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GMAT Sections review


Test Summary
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Section review
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There are three sections in the GMAT: quantative section, verbal section, and the Analytical Writing Assessment.

Tutorials

The test begines with mandatory computer tutorial. The tutorial will methodically quide you through the format of the test, including the various computer functions necessary for the test.


Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

Time: 60 minutes
Format: 2 essays (30 minutes each)
Topics tested: writing, analytical reasoning
Problem types: analysis of an argument, analysis of an issue

In the AWA, you are instructed to write two essays of 30 minutes each: one called Analysis of an Issue and one called Analysis of an Argument. The task itself is to write a clear concise, and cogent short essay (3 to 5 paragraphs or so) for each analysis topic.

Analysis of an Issue
In the Analysis of an Issue assignment you are asked to evaluate a statement (on business, government and business or personal success issues) or to consider a point of view, or opinion. Inclusion of personal experiences and examples is strongly encouraged for essay on this question type.

EXAMPLE

”Some people claim that space exploration should not be funded by the government, arguing that it is too costly and provides little benefit for most of the population. Others disagree, claiming that fundamental scientific knowledge is valuable in and of itself, and that, additionally, knowledge gained through space exploration is often later used by industry and research scientists for purposes not foreseen by those who planned the exploration.” Which do you find more convincing, the argument that space exploration should not be funded by the government, or the response to it? Explain your point of view using relevant examples, based on your experience, observations, or readings."



Analysis of an Argument
The Analysis of an Argument question type also presents you with only one subject, or argument , to analyze and write about. This timer the subject is a formal argument composed of premises and conclusions which is no different than the arguments you’ll find in the Critical Reasoning section. This questing type is the more strict of the two, and inclusion of personal experiences in this essay is discouraged.

EXAMPLE

“It has become almost impossible to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Televising news programs are constantly providing new, sometimes contradictory information about what is healthy and what is not. The average consumer cannot make informed decisions from this kind of scanty information and is generally overwhelmed upon entering increasingly larger supermarkets with more and more brands to choose from.” Discuss how logically convincing you find this argument. In explaining your point of view, be sure to analyse the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. Also discuss what, if anything, would make this argument more sound and persuasive, or would help you to better evaluate its conclusion. "




Quantitative Section

Time: 75 minutes
Format: up to 37 questions
Topics tested: mathematics
Problem types: problem solving and data sufficiency
Computer-adaptive: yes

The Quantitative Section is the mathematics section of the test. Two types of questions which test fundamental mathematical principles appear in this section, Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. The same mathematical principles (Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and Word Problems) are tested by both question types but in two very different ways.

Problem Solving
Problem Solving questions are simply math questions in a multiple-choice format.

EXAMPLE


Directions

Solve the following problems and indicate the best answer from the choices given.

Numbers: All numbers used are real numbers.

Figures: Figures accompanying problems are intended to provide information useful in solving the problem. Except when otherwise specifically stated, figures are drawn as accurately as possible. All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise stated. Straight lines may appear jagged on the computer screen.


Example

If the area of a square is 80, then what is the area of the largest circle that could fit within the square?

( ) 10pi
( ) 20pi
( ) 25pi
( ) 40pi
( ) 80pi

The correct answer to this question is “20pi”.


Practice Questions

1. Working at the same constant rate, 4 proofreaders can proofread 180 pages in one hour. How many pages could 15 proofreaders, all working at the same rate, proofread in 2 hours?

( ) 216
( ) 1,350
( ) 1,800
( ) 2,160
( ) 5,400


2. A company’s profits for 1996 equaled 7 percent of its revenues. If its profits in 1996 were 27 million dollars, approximately what were the company’s revenues, in millions of dollars, in 1996?

( ) 1.89
( ) 3.86
( ) 18.9
( ) 38.6
( ) 386

3. How many minutes does it take to read 40 pages reading at the constant rate of 100 pages per hour? 


( ) 5/2
( ) 20/3
( ) 24
( ) 40
( ) 20

Answer key below.









Answer key
1. 1,350
2. 386
3. 24



Data Sufficiency
Like Problem Solving quesitons, Data Sufficiency problems test your mastery of basic math concepts and your ability to reason quantitatively. In addition, Data Sufficiency problemns test yoru ability to distinquish between relevant and irrelevant data and determine whether your have enough information to answer a given questin.

