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# Advice needed on approach to quant study for retest

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Intern
Joined: 13 Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

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03 Jul 2013, 11:14
Friends,

I have just sat the GMAT and have scored very high on verbal, but abysmally low on quant - 36% percentile. While my score was slightly lower than what I had obtained in the GMATPrep official practice tests, I am still dismayed that I cannot get my score higher. What bugs me more is that many areas I focused on did not even get tested (see below). I have been preparing consistently for about four months, and, recognizing that I am a lot stronger on verbal, focused solely on math, and intensively so, for the last two weeks.

The resources I have used are:

• Official guide, 13th and 12th editions
• A well known and established test prep provider's most recent guide
• The online material provided by a well-known online prep provider
• Random questions posted in forums such as this one

While working my way through the OG guide (all questions), I found I was getting about 80% of them, including those near the end, correct.

Here's what I got tested on today:

• Remainders
• Triangles
• Functions
• Exponents
• Rates
• Work
• Inequalities
• Absolute values
• Coordinate Geometry
• Factors, LCM etc

Here are some areas that were not tested:

• Roots
• Probability
• Simultaneous Equations
• Sets
• Counting
• Shapes
• Sequences
• Ratios
• Interest calculations

As you can see, some relatively easy topics (ratios, shapes, simultaneous equations) did not get tested at all. I am particularly frustrated at the choice of areas tested. During the practice tests, I struggled with sets, counting, and probability. So I dived deep into these areas in the last few week, got very good at them, and then nothing gets asked.

In order to best prepare for a retest, I welcome informed feedback on the following questions:

• What conclusions, if any, should I draw from the algorithm's choice of questions today?
• While working my way through the quant section, I did not "feel" like I was getting many questions wrong. I guessed rarely. My timing could have been a little less erratic - if a test-taker answers all questions, but takes an inordinate amount of time with some, does the algorithm take this into this and punish accordingly? And if so, how heavily does it punish? GMAC does not indicate that it does; some test prep consultants suggest that it does indeed punish. What is the truth of the matter?
• This math material came easy, ridiculously easy, to me in high school. And I have a bachelor's in engineering which included a BA in mathematics. Although that was a long time ago, I am shocked at my struggle in this area. I appreciate that the GMAT ask things in tricky ways, combines areas together in one question etc., but I would have expected that, having re-familiarized myself with this subject over the last few months, it would come easy. Has anyone else faced the same hurdle, and how best to get over it?
• Given all the above, what is a sensible way of approaching my study over the next four/five weeks before I re-sit?

Please, right now I am only interested in feedback on the GMAT in and of itself, not on scoring ranges and how they relate to admissions.

Many thanks
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 6910
Location: Pune, India
Followers: 1989

Kudos [?]: 12360 [1] , given: 221

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03 Jul 2013, 21:13
1
KUDOS
Expert's post
kmoon wrote:
Friends,

I have just sat the GMAT and have scored very high on verbal, but abysmally low on quant - 36% percentile. While my score was slightly lower than what I had obtained in the GMATPrep official practice tests, I am still dismayed that I cannot get my score higher. What bugs me more is that many areas I focused on did not even get tested (see below). I have been preparing consistently for about four months, and, recognizing that I am a lot stronger on verbal, focused solely on math, and intensively so, for the last two weeks.

The resources I have used are:

• Official guide, 13th and 12th editions
• A well known and established test prep provider's most recent guide
• The online material provided by a well-known online prep provider
• Random questions posted in forums such as this one

While working my way through the OG guide (all questions), I found I was getting about 80% of them, including those near the end, correct.

Here's what I got tested on today:

• Remainders
• Triangles
• Functions
• Exponents
• Rates
• Work
• Inequalities
• Absolute values
• Coordinate Geometry
• Factors, LCM etc

Here are some areas that were not tested:

• Roots
• Probability
• Simultaneous Equations
• Sets
• Counting
• Shapes
• Sequences
• Ratios
• Interest calculations

As you can see, some relatively easy topics (ratios, shapes, simultaneous equations) did not get tested at all. I am particularly frustrated at the choice of areas tested. During the practice tests, I struggled with sets, counting, and probability. So I dived deep into these areas in the last few week, got very good at them, and then nothing gets asked.

