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In the past, we have counseled students not to worry much about canceling scores, because the vast majority of business schools are interested only in your highest scores (and this is still true). Besides, the school would have been able to see that you took a test and then canceled the scores, so they could guess that you had a “bad” test on record.
As of July 19^{th}, if you cancel the scores from a test administration, those scores will not even show up on your record. The schools won’t have any idea that you took a GMAT that day!
As such, the conversation about when to cancel becomes trickier. I need to think about this some more, but I think I’m going to advise my students to keep any scores that are within 100 points of their goal scores.
Why? There are two possible scenarios. #1: you eventually get to your goal score. In this case, schools will see that you buckled down, studied, and really improved. Obviously, that’s a win. #2: you do not eventually reach your goal score. (Perhaps your goal score is unrealistic.) In this case, at least you still do have this other score on your record. It would be terrible to have taken the test 3 times, with scores in a certain range, but to have canceled all those scores; now you have nothing on record!
As I mentioned, GMAC has announced that this policy change will take effect on July 19^{th}. It will apply retroactively. If you have not yet sent your scores to a particular school, then when you do finally send the scores, they will remove the canceled scores from your report.
As of July 19^{th}, instead of waiting 31 days to re-take the exam, you’ll only have to wait 16 days. This is fantastic for someone who got sick during the exam or got really nervous and seriously messed up the timing.
Note that this could create a problem for those students who really should take longer to study for a re-take but instead try to cram it in too fast. In my experience, most people need a solid 4 to 8 weeks (if not longer!) before a re-take. Maybe 10% to 15% of the students with whom I talk could reasonably re-take in 2.5 to 3 weeks and expect to get a different score. So just be careful about this one—it’s a double-edged sword.
These changes are huge so I just wanted to say that. Oh, and if you want to read the full official announcement, here you go.
Happy studying!
Stacey Koprince is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. Stacey has been teaching the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for more than 15 years and is one of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Stacey loves to teach and is absolutely fascinated by standardized tests. Check out Stacey’s upcoming GMAT courses here!
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]]>The post Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars Program Deadline: July 6 appeared first on GMAT.
]]>These competitive scholarships are offered to individuals who (1) currently work full-time in an organization that promotes positive social change, (2) plan to use their MBA to work in a public, not-for-profit, or other venture with a social-change oriented mission, and (3) demonstrate clear financial need. The Social Venture Scholars will all enroll in a special online preparation course taught by two of Manhattan Prep’s expert instructors within one year of winning the scholarship.
The deadline is fast approaching: July 6th, 2015!
Learn more about the SVS program and apply to be one of our Social Venture Scholars here.
Studying for the GMAT? Take our free GMAT practice exam or sign up for a free GMAT trial class running all the time near you, or online. And, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!
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]]>Also, we’re hard at work writing new solutions to add to our GMAT Navigator program, so if you have access to Navigator, you can start to check for new solutions there in—best guess—July.
Now that I’ve seen everything, I’ve been able to spot some trends across all of the added and dropped questions. For example, across both The Official Guide for GMAT® Review (aka the big book) and The Official Guide for GMAT® Verbal Review (aka verbal-only or the verbal supplement), 6 science passages were added (out of 11 new passages total), while only 3 were dropped. In addition, 3 social science passages were added (compared to 5 dropped) and 2 business passages were added (compared to 2 dropped).
So, in the books at least, there’s a slight shift towards science. It’s unclear whether this signals an actual change in emphasis on the test, though; these may just be the best retired passages that they wanted to use.
For Critical Reasoning, the same total number of questions were added and dropped. The differential (added minus dropped) for Strengthen questions was +8. Further, 6 of the 22 total new Strengthen questions are fill in the blank (FitB) format, and no new FiTB’s were introduced that were not Strengthen questions.
The differential for Weaken questions was -8 and for Inference questions, it was -4. I’m not entirely sure what to make of the drop in Weaken. I’ve been hearing from students that they’ve been seeing a lot of Strengthen / Weaken on the real test and not many (CR) Inference questions. The Strengthen jump and the small Inference drop seems to go along with that, but not the larger Weaken drop. (This is why I’m always skeptical about drawing broader conclusions based on changes in the books.)
