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MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions

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MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 18:18
I'm a bit lost on my progress...

I've been crunching on the OG12 questions and have been able to get around 80% of the #100+ questions correct for all sections other than SC, which is around 60%.

For the past 2 MGMAT CAT I've done, I've scored 640 (q42, V35) AND 630 (q43, v33) respectively. What makes it worst is that when I reviewed the answers to the incorrect questions, they are not all that hard and I know I'm capable of doing them.

What went wrong?

A couple of things that I've noticed during the two tests:
- I finished the Quants section well before the 75 mins time, with about 10 - 15 minutes to spare
- I'm rather stressed on time per question with Verbal. As a non-native speaker, I often need to re-read the question to fully understand what's being asked.

Any suggestions on what I can do to improve?

My exam is 3 weeks from today and I haven't had a chance to study for AWA. I'm planning to do another MGMAT CAT tomorrow with my empirical observation in mind...
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 06:15
My guess is part of the problem is you're trying to go too fast and this is forcing you to re-read and jump to conclusions prematurely.

I did the same thing, mostly in quant.

SLOW DOWN.

That's all I can think of given what you have listed above.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 11:30
Expert's post
mypatpat wrote:
I'm a bit lost on my progress...

I've been crunching on the OG12 questions and have been able to get around 80% of the #100+ questions correct for all sections other than SC, which is around 60%.

For the past 2 MGMAT CAT I've done, I've scored 640 (q42, V35) AND 630 (q43, v33) respectively. What makes it worst is that when I reviewed the answers to the incorrect questions, they are not all that hard and I know I'm capable of doing them.

What went wrong?

A couple of things that I've noticed during the two tests:
- I finished the Quants section well before the 75 mins time, with about 10 - 15 minutes to spare
- I'm rather stressed on time per question with Verbal. As a non-native speaker, I often need to re-read the question to fully understand what's being asked.

Any suggestions on what I can do to improve?

My exam is 3 weeks from today and I haven't had a chance to study for AWA. I'm planning to do another MGMAT CAT tomorrow with my empirical observation in mind...


OG12 is not a fair estimate of your score. GMAT prep test is the one you should take. If you do fairly well on those, you don't have to worry. Plus, working on paper with a pen is different from reading on the monitor especially in Verbal. Practice more on your laptop.
And I agree with the comment above. Go slow. You know you have extra time in Quant so make sure you are taking due care and not making any careless mistakes. In Verbal, I believe being under pressure makes you lose focus and hence the need to re-read. While practicing, make a conscious decision to read the question only once. It will force you to focus.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 12:23
Thanks for the advice.

I'm going to do another MGMAT CAT today with my timing issue in mind, hopefully will yield better results. In the worst case, I'll get a similar score but I'll have a better idea of my weak points.

I will target to do a GMATPrep exam this weekend for a better gauge of my level...

I don't plan to study AWA until two weeks before my exam. Am I cutting it too close?
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 12:32
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mypatpat wrote:
Thanks for the advice.

I'm going to do another MGMAT CAT today with my timing issue in mind, hopefully will yield better results. In the worst case, I'll get a similar score but I'll have a better idea of my weak points.

I will target to do a GMATPrep exam this weekend for a better gauge of my level...

I don't plan to study AWA until two weeks before my exam. Am I cutting it too close?


No. If you can reasonably express your ideas, it shouldn't be an issue at all. Do follow the generic template for AWA. It will take care of a lot of headache.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 17:23
mypatpat wrote:
Thanks for the advice.

I'm going to do another MGMAT CAT today with my timing issue in mind, hopefully will yield better results. In the worst case, I'll get a similar score but I'll have a better idea of my weak points.

I will target to do a GMATPrep exam this weekend for a better gauge of my level...

I don't plan to study AWA until two weeks before my exam. Am I cutting it too close?


I agree with what Karishma said. The GMAT Prep is a better indicator than the OG12, simply because it's adaptive. As for timing, I have a similar incident to share and I cannot stress on the slowing down part. I have always been one to finish an exam in 20 minutes when I could take 2 hours, and make like one stupid mistake and get a 95 when I could have gotten a 100. I approached the GMAT exactly the same way. And I kept getting scores of 670-700. It was very frustrating, but I slowed down - especially on the Verbal section. I used to finish both sections with like 20-25 minutes to spare. With Math it's not been THAT much of a problem - but with Verbal, oh boy. So when I took my GMAT Prep, I took notes for RC. Like physical notes. And it might sound strange, but it actually works because your brain registers things better when you're writing it down and you don't get glazed eyes. And I went from an average of a 700 to a 770 on my GMAT Prep. I haven't taken the actual exam yet, so it's not an actual indicator, but it worked for me, so maybe it might for you as well?

Good luck! And don't freak out!!
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 17:28
Just finished my 3rd MGMAT exam and scored a 690 (Q46, V38).

What I did different this time:
- Didn't rush in Quants. I invested more time into questions that I know I can answer, and had to make a few guesses on hard questions.
- Significantly increased my focus when doing Verbal. I think I can still improve...

