Michael recently graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in Chemistry. When he’s not educating people on the fact that you can indeed get a B.A. in a STEM field, Michael enjoys doling out unsolicited advice regarding college admissions. In his non-Testmasters life, Michael enjoys complaining about new movie releases and actively campaigns for people to watch The Wire.

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More Fun With Ratios

Well, since the last ratios problem seemed to be such a huge hit, I thought you guys might like another one. This ratios problem is not really mathematically that much more difficult than any other, but the wording of the problem sometimes gives people fits. I often find that the most difficult part of any math problem on any standardized test is not the actual math but the translation from word problem to math problem. Anyway, here it is.

Jonathan needs to mix 1 part bleach for every 5 parts water to make his cleaning solution. While he’s mixing the solution, he makes a mistake and mixes in half as much bleach as he should have. The total solution is 44 mL. How much bleach did Jonathan put into the solution?

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Fun with Ratios — Quantitative Reasoning Example Problem

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween! Let’s kick off November with a super fun ratios problem.

The ratio of men to women in a room is 5:6. If there are 121 people in the room, how many of them are men?

This is a pretty basic ratios problem, and there are several ways to solve it. The method I’m going to use is based on algebra, and it’s probably the easiest to remember.

Continue reading “Fun with Ratios — Quantitative Reasoning Example Problem” »

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3 Tips on Writing a Great Statement of Purpose

A strong statement of purpose can push a business school application from solid to phenomenal. A statement of purpose is an opportunity to express exactly what is motivating you to pursue an MBA. In fact, it’s often one of the only opportunities you’ll get to express this very important life decision. Your GMAT score doesn’t say it; your references may make some passing mention of it; your college transcript might provide some hints; but it’s your essay that allows you to tell a school directly – this is who I am, and this is what I want to become.

And at its very core, that is exactly what your statement of purpose should say. This is who I am. This is who I want to become. This is why I have chosen your institution to help me reach my goals. Continue reading “3 Tips on Writing a Great Statement of Purpose” »

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What is a CAT exam?

CATAs the name suggests, a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is a test that is administered through a computer rather than on pencil and paper. But CATs like the GMAT are a bit more complex than their pencil-and-paper counterparts. Let’s look at the big differences between CATs and traditional paper-and-pencil tests that you may be used to seeing.

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GMAT Math Solutions: Data Sufficiency

Data sufficiency problems can be tricky, even for students who have studied a high level of mathematics. The problems often involve simple concepts such as fractions, percentages, multiples, and prime numbers. There are never questions involving trigonometry or calculus, and even advanced algebra concepts aren’t often present. Instead, data sufficiency questions are often complex and challenging questions based on simple concepts.

This question is a great example. It is testing your knowledge of odd and even numbers and prime numbers. These are concepts that a fourth grade student should know, but the question is still challenging.

First, look at the question. We are given an equation, n = p + r. The variables n, p, r are all positive integers, which just means whole numbers. Also, the variable n is an odd number. Before looking at the two statements, there are some conclusions we can draw. There are rules involving the addition of even and odd numbers. Specifically, there are three possibilities when adding two integers together:

Even + Even = Even

Odd + Odd = Even

Even + Odd = Odd

Notice that the sum of p and r is an odd number. This means that one of the variables p and r is even and the other variable is odd. Now, let’s look at the statements.

1) The first statement says that both p and r are prime numbers. A prime number is defined as any integer which is evenly divisible by only two numbers: itself and one. Almost all prime numbers (3, 5, 7, 11, etc…) are odd numbers. However, 2 is also a prime number, and 2 is the only prime number which is also an even number.

Since we know that one of the numbers p and r is even and one of the numbers is odd, this statement then means that either p or r must be the number 2. However, we do not know which of the two it is. Therefore, this statement is not sufficient.

2) This statement says that r is not equal to 2. Remember, look at the statement alone! At this point, we are not allowed to use any information gleaned from the first statement.