As I mentioned in my first report on Sentence Correction (part 2 of this series), it is difficult to compare categories here because one SC can (and usually does) cross multiple topics. The trends I reported before still hold after my review of the Verbal supplement: meaning and sentence structure are increasingly important, and parallelism and comparisons are just as important as they’ve always been.
Ready for the problem lists?
New verbal problem lists
The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 (aka the big OG)
Reading Comprehension
Critical Reasoning
Sentence Correction
Note: we only tagged two topics per problem; many SC problems test more than two topics. Also, the order in which the topics are presented is generally whatever we happened to notice first in the original sentence or in the answers.
The Official Guide for GMAT®Verbal Review 2016 (aka the verbal-only book)
Reading Comprehension
Critical Reasoning
Sentence Correction
Note: we only tagged two topics per problem; many SC problems test more than two topics. Also, the order in which the topics are presented is random—whatever we happened to notice first!
A week and several thousand words later, I think that’s all, folks! Of course, I’m sure that we’ll have plenty of things to discuss over the coming weeks as we dive more deeply into all of the fun new OG questions. But for now, I hope you’ve found this review valuable and I’m going to go take a well-earned break.
Happy studying!
Missed anything in this four-part series? Start here!
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]]>In this installment, I’ll discuss my overall conclusions for quant and I’ll also give you all of the problem numbers for the new problems in both the big OG and the smaller quant-only OG.
Now that I’ve seen everything, I’ve been able to spot some trends across all of the added and dropped questions. For example, across both The Official Guide for GMAT® Review (aka the big book) and The Official Guide for GMAT® Quant Review (aka quant-only or the quant supplement), Linear Equation problems dropped by a count of 13. This is the differential: new questions minus dropped questions.
That’s a pretty big number; the next closest categories, Inequalities and Rates & Work, dropped by 5 questions each. I’m not convinced that a drop of 5 is at all significant, but I decided that was a safe place to stop the “Hmm, that’s interesting!” count.
Now, a caveat: there are sometimes judgment calls to make in classifying problems. Certain problems cross multiple content areas, so we do our best to pick the topic area that is most essential in solving that problem. But that 13 still stands out.
The biggest jump came from Formulas, with 10 added questions across both sources. This category includes sequences and functions; just straight translation or linear equations would go into those respective categories, not formulas. Positive & Negative questions jumped by 7, weighted average jumped by 6, and coordinate plane jumped by 5.
Given that Linear Equations dropped and Formulas jumped, could it be the case that they are going after somewhat more complex algebra now? That’s certainly possible. I didn’t feel as though the new formula questions were super hard though. It felt more as though they were testing whether you could follow directions. If I give you a weird formula with specific definitions and instructions, can you interpret correctly and manipulate accordingly?
If you think about it, work is a lot more like this than “Oh, here are two linear equations; can you solve for x?” So it makes sense that they would want to emphasize questions of a more practical nature.
In an earlier installment, I told you about some interesting problems from the big book. Here are a few more observations from the Quant-only supplemental book.
Problem Solving
Of the 176 questions in the Problem Solving (PS) section, 44 of them are new. (Disclaimer: I hope I counted correctly for all of these sections, but I’ve been going through about 1,500 questions and hundreds of pages quickly in order to get this review out to you right away. So please forgive me if I miscounted anything! I’ll correct any errors as soon as I find out about them.)
Note: I can’t actually reproduce the text of the question for copyright reasons, but I’ll cite the problem number so that you can look it up if you do decide to buy the book.
A number of questions relied on some type of pattern recognition: #125, #143, #161. They’re not interested in you doing crazy math. They’re interested in whether you can recognize patterns and draw some kind of meaningful conclusion.
In my notes, I labeled #80 “Wow. That’s just mean.” And #152 got a “Pure evil” tag. (#152 requires mental manipulation of a 3-D shape and that’s just not something I have ever been able to do.)
I’d far rather work backwards on #127 than do the actual math. Others may feel differently, but the textbook math on this one is pretty annoying.
Data Sufficiency
Of the 124 Data Sufficiency (DS) problems, 32 are new to this edition of the Quant OG. There were some doozies.
