The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

10. Business Education Trends, a GMAT Section Order Fallacy, and CAT Battleship

November 19, 2019 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
10. Business Education Trends, a GMAT Section Order Fallacy, and CAT Battleship
Show Notes Transcript

Several interesting bits of news and insights came out of the recently-held summit at the headquarters of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), makers of the GMAT and Executive Assessment exams, and we were there to get the scoop. We relate the most relevant takeaways in this episode, including:

  • Trends in graduate management education (GME) with an emphasis on the types of people applying and the programs they're applying to;
  • Why now might be the best time in the past decade to apply to business school;
  • The most commonly-chosen section order on the GMAT exam -- but a logical reasoning fallacy that should give you pause before choosing that order yourself;
  • The interplay between the "Practice Effect" and the "Fatigue Effect" that could help you get off to a great start on test day;
  • How computer-adaptive tests like the GMAT really work (hint: think about the popular board game Battleship) and what it means for you in terms of ideal time management;
  • And more!


If you're interested in diving deeper into the demographic and employer trends referenced in this show, you can get them here:

  1. GME Application Trends Survey Report 2019
  2. Talent Mobility and the Global Economy
  3. Corporate Recruiters Survey (2019 + Previous Year Archives)


At the end of this episode we answer the question, "How can I avoid getting overwhelmed by all of the information I have to learn for my standardized test, and when can I expect it to "click" (if ever!)?


Here's the quote we began this week's show with:

"Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." -- John D. Rockefeller

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Questions? Comments? Email us at

speaker 0:   0:00
Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great John D. Rockefeller. Hello, everyone. And welcome to the Dominate test Prep podcast. I am Bread Ethridge. I am gonna be your host this week and I'm actually flying solo. I feel like we've had a string of episodes recently where I've had guests on and I've interviewed them on really interesting topics. Hopefully, you have been finding that helpful. But today you just get me eso. Hopefully, that's a good thing. I think by the end of the episode, you'll get a lot of good value and actually let me start by kind of telling you what we're going to do in this episode. But then I need to step back and we need to have a little celebration. So I'm actually gonna give away some free practice tests. So stick with me for that, but really quickly in this episode, I recently got back from attending a conference in Rest in Virginia, the headquarters of the G M A. C G. Mac, which is the organization that puts out the G. Matt. So the G Matt exam. For those of you taking the G, Matt I was in the layer of the beast, so to speak, learning firsthand from kind of the movers and shakers the sea level executives at the G. M A. C about industry trends. And they gave us kind of a deep dive into sentence correction. And and they talked about the psycho metrics of the G Matt exam and lots of numbers and lots of insight. And so what I want to do is I want to just share some of that with you because I think you'll find it interesting. I'm gonna try to tease out some of the most relevant information and specifically take home points that I think will translate to you getting a higher score. Because ultimately, that's really my purpose here on the Dominate Test prep podcast. And I think there are a few things about knowing how the G Matt has scored. For example, just ah, fun, little kind of critical reasoning. Insight toe one of the statistics that they shared that I think will be helpful for you in terms of understanding how critical reasoning works. So we're going to get into all of that. But before you do, let me actually step back. And I mentioned a celebration. Why? Because this is the 10th episode of the Dominate Test Prep podcast. Now, that might not seem like a lot 10. I mean, it's a nice round number, but I was reading an article recently from amplifying media. And they say that the average podcast most podcast start to fade. They call it pod fade by their seventh episode. So we have blown way past that, right? I mean, maybe we should have done this celebration on episode number eight, right, Because I've already kind of exceeded the averages. And obviously we're just getting started. We're nowhere near pod fade. I have a huge list of episode ideas that will be coming to you in the near future. But I just thought that was pretty cool. When I read that, I was like, Hey, here we go. We're about to do episode number 10. We're in the clear, right? We're well past the seven episode mark. So I just thought we would kind of note that. Celebrate that. And here's what we're gonna do to kind of celebrate it. Like I said, I'm going to give away some free practice tests. Uh, here's what I want to do. I do want and I do need your help to continue to launch this podcast in the form of reviews. So wherever you're listening to this podcast, even if you're on my website, head over to Apple iTunes, apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcast Wherever you get your podcasts and rate us, but not just rate us because there have been quite a few people who have already given us five stars, I'm glad to see that you're enjoying the content but actually write a review because so far we don't have any. So I'm just being transparent, right? No written reviews. I know it's a little bit hard to actually type out a review, but that will help us so much. I would love your feedback. I'd love to know what's working, what's not working, what you're liking, what you're not