Welcome

### Part I - Welcome, Background And Introduction

Welcome!

Welcome to my "Focused Beginnings GMAT Tutorial." My name is John Richardson and I have taught and developed GMAT programs since 1979. Yes, that's a long time. But a good deal of teaching experience goes with that. I intend to gradually develop a complete on-line GMAT program. But, I am a long way from completing that. As the title implies, this is a mini-tutorial that I have put on my web site to help people begin their preparation in a focused way. Use this tutorial as an intelligent beginning. It will point you in the right direction.

The Tutorial - 33 GMAT Questions

My "Focused Beginnings GMAT Tutorial" uses 33 GMAT questions .

Print The 33 Sample FREE GMAT Test Questions

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Just for fun! You can answer the actual 33 questions and have them graded, before you take the tutorial. It will give you a good indication of what to expect. Of course if you score 100 per cent you don't need to take the tutorial. Click here to answer the questions.

Information Direct From GMAT

It is important to know how the GMAT is scored, the rules for guessing, the relative importance of different questions and how to take the GMAT. In addition, you should know a bit about the logistics of taking the test. The information should be obtained directly from GMAT. Again, I encourage you to visit their site at www.mba.com.

How To Benefit From This Tutorial

Begin by reading the background information. You will find that you will learn a great deal by reading the discussion of the answer choices for each question. Remember, learning to play the "GMAT Game" involves learning how to read and compare "multiple choice" answer choices.

What Does The GMAT Test?

The GMAT is primarily a skills based test and not a knowledge based test. The skills tested are basic reading and reasoning skills. Multi-step problem solving questions are used to test your ability to reason. Multi-step problem solving questions appear mainly as part of the quantitative sections. But, this doesn't mean that you need to know a lot of math. Most people grossly overestimate the level of math that they need. "GMAT Math" does not go beyond what is commonly taught in grade 9 or 10. So, if you want to review math to that level - fine. But, anything beyond is a waste of time. Reasoning is also tested in the context of data sufficiency and the critical thinking section itself. Every GMAT question is a test of reading comprehension skills. Finally, the grammar is not really a test of grammar. It is a test of basic literacy.

Reading and problem solving skills are tested in the context of multiple choice. Multiple choice is a great thing. The "credited response" is directly in front of your eyes. You don't have to arrive at the answer on your own. You don't even have to understand why the answer is right. All you need do is recognize that one of the answers is correct (or on some sections most correct or least wrong). In many cases this can be accomplished simply by eliminating clearly wrong answers. In fact, I will promise you that:

If you spend more time looking at the answer choices and less time obsessing over the questions you will improve your GMAT score!

Therefore, a major part of GMAT training involves learning how to play the multiple choice test game! You will see that my discussion of the 33 sample GMAT questions is overwhelmingly focused on the answer choices and not on the questions!

The Format Of The GMAT

The GMAT is administered on computer in the form of a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT). There are two 75 minute multiple choice sections (one verbal and one quantitative) and a 60 minute writing exercise (during which you will write answers to two questions). The 75 minute quantitative section is intended to have 37 questions and the 75 minute verbal section will have 41 questions. For more information, I suggest that you check out the GMAT web site at www.mba.com.

Directions To The GMAT

It is incumbent on you to read the directions for each question type very carefully. For each question type you will be directed to select the "best answer." But, "best answer" means different things on different parts of the test.

Quantitative Question Types - Divided Between

A. Data Sufficiency

B. Problem Solving

For each of these two question types the "best answer" will be objectively correct. Therefore, you eliminate answer choices because they are simply wrong. Think on a "black and white" level. I.e. right versus wrong.

Verbal Question Types - A Mix Of:

A. Critical Thinking

C. Grammar And Usage

For each of these three question types the "best answer" will simply be the best of the available choices. It may or not be (and usually won't) be objectively correct. Therefore, when eliminating answers you eliminate because one answer choice is worse than another. Think on a "better versus worse" level. You must "compare and contrast" the answer choices.

Analytical Writing Topics - Two Types:

1. Analysis Of An Issue - 30 minutes

2. Analysis Of An Argument - 30 minutes

There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that you will have to input your answers using the word processing program provided. The good news is that you won't have to worry about the quality of your handwriting. The essays are scored on a scale of 0 - 6. Because the Analytical Writing Test is not multiple choice, I have not included a discussion of it as part of this tutorial.

