5 Reasons I Should Be Your GMAT Tutor!

Picking a GMAT tutor can be stressful. Will I get along with this person? Will they REALLY be able to bring my score up? What if I don’t even know what my weaknesses are? Here’s five areas in which any good GMAT tutor should excel, and why I think I’m pretty gosh darn good at my job!

  • Knowledge. I was a classroom teacher and private tutor for Kaplan for 4+ years, so I know how larger testprep companies “think.” I’ve taken what I found valuable from Kaplan, Grockit, and the many other smaller companies I’ve worked with, and I specialize in designing a personalized approach for each student.
  • Flexibility. I tutored for 5+ years virtually via Skype with Grockit, and 4+ years with GMATRockstar, so I know how to make online tutoring fun and effective. I’m available days, nights, and weekends, and I am always in steady contact with students via email to monitor progress, answer homework questions, and pass on relevant blogs. I’m your personal cheerleader!
  • Resources. I have written thousands of test prep questions as a freelance content creator for companies such as Grockit, Veritas Prep, and Magoosh. I am constantly mocking new questions from the GMAT Official Guide and GMATPrep software so I can provide students with accurate, challenging homework material that closely aligns with GMAC product. I have PDF files of the most reputable GMAT material, and provide all students with these materials for free.
  • Preparation. I track all of my students’ progress, and create a targeted “game plan” for each student.  I own over 40+ GMAT books and know exactly what chapters and materials to recommend to students. I am also a regular contributor to Beat the GMAT and keep up to date with the latest updates and changes from GMAC.
  • Affordability. I only charge $150/hr, as opposed to the ridiculously high rates test prep giants charge, and there is no minimum number of hours.

Learnist: GMAT Critical Reasoning Overview

The Verbal section of the GMAT consists of 41 questions that you must complete in 75 minutes. Critical Reasoning is one of three Verbal question types you’ll see on Test Day!

In this video, Abi from GMAXOnline reviews the basic format of CR questions, discusses what an argument is, and the parts of the argument: premises, conclusions, assumptions, inferences. She also covers some of the common keywords to look out for on this question type!

As you can see in this video, there are more than half a dozen question-types. Always determine what type of CR question it is by reading the question stem first. This 3-step method is a general guideline for all the CR question types.

This is a “weaken” questions as shown by the phrase “would most weaken.” Weakening questions are one of the most common CR question-types.

Check out more practice Critical Reasoning questions on Learnist!

Tough GMAT: “Strengthen” CR Question of the Day!

Try this challenging Critical Reasoning question from Kaplan LSAT!

Editorial: When legislators discovered that some public service is not being adequately provided, their most common response is to boost the funding for that public service. Because of this, the least efficiently run government bureaucracies are the ones that most commonly receive an increase in funds.

The statements in the editorial, if true, most strongly support which one of the following?

(A) The least efficiently run government bureaucracies are the bureaucracies that legislators most commonly discover to be failing to provide some public service adequately.

(B) When legislators discover that a public service is not being adequately provided, they never respond to the problem by reducing the funding of the government bureaucracy providing that service.

(C) Throughout the time a government bureaucracy is run inefficiently, legislators repeatedly boost the funding for the public service that this bureaucracy provides.

(D) If legislators boost funding for a public service, the government bureaucracy providing that service will commonly become less efficient as a result.

(E)The most inefficiently run government bureaucracy receives the most funding of any government bureaucracy.

Here’s how I’d analyze this passage (it’s okay if your notes are slightly different!):

CONCLUSION: Less efficient agencies get MORE funds.

EVIDENCE: Legislators give more $$ to public services that aren’t functioning.

ASSUMPTIONS: Public services are run by bureaucracies; bureaucracies are getting the funds directly.

QUESTION REPHRASE: What would SUPPORT the conclusion?

PREDICTION: Something showing continued inefficiency.

The correct answer is (A). It is the clearest restatement of the passage. Notice how (E) uses some pretty extreme language (“most”…”the most”…”of any”…). On that basis, it can be eliminated.

GMAT CR: “Weaken” Practice Question!

Try this “Weaken” question — remember to take notes on the passage, then compare them to mine!

Although the organic farms in the agricultural community of Greendale are destined to shut down within the next decade as a result of competition from the organic mega-farm Full Foods, the farmland will not go unused for long. In the decade since the opening of OmniFoods, Inc., a non-organic farm conglomerate, a new owner has bought and reopened every farm in Greendale that has shut down due to competition with OmniFoods, Inc.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

A. Many customers of OmniFoods, Inc. are expected to buy less nonorganic food than they did before the Full Foods farm opened in Greendale.
B. The new farms that have opened in the agricultural community of Greendale since OmniFoods, Inc. opened have been primarily organic farms.
C. Many farms in Greendale sell produce that is not available to buy from either OmniFoods, Inc. or from Full Foods.
D. The demand for organic food is expected to increase at a faster rate over the next decade than at any time over the past fifty years.
E. The agricultural community of Greendale currently has more different farms operating within its borders than it ever has before

Here’s how to break this one down!

Conclusion: Farmland will not go unused when small farms shut down.

Evidence: Omnifoods precedent

Assumption: What is true for non-organic Omni is true for organic Full Foods.

Question: What WEAKENS?

