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Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard?

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Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2013, 13:11
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I have been studying for the GMAT and I have taken three CAT tests so far using the Kaplan Software. I have scored in the 700's on all three practice tests; however, I can't seem to do even remotely well on the IR section. If I'm lucky I'm able to complete about half of the questions in the allotted time and I'm still missing several questions that I'm completing (the time pressure is brutal). Is anyone else finding the IR section impossible to complete?

Seriously, other than my difficulty with the IR section, I'm at the point that I'm ready to take the GMAT but I'm afraid I'm going to embarrass myself in the application by getting a 3 out of 8 on the IR section. I have been doing a lot of practice but I'm not getting better.
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2013, 20:18
I feel your pain. On top of that, it is mentally exhausting. I find it difficult to have a solid performance in quant right after panicking to complete IR in time. I know IR doesn't effect your overall score, so would it be a bad idea to just half-ass IR?
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2013, 20:42
I don't know that it is a bad idea to half ass the effort on the IR section, but I can imagine many schools claiming they don't factor in the IR score, but then looking at an IR score of 3 or 4 right next to an overall score of 740 and determining they will pass on that student. In other words, I don't think a top b school would think too much about a 6 or 7, but they might be put off by a 3 or a 4, which, unfortunately, are the IR numbers I'm consistently getting on practice exams.

I'm actually using the GMAT Pill right now, but it is becoming doubtful that I will get to a point where I'm confident in my ability to do well on the IR section. I really need to complete the GMAT before the IR section becomes a real factor in the overall score...

You know the biggest issue I have with the IR section is that I believe it is truly a valuable tool for evaluating a prospective student's abilities. I deal with IR-type information all of the time in my current role, so I think it is heavily attached to the real world.
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2013, 08:16
Well, I just did the GMAT pill, which is great. The GMAT pill has over a hundred IR practice problems, which is helpful because I needed to do a bunch of consecutive problems of each of the question types to improve. I just took a mock test using GMAT pill by doing three of each question type and I definitely have improved (I've also been keeping track of all my times and answer accuracy).

If anyone else knows of a good source for a bunch of IR questions, please let me know.
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2013, 09:05
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For what its worth I found the practice IR questions to be much much harder than what was on the actual test. I never scored higher than a 5 on the practice (got some 3s), but got an 8 on the actual GMAT with little issue. I only studied IR for about a week.
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2013, 09:17
chromium73 wrote:
For what its worth I found the practice IR questions to be much much harder than what was on the actual test. I never scored higher than a 5 on the practice (got some 3s), but got an 8 on the actual GMAT with little issue. I only studied IR for about a week.


Thank you for sharing that. I have heard another person share that same story, that the actual test is less difficult than the practice tests. I'm at the point that I'm going to take the exam. I'm doing alright on the practice IR tests now and as long as I don't end up with a 3 or 4 on the actual test I should be fine.

Thanks again!
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2013, 09:19
MAcc2007 wrote:
chromium73 wrote:
For what its worth I found the practice IR questions to be much much harder than what was on the actual test. I never scored higher than a 5 on the practice (got some 3s), but got an 8 on the actual GMAT with little issue. I only studied IR for about a week.


Thank you for sharing that. I have heard another person share that same story, that the actual test is less difficult than the practice tests. I'm at the point that I'm going to take the exam. I'm doing alright on the practice IR tests now and as long as I don't end up with a 3 or 4 on the actual test I should be fine.

Thanks again!


Another strategy you can consider as a back-up. Since the IR section is not adaptive, if you are concerned about time you can just blindly guess on the first couple of questions and spend more time on the remaining ones.
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2013, 15:00
Alright, I just took the exam and the IR section on the exam was no where near as difficult as every practice problem I did in preparation for the exam. I'd venture to say that not one single IR question on the actual exam was more difficult than the easiest practice problem I saw before the exam. I actually used the extra time I had at the end of the section to relax before the math, which turned out to be the hardest section for me.

I still strongly recommend GMAT Pill for the IR practice. It helped to have some confidence going into the test.
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Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard? [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2013, 06:21
chromium73 wrote:
For what its worth I found the practice IR questions to be much much harder than what was on the actual test. I never scored higher than a 5 on the practice (got some 3s), but got an 8 on the actual GMAT with little issue. I only studied IR for about a week.


Yeah I had a similar experience. With a ton of work I was pushing the very top end of the scale but my IR was consistently mediocre in practice (I was being told my performance was like a 4 when I was getting like 750+ on the rest of the test). Then on the real thing I stumbled into an 8 (absolutely no clue how that happened). My guess is what's going on is this: prep companies are as clueless as everyone else, so to protect themselves, they're grading IR too low. That way, when you get the real thing and get a higher score than you were expecting, you're happy. If they screw up the other way (tell you you're doing great) and you get an unexpectedly low score, then everyone's pissed.
Re: Does anyone else think the IR section seems way too hard?   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2013, 06:21
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