liking. And here's what I'm gonna do next week. So I'll give you one week to do this. I'm gonna go through the reviews that have been submitted and draw the names of a few people who left reviews and then reach out to you guys. Hopefully I can do that. I'm assuming I can maybe click on your name. If not, I'll make an announcement on next week's podcast or I'll put something out on social media. So make sure you're checking those avenues and I'll just reach out to you and I'll give you, ah, free practice test for whichever exam you're studying for the G matter, the G R e, the S a t the else out. Whatever you're studying for, I'll provide you with the free practice test. So and maybe if only a few people leave comments, I'll go ahead and leave. I'll give you all a free practice test. Now, please note. I'm putting this as a disclaimer. I'm not bribing you. You don't even have to leave a good review. Obviously, I hope you're enjoying the content. I hope you give me five stars. I hope you say favorable things, but even if you don't, that's OK. I just want you to give real authentic reviews of what you like and what you don't like about the podcast so far. It helps with it just helps of ratings, and it helps people who are looking to know what they're in store for and what they're going to find here, which I try toe have be really value added content for you. So that's that. And a quick shout out a listener shout out to Kevin, who actually commented on YouTube. So he listened to our episode. A couple episodes ago was Episode eight, where I interviewed Matt about his G Matt success story. And during that interview, Matt actually alluded to one of the videos I have up on YouTube where I kind of give some last minute advice and last minute tips. And Kevin commented on that video. He said, Wow, this fourth point is a jackpot. I'm going to recommend this channel to everyone in need. Love the content, exclamation points. So, Kevin, thanks for being a listener here. Thanks for commenting on YouTube. Maybe you can also leave a review on the podcast, but either way, you're getting a free practice test. So, Kevin, I'll try to track you down on YouTube. If you're listening to this, you can also send me on email. Brett that dominate test prep dot com, and we'll hook you up Kevin with a free practice test. So again, thank you to all of you for listening for supporting I'm excited to be in episode number 10 and I'm gonna be even more excited when we celebrate Episode 50 and 100 and beyond. So glad to have you along for the ride. All right, so let's dive into the meat of this week's episode. And as I mentioned, I'm gonna share some things that came out of that G. Mack Conference up in Virginia a couple weeks ago. And I'm gonna start with business education trends. Whether you're studying for the G. Matt the G r E. If you're thinking about going back to business school or getting some sort of advanced degree in the business space, it doesn't have to be a traditional MBA, and I'll actually talk about some of the trends related to that. I think you might find this information interesting. And after just sharing some of this information, really kind of my purpose here is just, you know, just tow, share some trends and some information that I think you'll find pretty interesting. It might confirm what you already think and believe about what's happening in the space. Maybe it'll make you feel good about kind of where you are and what you're doing, But regardless, I actually am goingto have a pretty big take home message for you in terms of what I think it really all means for you. But let's go ahead and run through some of them. You know, they're really three or four major trends and major shifts in the people taking the G, Matt and the people going back for business education. And the first is that women are increasing in terms of the number of G Matt test takers, while men are decreasing. And they didn't necessarily talk about this specifically. But I also know from some other articles that I've been reading recently, that applications to business school and MBA programs among women is increasing. And that's a good thing. It could partly be because I know a lot of business. Schools have been making concerted efforts recently to attract more female, you know, business candidates and a warden at the University of Pennsylvania, a top 10 business school just announced that they have the highest percentage of women in their class ever. And so you know, that's definitely a trend in the right direction, and we're seeing that reflected in Guilmette test takers so the percentage of women taking the G Matt has increased from 40%. About 40% of Gee Matt test takers were women a decade or so ago, back in 2010 and this past year it's upto over 47%. So that's a pretty big increase. In, Of course, the male percentage has decreased along with that, so that the total test takers adds up to 100%. So female test takers are on the rise, and so are examinees under 25 years old. In fact, the share of exams taken by candidates younger than 25 his groom from 42% to 52% over the last 10 years. So again, over the last 10 years, the number of females have increased and the number of examinees under 25 years old have increased. What I think is interesting about that is in business school in particular for traditional two year MBA is especially, they like you to have at least a couple years of work experience. That's a big part of what you need to be talking about on your applications. And so if you're under 25 years old and Let's say you graduate from undergrad at age 22 which is pretty normal. If you go right out into the workforce in work for two years and then apply to business school, you're only gonna be about 24 25 years old as it is. And so either candidates are doing that, and they're basically applying as early as they possibly can, or they're trying to get around that two year work experience requirement. And there's another trend that may speak toe Why