Prediction: If there is a difference between Full Foods & Omni’s practices

A – customers are irrelevant
B – shows a difference
C – farmland could still be used regardless of what is sold
D – demand is irrelevant
E – change in diff types of farms over time is irrelevant

Tough GMAT: Problem of the Day!

Political Analyst: Because our city is a border city, illegal immigration is an important issue in the current race for mayor. Of the two candidates for mayor, one supports a plan that would attempt to deport the city’s 9,000 illegal immigrants and the other does not. Surveys consistently show that about 60% of the city’s residents are opposed to the plan, while about 35% are in support of the plan. Therefore, the candidate who does not support the plan will win the election for mayor.

All of the following statements weaken the analyst’s argument, EXCEPT:

A) In the city at issue, most voters make their voting decisions based on the candidates’ positions on abortion.

B) Of the 35% of residents who support the plan, some are willing to consider alternate plans for addressing illegal immigration.

C) Many of the residents who oppose the plan are not registered voters.

D) The candidate who supports the plan is the incumbent mayor, and has been elected to four consecutive terms despite taking controversial positions on many important issues.

E) Just under 30% of the city’s residents are illegal immigrants who cannot vote.

Explanation:

Conclusion: Candidate who does NOT support the plan will win.

Evidence: 60% of the residents oppose/35% support.

Assumption: That the majority of the voters support the plane (i.e. the 60%/35% breakdown accurately represents those who will vote).

Question: What will STRENGTHEN or be IRRELEVANT?

Prediction: Anything that aligns the resident-poll with voting accurately, or tips the favor into the hands of those against the plan. Or does not relate to the argument (neither weakens, nor strengthens).

A. Abortion is out of scope…so potentially “irrelevant”
B. If the 35% who are supportive might change their minds, this would strengthen the anti-plan contingent. Correct.
C. This hurts the conclusion.
D. This hurts the conclusion by showing the city re-elects the candidate who only has 35% support.
E. This only tells us info about those that support it — we need to know whether the 60% who don’t support it can/will vote.

The correct answer is (B).

GMAT Critical Reasoning Question of the Day!

This Complete the Passage comes to you from the Official Guide!

Which of the following most logically completes the argument given below:

The irradiation of food kills bacteria and thus retards spoilage. However, it also lowers the nutritional value of many foods. For example, irradiation destroys a significant percentage of whatever vitamin B1 a food may contain. Proponents of irradiation is no worse in this respect than cooking. However, this fact is either beside the point, or else misleading, since ________________.

(A) many of the proponents of irradiation are food distributors who gain from foods’ having a longer shelf life
(B) it is clear that killing bacteria that may be present on food is not the only effect that irradiation has
(C) cooking is usually the final step in preparing food for consumption, whereas irradiation serves to ensure a longer shelf life for perishable food
(D) certain kinds f cooking are, in fact, even more destructive of vitamin B1 than carefully controlled irradiation is
(E) for food that is both irradiated and cooked, the reduction of vitamin B1 associated with either process individually is compounded

Here’s how we can break this passage down:

Irradiation = less spoilage, but less nutrition
Irradiation destroys vitamins (but no worse than cooking)

The “no worse than cooking” argument is misleading BECAUSE…we need something that continues to show that irradiation IS worse than cooking (“misleading”), or something that shows the comparison is not valid (“beside the point”).

A – doesn’t relate to cooking
B – doesn’t relate to cooking
C – about cooking
D – about cooking
E – about cooking

It comes down to C, D, and E. So how are they different? C shows 1 fact about cooking and 1 pro for irradiation. D shows cooking can be worse than irradiation, which is the OPPOSITE of what we want. (E) shows the comparison is not valid b/c the argument doesn’t take into account that combining the processes may be worse.

GMAT Sentence Correction – Problem of the Day!

Check out this subtle Comparison question! As usual, try it on your own first, then check out the explanation below! Bonus if you can do it in under 1.5 min!

Providing initial evidence that airports are a larger source of pollution than they were once believed to be, environmentalists in Chicago reported that the total amount of pollutant emitted annually by vehicles at O’Hare International Airport is twice as much as that which is being emitted annually by all motor vehicles in the Chicago metropolitan area.

A) as much as that which is being emitted annually by all
B) as much annually as is emited by the
C) as much compared to what is annually emitted by all
D) that emitted annually by all
E) that emitted annually compared to the

Let’s look at the formation of the sentence:

Modifying clause, NOUN VERB “the total amount…emitted annually…” PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE…“is twice as much as that which is being emitted annually PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE.”

We need the two boldest segments to be parallel and concise, and to show the correct comparison.

“the total amount” is a noun, so “that” correctly replaces it. Therefore we can eliminate answer choices (B) and (C). (A) has the unnecessary word “being,” so that leaves (D) and (E).

If we plug in (E), the sentence reads “emitted annually compared to the motor vehicles in the Chicago metropolitan area.” It’s awkward to “compare” the amount of pollutant with the motor vehicles. We need a correct preposition to describe that the cars are doing the emitting.

On a personal note, I think of the word “being” as a big red flag. It usually means that a sentence is written in passive voice, and that there is a more active verb available. In fact, I cannot remember EVER seeing a correct answer choice with the word “being” in it.

The answer is (D). It makes the clearest comparison.

“the total amount of pollutant emitted annually BY….
…is twice that emitted annually BY all…”

NOUN…VERB…ADVERB…PREPOSITION