### Part II - Question Based Tutorial

Introduction

Have a look at the sample passage. You will see that the lines are numbered. There have traditionally been three types of reading comprehension passages - applied science, social science and something closer to the humanities.

The passage itself is just an excuse to provide stimulus for one of six types of questions. Each question is of course followed by five multiple choice answer choices. The reading comprehension test lies in your ability to read, understand and compare the answer choices! Therefore, the most basic rule is:

Never select an answer until you have read every word of every choice!

It is unlikely that you will have time to read the passage more than once. You will find that the passage is rather dense and boring. In most cases you will read it and feel that you have not absorbed enough information to begin the questions. Generally, speaking you will have absorbed enough information to recognize what the answer cannot be!

Turn to the sample reading comprehension passage and try questions 1 - 6. Remember to read every choice and to compare the answer choices on a "better versus worse" basis. When you are ready for a discussion simply click on the appropriate question.

Critical Thinking

Introduction

Begin by reading the directions. As you can see they are almost useless. The best answer is not necessarily objectively correct. It is simply the choice that is remaining after the other choices have been eliminated. Reading every word of every choice and think on a "better versus worse" basis. The questions are based on very short readings. Some contain arguments and other do not.

Tip: Begin with the question itself. First, it may tell you something about the nature of what you have to read (for example is it an argument or not). Second, the language in the question will tell you what aspect of the passage you should be concentrating on. For example, is it an assumption, inference, objective description, etc?

Turn to the sample critical thinking questions and try questions 7 - 12. Remember to read every choice and to compare the answer choices on a "better versus worse" basis. When you are ready for a discussion simply click on the appropriate question.

Data Sufficiency

Introduction

Begin with the directions. You will see that they are complex. Your job is to categorize questions on whether the answer can be determined, and if so, by virtue of what combination of statement(s). Most people find this section to be the most complicated one on the GMAT. However, it is extremely "menu driven" and is therefore particularly susceptible to short term improvement. Rather than get into a lengthy discussion concerning approach, I would rather set you loose on the questions. You will be able to discern an approach from the discussion.

Tips:

1. Try not to actually answer the questions. The issue is could somebody answer the questions if he/she had some reason to do so.

2. The directions are based on a geometry question. In data sufficiency geometric figures may not be drawn to scale. In other words GMAT may attempt to confuse you by distorting the figure. Don't assume that the figure is drawn property. (Note also that different rules respecting geometric figures apply in the problem solving section.)

Turn to the sample data sufficiency questions and try questions 13 - 19. Remember to approach each of the statements independently. When you are ready for a discussion simply click on the appropriate question.

Problem Solving

Introduction

Begin with the directions. You are looking for one objectively correct answer. You will note that (contrary to data sufficiency) there is a presumption that the figures are drawn accurately. Remember that one of the answer choices must be correct. Your job is to find it. You can do this either by eliminating wrong answers or by looking for a right answer. I suggest a combination of both. For each question I will have two kinds of explanations. First, I will explain the question in terms of the math. This will include an identification of the math skills that are required. Second, I will show you how to arrive at the answer by working the answer choices and not by solving with math. I will refer to this as the "Multiple Choice Is Your Friend" solution.

Turn to the problem solving questions and try them. When you are ready for some discussion click on the appropriate question.

Question 20

English Grammar And Usage

Introduction

Most of the questions on this part of the test are based on problems of "agreement." I.e. subject-verb agreement, parallelism, etc. As the directions state this is a test of effectiveness and correctness of expression. Look for a choice that is clear and exact. The requirement of clearness and exactness means that you must eliminate choices that are awkward, ambiguous or contain redundancy or grammatical errors. Remember that "Multiple Choice Is Your Friend." You have to select one of the five choices. You don't have to be able to recognize the category of error to know that a choice contains an error. Think in terms of "better versus worse."

Turn to the grammar and usage questions and try them. When you are ready for the analysis click on the appropriate question.

Part III - Where To Go From Here

Where To Go From Here?

First, I urge you to obtain the most recent copy of the Official Guide For GMAT Review. It is published by GMAT and is a source of actual GMAT questions. This is essential for all GMAT test takers.

Second, I teach live courses. My live courses are always available in Toronto and in any other city by request. Send me an e-mail for further information.