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Hey Guys....I Could Use Some Help

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Hey Guys....I Could Use Some Help [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2011, 13:17
I'm 30 days away from test time and just continue to struggle with my quant test taking. My verbal scores are progressing nicely and I feel a solid grasp of the verbal materials.

However, in quant although I do feel a solid grasp of the materials, when I take a practice exam - just MGMAT thus far - my scores are poor and inconsistent (poorly inconsistent). I get overwhelmed and feel as I were dumped into a cold river and just flail about at the problems. I can do them UNDER time constraints consistently when it is just me and my books. But in the CAT environment I panic far too often and miss problems I should not.

I'm not gifted in quant, but I do feel strongly in my ability to achieve a 46-48 score. For the most part - I do feel a sound grasp in each quant subject area. I'm 30 yrs old, so it has been 10+ yrs since I have taken any timed test.

These are my scores in MGMAT quant:

35
36
43
46 ( I had not studied at all for verbal to this point)
44
35 (this was my final MGMAT CAT quant and I have no idea what was behind this).

I am spending at least 30 hours a week studying and have been for the last 2 months. 60% of time on quant. I take 1 practice exam a week. I have not taken the official GMAT practice exams, as I have been saving them. But, I do feel it would help my quant scores to begin to focus more on their style and questions and limit my focus to those problems over the next 30 days.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Hey Guys....I Could Use Some Help [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 08:01
Hi,

For this question, I'm going to point you first and foremost to our article on evaluating our practice tests: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... ice-tests/

We have analytics on our exams, and this article really helps you to use those to your best advantage.

As for feeling panicky on the real exam, the exam is actually structured to make you feel like that, because it will constantly be looking to give you questions that are ABOVE your ability level. So make sure to stay calm, take the two minutes if you need them, but if you feel that a question is beyond your ability level, make an educated guess and move on. The GMAT is really great and getting you to spend 5 or 6 minutes on a tough problem, but in the end this will hurt you more than it helps! In terms of feeling panicky, I would point you to these two articles on managing stress, which may help: http://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/m ... niques.cfm and http://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/m ... s-tips.cfm .

It would also be helpful to know a little bit more about HOW you are studying. You mentioned that you are doing 30 hours a week and taking one exam a week (which seems to me like it might lead to burnout, so be careful and make sure to take time off when you need it!) but what exactly have you been doing to study? Have you been working through the content/background that we have in our 8 strategy guides? Have you been working solely from the OG solving problems? Or is it a combination? You mentioned you were timing yourself with OG problems, which is great, but there are a lot of other areas where you may be able to make the actual time you spend studying more effective. For this, I would point you here: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... tudy-list/

I hope this helps!

Best Wishes,
Caitlin Clay
Student Services Associate
Manhattan GMAT
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Re: Hey Guys....I Could Use Some Help [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 11:30
Caitlan,

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I've been using all MGMAT quant books, as well as Veritas for probability and advanced word problems, and Kaplan 800 for additional quant practice.

I felt like I had a pretty solid grasp of the basics until my latest bomb on the MGMAT Cat #6. I have not spent that much time working OG problems but am focusing on those solely over the next 30 days until I take the "real test". The MGMAT analytics show I'm missing problems in all subjects areas about equally.

Speed is an issue for me on quant problems. There is no doubt I need to be more dilligent in studying under timed enviroment.

I generally work problems for 1.5 - 2 hours before work. Then review those problems and study some fundamentals after work for another 2 hours.

Thanks again for the links and I look forward to any additional insight you may have.
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Re: Hey Guys....I Could Use Some Help [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2011, 22:29
Hello there


Firstly we would say that stay positive and such anxieties are common during exam preparation time. Juggling between work and studies is tough so you need to define a significant time for your GMAT preparation. Sometimes taking few days off work for preparing for the GMAT can help a person tremendously. If you have time this may not be a bad idea. Take practise GMAT tests to see how you are doing. If you cannot do that don’t worry. What might work instead is to set aside 1-2 hours at night on weekdays and major part of your weekend to study and prepare for GMAT. However we recommend you to keep taking practise tests to gauge your performance. It will help you in identifying your weak areas and you can focus on them accordingly.

There are various ways you can use to practise for your GMAT. You might need to change your practise style and try this combination to provide you flexibility and different styles to practise so it doesn’t get monotonous.

It could be combination of-

1-Books- Books like- The Official Guide for GMAT Review, The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review etc could be used.

2-Online Study Guide: Websites like Knewton, Grockit etc provide you with practise questions online.

3-Smart phone applications- Kaplan, Veritas etc offer applications to prepare for GMAT on your smart phones.
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Re: Hey Guys....I Could Use Some Help   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2011, 22:29
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