EXAMPLE

Directions

Each data sufficiency problem consists of a question followed by two statements containing data related to the question. You must determine whether the information provided in the statements, either individually or combined, is sufficient to answer the question given. Using the information in the in the statements, plus your knowledge of mathematics and commonly known facts (such as the numbers of seconds in a minute), you must indicate whether

(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient

(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient

(C) Statement (1) and (2) COMBINED are sufficient to answer the question, but neither statement alone is sufficient

(D) Each of statements (1) and (2) is sufficient to answer the question

(E) Statements (1) and (2), alone or combined, are not sufficient to answer the question.


Numbers: All numbers used are real numbers.

Figures: Figures accompanying data sufficiency problems will accurately reflect the information provided in the question, but will not necessarily reflect the additional information given in statements (1) and (2). All figures lie in a plane unless otherwise stated. Straight lines may appear jagged on the computer screen.

In data sufficiency questions that ask for a value (what is the value of x?, for example), the information provided in the statements is sufficient only if it allows you to determine exactly one numerical value.


Example

A stadium manager expected 13,200 spectators to attend a sporting event. If everyone who bought a ticket attended the event, how many full-price tickets were sold?

(1) The number of full-price tickets sold was equal to 81 percent of the number of spectators expected by the stadium manager.

(2) Of the 11,800 people who attended the event, 90 percent had bought full-price tickets.

The correct answer is (D)


Practice Questions

1. Of the positive integers a, b, c, d, and e, which is the largest?

(1) a + b = c

(2) b + c = d


2. Is x2 an odd integer?

(1) x is an odd integer

(2) x is a multiple of 3


3. What is the value of 2mn?

(1) m + n = 8

(2) mn = 8


Answer key below.






 




Answer key
1. E
2. A
3. C




Verbal Section

Time: 75 minutes
Format: up to 41 questions
Topics tested: reading, grammar, analytical reasoning
Problem types: critical reasoning, sentence correction, reading comprehension

The Verbal section of the test is designed to test your abilities in three subject areas: logic, grammar and reading. For each subject area there is a corresponding question type: Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction, and Reading Comprehension.

Critical Reasoning
The Critical Reasoning questions evaluete your ability to reason effectively in the areas of argument construction andf argument evaluation.

EXAMPLE

Directions

Choose the best response for each question in this section.


Example

In years past, professional baseball players lifted weights less but were also injured less often during games. Obviously the more an athlete lifts weights, the higher the likelihood of injury.

The conclusion above presupposes which of the following? 

(  ) The increase in baseball injuries is due to a factor other than weightlifting. 
(  ) The activities of baseball players represent those of athletes as a group. 
(  ) Most baseball injuries today result from too much weightlifting. 
(  ) There is no proven correlation between how much athletes lift weights and how likely they are to be affected by injury. 
(  ) Weightlifting has always been common practice for professional athletes.

The correct answer is “Most baseball injuries today result from too much weightlifting.”


Sample Questions

1. Ambi Inc. and Robin Corp. manufacture bargain stereo equipment. Both companies use the same professional shipping service, and for both companies shipping costs account for eight percent of the total expenditures. Ambi Inc., in an effort to gain an advantage over Robin Corp., plans to begin to ship their merchandise themselves.

Which of the following, if true, would most call into question the viability of the plan of Ambi Inc.?

(  ) Other shipping companies charge higher rates than the company employed by Ambi Inc. and Robin Corp.
(  ) The shipping company makes a profit of over 10 percent on its dealings with Ambi Inc., but over 12 percent on its dealings with Robin Corp.
(  ) The shipping company used by both companies offers special deals for bulk delivery.
(  ) Projections indicate that Ambi Inc.’s shipping costs under its new program would amount to eight percent of its total expenditure. In additional to a substantial initial cash outlay.
(  ) Robin Corp. ships materials farther than does Ambi. Inc.


2. A consumer’s advocacy group recently reported the results of a study concerning the deregulation of the airline industry. Deregulation has allowed the airlines greater flexibility in setting prices and selecting routes, and has allowed for more mergers between airlines. The report showed that prices have dropped on most flights without a decrease in flight availability or safety. At the same time airline profits are higher than ever.

