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I have been stuck at 50 for several practice tests, and would like to figure out how to get a 51 consistently. Does anyone have advice about how they achieved these?

I will give you my take on how to jump from Q50 to Q51. First if you are consistently scoring Q50, then that means you have all the basics and the advanced ideas in place. It is also possible that there may be some subtopics where you are not as strong as others. Clearly beefing up on those would be a good strategy.

As for the specific problem types, there are two category of questions that can hold you back from a Q51. The first ones are the medium level ones where one could misinterpret a statement and fall for a trap. These are problems that you know everything about but still trip on something small and make a mistake. These are really hard to correct, other than having extreme focus and double checking your work. This can happen to anyone on any day. I personally double check the easier problems, because I know I am more likely to miss an easier problem than a hard one. The reason is that the harder ones rely on testing an advanced concept and rely less on how the questions are phrased or need to be interpreted.

The second category of questions that mostly rely on a new idea require you to be fairly flexible in your approach. These questions often rest on testing an idea that you may not have seen before. Of course, they are not entirely new, but are significantly different than what you may have seen in practice tests. To be able to deal with these problems, I generally recommend going one step beyond GMAT, this where others may disagree with me. I will illustrate with an example. Let's say I want to push my understanding of Counting and Number Theory. I would give the following question to a student(Source American Mathematics Competition AMC 12 2003 Problem#23):

How many perfect squares are divisors of the product (1!)(2!)(3!)(4!)(5!)(6!)(7!)(8!)(9!)?

(A) 504 (B) 672 (C) 864 (D) 936 (E) 1008

This problem is beyond what you would encounter on GMAT, however it has the elements of the concepts necessary for the GMAT, and it does an excellent job of forcing you to think and come up with an approach to solve this problem. This struggle that is inherent in solving this problem is extremely valuable for those few hard problems on the GMAT that determine the difference between Q50 and Q51.

Thanks, Dabral - this is very helpful. Do you have a list of sample "beyond the GMAT" questions I could practice with - I think this could be really helpful for me.

The question is, is there any point trying to push 50 to 51. There are 2 types of Q50, one where you are making 2-4 mistakes and other when you are making 5-8. If you are making less than 4 mistakes, Q50 and Q51 will give you same overall score keeping the verbal score constant. Google Q50 V35 - 710 and Q51 V35 - 710.
_________________

The question is not can you rise up to iconic! The real question is will you ?

I do have a list but I need to curate it and assemble it. Give me a week or so, and I will post a link to the questions here.

Cheers, Dabral

gbayarea wrote:

Thanks, Dabral - this is very helpful. Do you have a list of sample "beyond the GMAT" questions I could practice with - I think this could be really helpful for me.

I have been stuck at 50 for several practice tests, and would like to figure out how to get a 51 consistently. Does anyone have advice about how they achieved these?

I agree with AbhiJ here. You might want to rethink the return you will get by putting in extra effort to push the Quant score from 50 to 51. In the eyes of the adcom, Q50 and Q51 are the same. People who are on the higher rungs of Q50 on a particular day could be on the lower rungs of Q51 on another day. You may actually score Q51 on the test day, who knows! A 1 point increase in the Q score will hardly affect your overall GMAT score. On the other hand, you might want to put in extra effort in Verbal. An improvement in the verbal section could make a lot of difference.
_________________

Here is the list of advanced questions organized by topic that I believe are relevant for students targeting a Q50/Q51. All of these problems use the same concepts that are required on the GMAT, I made sure to only select those that are relevant. However, some of these are fairly challenging and will require a certain level of ingenuity. I recommend that you struggle with them to gain the most. I will add the video explanations over time.

I also wanted to second what others have said regarding the quant score, it is correct that you will get a far higher return from spending time on the Verbal portion of the test. Although, I would still recommend you to keep working on the quant as well, and to keep your brain oiled. The problems I have listed in the link will certainly accomplish that task.

Cheers, Dabral

gbayarea wrote:

Thanks, Dabral - this is very helpful. Do you have a list of sample "beyond the GMAT" questions I could practice with - I think this could be really helpful for me.

