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720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test

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720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 14:34
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I got done my with my Gmat test yesterday. I started preparing end of last year, but then had to take break at the beginning of this year. The change of pattern really forced my hand in a good way. I had to buckle down, take the appointment and get done with the test.

This forum has been vital in preparation, guiding me in using the right resources and helping me build confidence. I wanted to share my experience.

Resources
Quant
Mgmat Guides
Gmat Club tests

Verbal
E-gmat verbal live
Mgmat SC
Powerscore CR


Practice
Official Guide 12th ed, verbal 2nd ed.
Gmat Prep Pack 1
Gmat Prep and Mgmat Cat tests

My comments on some of these resources
1. Mgmat Quant guides are very good in brushing up the fundamentals. They cover all the basics needed for someone who has been away for a while from academic math. Practicing OG problems for corresponding chapters drills down the concepts.
2. Gmat club tests are one of the best resources available for quant. Due to time constraints, I could only do 6 of them. They really helped. I wish I was able find time to do all of them. I could have definitely pushed my quant score by a point. sigh.
3. E-gmat is the best resource for SC in combination with mgmat sc. I recommend this for all non-natives who are looking to improve accuracy and timing. The foundational knowledge in preparing for SC helps in all areas of verbal.
4. Mgmat SC is well-known and highly regarded for SC, and it deserves all the high praise. Covers all the topics and nuances of gmat sentence correction. Going through Mgmat SC, a book which is too dense, after E-gmat will be a breeze and it will re-enforce all the concepts.
5. Gmat Prep Pack 1 is another great resource. Just as Official guides are a great practice material(and a MUST buy in the preparation), the gmat prep pack1 gives you more of the official questions (around 400 more). The added benefits are - you get to practice them on a computer, you get to pick practice questions based on difficulty. It has detailed answers, although some of the exlplanations are not as good as those I found in OG. While most of the hard questions are absolutely great, couple of them will make you scratch your head (like this one).
6. Practice tests A word about Mgmat practice tests - Although they are great and next best after Gmat prep, I stopped after giving first 3. I felt that I was getting used to their testing style and I noticed the difference after giving a gmat prep test. Mgmat tests do help in time management and stamina. In the end I was using Gmat prep tests and Gmat prep pack 1 extensively. They are the ones that prepare you for the real one.


Verbal preparation
Majority of my preparation went towards verbal. I planned to tackle one section at a time and gauge the progress. (This is something I got from e-gmat's strategy session.)
- I started with SC and focused on understanding the concepts, formulating and sticking to a process.
- I took a practice test and saw immediate improvement in accuracy of SC. I repeated this for CR.
- Analyzing these practice tests, I noticed that RC accuracy suffered quite a bit. After more deep analysis, I realized that it is not because of the lack of RC skills but because of the extra time I am now spending on all SC questions.
- This made me to focus on SC even more in order to gain speed on it. I quickly realized that my overall performance in verbal hinged upon speed (1 min avg.) and accuracy of SC.
- For RC and CR, the only way I can solve at the high level is by comprehending the text. As these can be detail oriented, I need to understand and reason out the answer. The additional time gained from SC is crucial for these.


Mental aspect
I wanted to add some of my thoughts to the great advice that this forum already provides. I felt that the mental aspect of this test is the most important part to prepare. This test is all about how one manages his/her attitude and emotions.

Attitude: This is important not just during the actual test but also during the preparation. A mere shift of attitude towards learning from a practice question will go a long way. With this attitude, you will be more excited when you miss a problem than be disappointed. During the final days/week of preparation, you will be looking for those problems that you get wrong, because they are the ones from which you will learn. Moreover,Try to enjoy the journey.

Emotions: Scores from practice cats shouldn't dampen your preparation or make you overconfident or cloud your mind in any way. Imagine if the practice cats didn't give you any figure/score at the end. You will not worry about anything other than looking at the timing for each section, performance in the strong and weak areas. I noticed this difference when I was using gmat prep pack1 which has no scores attached with it.

