GMAT 2020 for Dummies

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-01-09
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Gear up for mastering the GMAT

Administered around the world, the GMAT measures verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills to assess qualifications for advanced study in business and management. This new edition of GMAT For Dummies with Online Practice includes proven tips and strategies to help you prepare for the GMAT and achieve ultimate success on test day. 

The 2020 GMAT test structure has changed slightly, and this revised edition of the trusted test-prep book addresses those changes—including the number of questions per section and the time allotted per section—to make you feel more confident than ever. 

  • Two practice tests in the book, plus FIVE more online for a total of SEVEN practice tests
  • Review of foundational concepts for every section
  • Complete explanations of every question type
  • Online practice and flash cards

When you have your heart set on scoring high on the GMAT, you only need one ace up your sleeve—and this book is your ticket to success.

Author Biography

Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, and Scott A. Hatch, JD, have been helping students succeed on standardized tests since 1987. They have written curricula and numerous test-prep guides and have taught internationally through their online forums, live lectures, DVDs, and study programs.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with the GMAT 5

Chapter 1: The Lowdown on the GMAT 7

Knowing Why the GMAT is Important 7

Timing It Perfectly: When to Take the GMAT (And What to Bring) 8

When to register for and take the GMAT 8

Things to take to the GMAT (and things to leave at home) 10

Forming First Impressions: The Format of the GMAT 10

Getting familiar with what the GMAT tests 10

Understanding the computerized format 11

Honing your computer skills for the GMAT 12

Knowing Where You Stand: Scoring Considerations 13

How the GMAT testers figure your score 13

How the GMAT testers report your score 13

Why you should (almost) never cancel your GMAT score 14

Repeating the Process: Retaking the GMAT 15

Chapter 2: Maximizing Your Score on the GMAT 17

Discovering Strategies for Successful Guessing 17

Forcing yourself to guess so you can move on 18

Understanding the importance of completing each section 18

Winning the Race against the Clock 19

Giving each question equal treatment 19

Making time for the last ten questions 19

Keeping track of your pace 20

Getting Rid of Wrong Answers 20

Keeping track of eliminated answer choices for the computer test format 20

Recognizing wrong answers 21

Playing It Smart: A Few Things You Shouldn’t Do When Taking the Test 25

Don’t lose your focus 25

Don’t read questions at lightning speed 25

Don’t waste all your time on the hardest questions 25

Don’t cheat 26

Tackling a Case of Nerves with Relaxation Techniques 26

Devising a Plan of Attack 27

Chapter 3: Mastering Business School Admissions 29

Choosing a Business School 29

Lining Up Your Ducks — Applying to Business Schools 31

When to apply 32

What to submit 32

Crafting Effective Business School Essays 33

Part 2: Vanquishing the Verbal Section 35

Chapter 4: Applying What You Learned (We Hope) in Grammar Class: Sentence Correction 37

Building a Solid Foundation: Grammar Basics 38

Getting wordy: The parts of speech 38

Pulling together: The parts of a sentence 40

Pointing Out Mistakes: Common Sentence Correction Errors 42

Can’t we all just get along? Errors in subject-verb and noun-pronoun agreement 43

Building code violations: Faulty construction 45

Follow the idiom: Correct use of standard expressions 48

Implementing an Approach to Sentence Correction Questions 51

Spotting the error 51

Eliminating answers that don’t correct errors 52

Eliminating choices that create new errors 52

Rereading the sentence 53

Reviewing the process and guessing on sentence corrections 53

Sentence Correction Practice Problems with Answer Explanations 53

Practice problems 54

Answer explanations 56

Chapter 5: Not as Enticing as a Bestseller: Reading Comprehension 59

Judging by Appearances: What Reading Comprehension Questions Look Like 59

Approaching Reading Passages 60

Mastering the message: The main point 60

Absorbing the ambiance: Author’s tone 61

Finding the framework: The passage’s outline 61

Sticking to the Subject: Types of Passages 62

Experimenting with natural science passages 62

Gathering in social circles: Social science passages 62

Getting down to business passages 63

Approaching Reading Comprehension Questions 63

Identifying the question type 63

Eliminating answer choices 66

Dealing with exception questions 67

Reading Comprehension Practice Questions with Answer Explanations 70

Reading comprehension practice questions 70

Answer explanations 74

Chapter 6: Thinking This through Logically: Critical Reasoning 79

Focusing on “Critical” Concepts: An Overview 79

Understanding the structure of the questions 80

Figuring out how to answer the questions 80

Making a Case: Essentials of Informal Logic 81

Fighting fair: The elements of an argument 81

Getting from Point A to Point B: Types of reasoning 81

Thinking Inside the Box: Question Types 83

Stalking Your Prey: How to Approach Each Question Type 84

Strengthening or weakening arguments 84

Delving into drawing conclusions 88

Spotting those sneaky assumptions 89

Using your noggin to make inferences 91

Critical Reasoning Practice Questions and Answer Explanations 94

Critical reasoning practice questions 94

Answer explanations 98

Chapter 7: Bringing It Together: A Mini Practice Verbal Section 103

Working Through Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions 104

Understanding What’s Right with Answer Explanations 113

Part 3: Acing the Analytical Writing Section 121

Chapter 8: Analyze This: What to Expect from the Analytical Writing Assessment 123

