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# Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz)

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10 Aug 2009, 07:38
This is awesome mohatar!!!

please if you have more stgies please keep posting them!!!

thank you,

p.s. - make this "sticky"
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2009, 09:32
I'm tapped out of strategies at the moment.

Verbal really seems to be the place where strategies can supplement the material. In quant, the focus really needs to be on the general concepts and problem solving skills. Solid problem solving skills will be your biggest asset on the quant section as the problems are designed to trip you up and improperly approach the problem (quadratic, word translations, exponential, etc.).

Also, content should always trump strategies when it comes to priorities. Anyone can focus on time management and only allocate an average of ~2 mins/problem. If you're spending too much time on each problem, a different approach is probably warranted.

I'll add more posts if I find other things or figure other things out.

I hope this was beneficial to everyone.
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2009, 13:22
9
KUDOS
I would like to share some tips & strategies that might prove to be useful while preparing and attempting the mocks as well as the GMAT:

1) Make sure no question is left unattempted as you will be heavily penalized for doing so. Its better to randomly mark an answer if you are pressed for time than leaving it unmarked.

2) Its common knowledge that first few questions are more important. In order to take advantage of this piece of information, spend more time on the first 15 questions, say an avg of 2.5 min per question. Spending that extra time on the first few questions will more or less fix your score band - this is what is meant by CAT.
Once the band is fixed i.e. once your level has been set by the computer, you will have to work really hard to change that level by either getting questions wrong continuously or getting them right continuously.

3) At the end of the test, even if there are 15 questions remaining and you have just 15 min to go, do not panic. Since your band has already been decided by the computer, in order to stay in that band all you have to do is make sure that you dont make too many continuous mistakes. Hence, for every 3 questions that you solve 'properly', mark the 4th question randomly and move ahead. This will make sure your mistakes are well dispersed and will also help you manage your time.
BUT YOU SHOULD TRY AND ENSURE THAT YOU DON'T LAND UP IN SUCH A TIME CRUNCH!!

4) The importance of first few questions in each section has been emphasized enough everywhere. Although its not proven, it might be beneficial to remember that the initial 4-5 questions of each subsection in Verbal and Quant are also important in deciding your score band. So give extra time to the first few questions of each of the 5 subsections, irrespective of how late or early they figure in the test.

5) Maintain an error log of all the questions you solve and make a note of the mistakes you made. Even for the questions you get right, make sure that you read the solution and check whether the reasoning used by you is correct.

6) Make your own SC notes. Maybe for PS too. Your own consolidated notes along with the error log proves very handy at the time of revision.

7) a) Revise Manhattan SC Guide at least 3 times
b) Revisit OG questions at least once
c) Take GMATPREP tests 1 & 2 at least 2 times each

8) Make use of the scratch pad that is made available at the test center. I used it while eliminating the options. I used to make a table as follows and mark a cross against the options that I have already eliminated:
A B C D E
1 x x x x
2
3
4
.
.
.
41
I also used the scratch pad to write down the gist of each para in an RC passage.

9)
a) Do not try to plan your strategies around the 11 experimental questions (these are not scored) that are present in each of the 2 GMAT sections as there is no way of knowing which are experimental and which are not. Don't assume that a question must be experimental and won't be score just because it seems too tough.
b) Do not assume that you are doing well (not doing well) when you see (don't see) Boldface questions or Probability/PnC questions on the test.

10) Prepare a list of 15 schools you would want to send your scores to. Depending upon how much you score you may then select the final 5 schools and save 17$* 5 = 85$

PS: Some members have requested me to share my SC notes on the forum. Thus, I have attached the pdf at the end of this post! Hope it proves to be beneficial...
Attachments

File comment: This is a compilation of the all the useful SC material I came across during my preparation!
Sameer's GMAT SC Notes.pdf [638.49 KiB]

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Last edited by samrus98 on 18 Aug 2009, 18:29, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2009, 13:26
samrus98 wrote:
I would like to share some tips & strategies that might prove to be useful while preparing and attempting the mocks as well as the GMAT:

1) Make sure no question is left unattempted as you will be heavily penalized for doing so. Its better to randomly mark an answer if you are pressed for time than leaving it unmarked.

