The AWA is the first section that you will encounter on the GMAT and GRE exams. Getting started on a good note will set the tone for the rest of the exam, and will give you the confidence that you will carry into the subsequent sections. Also, the AWA section lasts an hour, and uses a considerable amount of the test-taker’s energy and brain power. By the time you get to the Quant section, and especially the Verbal section, the brain, and possibly the body, feels the strain and this could affect the candidate’s performance. This is quite often the reason candidates see a wide margin between the scores on the practice tests and their score on the actual exam. Finally, while schools usually give importance to the main GMAT score (200 – 800), a score below 4 on the AWA section could be a red flag on your application, and cast doubt on your ability to use written English to reason and communicate effectively. Same is the case with GRE scores.
Good maths knowledge necessary to get good GMAT and GRE scores
Consider a problem: A pond has only fish, of which 50 are blue-colored. 100 fish are caught from the pond, of which 5 were found to be blue-colored. If the percentage of blue fish in the catch was double the percentage of blue fish in the pond, then how many fish were initially present in the pond?
To solve this question, careful observation is required. “If the percentage of blue fish in the catch was double the percentage of blue fish in the pond“. The percentage of blue fish in the catch is 5% (5 out of the 100 fish that were caught.). So, this is double the percentage of blue fish in the pond. There are 45 blue fish in the pond out of a total of (x− 100) fish (x is the total number of fish in the pond.). Hence,
As it can be seen, the focus is on understanding the problem rather than mathematical skills. Undoubtedly, mathematical concepts such as forming the equation and percentage are involved, but they are used only as tools to solve the problem.
How many mock tests should I take inorder to get a good GMAT score?
Unfortunately, there is no magic number that would help us arrive at an objective conclusion.
What is interesting about this discussion is that, often this discussion seems to preclude what is more important in the context of the GMAT – what you do after a mock test. An ideal build up to your exam would involve doing practice tests with at least a couple of days in between to mull over your mistakes and dwell on the concepts that tripped you up, hence covering up what the practice test might have exposed as an Achilles heal. 7 or 8 tests would more than likely throw up a lot of areas to work on. So, a minimum of 7-8 practice tests, with atleast 1-2 days spent on post-test analysis and relevant corrective action, would have a huge and positive impact on your score. In fact, this will be better than going on a test-taking spree without spending enough time analyzing your performance in the mock tests. Remember, ‘more’ is not always ‘better’!
Word Usage in GMAT Verbal section
GMAT is unlikely to test you directly on the usage of these two words alone (there would, in most cases, be other errors by virtue of which you could eliminate one of the options). However, basic understanding of the differences between the two is not only necessary but also required in terms of understanding the meaning of the sentence.
The main point of difference between “that” and “which” is best described by analyzing the essentiality of the words that follow a “that” or a “which” in terms of understanding the sentence as a whole.
Let us look at an example to make this distinction clear:
The cardiologist advised me to take precautions for the well-being of my heart, which pumps blood to all parts of the body.
Would the words after the “which” make any difference to the way I perceive the sentence? Not really. Even if I did not have the “which pumps blood to all parts of the body” in this sentence, my message would be clear, that I would need to take precautions to ensure the well-being of my heart.
Here is another example:
Questions that are long cause students to panic.
In this sentence, does “that” make any difference to my understanding of the sentence? Absolutely! What the “that” does here is that it restricts the type of questions that causes panic among students to the long questions.
If I were to replace the “that” with a “which” in this sentence, there would be a substantial change in the meaning.
You might come up with ten tips that optimize your GMAT preparation, but GMAT coaching experts know at least a hundred times that. If you reach out to people who’ve coached others – for example, our expert faculty at Jamboree – you stand a much much higher chance of learning from the vast repository of knowledge we have, and becoming even more than you were.