At the end of the day, what is tested in the GMAT is high school math and language skills that an average undergraduate student is expected to have. It is not difficult - unless we complicate it. We invest hours analyzing how to make complex concepts simple so that our students can grasp the idea effortlessly. We believe we will have done injustice as teachers if we hide behind complexity. Not simplifying will have defeated the very purpose of teaching. Let us illustrate it with an example
Question: A trader marks her produce at 50% above the cost and sells it after offering a discount of 20%. What is the percentage profit made by the trader?
Our approach will be to assume a cost for her produce so that we can walk through her process in our minds with greater clarity.
Let her cost be $100. She adds a mark up of 50% of cost. i.e., half the cost is the markup.
So, marked price = 100 + 50 = $150
Now, she offers a discount of 20% of 150.
10% of 150 is 15. So, 20% of 150 is 30. So, discount in dollar terms is $30
Net selling price = 150 - 30 = $120
Her cost is 100 and she realized 120. So, her profit is $20 on a cost of $100 - which translates to 20% profit.
Concepts are covered in bite sized chunks. We cover one concept or at most two relatable concepts in one go and then solve a few questions. The idea is to understand the concept comprehensively before proceeding further. We focus on not letting our students feel overwhelmed at any point in time.
A case in point will illustrate this guideline. In our GMAT Verbal Critical Reasoning question, we start the first session with our students solving a few CR arguments without any questions. You might ask, what do they solve if there is no question.
Cracking GMAT CR questions has as much to do with understanding the argument and its different components - the conclusion, the premises, and the assumptions as knowing what is asked. Having questions when you start learning CR is an avoidable distraction. Once, you have established the rhythm of identifying the core components of a CR argument, it becomes much easier to apply it to the different question types.
Quite often learning proceeds as follows: Learn some concepts and solve some question. Many a times, the link between the concept and the questions is not well established that one is left with uncertainty about getting predictable results every time. The only way to address this nagging feeling is making the link evident. Again a case in point will illustrate the guideline better. Here is a concept and a slice of a question that tests it.
Concept: Every other positive integer is an even integer. One in three positive integers is divisible by 3
Question: If n is an odd positive integer greater than 2, What is the remainder when n3 - n is divided by 12?
The answer is 0. Try and reason using the concepts outlined. Do not worry if you do not get - we have got it covered in our GMAT DS classes.
If there is one thing more detrimental in the exam than not knowning a concept - having learnt it superficially. Unless you have grasped all the relevant questions of a concepts - what, why, when, and how, you will be found wanting on the day of the exam. An illustration will help understand this guideline effectively.
Concept: An even number is divisible by 2
Question: Is x an even number if x2 = 0
Glossing over the concept is not questioning the defintion of an even number. A comprehensive defintion of even numbers will be "Even numbers are subsets of integers that will leave no remainderwhen divided by 2. The quotient of the division has to be an integer".
Now, with detailed defintion see whether you are able to answer the question and notice what not glossing over means.
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