that might be happening. That'll point to here in a moment as well. In terms of geography, we've also seen a major shift of where people want to go to business school. So the largest growing segment of the kind of the global business education demographic is in Asia, East and Southeast Asia. By far that is the fastest growing population, not only in terms of people taking the G matt, but the schools where people are applying. In 2010 on Lee, 19% of G Matt test takers were from East and Southeast Asia. Last year was 38%. It is literally almost doubled, and that means it must be going down somewhere else on it is going down. In the United States of the United States, G Matt test takers have decreased significantly from 48% down to 28% over the last decade. So I thought that was very interesting. Europe is also growing. If you remember my conversation with Matt a couple couple episodes ago, he's a perfect example of of a U. S. Citizen who has taken the G Matt and he is going to be using it now. He would he would count as a U. S. Test taker, certainly, but he is applying to and has gotten into, ah, Western European business school and we're seeing that a lot. There's a lot of growth in Western Europe, but the largest growth is in Asia now. I mentioned a trend that may speak to why more and more candidates are applying at a younger age, and that has to do with the types of programs the types of business education programs students are applying to. And we have seen an increase in people using the G Matt toe apply to nontraditional NBA's and in fact, there has been a huge growth in people using the G Mato apply to more niche Master's program. So it used to be that you would take the G Matt to apply for a traditional one or two year m B A and used the G R E to apply for the other types of master's programs. Masters of marketing Masters of finance. Increasingly, people are actually using the G Matt now apply to those programs as well. The most growth happened in master in Data Analytics programs, and I think and second, that would be masters and management after that master and marketing in terms of the growth. And I think some of those programs may not have the same work requirement expectations that a traditional two year MBA has, and thus you can apply a little bit earlier for those now. All of that said, I think one of the biggest trends is that the number of JAMA'AT test takers is down overall year over year, as is the number of applications to business school, it is down slightly year over year now again, there's huge growth in Asia. Applications to US business schools is down, and if you read anything about this or if you even just kind of think about it logically. Ah, lot of people point to what they call the trump effect. As you may be aware, politics have changed in the United States over the last few years with regard to immigration policy, and a lot of candidates report concern about coming to the U. S. For business school because they're not sure if they will be able to stay and work after they graduate. So, ah, lot of people point to that being one possible explanation for what might be going on. And it's not just in the United States. There's a lot of nationalistic sentiment going on in a lot of countries. In India, for example, most Indian applicants are actually staying in their country. Likewise, in Brazil, there's a lot of anti immigrant sentiment. There's Brexit over in the United Kingdom on DSO. It's happening everywhere, and so that could be part of what's contributing to kind of the flow of candidates applying to different types of business schools. But I think one of the bigger contributors and this is really my take home point for you guys. As we kind of wrap this up, you can learn more about these trends. All post a link in the show notes to the recent candidate survey results that the G Mac just released. If you like this type of stuff and you're curious about all of these demographic trends and and all of that, it's all in there and I'll put that in the show notes. But the other thing they discussed, and this is something I have long said, at least for the past few years, as we have seen a decline in the number of business school applications, is that we have been in a strong bull economy for a really, really long time. We, I mean, that's it's been well over. It's almost been a decade that we have had a huge bull run in the economy globally, and it tends to be the case that when the economy is strong, people's desire to go back to graduate school in specifically business school goes down. Why? Because the opportunity cost of doing so is higher. If you have a good, solid, well paying job, why would you want to leave it to go back to business, school and dancer? That question is, there's still lots of reasons right there's. In fact, there's another survey that they talked about, where they talked, about how business graduates G M e education, meaning graduate management education remains in demand and valuable. They cited a survey where nine out of 10 employers said that G M E grads business school grads are well prepared quote to be successful at their companies with the recorded average. Medium starting salary for new MBA hires in the United States is at $115,000 higher. If your degree is from certain, you know top business schools. 