• ## Congrats to Anders (720) for 11 pt Quant improvement from Q35 to Q44!!

While our GMAT PILL products are most known for the quality of our verbal course videos and question explanation walkthroughs, our quant course is equally versatile.

Anders – a student who improved his Q35 quant score to a Q44 within just a few months — is a perfect example of the power of GMAT PILL’s quant package.

Here’s what he wrote us: “Zeke-

I took the GMAT today after 3 weeks of studying with the GMATPill. My previous score, in October, was 660 (35Q/45V). Today was 720 (44Q/45V). Couldn’t have done it without your help! Thanks for putting together a great product.”

### Here’s a copy of his Official GMAT Score Report

Notice how Anders was already very strong in verbal–in the 99th percentile (V45). Yet, even with this supremely high verbal score, his initial overall score was only 660 — because of the quant imbalance.

In order to break 700, you can’t be super good in one section and mediocre in another section.

You need to at least be “good enough” in both sections.

Now, verbal wasn’t an issue for Anders – so he didn’t need to sign up for the complete GMAT Pill package. What made more sense for him was to sign up for our Quant package.

In our quant package, we cover various permutations of various mathematical concepts tested on the GMAT. We also cover ways in which the GMAT folks can try to trick you – especially with things like positive and even exponents. So our course covers sum of sequences— from 1 to 100 from 50 to 100 as well as from 100 to 200. We talk about prime numbers, factoring, etc. We also cover word problems related to raates—yes, when two trains move towards each other, when 2 trains move away from each other – and also when they move perpendicular from each other — effectively creating a triangle.

By going through various possibilities off of the same core question type – we help students really understand the scope of what can possibly be tested. With this kind of understanding, our students are well prepared for the questions on the real thing. Anders – a student who improved a whopping 11 pts just in Quant alone – is a great example of someone who broke the 700 barrier with the guidance of GMAT Pill.

Congratulations – and we know you’ll do well wherever you go from here.

Verbal Questions: Sentence Correction | Critical Reasoning | Reading Comprehension
Quant Videos: Problem Solving | Data Sufficiency

• ## Minimize Your Errors on the GMAT

This is a guest post.

Some mistakes are bound to happen when taking the three hour and thirty minute GMAT, but you could minimize them if you thoroughly prepare. Think of the GMAT not as a test but as a process that requires planning, time and focus.

### How much time should you study?

According to an article by W.P. Carey’s School of Business, “49% of 2012 GMAT test takers spent at least 51 hours studying and only 23% spent less than 20 hours total…the average number of hours spent studying was reflected in higher test scores.” In addition, they note that the 2012 test takers who scored 700 or above, spent on average nearly 100 hours in test prep.

### Develop a study schedule and stick to it.

The GMAT is not the type of exam you can cram for. Spread out your study time and break it into manageable parts so you will be more likely to stick to your schedule. This also gives you time to reflect on the problems you faced in a previous study session, which may bring to light solutions to simple mistakes or processing issues.

### Take a lot of practice tests and develop a system for tackling exam day.

It’s not enough to feel comfortable with the problems you will be facing, make sure you have a plan for how you are going to take the test. Don’t spend too much time on problems for which you really don’t know the answer. You aren’t likely to get them right anyway. Align your time with correctly answering the bulk of questions you do know how to solve. To prevent this problem, commit to learning GMAT concepts beforehand with a prep course. We recommend the GMAT Pill online course.

### Slow down when taking the practice tests.

Allow yourself time to really comprehend and work through all of your answers. Once you have mastered the problems and your test day technique and minimized careless mistakes, you can speed up and refine your timing. Make sure you consider your approach to solving each problem. Is there a different, better or faster way to come up with the answer? If you find in your practice tests that you are prone to making simple mistakes, keep a record of the type of mistakes you are making so you can spot them in the future.

### Have the proper mindset for the studying and exam process.

Are you someone who explains away poor test scores by saying you really know the content but regularly make silly mistakes? Commit to yourself to have a better attitude.

