Sunday, November 30, 2008

GMAT Focus and GMAT Write

In addition to the free GMATPrep Test Preparation software, GMAC now offered 2 more new tools for you to prepare for the test.

GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagonistic Tool
Using real, retired, GMAT questions, the GMAT Focus™ diagnostic evaluates your performance in critical testing categories, provides you with a highly accurate score, and ranks you in relation to previous GMAT examinees.

GMAT Write
This web-based essay writing practice tool offers you real GMAT writing prompts along with feedback on how well your essays demonstrate your ability to think critically and communicate ideas. Each practice essay will be scored in real time with the same automated essay-scoring engine used by the official GMAT exam.

You need to purchase the access rights.

Jimmy Low

Saturday, November 29, 2008

"2-4-6" Rule for Quantitative

When we prepare for GMAT Quant(itative), most of us, if not all, will devise our own "rules" in answering maths questions. Then again, GMAT is pretty mechanical, so to speak. One rule that I find useful and which others will tell you the same is what I call a "2-4-6" rule.

So, what's "2-4-6"? 2 minutes for each Quant question (37 questions over 75 mins, ~2 mins per question), 4 steps for "easy" questions and 6 steps for "hard" questions. Now, what's "easy" and "hard" question? I can't say for sure because it is up to each individual. Some of us have weak spots in certain areas say, geometry but it would be a strong spot for others. "Easy" or "hard" becomes a relative measure. With sufficient practice, your "hard" questions can be "easy".

You must be asking how do I solve an "easy" or a "hard" question in 4 and 6 steps respectively. Well, you need to. 2 mins is not a "long" time. Before you know it, reading and thinking about the question alone will take you the first 30 seconds. Searching for the answer, clicking the radio button and press "Next" will take you the last 30 seconds. That leaves you with ~60 seconds to work out the answer. If you can't do a 4- or 6- step within that 60 seconds, then you know you started on a wrong footing - misinterpreted the question, applied the whole rule(s) or formula, or forgotten the basics.

So, to apply "2-4-6" Rule, it boils down to knowing your fundamentals. As simple as A-B-C.

Jimmy Low

3 New Charters / Study Groups

We had a wonderful Open Day yesterday. A BIG thank you to all the 11 people who turned up, including the 3 mentors who shared their experiences with everyone. From their enthusiasm (and those who could not make it yesterday but still interested in GMAT), we have now formed 3 charters or study groups. Here are the respective charters' arrangement:

Bangsar Charter
Mentor: Jin Keat (jinkeat [at] gmail [dot] com)
Day: Every Saturday
Time: 10AM - 12PM
Venue: Starbucks Bangsar Village, Bangsar

Petaling Jaya Charter
Mentor: Soon Chern (cimdaa [at] gmail [dot] com)
Day: Every Saturday
Time: 1PM - 3PM
Venue: Starbucks Uptown HSBC, Damansara

USJ Charter
Mentor: Jimmy Low (jimmy [dot] gmlow [at] gmail [dot] com)
Day: Every Saturday
Time: 10AM - 12PM
Venue: Starbucks USJ Taipan, USJ 9

Those who are at the vicinity of any of the above charters are invited to contact the respective mentor for study arrangements.

GMAT Malaysia is using the following materials:
- Official Guide for GMAT Review 11th Edition
- Manhattan GMATPrep Strategy Books for Quantitative (5 Books)
- Manhattan GMATPrep Sentence Correction, and
- PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning for Critical Reasoning.

Other supplementary materials are up to the respective mentor.

Feel free to contact anyone of us (do carbon copy the other two) if you have any questions.

Jimmy Low

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Confirmation: GMAT Malaysia Open Day is ON!

Dear GMAT and MBA Aspirants,

I am pleased to inform that we have a sizeable group for the GMAT Malaysia Open Day and perhaps to start 3 study groups. Chua Soon Chern, Lai Jin Keat and I will be happy to meet you and discuss GMAT and MBA with you.

The objectives of this Open Day are:
  • To share our GMAT experiences and help you prepare for this test
  • Gauge the interest of this group to organise weekly study sessions
  • Assigning each aspirant a mentor whom you can keep in touch and seek GMAT, MBA or career advice.

To facilitate our discussion that day, you have been divided into 3 group with each of us leading the discussion as well as being the mentor for your group. During the 1 hour breakup session, you will hold discussion with your assigned mentor.

Please bring along any study materials you have and your business card for exchange.

Call anyone of us if you can't find the direction. There are 2 Starbucks in Damansara Uptown. Ours is next to HSBC.

See you this Saturday. For those who have not signed up, please email me so that I can put you in one of the groups.

Jimmy Low
P/S: BYO event. We could smuggle some snacks though.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deciphering GMAT

GMAT is an interesting yet complex test. It tests your academic ability in quantitative, verbal (not exactly verbal as this means speech) and writing skills. When it tests your ability, it adapts to your ability too. Difficulty or easy is a perception but the test will score you accordingly.

As you should know by now, GMAT starts with 2 Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA) essays of 30mins each, 75mins Quantitative and 75mins Verbal. Between each major components, an optional 10-min break.

The 3 Components of GMAT

(Color scheme corresponds to color of the Official Guide book, except for AWA)

The above sub-components are self-explanatory and the respective books will elaborate more.

Many of you wonder how the components fit together. As far as Quant and Verbal as concerned, you are tested on different abilities. However, for Verbal and AWA, there is a relationship. This diagram explains the inter-relationship.

See the connections? As you prepare for Verbal (Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning), take note of what you are learning, how each of the sub-topics relates and how you will apply them in AWA and Reading Comprehension. The above inter-relationship is just a guidance. Look into past questions in the Official Guide - Verbal or GMAT Review and observe the common themes and angle of questioning.

While AWA does not affect your Total Score, AWA is still important and should not be taken lightly. How you write and score in AWA tells about the other aspects of you not measured by Quant and Verbal tests. Adcomms can request for your AWA essays and compare with your application essays. Thus, your writing style is revealed and matched.

Jimmy Low

Saturday, November 1, 2008

GMAT Malaysia Open Day - 29 Nov - Starbucks HSBC Uptown

Cimdaa and I are hosting GMAT Malaysia Open Day on 29th November 2pm at Starbucks HSBC Uptown. Those who are interested to learn more about GMAT and MBA options, do join us.

If we have sufficient number, we might form a study group starting in December.

Please confirm your attendance by emailing either me ( or Cimdaa ( your contact details or confirmation.

In the meantime, do not miss the opportunity to visit World MBA Tour - Kuala Lumpur Session at Westin Hotel (opposite Pavillion Kuala Lumpur) on 21st November. The session starts at 5pm.

Update #1:
Looks like we got a good response this round. As of 11:30PM (17Nov), we have 11 confirmed attendees. If we grow to 20 attendees, we might need a new meeting place. Watch out for more updates.

Btw, please bring along your business cards for exchange. Remember, MBA is not just about study; it is about networking and it starts now :D

Update #2:
Get ready your set of questions and there is no such thing as silly questions. Only silly not to ask them :P

We don't mind if you ask the questions we already have answers to in this blog. I like to reinforce some of them as I know they mean a lot to you when you prepare for GMAT.

Update #3:
1 week plus to go and we already have 14 confirmed attendees (as of 19Nov 1:00PM). Looks like I need to rethink the venue. Watch out for updates.

Jimmy Low