View Full Version : GMAT Strategy

03-13-2003, 01:49 PM
This is not my own material. It is a strategy that I found on the web and thought it may be usefull to anyone preparing for the dreaded GMAT. Note : There is reference to GMAT+, presume that this equates to THE OLD VERSION of PowerPrep.

English is not my native language, and I don't have very good math background. But managed to get above 700 on GMAT by using following strategies.

First step: If you don't have good math background, start with the official guide (even though it is not the best). Study closely the math review. If necessary study it several times and understand every single concept.

Second: If you have access to good basic book in statistics, read and practice several problems in concepts such as mean, mode, standard deviation, simple probability, probability with permutations and combinations. I strongly recommend Schaum's outlines book on statistics by Murray Spiegel. This book is simply outstanding. ETS is asking more and more questions on combinations and probability.

Third: Word problems: ETS is testing 3 or 4 types of word questions. Study these in the Official guide closely. Practice algebra in any basic algebra book such as Schaum outline's algebra book. For geometry, official guide is the best, but you have to read it closely several times and practice many questions. For ratios, percent, dismal problems, practice helps a lot. PR and Kaplan books also help on ratios, percent, etc.

Fourth: Be careful about the data-sufficiency questions. They can be tricky. With enough practice you can solve this problem.

Fifth: Like someone says one of the threads, practice! practice! Practice! If available, take 10 to 15 previous authenticate tests, practice them. In my case GMATPLUS has helped me a lot. Please don't debate with me on this. Nor I want to become yet another sales person of GMAT+ material. I have seen some dog fights on discussions about GMAT+. I only say it worked really well for me. I practiced all their latest material and analyzed each question. I try not to make same mistakes again after each test. I improved after each test. Last 5 practice tests I got above 700.

My strategies work especially for sentence correction section: In sentence correction, there are only about 8 types of questions ETS is testing, but upto 40 variations within those 8 types. Go through all the 250 sentence correction questions in the official guide. Since in the official guide they do not publish all the patterns of questions (they publish about 1/3 of total patterns), you need to practice at least ten more actual tests from previous GMATs. PR or Kaplan does not have all the variations. You need to get previous GMAT tests, which are not published by ETS. Prepare a table that you can list your mistakes.

Break them in to: 1)almost always making mistakes. 2)sometimes. 3)few times.
Start from number one attack them. I recommend Princeton Review's Grammar Smart, which has several idioms also. Go through this idioms list. It has also has all the important topics that ETS is testing. Minimize your errors. By doing this you can eliminate up to 95% of your mistakes. For me GMAT+ latest edition has helped me in sentence correction.

For arguments mainly concentrate on the official guide and practice more actual tests. Eliminate wrong answers first, so that you do not have to read them more than once and waste your time. Here time management is crucial. For arguments, they are testing only 5 or 6 types, which you can master easily.
Reading comprehension: Practicing actual tests and time management are the most important strategies. You do have to read closely. Just skim them and go to questions and try to locate the answers. Treat it just as an open book exam. Of course this a PR strategy also.
Someone said you do not make progress by simply analyzing your experience, but by analyzing your mistakes. This applies to GMAT also: You can make progress not simply by practice, but by analyzing your mistakes in your practice tests.

How to beat GMAT

Sentence correction: At the beginning, if necessary, buy a book on grammar (PR's grammar smart is very good). Go through all the 250 questions several questions. This alone is not enough: remember that ETS does not publish its complete pattern of questions purposefully. Get atleast ten previous ETS tests, which are not published by the official guides before. You just practice and analyse not only wrong answers, but also right answers.

Reading comprehension: If you read very slowly, get a book on speed reading or reading comprehension such as PR's speed reading book (I don't remember the exact title. it is available at big book stores). This helped me a quite a bit. Or also you can get some software. Remember, ETS only asks very specific type of topics. If you practice enough you can capture all the types. With enough practice you can significantly improve your right answers. It is like a open book exam, for which you need some practice. At the initial stage give yourself more time than usually you get it in the actual test. With practice, slowly you improve the skills. After that practice under testing conditions.

Arguments: Again, ETS is testing very specific set of questions. You have to master these types with enough practice. Prepare a table and put them in the table type of question you get. Once you see the question, you should immediately able to recognize what ETS is trying to test. Once you reach this point, it is very easy for you to attack these questions. Again, practice is the key. More advanced strategy: practice LSAT analytical ability questions, which are more difficult than that of GMAT. once you get used to the LAST questions, GMAT questions will be a cake walk for you. I tried this also.

Finally, practice - analyse - improve. This should be your slogan.

Preparing Tables

For example, prepare a table with different types of sentence correction questions - Subject verb agreement, Idioms, etc. Whenever you see a question, mark your table at the corresponding type of question. For the subject verb agreement question type, there are about 3 to 4 variations, which ETS always tests. Same thing is true for other types. If you practice about 12 to 15 exams, you will capture all the variations for each type of question. Then study the concepts in those questions in which you are relatively week. By doing this procedure, you can definitely minimise your mistakes. I bet you can beat the ETS and ETS can't go around it. With reasonable math and english skills, you can get above 700 as I did.
One advice for internatinal applicants. For international students, essays in GMAT are an important component in the test. If you have time, to through all of them and write two or three points for each so that you don't need to wasted time in thinking about the appropriate ansewer. It is little time consuming, but it is worth trying.

03-13-2003, 06:14 PM
Where does he profess we get these 10-15 previous GMAT tests if they are not released by ETS?

03-13-2003, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by Empire

Where does he profess we get these 10-15 previous GMAT tests if they are not released by ETS?


I have yet to confirm if these are indeed the OLD GMAT Qs

03-13-2003, 09:27 PM

Yeah, i think those are the GMAT+ questions the guy was talking about. From what erin says here, and what ive heard elsewhere, we should take these questions with a grain of salt. I dont think they are PowerPrep 2003 materials though, but they might still help. Thanks

06-04-2005, 04:02 AM
Guys, can anyone tell me if LSAT prep material is useful for GMAT? What portion of verbal of LSAT can I use for GMAT?