Brian Galvin at Poets & Quants has posted an article providing some interesting GMAT test tips. The article, titled “On the GMAT, Artificial Intelligence Wins,” argues that preparing for the GMAT is “less about being programmed to solve known problems with known techniques, and much more about developing flexible techniques and mental agility.”
Galvin, a GMAT prep provider, points to the fact that, for most of our lives, we are focused (either by ourselves or by others) on learning how to be test-takers, for better or for worse. And, for most of us and in many ways, this approach has been helpful throughout our lives.
“See a quadratic equation? Plug it into the quadratic formula. What happened in 1492? Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Need to write a persuasive essay? Start with a thesis statement, then support paragraphs with examples for each…”
Galvin does not say that this is a bad thing; he calls it understandable. However, he then goes on to call this an if/then binary logic and argues that GMAT test tips that focus on this don’t really get to the heart of the matter: we need to learn how to learn how to use “multiple devices at multiple steps” for each problem. We need to learn how to think like a computer.
Developing mental agility is one of the best (if not a little elusive) GMAT test tips I’ve read recently. This tip is not idea just for this exam, but for general problem solving. It would be ideal if all problems had one clear, straight path to a clean conclusion, but most people don’t see that very often.