I couldn’t believe #124, the highest numbered question in the section: a parabola inequality (not even an equation!). Now, if you like geometry, great—learn how to tackle parabolas. If you don’t, then if you happen to get one of these on the real test, give yourself a mental high five for earning this question, then pick your favorite letter and move on!
I almost fell into the trap on #123. I’m so used to rate and work questions specifying that whatever was moving at a steady rate that I almost didn’t notice the omission in this one…
Also, as with the big book, I was testing cases all the time on these DS problems. That technique is just a lifesaver (and it even works on some PS problems!).
Here you go! I’ve got these organized by book and question type.
The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 (aka the big OG)
Problem Solving
Key: FDP = Fractions, Decimals, & Percents; WP = Word Problems; NP = Number Properties
Data Sufficiency
Key: FDP = Fractions, Decimals, & Percents; WP = Word Problems; NP = Number Properties
The Official Guide for GMAT® Quant Review 2016 (aka the quant-only book)
Problem Solving
Key: FDP = Fractions, Decimals, & Percents; WP = Word Problems; NP = Number Properties
Data Sufficiency
Key: FDP = Fractions, Decimals, & Percents; WP = Word Problems; NP = Number Properties
Next time, we’ll dive into the final summary of everything verbal and I’ll also have the problem lists for you.
Until then, happy studying!
Check out Part 4 of this series
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]]>The post Everything you need to know about the New Official Guides, Part 2 appeared first on GMAT.
]]>(Note: I have not yet had time to analyze the IR problems that come via your special online access. I’ll get to that soon—the quant and the verbal are higher priority!)
Part 1 included an overview of the changes to the whole book; I’ve included that overview here as well (the next section!), in case you’re reading this installment first. (The only difference is one sentence in the first paragraph.)
Approximately 25% of the questions are brand new, and there are some beauties in the mix. As I worked through the problems, I marveled anew at the skill with which the test writers can produce what I call elegant problems. On the verbal side, I loved how some of the new questions wove meaning into the issue of Sentence Correction; if you have been focusing on grammar and shortchanging meaning, you’re definitely going to need to change your approach.
Rich D’Amato, spokesperson for GMAT, confirmed that a decent number of the new questions were produced relatively recently; that is, you’ll be seeing questions that were on the real exam not too long ago. (The older questions are still great study questions, too; the GMAT is a standardized test so, by definition, the test makers can’t change things too drastically or rapidly. There can be some mild trends over time, though. For example, the test makers may decide that certain idioms should be retired from or introduced for Sentence Correction problems.)
The opening chapters of the book describe how the GMAT works and how to study for the test; these sections have not changed. Nor has the Math Review (chapter 4). This is no surprise—again, the GMAT is a standardized test and, as such, it remains very consistent over time. The Diagnostic test in chapter 3 also has not changed.
Of the 140 questions in the Sentence Correction (SC) chapter, 35 are new. Sentence Correction is always difficult to classify because one question can test multiple different topics, and one difference can straddle the line between two topics. A full 16 of the new questions, though, test meaning or sentence structure (or both). I thought that there were some interesting sentence structure examples; keep an eye out for my eventual problem lists, in which I’ll add notes about things that caught my eye when doing the problems.
When comparing the questions that were dropped to the ones that were added, meaning definitely jumped in the count. This is again a judgment call: when do we classify something as pure meaning vs. a grammar error that messes up meaning? But using a consistent standard across all of the questions, I counted 10 new meaning SCs compared to 3 dropped.
All of the other categories didn’t change substantially (not a big surprise, since this is a standardized test). I do want to point out that 19 out of the 35 new questions cover parallelism or comparisons. In other words, these two topics were important before and they still are. Study them!
Of the 130 questions in the Critical Reasoning (CR) chapter, 35 are new.
When comparing the number of questions dropped vs. added, it was the case that Strengthen questions jumped a bit, while Weaken and Inference dropped a bit. These trends also appeared in the Verbal supplement, so I’m noting them here, though I also want to add that the numbers are small enough that we can’t say definitively that they reflect any kind of change in the test. (Also, there were some other seeming trends that didn’t actually hold for both books, so I’m ignoring those.)