Monotask: During the test, the attitude to focus on one and only one thing helps quite a bit. Ignoring all other thoughts (score, performance on previous questions, level of the questions, etc), you should focus on only the question in front of you. In fact I noticed that even during my preparation, if did less, i was able to gain more. (link)

Contingency plans: Practice even the mental side of the test i.e. relaxing techniques when your anxiety level is going up, learning to let go of problems and guessing if you need to get back on the timing plan.

In the end, I told myself - If I do this one single thing(being in control of my mind and staying calm), I will be able to reach my potential score that reflects my preparation.

Last edited by icaniwill on 24 May 2012, 10:05, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 17:26
Hi ican,

How was teh real gmat quant compared to GMat prep 2 software.I found some questions in gmat Prep2 tricky compared to gmat prep1.i was able to get almost 29-30 right in gmat prep1 but int he first test i gave on gmat prep 2 i got only 25 right
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 [#permalink] New post 23 May 2012, 17:36
mrinal2100 wrote:
Hi ican,

How was teh real gmat quant compared to GMat prep 2 software.I found some questions in gmat Prep2 tricky compared to gmat prep1.i was able to get almost 29-30 right in gmat prep1 but int he first test i gave on gmat prep 2 i got only 25 right


The real gmat compares very much as Gmat Prep 2. At the high level, questions will be tricky. It is less about calculations/steps and more about concepts and traps. Keep practicing gmat prep multiple times as the question pool for Quant is large compared to verbal. Notice how the tough questions are made tricky and how you need to watch out for traps. Make a list of them and review few times.The real gmat will be very much the same. That is why I didn't think quant in Mgmat is representative of the real quant. But gmat prep and gmat club quant questions are what you will see in the real gmat.
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 [#permalink] New post 24 May 2012, 05:17
Hi Ican,

How to cut down on verbal errors.The gprep is too harsh on the verbal scoring part.if i get 11 or 13 incorrect by score varies from 30 to 35.I think for scoring in the 700 range i need to get at least 37-38 in verbal.Is it right time to buy gmat prep1 question bank since my exam is scheduled next friday.
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 [#permalink] New post 24 May 2012, 06:03
mrinal2100 wrote:
Hi Ican,

How to cut down on verbal errors.The gprep is too harsh on the verbal scoring part.if i get 11 or 13 incorrect by score varies from 30 to 35.I think for scoring in the 700 range i need to get at least 37-38 in verbal.


The scoring part that you see in Gmat prep is exactly how real Gmat works. I was in the same situation a month before the test. You are close and some more effort will push you to your target. At this point you have to analyze the results from the test and see how you can cut down those errors and get a few more correct answers. Identify the weak areas and also think about the time management.

Some times the errors may not be because of lack of concepts but because of not balancing the time on all questions. Many times for the questions that we are not sure about, we spend time deliberating between the answer choices -- going back and forth again and again. You will need to cut down on these. After the prescribed time limit for each question types, any more deliberation between the final two answer choices is as good as picking one of them and moving on.

If the errors are due to a weakness in a specific area of the concepts(e.g. modifiers, inference questions), go through those concepts again and practice some more questions in those areas. Repeat this process. The data from a gmat prep practice test should last you week to address all aspects.

hope that helps.
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test [#permalink] New post 24 May 2012, 13:00
Congrats ! 720 is a great score
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test [#permalink] New post 24 May 2012, 13:05
The mental aspect of the test is sooooo big! All the things you hit on were perfect. If you can control ALL the aspects that you have control over then you are already ahead of the game.

Congrats on the high score!

PS. I hit on a lot of these "mental" aspects in my post here: 10-tips-to-improve-your-score-app-with-no-extra-studying-124393-20.html along with many other ways to control the things you have control over!
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test [#permalink] New post 28 May 2012, 04:59
Thanks Zynga and Gmatla. Gmatla - your posts on various topics are quite helpful.
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Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2013, 13:40
Hey Congrats on the big score :)
How long did you take for preparing or what was ur timeframe and daily study plan for the prep..
Re: 720 Q:49 V:39 - The mental aspect of the test   [#permalink] 19 Aug 2013, 13:40
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