Here is the list of advanced questions organized by topic that I believe are relevant for students targeting a Q50/Q51. All of these problems use the same concepts that are required on the GMAT, I made sure to only select those that are relevant. However, some of these are fairly challenging and will require a certain level of ingenuity. I recommend that you struggle with them to gain the most. I will add the video explanations over time.

I also wanted to second what others have said regarding the quant score, it is correct that you will get a far higher return from spending time on the Verbal portion of the test. Although, I would still recommend you to keep working on the quant as well, and to keep your brain oiled. The problems I have listed in the link will certainly accomplish that task.

Cheers, Dabral

gbayarea wrote:

Thanks, Dabral - this is very helpful. Do you have a list of sample "beyond the GMAT" questions I could practice with - I think this could be really helpful for me.

Dabral, thanks for cherry picking the problems and listing down along with the answers. Those looks like a great practice!
_________________

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
_________________

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
_________________

I will give you my take on how to jump from Q50 to Q51. First if you are consistently scoring Q50, then that means you have all the basics and the advanced ideas in place. It is also possible that there may be some subtopics where you are not as strong as others. Clearly beefing up on those would be a good strategy.

As for the specific problem types, there are two category of questions that can hold you back from a Q51. The first ones are the medium level ones where one could misinterpret a statement and fall for a trap. These are problems that you know everything about but still trip on something small and make a mistake. These are really hard to correct, other than having extreme focus and double checking your work. This can happen to anyone on any day. I personally double check the easier problems, because I know I am more likely to miss an easier problem than a hard one. The reason is that the harder ones rely on testing an advanced concept and rely less on how the questions are phrased or need to be interpreted.

The second category of questions that mostly rely on a new idea require you to be fairly flexible in your approach. These questions often rest on testing an idea that you may not have seen before. Of course, they are not entirely new, but are significantly different than what you may have seen in practice tests. To be able to deal with these problems, I generally recommend going one step beyond GMAT, this where others may disagree with me. I will illustrate with an example. Let's say I want to push my understanding of Counting and Number Theory. I would give the following question to a student(Source American Mathematics Competition AMC 12 2003 Problem#23):

How many perfect squares are divisors of the product (1!)(2!)(3!)(4!)(5!)(6!)(7!)(8!)(9!)?

(A) 504 (B) 672 (C) 864 (D) 936 (E) 1008

This problem is beyond what you would encounter on GMAT, however it has the elements of the concepts necessary for the GMAT, and it does an excellent job of forcing you to think and come up with an approach to solve this problem. This struggle that is inherent in solving this problem is extremely valuable for those few hard problems on the GMAT that determine the difference between Q50 and Q51.

Cheers, Dabral

Hi @Darbal

Could you please post answer to the above question.

If you hit 50 on practice tests, it might not be your official score when you actually take an actual GMAT. Please note that practice tests scores tend to be higher than actual GMAT score and we don't recommend solely relying on practice test scores.

Regardless, in order to hit 51, you should be strong in DS. For DS, if you do well on CMT(Common Mistake Type), you can easily hit 50. However, hitting 51 is not that easy as it requires very intensive study of CMT and you also should be lucky too. In fact, these hard 4-5 CMT questions are given on actual GMAT. If you get 1-2 questions wrong, you can definitely hit 49. Or, if you get 0-1 questions wrong, you can hit 50-51. So, you should get 3-4 right out of hardest 4-5 questions. This is a big pressure because you have to solve 37 questions in 75 minutes.

However, with our unique approaches of Variable approach for DS and IVY approach for PS, you can significantly save time, and will have 10 minutes to spare on exam. For instance, with our approaches, you can solve questions that normally take 4 minutes in 1 minutes and 30 seconds, and 2-minute question in 30 seconds. You can solve DS questions 100% with Variable approach and 30-40% of PS questions with IVY approach.

If you would like to try our approaches, Please try Trial Pack (4 hour lesson) that reveal our secret approaches of DS+PS core theory that you have never seen. You can test whether you like them or not before you enroll.

Additionally, below are two useful articles featured in GMAT Club for your reference. This will be helpful for you. You can see what sort of questions you might encounter on actual GMAT.

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