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GC thoughts on my retesting strategy

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Intern
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Status: Failure is an oppertunity in disguise
Joined: 05 Nov 2010
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Concentration: Finance, Economics
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GC thoughts on my retesting strategy [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2011, 18:27
So after taking a little time away from the GMAT I've regained my testing optimism and have decided to retest. My official test results are 500 overall Q38 V22. That score is truly disappointing and humbling. As part of my new study plan I'm going to reread the MGMAT Series of books starting with my recent purchase if the new MGMAT Foundations of GMAT Verbal.

My results from the GMAT practice questions are as follows, these results are (# correct)/(total number of questions):
Verbal Review, 2nd Ed-> SC: 69/113 RC: 76/104 CR: 59/83
OG11-> SC: 94/138 CR: 80/124 DS: 104/153 PS: 200/249
Quant Review, 2nd Ed-> DS: 80/124 PS: 145/176

My practice test results are as follows, test company/score/date:
1. GMATPrep1: 490, Q(29) V(27), before kaplan test
2. Kaplan: 550, Q(34) V(33), 12/11/10
3. MGMAT1: 520, Q(41) V(21), 12/22/10
4. MGMAT2: 510, Q(32) V(28), 12/26/11
5. Princeton Review: 470, Q(34), V(22) 4/3/11
6. MGMAT3: 550, Q(37) V(29), 4/11/11
7. MGMAT4: 580, Q(44) V(26), 4/20/11
8. GMAT: 500, Q(38) V(22), 4/25/11

I believe that my error in reading the books prior was in part due to me possibly being cocky with my knowledge of math. I started watching the Thursdays with Ron Study Hall sessions and I believe he put it best, this test is an unconventional test and you will be tested on numerous topics in unconventional ways. Although I do have a math background I should have taken notes on every book that I read regardless of my background. And although I can follow the solutions to 95% of Quan questions producing those solutions is quite a different task in a pressure packed testing environment and notes would have given me useful 'takeaways' to study with, as Ron would put it.

Upon further analysis of my practice scores I noticed that I missed numerous question toward the end of every Quan Section and that I do not have a realistic tool for having a feel for when Im over time, outside of looking at the clock. To develop this feel should I just use the GMAT timer for every question and stop/guess at 2/2:30 mins for Quan, 1:30 for SC, etc until I know when Im over/under without it?

Im wondering what the community thinks about my plan to retest. Is there more I can do to change the results of my next test? Im thinking a test date around the first week of September should give me time to improve. Im also considering enrolling in Knewton as I do believe I learn better by having some that I can interact with, ie normal classroom setting. I attended a couple of live sessions during the trial period but I have not clue how the adaptive questions would work. Seems interesting guess I'll make a decision in July. Thanks for all the input its really appreciated!
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Re: GC thoughts on my retesting strategy [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2011, 12:10
Based on your post, your error log is haphazard instead of ongoing. Keeping an error log is key to identifying the "why" aspect of your shortcomings. Many people can "follow solutions", but in our minds we operate in our own unique way. You need to figure out what's wrong with your approach, and remedy this.
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Status: Failure is an oppertunity in disguise
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Concentration: Finance, Economics
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Re: GC thoughts on my retesting strategy [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2011, 21:50
What do you mean by 'ongoing'? Are you saying instead of just knowing that I missed I need to figure out why I missed? Or do you mean something else? Like for PS Im getting around 80% of them correct vs DS im getting around 60% correct. So I know DS is a problem area but Im not sure of the best course of action to become better.

For SC I may need to focus on fundamental knowledge again, CR I may need to improve my diagramming and other strategies (negation for assumptions), RC maybe mapping faster, I dont know.
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Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA fund
Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Economics
Schools: Ross '14 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V38
GMAT 2: Q V
GPA: 3.54
WE: Accounting (Manufacturing)
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Re: GC thoughts on my retesting strategy [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2011, 04:09
An error log is a means of tracking your progress and identifying the "why" aspect of answering problems incorrect. Based on your post above, you're monitoring things haphazardly instead of ongoing (practice tests, practice problems, etc.). Your scores are all over the place, which also supports my guess.

Being cocky is a big problem for many test takers (myself included). Reading the books first is not the problem. Not keeping an error log is likely the bigger problem as studying without knowing "why" you are answering problems incorrect isn't always useful.

Strategies supplement material and not the other way around. Keep an error log and determine:

1. Is your approach the best approach (are you spending too much time on non-value solutions, are you answering the question being asked)?
2. Is your time management appropriate for the problem difficulty
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Re: GC thoughts on my retesting strategy [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2011, 14:52
Ok so Im going back to every problem I've done to date and figuring out why I answered correctly/incorrectly. I should be looking for lack of knowledge, wrong approach, timing issues, etc correct? Then after figuring out my issues go back to the guides if its lack of knowledge, figure out a new approach if its an approach issue, etc.
GMAT Forum Moderator
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Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA fund
Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Economics
Schools: Ross '14 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V38
GMAT 2: Q V
GPA: 3.54
WE: Accounting (Manufacturing)
Followers: 54

Kudos [?]: 398 [0], given: 234

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Re: GC thoughts on my retesting strategy [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2011, 16:47
Venchman wrote:
Ok so Im going back to every problem I've done to date and figuring out why I answered correctly/incorrectly. I should be looking for lack of knowledge, wrong approach, timing issues, etc correct? Then after figuring out my issues go back to the guides if its lack of knowledge, figure out a new approach if its an approach issue, etc.



That's a big part of the error log, yes.

Don't spend too much time on the past content. Focus on moving forward.
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Re: GC thoughts on my retesting strategy   [#permalink] 18 Jun 2011, 16:47
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