90% of the Fortune Global 100 Global 500 companies say they play it plan to hire MBA candidates this year. And so there's still lots of justification, financially and otherwise, to be going back to school. But it's the psychological feeling, the sentiment that, hey, things were going well. Why make a change? And the reason is because we can leave good for great right? That's why a lot of people are making that decision those that are, and here's my take home kind of message to you. As we wrap this up, think about your chances of getting into a top school. Do you think it's more likely if there's more competition or, more likely, if there's less? Competition obviously, just probabilities statistics, right? If there are fewer people that you're competing with, your chances of getting in our higher and right now your chances of getting into a top school are about as good as they may ever be. Because here's what's gonna happen. I think we all realize that a downturn in the economy is goingto happen sometime, probably sooner than later. This bull run cannot go on absolutely forever. And when that happens and I've seen it, I've been in the industry long enough to know what is going to happen as soon as we have a recession. As soon as the stock market tanks, as soon as people start getting laid off and losing their jobs, they're going to turn to the safety of education. They're going to say OK, now might be a good time to go back to school. And so next year, where the year after or whenever that happens, all of a sudden applicant trends are gonna go in the opposite direction. More people will start to apply the number of people taking the G. Matt will go back up. I've seen it time and time again. It's what's going to happen. It's not like the business degree is no longer in vogue. It's not like it's not something that still has value. Of course it is. People are going to continue to go back to school and they will start to do so increasingly, once the economy turns. And so, if you are thinking about it now might be a good time to go ahead and do it. Beat the trends, right? What do they always say? If you wait until everybody else in the stock market is selling, you're too late. You've missed. If you wait until everybody is buying, you have Mr Opportunity of missed a lot of opportunity because you're hopping on the bandwagon after the fact, right? Same thing here. You have an opportunity in my mind to get in kind of a head of the rush. You know, where schools are practically begging for your business. At this point, the applications are down. Schools want you. You can get in with lower stats, potentially, you know, just just because of the nature of the supply and demand issue. And so that's just kind of Ah, this is kind of the thought I had as I was listening to all of this demographic information. And when I was talking to my colleagues at that conference, I think everybody's sort of in the same kind of the same opinion that things will turn again. And my advice to you is to be on the front end, What it does turn all right. So let's transition away from trends and talk about psycho metrics. And this is where I think there are some things that were discussed that could get very practical for you and have some direct application to the G Matt in this case. But really any computer adaptive test and and a general test taking kind of mindset that I think was something I never really thought about in this particular way that I think you'll find interesting. All right. So psychometric simply refers to kind of the numbers and the and the statistics and the math and the algorithms behind in this case, the Jama'at exam. And so the gentleman who presented this information, his name is Chris Han. He's the cycm attrition at the G Mac and he you know, he's got one of those math brains and he's literally the one who kind of helps code the algorithm that ends up giving you You're scaled score at the end. And no, he did not give us any of that insight. No, he did not spill the beans and give us the magic. You know, the magic Coke formula, so to speak. But he did talk about kind of how the computer adaptive algorithm works and and some different things. But one of the things he went over and this is one of the first things I want to talk about is some of the changes that the G Matt has made in recent years. And let me actually get this out of the way up front. One of the questions I get a lot for my students has is have any of these changes actually affected the scores? And the answer to that is no. And he kind of went through the numbers and the, you know, is it statistically significant on the slight changes in scores based on section order? Select? Remember, on the G, Matt, you can now select the order in which you complete the sections and also the timing of the exam. They have shortened the exam by a handful of questions and a certain amount of time. And has that had an impact on final scores? And the answer to all of those questions is no. There's no statistical difference between scores today and scores three years ago, five years ago. And that is important because part of a standardized test is that it's standardizes the scores so that schools can quickly and easily compare and contrast students. And obviously, if the order changed things, or if the duration of the exam influenced and biased one set of test takers to another, that would be unfair to a certain number of test takers. And so they made sure that wouldn't happen in their pre release testing. And sure enough, that has played out, so that has not affected it. But here is what is kind of interesting, one of the changes that was made a couple of years ago. Now, about a year and 1/2 I think ago now is that the G Matt started to give you the ability to decide the order in which you complete the sections and you can choose to either, you know, Duke want first, then verbal than integrated reasoning and the S a verbal force first, then quant, then the integrated reasoning and the essay. Or you could start with the essay and integrated reasoning and then Duke want and verbal. And he said, statistically, the most popular order. By the way, in case you're curious, in case you're trying to figure out what order to take on your own, the most popular orders, actually, to start with Quat to Duke want first, then verbal than integrated reasoning and the essay last. Now, just because that's the most popular, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Here's what is interesting. And this is where the critical reasoning kind of question comes in. Right. So I'm gonna give you this statistical fact, and I'm gonna ask you a question