If the results of the study are correct, which of the following can be properly concluded about the effects of “airline deregulations”?

(  ) The airlines benefited from deregulation more than did the consumers.
(  ) Some airlines will soon go out of business because of decreased revenue from lower ticket prices
(  ) The government will deregulate more industries following the success of airline deregulation.
(  ) Deregulation of airlines was financially successful both for the airlines and for the consumers.
(  ) Further decreases in ticket prices will start to erode the profits gained by airlines through deregulations.


3. Shortly before the elections in City C., many eligible voters polled stated they objected to the mayor’s plans for the police force. Yet the mayor was elected by a 60 percent majority. So, at least 60 percent of the voters supported the mayor’s plans for the police force.

The conclusion of the argument above depends on which of the following assumptions?

(  ) People who object to a politician’s position will not vote for that politician
(  ) Some of the people in the poll have some involvement with the police force
(  ) Everyone who voted for the mayor did so primarily because they didn’t agree with his plans for the police force
(  ) Sixty percent of the voters elected the mayor because of his plans for the health care system.
(  ) Most of the people polled did not vote in the election.

Answer key below.











Answer key
1. Projections indicate that Ambi Inc.'s shipping costs under its new progam would amount  to eight percent of its total expenditure, in addition to a substantial initial cash outlay.
2. Deregtulations of airlines was financially successful both for the airlines and for the consumers.
3. People who object to a politician's position will not vote for that politician.



Sentence Correction
The Sentence Correction questions test the rules of English grammar and usage.

EXAMPLE

Print Close
Directions

For each question below, part of all of the sentence is underlined. Following the sentences are five versions of the underlined part. The first version repeats the original; the other responses change the underlined part. Choose the best version of the sentence. If you think the original is best, choose the first version. Otherwise select one of the other responses.

These question test your ability to identify correct and effective writing. Select your response based on the rules of standard written English. You should consider grammar, choice of words, and sentence construction. Select the response which most clearly and effectively expresses the meaning intended in the original sentence. This choice should avoid awkwardness, ambiguity, redundancy, and grammatical error.


Example

In their research, distinguishing between Total Factor Productivity growth and capital investment is one of the most difficult tasks for economists.

( ) is one of the most difficult tasks for economists
( ) are the most difficult tasks for an economist
( ) is a most difficult task for the economist
( ) are the most difficult tasks for economists
( ) are economists’ most difficult tasks

The correct answer is “is one of the most difficult tasks for economists”


Sample Questions

1. Since last August, the pound has soared by 18% in trade-weighted terms at its highest level since leaving Europe’s exchange-rte mechanism in September 1992.

( ) at
( ) by
( ) for
( ) reached
( ) to

2. Huddie Leadbetter’s legendary performances on the twelve-string guitar, Vincent Van Gogh’s landscape paintings done in small rural towns in France, and John Kennedy O’Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces are all examples of talented artists who only came into full recognition after their deaths.

( ) examples of talented artists who only came into full recognition after their deaths
( ) examples of artistic works that came into full recognition only after the deaths of the artists
( ) examples of artistic works not fully recognized when the artists were dead
( ) examples of artistic works that came into full recognition only after their deaths
( ) artistic works which exemplify when artists do not come into full recognition until after their deaths.

3. For residents of nations that have been involved in wars in recent decades, the 110 million land mines planted that have not yet been detonated remain a deadly menace, a danger that kills or would 30.000 people every year.

( ) a danger that kills or wounds
( ) as a danger killing or wounding
( ) killing or wounding
( ) as the deaths or wounds of
( ) to kill or wound

Answer key below.









Answer key
1. to
2. examples of artistic works that came into full recognition only after the deaths of the artists
3. killing or wounding



Reading Comprehension
The Reading Comprehension questions test your ability to understand and analyze information presented in written form.

EXAMPLE

Directions

This set of questions are based on your understanding of a passage. Select the best answer followig the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.


