How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50? : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?

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31 Oct 2012, 16:47
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How to improve your quant from 44 to 50?

There are over 100,000 discussions on GMAT Club and a number of them touches on this subject. This is the collection of the best tips GMAT Club users have shared over the last 10 years addressing the question of improving your Quant score. Some of these are mind and others are from users who have contributed to numerous topics and discussions. There is no one-size fits all approach here. Some tips will work for you and others may not as everyone has various strengths and weaknesses. As always - I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Note, there is a separate post on going from Q49 to Q51

If you are constantly performing at the 44-46 quant range (previous tests , trusted prep material) that means:
- Mastered most of the required skilled
- Understand the structure and requirements of gmat math questions

• "Silly mistakes" i.e. things that in the pressure of the gmat you do wrong although you know and understand them
• Get yourself into unnecessary complications in solving questions that can be solved much faster (not being able to see shortcuts)
• Timing issues... there are some things that just take you too much time to get right
• Mistakes that are a result of a subtlety of concepts that you were not sure about (which made you both spend time, eventually guessing or answering without confidence, sometime getting it wrong)

The Most Common Prep Mistakes:

• Concentrating on advanced concepts and hard questions. the ROI of this kind of prep is small (it would be higher if you were to advance from 49 to 51 for example). Otherwise, you are learning how to play the game at the highest level but actually never get there.
• Jumping into the tests. I see a lot of GMAT Club members jump into the CAT's and not only use up many of them (to only end up with few resources by the end) but also discourage and distract themselves. Think of it as trying to reduce the fever with a thermometer. No matter how many times you check your temperature, it will be about the same and it won't help to keep checking.
• Not timing your practice (e.g. books, mobile apps, anything you solve, you should be timing yourself)
• Study mostly from the OG. OG is not a guidebook! It is a question collection. It is not designed to ace the test but rather give you an idea what to expect. The value comes in honing your ear and practice AFTER you have covered the basics and material, not before.
• Not keeping track of their mistakes - if you encounter a mistake don't hide it and try to forget about it.
• Stretching their prep time to 6+ months. The brain is a tricky thing and the older you are, the faster it forgets things. You need to refresh and go back frequently if you have been studying over 4 months. Otherwise, it is 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.

Recommendations for Improvement:

• Perfect your basic techniques. for example: solving regular linear, one variable equations should be performed with no mistakes at all, and should take you no more than 20-30 seconds; doing simple arithmetic - again... no mistakes are allowed, do it fast and with confidence... etc...
• Boost your confidence. My suggestion - do questions again and again, until you can do, in time, without guessing and providing full answers, until you can do a full test (37 questions of various difficulty) with no more then 2-5 mistakes.
• Try to look for the simplest way of solving questions. Don't "buy" complex explanations. for 95% of gmat questions there are simple explanations. Also, don't sufficient yourself with just one way to solve questions. For many questions there are more than one good way to solve. familiarizing yourself with all of them will help you find the simplest way to do it. Follow Bunuel's posts - he often provides very eye opening solutions that are quick and effective.
- Look for specialized material that concentrates (correctly) on subtleties of concepts, especially the concepts you feel are difficult for you. Usually it is really hard to come by specialized sets, but on GMAT Club forum, you can search questions by Tags and by Difficulty. You can use this forum very wisely.
• Try GMAT Club tests - these are hard math problems designed to make you work hard for every question
• Save the questions you miss. Print them out and go back to in a few days or weeks to make sure you can solve them. If you can't answer the same question again, then try again for the third time (remember - time yourself!). If you made a mistake the third time - memorize the question, the solution, and the answer. Yes, memorize and be able to write it out when needed from memory.
• Get better at solving simple things and memorize some of the shortcuts. Here are arithmetic shortcuts to remember.
• If nothing else helps, take a look at some of the timing strategies on GMAT Club
• Use GMAT Club Math book - it is a free PDF download with the most common and hardest to grasp concepts
• I would recommend focussing on accuracy in the beginning. Do the last 50 OG questions, 10 at a time after thoroughly understanding the concepts. Spend as much time as possible to ensure you get all right. for me, it took almost 2 and a half hours to complete. Once you find, you are getting 9 out of 10 right every time, you can move to practicing on a timed test, and try finishing 37 questions in 60 minutes. ( Keep accuracy at the top of your head, if you have to guess, try to eliminate at least 3 wrong answers.), but move on. This balance between speed and accuracy is the key to a higher quant score. - by Ashaker

If you Are not Quite to Q44 Yet:

Content reference and credit: inspiration and quite a few tips for this thread came from Hobbit's thread from 2007
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Last edited by bb on 15 Dec 2015, 13:32, edited 9 times in total.
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31 Oct 2012, 16:54
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31 Oct 2012, 23:34
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Could you post a similar thread about verbal as to how to go from V31 to V41.
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01 Nov 2012, 07:46
Awesome post. I would also be interested in a similar post for verbal improvement.
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01 Nov 2012, 10:39
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Great Article bb!!! Sure to go in my favorites...

Another one for going from V30 to V40 will complete the tango.
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01 Nov 2012, 11:30
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Let me put something together for the going from 30 to 40.
I would say that area would include a lot more of concept review. I will give it a shot.
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01 Nov 2012, 13:15
I really appreciate the effort you take to compile these long posts.............Awesome...........
BB, it will be really helpful if you post something for verbal from 25 to 35.....

Once again thanks a lot
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01 Nov 2012, 13:17
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We do have RC here: gmat-club-s-reading-comprehension-strategy-guide-83101.html

Please give that a shot and let me know if it is missing anything.

Thanks!
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02 Nov 2012, 10:34
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Awesome post BB !