Fitting in the AWA with the Rest of the GMAT 123

Calling 411: Your AWA Writing Tools 124

Analyzing an Argument 124

Racking Up the Points: How the GMAT Scores Your Essay 125

Getting to know your readers 125

Interpreting the scores 126

Requesting your essay be rescored 126

Chapter 9: Present Perfect Paragraphs: How to Write a GMAT Essay 127

Avoiding Grammar, Punctuation, and Mechanics Errors 127

Punctuation errors 128

Sentence-structure problems 129

Faulty forming of possessives 129

Spelling issues 129

More dos and don’ts 130

Practice makes perfect! 130

Building a Better Essay: Ten Steps to a Higher Score 131

Chapter 10: Deconstructing Sample GMAT Essays 133

Defining GMAT AWA Scores 133

Taking a Look at Sample Essays 134

Sample essay #1 135

Discussion of sample essay #1 136

Sample essay #2 136

Discussion of sample essay #2 137

Sample essay #3 138

Discussion of sample essay #3 139

Sample essay #4 139

Discussion of sample essay #4 140

Chapter 11: Sampling a Series of Writing Prompts 141

Sample Prompt #1 141

Sample response to essay #1 142

Dissection of essay #1 142

Sample Prompt #2 143

Sample response to essay #2 143

Dissection of essay #2 144

Sample Prompt #3 144

Sample response to essay #3 145

Dissection of essay #3 145

Sample Prompt #4 146

Sample response to essay #4 146

Dissection of essay #4 146

Part 4: Conquering the Quantitative Section 149

Chapter 12: Getting Back to Basics: Numbers and Operations 151

Just Your Type: Kinds of Numbers 151

It’s Not Brain Surgery: Basic Operations 153

Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing 153

Checking out the real estate: Properties of real numbers 155

Using Little Numbers for Big Values: Bases and Exponents 157

Adding and subtracting with exponents 158

Multiplying and dividing with exponents 158

Figuring out the powers of 0 and 1 158

Dealing with fractional exponents 159

Working with negative exponents 159

Checking Out the Ancestry: Roots 160

Order of Operations: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally 161

Splitting Up: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages 162

Defining numerators, denominators, and other stuff you need to know about fractions 163

