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Manager
Joined: 06 Jan 2007
Posts: 79
Schools: Tuck, Kellogg, Darden, Duke, NYU, Columbia
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25 Oct 2007, 09:20
Ok so I am going to take this GMAT thing yet again. First score was 530 Q29 V34... Not bad considering I had to teach myself math from square 1. the I studied hard, got good 600+ GMATPREP tests under my belt and retook it and got a 410.

http://www.gmatclub.com/forum/t54351

So now I am trying to come up with a plan. I think I have the concepts down pretty well... so I am going to take and retake the practice exams over and over.. if I see a pattern in what ones I get wrong, then I will focus on those concepts. I also am going to pre-visit a new testing center.. maybe tell them my ordeal last time to maybe avoid (as much as possible) another testing center problem.

What do you guys think?
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 253
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25 Oct 2007, 10:23
Im not sure if you have been doing this, but keep an error log.
Doing the tests and problems over and over is meaningless if you havent recognized your mistakes.
Current Student
Joined: 18 Jun 2007
Posts: 408
Location: Atlanta, GA
Schools: Emory class of 2010
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25 Oct 2007, 10:49
I think you should spend more time on understanding the explanations to the answers you did wrong, than doing more practice problems. The saying is that practice makes perfect, but really, its perfect practice makes perfect. You need to get to the point where you don't make any mistakes on easy problems. Then, progress to where you're missing one or two out of 20 on medium problems. Then, just try to get to where you're geting 50% of the hard problems. Make sure you don't move on until you know how to solve every problem you got wrong, and why it is solved that way. Then, figure out a different way to solve it. Make sure you pay attention to detail. Taking care of all careless mistakes will improve your score dramatically.
SVP
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 2132
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Kudos [?]: 140 [0], given: 0

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25 Oct 2007, 11:11
emoryhopeful wrote:
I think you should spend more time on understanding the explanations to the answers you did wrong, than doing more practice problems. The saying is that practice makes perfect, but really, its perfect practice makes perfect. You need to get to the point where you don't make any mistakes on easy problems. Then, progress to where you're missing one or two out of 20 on medium problems. Then, just try to get to where you're geting 50% of the hard problems. Make sure you don't move on until you know how to solve every problem you got wrong, and why it is solved that way. Then, figure out a different way to solve it. Make sure you pay attention to detail. Taking care of all careless mistakes will improve your score dramatically.

I can't agree with emory more. I've always said, for every minute you spend on a question, spend two on an incorrectly answered question. Even the ones you are shaky about, you need to invest a lot of time.

I used to take my gmat cat on Saturday around noon. Immediately after while all the stuff was fresh, I would review all of the questions. The review took longer than the test itself. As you progress, the review will be shorter b/c you'll be getting less questions wrong.

Also, as emory said, you're not aiming for a 700+, so the smart strategy is to spend the majority of your time at the 650 level. For example, your target question sequence should be:

500 correct
550 correct
600 correct
650 correct
700 incorrect (don't spend too much time on this question)
650 incorrect
600 correct
650 correct
700 incorrect (don't spend too much time on this question)
650 correct
700 incorrect (don't spend too much time on this question)
etc etc

If you can follow this well enough, when you recognize a tough question, don't give it more than 30 seconds. Guess and move on. Use the 90 seconds you saved on a 650 level question that you know you can get right.

When I used to teach SAT at Kaplan, I always told my students, you can aim for 1600 and get a 1200 or you can aim for a 1400 and get a 1300, your choice.

Last edited by kidderek on 25 Oct 2007, 15:07, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
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25 Oct 2007, 13:00
Hmm very interesting. I would take a 650+ easily..
Manager
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25 Oct 2007, 13:24
So how does all that work with the CAT aspect of test. If I blow off a 700 type question would I screw myself in to too low of Q's like 500 - 400 levels?
Manager
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25 Oct 2007, 16:47
So maybe take the OG 11 Q section.. split it in to thirds.. first part of the section being the easy ones.. the mid.. hard questions. And focus accordingly?
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Feb 2007
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25 Oct 2007, 17:04
mediamindy wrote:
So maybe take the OG 11 Q section.. split it in to thirds.. first part of the section being the easy ones.. the mid.. hard questions. And focus accordingly?

you are just adding another level of complexity to your test taking routine.
Just keep it simple!

Dont try to figure out "ooh is this a 700 question?? if yes, then i should prob quess and move on."

like previous posters mentioned, dont spend too much time on a single problem that you find difficult. just eliminate a few answer choices if you can, take an educated guess, and move on.

once you feel comfortable with the material, practice always with a timer. then thoroughly review the problems you got wrong.
then add problem concepts to error log.
And every day that you study, review the entire error log before you do aything else.

there are many strategies and viewpoints, but this is
what what brought me from a 670 to a 760.

goodluck
SVP
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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25 Oct 2007, 17:05
mm,

I don't mean to sound harsh, but you cannot take the gmat and not know the nature of the cat -- computer adaptive test.
Manager
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25 Oct 2007, 21:09
I get how the CAT works.. I mean come on.. I am on gmatclub, right?

:)
SVP
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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26 Oct 2007, 06:48
mediamindy wrote:
I get how the CAT works.. I mean come on.. I am on gmatclub, right?

Just to summarize what I'm saying, don't try to guess what level question you are at, sometimes what is perceived to be easy is actually a 700 level and vice versa.

I think a prudent route is for you, through practice, to know your abilities. For example, when a question is presented to you, you should know within 5-7 seconds whether you can solve that question. Let's say your weakness is combinations and permutations. They give you some complex question, such as how many different ways can you have a first second and third place from 50 different entrants, where a 4th place is awarded if person A is in the top 3 positions. blah blah blah.

You see it, you guess and you move on.

Let's say your reading comp is weak. You read the passage, you kind of understand it. When they ask a general idea question, spend some time and answer it. They ask you an inference question, such as by the author's rationale which statement would he agree with? You say, "what? i barely understood the passage!" skim quickly, if you can't find the answer, guess and move on.

Invest more time in questions you can manage and give less attention to those you have very little chance at.
26 Oct 2007, 06:48
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