Testing the test

The Assignment:

The assignment was to test out Bell Curves revolutionary test preparation techniques and evaluate how up-to-date our question pool is. While taking the GMAT he was required to answer incorrectly a portion of the quantitative section and guess blindly on a portion of the verbal section.

The Reporter: Ajani (Yanni) Burrell, Bell Curves teacher and developer

Current residence: Munich, Germany

Yanni now lives in Germany where he attends Ludwig Maximilians Universitaet in Munich and studies for a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature. He has worked in test preparation for the past 5 years, of which the last year has been as materials developer and teacher for Bell Curves.

A real-time look at taking the GMAT

7:00

Ah it’s a lovely spring day and my morning starts when my alarm rudely reminds me that I should rise and dress so that I’ll be on time for my latest bout with the Graduate Management Admissions Test®. Unfortunately, today’s test is occurs at the ungodly hour of 8:30 thus my early start to the day (yes, early being a professional test prep guru for the last 15 years has meant that I’m almost never awake before 9 am and very rarely out of my day before 8:30).

Q and A with a GMAT Test-Taker

Q and A with a GMAT Test-Taker

(aka an interview with a schizophrenic mad scientist)

AB: Who are you and why is your rambling recount of a self-admitted waste of time and money interesting or informative for our readers?

From the Trenches – part 3.

All Quiet On The Northern Front

Who

Ajani Burrell (GMAT Instructor and Part-time Spy)

Location

Marquette, Michigan (Latitude: 46.56N by Longitude: 87.41)

Date

Friday, March 14, 2008

Time

10 am EST

The Mission

  • To test a variety of keypad shortcuts to see if any could be used to more efficiently navigate through the screens.
  • Enjoy myself thoroughly.

From the Trenches – Part 2.

GMAT by the Bay
Time and Place

I one Joseph Kambourakis took the GMAT in that grand old dame of a town Oakland, California. At one time in his life Tupac Amaru Shakur lived here, so I thought this would be as good a place as any. The test center is on 22nd Street, Downtown. The test center workers, Steve and Carmen, were very friendly. I asked them a bunch of questions, among them whether Carmen would be averse to a date with myself. Steve was none-too-thrilled. My amorous attempts shot down, they gave me some info about the location. They said that all test centers have the same pictures on the wall, which is why no one remembers any of them. The computers and monitors were the same kind as in the Boston office, which is why people are as thrilled to take the test in Oakland as they are in Boston (I’ve been to both, I prefer Oakland). The notepad and marker were also the exact same. The marker was a Staedtler brand marker, a fine writing instrument crafted of German engineering. The earplugs were similar as well, which means they could have been better. Steve told me that the pictures on file are checked versus my previous pictures when I signed up, but he wasn’t sure about the fingerprint. I said that’s okay because I was using the same fingers I used when I took the test in Boston.
The Business At Hand
My first essay question was an Analysis of an Argument, the gist of which is below:

The GMAT Experience Vol. 1

The GMAT Experience – prologue

I am a devout test taker and a renowned slacker with aspirations to be a writer of bad science fiction, so forgive me if I ramble. In this summary I am recording my experience taking the GMAT, hopefully it will inform, amuse, and educate.

The GMAT Experience – legal

When reading this the proverbial grain of salt must be taken. The experience of one standardized-test-loving slacker is not reflective of all test takers. The ability of the test-taker mentioned in this commentary to control whether he selects a correct or incorrect answer is much greater than that of the average test taker.

The GMAT Experience

It was a sunny day in Brooklyn NY and I got up on time for my appointment at 12:30 on Remsen Street. I took a cab to Court Street and then went looking for the building.

The GMAT Experience Vol. 2

Round One

(A quick tale of the how the GMAT can ruin a perfectly good day)

Who:

Hashim Bello, GMAT Teacher wanna-be and Mousetrap builder

Where:

Argh 2.5 hours away in Random Town X, Mystery state. The things I do to build a better mousetrap. Sheesh.

What:

GMAT

When:

August 9, 2004

The Mission:

  • Test a revolutionary new way of approaching the test for high scoring students.
  • Test theories of questions flow on the math and verbal sections real test.
  • Harvest question ideas for future content and upcoming Insights Newsletter.
  • Analyze breakdown of topics on both math and verbal sections.
  • Visit centers in areas that Bell Curves has many students in order to best advise them on centers to stay away from or use.

The Adventure:

  • (877) 223-3828
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