With the second statement alone, we know that r is not 2. We also know from the question that one of the numbers p and r is even and one of the numbers is odd. This does not give enough information to find the value of p. The numbers could be 3 and 4, 3 and 6, 5 and 6, etc… There an infinite number of possibilities for the value of p, so this statement is not sufficient.

If we combine both statements, then we know all of the following:

  • Of the numbers p and r, one is even and one is odd.
  • Both p and r are prime numbers. This means that either p must be equal to 2 or r must be equal to 2.
  • The value of r is not 2.
  • Since either p or r must be 2, and r isn’t 2, then p must be 2.

The answer to the question is (C), because it is only by combining both statements that you can know the value of p.





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Wharton School of Business

Wharton School of Business




America’s first business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is also one of the best business schools in the world, consistently ranked in one of the top three spots on Financial Times‘ ranking of Global MBA programs. Students from the Wharton School are CEOs of American Airlines, UPS, Johnson & Johnson, Paypal, and Time, Inc. Among the most famous alumni of Wharton are Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk.

Admissions are understandably competitive. Out of 6,408 applicants, only 837 students were accepted into the class of 2014, giving Wharton an acceptance rate of 13.1%. Of those, 42% were women, and 37% were international students. For the class of 2014, students scored from 560 to 790 on the GMAT, with the median score being 720. In addition to fantastic test scores, Wharton students, on average, have extensive work experience, with 5 years being the median and only 19% having 3 years or fewer of work experience.

These 837 qualified students come from all sorts of different undergraduate majors and fields of industry. A surprising 44% of accepted students majored in a humanities or social science field, which is way more than the 27% who majored in business in their undergraduate programs. Out of the remaining 29%, 24% majored in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field, and 5% majored in some other program. After receiving their bachelor’s degrees, most accepted students spent around 5 years earning industry experience, with the greatest percentage working in consulting. Other notable fields of industry are private equity/venture capital, consumer products, and investment banking.

However, one prohibitive aspect of attending Wharton is the tuition and living expenses such a decision entails. Tuition alone is $59,736, and with living costs, Wharton projects total expenses of $97,080 for its standard MBA program. For their MBA/MA Lauder Program (detailed below), total expenses sum to around $136,630. Financial aid and fellowships are available, but most students finance their Wharton experience through loans.

The curriculum of the Wharton Full-time MBA program is built around a core of 6 classes that are fundamental to all business management. There are two options for this core, the fixed core and the flexible core. The fixed core offers more structure around the six classes of teamwork and leadership, marketing, operations, microeconomics, regression analysis, and advanced topics in managerial economics. The flexible core allows for choices in content, timing, and format. The 18 different majors and 200+ electives revolve around the core curriculum. In addition to these choices, Wharton students can also choose to take classes at UPenn’s 11 other professional schools.

Wharton not only offers flexibility in its MBA curriculum, but also provides something called the Wharton Executive Coaching Feedback Program. This program allows students to receive 1-on-1 coaching and mentorship all year long. Another innovative program that Wharton offers is its international exchange program with business schools around the world. In an effort to give students insight into global business and finance, Wharton partners with schools such as London Business School in the U.K., Keio University’s Graduate School of Business in Japan, Guanghua School of Management in China, and INSEAD in France.

In addition to their standard MBA program with international opportunities, Wharton also offers the Lauder Program for students fluent in a foreign language. The MBA/MA – Lauder Program awards an MBA as well as an MA in international studies. Furthermore, there is a integrated three-year MBA/JD program that grants an MBA and a law degree from Penn Law. Wharton also partners with Penn School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to offer an MBA/MB in Biotechnology, as well as offering an MBA in Health Care Management.

As one of the world’s best and oldest institutions, Wharton School of Business provides innumerable opportunities and connections for those who are admitted. Wharton’s MBA is not only very prestigious but also very flexible, allowing for students to pursue a variety of interests in fields from biotechnology to law.

Learn about other Top MBA Programs here.

Test Masters is a professional test preparation industry leader; every Test Masters GMAT Course comes with a Score Increase Guarantee.