All of the questions except for one (#39) fit neatly into our existing classification categories. I’m still trying to decide how I would classify #39. It’s in the Assumption Family but I keep going back and forth on whether I would call it a Strengthen or a Weaken. The question stem alone is most like a weaken (an “alternative explanation” would be like saying “Hey, here’s a better conclusion than the one you came up with!”). But the reasoning for the correct answer choice can be interpreted as a Strengthen. I’m going to be asking some fellow teachers, and even GMAC, about this one; I’ll get back to you.
We lost 3 shorter and 3 longer passages from the 2015 edition; 3 of these were social science, 2 were science, and 1 was business.
We gained 4 longer passages and 2 shorter ones; 4 of these were science and 2 were social science. I’m not sure whether that indicates any kind of increased emphasis on science topics, but it’s certainly interesting that not one of the new passages is a business passage.
There are 31 new questions total out of 139 questions total. 15 specific detail question were dropped and only 7 were added. That 8-question differential was added to specific purpose (why) questions (+5), weaken (+2), and main idea (+1). The latter two are pretty small changes, but I found it very interesting that 5 why questions were added.
I’ve got more for you! In later installments, we’ll talk about the Quant Review and Verbal Review (the smaller OGs) and I’ll give you lists of the new question numbers as well as the updated question numbers for the problems that are in both books. Until then, happy studying!
Check out Part 3 in this series
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]]>Okay, I realize that most people probably aren’t as excited as I am. But there are still some interesting and useful things to know about these new books as you get ready to take the GMAT. So let’s talk about it!
In this installment, I’ll discuss additions and changes to quant sections for The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016, aka the OG or the big book. Keep an eye out for later installments, in which I’ll discuss the verbal section of the big book, as well as the Quantitative Review and Verbal Review books. I’ll also be providing you with a list of the new questions, in case you decide to study from both the 2015 and 2016 editions.
If you haven’t already bought your official guide books, then do buy these latest editions—sure you might be able to get a discount on the 2015 editions, but since you have to spend money anyway, you might as well work from the latest and greatest.
If you have already bought the older editions and are debating whether to buy the new ones, too, then you’ve got a decision to make. On the one hand, there are a lot of great new questions in the 2016 editions. On the other, the 2015 edition already has a ton of problems; you may not need even more. If it were me, I’d wait until I’d used up the ones in the materials I already have. If I still felt that I needed more beyond that, then I’d consider getting one or more of the new books.
Approximately 25% of the questions are brand new, and there are some beauties in the mix. As I worked through the problems, I marveled anew at the skill with which the test writers can produce what I call elegant problems. On the quant side, I saw example after example in which the problem can be solved with little to no computation as long as you can decode and understand the fundamental concept underlying the problem—that’s the real test-taking skill!
Rich D’Amato, spokesperson for GMAT, confirmed that a decent number of the new questions were produced relatively recently; that is, you’ll be seeing questions that were on the real exam not too long ago. (The older questions are still great study questions, too; the GMAT is a standardized test so, by definition, the test makers can’t change things too drastically or rapidly. There can be some mild trends over time, though. For example, the test makers may decide that certain idioms should be retired from or introduced for Sentence Correction problems.)
The opening chapters of the book describe how the GMAT works and how to study for the test; these sections have not changed. Nor has the Math Review (chapter 4). This is no surprise—again, the GMAT is a standardized test and, as such, it remains very consistent over time. The Diagnostic test in chapter 3 also has not changed.
Overall, I noticed multiple new problems that crossed two or (occasionally) even three content areas. For instance, #18 is a geometry question that also crosses into percents, as does overlapping sets Problem #91. I chose those two examples on purpose so that I could also point this out: fractions and percents, in particular, are really good concepts to cross over into any other content area, so make sure you have a very solid foundation in both fractions and percents.
I also noticed a few visual questions—a couple of 3-D geometry and some coordinate plane problems that were made much harder by my general tendency to struggle with this kind of visual stuff. If you’re like me, beware; you may decide ahead of time that you want to bail immediately on 3-D or other problems that have a heavy visual component.