Computation errors can be minimized in many of the same ways. Document your mistakes so it is easier to determine the root cause of your error. You might find that you are getting simple math facts wrong because you are flustered or rushing. Make sure to show your work. This way you have a record of how you came to your answer and it helps solidify in your head how to solve the problem. It’s also much easier to find where you are making careless mistakes when you show your work, particularly on the practice tests.

Finally, avoid messy handwriting, which is the cause of a lot of simple errors.

Written
by University of Pennsylvania graduate and freelance writer Kerry Auge and edited by Laura Morrison, the Content Manager of GradSchools.com. If you are interested in earning an MBA, find out here.

Verbal Questions: Sentence Correction | Critical Reasoning | Reading Comprehension
Quant Videos: Problem Solving | Data Sufficiency

• ## Yet Another Bain Consultant Scores 99th %ile with GMAT PILL

In the past, we’ve written about how McKinsey consultants have been using GMAT PILL to ace the GMAT. Well, in continuation with the management consulting theme, today we have consultants from Bain and Company.

Congrats to yet another Bain consultant for scoring 99th percentile with GMAT PILL!!

Mr. Bain #2 scored a 760 (Q49, V45) and sent us his email testimonial along with his score report:

Last time, Mr. Bain #1 scored a 770 (Q50, V47) and sent us his score report:

## Why do Bain consultants do so well with GMAT PILL?

Mostly because GMAT PILL was actually created by an ex-management consultant. All management consultants use frameworks to analyze business problems. And with GMAT – it’s the same approach. Visual frameworks from which to analyze various types of GMAT questions. Understand all the frameworks and how to apply them and you pretty much can analyze any business situation or GMAT question.

Verbal Questions: Sentence Correction | Critical Reasoning | Reading Comprehension
Quant Videos: Problem Solving | Data Sufficiency

• ## News on Integrated Reasoning – 1 Year Stats from GMAC

### What can we derive from a year of statistics about how Bschools factor IR scores into admission?

Among a sample size of 196,712 scores, the average (mean) IR score is roughly 4.34 / 8.00 with a standard deviation of 2.1
95% of all scores lay within 2 standard deviations (2* 2.1) above and below of the mean (4.34).

4.34 ± (2*2.1) is 2.24 and 6.44 – but of course, since this is not a normal distribution; the scores go by intervals of 1.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
1) The IR score is progressively becoming more flexible.
Ever since its release, the MBA admissions committee has developed a better understanding of how the score compares in relation with the applicant’s other stats.

However, what does this mean for the applicants?

Among a pool of applicants with high GMAT scores- the ones with a high IR score will stand out from the crowd.

This is commonly the case for schools that receive several applicants with high GMAT Quant scores. With so many students in the Q48+ range – the difference between ~2 quant questions can potentially drop a score beneath the 90th percentile. However, the difference between the Q48 student and the Q50 student may not be enough for an admissions officer to prefer one over the other.

Hypothetical Example, say we have 2 candidates:
Candidate A: Q48 / IR 8
Candidate B: Q50 / IR 5

The admissions officers will most likely pick Candidate A as the stronger candidate.

Interestingly, there is often a large discrepancy between GMAT scores and IR scores among Chinese and Indian applicants. Being a Chinese or Indian applicant with a high IR score can definitely provide that extra push into admission!

2) How IR scores Influence MBA Scholarships
Students of the GMAT Pill curriculum may have noticed that several of our students were accepted into top business schools all around the world with scholarships. This was accomplished by assisting them to improve their overall GMAT score, as well as their IR score.

Why is the IR section important for MBA scholarships?

When schools decide to give out scholarships, they generally have the intention of investing in strong, solid students that can integrate information and make good choices.  These huge investments need to be allocated to low-risk individuals – individuals whose GMAT scores are solid across the board. These are individuals that recruiting firms will be drawn to and hire. The IR score can be an important factor when deciding this.

One example: Former GMAT Pill student (and now GMAT Pill instructor) James – scored a noteworthy GMAT score of 770 – alongside an IR score of 8/8 AND an AWA score of 6/6. Those great scores were accompanied with a \$93k MBA Scholarship from London Business School.

