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last month of prep math help!

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last month of prep math help! [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2010, 20:45
Hi guys,

For the past 2 months I have been preparing for my GMAT (sept 22 is the day) and I am currently at the point where I am scoring between 44 and 50 for verbal consistently but I cannot raise my math score above 40. On my past 4 CATs i have scored 35 (kaplan), 35(kaplan), 38(PR), 39(PR).

I really need to break this barrier and elevate my math score to around a 45-46. Is this possible? Any tips about how I should go about achieving this besides just muscling through the OG and quant review books?

Thanks for the help.
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Re: last month of prep math help! [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 09:22
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I teach an SAT prep course, and I tell my students that there are three ways you can get a math problem wrong:

1. You didn't know how to do it
2. You made a mistake while doing it
3. You didn't have time to do it

The key to improvement is understanding your mistakes and correcting them.

Have you been keeping an error log? If not, go back and look over your mistakes on the practice tests. Try to identify a) exactly error you made and b) what type of error it was.

For the type 1 mistakes the solution is simple: learn the material. Do problems of a similar type to the ones you got wrong (ie. triangles, related rates, word problems, etc) until you can get them right every time. For the types that I struggled with (probablilities mostly), I did a problem of that type 3 times per day for a week. By the time the week was up, I could do it in my sleep. The good news is that most people only have one or two topics that they need to relearn.

If you find that you've made a lot of type 2 mistakes, then you need to work on your accuracy. Most silly mistakes happen because you're moving too fast (you're thinking about step 3 of the problem before you've completed step 1). If you're making mental math errors, then the best thing you can do is force yourself to slow down as you work problems, write everything down and don't skip any steps.

If you're making a lot of type 3 mistakes, then do individual questions in a timed environment. Set your timer for 1 minute and practice moving through problems at that pace. If you want to overacheive, then try to whittle the time down more and more. If you do practice problems in 45 seconds, then knowing you have a full minute on the tests is wonderful.

In summary, the first thing you need to do is figure out why you're making the mistakes that you are and then adjust your prep accordingly. If you figure out what type of error you're making and want more help correcting it, then let me know.

It's also worth noting that, in my experience at least, Kaplan's math problems were relatively easy, but the penalty for a wrong answer was very harsh. This type of grading scheme is biased towards people who make type 1 mistakes (because the problems simply aren't as hard as they could/should be) and biased against people who make type 2 mistakes (because of the stiff penalty for wrong answers). I suggest that at some point soon you take the official GMAT prep test and see how you do on that.

Hope this helps.
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Re: last month of prep math help! [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 20:17
Hi Welcome to the GMAT club! :)

Well buddy i will say have u tried to notice the pattern in all ur quant results?
i mean to say whether u r scoring less in PS or DS....I will advice u to use ur error log for this for OG 12.Just try to find out which part of quant u r going wrong..Then try to find the type of questions u r making more mistakes like Number properties,Inequalities or stats or geometry..
Try to revise the topics and concepts in which u r making mistake before making another attempt for practice test..
usually in Quant we feel that we know the things so lets give a try for test.but while attempting for practice test we realize that we are loosing coz of concepts..

I hope this helps u...:)
Thanx
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Re: last month of prep math help! [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 20:47
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I would recommend keeping an error log. Practice the questions that you get wrong and identify key weaknesses. Try to use a consistent strategy for addressing DS questions and so on. Since you have little time left, I might even recommend the GMAT Club Tests. Those are 700+ level questions and will help you understand the concepts better.
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Re: last month of prep math help! [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2010, 09:40
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u need an error log first or at the very least know what type of the questions you are getting wrong and the cause of them. some practice tests you can turn the timer off and it tells you how long you have spent on the problem. Perhaps you could try doing that and see if it is time thats causing you to mess things up or you just dont understand the topics. Another rule of thumb - if you are not done with the problem within 2.5 mins it is probably a lost cause and you need to review the topic.
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Re: last month of prep math help! [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2010, 15:30
canuck786 wrote:
Hi guys,

For the past 2 months I have been preparing for my GMAT (sept 22 is the day) and I am currently at the point where I am scoring between 44 and 50 for verbal consistently but I cannot raise my math score above 40. On my past 4 CATs i have scored 35 (kaplan), 35(kaplan), 38(PR), 39(PR).

I really need to break this barrier and elevate my math score to around a 45-46. Is this possible? Any tips about how I should go about achieving this besides just muscling through the OG and quant review books?

Thanks for the help.

First of all, great verbal score. Do not take Kaplan and PR too seriously. They are not very accurate in terms of scoring. For your quant preparation, I would recommend doing the end of chapter questions on the MGMAT books and review the topics you are weak at. Like you had mentioned, muscle through all of the OG problems. Please take a look at MGMAT OG Companion, they have great explanations.

I hope this was helpful and good luck,
Dawg
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Re: last month of prep math help!   [#permalink] 06 Sep 2010, 15:30
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