Problem Solving
Of the 230 questions in the Problem Solving (PS) section, 58 of them are new. (Disclaimer: I hope I counted correctly for all of these sections, but I’ve been going through about 1,500 questions and hundreds of pages quickly in order to get this review out to you right away. So please forgive me if I miscounted anything! I’ll correct any errors as soon as I find out about them.)
I noticed a number of what I’ll call “practical” questions: the question, usually a story problem, reads like something you might be asked to figure out in the real world. Problem #11, for example, asks you to figure out the minimum number of questionnaires you’d need to mail in order to achieve a certain desired number of responses. (The problem includes an assumed response rate.)
Note: I can’t actually reproduce the text of the question for copyright reasons, but I’m citing the problem number so that you can look it up if you do decide to buy the book.
Problem #39 can literally be counted out on your fingers—as long as you understand what you’re being asked to do. Be careful with definitions!
I also saw several problems that seriously disguised what the question was getting at. I don’t want to spoil you for the questions—better if you can figure it out for yourself!—but take a close look at #68 and #83. On the surface, these would be classified as algebra. But at least one can be done more easily using a different set of concepts. (I’ll tell you at the end of this article. But don’t look until you’ve tried to figure it out yourself!)
I used smart numbers to solve a number of the problems and I also worked backwards multiple times. In other words, these strategies are just as important as they always were. I did notice one question (#99) on which we could use smart numbers but the form of the answers indicated that it’d almost certainly be easier to do algebra. Look at the problem; you’ll see what I mean!
Finally, let’s talk about those elegant questions. If you can understand the concepts underlying #97, then you barely need to calculate anything at all—even though it looks as though you’re going to need to do some annoying algebra to answer the problem. Likewise, #107 has a huge disguise that, once uncovered, allows you to answer in two seconds without calculating anything at all. (Again, I’ll tell you what this is at the end of this article.)
Data Sufficiency
Of the 174 Data Sufficiency (DS) problems, 45 are new to this edition of the OG.
Continuing on the theme from PS, I was really struck by the number of new story problems for which translation is the whole key. If you translate carefully and accurately, then you don’t need to do anything more to solve. For example, #38 looks particularly nasty. Translate that thing very carefully, though, and you won’t have to do any messy calculations to answer. Problem #83 is another example; the story is pretty confusing, but if you can lay out the parts carefully and clearly, then the rest of the problem is more about logic than math.
Next, I used testing cases numerous times; as with PS, the standard test-taking strategies are still in full evidence on DS. I also noticed that, as before, it’s crucial to make sure you know what you were asked to find. This is true on PS too, of course, but DS tends to set more traps around solving for the wrong thing. Check out #39. You can’t find t by itself, but you can find t^{2}, and that’s good enough to solve.
Here you go. Again, do not read this until you have worked on these problems yourself! If you can figure out what’s going on yourself, the lesson will stick much better in the end. J
PS #68 and #83. These two problems share a consecutive integer disguise. The givens can be read to mean consecutive integers (the second one has to be rearranged to do so) and, since in each case the two terms multiply to an integer, that tells you that you’re dealing with the factors of that integer. For instance, in #68, the factors of 24 are (1, 24), (2, 12), (3, 8), and (4, 6). BUT note that the problem does not actually mention factors or specify positive numbers, so you also have to take into account that the pairs could be negative.
Next, you know that they have to be consecutive odds or consecutive evens, so the only two pairs that work are (4, 6) and (-4, -6). From there, you can figure out the answer. Problem #83 has a similar disguise, although it can also be solved via quadratic equations.
PS #97. The question asks you to maximize the depth, N(t). The -20(t – 5)^{2} term has that negative sign out front, so it could reduce the depth, so you need to minimize the negative value. How? Make the (t – 5) term equal to zero!
PS #107. I love this one. It’s a weighted average question in disguise. The formula x + y = 1 signifies that the two weightings add up to 100%: x + y = 100%, where x and y are the two weightings. The formula 100x + 200y signifies the weightings that you’re applying to each of the two endpoints, 100 and 200. The weighted average must be somewhere between the two starting numbers / endpoints, so only two of the roman numerals can work.