about it. I want you to find the flaw in this logic. So here's here's kind of the actual fact this is just a objective fact based on their research and their numbers and knowing kind of. What ends up happening is that people who start with quant first and then do verbal tend to have higher quant scores. Likewise, people who start with verbal and go verbal quant then integrated reasoning and a W A tend to have higher verbal scores. So here's my take home message, right? Here's my conclusion. If you want a higher quant score, start with Kwan, right? And the corollary to that would be If you want to hire verbal score, start with verbal right? Makes sense. Kind of like if that work critical reasoning question on the G. Matt, you'd be thinking yourself. Well, it kind of makes sense right statistically if they if that is an objective fact that people who start with kwon have higher quant scores, it must be the case that starting with quantum causes you to have a higher quant square, right? Not necessarily, because if you think about it in the context of critical reasoning, anytime you have a cause and effect type of relationship in your argument, what are you assuming you're assuming something else didn't cause the effect that you observe, and in this case, the effect that we observe is a higher quant score. If you start with quant but is starting with Kwan, what caused that toe happen, it possibly it's possible. And I talked to my students about this. It's possible that just the very fact that you're fresher, that you're starting with it. And so your brain is fresh and you're well rested and you haven't done anything else. Maybe that does contribute to just doing better on it. I think that's absolutely possible that that is what is going on. Likewise, people who start with verbal tend to have higher verbal scores, and so it's possible that starting with verbal and being fresh and not, you know, not being confused about quant stuff and just diving right into the verbal causes you to perform better. Right? And that's that's advice I have generally given to my students as well. But is that absolutely the case, or is it possible that there's another explanatory factor? And what Chris Han suggested is that in fact, maybe it's the case that people who are already strong at Quant decide to take that section first just because they feel more comfortable with it. And if you're already good at Quan, of course you're going to get a higher quant score than other people and you just happen to do it first because you feel more comfortable with it. You know you're not nervous at the quant, so let's go ahead and get that out of the way. And then I could worry about this stuff. I'm not as good at later. Let me get off to a good such a good start, so to speak. And so there's definitely an element of that going on as well. And Chris suggested that that's probably more of what's going on, that their research and talking to people suggest that people tend to start with their strength. They tend to lead with their strengths. And so you, if you're already good a quant and you start with kwon, of course you're gonna get a higher score. Uh, and vice versa for verbal. If you're already feeling good about verbal and you start with that section, you're probably going to get a high score anyway, because you're good at verbal. Not because you do that section first, so I don't necessarily know what the right answer there is. I think there's an element of both. Potentially, I would just encourage you to play around with it, see which one yields a higher score for you. And really, ultimately, whatever you feel good about on test day, you know, if you feel good leading with your strengths, lead with your strengths. If you feel like you want to go into your hardest section fresh do that as well and actually brings me the second thing I want to talk about, which is an interesting concept he brought up that I had never really heard presented this way. And he talked about the difference between the practice effect versus the fatigue affect in the context of those sections. Right? So we just talked about Hey, is it better to start with a section when you're fresh and maybe you'll do better at that section because you're fresh? Or should you kind of save that until later? And he said, it kind of comes down to whether not your Maur influence by what he calls the practice effect versus the fatigue defect and the practice effect is essentially this idea that if you warm up, you're more prepared to kind of dive in and hit the ground running to make a sports analogy. I definitely know this to be true in the arena of athletics and CrossFit is recently a sport that I have done competitively. Now you might think of CrossFit just as exercises like really hard, aggressive exercise. And it is, but you can also compete in it. And one of the things I know to be true is if I just start doing a really hard workout for time. For example, I'm trying to complete a certain number of raps as fast as I possibly can, and I just literally do a little bit of stretching. And then I just dive right in without getting my heart rate up without getting my breathing going without doing a little bit of warm up at all. I actually don't do very well, and that's just physiological. Most people would not do very well. In fact, you won't do as well if you literally start to do something cold. If you literally just start to aggressively exercise cold turkey, you haven't primed the pump. You haven't gotten your heart rate up. You haven't gotten your body ready to actually do it. Whereas if I hop on the exercise bike for five minutes, if I run a couple of short sprints, if I get my heart rate up before I start, You might think well, but you aren't you fatiguing your muscles. No, I'm not doing enough to actually get tired. I'm just doing enoughto warm up to prime the pump. And he said the exact same thing can apply with your brain as well that you should prime the pump, so to speak, that you