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From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant]

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From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2010, 11:19
In my GMAT attempt, I scored a 630 [V: 36, Q: 39]. This was after approximately 3 weeks of prep in which I did the Princeton Review manual and OG 12.

I then took 2 months off work and prepared thoroughly. I was able to complete OG12 and the MGMAT guides (all the ones related to Quant). In terms of Verbal, I just did the Sentence Correction guide. Highly recommended. Also did the Kalplan 800 (but was disappointed). I did each of the GMAT prep tests twice. 2 days before the final GMAT, I scored a 680 on the prep test.

D-Day: I actually saw a huge difference in the GMAT between my first attempt (sometime August) and second attempt (some time November). While the Quant section remains the same, the Verbal has become much, much tougher. RC and CR have been notched up big time.

My Quant section went really well in the start. I got some questions which I was unable to solve. Here lies the problem. Beyond a certain level, got questions incorrect and were questions I have not come across earlier. So need advice on a book apart from the above which covers the tough questions.

I thought my Verbal section was a nightmare due to the notched up CR and RC but I actually did well here.

My end scores were Q: 42, V: 39.

I know what to do to work on the Verbal score but I am finding it very difficult to increase the quant score. The other posts on the forums in which people have gone up from 600 to 700 had weak verbal but for me quant is the issue. I am from a non-engineering background and as such quant has always been a weakness.

So any help to further increase quant is appreciated
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2010, 18:27
There are a couple of things you can do.

1. Delve deeper into the content. Your books may have taken you through the basics but above a certain level the questions are not basic, there is some kind of trap or blockage placed in the question. The Veritas probability and combinatorics book, for example, does a good job at showing you the ways in which the testmakers can screw around with the basics of combinatorics with various different tricks, and shows how you can overcome them.

2. Recognize the limits of (1). There is no book that anybody could possibly write that would cover all the difficult questions, because the testmakers can come up with an unlimited range of variations and traps. To this end, you would need to recognize what the GMAT quant section actually is. You need to know some Math, sure, and to some extent it might be considered a Math test, but to a large extent too it is not a Math test but rather a logical reasoning test that uses the fundamentals of basic high school Math as its medium. I have seen Math majors getting 40 on the quant section, and people like me with zero quantitative background whatsoever getting a 50. Hence you would probably do well to spend time on skillbuilding - how to recognize subtle patterns in numbers, how to interpret questions that are written to look more complicated than they are, how to generate different scenarios to spot the ambiguity in a set of information. You'd be hard-pressed to find a book that does this because most of the major providers break things down by content area rather than by skill type.

But PM me if you want some more ideas.
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2010, 11:16
Would you recommend purchasing the Veritas Prep Course Materials - Full Set?

I have the 8 Set MGMAT set but is Veritas a better option for moving from 670 to 700+?
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2010, 13:32
Just browsing back at these forums and saw your post. My scores were similar, 640 (Q44/low verbal) after self study, 670 (Q42/V40) after Princeton, and 740 (Q49/V41) after Manhattan GMAT and a 2 year hiatus from thinking about GMAT and MBA.

What I found was that I could study traditionally for the verbal & improve my score substantially by familiarizing myself with more grammar rules, idioms, and critical reasoning question types & answers. However, I had a difficult time breaking out of the low 40's on Quant. I couldn't master all the math subjects completely, and even the math I knew killed me when presented in a hard question format. I was having difficulty even completing the math section.

However, I learned that the GMAT math rewards you more than it punishes you. You will score much better if you ace the middle-range difficulty stuff since the algorithm will kick your score up real high. Then even if you miss a few killer questions, you'll still be in a good score range. IF you've read enough of the practice q & a's, you should be able to eliminate your way to 50/50 accuracy on the killer stuff (there are obvious wrong answers). BTW, when you're scoring around Q50, questions at the end will be so hard you have to guess and move to save time.

Thus, when practicing, focus and nail ALL of your 600-700 level questions (MGMAT terminology for mid-upper level q's). Once you consistently answer those correctly and even if you never get consistent at the killer stuff, you'll likely score in the mid-upper 40's. On practice quizzes and exams, I was never confident on the killer combinatorics, probability, data suff word problems...etc but I was 75-90% confident in my 600-700 range questions and 99% for anything easier. I was probably <25% confident on my 700-800 level questions.

For people who score in our range in Quant and have trouble busting out, I'd recommend allocating practice Q time like this (with MGMAT questions):

700-800 level: 5%
600-700 level: 60%
500-600 level: 30%
400-500 level: 5%

Good luck and don't give up! You know it's not impossible.

Last edited by duuuma on 02 Apr 2010, 12:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2010, 03:40
Hey Duuma, I've been having the same problem. I've been hammering away at quant and know all the basics and my weak areas, but it seems like I am not improving at all. Your post gave me a little confidence and I've heard the same advice before, but do you know where else we can find difficulty level targeted practice besides our own error log?
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2010, 10:20
^ when you take the mgmat exams (you can purchase them or get 6 free by buying any 1 of their books), your score reports will show all the q's you got right and wrong as well as the level they were at. mgmat's statistics on your exam are so impressive. they're broken down by difficulty, timing as well as content. by taking one or two of these exams, you can pinpoint the exact areas that need improving.

best of luck to everyone.
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2010, 12:03
Ditto that. Since I took the MGMAT class, we had access to tons of online practice drills that provided a detailed scoring report like the described below. It beat the pants off the Princeton Review materials.

TimeSquareDesi wrote:
^ when you take the mgmat exams (you can purchase them or get 6 free by buying any 1 of their books), your score reports will show all the q's you got right and wrong as well as the level they were at. mgmat's statistics on your exam are so impressive. they're broken down by difficulty, timing as well as content. by taking one or two of these exams, you can pinpoint the exact areas that need improving.

best of luck to everyone.
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Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant] [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2010, 11:30
Thanks for all the tips guys!
Re: From 630 to 670 experience+help scoring a 700+ [Weak Quant]   [#permalink] 04 Apr 2010, 11:30
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