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Concentration Issue... [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 13:33
So I have read some posts related to this topic but was curious about how to resolve this issue. Last week I took my first full length Kaplan test. I didn't as well as I wished (600 and I forgot the breakdown but pretty even for quant and verbal) but I noticed when I looked at the questions answered I spent over 5 minutes on one question and 3-4 mins on others. This problem was more prevalent in the quantitative section. I seem to get so involved in solving a prob. that I loose track of time, and despite months of practice I don't feel that I'm getting better. On Feb 19th I'm taking the GMAT and I need to rid myself of this prob, does anyone on this forum have any hints or insights? The thing is that most strategies tell you to spend time on the first few questions, because they matter most towards your score, but the problem is that when you invest that time you loose it to solve the harder ones which come later on. How do you resolve this problem, because I am struggling with it.

I'd appreciate any advice any of you can give me.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 13:57
Practise "letting go" of a problem you cant solve in under 4 minutes.

One thing we have to always understand that we cannot get all the problems right all the time. Sure, the first few questions are important, but so is the rest of the test.

The absolute best way to deal with it is to practise letting go of a wierd problem. Read , Re read and try to get as much info from the problem as possible. once you reach the 3 minute mark on a problem, you have a split second decision to take: 1. take a minute more if you think you are very close OR 2. eliminate as many choices, make a good guess and move on.

It wont come easily. thats exactly why i want you to try this out in your practise tests. Try it several times and see how you do.

Let me tell you , most of us prepare very hard for the GMAT. Most of the times , guys dont do well because

1. they panic because they dont THINK they are doing well
2. they get easy problems wrong and this ensures that guys dont ever see the hard problems, which in turn means there are fewer opportunities to score high

For the first one , i say, never ever ever try to judge your performance. Your only point of interest is the text on the screen. nothing more, nothing less. again, this can only come by practise tests.

For the second one, study your errors over and over again. your objective should be not to make the same mistake twice.

Concentration is linked to your preparation, which is linked to how well you know the concepts and how well you can apply those few concepts to an unlimited number of problems.

If after taking a few practise tests, you find yourself "letting go" of far too many problems, you need to work harder on those concepts.

Read this before and after every test

1. Read the problem very carefully. Concentrate harder
on the easy problems.
2. Dont make the mistake of spending TOO MUCH time
on the first 15. Dont panic even if you see the most wierdest
problem ever. if you cant solve a problem, get as close
as possible to the answer and pick the best answer choice.
3. Do not judge your performance. Stay neutral as much
as possible. One question at a time.

After the test , read the above again. See if you followed this. Keep doing over and over again. Once you get comfortable with this, it will become a habit. Of course, make sure you implement these things on test day. :)

Hope this helps
Praetorian

Last edited by Praetorian on 04 Jan 2005, 14:08, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 14:03
Hi greenandwise, yes, it is normal to get bogged down by a problem. It's human nature to stubbornly try to solve a problem which we might still end up getting wrong anyways. Only the practice will help you with this. Practice makes perfect and will expose you to many problem types so you don't panic when exposed to oddball questions. Since you claim having more difficulty with the math aspect, why don't you join the next gmatclub challenges? I did 12 of those and let me tell you, they will really keep your adrenaline up and after doing many, you will see that it pays off to sometimes skip some questions. I skipped about 2 quant questions on my GMAT and got 49Q. Of course, this does not mean that you should go to the exam with shaky concepts and skip all the ones you can't answer either... practice, practice and practice; there is no other substitute.
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Last edited by Paul on 05 Jan 2005, 07:41, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 14:37
First off, thank you Praetorian and Paul for such a detailed and quick response to my dilemma.

Praetorian I will read through your checklist before taking my next exam and I'll tell you how I do.

Paul I will definately look into the math club challenge although if you could give me info. as to how to join I'd appreciate it.

I think the issue that I have is not with quant. Funny thing is I was a chemistry major in college and am comfortable with most of the math I see on the GMAT (except comb/perm I need major practice doing those probs), I think the problem maybe that, because I know that there is a way to solve something, and I have the basic tools to solve them, I stay on the problems longer without trying to answer the question more efficiently. This does not apply to verbal because sometimes I'm clueless and then I use POE and other strategies and find the answer (or mistakes) more quickly. I need to become good enough at quant that I see the quick answers and I'm not that good yet. Hopefully following your guys' advice will get me there.

Thanks.
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I take also the advice [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 14:55
Paul and Praetorian are totally right... and once again thanks for your real support.
The more i read this forum the more i want to learn and the more I want to have an high GMAt score

I will join the challenge forum after some math review because I had the impression that it's quite tough, isn't it. Even if it's really challenging. and as I am stubborn and not shy I will try to answer the challenge, make some mistakes and maybe at the end i will have an right answer :yes

jas :flower
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 15:57
The GMAT challenge is here: http://www.gmatclub.com/challenge/
Just click on "challenge" and you will register for the next challenge. However, there are no upcoming ones for now because of some server problems but usually, it's given once every 2 weeks. I believe the tentative date for the next challenge is Jan 13, 05, correct me Praet if I'm wrong. If you have more than 200 posts, you will be able to access all the archived challenges but you can also buy those challenges. Just check out the "GMAT club Challenge" forum for more details.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2005, 21:47
Thanks Paul.
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  [#permalink] 04 Jan 2005, 21:47
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