2) Its common knowledge that first few questions are more important. In order to take advantage of this piece of information, spend more time on the first 15 questions, say an avg of 2.5 min per question. Spending that extra time on the first few questions will more or less fix your score band - this is what is meant by CAT.
Once the band is fixed i.e. once your level has been set by the computer, you will have to work really hard to change that level by either getting questions wrong continuously or getting them right continuously.

3) Even if there are 15 questions remaining and you have just 15 min to go, do not panic. Since your band has already been decided by the computer, in order to stay in that band all you have to do is make sure that you dont make too many continuous mistakes. Hence, for every 3 questions that you solve 'properly', mark the 4th question randomly and move ahead. This will make sure your mistakes are well dispersed and will also help you manage your time. BUT YOU SHOULD TRY AND ENSURE THAT YOU DON'T LAND UP IN SUCH A TIME CRUNCH!!

4) The importance of first few questions in each section has been emphasized enough everywhere. Although its not proven, it might be beneficial to remember that the initial 4-5 questions of each subsection in Verbal and Quant are also important in deciding your scire band. So give extra time to the first few questions of each subsection, irrespective of how late or early they figure in the test.

5) Maintain an error log of all the questions you solve and make a note of the mistake you made. Even for the questions you got correct, make sure that you read the solution and check whether the reasoning used by you is correct.

6) Make your own SC notes. Maybe for PS too. Your own consolidated notes along with the error log proves very handy at the time of revision.

7) a) Revise Manhattan SC Guide atleast 3 times
b) Revisit OG atleast once
c) Take GMATPREP tests 1 & 2 atleast 2 times each

8) Make use of the scratch pad that is made available at the test center. I used it while eliminating the options. I used to make a table as follows and mark a cross against the options that I have already eliminated:
A B C D E
1 x x x x
2
3
4
.
.
.
41
I also used the scratch pad to write down the gist of each para in an RC passage.

9)
a) Do not try to plan your strategies around the 11 experimental questions (these are not scored) that are present in each of the 2 GMAT sections as there is no way of knowing which are experimental and which are not. Don't assume that a question must be experimental and won't be score just because it seems too tough.
b) Do not assume that you are doing well (not doing well) when you see (don't see) Boldface questions or Probability/PnC questions on the test.

10) Prepare a list of 15 schools you would want to send your scores to. Depending upon how much you score you may then select the final 5 schools and save 17$* 5 = 85$

nice one .. kudos to you ... I will keep in mind about the first 15 questions strategy while doing practise tests. Can you please share your SC and PS notes if possible.
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2009, 13:39
samrus98 wrote:
I would like to share some tips & strategies that might prove to be useful while preparing and attempting the mocks as well as the GMAT:

1) Make sure no question is left unattempted as you will be heavily penalized for doing so. Its better to randomly mark an answer if you are pressed for time than leaving it unmarked.

2) Its common knowledge that first few questions are more important. In order to take advantage of this piece of information, spend more time on the first 15 questions, say an avg of 2.5 min per question. Spending that extra time on the first few questions will more or less fix your score band - this is what is meant by CAT.
Once the band is fixed i.e. once your level has been set by the computer, you will have to work really hard to change that level by either getting questions wrong continuously or getting them right continuously.

3) Even if there are 15 questions remaining and you have just 15 min to go, do not panic. Since your band has already been decided by the computer, in order to stay in that band all you have to do is make sure that you dont make too many continuous mistakes. Hence, for every 3 questions that you solve 'properly', mark the 4th question randomly and move ahead. This will make sure your mistakes are well dispersed and will also help you manage your time.
BUT YOU SHOULD TRY AND ENSURE THAT YOU DON'T LAND UP IN SUCH A TIME CRUNCH!!

4) The importance of first few questions in each section has been emphasized enough everywhere. Although its not proven, it might be beneficial to remember that the initial 4-5 questions of each subsection in Verbal and Quant are also important in deciding your score band. So give extra time to the first few questions of each of the 5 subsections, irrespective of how late or early they figure in the test.

5) Maintain an error log of all the questions you solve and make a note of the mistakes you made. Even for the questions you get right, make sure that you read the solution and check whether the reasoning used by you is correct.

6) Make your own SC notes. Maybe for PS too. Your own consolidated notes along with the error log proves very handy at the time of revision.