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Grammar Crammer – Pronoun Case

"You know, there aren't as many differences between he and I as you might think."

“You know, there aren’t as many differences between he and I as you might think.”

When studying for standardized exams that test standard English, we tend to become increasingly self-conscious of our own use of grammar in our everyday speech and correspondence (if tweets and facebook posts count as correspondence). Sometimes, we might even go too far and over-correct ourselves. Well intentioned as these over-corrections might be, the GMAT considers them to be just as wrong as the original mistakes. One of the most common instances of over-correction is the use of the pronoun “I” when the pronoun “me” should be used.

Most people have no trouble spotting errors in which “me” is used in place of “I”: “Me want more cookies!” clearly should be “I want more cookies!” Some, however, take this too far and start using “I” even when it isn’t needed (including our three most recent presidents). So, what is the actual difference between “I” and “me” then? Since the rules of modern standard English were codified in the nineteenth century, the distinction has been one of pronoun case.

Teaching our children bad grammar and unhealthy eating habits since 1966.

“Pronoun what?” you ask? Never fear; though “pronoun case” sounds like dreadfully technical grammarian jargon, for our purposes it is a fairly simple concept that you use and encounter everyday, even if you didn’t know it had a special name. To understand pronoun case, we must first talk a little bit about nouns. Nouns, as you may recall, are people, places, things, and ideas, and all nouns can function in one of two ways within a clause: they can be either subjects or objects. Whether a noun is a subject or an object depends on its relation to the clause’s verb, the word that expresses the action or state of being being performed in the clause.  If a noun is performing a verb, then it is a subject. All other nouns are objects.

Pronouns are another part of speech that can be viewed as “nouns for short”: they stand in for nouns and also indicate who is speaking, who is being spoken to, and who is being spoken about. They can also tell you whether they function as subjects or verbs depending on their case. For instance, if I say “I write blogs,” then I use the nominative case of the first person singular nominative case pronoun (“I”), because I am the one doing the writing. If I say “The internet terrifies me,” then I use the first person singular objective case pronoun, “me,” because I am the one being terrified. Nominative case pronouns function as subjects, while objective case pronouns function as objects. The chart below contains most of the pronoun forms you are likely to encounter on the GMAT Exam:

You may have noticed that some of them don’t change: “it” remains “it” regardless of case, and the second person pronoun remains the same regardless of case or number. Interestingly, this was not always the case (no pun intended). If you have studied foreign languages, you may have learned that other languages often have different pronouns for the singular and plural forms of the second person pronoun; the singular form is also usually considered more intimate/informal while the plural form is usually considered more polite/formal (this means that in formal situations, you can use the plural form as singular pronoun – we can blame the royal “we” for this). For instance, French has the singular, informal “tu” and the plural, formal “vous.” English once had multiple forms of “you” as well. Do you know what they were? I guarantee you that you’ve heard them before. What does Juliet say when she’s on her balcony? “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”


“I’m right here!”

English once employed several different second person pronouns in order to distinguish among cases, numbers, and (after the Norman conquest) levels of formality: “thou” and “thee,” as well as “ye” and “you.” Now, which pair was singular/informal and which was plural/informal? If you thought that “thou” and “thee” were formal, that’s probably because they have mostly been preserved in modern English through translations of the Bible, particularly in the King James translation. In reality, however, “thee” and “thou” were actually the singular, intimate, informal versions of the second person while “ye” and “you” were the more formal, plural versions. When you think about it, it makes sense: would Juliet use the intimate or formal version of “you” with Romeo? In case you were wondering, “thou” and “ye” were nominative case pronouns, while “thee” and “you” were objective case pronouns (although “you” was also increasingly used as a nominative case pronoun during the era of Early Modern English).