DS #38. The question tells you to set (1/12 + kv^{2}) equal to 5/12. Then it asks you for v. If you know k, then you can find v. So the real question is whether the statement allows you to find k. Statement (1) obviously does, and statement (2) also does, because it gives you another equation: (1/12) + k(30)^{2} = 1/6.
DS #83. There are x processors. Each processor can process up to y calls. Think about what this means—maybe even draw a picture. Note that x has to be at least 1 and y has to be at least 1. If you have x = 1 processor that can process y = 500 calls, then sure, you can process 500 calls at once. If you have x = 10 processors that can process y = 10 calls each, then nope, you can’t process 500 calls at once.
So you need to know something about x and y in order to answer. It looks, then, like statements (1) and (2) can’t work alone, since each talks about only one variable. But don’t forget the constraint that each has to be at least 1!! If you have x = 600 processors, then you can definitely process 500 calls, since each processor has to be able to process at least one call.
Next time, we’ll dive into the verbal sections of the Big OG. Then, we’ll discuss the quant and verbal supplements, and finally, I’ll provide you with lists of the new questions in each book and also the new question numbers for the old questions that remain in the book from the last edition.
Happy studying!
Check out Part 2 of this series
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]]>The post New Edition of GMAT Advanced Quant: Study the Hardest Quant Questions appeared first on GMAT.
]]>We created the Advanced Quant (AQ) guide a few years ago for people who want to get a top score (50 or 51) on the quant section of the GMAT.
Here’s the interesting thing: it doesn’t teach you a bunch of really hard math concepts. We teach all of those concepts in our five regular strategy guides (Algebra, Geometry, Word Problems, Number Properties, and Fractions, Decimals, & Percents). Instead, the AQ guide teaches you the next level of GMAT study: how to think your way through really hard quant problems.
A bunch of things! First, there are more than 50 brand-new, extremely hard problems. We actually removed some old ones that we thought were a bit too easy and replaced them with harder problems.
But that’s not all. Since the entire point of this book is how to solve better, we’ve updated some solutions to existing problems because we’ve discovered an even more efficient or effective way to solve.
We’ve also introduced a new organization method for working your way systematically through any quant problem. We’ve added or expanded lessons on test-taking strategies, such as testing cases on both problem solving and data sufficiency problems.
One student, who has already used the old version of AQ, asked whether we would provide a list indicating which questions are the new ones. I told him no. Not because I’m lazy or I don’t care, but because you don’t need such a list! If you’ve already tried the first edition and want to try this one, too, just start going through the book. If you hit a problem you remember, feel free to skip it. (Although maybe this is a chance to see if you really do remember what to do…and remember that we may offer an updated solution that you haven’t seen before.) If you hit a problem you don’t remember, then it doesn’t matter whether it’s old or new. It’s new to you right at this moment!
First, you should have mastered most (if not all) of the material in our five main quant Strategy Guides. As I mentioned earlier, we do not actually teach you that math in this guide. We assume that you already know it.
As a general rule, we recommend that people avoid using this book until they’ve gotten to a score of at least 47 on a practice CAT. (Seriously. We say so right in the first chapter of the book!) I might let that slide a bit for certain students, but someone scoring below 45 likely does not have the underlying content knowledge needed to make the best use of the Advanced Quant lessons.
Note that, from an admissions standpoint, you may not necessarily need to score higher than 47. The scoring scale tops out at 51, so 47 is already quite high. Do a little research to see what you may need for the specific schools to which you plan to apply.
All right, that’s all I’ve got for you today. I’d love to hear what you think about the book. Which problem is your favorite? And which one do you think is the absolute hardest, most evil thing we could have given you? Let us know in the comments!
Check out our store to learn more about the new GMAT Advanced Quant Strategy Guide.
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]]>The post GMAT Student Trends: What Do Your Fellow Test-Takers Want To Do With Their GMAT Score? appeared first on GMAT.
]]>The survey identified three main groups of people:
Career switchers (38% of respondents): these prospective students are looking to switch industries or job functions and hoping that a graduate degree will give them the boost they need to make the change successfully. People in this group are more likely than the overall pool of respondents to be age 24 or older and living in the U.S. or Canada. The size of this group has dropped by 8 percentage points in the last 5 years, perhaps not surprising as the economy has picked up since 2010.
