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Please help me understand the gmat better!!

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Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2013, 01:25
My friend tells me she could solve everything in the official guide and the books she studied from i.e manhattan, novas math bible and the official guide and called it 'too easy' and ended up getting 550 on the real test. She tells me I cannot rely on my review test results and it has frightened me to no end.

At first I was a weakling and did poorly in the review test but I learned a lot from here and ended up getting around 90 % of the questions in the guide correct. Then I gave the review test in my manhattan book and got very few wrong there (34/37 in quant for instance). Followed that up with a review test in quant from the nova's math bible and got the same score there.

Please help me understand what level I'm on. I would like to get 700.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 03:09
karmapatell wrote:
My friend tells me she could solve everything in the official guide and the books she studied from i.e manhattan, novas math bible and the official guide and called it 'too easy' and ended up getting 550 on the real test. She tells me I cannot rely on my review test results and it has frightened me to no end.

At first I was a weakling and did poorly in the review test but I learned a lot from here and ended up getting around 90 % of the questions in the guide correct. Then I gave the review test in my manhattan book and got very few wrong there (34/37 in quant for instance). Followed that up with a review test in quant from the nova's math bible and got the same score there.

Please help me understand what level I'm on. I would like to get 700.


HI,

in order to gauge your performance the best tool/ mock test is the gmatprep which is the official mock test given my mba.com
You can download the same from
mba.com website

good luck!

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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2013, 21:18
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karmapatell wrote:
Please help me understand what level I'm on. I would like to get 700.

Unfortunately, we don't have enough information about you to provide a reliable answer. As nktdotgupta pointed out, the most accurate indicator of one's actual level is the GMATPrep. Remember, though, to take the GMATPrep CATs under test conditions (time limits, at a desk, don't skip AWA, etc.). While reviewing guidebooks and practicing OG questions are essential ingredients to success, these activities are not the same as taking a test.

On a side note, it's good to see that you're concerned and doing something about it. But just make sure not to become too freaked out. Remain calm and in control at all times. Your friend's experience, while unfortunate, does not doom you to the same fate.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2013, 02:05
BM wrote:
karmapatell wrote:
Please help me understand what level I'm on. I would like to get 700.

Unfortunately, we don't have enough information about you to provide a reliable answer. As nktdotgupta pointed out, the most accurate indicator of one's actual level is the GMATPrep. Remember, though, to take the GMATPrep CATs under test conditions (time limits, at a desk, don't skip AWA, etc.). While reviewing guidebooks and practicing OG questions are essential ingredients to success, these activities are not the same as taking a test.

On a side note, it's good to see that you're concerned and doing something about it. But just make sure not to become too freaked out. Remain calm and in control at all times. Your friend's experience, while unfortunate, does not doom you to the same fate.



Thanks for replying (to the other person as well). I took a test, not the gmatprep because I wanna save it for the end, but I took one online and I realise I'm in a MAJOR crisis. I don't know what to do. 3 months of preparations and I'm still only around the 500 mark.

I made an error log and I'm getting stuff wrong in every category. But I'll list 2 major problems I have.

1. I'm making the most errors in number properties. I wasn't comfortable with any of the topics really. I thought percents, work rate, distance time, sets were all my strengths but I am getting many of them wrong as well and not only am I getting them wrong, but I'm also taking too much time doing those questions. So double whammy. Loss of time AND getting them wrong. All this after 3 months. I'm defo doing something wrong.

2. I have realised my basics suck. Mostly in number properties, statistics and coordinate geometry. How do I get thorough?

I did well ONLY in sentence correction. Got 90 percent correct.

I have 1 month and I'm willing to put in upto 10 hours everyday. I just do not know where to start and what to cover and how. I would have taken up some professional coaching but I'm broke so I hope there is another way of getting better at this.

I don't want to set unrealistic expectations (750 and all) but I'd like to get 650+ because I believe that is my range.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2013, 09:25
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I wouldn't worry too much about statistics problems, as those are relatively uncommon. The priority, it seems, is number properties. I assume that you have the Manhattan Number Properties guidebook. Reread that book and reinforce the material with lots of practice questions. Read and practice at the same time; in other words, don't finish the book first then move on to question practice.