7) a) Revise Manhattan SC Guide at least 3 times
b) Revisit OG questions at least once
c) Take GMATPREP tests 1 & 2 at least 2 times each

8) Make use of the scratch pad that is made available at the test center. I used it while eliminating the options. I used to make a table as follows and mark a cross against the options that I have already eliminated:
A B C D E
1 x x x x
2
3
4
.
.
.
41
I also used the scratch pad to write down the gist of each para in an RC passage.

9)
a) Do not try to plan your strategies around the 11 experimental questions (these are not scored) that are present in each of the 2 GMAT sections as there is no way of knowing which are experimental and which are not. Don't assume that a question must be experimental and won't be score just because it seems too tough.
b) Do not assume that you are doing well (not doing well) when you see (don't see) Boldface questions or Probability/PnC questions on the test.

10) Prepare a list of 15 schools you would want to send your scores to. Depending upon how much you score you may then select the final 5 schools and save 17$* 5 = 85$

Great insights
Way to go dude
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11 Aug 2009, 13:54
mohater wrote:
Critical Reasoning (CR) Strategy:

Quote:
Critical Reasoning (CR) Strategy:

The more difficult CR questions tend to have more vague answers. That being said, you can still usually knock off two or three of the answer choices. This is the process that has worked for me:

DO NOT read the information first. Skip down and read the question (i.e. Which of these if true would seriously weaken the argument of X).

Now read the stem. Make note if any parts are bold.

Re-read the question after reading the information.

On your testing center provided pad - list out the answer choices. Next, as you read the answer choices, list how the answer choice addresses the question at hand. Use some form of shorthand to get your notes down quick.

i.e.
+ - na - na
A B C D E

If the above example corresponds to a question that is asking which choice strengthens, your answer is A. If it is asking which answer choice weakens, you will select between B and D.

Using this method will help you establish a streamlined method of approach.

Remember, on standardized tests, there isn't always a "right" answer. With these more subjective questions, your goal is to identify the "best" answer.

The short hand technique for marking the answers is very very helpful, even though it is time consuming to do so.
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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11 Aug 2009, 14:27
samrus98 wrote:
I would like to share some tips & strategies that might prove to be useful while preparing and attempting the mocks as well as the GMAT:

1) Make sure no question is left unattempted as you will be heavily penalized for doing so. Its better to randomly mark an answer if you are pressed for time than leaving it unmarked.

2) Its common knowledge that first few questions are more important. In order to take advantage of this piece of information, spend more time on the first 15 questions, say an avg of 2.5 min per question. Spending that extra time on the first few questions will more or less fix your score band - this is what is meant by CAT.
Once the band is fixed i.e. once your level has been set by the computer, you will have to work really hard to change that level by either getting questions wrong continuously or getting them right continuously.

3) Even if there are 15 questions remaining and you have just 15 min to go, do not panic. Since your band has already been decided by the computer, in order to stay in that band all you have to do is make sure that you dont make too many continuous mistakes. Hence, for every 3 questions that you solve 'properly', mark the 4th question randomly and move ahead. This will make sure your mistakes are well dispersed and will also help you manage your time.
BUT YOU SHOULD TRY AND ENSURE THAT YOU DON'T LAND UP IN SUCH A TIME CRUNCH!!

4) The importance of first few questions in each section has been emphasized enough everywhere. Although its not proven, it might be beneficial to remember that the initial 4-5 questions of each subsection in Verbal and Quant are also important in deciding your score band. So give extra time to the first few questions of each of the 5 subsections, irrespective of how late or early they figure in the test.

5) Maintain an error log of all the questions you solve and make a note of the mistakes you made. Even for the questions you get right, make sure that you read the solution and check whether the reasoning used by you is correct.

6) Make your own SC notes. Maybe for PS too. Your own consolidated notes along with the error log proves very handy at the time of revision.

7) a) Revise Manhattan SC Guide at least 3 times
b) Revisit OG questions at least once
c) Take GMATPREP tests 1 & 2 at least 2 times each

8) Make use of the scratch pad that is made available at the test center. I used it while eliminating the options. I used to make a table as follows and mark a cross against the options that I have already eliminated:
A B C D E
1 x x x x
2
3
4
.
.
.
41
I also used the scratch pad to write down the gist of each para in an RC passage.

