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How to improve my Quant score?

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How to improve my Quant score? [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2011, 21:37
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Hi All,

I started my GMAT prep this summer. I finished all the MGMAT Quant books and also did the whole of OG11. But right after my prep I had to go on this international work trip for 3 weeks. After that I got busy with my work and got a 1 month "break" again. I finally got back to studying and writing tests. I started with the GMAT club tests and completed about 9 out of 25. My consistent score is 24 right out of 37 questions. My percentile is stagnant at a mere 45-50. I also gave my first MGMAT test and got a mere 620 (45 in Quant and 32 in Verbal). Right now my focus is on Quant as I was never weak in Math and I have a Masters in ME. Its actually a shame that I am not able to break the barrier to reach a score of 30/37 questions and get a 90 percentile in GMAT club tests.

My weak areas right now are probability, Geometry (I was never weak but it feels like I have to brush my basics again) and overlap set questions. Are there good books which cover these topics in detail?

And my timing on 4-5 questions is reaching 4 mins. This obviously is preventing me from attempting 4-5 more questions which I can answer. How will you determine to leave a question which you know will take up more than 2 mins of your time?

Also how will I extrapolate the GMAT club test score into a GMAT format score. Like how much will a 30/37 give me? 48 or 50 approximately.

The last question I have is, people always tell me that booking a date will actually prompt you to work harder and be prepared for the test. But I want to book a GMAT test date after I break the 700 barrier. Let me know if this strategy is correct or am I just trying to shoot a moving target?

Thanks for your feedback.

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Re: How to improve my Quant score? [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2011, 05:05
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taurus555 wrote:
also gave my first MGMAT test and got a mere 620 (45 in Quant and 32 in Verbal). Right now my focus is on Quant as I was never weak in Math and I have a Masters in ME. Its actually a shame that I am not able to break the barrier to reach a score of 30/37 questions and get a 90 percentile in GMAT club tests.

I sense danger here. Your math score is quite solid and should steadily increase once you finish the GMATClub tests. It's definitely not a shame that you "only" answer 30 questions correctly on the GMATClub tests. I almost never reached that level (even without time constraints) and scored a 48Q on the real test.

The danger I speak of is your attitude toward math. Many who consider themselves strong in math want to reach a 51Q. Some do and most don't. However, nearly all sacrifice their verbal score. Please, please, please don't disregard verbal. At the 32V level, more attention needs to be on verbal. A 51Q means almost nothing with a 32V. I don't mean to come down on you like this, but don't get trapped in your comfort zone. You're good at math and believe that your skills demand a super high score on this section, so you're sticking to math at the expense of verbal.

taurus555 wrote:
My weak areas right now are probability, Geometry (I was never weak but it feels like I have to brush my basics again) and overlap set questions. Are there good books which cover these topics in detail?

For geometry, the best book is the Manhattan guide. You already have this, so just re-read it and skip the review questions. If you're really determined to get the probability and combinatorics stuff down, look in the Veritas book on that subject. That should help quite a bit.

Another excellent resource is Jeff Sackmann's math sets. They're expensive, but so worth it. He divides each in terms of topic (geometry, probability, etc.), so buy those accordingly.

taurus555 wrote:
How will you determine to leave a question which you know will take up more than 2 mins of your time?

This is quite tricky and I can only provide you with a very subjective reply. After about a minute or so, you should be able to tell what kind of question your confronted with. If you're completely lost at this point, then guessing should become a real possibility. If it's tough, but you feel that it's doable in a reasonable amount of time (two to three minutes), then go for it.

Another issue is to pay attention to the clock. If you have plenty of time and are toward the end of the math section, then take that time (but not too much!). But if you're stumped on question 15 and the time remaining doesn't allow it, move on.

taurus555 wrote:
Also how will I extrapolate the GMAT club test score into a GMAT format score. Like how much will a 30/37 give me? 48 or 50 approximately.

I don't look at the GMATClub tests like that. Nearly all of those questions are at the 700-plus level and many are beyond anything that you will see on the real test. A 30Q on those tests means that you're very, very strong in math and probably in the high 40's. But you have only taken nine tests so far, so my estimation doesn't really apply here. Finish them all first to get a better idea.

taurus555 wrote:
The last question I have is, people always tell me that booking a date will actually prompt you to work harder and be prepared for the test. But I want to book a GMAT test date after I break the 700 barrier. Let me know if this strategy is correct or am I just trying to shoot a moving target?

I didn't book the test until I felt comfortable and could see that my studies were coming to a close. What you're doing is fine and perfecly acceptable. But you've been studying for a long time now, so don't wait too long! Otherwise, you risk fatigue and burnout.
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Re: How to improve my Quant score? [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2011, 07:48
Thanks a ton bmillan01!! That was an honest reply and I respect every word of it. Also thanks for the insight on the other questions I had and also for the boost of confidence that u gave me. And dont get me wrong I will not neglect verbal at any cost. I know I have to improve a lot on that. It's just that I don't want my quant to fall back as well.

And I think u got me wrong on the no. Of questions I am getting right. I am only getting 24/37 correct in the gmat club tests. So does this mean I am not as close to that 50Q as u thought I was? Is there anything else u want to add?

And u r right about burning myself out. I do not want that to happen. Better book my date early.

Thanks again and hope u answer my questions in the future too.

GT

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Re: How to improve my Quant score? [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2011, 14:09
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Ah, you're correct. I misread your GMATClub score, but a 24 is still good for now. That number should increase as you continue with those tests. But definitely finish them, as the full benefit doesn't materialize until the end. And if you're not 100 percent convinced about Jeff Sackmann, at least seriously consider his Extreme Challenge set. It has a good bit of probability and combinatorics questions.

I also found it much easier to view the GMATClub tests as a learning experience rather than test practice (it's too depressing and frustrating otherwise). Review and learn from the mistakes that you make on those and treat every incorrect answer as an opportunity to learn.

It's difficult to give a satisfactory answer here, but you are a little further away from a Q50 than I initially thought. You're still in good shape, though, and there's nothing to worry about.
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Re: How to improve my Quant score? [#permalink] New post 14 Nov 2011, 19:22
Thanks for the answer bmillan01. I will take a look at Jeff Sackman and see how much it might help me.

Its good to know that Gmat club tests are more of a learning experience than a test equivalent. Saves me the headaches :-D Also wish there were more Verbal tests.

Anyway will let you know of my debrief after I give my exam (hopefully will be able to break the 700 barrier).

Thanks again.

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Re: How to improve my Quant score?   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2011, 19:22
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