You won’t have to differentiate between “thee” and “thou” on the GMAT, but everything in the chart above is fair game. The most usual trick the test writers use to test pronoun case is the placement of a nominative case pronoun in a prepositional phrase where it doesn’t belong, especially as the second noun following the preposition. For instance consider the following examples:

“Between my sister and I”

“A gift from Jane and he”

“A play performed by John and we”

All of these are wrong. Because these pronouns are the objects of their respective prepositions, they should be objective case pronouns, not nominative case pronouns. See corrected versions below:

“Between my sister and me”

“A gift from Jane and him”

“A play performed by John and us”

Whenever you see a preposition, check to make sure that any pronouns that follow it are objective case pronouns. Keep studying, and good luck!

Test Masters is the country’s leader in professional exam preparation. Every Test Masters course comes with a Score Increase Guarantee. Click here to see Testimonials from actual Test Masters GMAT students.

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GMAT Math – Fun with Averages!

admin-ajax.phpStudying for the GMAT can be tough. In the mean time, let’s make sure your math score is above average by reviewing averages! Consider the following problem:

The average (arithmetic mean) of six numbers is 14. After one of the numbers is removed, the average (arithmetic mean) of the remaining numbers is 16. What number has been removed?

To solve this problem, all you need to remember is the definition of an average:

average = (sum of terms)/(number of terms)

Multiplying both sides by the number of terms, we get:

average(number of terms) = sum of terms

First, let’s figure out the sum of the terms when the average was 14:

14(6) = 84

Next, let’s do the same for the situation in which the average is 16:

16(5) = 80

The difference between the two sums must be the number that was taken out:

84 – 80 = 4

Thus, the answer is 4. That’s all there is to it! Now, try the following problem and post the answer in the comments below:

The average (arithmetic mean) of four numbers is 23. After one of the numbers is removed, the average (arithmetic mean) of the remaining numbers is 15. What number has been removed?

Good luck, and happy studying!

Want to see what GMAT score it takes to get into USC-Davis? Have a look.

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Univ. Rochester: What is a good GMAT score to get into the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester?

Simon Graduate School of Business – University of Rochester

“Simon is a place to stand up and stand out—a place that will leave an impression on you for the rest of your life.”

Quick facts:
Location:  Rochester, NY
Size: 293 enrolled (full-time) ; 208 enrolled (part-time)
Average age of new entrants: 28
Tuition: $45,933 per year (full-time) ; $1,506 per credit (part-time)
Contact: (Rebekah Lewin, Executive Director of Admissions and Administration)

What is the average GMAT score for applicants accepted to the Simon Graduate School of Business – University of Rochester?
The average GMAT score of applicants accepted to the Simon Graduate School of Business in 2011 was 675.  The GMAT range (10th-90th percentile) was 610-730.

Does the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester accept the GMAT and the GRE?
Yes, the Simon Graduate School of Business accepts both the GMAT and the GRE for admissions.

What is the average undergraduate GPA of applicants accepted to the Simon Graduate School of Business – University of Rochester?
The average undergraduate GPA of applicants admitted to the Simon Graduate School of Business in 2011 was 3.46.  The undergraduate GPA range (10th-90th percentile) was 3-3.92.

What is the average starting salary and bonuses for graduates from the Simon Graduate School of Business – University of Rochester?
The average base salary is $75,686.  On average, approximately 64 % of full-time graduates are employed at the time of graduation.  Approximately 89 % of full-time graduates of the class of 2011 were employed three months after graduation.

What programs are offered in addition to the traditional MBA?
Joint & Specialized Degree Programs:

  • MD/MBA
  • MBA/Master of Public Health

3/2 Program:

  • Allows some undergraduates at the University of Rochester to earn both a bachelor’s degree in an undergraduate major and a master of business administration in five-years.   The first year of the MBA program is substituted for the students’ senior year.

For a full list of programs, including Ph.D and executive education, please visit the Simon Graudate School of Business website at

Is work experience expected? How much?
When making admissions decisions, the Simon School considers work experience to include both internships and/or post-baccalaureate experience.  The quality and quantity of working experience, combined with career goals, are equally evaluated.  On average, admitted students have 70 months of work experience prior to applying to business school.

Sources: US News & World Report ;

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