3) Consultants find the IR score important as well
As much as consultants like high GMAT scores and GPAs, they’re also going to be interested in high IR scores as well. Why? Well, the IR tests the same skills that consultants use on a daily basis.
4) The IR score will be added to the unofficial score report

At the moment, test takers are only able to see their IR after their official score reports are released. After the fall of 2013, test takers can see the score printed right on the unofficial score report they receive after the exam.

5) Faster than expected official score reports
Test takers are often told that their score reports will arrive within 20 days. However, the arrival time is actually closer to 1 week. Although the GMAC reserves the right to say that the score will arrive in about 20 days, you’ll most likely be receiving them sooner expected.
6) Integrating IR score with the GMAT 800 score.
Opinions have been voiced about having a single total score of 800 made up of 4 subdivisions – quant/verbal/awa/ir.

As of today, the 800 score is composed of 2 subdivisions -quant and verbal.

Of course, more opinions need to be gathered before any steps are taken towards combining the 4 sections. Even if the change were to be made, it would take several years before the scoring scale is correctly adjusted.

The GMAT Pill community believes integrating everything into a single score is the right move. It would help the admissions staff make better sense of the score report, as well as recognize how significant the IR section is in the final 800 score– the score that several students use to compare one other with– the score that is published by top business school, etc

GMAC has not made any promises, but they will examine the possibility of such a change.

After running some numbers, the GMAC community discovered that there in fact is a discrepancy between the average GMAT score and the corresponding IR score among countries.

The discrepancy lies the greatest among applicants from Asia - Asians tend to score very high GMAT scores in comparison to test takers in other countries, but their IR scores seem to be lacking in comparison.

What does this tell us?

This means that applicants from Asia (primarily China and India) – that scored highly on the IR section AS WELL AS the overall GMAT, will stand out among the application pool. This makes things easier, as MBA programs can quickly distinguish individuals from all their peers based on who has a strong verbal/quant score AND a high IR score. Although this is true everyone, there is a especially true for Asians.

Interesting, Australians and Americans have the least discrepancy between the average 800 GMAT score and the average IR score.

In comparison to all of the major testing metrics, the IR score is the accurate when predicting future graduate GPA.

Although the data may not be accurate, research has revealed that in comparison with the total 800 score, the AWA score, and the undergraduate GPA, the IR score better predicts the GPA in a graduate program.

How can the IR score inform the admissions office, who to accept and who to deny?

The IR score doesn’t always tell the admission office who to admit – but it DOES help select which ones to deny.

How is that possible?

Do you notice the blue circle in the picture above? Among test takers with a 650 (or higher), only a small percentage of them scored a 1, 2, or 3 — 2%, 3%, and 6%, respectively. Most often the case, the admission office will probably only look at applicants with GMAT scores of 650 and above, with a few applicants doing poorly on the IR section.

TIP: Don’t be one of those applicants with a 650 (or higher) GMAT score and a bad IR score. You will stick out like a sore thumb!

Asian applicants scoring 650 or higher – should make an effort to score on the higher end of IR section – An 8 might not be necessary, but a solid score of 6 or 7 will go nicely alongside a high GMAT score.

A high IR score can help you stand out in less competitive MBA programs as well. The total percentage of applicants scoring a 1, 2 or 3 is relatively high. The chance of scoring a 1, 2 or 3 is 6%, 10%, and 14%, respectively. This adds up to 30% of applicants scoring in the 1, 2, or 3 range. Being one of the few applicants to score a 6, 7, or 8 – is quite exceptional.

How does the IR affect Career Choice?
Although the IR section has only been out for only a year now, the initial surveys reveal that the average IR score for MBAs that go into Consulting, Operations, and Finance is significantly higher than the average IR score for MBAs going into human resources, marketing, or general management.

In fact, during a conference call with GMAC – it was revealed that top consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG and Booz are have taken an interest in an applicant’s IR scores.

Consultants will use IR Scores to evaluate Candidates
Why would they do that?

The IR section tests the same skills that consultants use on a daily basis. Consultants, such as management consultants need to understand what the big picture items are, and what the key takeaways are. After processing several numbers, a consultant must then find the underlying patterns and plan out appropriate steps that will follow.