I'd like to add a few points to what you said ( though this is probably more for people trying to go from Q47/48 to Q50) :

1) I'd say first and foremost go through the MGMAT guides and get a solid footing ( yes , even if you're at Q48 you can still pick up a number of new tricks from these books)

I see many people recommending the "Advanced MGMAT quant " book . I personally don't think this book is necessary , I never went through this book and I still managed to get a Q50.

2) ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS have a stopwatch with you when you are working out problems ( even if you're just practicing) . This will help you immensely ; you need to get into the mindset of finding the quickest possible solution . There's not much use in learning a time consuming method ( especially for mid-level problems) .

3) The OG Questions unfortunately aren't too difficult for people striving for a Q50 . You should do the questions as you are doing the MGMAT quant guides . I'd really recommend that people don't refer to the OG explanations for any of the questions . If you follow these explanations , you'll take forever to finish the quant section !
I'd highly recommend you look at Bunuel's post on these forums for more precise/efficient solutions .

4)If you need help with specific areas , i'd recommend you check out this link : http://www.manhattangmat.com/thursdays-with-ron.cfm

Upper level Strategy :

1)Do all the MGMAT question banks and make sure you review all the MGMAT CAT questions that you get . I love these questions , they are just so challenging and they push you to your limits . Don't get too disheartened by your quant score on these tests , just try to learn how to solve the questions you see there .

2)Do as many GMATCLUB tests as you can , these tests are the golden standard for excellence as far as the quant section is considered !

3) If you want a top score in the quant section , you need to brush up on Probability/permutation& Combinations . I have a feeling you'll see atleast 3-4 questions from these topics as you reach for the upper levels .

Extra tips :

1)Don't "fall in love" with any question ! . No question is worth more than say 3 minutes . At the 3 minute mark , just guess and move on .

2)Don't fall for the trap for taking extra time for the first 10 questions . Yes , the first 10 questions are very important , but it's a bad strategy to take more than 20 minutes for the first 10 questions . If you take too long for the lower level/mid level first 10 questions , then you'll have lesser time for the remaining 27 Upper level questions .
So in effect you will be taking more time to answer easy questions and taking less time to answer more difficult questions !

Of course I don't mean to suggest that you should rush through the first 10 questions ! Not at all ! You have to try to be careful without wasting too much time .

Good luck everyone !
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05 Nov 2012, 16:07
I fall into this category...I posted about it earlier today (cant post links yet). I've been through the MGMAT and trying to figure out a plan of attack for the next 1-1.5 months to help boost my Q43 to Q48ish levels. Any ideas on how to approach this?
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13 Nov 2012, 17:48
I also think the OG and OGQR quant problems are pretty easy, not very challenging. I have no access to the MGMAT question banks. I plan to buy the MGMAT Advanced Quant guide and I've seen a few hard questions banks on this forum, but I'm open to any other suggestion
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15 Nov 2012, 02:36
Just found a great post by Rajeevrks on the Q35 to Q45 Topic.
You may find this useful (and I will have something else to post on the Q35 --> Q45 topic next week)
a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html
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15 Nov 2012, 02:51
AbhiJ wrote:
Could you post a similar thread about verbal as to how to go from V31 to V41.

Here is Souvik's post on that - please feel free to comment. (It is a bit long to my liking) but I think it should help:
how-to-go-to-v40-from-v30-142366.html
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16 Jan 2013, 03:10
Great point about studying for too long. I found that I was getting diminishing returns after the 5-6 month mark in terms of motivation and having to relearn things
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16 Jan 2013, 03:11
Great point about studying for too long. I found that I was getting diminishing returns after the 5-6 month mark in terms of motivation and having to relearn things
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20 Jun 2013, 06:06
Hi, I have scored 44+ in 2 mocks and 41 in one(MGMAT1) and scored exactly 44 on the real test two days back.

Does this still apply to me or Should I be looking at other related articles?
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13 Nov 2013, 12:09
Hi BB, I have been following your/gmatcub posts and have found them really helpful. I would like to get some 'performance improvement' suggestions from you .... I have already given GMAT twice and my quant score have been stuck on 39 both the times. I have tried to follow up with the suggestions (that did help me to improve) but still not really sure where I maybe missing out. Is there any suggestion or anything that I should look out for.
I am sorry if I my comment sound a bit odd as I am out of my mind and in a situation where i don't know what to do. Any suggestion would be more than welcome.

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14 Nov 2013, 06:11
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anujkapoor04 wrote:
Hi BB, I have been following your/gmatcub posts and have found them really helpful. I would like to get some 'performance improvement' suggestions from you .... I have already given GMAT twice and my quant score have been stuck on 39 both the times. I have tried to follow up with the suggestions (that did help me to improve) but still not really sure where I maybe missing out. Is there any suggestion or anything that I should look out for.
I am sorry if I my comment sound a bit odd as I am out of my mind and in a situation where i don't know what to do. Any suggestion would be more than welcome.

Rgds

Did you try this a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

It would be fruitful if you revise and go through all the quant guides Manhattan or veritas, practice questions and you may also try gc club test just to learn the application.
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21 Nov 2013, 10:38
Hello guys,

I took the GMAT yesterday and scored Q45. I will retake the exam and I have a 1.5 month to reach Q47+. Before that, I took two Kaplan practice test (both Q44) and two GMATPrep (Q40 and Q39). (Regarding my quant score in GMATPrep I think I was trying to solve every question and spend more than 3 minutes on some, and ultimately ended guessing on to finish on time).

BB, you mention that the ROI of studying hard questions is small but on the other hand you recommend doing the GMATClub tests, which you also define as hard. In what respect are the GMATClub tests different? Would they be helpful for someone in my case, trying to go above Q47?

Thanks you!
Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?   [#permalink] 21 Nov 2013, 10:38

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