I'm still not certain about your study materials and study habits. It looks like Manhattan, but how many guidebooks do you have? And how are you approaching question practice (OG books, GMATClub forum questions, etc.)?

For verbal, you appear confident in SC. But what's going on in CR and RC? For RC, a reliable resource is actually LSAT passages. What's your approach for CR? Which book and question sources have you used? Also, how many questions have you practice with so far (a rough estimate will do)?

And if you're really feeling that there is a major issue, consider postponing the test by a few weeks. If you feel that you can do it in one month, then go for it. If not, then that means you simply need more time. There's nothing wrong with that.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2013, 10:46
BM wrote:
I wouldn't worry too much about statistics problems, as those are relatively uncommon. The priority, it seems, is number properties. I assume that you have the Manhattan Number Properties guidebook. Reread that book and reinforce the material with lots of practice questions. Read and practice at the same time; in other words, don't finish the book first then move on to question practice.

I'm still not certain about your study materials and study habits. It looks like Manhattan, but how many guidebooks do you have? And how are you approaching question practice (OG books, GMATClub forum questions, etc.)?

For verbal, you appear confident in SC. But what's going on in CR and RC? For RC, a reliable resource is actually LSAT passages. What's your approach for CR? Which book and question sources have you used? Also, how many questions have you practice with so far (a rough estimate will do)?

And if you're really feeling that there is a major issue, consider postponing the test by a few weeks. If you feel that you can do it in one month, then go for it. If not, then that means you simply need more time. There's nothing wrong with that.



I got the Manhattan 'Foundations of GMAT Math' book today to get the basics right. Earlier, I had merely borrowed the Manhattan book for a few days and had given the review test from that book. I also practiced a lot from here and jumped directly to higher level questions on the forums. That's how I learned my work/rate and distance/time problems and I figured that's how I'd pick up on everything else too. I'm paying for that now. I studied using the Princeton review and I came across a lot of questions on the test that either weren't covered that in that book or I had missed because of the jumping around.

CR and RC I started doing seriously last week because until then I was doing Maths. I don't know if I have some disorder but sometimes the passages and CR questions are hard to understand and break down? I keep reading some of them over and over again till 3-4 minutes have gone by but I still cannot answer :S It's only when I do the CPA model mentioned in the book that it makes sense but it's too time consuming, you know, writing the whole thing down. I have completed 60 questions in the OG for CR and 5 for RC. I have an error percentage of 40 % in both.

The books I have actually used are the Princeton Review and the OG. The others I mentioned like the Nova's Bible and Manhattan (even Kaplan) are just lying around. I went with Princeton initially and stuck with that.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2013, 10:57
karmapatell wrote:
BM wrote:
I wouldn't worry too much about statistics problems, as those are relatively uncommon. The priority, it seems, is number properties. I assume that you have the Manhattan Number Properties guidebook. Reread that book and reinforce the material with lots of practice questions. Read and practice at the same time; in other words, don't finish the book first then move on to question practice.

I'm still not certain about your study materials and study habits. It looks like Manhattan, but how many guidebooks do you have? And how are you approaching question practice (OG books, GMATClub forum questions, etc.)?

For verbal, you appear confident in SC. But what's going on in CR and RC? For RC, a reliable resource is actually LSAT passages. What's your approach for CR? Which book and question sources have you used? Also, how many questions have you practice with so far (a rough estimate will do)?

And if you're really feeling that there is a major issue, consider postponing the test by a few weeks. If you feel that you can do it in one month, then go for it. If not, then that means you simply need more time. There's nothing wrong with that.



I got the Manhattan 'Foundations of GMAT Math' book today to get the basics right. Earlier, I had merely borrowed the Manhattan book for a few days and had given the review test from that book. I also practiced a lot from here and jumped directly to higher level questions on the forums. That's how I learned my work/rate and distance/time problems and I figured that's how I'd pick up on everything else too. I'm paying for that now. I studied using the Princeton review and I came across a lot of questions on the test that either weren't covered that in that book or I had missed because of the jumping around.

