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EMPOWERgmat Blog

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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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To begin this article, I have to give you some bad news – you’re probably NOT going to get an 800 on the GMAT. Shocking news, I know – but if we pull together, you should be able to survive the horror of that realization. Now, it’s important that you read those prior two sentences as the ‘joke’ that it’s intended to be. Your goal should NOT be to get an 800 (to be fair, very few people hit that mark each year – only about 1 in every 10,000 […]
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Co-ordinate Geometry (often referred to as ‘graphing’) is a rare subject in the Quant section of the GMAT. On Test Day, you’ll likely see just 1 or 2 graphing questions in total, so that subject is not a big contributor to your overall score. While certain graphing questions can be remarkably easy to solve, others can be rather ‘layered’ and will require some time and effort on your part. Thankfully, graphing questions always revolve around the same handful of ‘math rules’; if you know your graphing rules, then you […]
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Anxiety is a big factor in how many Test Takers deal with the Official GMAT. It’s natural to be a bit ‘on edge’ while taking the GMAT, but it’s far better to think of it as being ‘excited’ – when used correctly, all of that adrenaline and energy can be funneled into your work. When you learn to ‘see’ the GMAT in a different way, you can very easily improve your performance. With that end goal in mind, here are 7 aspects to the GMAT that actually work in […]
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In the realm of financial investing, it pays to invest early on. By doing so, the accumulated return over time can be staggering. There are plenty of online articles that can explain the concept in greater detail, but the simple idea is that making some small, consistent investments now (instead of spending that money on other things) will lead to a much greater financial payout later. A similar concept exists when considering your own GMAT prep and what you’re willing to do to raise your GMAT scores. Everything about […]
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Almost without fail, the first questions that most Test Takers will look at after taking a CAT are the questions that were answered incorrectly. Reviewing questions that were answered CORRECTLY is almost an afterthought (and oftentimes avoided) – THAT ‘missing’ review is a HUGE opportunity. Sometimes the biggest overall improvements can be made in areas in which you are ALREADY knowledgeable.  First, there’s a distinct possibility that you answered some questions correctly by taking a lucky guess (either because you were stuck or low on time) – so reviewing […]
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Nearing the middle of July, many Test Takers are starting their GMAT prep (or are in the midst of it already) in anticipation of applying to Business School before the Round 1 deadlines occur in September/October. Many of those same Test Takers will face varying challenges during their studies and they won’t know how to go about overcoming those challenges. Worse still, many will be so unable, or unwilling, to do the necessary self-analysis that they will utter the least useful phrase imaginable – “I have no idea why_____.” As […]
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When it comes to studying for the GMAT, there are a variety of ways to approach the process.  Regardless of how you might formulate your study plan, CATs are essential to your improvement as a Test Taker and to help you prepare for what you will eventually face on the Official GMAT. Unfortunately, many Test Takers mis-use their CATs and end up not properly prepared on Test Day. Using your CATs in a rather specific way will help you to maximize your performance on the GMAT. First off, it’s […]
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GMAT Test Takers often face similar difficulties during their studies, so there are certain questions that tend to come up about how to improve those studies. One of the most frequent questions I’m asked about is pacing-related: “how do I fix my pacing problem?” To start, you have to acknowledge that a pacing problem does NOT exist on its own – it’s the result of OTHER problems in how you are approaching the process of answering GMAT questions. It really is often this simple Arguably the most common […]
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**Note: I will NOT be discussing any individual questions from this new book. Doing so would cheat YOU, the reader, out of experiencing those questions “fresh.” On Test Day, you have to be prepared to deal with any GMAT concept at any time in each section, so knowing anything beyond the obvious (it’s Geometry because I can see a picture of a circle; it’s an Assumption question because the prompt asks for the ‘assumption’) would diminish the process that you have to go through to answer the question.** You […]
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GMAT questions can often be solved with more than one approach – this is great news for Test Takers since having more than one option means that you’re less likely to get ‘stuck’ on a given prompt. Taking this idea one step further, if YOU know more than one way to answer a given question, then you have a significant advantage: you can CHOOSE to use the fastest approach, save time and save on the amount of energy that you have to expend to get to the correct answer. To […]
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**Warning: During this article, I’m going to stop you periodically and ask you to perform some basic math and logic ‘tasks.’ The work that you do on earlier tasks WILL impact your understanding of later tasks.**  During the Quant section of the GMAT, you’ll be asked to deal with averages on a few questions - sometimes you’ll be asked to calculate an average or an average speed, sometimes you’ll be given an average and asked to figure out something else.  You  will probably handle all of those questions just […]
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The GMAT is a predictable, standardized test. As such, you can train to score at a high level with GMAT test preparation. Full-length practice CAT exams are an essential part of the study process, but it never ceases to amaze me how often Test Takers use their CATs incorrectly. Choosing to do any of the following will likely lead to CAT scores that are unrealistic and an Official Score that is far lower than you want it to be. Not Taking the FULL CAT The GMAT is a […]
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While taking a CAT for GMAT test preparation, or on test day itself, almost all GMAT test takers experience the terrible realization that there are WAY too many questions left to answer and not enough time to answer them. Learning proper pacing is an issue that most test takers have to deal with – the first step in fixing that problem is to realize that YOU are the cause of your pacing problem.    Finding Wasted Time When reviewing a CAT performance, most test takers focus on […]
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