In order to best prepare for a retest, I welcome informed feedback on the following questions:

• What conclusions, if any, should I draw from the algorithm's choice of questions today?
• While working my way through the quant section, I did not "feel" like I was getting many questions wrong. I guessed rarely. My timing could have been a little less erratic - if a test-taker answers all questions, but takes an inordinate amount of time with some, does the algorithm take this into this and punish accordingly? And if so, how heavily does it punish? GMAC does not indicate that it does; some test prep consultants suggest that it does indeed punish. What is the truth of the matter?
• This math material came easy, ridiculously easy, to me in high school. And I have a bachelor's in engineering which included a BA in mathematics. Although that was a long time ago, I am shocked at my struggle in this area. I appreciate that the GMAT ask things in tricky ways, combines areas together in one question etc., but I would have expected that, having re-familiarized myself with this subject over the last few months, it would come easy. Has anyone else faced the same hurdle, and how best to get over it?
• Given all the above, what is a sensible way of approaching my study over the next four/five weeks before I re-sit?

Please, right now I am only interested in feedback on the GMAT in and of itself, not on scoring ranges and how they relate to admissions.

Many thanks

First thing I would like to note is that you may have got questions from the second list too. We tend to forget the easy questions on which we do not struggle. The lists would be reliable only if you have an eidetic memory. If so, congratulations!

Secondly, there are topics in the second list which almost never get tested on a stand alone basis except for very low score ranges. For example, ratios, simultaneous equations etc help you solve questions of other topics e.g. ratios help you solve work/rate questions. Simultaneous equations could be used in questions of almost any topic.

Thirdly, there are always going to be topics not tested. The software tries to give you questions from various different topics but it has some flexibility. It is more inclined to give you the correct level of question. Also, since you did not get tested on some topics this time, it doesn't mean you won't get tested on them next time.

Permutation, Combination and Probability do not account for a big part of the test. People usually get 1-2 questions from these topics - perhaps more if they are doing really well.

[*]What conclusions, if any, should I draw from the algorithm's choice of questions today?

If you are talking about the areas tested, you can draw no conclusion. You don't know which areas will get tested next time. You are a new test taker each time as far as the algorithm goes. Every topic has easy and difficult questions.

[*]While working my way through the quant section, I did not "feel" like I was getting many questions wrong. I guessed rarely. My timing could have been a little less erratic - if a test-taker answers all questions, but takes an inordinate amount of time with some, does the algorithm take this into this and punish accordingly? And if so, how heavily does it punish? GMAC does not indicate that it does; some test prep consultants suggest that it does indeed punish. What is the truth of the matter?

We will never know but I doubt that. As long as you are finishing your test on time, you should be good. It is possible that the software takes into account the amount of time you take a solve a particular question but I doubt it punishes you on your score. Say, it gave you a level 650 question and you took 6 mins to solve it but you answered it correctly - it may give you another level 650 question to ensure it was not a fluke before giving a 700 level question. Instead, had you taken only 1 min to solve it, it may have given you a level 700 question straight away. But at the end, it all evens out. If you take too much time on 2-3 questions, you will take much less time on some other questions to complete on time. There are enough questions for it to not get affected by 2-3 questions in which you took inordinate amount of time.

[*] This math material came easy, ridiculously easy, to me in high school. And I have a bachelor's in engineering which included a BA in mathematics. Although that was a long time ago, I am shocked at my struggle in this area. I appreciate that the GMAT ask things in tricky ways, combines areas together in one question etc., but I would have expected that, having re-familiarized myself with this subject over the last few months, it would come easy. Has anyone else faced the same hurdle, and how best to get over it?

There is a big difference. Conceptually, the material is the same but it is tested very differently. GMAT questions are tricky and not process oriented the way high school questions are. You need to use your ingenuity in them. But yes, I would expect that if you have sound fundamentals, once you re-familiarize yourself with concepts and familiarize yourself with GMAT question pattern, you should be able to do well. My only advice would be to take the Veritas free test (on our website) and send me your username. Then perhaps I can pin point why things aren't working out for you.
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Re: Advice needed on approach to quant study for retest   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2013, 21:13
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# Advice needed on approach to quant study for retest

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