CR and RC I started doing seriously last week because until then I was doing Maths. I don't know if I have some disorder but sometimes the passages and CR questions are hard to understand and break down? I keep reading some of them over and over again till 3-4 minutes have gone by but I still cannot answer :S It's only when I do the CPA model mentioned in the book that it makes sense but it's too time consuming, you know, writing the whole thing down. I have completed 60 questions in the OG for CR and 5 for RC. I have an error percentage of 40 % in both.

The books I have actually used are the Princeton Review and the OG. The others I mentioned like the Nova's Bible and Manhattan (even Kaplan) are just lying around. I went with Princeton initially and stuck with that.



I got most of the OG math questions right. I'd say about 80 percent and now I'm starting to think it was a fluke because tbh I didn't know how to approach many of them. I just took down info, tried a few things and it worked sometimes. I was far from convinced about the method of solving many of them. I'm pretty sure now its not the way things should be.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2013, 19:03
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I'm a bit concerned about your preparation so far.

Princeton Review materials are acceptable for those aiming for a score in the 500 to 600 range. Manhattan's Foundations guidebook is an introductory-level resource; it's okay, but the book will not take you beyond a certain level. Your performance with OG questions seems fine, but the way you describe the experience worries me. It seems that you were just shooting in the dark for the most part.

Your verbal preparation lacks a great deal, unfortunately. You need to use guidebooks for understanding the concepts involved. If that's not possible due to money or time constraints, then at least browse the verbal forums for additional practice and guidance.

There are a number of fundamental issues involved with your studies. One month may not be enough time to correct them. I strongly advise you to postpone the test date.

If you still decide to press ahead with the initial test date, then focus on the Kaplan or Nova book and finish the OG books completely. The GMATPrep is essential, so take those tests as well.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2013, 07:26
BM wrote:
I'm a bit concerned about your preparation so far.

Princeton Review materials are acceptable for those aiming for a score in the 500 to 600 range. Manhattan's Foundations guidebook is an introductory-level resource; it's okay, but the book will not take you beyond a certain level. Your performance with OG questions seems fine, but the way you describe the experience worries me. It seems that you were just shooting in the dark for the most part.

Your verbal preparation lacks a great deal, unfortunately. You need to use guidebooks for understanding the concepts involved. If that's not possible due to money or time constraints, then at least browse the verbal forums for additional practice and guidance.

There are a number of fundamental issues involved with your studies. One month may not be enough time to correct them. I strongly advise you to postpone the test date.

If you still decide to press ahead with the initial test date, then focus on the Kaplan or Nova book and finish the OG books completely. The GMATPrep is essential, so take those tests as well.


I got the 8 MGMAT guides including the one with number properties. I think you were suggesting I study from them. Thanks a lot for your time! It has helped, I just wish I had better directions 3 months ago :(

One final question, you said statistics questions were fairly uncommon and that doesn't mean I won't be studying them at all but I was hoping you would give me an insight on the most common topics the test uses to gauge your ability. My primary focus will be on them and I will obviously be doing the other less important topics but I'll get on with the more important topics before I go there.
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Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!! [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2013, 08:11
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Ah, I misunderstood your reply regarding the Manhattan series. If you have all eight books, then by all means use those! Just make sure to use the OG alongside those guidebooks. I also advise skipping the end-of-chapter review questions in the Manhattan books to save time.

If you still plan to take the test in one month, then the you will have to rush in order to finish the five math books. For verbal, the SC and CR guides are good, so complete those. In my opinion, RC improvement mostly comes from practice, so skip that book if you're really pressed for time.

The consensus is that statistics, probability, permutations, and combinatorics are topics that generally appear less frequently than other math problems on the GMAT. You need to be familiar with everything else.
Re: Please help me understand the gmat better!!   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2013, 08:11
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