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Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience

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Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 04:14
I started my preparation from the zero-level, last time I did Math was in High School 8 years ago. I've been preparing for about 6 months now. I've done all the Manhattan Guides, Advanced Manhattan Quant, GMAT Club Math Book and now I am working with GMAT Club Tests (I was lucky to have won the Facebook Friday Competition). I review majority of the problems I do. Despite all this effort, I am not happy with my results.

When timed, I score 80% with 600-level problems, but only 50% with 700-level problems from GMAT Club Tests. I've just taken the first CAT where I got only 3 questions from 600 level and 34 questions from 700 level. Session score is 50%.

When not in timed circumastances, I solve virtually every single question.

In Verbal Part I get higher scores. I am not a native English speaker and I've been learning English for years, thus I feel more confident in this topic than in Math.

Please advise me if there is a point in taking the GMAT with my present preparation and what result can I expect if I do take the exam. What can I do to achieve more confidence in Math? Is there a barrier which one cannot overcome without a tutor? I am asking, because I am beginning to run short on time.
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2013, 05:25
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Hi HumptyDumpty

I think you are doing very well in your prep since Gmatclub tests are the most difficult and i am sure that the questions in both quant and verbal sections on the real thing are a piece of cake compared with the ones on Gmatclub.

I'll suggest that if you are reaaaaaaaally done with all the topics as you mentioned, then take a GMATPREP test to see how you are doing and how far you are from you score that you are aiming, this will also allow you to be more comfortable with the format of the test and you will be able after 2 or 3 mocks to build the stamina that you will need to stay focused from the AWA to the last question in the verbal section on your G-Day.

Last thing, i advise you to keep an error log just to see what are the type of mistakes that you do so that you are sure to avoid them next time you will face them.

Good luck
:)
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2013, 12:29
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1st attempt : 660 Q47 V35 wow great work so far ; i'd say : "Bravo"

I think you would reasonably score higher in the next attempts if you could increase a little bit your quant to 50 or 51 and your verbal to 40 or 41.

To achieve this, you will need to focus on what you missed in your mock especially the verbal part :

For example, if you missed a lot of CR, then look for which type you need to improve on ( assumptions or weakens or resolve the paradox ...); once you identify it then go back to your materials and practice practice and practice till you handle them very very well.. this applies also to SC or RC.

Back to the Quantitative section, i'd suggest that you practice under pressure of time. Give yourself 2 or 3min to solve any question but not more and if you are stuck then try to solve it without any constraints but once you do it, then find a way to solve it quickly so that the next time you encounter a same type of question, you would be able to pass through it quickly.

IR to me is just a mixture of both quant and verbal, so don't bother with it ; just practice it and if you have time , use of Manhattan GMAT IR book ; it's really helpful.

Last thing, don't forget to take the sufficient time to analyse your mistakes after doing any mock .. that is what will let you score higher because your strengths are your strengths but you will never know what are your weakens.. So, try to avail as you can from it because that's how you will boost your score ..
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2013, 20:36
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HumptyDumpty wrote:
So I have taken the GmetPrep test.

Part: Scaled Score / Percentile
IR: 4 /37
Q: 47 / 73
V: 35 / 74
Total: 660 / 81

My time management sucked in all parts.
In IR I stuck and had to guess last 5 questions.
In Q I was too slow and had to guess last 10 questions. I had first 11 correct and last 8 incorrect with a total of 17 incorrect answers!
In V the same. Total of 14 incorrect answers!
My Total Score is 660. I want more! How do I boost my score from this level?


It seems your concepts are good but time management is bad. It is not a good idea to guess many questions at the end. Also, I have known people to suffer with 'put extra time in first 10 questions' strategy. The actual GMAT algorithm will not reward you unduly for first 10 correct questions and last 10 incorrect. We do start out slow because it takes time to make ourselves focus on the task at hand. But do not go overboard to get every question correct in the first 10. If you are unable to arrive at the answer in 2-3 mins, do not put anymore time in it. Most questions you come across in GMAT prep tests/GMAT Club tests would have been discussed on the forum. Check them out to see how to solve them faster. All you need to improve your score is get exposed to the different methods you can use which can save you time. (GMAT Club tests and Manhattan tests are different. GMAT Club tests are certainly very difficult.)
If you must guess on the test, spread the guesses evenly across the test, say 1 guess after every 5 questions. If you come across a question which seems difficult, guess within 30 secs and move on to utilize the time saved.

As far as Verbal is concerned, figure out whether you are weak in a particular question type and work hard on that. Also, practice is necessary if you face time issues here too.
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 07:28
HumptyDumpty wrote:
I started my preparation from the zero-level, last time I did Math was in High School 8 years ago. I've been preparing for about 6 months now. I've done all the Manhattan Guides, Advanced Manhattan Quant, GMAT Club Math Book and now I am working with GMAT Club Tests (I was lucky to have won the Facebook Friday Competition). I review majority of the problems I do. Despite all this effort, I am not happy with my results.

When timed, I score 80% with 600-level problems, but only 50% with 700-level problems from GMAT Club Tests. I've just taken the first CAT where I got only 3 questions from 600 level and 34 questions from 700 level. Session score is 50%.