Career enhancers (34%): these prospective students are seeking a graduate degree primarily to enhance their existing careers, whether planning to keep their current jobs or move to a new employer. People in this group are more likely than the overall pool of respondents to be female, under the age of 24, and living in Asia-Pacific, Europe, or the U.S. The size of this group hasn’t changed much in the past 5 years.
Aspiring entrepreneurs (28%): these prospective students hope to start their own businesses, possibly even before they earn their degrees, though only about 10% have already started businesses. People in this group are more likely than the overall pool of respondents to be male and living in the Middle East, Africa, Central or South Asia, or Latin America This group increased by about 9 percentage points in the past 5 years.
These three groups show some very interesting regional differentiation:
What does that mean for you? First, it’s just interesting to know. Second, it gives you a sense of whether you are coming from a more “common” demographic or whether you will stand out more from the crowd. If the former, then you’ll want to look for other ways to make your story stand out.
The survey includes some very interesting data about the types of degrees people want. First, let’s address the two main categories of degrees: MBA and specialized. A little over half of the respondents were firmly focused on MBA degrees, while about 22% said that they want a specialized degree (such as a Master of Finance). The remaining 26% were considering both types of programs (it was unclear whether they are considering getting a dual degree or whether they just haven’t made up their mind about which type of degree to get).
Check out the graph below. Of the people considering only an MBA program, about 32% were most interested in a full-time 2-year program and 27% were aiming for an accelerated full-time 1-year program. For those considering only a specialized degree, Master of Accounting and Master of Finance programs are by far the most popular programs.
The report did not indicate what these numbers looked like in the past, but I would speculate that more people today are interested in a shorter study timeframe than 5 years ago. As the economy picks up, people don’t want to spend a full 2 years out of the work force, particularly those who are looking to stay in the same industry after graduate school. (This is just my anecdotal take based on the questions and comments I hear from students in my classes and on our forums.)
The below data reflects two combined categories: those who know they want a specialized degree and those who are still considering both types of degrees. There are distinct preferences by region for the two most popular specialized degrees.
There’s strong interest in a Master of Finance degree in Asia-Pacific and Europe. Those considering a Master of Accounting degree are most likely to live in the Asia-Pacific region or the U.S.
If you’d like to read more, hop on over to the GMAC website and download the full report. If you have any interesting insights to share, or want to discuss something you find intriguing, let us know in the comments!
The GMAT® is property of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. All data cited is from GMAC’s 2015 mba.com Prospective Students Survey.
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Here at MPrep we know that dude as Michael Bilow (one of those people who command such respect that he must always be talked about using his last name lest anyone in earshot mistakenly attribute an anecdote or joke to some less deserving Michael). On Jeopardy, he lived up to his legend taking home the fourth highest single-day winnings in Jeopardy history: $57,198.
Michael Bilow joined the Manhattan Prep family in 2011 using his perfect GRE score and spectacular teaching chops to secure a role as an LA-based GRE instructor. A few years later we realized we needed more Bilow in our business so we asked him to join the Marketing Department. He took a position as our Business Data Analyst, while continuing to teach GRE classes and pursue his PhD. After seeing him flawlessly juggle those responsibilities, we never had any doubt that he would take the Jeopardy world by fire.
By now the whole country knows of Bilow’s intellectual prowess, but we know so much more. Michael is a dedicated practitioner of improv, a delightful presence in Google Hangout meetings, and a stylish dresser. We can’t wait for his next trip to the New York City headquarters so he can buy us a drink with his winnings after he takes a quick a nap in a tutoring pod.
Congrats, Michael Bilow! Keep it up!
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]]>This technique is especially useful for Data Sufficiency problems, but you can also use it on some Problem Solving problems, like the GMATPrep® problem below. Give yourself about 2 minutes. Go!
* “For which of the following functions f is f(x) = f(1 – x) for all x?