9)
a) Do not try to plan your strategies around the 11 experimental questions (these are not scored) that are present in each of the 2 GMAT sections as there is no way of knowing which are experimental and which are not. Don't assume that a question must be experimental and won't be score just because it seems too tough.
b) Do not assume that you are doing well (not doing well) when you see (don't see) Boldface questions or Probability/PnC questions on the test.

10) Prepare a list of 15 schools you would want to send your scores to. Depending upon how much you score you may then select the final 5 schools and save 17$* 5 = 85$

PS: Some members have requested me to share my SC notes on the forum. Thus, I have attached the pdf at the end of this post! Hope it proves to be beneficial...

Hats off kudos to you samrus98......this is neat......i am happy i found this site so early in my prep....looks like it will be time well spent!
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2009, 04:38
samrus98 wrote:
2) Its common knowledge that first few questions are more important. In order to take advantage of this piece of information, spend more time on the first 15 questions, say an avg of 2.5 min per question. Spending that extra time on the first few questions will more or less fix your score band - this is what is meant by CAT.
Once the band is fixed i.e. once your level has been set by the computer, you will have to work really hard to change that level by either getting questions wrong continuously or getting them right continuously.

3) Even if there are 15 questions remaining and you have just 15 min to go, do not panic. Since your band has already been decided by the computer, in order to stay in that band all you have to do is make sure that you dont make too many continuous mistakes. Hence, for every 3 questions that you solve 'properly', mark the 4th question randomly and move ahead. This will make sure your mistakes are well dispersed and will also help you manage your time.
BUT YOU SHOULD TRY AND ENSURE THAT YOU DON'T LAND UP IN SUCH A TIME CRUNCH!!

4) The importance of first few questions in each section has been emphasized enough everywhere. Although its not proven, it might be beneficial to remember that the initial 4-5 questions of each subsection in Verbal and Quant are also important in deciding your score band. So give extra time to the first few questions of each of the 5 subsections, irrespective of how late or early they figure in the test.

I really disagree with the above. It's very possible to move your band up after the first 5-6 questions.

You don't know what problems are experimental and what problems are graded. Out of your first five questions, it's entirely possible two EXTREMELY difficult ones are experimental and thus you just wasted a lot of valuable time on questions that are not applicable to your score.

I tried this strategy on my first attempt at the GMAT and scored a 610. I abandoned that strategy and went to an average of ~2/mins fixed, and scored 710.

The exam might throw lower banded questions at you even if you're in the 700 to 800 range. If you answer those problems incorrectly due to time constraints, your score will drop more by missing easy problems than by missing more difficult problems.

It is VERY easy to crash and burn at the end of a test.

Kaplan and Princeton both teach the focus on the early problem strategy. Other programs teach to fix on an average time spent per problem.

Sameer,

Your attachment has copy right info in it. Unless you have the rights to publish that info from the various sources, I suggest you remove the attachment.
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Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz) [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2009, 22:05
2
KUDOS
Hi Mohater
I must say its a wonderful initiative that you have taken to consolidate all the strategies in one place!!

I really disagree with the above. It's very possible to move your band up after the first 5-6 questions.
Absolutely right! That is why I feel instead of giving importance to just the first 5-6 questions, one should give importance AND MORE TIME to the first 15 questions.

You don't know what problems are experimental and what problems are graded. Out of your first five questions, it's entirely possible two EXTREMELY difficult ones are experimental and thus you just wasted a lot of valuable time on questions that are not applicable to your score.
I couldn't agree more.....but since there isnt a way of identifying which question is experimental and which isnt, its best to avoid planning strategies around them.

I tried this strategy on my first attempt at the GMAT and scored a 610. I abandoned that strategy and went to an average of ~2/mins fixed, and scored 710.
Well 2 min per question sounds like a clean and simple strategy but it actually doesnt take advantage of what we know about the CAT exam ie first few questions are MORE important than the later questions.

