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MGMAT CAT 1 results & way forward

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MGMAT CAT 1 results & way forward [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2011, 12:01
Hi All,

Prep so far:

I have been preparing for GMAT over the last 2 months on and off (~10 hrs a week).

Quant: 65% of my overall prep time has gone into Quant. I think I am good in quant (engg background but graduated 10 yr ago) but still wanted to get a hang of all concepts before diving into problems. Completed all MGMAT Quant Strategy books (except a bit of word problems) + Question Bank of Number Properties & Geometry + practice Qs from Jeff Sackmann's Challenge sets (Number properties, geometry, word problems).

Verbal: 35% of prep time gone into Verbal. I have spent most of this time on SC and CR. I think I am okay in RC (reading obsure articles while completing my PhD is coming in handy). For SC: partially read MGMAT guide; CR: partially read MGMAT guide. For practice, done a bit of Aristotle SC Grail questions (have not read the concepts section of it yet), RC99 passages for RC. For CR, some questions from OG based on MGMAT's chapters.

It was getting a bit boring and I was losing track of what to prepare/study over the next few weeks. I understand that I have enough basic material to go through (MGMAT SC, CR, RC guides) but I thought its best to take my first CAT to see how I am doing and which areas I should focus on in the coming weeks.

MGMAT CAT 1: 670 (Q47, V34)
Further breakdown:
Q: Accuracy PS (64%), DS (47%): questions in 700-800 group 25 out of 37; accuracy on 700-800 questions ~44%
V: Accuracy SC (47%), CR (50%), RC (58%): questions in 700-800 group 30 out of 41; accuracy on 700-800 questions ~43%

I took the test under timed conditions i.e. 75 mins for each section. I finished both Quant & Verbal with ~1 min to spare. I am okay with my Quant score but a bit disappointed with my Verbal score. I was expecting Verbal to be atleast 3-4 points more. I know that I have not practiced Verbal much yet and I can expect some improvement in that area after practice. I would like to get guidance and advice from fellow members on these questions/areas:

Questions for Advice:

1. I felt quant on this CAT to be slightly tough. I could feel that I can complete the problem but that it is going take over 3-3.5 mins so I guessed and moved on. Do others felt the same?
2. I felt CR to be quite tough as well and sort of not clean CR i.e. statements were fine but questions and answer choices seemed to be very hotch-potch. Testing logic can be done in a clean fashion and still be difficult (which is the case with OG problems) but on this test it seemed like they are trying to make things difficult by using difficult wordings such as 3 negations in one sentence. Do others felt the same?
3. On Accuracy, MGMAT suggests that it is normal to get half the questions wrong i.e. ~50% accuracy. What do you guys think? I got 16 wrongs in Quant and 20 in Verbal.
4. What prep tips/suggestions would you give me for the next few weeks? My target score in 750 and GMAT date is around 2 months away.
5. Also, what is the best source for practicing CR questions? i.e. not concepts but practice questions.

Thanks a lot in advance. The reason for posting such a long post is also to help others you might have got similar results from their first CAT exam.
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Re: MGMAT CAT 1 results & way forward [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2011, 03:15
Hi again,

I spent quite a few hours (over 5+) analyzing the results. One of the best source on how to analyze your result is by Stacey: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... ice-tests/

For Quant:
1. I found that I was poor in Overlapping sets (I had specifically practiced them but like 2 weeks ago), Fractions Decimals Percentages and Inequalities. Out of these, I made silly mistakes in the last 2 areas and the first one is indeed my weakness - not so much the content but the approach or process.
2. My accuracy in Quant was higher but the difficulty level of questions answered correctly was only 680, so need to work on 700-800 level questions to make sure that I improve my accuracy (~44%) on these.
3. The most insightful finding was that out of 8 questions on which I spent more than 3-3.5 mins, I got 7 wrong. Clearly, I should have guessed and moved on once I was unable to get a feeling that I am on right track. I have been working on developing the 1 minute sense (i.e. to have this feeling that you have spent 1 min on this question without constantly looking at the time), this is esp. useful in quant because it is very easy to zone out and take the problem head on at severe costs. In these questions, I could feel that I have spent more than 1 min and still I have not found strong clues about how to proceed. At about 1.5 min mark (in my mind), I should have guessed and moved on.

For Verbal:
1. I found that I was poor in RC as compared to SC and CR as per the difficulty level of questions. Although, my accuracy in RC (58%) is more than my accuracy in SC (47%) and CR (50%). I think this is very insightful. You want to get the difficult questions as quickly as possible during the exam and then do your best to stay at that difficulty level even though this could mean that your accuracy is between 45-55% .

Did some research over the last few days on these questions, findings are stated below.

vinayrsm wrote:

Questions for Advice:

1. I felt quant on this CAT to be slightly tough. I could feel that I can complete the problem but that it is going take over 3-3.5 mins so I guessed and moved on. Do others felt the same?

While researching on several forums, I found that quite a few people stated that they found quant to be slightly more difficult than actual GMAT. MGMAT's staff mentioned that they have heard just as many people saying that it is more difficult as they have people saying that it is slightly easier. IMO, I think quant was not difficult due to tricks but more computational, more steps required to get the answer.

2. I felt CR to be quite tough as well and sort of not clean CR i.e. statements were fine but questions and answer choices seemed to be very hotch-potch. Testing logic can be done in a clean fashion and still be difficult (which is the case with OG problems) but on this test it seemed like they are trying to make things difficult by using difficult wordings such as 3 negations in one sentence. Do others felt the same?
Well, after doing LSAT CR questions, I think MGMAT CR is just fine. I mean CR can get really complex due to several steps in building the logic. CR questions that I got wrong in MGMAT 1 were 750 level on average. I think for anyone aiming for 750 you should be focusing on CR from other sources than just OG. MGMAT content looks much more manageable to me vs. LSAT CR questions

3. On Accuracy, MGMAT suggests that it is normal to get half the questions wrong i.e. ~50% accuracy. What do you guys think? I got 16 wrongs in Quant and 20 in Verbal.
Accuracy for anyone taking the test will be in the region of 45-55%. The catch is basically to reach higher difficulty questions quickly so that you maintain this accuracy rate for 750+ questions.
4. What prep tips/suggestions would you give me for the next few weeks? My target score in 750 and GMAT date is around 2 months away.
Currently, working on Verbal. RC99 (4 passages per day), CR questions (from GMAT Club and other forums - keeping OG for next week), SC: stuck at idioms chapter in MGMAT book :twisted: I do practice quant everyday, around 15 DS questions and 5-10 PS. Keeping a combined error log for everything that I get wrong or get right but not sure if I can get it right next time.
5. Also, what is the best source for practicing CR questions? i.e. not concepts but practice questions.
Got a response that in general LSAT material can be used. started working on that from yesterday, need to get a hang of LSAT questions as they seems different that GMAT ones in some inexplicable ways (or maybe its just playing with my mind)

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Re: MGMAT CAT 1 results & way forward   [#permalink] 14 Jul 2011, 03:15
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