should benefit from what he calls the practice effect to get your brain ready on test day to start thinking critically so that when you start to look at question number one on Quant, for example, and you haven't warmed your brain up and now you're supposed to try toe, think logically and reason. You're way too right answers and do hard, complex math and your brain's not ready for you might not do as well. So he said. Practice literally, he said. Maybe you should just sit in your car and do five practice problems. Before going into the testing center, I thought, Interesting. That's a really interesting tip. And so I think I'm going to start giving that to my students. Or maybe you don't do some practice, and so I'm giving it to you here. You're the first person. You're the first people to hear me kind of talk about this publicly. And so there you go. Um, and maybe he said, you don't necessarily have to do like G Matt practice problems or G r E. Practice problems. Maybe you could do a Sudoku puzzle or do the New York Times crossword puzzle, you know, before heading over the testing center. But just do something to get your brain working so that you don't do it, you know, so you don't dive in cold turkey. You're still rested. You're not taxing yourself, you're not overdoing it. That would be the fatigue effect. So he said, some people might actually get tired more quickly. And if you arm or influenced by the fatigue effect than the practice effect, you might not want to do that. And you might be the type of person who should actually, um, start with your weaker area, because if you suffer for lack of a better word from the fatigue effect, in other words, if you get fatigued war quickly, you might actually want to start with your weaker area just so that your brain you're using as much as you possibly can on the harder stuff first. So that would be an example of somebody who might want to actually lead with their weaknesses rather than lead with their strengths. But I thought I thought that was interesting, and I think most people would actually benefit from the practice effect, so don't overdo it. Don't get yourself mentally tired before you even go into the testing center. But prime the pump a little bit, See how it goes. Practice it, try it before your next practice test and see how it goes. And then on test day, see how that goes as well. All right. And then the final thing I'll just kind of wrap up with is analogy. He gave about how he thinks about see eighties computer adaptive tests in general. Now, if you're listening to this and you've gotten this far, you're probably not taking something other than G. Matt because I've talked a lot about the G. Matt. But if you're still missing in this and you are taking the g r E, the Jerry ISS section adaptive, which has a certain element of this but not quite to the scale of the G men, the G Matt is unique in being questioned adaptive, meaning it literally is changing the questions it gives you based on each individual question that you either get right around now, I'm not gonna go through all of it right by now. You're probably pretty familiar about how the kind of the computer adaptive nature of the G Matt works. I teach at my course. I have some free videos out on YouTube about it as well. It's not rocket science again. The idea is that the G Matt is trying to figure out how you are as a test taker. How good are you? How good are you going to be? And it's gotta figure that out without being able to interview you without knowing that you took a dominate test prep prep course, for example? Uh uh, no, But in all seriousness, right, you'll do better if you prep. You'll do better if you have somebody teaching you strategies and content and so definitely encourage you to check out. Our course is if you're not already signed up, but it doesn't know any of that about you. So it has to kind of figure it out and has to figure it out. Figure it out blindly, right? It's a computer, and I use a cool analogy and my courses about how that works. It's called the clock game from the Price is right. I think it's a great illustration of it, but he used the analogy of battleship, And so that's what I'm going to kind of give you here for those of you trying to kind of understand what's going on. Um, the idea is the game of battleship, which, if you haven't ever played it here, is kind of how it works. When you play battleship, you are sitting across from your opponent looking at your own screen. They can't see your screen, you can't see their screen, and you put some ships, some battleships and destroyers and cruisers and whatever in random places on your own board, and your opponent is trying to find them. They're trying to guess the location of your different ships so that they can quote, sink your battleship, right? They're trying to sink your ships by guessing their location, and in the beginning you're stabbing completely in the dark like Do you have a ship at a seven and you look on your board of a seven and look to see if you have placed part of one year ships on that spot on your board and you either say yes or no. But if you say no, then the other person is gonna try to guess again. Like, how about C four Note. Nothing there either. How about G nine? Ah, yes, I have something of Jeanine Boom. Okay, so now he's marking it and he knows that you have something at G nine, right? And then he tries to isolate and zero in on exactly where your battleship is, and then eventually, if he gets all you know, all of the sections of your battleship, he has sunk your battleship. And that's essentially what the G Matt is doing and what computer adaptive tests in general are doing. And G. Matt, by the way, is not the only exam that that uses a computer adaptive algorithm because it is such an effective way of zeroing in on unexamined knees. True testing abilities right there, stabbing in the dark in the beginning, giving you random level questions and then increasing the difficulty if you