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From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please

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From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2013, 09:32
Hello,

I'm very disheartened and I obviously need help in my study plan. Last August, I scored 510 (Q 25, V35) in the first test of the older version of GMATPrep (is it 2.1?).

I completed all the MGMAT guides (4th ed) along with the OG12 and the QR and VR guides (2nd ed). I did all the exercises from the official books at the end of each book. I checked the answer explanations, of both the questions I got right and the questions I got wrong, and redid all the exercises I had got wrong until I got them right (even if that meant doing them 3 times).

I didn't take any CATs during my studies as I'm not comfortable taking full tests if I have not finished studying the material. I decided to save the MGMAT CATs for the end for that reason. I realise now that this may have been a mistake, I'm not sure. When I took a second CAT (1st test of the current version of GMATPrep), I scored 510 yet again (Q 32, V 28).

There some topics I definitely don't feel comfortable with, like combinatorics and probability (I struggled with them at uni as well), but overall, I felt like I did learn a lot, but that for some reason my second CAT score didn't show any improvement. I think that the main problem may be that I've never sat an exam in front of a computer and I don't seem to perform well in front of it. The fact that I get very nervous doesn't help either.

I was planning to take the exam next month, but I may as well forget about that now. I need a new approach. I read on his forum that the material I've been studying from is more than enough to cover all the topics and strategies, plus, I was also planning to do all the new exercises from the OG13.

My target score is 700. I don't want a 750 or anything like that - I'm not that greedy. I'll be happy with a balanced 700.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2013, 18:42
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Two questions:

1. How are you actually doing on the questions you've been focusing on? Has your accuracy improved over time?
2. It sounds like you may already be well aware of some of the bigger issues here -- I'm going to suggest you start with this article and figure out a plan to get more comfortable about taking the actual exam. http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... anagement/

Hope this helps.

Brian

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Re: From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2013, 19:54
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I can clearly make out from your few sentences that you fear to take practice exams and I guess even solving problems. Relax. That is normal for some people. Here are some things which I think you should do:

1. Read through this forum more about how people practiced/check out various gmat study plans - Now rather than the time schedule what may be more important to you is how to study. Clearly you are putting efforts but may be you aren't studying the right way.

2. Take practice tests at least once in 3 weeks. That helps you keep you on toes. Spend a good time analyzing the test answers. I spent around 10 hours only to analyze how I did on Quant section and may be another 7 hours for Verbal.

3. Solve practice problems being strict with time limits. Give yourself 2 mins for quant and 1.5 mins for verbal. Strictly. There is no use getting a question right after spending 3 mins on it.

4. You've written the amount of studying you have done in terms of the books you've covered and practice problems you've solved and that you've solved them again and again till you get it right. That's okay but I don't think that's the right way. Instead of saying I will complete MGMAT's Geometry book with all it's questions in this week, say "I will dominate Geometry in this week." So you may need to refer to MGMAT's geometry book for that, some youtube videos for that or may be some other geometry quick notes for that..or may involve solving some geometry problems on this or other forums on that..or whatever! Focus should be on dominating Geometry and not on finishing books.

5. Analyze how are you studying. Introspect. Continuously improve the way you are studying.

6. Unless you get beaten up a few times you won't understand the tricks to win the battle. Do not fear.

Hope this helps :)

Cheers!
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Re: From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2013, 15:51
brianlange77 wrote:
1. How are you actually doing on the questions you've been focusing on? Has your accuracy improved over time?

The first time I answer the questions I get about 65% correct in Quant and about 75% in Verbal. I don't think my accuracy has improved much.

Quote:
2. It sounds like you may already be well aware of some of the bigger issues here -- I'm going to suggest you start with this article and figure out a plan to get more comfortable about taking the actual exam. http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... anagement/

Thank you. I'm going to keep that article in mind. I need to anticipate problems and solutions in advance so I don't freeze every time I get a problem worded in an unfamilar way.
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Re: From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2013, 15:57
GmatHulk wrote:
I can clearly make out from your few sentences that you fear to take practice exams and I guess even solving problems. Relax. That is normal for some people.

I arrived to the same conclusion. I'm starting to think this is because even though I know most of the concepts, I'm taken aback by the way GMAT questions are worded.

Quote:
Here are some things which I think you should do:

1. Read through this forum more about how people practiced/check out various gmat study plans - Now rather than the time schedule what may be more important to you is how to study. Clearly you are putting efforts but may be you aren't studying the right way.

2. Take practice tests at least once in 3 weeks. That helps you keep you on toes. Spend a good time analyzing the test answers. I spent around 10 hours only to analyze how I did on Quant section and may be another 7 hours for Verbal.

3. Solve practice problems being strict with time limits. Give yourself 2 mins for quant and 1.5 mins for verbal. Strictly. There is no use getting a question right after spending 3 mins on it.

4. You've written the amount of studying you have done in terms of the books you've covered and practice problems you've solved and that you've solved them again and again till you get it right. That's okay but I don't think that's the right way. Instead of saying I will complete MGMAT's Geometry book with all it's questions in this week, say "I will dominate Geometry in this week." So you may need to refer to MGMAT's geometry book for that, some youtube videos for that or may be some other geometry quick notes for that..or may involve solving some geometry problems on this or other forums on that..or whatever! Focus should be on dominating Geometry and not on finishing books.

5. Analyze how are you studying. Introspect. Continuously improve the way you are studying.

You make very good points, especially 4. I need to focus on dominating topics, and, also, the way the GMAT words specific questions along with variations of the same question. I've struggled with the fact that the test seems to ask basic questions in obscure ways.

I've already been timing myself and I'm pretty good at telling when I'm taking too much time and need to move on. But I obviously need to take practice tests more often.

Quote:
6. Unless you get beaten up a few times you won't understand the tricks to win the battle. Do not fear.

Hope this helps :)

Cheers!
Gmat Hulk

That's true. Your post gave me a lot to think about. Thank you!
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Re: From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2013, 13:20
Expert's post
Just wanted to check in here and see how things were going.... as your study plan progressed?

I was thinking that these other two articles may be of assistance as well.

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... you-crazy/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... -the-gmat/

Let me know how things are going.

Best.

-Brian

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Re: From 510 to... 510 after 3 months - Help please   [#permalink] 30 Nov 2013, 13:20
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