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I beleive that last post by prateroian had a great effect on me by virtue of it's emphasizing on the importance of minimizing silly/recurrent errors . Today, I took the 3rd kaplan test and just by making sure that I dont make any silly mistakes and keep my calm in verbal section ( More specifically, RC), I improved my performance significantly. I dont think that my grey cells, or more specifically my concepts, increased significantly in last 4-5 days that I scored a very satisfying 670 in my 3rd kaplan test...some 100 hours after scoring 590 in second kaplan test. The thing which made all the difference, as mentioned earlier , was minimizing silly errors, convincing myself all through the test that this question can be solved, and keeping my calm in those brutal RC's. No doubt that I might have been bit lucky also..but still this score has increased my confidence.
And good news is that after going through those incorrect questions, I realized that some other questions could have been also solved correctly with bit more caution and cool.
What this means is that apart from having good concepts what really matters is that you dont fall prey to test anxiety and you keep your focus intact.
I did only 4 mistakes in maths today.. scaled score 47
In verbal, it was almost same performance in CR and SC but improved significantly in RC today.. did 9 out of 12 correct. May be I learnt from my mistakes or was more calm or was simply lucky in getting bit easier rc's than last time.
Total number of questions correct 30/41 scaled score 37
Total score 670
I think now the key is to keep going like this. Not to get overconfident..
One interesting thing happening is that more maths iam doing, more iam having a feeling that Iam not really getting tested. for instance , most of the people say kaplan maths is tough..but today i found it quite easy..infact some of the questions I found kiddish..not more than 3-4 questions really ruffled me. And one was from a topic which iam quite sure is not in gmat syllabus.
One good source for hard maths questions which I have recently found is some online princeton stuff posted by a chuxiz. I took two tests from those and I found them hardest among all the tests I have taken, including kaplan and gmatclub challenge. In first test.. I did around 10 mistakes out fo 37..but improved significantly in second test after having a firm resolve to not to give up. I solved most of the questions , except 3-4. The difference between these tests and other tests is that you may not find many exceptionally hard questions in the former,but unlike kaplan ,where significant number of questions are quite easy, most of the questions will take your time and there will be very few free giveaways. I think this pattern is very similar to real GMAT.
I would recommend people to look at them if they want some good practice in maths.
In the end, all said and done, I have still to take real GMAT. Iam sure that both my preparation and performance in practice tests this time is better than my earilier attempts. Infact only time I prepared seriously, and for some time ,was before my first attempt.
But still more I prepare more I get insecure. I just dont want to mess it this time. One can keep on preparing for eternity without having a feeling that .." Yes, Iam prepared to go".
So I think I have to start thinking about rounding off my preparation and give a shot finally. I will be exhausing most of the material this time except may be going for a classroom course at kaplan/princeton..something which I cannot afford both in terms of time and money. Therefore If i again screw it this time, I will have no idea on what to do now. May be in that case, I should just accept that somehow I cant perform on test day. After getting 670 in kaplan test and other similar decent scores in other CAT's and section tests, I cannot easily admit that I dont have it in me.
crackgmat, 670 on Kaplan is impressive. You are on your way to get that much coveted 7XX. Indeed, Kaplan RC are very tough but, as you said, if you are in the right mindset, it is totally doable. I myself noted some important improvement in my own RC skills after meticulously analyzing all those CR questions. For many non-natives, RC is the most neglected and important barriers to reaching 700+ and if you can conquer that, you should be all set. As for the likelihood of you not reaching your target, I believe it would have more to do with bad luck than skills because you sure are one very dedicated person. The fact that your previous scores hovered around the 700 level very much proves that you CAN make it. I have total faith in your skills and I will be, in November or December, in the same boat as you will be shortly I am sure we will have some happy ending to this "musing"
Sorry for getting late as I was away for few days. Thanks a lot for your words man..they really mean something. And if there is one person in whole GMATclub, for whom I really wish success , it is you paul. I would be sorry for myself, If i dont get what I feel I deserve,but i would be more sorry if somehow u fail to touch 700 mark. You have helped lot of people in this forum who eventually reached 700+..
But Iam sure you will do it..iam quite certain that your concepts are quite solid as of now..i think u just need to practice focus and build speed.
All the best.
crackgmat, thank you for your kind words. It seems like we are on the same quest Last time I attempted to climb Mount Doom, I ended up a few miles from it. As they say, the third time is the charm Keep us posted with your progress
i printed out this post on tuesday and was just reading it at the coffee shop. was going to spend the remaining time studying but thought i should rush home and make a reply (also my first post because i joined this club on monday).
what is said by praetoria and by his materials on this site, about eliminating mistakes and nailing down timing, is the key.
i too have been studying for the gmat for a while. let's just say the gmat has been the bane of my existence and a hobby for the past 2.5 years. two years ago i took kaplan, because of work i wasn't able to put 100%, took the test and the computer said, mister, here is your 570. i left the test center and when i got in my car i almost cried. this year year i said balls out, whatever it takes. so i signed up with MGMAT. i especially like their material, how they identify which OG problems are challenge level problems. MGMAT has very good CATs on their CD which are very reflective of the real test. i've had to study real hard in SC and CR. because i moved around alot when i was young, i never properly learned grammar. on top of the MGAT SC material (which is very good), i read the random house handbook, and the grammar and diagramming sentences book by DeVincentis-Hayes. the last book tought stuff i should have learned in 7 th grade. my sc was so poor that i had little understanding of adverbs, adjectives, verbals, identify subject, objects, direct objects, prepositions... let just say i was very bad with SC.
