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Help with timing - gmat in 2 days

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Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2009, 19:44
Unfortunately I am realizing too late that I need to address timing in Quant. I left the GMATPrep until the last week and now I am noticing that I am pressed for time in the last few questions.

The good news is that I am able to finish, albeit a bit rushed, and I think salvaging just a minute or two would help.

I think it is calculations mostly. Like figuring out which fractions are bigger...

Anyone have any tips?
What are some last minute things I could do watch for this?
What do you do when you are struggling with a question?
Or how do you speed up?
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2009, 20:08
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1) When you only have about 2 minutes left and you have more than 1 (or 2) questions left to go, start making educational guess. At this point, a wrong answer choice isn't gonna affect your overall Q score (unless you have like 10 questions left). NEVER EVER leave a question unanswered. The penalty is not worth it. (And yes, this penalty is steeper than a wrong answer choice)

2) When plugging in an answer to solve a problem, you have better chance of landing a correct answer choice if you choose E and plug it in...then D, and then C etc etc. Don't start guessing from A, B, C, D, and E in terms of the order.

3) When dealing with long decimals or numbers, round the numbers in order to solve the question (ONLY if answer choices are far apart from one another)

4) When dealing with Data Sufficiency questions, master the AD-BCE, or BD-ACE strategy to eliminate answers for improved accuracy and guessing.

5) In DS questions, if the answer can be answered with Yes or No, then you don't need to actually solve for the exact answer. Do enough calculation to answer the question.

6) Don't panic even if first few questions are tough and you end up guessing.


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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2009, 20:37
nink wrote:


4) When dealing with Data Sufficiency questions, master the AD-BCE, or BD-ACE strategy to eliminate answers for improved accuracy and guessing.



Hi nink, do you have any links explaining the above-mentioned strategy?
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2009, 20:42
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Take a look at this thread - I specifically posted it for people in a similar situation: timing-strategies-on-the-gmat-80176.html
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2009, 05:35
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topher wrote:
nink wrote:


4) When dealing with Data Sufficiency questions, master the AD-BCE, or BD-ACE strategy to eliminate answers for improved accuracy and guessing.



Hi nink, do you have any links explaining the above-mentioned strategy?



Hi Topher,

The strategy works like this:

Select the "easier" of the two options and set up your solution option as follows:

If you option 1 is the easier of the two options:
AD
BCE

If you option 2 is the easier of the two options:
BD
ACE

Solve the easier option. If you can conclude yes or no (remember, sufficiency = can you come to a conclusive answer, the answer can be yes or no) on the easier option, cross out the other three options.
i.e.
AD
[strike]BCE[/strike]

or

BD
[strike]ACE[/strike]

Or, if the easier option is not viable, cross out the top two:
i.e.
[strike]AD[/strike]
BCE

or

[strike]BD[/strike]
ACE

Then solve between the remaining options.

The reason this works is as follows:

If you can conclude that one option is 100% viable, then three options go right out the door (only the other is sufficient, only together are sufficient, together are NOT sufficient). If you conclude the easier option is 100% NOT viable, then the top pair of options go right out the door (only this one is sufficient, each alone are sufficient). This creates a systematic way of eliminating options in DS problems, and increasing your chances of getting more difficult problems correct (when you can't come to a conclusion overall but can eliminate certain options). It also helps streamline processing to reduce the time spent on DS problems.
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2009, 21:34
Thanks mohater. I was kind of doing this already, but it wasn't as systematic as this. I will make this more second-nature.
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2009, 21:47
Nice strategy of AD-BCE, or BD-ACE.

Even Kaplan also suggests to work on easier option 1st, but I never found it logical. I always believed that to reach the correct option in DS, one has to work on both the options, so the order of picking choice should not matter.

But the above post certainly sounds logical. When we are short of time, this strategy should help in making intelligent guess. Next time onwards I'll follow this, so that I can develop a habit of the same.
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2009, 03:38
bigoyal wrote:
Nice strategy of AD-BCE, or BD-ACE.

Even Kaplan also suggests to work on easier option 1st, but I never found it logical. I always believed that to reach the correct option in DS, one has to work on both the options, so the order of picking choice should not matter.

But the above post certainly sounds logical. When we are short of time, this strategy should help in making intelligent guess. Next time onwards I'll follow this, so that I can develop a habit of the same.


Exactly. This strategy has two benefits:

1. Quickly solve the easier problems (save time for more difficult problem)
2. Systematic approach for questions you are unable to conclude on that increases your odds of guessing the right answer.

You always want to work both options, this simply streamlines the process for time's sake.

One other thing I did not note above: Always reduce the DS problem as much as possible. Get to the root of what the questions is asking.

I posted this comment with my recap on take #2 on the GMAT

what-worked-for-me-550-on-first-practice-to-710-exam-80031.html?view-post=601373#p601373
mohater wrote:
(other stuff posted before)
....

Data Sufficiency:

The problem can usually be reduced to something simpler.

i.e. If the question is asking "if X and Y are both integers, is x-y-5 > x+y+3?"

You might look at the problem and say "ok, I have two variables so I either need to equations or two variables." The problem is you can reduce the inequality as follows:

Subtract X from both sides ------->
(-x)+x-y-5>(-x)+x+y+3 = y-5>y+3
Add Y to both sides ------->
(+y)-y-5 > (+y)+y+3 = -5>2y+3
Add 5 to both sides ------->
(+5)-5 > (+5)+2y+3 = 0 > 2y+8

You know have "if X and Y are both integers, is 0 > 2y+8?"

X is irrelevant now. All you need to know is y and you can solve for the inequality.

Reducing the equation lets you know "what do I really need to solve this"

Also, problems can always be set up in this fashion
AD | or | BD
BCE | |ACE

If the answer is not A, it cannot be D (or if you start with b and if not B, it can not be D). Then, go through the elimination process to eliminate the remaining choices among ACE or BCE. This will improve your chances of guessing on the more difficult questions you get stuck on.

(other stuff posted after}

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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2009, 12:00
Expert's post
thinkblue wrote:
Unfortunately I am realizing too late that I need to address timing in Quant. I left the GMATPrep until the last week and now I am noticing that I am pressed for time in the last few questions.

The good news is that I am able to finish, albeit a bit rushed, and I think salvaging just a minute or two would help.

I think it is calculations mostly. Like figuring out which fractions are bigger...

Anyone have any tips?
What are some last minute things I could do watch for this?
What do you do when you are struggling with a question?
Or how do you speed up?



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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2009, 21:20
mohater wrote:
One other thing I did not note above: Always reduce the DS problem as much as possible. Get to the root of what the questions is asking.


Thats true, this is what I also do. For example, if problem is giving an algebric equation, solve it to the simplest form.
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Re: Help with timing - gmat in 2 days   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2009, 21:20
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