Reviewing Impossible GMAT Questions

Impossible GMAT Question

GMAT Beasts: Impossible GMAT Questions

 It’s inevitable. You run into:  An impossible GMAT question. You sit and stare. And you stare some more. You do some intense algebra. Some intense arithmetic calculations.  Your paper is starting to look like a rats nest and your target GMAT score is looking farther and farther away. You have that sinking feeling.  Oh no I’m going to fail…. Whoa whoa whoa!  Slow down.  This is a time to take a break. Have a snack. Make some tea. Call a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with. Be OK walking away. Maybe in your break you can have a look here for a more in depth analysis of GMAT Timing.

GMAT Help: The Official Explanations & The GMAT Forums

After a quick breather get a fresh piece of paper and look at the question again.  Still stumped? That’s fine. We all get stumped. Take a look at the official explanation.  Does that offer some insight? The official GMAT explanations don’t always offer the best way to solve a question but they can give you clues about how you might solve the question. Still not feeling so good about things?  Type the first few words of the question into google and you should get results from GMATclub, Beat the GMAT, and Manhattan GMAT forums. There will be a number of people replying to the explanation thread offering different ideas of how to solve the question. Scroll through and find the explanation that most resonates with you.  Still stuck?  Ask a question on the forum. Yes, someone will probably respond.

GMAT Formula Notebook: Write down your GMAT Genius

Whatever you learn from this process you should document in the notebook where you keep your formulas and secret GMAT strategies. It’s one thing to see the explanation with your eyes but it’s a whole other story to internalize the critical thinking that went into solving the question. In your notebook you can write down the question number and re-solve the whole thing, step by step, on your own.  You can also write a few notes to remind yourself of the critical steps that you originally missed. This is how you build GMAT confidence (here is an article with more tips for building GMAT Confidence)

GMAT Doubts: We all have them

I hear a lot of “I get it but I’ll never be able to do this on the test.”  Sometimes the appropriate response to this is:  Yes you will. It just takes practice.  Sometimes the appropriate response is:  you may not, but knowing how to do this question in your practice will help develop skills that will allow you to solve other questions. If you want a 700+ GMAT score do a thorough review of any Official GMAT question that stumps you (and don’t forget to review GMAT questions that you get right for the wrong reasons).

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