Another thing that I did different today: I did the test at home after a hot meal in comfortable clothing, rather than the office without food in my suit. This may somehow contributed to my performance...
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 18:05
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mypatpat wrote:
Just finished my 3rd MGMAT exam and scored a 690 (Q46, V38).

What I did different this time:
- Didn't rush in Quants. I invested more time into questions that I know I can answer, and had to make a few guesses on hard questions.
- Significantly increased my focus when doing Verbal. I think I can still improve...

Another thing that I did different today: I did the test at home after a hot meal in comfortable clothing, rather than the office without food in my suit. This may somehow contributed to my performance...


Great. That is quite a significant improvement! And yes, a full stomach (though not too full) helps keep your energy levels high. Take 8 min breaks in between sections and munch on something light. It will prepare you for the actual exam.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 19:09
Did my first GMATPrep exam today and the result is a bit disappointing...

650 Q47 V33

I'm quite happy with my Quant, but my Verbal score is a few points below my expectation. The interesting thing is I answered nearly all CR and RC questions correct, but was only 50% accurate on the SC.

What should my approach for the next 2 weeks before my exam on Dec 20th? I still haven't touched AWA and I'll be starting that next week. Should I concentrate on doing more OG12 SC questions and review my grammar concepts, or spend more time with MGMAT CAT and GMATPrep CAT?
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 19:13
I think working with the OG questions to get your SC right will definitely be more beneficial in the long run especially since you seem to have nailed the CR and RC (which can be trickier).
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 19:35
whiplash2411 wrote:
I think working with the OG questions to get your SC right will definitely be more beneficial in the long run especially since you seem to have nailed the CR and RC (which can be trickier).


I just did a count of how many questions I got wrong in SC, CR and RC, and it's scary:

SC - 9 wrong
CR - 0 wrong
RC - 2 wrong

so I nearly got all SC questions wrong. I definite need spend more time with MGMAT SC and OG12 SC...
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 19:57
Make a list of the rules from memory when you go through a chapter. Helps you retain the concepts better.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 20:25
I had similar struggles on my SC leading up to my exam and similar issues with my GMATPrep verbal score turning out much lower than my MGMAT score. I actually pushed my exam back to get over that hurdle. I never really got comfortable with SC but I found that if I focused on the structure of the sentence, it helped me. Initially, I really slowed down my SC - I was spending a good 4-5 mins on each question to find every error I could. Then I started to speed things up. So for example, here's the run down I would do for each SC question as I read the sentence:

1) Identify subject / verb / object - check agreement
2) Identify any subordinate clauses / modifiers (ignore them for the most part - although make sure they modify the correct word)
3) Look for parallelism - make sure you know all the parallel markers and rules inside out
4) Look for pronouns and check your antecedents
5) I depended on my ear for verbs (I wouldn't recommend this for most though - it just seemed my ear worked better than over-analysis of the tenses)

That allowed me to get most of the easy and medium difficulty questions right. At that point, I still looked into the 700+ questions but accepted the fact I would get a few wrong. I spent the rest of my time bolstering up my quant score - I have a quant background so knew that I would get better bang for my buck on that side with the days leading up. You might find the same - improving your strengths may help get you a higher overall score.

As for the AWA - look at chineseburned's post. I didn't spend much time on the AWA. I used the template - got a perfect 6.0 and I'm no professional essayist! Try out GMATWrite if you want to - it gave me confidence that I was doing the right thing so at least that was one thing I didn't have to stress about during the exam.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 21:12
Great advice.

Seems like one shouldn't be concerned with practice questions as opposed to the practice tests?

I remember when I took the CPA exam, I got nearly all of the initial practice questions wrong, but understood them inside-out (similar to what I did in College for Finance Courses), and passed the test with decent scores.

redjam wrote:
I had similar struggles on my SC leading up to my exam and similar issues with my GMATPrep verbal score turning out much lower than my MGMAT score. I actually pushed my exam back to get over that hurdle. I never really got comfortable with SC but I found that if I focused on the structure of the sentence, it helped me. Initially, I really slowed down my SC - I was spending a good 4-5 mins on each question to find every error I could. Then I started to speed things up. So for example, here's the run down I would do for each SC question as I read the sentence:

1) Identify subject / verb / object - check agreement
2) Identify any subordinate clauses / modifiers (ignore them for the most part - although make sure they modify the correct word)
3) Look for parallelism - make sure you know all the parallel markers and rules inside out
4) Look for pronouns and check your antecedents
5) I depended on my ear for verbs (I wouldn't recommend this for most though - it just seemed my ear worked better than over-analysis of the tenses)

That allowed me to get most of the easy and medium difficulty questions right. At that point, I still looked into the 700+ questions but accepted the fact I would get a few wrong. I spent the rest of my time bolstering up my quant score - I have a quant background so knew that I would get better bang for my buck on that side with the days leading up. You might find the same - improving your strengths may help get you a higher overall score.

