## Preparing for the GMAT

**Good decisions are based on objective considerations, such as risk versus reward, and return versus investment. In the context of studying for the GMAT, the best preparation package will be a combination of self-study, course work, and tutoring. The mix depends on where you are, how far you need to go, and how much time and money you have to spend. And though these factors differ for everyone, calculating the score gap in your particular case will help to clarify the optimal distribution.**

*THE SCORE GAP*

**One likely definition of the score gap would be just the straightforward difference between the score you have and the score you want. But please be careful not to think that way, because it would be highly misleading. For example, the score gap between 450 and 550 is**

*not*the same as the gap between 600 and 700. Indeed, both "gaps" appear to be 100 points apart, but the second is actually about 50% greater than the first, in terms of the effort required to bridge it.*THE SCORING ALGORITHM*

**Not only is it harder, in terms of effort, to go from 600 to 700, than from 450-550, but also it requires control of a different set of topics. That isn't an immediate and obvious fact, but it is true. Because the GMAT is a computer-adaptive test, no two test-takers see the same set of questions. Rather, the algorithm creates a version of the test, to suit the performance of the person taking it. This adaptivity means that, in practice, you do not get a better score by answering**

*more*questions correctly, but by answering*just as many*questions correctly, at*a higher level of difficulty*. As a consequence, you need one set of books to hit 600, and another to hit 700.*RETURN ON INVESTMENT*

**It's also possible that you just don't want to do this project on your own. That's entirely legit, since it might just be a rather big project to do - on one's own. The story of****Fermat's Last Theorem offers an object lesson in making investment decisions.**

Alternatively, answer these questions:Alternatively, answer these questions:

**Do you enjoy doing math?****Are you a strong reader of Academic English?**

**If so, then independent study may be the option for you. And when you finish, we may hire you.**