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Good study progress but low CAT score?...

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Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 02:06
I've been studying for the GMAT for a few months now, and I can say I'm familiar with strategies and most question types.
I feel that I am in a good level, however when it comes to take a CAT test my score is low (550-620). Then, when I review the answers, I very rarely find a question which I couldn't answer (usually comes with a "duh!"), sometimes I noticed I panic when I feel that I've got 2 mins to solve a "crazy exponents" question. So bottom line, despite the fact that I know my stuff, and I feel I should be hitting 660 - 700, I'm not. Has anyone else been in the same situation to suggest an approach to battle this?
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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 03:01
I am usually in the same situation. Despite of all the studies had a score of 600 in 4 mock tests back to back. Was maintaining the error log, was referring the guides. Finally i have started doing all problems with timer even when i am just practicing. I think for someone like me is the pressure of getting right in 2 mins that plays on to the psyche. After doing all practice problems with a timer i have seen an increase in 30 points in my mocks, and now i have plateud at 630 from two weeks. Lets see what will help me now.

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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 03:09
farhanc85 wrote:
I am usually in the same situation. Despite of all the studies had a score of 600 in 4 mock tests back to back. Was maintaining the error log, was referring the guides. Finally i have started doing all problems with timer even when i am just practicing. I think for someone like me is the pressure of getting right in 2 mins that plays on to the psyche. After doing all practice problems with a timer i have seen an increase in 30 points in my mocks, and now i have plateud at 630 from two weeks. Lets see what will help me now.

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Good job mate! Always glad to hear a "plan that worked" for somebody!
I agree with taking timed questions, however sometimes I want to take my time and make sure I understand the question and its solution (more for 700-800 questions).
One more thing: sometimes I come across a CAT question that I am definite I know how to solve it and solved more like them before, but it takes me 2.5-3 mins which only increases stress and disappointment...
bb has suggested in an older thread of mine that my study is more "recreational and less purposeful", hence I'm trying to take my time and understand the problem.
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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 03:23
Definitely i agree with bb's post. But then there comes a time in gmat where you feel more than understanding what the problem involves you start focussing on the How approach??? The difficult 700 plus question need more time to understand. But at the same time when you feel you know the concept try solving the problem within two minutes. I usually leave the problem at 2 mins if i am not able to solve it and then go back to the explanation. After a day i revisit it and see if now i can solve it within two minutes. I completely understand the point of going over 2 mins for tough problems but we need to also gauge our understanding of the correct path if we are going overboard. The worst is you feel you can answer the question with extra time, spend 4 mins on it and get it wrong. To avoid this situation best to practice with timed sets. This should be done only after you know your base and concept understanding is good. Hence, all the problems in gmatclub now come with a timer ;). Do let me know if you are trying any other approach and see a significant improvement in your scores.

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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 03:52
farhanc85 wrote:
I usually leave the problem at 2 mins if i am not able to solve it and then go back to the explanation. After a day i revisit it and see if now i can solve it within two minutes.


Is it worth trying for 2 mins and then going straight to the explanation? To put it differently, does it work? I feel that if I go straight to the explanation, like going back to 0 point. However I do see a point into revisiting. So how many hours can you squeeze out from a day doing that until your brain refuses to process any more information? :lol:
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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 04:07
Skag55 wrote:
farhanc85 wrote:
I usually leave the problem at 2 mins if i am not able to solve it and then go back to the explanation. After a day i revisit it and see if now i can solve it within two minutes.


Is it worth trying for 2 mins and then going straight to the explanation? To put it differently, does it work? I feel that if I go straight to the explanation, like going back to 0 point. However I do see a point into revisiting. So how many hours can you squeeze out from a day doing that until your brain refuses to process any more information? :lol:



Usually 4 hours in the night. 9 to 1 :oops: going back to the explanations helps me keep tab if i was on a right track.
More oftern i find out that in difficult problem the start itself was wrong and i was going nowhere :shock:

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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2013, 04:14
farhanc85 wrote:
Skag55 wrote:
farhanc85 wrote:
I usually leave the problem at 2 mins if i am not able to solve it and then go back to the explanation. After a day i revisit it and see if now i can solve it within two minutes.


Is it worth trying for 2 mins and then going straight to the explanation? To put it differently, does it work? I feel that if I go straight to the explanation, like going back to 0 point. However I do see a point into revisiting. So how many hours can you squeeze out from a day doing that until your brain refuses to process any more information? :lol:



Usually 4 hours in the night. 9 to 1 :oops: going back to the explanations helps me keep tab if i was on a right track.
More oftern i find out that in difficult problem the start itself was wrong and i was going nowhere :shock:

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Yeah, true. I think 80% is to understand the problem. Then, chances are that you have sold something similar in the past. Sometimes the problem can boil down so such a simple solution that it makes me laugh! (usually that's Bunuel's solutions :lol: )

I do believe that revision is good, however I find myself sometimes remembering the problem and hence the solution rather than checking if I understand the methodology.
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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?... [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2013, 00:40
Quote:
Yeah, true. I think 80% is to understand the problem. Then, chances are that you have sold something similar in the past. Sometimes the problem can boil down so such a simple solution that it makes me laugh! (usually that's Bunuel's solutions :lol: )

I do believe that revision is good, however I find myself sometimes remembering the problem and hence the solution rather than checking if I understand the methodology.


Yes, remembering problems you have solved before can happen if you have solved a lot of GMAT questions. This is especially true for Verbal. However, there is a big advantage to be gained from reviewing questions you have solved in the past:
1. Even if you got the question right the first time, make sure you got it right for the right reasons, and that it was not just a lucky guess. :)
2. This point applies especially for SC - you may have eliminated an answer option because of a very obvious SVA error. But there maybe other more subtle issues with the same choice. When you review this question, make sure you know everything that is wrong with each answer choice. This learning will come in handy in future questions.
3. If you got it wrong, then make sure you understand the delta between the answer choice you picked and the official answer - this delta is what you need to remember the next time you see a similar question. And you will certainly see a similar question - the GMAT is a very pattern-based test.

So if you are looking at questions you've previously solved and you remember the answer, go through the motions anyway. The idea is to get the maximum value out of every single official question that is available. :)

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Re: Good study progress but low CAT score?...   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2013, 00:40
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