get some right, decreasing the difficulty. If you get some wrong until they have zeroed in on your true ability. And by the end of the quant section, with a certain number of questions in the end of the verbal section, with a certain number of questions, it's enough of a sample sizes of enough questions to have a pretty good sense of your true abilities. And the goal is this. They're trying to avoid you. The test a car, getting frustrated with too many hard questions like If they just give you a whole bunch of hard questions and they're harder than your current liability, you're going to get frustrated. So, of course, if they give you a question and it's too hard and you get it wrong, why would they want to continue giving you a bunch of hard questions? They wouldn't You would get frustrated and they're not getting any closer to your true abilities would be like if I guessed a four and battleship and you said no and the next I guess, a five. No, a six No, a seven. No. Like I need to go somewhere else entirely on the board, right? Likewise, they don't want to waste time on too easy questions. You're gonna get bored from that, too. And we're not gonna get you close enough to your true abilities if I'm just giving you a whole bunch of really easy questions, we're getting no closer to where your true G Matt test taken abilities are. So that's why they kind of work around. They don't give you too many hard questions. If you're getting those wrong, they're going to give you easy questions. And then if they give you to get too easy, you're getting all those right. They're gonna increase the difficult oh, difficulty level until they have zeroed in on your true abilities. So that's how a computer adaptive test work is that since essentially, how the G Matt works with a very kind of nuanced algorithm that they don't tell anybody. But we know in general that's what's going on. And it's just like the game of Battleship, and I thought that was really cool. As always, I always like to bring it home and give you something tangible. What does that mean for you as a test taker? What is kind of any of this mean for you? There's really nothing you can do about, um, there's nothing you can really do to cheat the system. Now, you you've heard me say, and some of my videos. Maybe if you're my course, you know that you should spend a little bit more time on earlier questions because the types of jumps they make early on when they have no idea where your true abilities are. Like if I'm in battleship and I start with a four and you say no, there's nothing that a four I'm gonna jump completely to. Somewhere very far away from a four. I might go toe like G seven to try to figure out if you're down there a g seven. No, you're not a G seven. Okay, how about, like, d nine or something like that? Okay, you're a D nine. Okay, Now I'm going to spend some time around there, but in the beginning, there are big jumps. I'm moving all over the place. Right. So your score is affected more early on in the section, and so I always encourage my students spend a little extra time, make sure you're avoiding careless airs. Use your scratch paper. It's okay to spend ah, few extra seconds on some of the earlier questions because your score does fluctuate more at the end of the section. We're not changing the types of questions you're getting very much. You might get a slightly easier, slightly harder one, but they're not gonna vary that much compared to earlier on in the section. And so a good strategy at the end is to guess, because there's not as much of a penalty for guessing now. There is a penalty at the end of the G match sections for completely leaving questions blank. So you absolutely, and they confirm that's up in rested. And I knew that I have long known this and taught my students this that there is a clear penalty for leaving questions unanswered. They don't like it when you run out of time. So if you are running out of time and have a couple questions left blindly, guess it's better literally to get an answer in. Even if it's wrong than it is to leave it blank. It hurt your score. Maur toe. Leave it blank. So definitely guests at the intersection ideal. You'll work on your time management and be able to complete all the questions within the allotted time. So there you go. There's some take home messages from the G Mack Conference in general. I think we'll wrap it up there. I think those were the biggest takeaways that are relevant to you. Obviously, there was more stuff that would probably be interesting to me. Getting to network with some of my peers, chat about different aspects of tests, test prep, figure out the best way to teach you guys how to be successful. And I do plan on inviting some of the higher ups at the G Mack onto the podcast in the future to interview them about some of the things that they talked about. Other things that maybe they didn't talk about. That I think would be beneficial in helpful for you. So definitely continue to tune into the Dominate test print podcast. Click the subscribe button if you haven't already, so you're alerted every time we drop a new episode. But we'll go ahead. Wrap that up here. Some thoughts and takeaways from the G Mack Conference in 2019 things, weeks from the mailbag. Question comes from Jessica. Jessica wrote me, and I'm not gonna read the exact chemo, but Basically, here's what she was asking me. She basically said, Look, I'm kind of feeling overwhelmed because there is so much to learn on my standardized test and she was like, You know, I am. I'm watching your videos and there's this content that content. I'm learning this strategy and sometimes I forget something already learned. And basically, I'm feeling overwhelmed. Can you help? And really kind of what she was asking is, when am I gonna have a breakthrough? Am I ever gonna have a breakthrough? And you may feel the same way. And here's my answer to you. So, Jessica, be encouraged because here's how it generally happens. Whichever