As for the AWA - look at chineseburned's post. I didn't spend much time on the AWA. I used the template - got a perfect 6.0 and I'm no professional essayist! Try out GMATWrite if you want to - it gave me confidence that I was doing the right thing so at least that was one thing I didn't have to stress about during the exam.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2010, 21:17
Thanks for the tips on SC and AWA! Hope that's going to help me improve my score.

The thing the puzzle me the most is that outside of the CAT, I can do the SC questions with a fair accuracy. Just now, I did the 15 SC practice questions in GMATPrep and got 11 of them correct. Something is holding me back and I really need to have it figured out...
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2010, 05:48
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mypatpat wrote:
Thanks for the tips on SC and AWA! Hope that's going to help me improve my score.

The thing the puzzle me the most is that outside of the CAT, I can do the SC questions with a fair accuracy. Just now, I did the 15 SC practice questions in GMATPrep and got 11 of them correct. Something is holding me back and I really need to have it figured out...


Probably it is the untimed versus the timed scenario. While taking a timed test, you are under a lot more pressure and try to hurry things. If you are timing your practice question too, that following is my theory:
You are doing exceedingly well on CR and RC. That increases the level of SC questions too. Hence you face harder SC question in a CAT than the mix presented in practice tests.

redjam's advice is excellent. I agree with each one of his points. It is partly the SC strategy we suggest to our students too. Follow it and hopefully, you will see improvement.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 14:22
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
Probably it is the untimed versus the timed scenario. While taking a timed test, you are under a lot more pressure and try to hurry things. If you are timing your practice question too, that following is my theory:
You are doing exceedingly well on CR and RC. That increases the level of SC questions too. Hence you face harder SC question in a CAT than the mix presented in practice tests.

redjam's advice is excellent. I agree with each one of his points. It is partly the SC strategy we suggest to our students too. Follow it and hopefully, you will see improvement.


I'm going to spend a few days this week to redo all of the OG12 SC questions, and then try GMATPrep again. Hopefully it'll help me improve my score. That's the most I can do with my exam scheduled 2 weeks from today.

Should I attack the SC questions timed or untimed? I've been doing 10 questions as a set and I use about 15 minutes per set. Maybe I'm rushing myself a bit too much...

For your theory, could it be the other way around? i.e. Because I did bad on SC, I got easier CR and RC questions?

For AWA, I guess I'll take everyone's advice and memorize the template. May have to depend on my business writing skill acquired from work to make the best of them...
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 14:55
mypatpat wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
Probably it is the untimed versus the timed scenario. While taking a timed test, you are under a lot more pressure and try to hurry things. If you are timing your practice question too, that following is my theory:
You are doing exceedingly well on CR and RC. That increases the level of SC questions too. Hence you face harder SC question in a CAT than the mix presented in practice tests.

redjam's advice is excellent. I agree with each one of his points. It is partly the SC strategy we suggest to our students too. Follow it and hopefully, you will see improvement.


I'm going to spend a few days this week to redo all of the OG12 SC questions, and then try GMATPrep again. Hopefully it'll help me improve my score. That's the most I can do with my exam scheduled 2 weeks from today.

Should I attack the SC questions timed or untimed? I've been doing 10 questions as a set and I use about 15 minutes per set. Maybe I'm rushing myself a bit too much...

For your theory, could it be the other way around? i.e. Because I did bad on SC, I got easier CR and RC questions?

For AWA, I guess I'll take everyone's advice and memorize the template. May have to depend on my business writing skill acquired from work to make the best of them...


I think you should time yourself. Practicing questions untimed can be okay in the beginning of the preparation but right now, it's even more imperative that you get the stuff nailed within the right time allotted for it - else your efforts are futile. I would also recommend going through the GMAT Prep SC document in the forum and make sure you get ALL the questions on that one right since it's a good sample of the questions. 1.5 minutes per SC question is a bit much. I'd recommend to try and get it under a minute whenever possible so as to give yourself more time for the other stuff. Good luck!
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2010, 22:09
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mypatpat wrote:

Should I attack the SC questions timed or untimed? I've been doing 10 questions as a set and I use about 15 minutes per set. Maybe I'm rushing myself a bit too much...

For your theory, could it be the other way around? i.e. Because I did bad on SC, I got easier CR and RC questions?

For AWA, I guess I'll take everyone's advice and memorize the template. May have to depend on my business writing skill acquired from work to make the best of them...


Since your exam is in two weeks, timed is definitely a better approach. What you should not time is the time you put in to go through the explanations of each and every question, to analyze your errors, to revisit the concept if you are unclear etc. Just doing questions will not be useful if you don't put in the time and effort to learn from them.

As for my theory, I doubt it is the other way around. CR and RC questions are 2/3 of the section. A few incorrect questions do not turn the table around. Your incorrect SC answers would have brought their level down but since most of your CR and RC answers were correct, you would have gone back to your original level. Also, if you had performed below par in SC and had low level questions in CR and RC, you would not have obtained V35 - V38. Anyway, these are all theories. It is hard to guess what the software actually did and will do. Just focus on giving your best to every question.
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Re: MGMAT CAT vs OG12 Questions   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2010, 22:09
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