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Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams!

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Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams! [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2012, 00:41
Hope all is well,

I took the GMAT on October 22nd and did horrible. I have to retake the exam, I don't know where to start or what to study. I've taken several practice exams from Kaplan, