Articles by Brent Hanneson

  • Guessing on the GMAT

    Guessing on the GMAT

    by on February 28th, 2014

    The following is a metaphor for how students often respond to a particularly tough GMAT question: It’s a dark, moonless night, and you find yourself alone in a haunted house. Blood drips from the ceiling, and the words … Read More

  • GMAT Math vs. School Math: Part II – Counting

    GMAT Math vs. School Math: Part II – Counting

    by on January 31st, 2014

    In my last article, we examined the importance of considering mathematical strategies other than those we learned in school. So, rather than approach a question as though our former teachers will be checking (and … Read More

  • GMAT Math vs. School Math – Part I

    GMAT Math vs. School Math – Part I

    by on December 25th, 2013

    The good news: the GMAT Quantitative section tests concepts that you already learned in school. The bad news: if you insist on always solving GMAT math questions using the same techniques you learned in school, you’ll … Read More

  • ‘If’ Versus ‘Whether’ on the GMAT

    ‘If’ Versus ‘Whether’ on the GMAT

    by on November 30th, 2013

    On test day, you’ll need to know the difference between if and whether, so let’s begin by considering these two sentences: A) No one knows if weatherman Will Withers will return to work.    B) No one knows whether … Read More

  • Data Sufficiency – When to Plug in Values

    Data Sufficiency – When to Plug in Values

    by on October 25th, 2013

    After reading a few solutions in Beat The GMAT’s Data Sufficiency forum, one notices that sometimes people plug in values to test sufficiency and sometimes they use a different approach. So, how do we identify those … Read More

  • Does Order Matter? Combinations and Non-Combinations – Part III

    Does Order Matter? Combinations and Non-Combinations – Part III

    by on September 27th, 2013

    In a recent article, I discussed my concern regarding the term “permutation.” In this article, I’ll discuss my concern regarding the question, “Does order matter?” People often use this question to help … Read More

  • Combinations and Non-Combinations – Part II

    Combinations and Non-Combinations – Part II

    by on August 28th, 2013

    In my previous article, I mentioned that the Fundamental Counting Principle (FCP) can be used to solve most GMAT counting questions. The FCP says: If a task can be completed in stages, where one stage can be accomplished … Read More

  • Combinations and Non-Combinations – Part I

    Combinations and Non-Combinations – Part I

    by on July 31st, 2013

    I’ve never been a big fan of the phrase “Combinations and Permutations.” It suggests that all counting questions can be solved using either combinations or permutations, when this is not so. Compounding the … Read More

  • The Mindset and Body Language of a GMAT Destroyer

    The Mindset and Body Language of a GMAT Destroyer

    by on June 19th, 2013

    Most GMAT students don’t spend enough time considering the mindset they’ll need on test day. In my very first article for Beat The GMAT, I suggested that the simple act of smiling can increase your performance. In … Read More

  • Take a Practice Test Already

    Take a Practice Test Already

    by on May 23rd, 2013

    To set up this article, please consider a forum post from some fictitious wrestling forum: The state wrestling tournament is 1 month away, and I want to win the 184-pound weight class. To lose enough weight to qualify … Read More

  • Common Data Sufficiency Mistakes – Part III

    Common Data Sufficiency Mistakes – Part III

    by on April 9th, 2013

    Welcome to part three of a three-part series on common mistakes that students make when answering GMAT Data Sufficiency questions. In this article, we’ll examine two mistakes related to equations. Mistake #1 – … Read More

  • Common Data Sufficiency Mistakes – Part II

    Common Data Sufficiency Mistakes – Part II

    by on March 19th, 2013

    Welcome to part two of a three-part series on common mistakes that students make when answering GMAT Data Sufficiency questions. In this article, we’ll examine mistakes related to assumptions about number … Read More

  • Common Data Sufficiency Mistakes – Part I

    Common Data Sufficiency Mistakes – Part I

    by on February 26th, 2013

    Welcome to part one of a three-part series on common mistakes that students make when answering Data Sufficiency questions. In this article, we’ll examine two kinds of mistakes that GMAT newcomers often make, and in … Read More

  • Converting Fractions to Percents

    Converting Fractions to Percents

    by on January 28th, 2013

    Many GMAT questions involving percent require us (at some point) to convert a fraction to a percent. In this article, we’ll examine some techniques to consider when making these conversions. To set this up, let’s say … Read More