When not in timed circumastances, I solve virtually every single question.

In Verbal Part I get higher scores. I am not a native English speaker and I've been learning English for years, thus I feel more confident in this topic than in Math.

Please advise me if there is a point in taking the GMAT with my present preparation and what result can I expect if I do take the exam. What can I do to achieve more confidence in Math? Is there a barrier which one cannot overcome without a tutor? I am asking, because I am beginning to run short on time.


Hi there,

Though i am not an expert, i wanted to know if it is possible for you to put some other inputs, which can give a complete picture of what you have achieved and what is the next for you to do.

- Is your GMAT booked yet ?
- Did you take a complete CAT ? If yes , which ones and what was the split ? did they include IR and AWA ?
- Are you done with all the topics in both quant and verbal ?
- have you identified your weakens and strengths ?

Regards , :)
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 10:33
Rock750 wrote:
HumptyDumpty wrote:
I started my preparation from the zero-level, last time I did Math was in High School 8 years ago. I've been preparing for about 6 months now. I've done all the Manhattan Guides, Advanced Manhattan Quant, GMAT Club Math Book and now I am working with GMAT Club Tests (I was lucky to have won the Facebook Friday Competition). I review majority of the problems I do. Despite all this effort, I am not happy with my results.

When timed, I score 80% with 600-level problems, but only 50% with 700-level problems from GMAT Club Tests. I've just taken the first CAT where I got only 3 questions from 600 level and 34 questions from 700 level. Session score is 50%.

When not in timed circumastances, I solve virtually every single question.

In Verbal Part I get higher scores. I am not a native English speaker and I've been learning English for years, thus I feel more confident in this topic than in Math.

Please advise me if there is a point in taking the GMAT with my present preparation and what result can I expect if I do take the exam. What can I do to achieve more confidence in Math? Is there a barrier which one cannot overcome without a tutor? I am asking, because I am beginning to run short on time.


Hi there,

Though i am not an expert, i wanted to know if it is possible for you to put some other inputs, which can give a complete picture of what you have achieved and what is the next for you to do.

- Is your GMAT booked yet ?
- Did you take a complete CAT ? If yes , which ones and what was the split ? did they include IR and AWA ?
- Are you done with all the topics in both quant and verbal ?
- have you identified your weakens and strengths ?

Regards , :)


My background:

I have a Bachelor Degee in International Business and I need the GMAT to get accepted in University of Mannheim in Germany; this year's threshold is 600 points. GMAT is not as popular in Europe as in the USA, so the thresholds are a bit lower than on the other side of the ocean. However, from Mannheim I will be able to pursue a semester or a year in the USA, so while 600 is enough to get accepted in Mannheim, higher score would allow me to choose a better business school in the USA.

I am a hard-working student: I've lernt German in under two years and passed the TestDaF - a German language test necessary to study in Germany (a German counterpart of English TOEFL). I have TOEFL, too. Now I am starting my first job as a German speaking IT support.

Answering your further questions:

Quote:
- Is your GMAT booked yet ?

- My GMAT is not booked yet. I plan to take it at the end of April.

Quote:
- Did you take a complete CAT ? If yes , which ones and what was the split ? did they include IR and AWA ?

- I haven't taken a complete CAT yet. I have taken two Manhattan Quant CATs that are accessible on GMAT Club Tests platform. I found the questions awfully difficult, I think these tests AREN'T designed to be resolved in under 2 mins per question (you get only 700-level problems and I think they are closer to 800 than to 700). At the first take I didin't finish in time and I scored Q45 (av. time per question 2:48). At the second take I finished on time and scored Q26 (the worse ever). The third CAT I took was a mashup described in my first post in this thread (Q 37).

As to IR, I have done a few problems and scored very well. IR is based on reading comprehension, in which my scores are always above 80%.
As to AWA, I have written only one (timed). You can assess it here: my-awa-topic-1-from-12th-review-149734.html. I am rather used to write such stuff, but of course I need to better adjust my writing to GMAT now.

Quote:
- Are you done with all the topics in both quant and verbal ?

- I've gone through the Manhattan Guides and the GMAT Club Math Book, and more, so I think that I have all the topics covered.

Quote:
- have you identified your weakens and strengths ?

- If I crash, I do only on the 700-level problems. (Well, OK - sometimes I crash on the 600ths or even 500ths, but such mistakes are rather accidential.) Most frequently on Geometry and Statistics. I was chrashing frequently on few more topics, but I picked up a lot using Khan Academy. However, its problems are generally easier than those on the GMAT. So Khan Academy is perfect for understanding the concept, but won't help with timing.
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2013, 07:27
So I have taken the GmetPrep test.

