The Old Knewton Blog

Posts Tagged ‘math

Business-like approach to GMAT math

with 3 comments

Nathan Burke is a Math Content Developer at Knewton, specializing in GMAT prep.

The GMAT quantitative section is different from most math tests. You don’t usually see Data Sufficiency questions outside the GMAT, for one thing. They’re tricky, and mastering them requires a high level of familiarity. The good news is that the answer choices are the same for every question, and precise calculations are often unnecessary.

Then there are the word problems. All that text takes a long time to read. With 37 questions to do within a scant 75-minute period, you have an average of about two minutes to answer each question. It can be nerve-racking to spend almost half of this precious time just parsing out questions that are essentially prose versions of a company’s balance sheet.

photo by stuartpilbrow

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Written by Knewton

November 4, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Be brave, go ahead and divide by zero

with 3 comments

Ethan Hein is a content editor and social media guru at Knewton.

When you learned division in school, the teacher probably brushed off the issue of dividing by zero in one sentence: you can’t do it, moving on. You might feel like you got shortchanged by that explanation. Why not? What happens when you divide by zero?

You can’t ask the computer. Computers fail when you ask them questions with no unambiguous answer. Dividing by zero is just such a question. Folklore suggests that asking the computer to divide by zero makes it spectacularly explode or something. In reality, it returns an error message or the reply Not A Number, or it gives a wrong answer, or the program terminates, or sometimes the machine falls into an infinite loop.

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Written by Knewton

October 30, 2009 at 3:06 PM