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general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
19 Jun 2009, 06:15

Hi, I am preparing for my GMAT. I want to feel fully confidant before I give my exam. I have done all the manhattan series guides twice and done the sectional Quant book (twice) .I started OG 11. I scored around 142/150 in the first questions. As soon as I entered the 200 series I can cleary see my speed going down,almost to half of what it was in the first initial questions, felt the heat a lil bit and clearly gave me an indication that I entered a tougher zone. I want to concentrate on the accuracy here, I still spent a max of 4-5 mins on each question. even after that if I am not able to nail it I left it. I got around 10 questions wrong out of these 50 questions[150-200].

There are some 50 questions which I am left with. Upon self evaulation I felt I need more practise, Manhattan series gives 15 questions after each topic, but I feel they are not enough. I need more questions practise on the areas that I am not comfortable with.I think after OG 11 I want a source that gives me many questions in the difficult zone.

Please advice how I need to proceed. Again I want to be pretty confidant on the exam,and I dont believe in retaking exam.First time is the best time for me

I have not touched the exams yet and I dont want to treat giving exams as practising because once I run out of 10 exams [which I spared till the end] I wont have anywhere else to go

Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
19 Jun 2009, 10:28

Expert's post

I think you are right about saving your tests, but it would also help to measure your math skills at this point to get a good understanding where you stand and what your weak areas are. Your post does not really say what you need, so it is hard to recommend anything.
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Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
19 Jun 2009, 10:52

I have been through similar phase and I know that its frustrating to find out that you are taking more than 4 minutes for a problem even after you know the concepts....

But please note that some Quant 200-246 (OG11) problems are tough and some of them are of 750+ difficulty level. I used to put a check on every problem that used to trouble me while solving and I regularly go through them. Its a sort of trouble log for PS. Make sure , you nail the underlying concept being tested.

If you need more quant problems , you may subscribe GmatClub Tests. I am yet to try these ; however I have heard that they are top notch and worth each penny you spend.

Alternatively , you can buy OG 10 which has more practice problems than OG11 has.(with some repeats repeats.).

If you think you need some advanced tricks to solve the problems , there are many good links on the page below. Please have a look.

Finally , I would suggest you to take GmatPrep1 and find out the range of Q / V score. So that it will be easier for you to plan your studies to nail the weak areas.
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Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
19 Jun 2009, 11:41

thanks for the replies.

bb, Basically my question was can I find all the tough problems at one place apart from the exam. I guess after reaching a plateau, there wont be any sure shot way of improving one skills, this is where it gets hard, one need to glean from several sources and try to improve. And I find the books on the market will prepare you upto a mark and any mark above that one wants to raise is the real challenge. I am at the stage now.

amolsk11, Yes that sounds like a plan after OG11 I will give Gmatprep1 and see where I stand. I will go through the beginners link that you sent and try to solve the problems from the forums.

Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
20 Jun 2009, 08:36

It seems that you are ready for GMAT Club Tests and for GMAT Focus. Outside those two resources, you won't find an abundance of hard math problems.

GMAT Focus is adaptive test, so the difficulty level depends on your hit ratio. It contains some notoriously difficult problems that are representative of those seen in real exam recently.
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Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
20 Jun 2009, 09:18

I think before you worry about just getting a crapload of tough questions, you should really evaluate why you are having trouble with the ones you have in front of you. The OG is generally organized in difficulty order, so it is not surprising for anyone to start noticing that both their speed and accuracy begin to dip as they progress through the book. The problem is that just getting a bunch more questions to practice most likely won't fix the underlying problem.

A lot of people can brute force their way through the early questions because they are easier. Meaning they can do them without using the strategies that they have learned in the different course materials that are available. They revert to their basic math that would make their high school teachers proud, but just because you get a problem correct, doesn't mean you did the problem correctly. Most GMAT problems allow for a shortcut that you may have missed and when you get to the harder questions, you have reached the limit of your math skills, but those shortcuts would make the problem significantly easier. But if you didn't practice those shortcuts on the early problems you are not likely to implement them on the harder ones.

As a basic example, I often ask my students what is 7 x 4? They quickly respond with 28. I then ask them how they got it. Did they add seven 4s together? That is, afterall, what 7 x 4 means - 4+4+4+4+4+4+4. Maybe they realized order of multiplication doesn't matter, so they added four 7s. 7+7+7+7. That would be faster. Of course, no one did either of these things. Years ago, someone told them for problems like this, it would be faster to have the stuff memorized, and they were able to just spit out the answer - 28. None of these methods is "wrong" in the sense that they will all arrive at the correct answer, but clearly we went from a long way, to a slightly better way, to the best way. This is what I mean by it is possible to get the right answer without doing the problem the right way.

You should therefore, really go back to questions 1-150 and ask yourself could I have done these problems differently? more efficiently? Then you will learn tricks that will help on the harder problems. Getting a stronger foundation will assist your efforts here. If you have any questions, post the OG# here (don't post the actual question), and I can show you what I mean about some shortcuts. For example, question 189 in OG11, problem solving section). It is not terribly hard to do algebraically, but if you just think of x as 100, you could probably do it in your head without even drawing out a thing. Not to mention, literally finish the questions in 10 seconds. If x is 100 then the problem reads 2 + 4 is what percent of 100. In other words, 6 is what percent of 100. The answer is now obviously 6.

Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
20 Jun 2009, 20:02

Expert's post

skpMatcha wrote:

thanks for the replies.

bb, Basically my question was can I find all the tough problems at one place apart from the exam. I guess after reaching a plateau, there wont be any sure shot way of improving one skills, this is where it gets hard, one need to glean from several sources and try to improve. And I find the books on the market will prepare you upto a mark and any mark above that one wants to raise is the real challenge. I am at the stage now.

amolsk11, Yes that sounds like a plan after OG11 I will give Gmatprep1 and see where I stand. I will go through the beginners link that you sent and try to solve the problems from the forums.

Try the GMAT Club Tests - the math portion is 700+ level. Any simple questions you encounter are there to throw you off and the majority are hard merciless traps designed to make you fail - brutal experience but proves very effective
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Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
20 Jun 2009, 20:05

Expert's post

barnum wrote:

I think before you worry about just getting a crapload of tough questions, you should really evaluate why you are having trouble with the ones you have in front of you.

Barnum - welcome to GMATClub! That's a very good point.

Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
20 Jun 2009, 21:04

Maths differs from verbal in that the more you practice, the more likelihood of your being familiar with questions on GMAT - regardless of difficulty. Since you cannot predict the questions, the basic aim should be to make onself familiar with as many different types (wordings) of questions possible.
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Re: general advice on Quant Preparation [#permalink]
22 Jun 2009, 06:34

Barnum ,

I agree, I finished the OG 11 ,problem solving part. I took 30 minutes just to analyze what went wrong and here is what I found. In the OG language Algebra,Applied problem and Operations on Rational Numbers is the cause for half of my problems. The application of the concept to the issue in question with in the designated 2 minutes is the issue. Now how to do I improve this ?

Yes I differentiate between advanced application of simple concepts and some really tough probability and other concepts which are terribly twisted in nature right from the beginning. My challenge is to nail both these issues...

All, Any adivce and different perceptions are always welcome.