standardize your test test you're studying for It all generally works the same way. And really, anytime you're learning something new, your growth curve, your learning curve will be exponential. So I want you to think about an exponential growth curve. And for those of you who are already thinking, Oh my gosh, I don't even know what that is like. I'm in trouble. Eso picture picture like an X y axis with time on the X axis in your score or improvement on the Y axis on the left, right? And so let's say you're gonna have eight weeks to study for your exam or something like that. You're learning your improvement starts off really slow. It's a really slow, gradual line that almost looks like it's kind of tracking parallel with the X axis. It's hardly going up in all. You might not even notice your practice test scores going up all that much, although I think there are certain strategies that haven't undo effect. You know, I do have a lot of students who will say, Oh my gosh, I had huge improvement the first couple of weeks because of these nonstandard strategies I think that can definitely happen. But I'd say in general, you know, use. Your improvement is fairly gradual. You're learning this. You're learning that you're slowly or learning vocabulary on the G r e. You're brushing off some of the math cobwebs, and so you're seeing some improvement. But it's gradual, and then at some point there's like this critical mass of learning where it starts to compound and it starts to like feed on itself, and now everything's starting to fit together, and this strategy that's using that bit of information it kind of all clicks and it all kind of fits together. And then you're able to pull from something you just learned in this video and apply it to something you learned last week, and it just kind of clicks, and at some point it's all going to start to synthesize and come together, and it just starts to grow exponentially. And whereas you may only see a certain amount of increase over the first few weeks of studying, you may say you may see two or three or four weeks worth of progress in one week. You know, the ah huge jump between week four and five and an even bigger jump between week five and six and then and then Now you're on the steep end of the exponential growth curve, and you're excited and your confidence is up and you got a big smile on your face and it's all coming together, and it just takes time. And so that would be my encouragement to you, Jessica and to anybody else listening. If you feel like it's going slow, trust the process. Make sure you have a process. Make sure you have a game plan. Go back. And what? Listen to some of the earlier episodes. You subscribe and register for a course like mine where I give you an actual detailed step by steps. Course syllabus. Watch this video. Do this practice problem. Watch these videos. Do these practice problems take this practice test and if you haven't organized, structured study plan, eventually it will all fit together. You will turn the quarter. I guarantee it. It happens at a different rate for different people. Some people happens. Boom Right away. You feel like boom. After two or three weeks, you're already having huge growth. Other people, it takes months. Even sometimes you feel like you're just grinding and barely making progress. But every little bit you're doing is going to pay dividends. Trust that trust that everything that you're learning will will pay dividends in the future. And at some point you will turn that corner and you will go from the gradual kind of horizontal growth to kind of that whole. That vertical exponential growth toe where every little bit you do seems to be paying huge rewards and huge dividends. And at that point, you'll know you're ready to register for the real thing and take the real thing and dominate the g matter g a g r e r s a t or else at or whatever exam you're studying for. So be encouraged and just kind of have that picture in your mind. When you're feeling frustrated, you will turn the quarter. Alright, here we are at the end of another episode of the Dominate Test Prep Podcast Episode number 10. So action item number one If you haven't done it yet, If you didn't press pause and immediately write me a review, go ahead, Do that now who knows? Maybe you'll win the free practice test, So give us those hopefully five stars, but definitely rate the podcast. Leave a review and listen next week and check social Media for the winners of the free practice tests and action Item number two is Go ahead and try the practice effect strategy before your next full length practice test. Try to prime the pump a little bit. Do a few practice problems before you press start to take the real thing. Do a sudoku puzzle. Do something to get your mind thinking critically and see if that has a positive impact on your next practice. Test score. You always want to experiment with stuff like that before the actual real thing. Like you don't want to be trying random new, bizarre, exotic strategies before the actual riel exams. So go ahead and try it before your next practice test. I think it'll pay dividends for you, Celt, and I guess the final. I guess I have three action items. The other one would be if you're on the fence about whether or not to go back to business school. Think about what I said earlier about how this is actually a great time to do it. So commit. Get off the fence, You know, now is as good a time as any, and it may be better than it will be a year or two or three years from now in terms of the competitive landscape. So if you're on the fence, it all now might be the time to pull the triggers to just kind of commit mentally if you think it would make the most sense for you. So there you go a few different action items to take to take action. On this week we will see you again next week on the Dominate test prep podcast. Thanks for your continued support. Have an awesome week and we will talk with you soon. Take care of the one.