The exam might throw lower banded questions at you even if you're in the 700 to 800 range. If you answer those problems incorrectly due to time constraints, your score will drop more by missing easy problems than by missing more difficult problems.
I disagree. Once the exam fixes your band, the questions do not affect your score as much, else the purpose of the CAT algorithm gets defeated.
Also once the exam fixes your band, it chooses questions from a pool containing questions suitable for that band. Thus any question from that band SHOULD affect score in a FIXED way.
What I mean to say is that the exam will not throw lower pool questions at you if you are in a higher range, but it might throw certain questions which you or I find easy but others find tough coz of our relative strengths and weaknesses. Even though some found the question easy while some others didnt, the fact would still be that the question came from the same pool and thus will affect the score in a way that is same for any question from that band.

Sameer,
Your attachment has copy right info in it. Unless you have the rights to publish that info from the various sources, I suggest you remove the attachment.

Thanks for pointing out......will edit it and post it again.

Cheers
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16 Aug 2009, 04:44
Folks,

The locked master strategy thread has been posted:

Please continue to post/discuss strategies here. I will update the strategy master thread as needed.
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18 Aug 2009, 00:20
Hi mohater,

Please keep posting these useful strategies. Its a great help.

Yesterday I encountered a quant problem(PR test) in which I was made to convert Feet to Yards to come to the final answer. This was a surprise because never earlier I have encountered such situation. Does it mean one needs to memorize such CONVERSIONS ?
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18 Aug 2009, 03:03
Saaquib wrote:
Hi mohater,

Please keep posting these useful strategies. Its a great help.

Yesterday I encountered a quant problem(PR test) in which I was made to convert Feet to Yards to come to the final answer. This was a surprise because never earlier I have encountered such situation. Does it mean one needs to memorize such CONVERSIONS ?

Hello Saaquib,

I have not encountered such a conversion on any practice questions or on the real test (on both attempts).

Were you provided the conversion on this problem?

I wouldn't worry too much about these conversions (unless you see questions like that on GMATprep). Focus on the most common conversions (see in the quant forum and listed in the quant strategy section here/the master thread).
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18 Aug 2009, 14:39
I found this strategy to be useful for plugging in numbers

suppose the questions asks u something like this

Q) x+ 70 = 100 then what is x ?

A) 10
B) 25
c) 30
d) 20
e) 15

I normally pick up the middle value i.e. 20 and plug in and see

20+70 = 90 so I need a number larger than 20 so I would eliminate the rest and plug in only 25 and 30

I am just giving the simplest of examples, but in more complicated cases this was quite useful for me.
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19 Aug 2009, 04:58
The picking #s strategy can work, but it does not usually bode well on higher ranked problems (600+).

Jeff Sackmann (Author of Gmathacks GMAT verbal/quant Bible) has a write up on the matter:
http://www.gmathacks.com/math-strategy/ ... mbers.html
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25 Aug 2009, 10:16
Mohater - great thread. Keep em coming!

I firmly believe that Number picking , espc in DS number properties & inequalities are black holes as far as time goes. They are very tempting at first and one knows, the answer is just around the corner if one plugs the "right" number/s.However, one soon finds out that even after "X" tries he/she is no where near the solution.

The test makers deliberately use this to devise problems that suck in lot of time and leave you moving in circles.

Just my 2 cents.
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25 Aug 2009, 21:15
Mohater - great thread. Keep em coming!

I firmly believe that Number picking , espc in DS number properties & inequalities are black holes as far as time goes. They are very tempting at first and one knows, the answer is just around the corner if one plugs the "right" number/s.However, one soon finds out that even after "X" tries he/she is no where near the solution.

The test makers deliberately use this to devise problems that suck in lot of time and leave you moving in circles.

Just my 2 cents.

Completely agree with snipertrader. Testtakers desperate attempts make them choose wrong answers even after spending 4 or more mins on the question. You got to use the correct numbers, especially in DS.
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12 Sep 2009, 14:39
bump for people taking the GMAT soon.
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06 Oct 2009, 08:27
Thanks a lot Sameer for sharing your experience and thoghts! it is helping m epersonally. +1 kudos for you! Congrats (re. score)!
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06 Oct 2009, 14:11
Great Strategies....will try them and see if they work for me
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27 Oct 2009, 21:02
your starategies are good ... i liked specially the one where you quoted not to get panic ..when only 15 mins left for 15 questions
Re: Post your strategies or provide feedback (plz)   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2009, 21:02

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