so i took the test this past monday (aug. 23), i was expecting to score at least in the 660-680 range (kaplan, MGMAT, PP all said so). but mr. computer at ETS said i got a 580. this time i didn't want to cry, i was pissed. on the drive back home i analyzed what i did wrong, i think it all comes down to timing and not screwing up the last 5 questions. my mistake, granted very stupid, was i guessed on the last 8 quant questions, and last 6 verbal questions. i felt i was doing really well in quant, seeing very hard questions (eg. question 3 was a combinatorics question, 5 was a probability question, 7 crazy exponent, 10 was a difficult geometry question); and in verbal i saw difficult CR and SC sentences (you recognize a difficult SC when the whole sentence is underlined and the question is testing 3 or more topics). but in both sections because I spent too much time in the first half, i did not have much time in the second half.
what this site says about the last 15 to 20 questions in quant being average is very true. even the last 8 questions i guessed on were of average difficulty and required time to solve, which i didn't have.
so now it is back to the drawing table. i too want to go to a great MBA school, i too want to make a difference in the business world. what i am concentrating on now is becoming an emotionless and accurate testing machine. i had dinner with a friend who just finished his master, and we discussed his gre testing experience. he score 99th percentile in both the quant and analytical. he said his problem in quant was timing (sound familiar!) and how he overcame that was by doing alot of problem sets, working on his accuracy, increasing his accuracy to the point where his first calculation and intuition were always right. in the beginning he use to double or triple check (which i did on monday), but after practicing for a month, he was able to do 100 hundred problems (averaging less than 1.5 minutes for a problem) and miss only 1 question. that is an error rate of 1% or what i like to think 100%-1% = 99% percentile!
so i say keep on keeping on. from what you have written i'm sure you're going to score well. like what praetorian said, keep a good mistake matrics, make sure you understand what you got wrong and don't make the same mistake again. make sure you have enough time to finish all the questions.
another piece of advice, don't sweat the AWA, if you have a hard time writing in a timed situation the AWA will likely cause stress that will carry on into the quant sections (what happened to me the first time i took the test). just write the AWA like you are writing a memo to a work colleague or a friend. take the five minute break, go outside the testing center get a breath of fresh air, go to the bath room and splash water on your face. go back in and kick some butt in the quant section. take the next five minute break to refocus. go back in and rock the verbal. be a emotionless, efficient, and accurate machine.
good luck and i hope you do well.
p.s. oh yeah, since i'm kicking it into high gear and studying to take the test again in 4 weeks, where can i get some more problem sets of all question types and where i could find challenging questions?
I was away for a while.It seems I have forgotten everything about GMAT..Ice t, search for 885 sc in the resources section of this website.Iam sure u will get it.
I am going to start my final leg of preparation today night.I dont think I can give more than 15 days after this.
Boksana, i checked the delta course website.Do you think that it is worth spending 30 $ for probability questions when everybody says that prob tested is not that tough? It also mentions about some tough questions from other topics.are they good? If it's worth it, i can consider buying them.
Iam not sure if I will be writing any more musings after today until I take my Real GMAT. I started my final leg of preparation few days back.. I have been very busy nowadays so am unable to find much time to study..just doing some last OG questions, and questions from this site.
I took the last kaplan test (CAT 4) yesterday. The result has made me paranoid. After my 3rd kaplan test, when i scored 670, I had thought that i must have been very lucky to cross 650 in kaplan..and fourth test will bring me back to ground.
Before the test, it told me that some of the questions might be repeated. Luckily, except for one CR in the end, not a single question came which I had seen earlier.
The maths gave me same feeling as 3rd test..i found lot of easy questions..and few rattled me. After the test, I had a feeling that it was not as good as last one..but hoped i wudnt have done more than 4-5 mistakes. I finished the section 15 minutes earlier.
I did verbal with astonishing speed this time. CR I did very fast..1 min 10 sec on an average for each CR, SC even faster..In RC's I was very comfortable this time.. I was not sure of just one CR, COUPLE OF RC questions and one SC
I finished the section 23 minutes earlier.. I had a feeling that I might have been very sloppy .
I clicked to see the scores..
This is what I saw :
710 ( Q -43 V-40).
4 mistakes in maths..
and just 6 mistakes in verbal.. 3 in SC, 2 in CR and just imagine. 1 in RC..i had 11/12 dreaded kaplan RC's correct.
With some days remaining for my real GMAT..this should have been the best what one could ask for. But as I said before,this result has made me paranoid. Not many people on earth, Iam sure , have got 700+ in kaplan tests. And those who get, certainly get 700+ in real one.
But what if I dont get it. I have failed before. Iam sure I have worked harder this time , but I can fail again. And if I fail, nobody , except for some invisible people in this forum who dont know who crackgmat750 is, will ever know what i was capable of.
This feeling is making me paranoid. I dont want to fail, especially when I know that I deserve success more than some people who finally get 700+.
I dont want to sound wimpy and somebody who is using this forum to satisfy his vanity, but friends you are the only people with whom I can share my concerns. Lot of people here have been so nice to me.They have seen me going through this ordeal..
Infact now ,after yesterday'result, I seriously think of cancelling my appointment..I cant bear the agony ..
Anyways, if I fail again..then as i said in my last post, and now Iam absolutely certain about it, I have to admit that somehow I cant perform on test day. I have proved more than required that I have the capability to score well.
For the remaining 15-20 days, i will be revising my notes,take some remaining princeton/800score tests and do questions from this website.