(A) | f(x) = 1 – x |
(B) | f(x) = 1 – x^{2} |
(C) | f(x) = x^{2} – (1 – x)^{2} |
(D) | f(x) = x^{2}(1 – x)^{2} |
(E) | f(x) = x / (1 – x)” |
Testing Cases is mostly what it sounds like: you will test various possible scenarios in order to narrow down the answer choices until you get to the one right answer. What’s the common characteristic that signals you can use this technique on problem solving?
The most common language will be something like “Which of the following must be true?” (or “could be true”).
The above problem doesn’t have that language, but it does have a variation: you need to find the answer choice for which the given equation is true “for all x,” which is the equivalent of asking for which answer choice the given equation is always, or must be, true.
All right, so how are we actually going to test this thing? Here are the steps:
First, choose numbers to test in the problem.
Second, double check that you have selected a valid case. If the problem provided any restrictions, make sure that you didn’t pick numbers that violate those restrictions.
Third, test your numbers in the answer choices to eliminate wrong answers.
But wait, I’m not even sure I understand the question yet. Let’s take a minute to wrap our heads around the function notation. What’s the significance of saying that f(x) = f(1 – x)?
The f letter signals a function. Normally, you’d see something like this:
f(x) = 3x + 19
What that’s saying is “every time I give you a specific value for x, multiply it by 3 and then add 19.”
The question stem, though, has something weird: it’s got that f(x) thing on both sides of the equation. What’s that all about?
Glance down at the answers. They’re all normal functions (that is, they look the way we expect functions to look). So there’s really only one f(x) function for each answer, but we’re supposed to solve the function in two different ways. First, we solve the function for f(x). Then, we solve the same function for f(1 – x). If those two solutions match, then the answer choice stays in. If the two solutions do not match, then we get to cross that answer choice off.
All right, ready to try the first case? Pick something easy for x, making sure you follow any restrictions given by the problem, and test those answer choices.
Let’s try x = 2 first.
Case #1:
x = 2
(1 – x) = -1
The question is: f(x) = f(1 – x)?
Rewrite it: does f(2) = f(-1)?
function | f(2) | f(-1) | Same? | |
(A) | f(x) = 1 – x | -1 | 2 | No. Eliminate (A). |
(B) | f(x) = 1 – x^{2} | -3 | 0 | No. Eliminate (B). |
(C) | f(x) = x^{2} – (1 – x)^{2} | 4 – (1) = 3 | 1 – 4 = -3 | No. Eliminate (C). |
(D) | f(x) = x^{2}(1 – x)^{2} | 4(1) = 4 | 1(4) = 4 | Yes. |
(E) | f(x) = x / (1 – x) | 2/-1 = -2 | -1/2 | No. Eliminate (E). |
Lucky! In this case, we had to try only one number to get rid of the 4 wrong cases. More typically, you’ll try 2 or sometimes 3 cases in order to get down to a single answer.
The correct answer is (D).
Using this method, you’ll sometimes get lucky and only need to try one case. As I mentioned, though, you’ll often need to try two cases, or even three. Once you eliminate an answer, though, it’s gone for good, so each case gets faster as you try fewer and fewer answers. Once you have only one answer left, you’re done. (On a really hard problem, you might not get down to one answer, but you will likely be able to eliminate at least one or two of the wrong answers.)
The other thing I’ll point out here is that this is quite a complex problem (I received it towards the end of a GMATPrep on which I scored 51—so the difficulty level is up there). There’s some necessary thoughtful thinking upfront in order to figure out the best path through this thing, and you do need to feel pretty comfortable with functions in order to be able to interpret the unusual set-up.
(1) If a PS problem asks you what must or could be true (or the equivalent language), then you are likely going to be Testing Cases to solve this problem. Remember your three steps: (1) choose numbers, (2) double-check that you chose valid / allowable numbers, and (3) test the answer choices using those numbers. Typically, you’ll have to try 2 or 3 cases to get down to one answer.
(2) Before you dive in and start testing cases, do make sure that you understand what’s going on in the problem. This is true for any quant problem: take a step back and think through the best path. If you just dive in and start calculating, you’re more likely to get yourself into trouble.
* GMATPrep® questions courtesy of the Graduate Management Admissions Council. Usage of this question does not imply endorsement by GMAC.
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