GMAT Insight: Reading Comp vs. Reading Comp

With the recent release of the new Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition and the impending release of a new version of GMATPrep, we thought we’d shed some light on a particularly key distinction between the two kinds of practice material: paper vs. computer.

On the surface the distinction between these two kinds of practice would appear to be self-evident, and to a large extent it is. What isn’t so clear is the potential value of each. With the value of each in mind, one place that most clearly illuminates the difference is with Reading Comprehension.

LSAT Insight: General Pacing Strategy

If you were trying to score 100% on your typical high school or college exam, you’d need to do two things: 1) answer all of the questions, and 2) answer all of those questions correctly. The logic of that is not lost on most people. Unfortunately, many people preparing to take the LSAT walk into that test with similar logic, often to disastrous results.

Let’s be clear about something: the LSAT is not your run-of-the-mill school test. It relies on a whole host of different paradigms by which the game needs to be played. Chief among those paradigms is how one goes about achieving the score one wants. And if we apply the logic of doing well on school tests to the LSAT, we’ll be doing ourselves and our score a disservice.

Often, the key to doing better on the LSAT does not mean doing more questions. It means doing fewer. One thing should be clarified here before we move on: what we talk about when we talk about “doing questions” (yes, that’s a Raymond Carver allusion) is time invested on questions. It does not speak to entering an answer for every question (which you should ALWAYS do). Often, spending more time on fewer questions results in a higher total number of raw score points, which means a higher scaled score.

Let’s take a look at a couple hypothetical test-takers, and talk about why we might observe what we do.

GMAT News: Prospective Students Survey

The old adage goes, ‘Knowledge is power.’ Albert Einstein once said that “Information is not knowledge.” With the right contextualization, however, information can be knowledge, which can lead to power. The latest Prospective Students Survey Report from GMAC contains both a wealth of information and the context with which to empower it.

This report reveals valuable demographic trends in the world of GME (Graduate Management Education). Data indicates that while men comprise the majority of those interested in full-time 1- or 2-year MBA programs, women make up the majority of those interested in most non-MBA Master’s Programs, including Management and Accounting. Additionally, data shows that women interested in non-MBA Master’s degrees are applying at a younger age than their MBA counterparts, with 71% of female applicants to non-MBA Master’s programs aged younger than 25.

The Prospective Students Survey also confirms recent data from GMAC that speaks to the international dynamics in graduate management education. The number of GMAT tests taken outside the United States (which speaks directly to the number of prospective candidates originating outside the U.S.), continues to increase, and a significant portion of those increases are being affected by women. For example, Chinese women now account for a full 33% of tests submitted to non-MBA master’s programs by women.

Review, pt. 2: GMAT Official Guide 13th Edition w/ Integrated Reasoning

As we discussed in a post a couple days ago, GMAC has finally released the first new practice materials in anticipation of the Next Generation GMAT change on June 5th. We ran through some initial and general impressions, and we’re back to take a closer look. Here’s what we were told by our sources at GMAC:

Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition Fast Facts (from GMAC)

  • 75 New Quant and 80 new Verbal Questions
  • New Integrated Reasoning (IR) Chapter
  • Online access code for 50 IR questions available as online practice
  • None of the questions – new or old – are available in any other GMAC products
  • Retail Price: $42.95 (available in the Bell Curves Bookstore for $29.95)

Looking more closely at the practice questions for the respective questions types, we’ve formulated a list of the new questions in the 13th Edition.

Word Challenge VI: Two Words, One Speech – Our President’s!

The sixth and final entry in the Word Challenge: Two Words, One Speech series, ends with our current commander in chief. Written by Bell Curves co-founder Akil Bello, this entry was posted on 4RIISE.com

In the final installment of our speeches series, I offer to you a man triply fitting for mention on this President’s Day. A man known as one of the greatest orators of our time. A man of historic stature and prodigious ability. This week’s speech comes to us from the first African-American President of the United States of America: Barack Obama.

Review pt. 1: GMAT Official Guide 13th Edition w/ Integrated Reasoning

After a long, mouth-watering wait, the first set of of new practice material from GMAC became available this week. We got our sweaty, eager hands on some copies of the Official Guide for GMAT Review 13th Edition as soon as possible so we could get information out to people. If you’re looking to get your hands on a copy, you can find them in our bookstore.

Here’s a quick recap of what you can expect when you get one of your very own:

  • Integrated Reasoning Chapter - The integrated reasoning chapter includes descriptions of the question types and strategies, explantions of the question directions, and, of course, a limited number of example questions. Don’t expect too much here, as the whole chapter is about 12 pages long.

Word Challenge V: Two Words, One Speech – Frederick Douglass!

Part V of our six part series examines the words of Frederick Douglass.  Written by Akil Bello, co-founder of Bell Curves, this entry was originally posted by Riise on 2/13/12.

In keeping with the theme of Independence Day, this week’s speech was delivered by Fredrick Douglass on that date in 1852. This speech is not only a great oration it also provides an interesting insight into the time and place of its delivery. Douglass had been invited to speak as part of an Independence Day celebration by the leading citizens of Rochester, NY. The line highlighted below shows not only the depth of his language mastery but also his opinion of the state of American “independence” and the arrogance of inviting him to participate in the Independence Day events, given that he was an escaped slave who had been freed, and was still fighting for freedom for all other slaves.

Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!”

Bell Curves Partners with LAULYP

Bell Curves is proud to announce they have begun a partnership with the Los Angeles Urban League of Young Professionals.

On The Record: Q&A with BC Alumnus Gabriel Perez

We thought that many people out there battling through the business school application process might benefit from the thoughts and insights of others who went through the experience. To that end, we started On the Record: Q&A with BC Alums. We’ve heard from Radina Russell and Rhomaro Powell. Let’s get the low-down from Gabriel Perez.

Why did you go to business school?

A career change was the real impetus for me to apply to business school. I saw business school as an attractive proposition for several reasons. First, I knew I wanted a career change, but I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to change it to. I felt business school could act as a sort of looking glass, giving me unique insights into a number of different industries and career tracks. Secondly, I felt that by going to business school I could manage to make a career change that wouldn’t necessarily force me to take a step down, but allow me to make a lateral move in terms of responsibility and compensation. Perhaps most important though, I saw business school as the best way to develop many of the “hard skills” I would need for long term success in the business world, especially coming from a non-traditional background (i.e. not I-Banking or Consulting)

ALPFA Regional Student Symposiums

Undergraduates at the ALPFA Regional Student Symposium in New York.

This past weekend, on March 3rd, Bell Curves had the opportunity to participate in ALPFA’s Regional Student Symposium in New York. The Symposium was held at KPMG, who was also the lead sponsor of the event. Engaging workshops and panel discussions provided students with the chance to learn the ins and outs of job searches, including interviewing skills and awareness of corporate culture. Students were able to learn how to maximize their chances landing that all-important internship in today’s challenging economic environment.

We had the chance to sit in on one of the workshops, run by two managers from Macy’s, who provided some valuable insights on etiquette in the corporate environment. This workshop reinforced how beneficial membership in professional and student organizations can be. The ability, especially for low-income, first-generation college students, and under-represented minorities, to draw on the experiences and insights of larger networks is invaluable.

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