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I’m really happy not only because I got 750, but also because it is very important not to give up and work hard.
I’m pretty well in mathematics, because I finished physical mathematical school, have Master of Science, Master of Finance, and PhD in Nanotechnology (Physics). So I needed to brush up on permutation, probability and remainder problems, and, of course, silly mistakes. Namely, a few silly mistakes prevent me from 51 in Quant. I can solve almost all problems (all problems on two exams) but silly mistakes test rather accuracy than mathematics. And guys, do not seek problems that very resemble GMAT ones, seek problems that can teach you. I strongly recommend GMATclub sets (http://www.gmatclub.com/wiki/tests), although they sometimes go a little bit far away real GMAT, but they teach you correct math reasoning. My advice
1. Importance of first 10-20 questions. Be especially accurate with first 10-20 questions, because they are more important.
3. Understand concepts, reasoning, and where GMAT would like to trick you.
3. Work primarily on the weakest area of math. Use disassemble-assemble technique for your skills.
2. Restriction traps. Read a question slowly and a few times, reread again just before picking an answer. Seek restrictive words: integer, non-zero, negative, positive, consecutive, even, odd, different, distinctive, positive consecutive even....
3. DS-patterns. Learn typical data sufficiency traps, such as C-trap, that is typical for percentage and set problems.
4. Focus on hard questions. Do not solve all questions from your e-list. Choose the most difficult and common. Spend even a few hours to solve each ones and to find a few ways: how to solve, to guess, to solve back, to pick numbers
5. Guess. Go fast trough a problem set (or forum quant threads), spend no more than 30 sec to guess. This method is good especially for DS problems
6. GMAT club challenges (http://www.gmatclub.com/wiki/tests)are one of the most useful sets, because they teach you concepts. I do not like a typical question at this forum: "Does a score in X test accurately reflect my real score?". I always ask myself another question: "Does X test teach me new concepts and improve my skills?" In my opinion, GMAT club challenges are not accurately reflect, they teach.
7. You may find useful a graphic approach to inequality problems. [see example]
I started from very low level. As I said in some threads, I even did not understand CNN, beside a few words, such as Bush, NYC, and so on. I recall my fist paper verbal test when I spent 140 minutes instead of 75 minutes and solved correctly only 17 problems, using a dictionary. I also recall my diagnostic OG test after 2-months GMAT courses, when I got 25% right answers in SC section. I even recall my hard 2-month everyday work, when I improved my SC accuracy only from 45%-50% to 50%-55%. So, my advice:
1. I used iPod nano and everyday listened podcasts: Voice of America, Wall Street Journal this morning, Bloomberg and so on. It improved my mainly listening skills.
2. SC: Understanding concepts. Not only why an answer is correct, but also why other options are wrong. And it is also important to do SC under 1 minute.
3. CR. The more you understand reasoning of the argument, the easier you will find correct answer. I recommend use of “active” reading: try to find assumptions before you read the question.
4. RC. I tried two methods: Rhyme’s (skipping) and Gin’s (very careful reading). Both methods are good but Gin’s was exactly what I needed. I read slowly, but usually answered without return to text. I used “active” reading, restated each paragraph in own exaggerated words and always tried to answer tone and prime purpose questions before reading real questions. [see example]
5. Time. Time is very important issue. Only practice will give you confidence. I don’t spend on one question more than 3 minutes. If I cannot solve it in 3 minutes, what is probability to solve it in 6 minutes? Very small. Moreover, I use simple tool to control my pace. For example, I’m solving 23th question and see 30:00 minutes left. 23*2+30=76 – I need slightly increase my pace.
6. Concentration. It is very important to be concentrated only on current question, especially in Verbal. I imagined as each question is a monster in a game, a monster that can give or take my score and I need to kill the monster. After a few questions I was all in the game
7. Exam day. Do not drink a lot of water! That can damage your score
I was pretty nervous, but I forced myself to sleep and have a good breakfast. No water! When I started my exam I was still nervous and thought about anything but the exam. I applied point 6 about concentration and all went well.
Math was usual and easy. I recall only one guess on one 30-sec simple problem. I think it was a payment for nerves and killed my 51. I saw many powers and sequence problems, a few DS C-traps but very typical ones. In other words, it was a typical GMATPrep.
Verbal. I started Verbal as my last fight. Point 6 helped me to think only about current monster (question) and I even felt huge desire to kill the monster and take an addition for my score. I exaggerated RC and CR, restated all ideas in own exaggerated and informal words. These helped me not to return RC/CR because I remembered almost all (my post about memory: 11-t62631). Can I get higher Verbal score? I do not think so. Without live usage of language it would be almost impossible.
Time. Point 5 helped me to do with time what I want. Eventually, I had ~6-7 minutes left for each section. Do not ignore importance of time.
And finally, be positive and do not give up!
I would like to thank:
bkk45, fresinha12, uphillclimb, plicy, terp26, GMATBLACKBELT, mikeyakay2j – for your help and for this: 8-t62257 buffdaddy, GMAT TIGER, bsd_lover, sondenso, Nihit, Vavali, chineseburned, prasannar, jallenmorris, kazakhb, Snayt, giantSwan, kevincan, kidderek, kryzak, neelesh, gmatnub, lexis, barfer, tarek99, eschn3am, billyjeans, pmenon, rhyme, chica, marcodonzelli, bmwhype2, saravalli, email@example.com, vdhawan1, dushver, wizardofwashington, apurva1985, ritual, x-ALI-x, jimmyjamesdonkey, goalsnr, kyatin, JCLEONES, abhijit_sen, WinIT, neelabhmahesh, YihWei, paneer, navy01, saravalli, TheBigCheese, RyanDe680, rpmodi, incognito1, suyashjhawar, yellowjacket, farend, tamg08, RVD, 89nk, automan, lsuguy7, bepositive, ventivish, gixxer1000, altaurus1, getafixdruid, jb32, suyashjhawar, AlbertNTN, Tarmac, rahulgoyal1986, irishspring, sachinn, vishy007, HongHu, ashkrs, nervousgmat, yezz, Ravshonbek, ian7777 and many many many others!!! bozo190101 – I saw you in the forum as a hidden nickname . Do not give up! Try again! maratikus – for the almost same way of thinking in quant. I remember the problem with 6 matches and 4 equilateral triangles wawatan – for you brave attempts to teach me English speaking tino – for introducing math symbols and your help Praetorian, dzyubam, tino – for very usable site.
Thanks all again!!! Good Luck! See you in application forum! And feel free to ask me any quant question in any time!
P.S. By the way, my 1-year son started to walk a few weeks ago Be positive!
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...