After working at Booz & Company as a managing consultant, I can confirm the importance of IR skills on the job. It is apparent why top consulting firms would ask individuals for their IR scores. It helps them with the screening process of weeding out unqualified candidates.

It’s no surprise that consulting firms prefer students with high GPAs and high GMAT scores.

In the nearby future, I can imagine top consulting firms taking IR scores into more account. They could possibly ask for the GMAT/IR score combo on the resume and they may use this as a screening tool as they recruit grad students.

Those interested in entering management consulting as a possible career, should definitely put in the effort now and do well on the IR section.

In Conclusion
Based on a year of statistics, the MBA admissions committee has developed a better understanding of how the score compares in relation with the applicant’s other stats.

Noteworthy pieces of information to keep in mind would include the high discrepancy between the 800 GMAT score and the IR scores among Asian applicants – and that only a small percentage of applicants score 650 (or higher) on the overall score but end up doing poorly on the IR section, etc. This information can help you figure out how important IR scores are for your demographic background.

Certain individuals, with a “good enough” IR score of at least 4 will be able to make the admission cut.

For applicants seeking a scholarship – it would be advised to score as high as possible in all categories – verbal, quant, AWA, and IR. As previously mentioned, our former student (and now GMAT instructor) James scored high enough in all 4 categories to receive a full tuition MBA scholarship to London Business School.

IR score can influence not only MBA admissions, but corporate recruiting. Management consulting firms will definitely be interested in graduates with high IR scores.

The GMAC community will have your IR score in the unofficial score report after the fall of 2013. There is also potential talk about the possibility of having one composite score of 800 with 4 subdivisions. Hopefully, we will see that steps are being taken for this change.

Verbal Questions: Sentence Correction | Critical Reasoning | Reading Comprehension
Quant Videos: Problem Solving | Data Sufficiency

• ## The Role of GMAT Scores When Applying to an MBA Program

When considering graduate schools, there are a number of factors to consider, including whether you want to take the GRE or the GMAT test. If you are pursuing a career in business and considering an MBA, it is important to note that many universities will not accept GRE test scores for your admission, however, business schools are the only schools that do accept the GMAT. Before making your school selection, it is vital that you understand the policies of each school you are considering, in regards to earning an MBA.

The only students taking the GMAT are students who are seeking admission to a business graduate program, but it is possible to get an MBA, without submitting a GMAT score. The test is structured and the questions asked are designed to specifically gauge the skills of a student planning to pursue an MBA. The admission curve to most business schools is quite steep, so if you take the GMAT, but intend on exploring other options should you not be accepted to a business program, you may want to consider taking the GRE and applying to universities that accept these scores for their business programs as well.

The GRE exam is similar to the GMAT; however, it is designed for a broader range of programs. The GRE is typically a generalized set of answers; however, you can sit for a specialized subject matter. Many business schools are beginning to accept scores from either exam, so it is completely possible to pursue your MBA as long as you have the GRE scores.

Some schools use the test scores for a large part of the evaluation points in the admissions application, for example, Stanford Graduate School of Business relies more on the GMAT scores in their evaluation, whereas Harvard Business School relies the scores, but the emphasis is dependent on the student and their application as a whole. It is important to keep in mind that a high GMAT score may increase the likelihood of your academic success; you will also need to have a high GPA as well as an excellent statement of purpose and/or other requirements.

When applying to a business school, the admission committee reviews each application to determine your management potential, organizational skills, leadership skills, career goals, teamwork skill and the involvement you have within the community, as well as your academic achievements. So, although the GMAT scores may play a vital role in your admission application, these other attributes also weighs heavily on your success as an MBA student.

Taking the GMAT and scoring high can possibly compensate for weaknesses in your application, such as a not so impressive academic performance. If you are determined to apply to a business school that only accepts the GMAT score, it is vital that you study for the exam and take the practice tests. Online programs, such as those provided on gmatpill.com are an excellent resource to help you achieve high GMAT scores, which may improve your chances of admission to an excellent MBA program.

Rene Williams is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to DegreeJungle. She encourages others to explore their expansive site for more information on MBA programs and the best online colleges.