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EMPOWERgmat Blog

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Taking full-length CATs at regular intervals throughout one’s studies is an essential part of the study process. Each CAT, when properly taken in full (and in a realistic, test-like fashion) provides data that can be used to evaluate your progress and give you a better sense of your strengths and weaknesses.  For almost all Test Takers, there will be a point (or a series of points) in which the CAT results appear to show little-to-no actual score improvement. When those situations occur, it’s important to stop and truly evaluate how […]
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When it comes to studying for the GMAT, there are LOTS of different practice resource to choose from. While individual Test Takers will vary on how they ‘best’ learn, the reality is that taking full-length CATs (with the Essay and IR sections) under realistic conditions is an essential part of the study process for ALL Test Takers. The Quality of the CATs that you use matters a GREAT deal Taking full CATs is truly the only way to gauge your ‘readiness’ to face the Official GMAT. In that […]
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On the Official GMAT, certain subjects and question types appear more frequently than others and are thus worth more to your overall score. For those Test Takers who are looking to maximize the value of their study time (and score at a high level), knowing which areas to focus on can make a huge difference in how they perform on Test Day. To that end, the EMPOWERgmat Course was built with a structure that gives Clients the most time to prepare for the most valuable concepts and Tactics. Stage […]
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If you’re familiar with the format of the GMAT, then you know that the Quant section of the Test consists of 37 questions that must be completed in 75 minutes. At some point in the history of the GMAT, someone thought to him(her)self “37 questions in 75 minutes is about 2 minutes per question, since 75/37 =  a little over 2 minutes… therefore I should plan to spend no more than 2 minutes per question…” That concept was the beginning of one of the laziest thoughts in the history of […]
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Many Business School applicants enter into the overall process of taking the GMAT and applying to Business School without realizing how much time and effort everything actually requires. Whether you’ve just recently decided that you want to earn an MBA or you attempted to rush through everything and just couldn’t make the application deadlines, you’re in the perfect position for this year’s Round 1 deadlines. Since many Round 1 deadlines are in September or October, you have the perfect amount of time to build an awesome application and hit the […]
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The beginning of the new year rarely allow GMATers to rest for too long, as looming Round 2 application deadlines are on everyone’s minds. With the Round 2 deadlines now essentially complete for this application cycle, the Team at EMPOWERgmat took time to reflect on the various successes of our Clients. Here is a Top 10 list of stories, from GMATClub Members who raised their scores using EMPOWERgmat: 1) GMAT 750 – What it takes to break 700   by andyvsgmat http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-750-what-it-takes-to-break-198856.html 2) EmpowerGMAT course – excellent […]
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During application season, most Business School applicants assume that once they’ve submitted their applications that the process of applying to Business School is ostensibly over. While they are certainly free to believe that (and can ‘rest on their laurels’), they’re missing out on several steps that they can take to potentially improve the strength of their overall applications. Most Business Schools receive thousands of applications across the application Rounds.  All of those applications take time to review – often weeks or even months can go by before an Admissions […]
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Over the course of the last several days, there have been several posts from site users who have received an invitation to retake the GMAT under special ‘conditions.’ This is apparently a short-term ‘trial program’ that GMAC is using as something of an experiment (with the possibility of a long-term rollout at some point in the future). All invitees have already taken the GMAT before AND have canceled a prior score. Since the trial seems to be restricted to a roughly 2-week span (from late February to early March), and […]
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We’re now through the first full week of 2016 and this is a time of year when many people look to define their goals for the coming 12 months. The start of any year can be seen as representative of the potential for new opportunities, journeys and challenges and it can provide you with a great ‘leaping off’ point for some career-defining (and future-defining) work. Since you’re reading this article, you’re almost certainly considering Business School as part of that future. You might even be in the process of working […]
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Many Test Takers give themselves several months to study for the GMAT, since that Test score is such a vital part of the application process.  The GMAT score is also one of the few elements of the application that you can significantly improve over a relatively short period of time (in contrast to, say, your Work Experience and Grade Point Average, which are likely ‘locked’ in place and cannot be radically improved). While several months of study (when done consistently and in an organized fashion) can lead to great […]
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The GMAT is a predictable, standardized Test, so Test Takers have the potential to properly learn the content that will appear on the Exam. Over the Course of their studies, many GMATers improve their scores to a high-enough level that they feel comfortable scheduling their Official GMAT appointments. Without fail though, a certain percentage of those same Test Takers score at a significantly lower level on Test Day (relative to how they were scoring on their practice CATs). Their shock at earning a lower score almost always ends in the […]
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Any time a looming application deadline approaches, you’re more likely to see a group of Test Takers scrambling to jam as much extra study time into their schedules as possible. While putting in that extra study might seem like a logical idea (especially as far as earning that Official GMAT Score before the deadline is concerned) the reality is that quantity of study is not the same as quality of study (and/or efficiency of study). If you’ve been studying a certain way for some time and you haven’t achieved your […]