Adding and subtracting fractions 164

Multiplying and dividing fractions 165

Calculating percent change 167

Taking it further: Repeated percent change 168

Making Comparisons: Ratios and Proportions 169

Playing the Numbers: Scientific Notation 170

Chapter 13: Considering All the Variables: Algebra 171

Defining the Elements: Algebraic Terms 171

Braving the unknowns: Variables and constants 171

Coming together: Terms and expressions 172

Knowing the nomials: Kinds of expressions 172

Maintaining an Orderly Fashion: Algebraic Operations 173

Adding to and taking away 173

Multiplying and dividing expressions 175

Extracting Information: Factoring Polynomials 177

Something in common: Finding common factors 177

Two by two: Factoring quadratic polynomials 178

Minding Your Ps and Qs: Functions 179

Standing in: Understanding function terminology 180

Taking it to the limit: Domain and range of functions 181

Putting On Your Thinking Cap: Problem Solving 184

Isolating the variable: Linear equations 184

Bringing in the substitution: Simultaneous equations 185

Not playing fair: Inequalities 187

Solving quadratic equations 189

Reading between the lines: Word problems 190

Burning the midnight oil: Work problems 192

Going the distance: Distance problems 193

Chapter 14: Getting the Angle on Geometry: Planes and Solids 195

Fishing for the Answers: Lines and Angles 195

Trusting Triangles 198

Triple treat: Types of triangles 198

The area of a triangle 200

The Pythagorean theorem and other cool stuff about right triangles 200

A striking resemblance: Similar triangles 203

Playing Four Square: Quadrilaterals 204

Drawing parallels: Parallelograms 205

Raising the roof: Trapezoids 206

Showing Their Good Sides: Other Polygons 207

Eating Up Pieces of Pi: Circles 208

Ring measurements: Radius, diameter, and circumference 208

Blueprints for Noah: Arcs 208

Line ’em up: Chords, inscribed and circumscribed figures, and tangents 209

Getting a Little Depth Perception: Three-Dimensional Geometry 211

Chipping off the old block: Rectangular solids 211

Sipping from soda cans and other cylinders 213

Chapter 15: Keeping in Step: Coordinate Geometry 215

Taking Flight: The Coordinate Plane 215

Line dancing: Understanding coordinate geometry 215

What’s the point? Finding the coordinates 216

On all fours: Identifying quadrants 216

Slip-Sliding Away: Slope and Linear Equations 217

Taking a peak: Defining the slope of a line 217

Using the slope-intercept form to graph lines 219

Meeting in the middle 221

Going the distance 222

Considering other shapes on the coordinate plane 223

Fully Functioning: Graphing Functions 224

Passing the vertical line test 224

Feeling at home with domain and range 226

Chapter 16: Manipulating Numbers: Statistics and Sets 229

Joining a Clique: Groups 229

Setting Up Sets 231

Set terminology 231

Getting a visual: Venn diagrams 231

Making Arrangements: Permutations and Combinations 233

Positioning with permutations 233

Coming together: Combinations 235

Meeting in the Middle: Mean, Median, and Mode 237

Straying from Home: Range and Standard Deviation 239

Scouting out the range 239

Watching out for wanderers: Standard deviation 239

Predicting the Future: Probability 241

Finding the probability of one event 241

Finding the probability of many events 242

Chapter 17: It’s All in the Presentation: GMAT Quantitative Question Types 245

Enough’s Enough: Data Sufficiency Questions 245

You don’t need the solution to find the answer 246

Steps to approaching data sufficiency problems 246

Taking a Look at Data Sufficiency Practice Problems 249

Practice questions 249

Answer explanations 251

Houston, We Have a Problem: Problem Solving Questions 255

Trying Out Some Problem Solving Practice Problems 257

Practice questions 257

Answer explanations 259

Chapter 18: All Together Now: A Mini Practice Quantitative Section 263

Tackling GMAT Math Practice Questions 263

Checking Out the Answer Explanations 270

Part 5: Excelling on the Integrated Reasoning Section 281

Chapter 19: Best of Both Worlds: The Integrated Reasoning Section 283

Understanding What the IR Section is All About 283

Skills tested 284

Question format 284

Figuring Out How the IR Section is Scored 286

Making the Most of Your Time 286

Approaching Each Question Type 287

Table analysis 287

Two-part analysis 290

Graphics interpretation 293

Multi-source reasoning 294

Chapter 20: Deciphering Data in Charts and Graphs 299

Approaching Integrated Reasoning Data in Five Easy Steps 299

Translating Information in Tables 300

Making Comparisons with Bar Graphs 301

Simple bar graphs 301

Graphs with many bars 301

Segmented bar graphs 302

Evaluating Line Graphs 304

Basic line graphs 304

Scatter plots 304

Complex scatter plots 306

Clarifying Circle Graphs (Also Known as Pie Charts) 307

Extracting Data from Venn Diagrams 307

Part 6: Practice Makes Perfect 311

Chapter 21: GMAT Practice Test 313

Answer Sheet 315

Section 1: Analytical Writing Assessment 318

Section 2: Integrated Reasoning 319

Section 3: Quantitative 320

Section 4: Verbal 327

Chapter 22: Practice Test Answers and Explanations 339

Section 1: Analytical Writing Assessment 339

Section 2: Integrated Reasoning 341

Section 3: Quantitative Reasoning 341

Section 4: Verbal 356

Answers at a Glance 365

Part 7: The Part of Tens 367

Chapter 23: Ten Question Types You’ve Got a Good Shot At 369

Main-Theme Reading Questions 369

Specific Information Reading Questions 369

Sentence Corrections 370

Exception Questions for Reading Passages 370

Strengthening or Weakening Critical Arguments 370

Data Sufficiency Math Questions 370

Math Problem Solving with Figures 370

Math Problems Involving Basic Operations 370

Substitution Math Problems 371

Graph- and Table Analysis Questions 371

Chapter 24: Ten Writing Errors to Avoid 373

Composing Complicated Sentences 373

Presenting Your Text in Passive Voice 373

Wasting Time with Unfamiliar Words 373

Using Unclear (Or Zero) Transitions 374

Going Overboard with Generic Terms 374

Writing in Informal English 374

Giving a Laundry List of Examples 374

Succumbing to Sentence Fragments 374

Announcing a Position without Explanation 374

Putting Aside Proofreading 374

Chapter 25: Ten Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting into Business School 375

Accumulate a Little Work Experience 375

Ace the Interview 375

Apply Early 376

Apply While You’re Upwardly Mobile 376

Capitalize on What Makes You Unique 376

Demonstrate Interest 376

Focus on Fit 376

Get the Right Recommendations 377

Study for the GMAT 377

Write a Memorable Admissions Essay 377

Index 379

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