Part: Scaled Score / Percentile
IR: 4 /37
Q: 47 / 73
V: 35 / 74
Total: 660 / 81

My time management sucked in all parts.
In IR I stuck and had to guess last 5 questions.
In Q I was too slow and had to guess last 10 questions. I had first 11 correct and last 8 incorrect with a total of 17 incorrect answers!
In V the same. Total of 14 incorrect answers!
My Total Score is 660. I want more! How do I boost my score from this level?
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2013, 05:02
Yep, I have some more work to do. As Bunuel tested, I think that a great tactic on the GMAT is to focus on the first 10 questions (or more), guess few not in a row in the middle to pick up on time, and focus on the last few problems. Have anyone tried this on the real GMAT?

Would you recommend Grockit?
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2013, 08:26
Just a little update here:

I took the third Manhattan test from the GMAT Club Tests platform. As I wrote earlier, I claim these tests a real quant hell (I hope you agree with me). Unlike last time, this time I was trying to time myself only insofar I grasped the concept. In other words, I excluded guessing, reasoning this behaviour with the difficulty level and the aim of learning.

As a result, arithmetic average time for a question hit 5:31, geometric average 4:34. Because the timings weren't evenly spread, I calculated standard deviation: 3:41. Four questions took me over 10 mins, six questions about 5 mins, and 10 questions from 1 to 4 mins. Please have a look: (attachment).

Compared with my first try, this time I scored Q25 more, i.e. I hit Q51!!! Even though the timings are way above the counter, this score makes me really happy. Please share your opinion about the Manhattan Tests in reference to the real GMAT.
Attachments

Manhattan Test.jpg
Manhattan Test.jpg [ 226.85 KiB | Viewed 1280 times ]


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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 12:54
Thanks, Karishma! As to the Verbal, I am a little stuck now. I took the idiom test on the Club Tests platform and hit V37. It seems as if I am running out of methods to learn. Should I keep focused on solving and reviewing available problems (which ones are worth reviewing?), or rather read some more theory (where from?) and then try to apply it to the problems? I have done all the problems from OGs and Club Tests and I don't want to hunker down on low-quality unofficial verbal problems. I rarely see a video with a new piece of information to me as the vast majority of concepts are covered in Manhattan Guides, which I've also read. And I still need to manage my limited time, so watching 150 mins of video for one hint is not a good deal. I could go for the exam right now if I wanted 600-700 score, but I aim at 700+ and learning at this point gets very "cloggy". What I am currently doing is:
- reviewing 700+ quant problems,
- memorizing idioms, grammar rules, math formulae and shortcuts
- hoping to find some proper new CR and RC materials and work it

Should I change something or carry on with the aforementioned? Maybe I should read Scientific American more often? (Hopefully I could do it in work :)).
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2013, 22:15
Expert's post
HumptyDumpty wrote:
Thanks, Karishma! As to the Verbal, I am a little stuck now. I took the idiom test on the Club Tests platform and hit V37. It seems as if I am running out of methods to learn. Should I keep focused on solving and reviewing available problems (which ones are worth reviewing?), or rather read some more theory (where from?) and then try to apply it to the problems? I have done all the problems from OGs and Club Tests and I don't want to hunker down on low-quality unofficial verbal problems. I rarely see a video with a new piece of information to me as the vast majority of concepts are covered in Manhattan Guides, which I've also read. And I still need to manage my limited time, so watching 150 mins of video for one hint is not a good deal. I could go for the exam right now if I wanted 600-700 score, but I aim at 700+ and learning at this point gets very "cloggy". What I am currently doing is:
- reviewing 700+ quant problems,
- memorizing idioms, grammar rules, math formulae and shortcuts
- hoping to find some proper new CR and RC materials and work it

Should I change something or carry on with the aforementioned? Maybe I should read Scientific American more often? (Hopefully I could do it in work :)).


Yes, going from 500 to 650 is far easier than going from 650 to 750. At this point, it will be great if you can find a particular weak area because then your area of focus narrows down to something you know will add value. Say, if you see that you make many errors in Geometry (instead of say, one error in every topic), that will be great news. You could review Geometry thoroughly and see your score rising. However, in reality, that happens less frequently. So usually people end up practicing higher level questions in and out in the hope of improving their overall performance. I would recommend you to check out my blog (http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/categor ... er-wisdom/) where I discuss lots of Quant concepts. I write it mainly for people with high aspirations (750+). Choose what you want to read and you may see value in it.

I am against memorizing much for GMAT. Whatever is worth memorizing, you end up having at your tips if you practice enough.

As for CR and RC material, I would like to suggest you to check out Veritas CR and RC books. In CR, you could benefit from the great discussions on the question types; in RC you could benefit from the tough practice passages and strategy insights. You can take a good look inside the books at Amazon to give you an idea of what lies within.
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2013, 06:02
I see that you have a good hunch of what happens to 700+ aspirants :). I fall within the second case, i.e. I can't say that I am weak in a particular area. I was, but I`ve overcome this problem by doing tens of GMAT Club problems from this particular area (e.g. Word Problems or Geometry). Instead, I incidentally do fail to solve some problems from various areas quickly. So I really can't say that I am weak at this or that. Hence the problem. I would call it "the prioritising problem" as resources are abundant, but it's hard to chose a good focus at this level. I will check your blog, thanks for the tip! :)
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Re: Hitting the wall - Please share your prep experience   [#permalink] 24 Apr 2013, 06:02
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