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We are currently right in the middle of “GMAT Season” – that busy time of year (after most of the Round 1 deadlines have passed) when many GMATers are still studying for their Tests while working on their applications for Round 2 AND juggling their lives, career, family, holidays, etc. Finding the proper time for all of those areas can be challenging, so staying organized is essential. To that end, planning ahead is a big part of successfully achieving all of your goals during this time of year. By extension, […]
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Studying for the GMAT can be a challenging endeavor for many Test Takers. Arguably, one of the most common score goals for Test Takers (if not THE most common score goal) is 700+, but only about 10% of those same people can actually achieve that goal. One of the interesting aspects of scoring at that level though is that while you don’t have to be a ‘genius’, you do have to be able to figure out WHY you’re not getting questions correct... and then do specific work to fix those […]
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The following article refers to the Problem Solving question #229 in the OG13, GMAT2015 and GMAT2016 books. You can view the question in its entirety here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-many-of-the-integers-that-satisfy-the-inequality-x-2-x-134194.html One of the interesting aspects of most GMAT questions is that they can be solved using more than one approach. In that way, you don’t have to be a brilliant mathematician to get to the correct answer - strong critical thinkers, pattern-matchers and ‘workers’ can still get to the correct answer in a reasonable amount of time. From a pacing […]
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Recently, someone who is currently studying for the GMAT asked for my insights into why so many GMATers seem to experience a big drop in their Verbal Scaled Scores between their practice CATs and Test Day. The discussion was detailed and included some insightful follow-up questions. Below is the relevant content of that discussion. Test Taker X: I wanted to ask you about the recent trend of very low verbal scores on the real exam. I have seen an increased number of topics on this - in which test […]
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Much like the article from October 9 th , 2015, the following article is meant as a critical thinking ‘test’ – the following Test Taker made at least 6 different ‘mistakes’ with his/her studies before taking the actual GMAT. Can you define what those mistakes were and why they are mistakes? ****  The Story: My GMAT studies started off in February with the view of taking the exam in September. I hired private tutors for both the quant and the verbal. I was always better off with […]
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The process of putting together a strong overall application involves a number of different ‘steps.’ However, many prospective MBA candidates come into the application process with an unrealistic sense of how long it actually takes to put together a ‘winning’ application, so they inevitably miss the Round 1 application deadlines. Some part of the application just isn’t strong enough (for many, it’s the GMAT Score, but sometimes it’s some other feature) and those same applicants are often really ‘upset’ about missing Round 1. However, there are some significant advantages to […]
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The following article is meant as a critical thinking ‘test’ – the following Test Taker made at least 6 different ‘mistakes’ with his/her studies before taking the actual GMAT and has some questionable ideas about how to approach the next round of studies. Can you define what those ideas are and why they are mistakes? *** I took the GMAT last week and got a 660 (Q 51/V 28). I am extremely disappointed with my verbal score. I plan to take the GMAT again in 2 months. […]
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Test Day is an almost universal ‘event’ for most Test Takers. While you might hear the occasional ‘horror story’ about how something went wrong at the Testing Center, the reality is that most administrations of the GMAT follow an established routine. As such, beyond preparing to face the Exam, you can also prepare to face the very Day itself. Regardless of whether you’ve given yourself just a month to prepare or if your studies are more thorough, you can plan ahead and avoid the following silly mistakes that other Test […]
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One of the great aspects of most of the GMAT Quant questions that you’ll face on Test Day is that they can be approached in more than one way. You can always take a technical approach, but often there is a faster strategic option (one that might require that you get away from the long-winded ‘math’, use the answer choices to your advantage, estimate a solution or even just think logically about the situation). The goal on any Quant question on Test Day is always two-fold: 1 - Get […]
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September is the time of year when many people decide that an MBA is a degree that they would like to have. Unfortunately, they often rush head-first into the overall process of applying for that coveted MBA (including rushing into their GMAT studies) without properly researching, and planning out, the overall process. With impending application deadlines, those future applicants don’t quite realize the amount of work that will be required to score at a high level on the GMAT. That lack of forethought often keeps those Test Takers from achieving […]
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Over the years, I’ve seen many GMATers define their Business School plans in the following (overly-simplified) way: “I plan to apply to Top15 Schools...” Unfortunately, that is a remarkably VAGUE plan. While it’s understandable that a Program’s reputation and ‘ranking’ are important, it’s possible (and even likely) that there are OTHER more-important factors to consider when applying to Business School. 1) Is there a particular company that you want to work for or industry that you want to work in? Certain degrees (and even certain specific Programs) are ‘feeders’ […]
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GMATers vary in their perspectives on the amount of money that they ‘think’ they should spend on the GMAT. If we ignore the broader costs (time, energy, the money spent on crafting and sending out applications, ultimately attending Business School etc.), then we can focus on the immediate issue – how much should you plan to spend on YOUR individual GMAT training and Test-taking? The Cost to Take Assuming that you do end up taking the Official GMAT, then that’s going to be $250 right there. In theory, […]
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Many GMAT Test Takers view the percentiles (that are associated with the Quant and Verbal sections of the Test) with some confusion. Seeing that a Q40 is about the 50 th percentile in the Quant section while a V40 is about the 90 th percentile in the Verbal section will lead most readers to question why those results are what they are. The answer is relatively simple though – the broader pool of Test Takers is stronger at Quant than they are at Verbal. However, when you put all […]
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