMATGetting into a top business school is as much aboutbeing a STELLAR candidate as it is about puttingtogether a GREAT application. The GMATPill StudyMethod

Chapter 1: Getting Into the Right Mindset for GMAT. How To Prepare For GMAT In 1 Month 4. Syllabus: Detailed 5-day Plan For Each Section 5. GMAT Test Dates And Registration 6. Where Your 250 Fee Goes 7. When To Take The GMAT And Why Earlier Is Usually Better 8. The 1 GMAT Strategy You Need To Know 9. GMAT Psychology And Timing Strategies 12 .

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