Example and Practice Questions

Example and practice question are based on the following passage:

1



5





10





15




20





25





30




35




40

In order to develop a theory to explain galaxy formation, physicists have focused their efforts on neutrinos, weakly interacting elementary particles that are abundant in the universe. By establishing the average mass weights of neutrinos, researches hope to find the missing piece of the galaxy formation puzzle, There are currently two approaches to measure the mass weights of neutrinos.

The first approach is based upon the idea of neutrino oscillation, which hypothesizes that neutrinos change their state unpredictably during transmission in space. Using neutrino sources from particle accelerators, reactors, the Sun, and Earth’s atmosphere, physicists have captured, observed, and measured neutrino oscillation in an attempt to resolve the mystery of the apparent shortage of neutrinos traveling from the Sun to Earth.

While early results were not conclusive enough to gather widespread acceptance of neutrino oscillation theory, a recent test at the Super-Kamionkande laboratory in Japan has provided the most verifiable statistical evidence to date to support neutrino oscillation. Originating from cosmic rays transmitted from outer space, neutrinos were detected by photodetectors as they struck Earth’s atmosphere. High-energy electrons, or muons, emitted from the impact indicated that neutrino oscillation occurs during every several hundred miles of travel.

After evaluating thousands of muon emissions physicists were able to approximate an average mass weight for neutrinos. Though more such tests must be performed before theorists can cite a definitive body of evidence, neutrino oscillation theory has become widely accepted.

The second approach to measure neutrino mass weights proposes the use of sophisticated neutrino mass weights proposes the use of sophisticated satellite technology to make cosmological measurements of selected groups of neutrinos. The theory behind this approach argues that since the universe is full of neutrinos, their combines mass should be more than sufficient to influence galaxy formation. Those in favor of this approach intend to combine the most accurate cosmological maps of galaxies with those of the cosmic microwave background in order to draw inferences about the mass weights of neutrinos above a minimum level of 1 eV. However, unlike neutrino oscillation researchers, proponents of cosmological measurements have yet to amass the data that would support their theory of neutrino participation in the formation of galaxies.



In the passage, the author is primarily interested in

( ) describing an improved method for research which could invalidate an established theory
( ) proposing an alternative to a failed research experiment
( ) analyzing the invalidity of data provided by a new scientific test
( ) engaging in a debate about an accepted theory
( ) presenting a theory and explaining two scientific procedures to verify that theory

The correct answer to the question is "presenting a theory and explaining two scientific procedures to varify that theory"



1. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements about the cosmological measurement approach?

( ) It is the only possible method to measure that mass of neutrinos.
( ) It is not inferential enough to provide a statistical theory for the mass weights of neutrinos.
( ) Its test results have been confirmed and neutrino research has been halted
( ) for lack of data, it has yet to provide verifiable evidence to support its claims
( ) it is not a possible method to measure the mass weights of neutrinos, although improved method s have been based on its results.



2. It can be inferred from the passage that cosmological measurements taken from galaxy and cosmic microwave background maps would be more useful to scientists if which of the following were true?

( ) The maps indicated neutrino mass weights below 1ev.
( ) The maps were currently available to prove or disprove the claims that neutrino mass weights above 1eV could be determined from them.
( ) The maps had far less specificity in reporting neutrino mass differentiation
( ) The maps had indicated that heavier neutrinos reached Earth’s atmosphere from the Sun
( ) The maps had been available for more than ten years, so recent results could be compared with those from twenty years ago.



3. According to the passage, which of the following is true of the theory of neutrino oscillation?

( ) It provides an explanation for the abundance of neutrinos in transmission from the Sun to the Earth
( ) It indicates that lighter neutrinos are more influential than heavier neutrinos in galaxy formation.
( ) It provides an explanation for the lack of neutrinos in transmission from the Sun to Earth
( ) It is the only theory to propose an approach to measure the mass weights of neutrinos
( ) It explains neutrino oscillations at various times in the formation of galaxies.


Answer key below.














Answer key
1. For a lack of data, it has yet to provide verifiable evidence to support its claims.
2. The maps were currently available to prove or disprove the claims that neutrino mass weights above 1eV could be determined from them.
3. It provides an explanation for the lack of neutrinos in transmission fromthe Sun to Earth.

 




For more information, visit the official GMAT website at http://www.mba.com

 

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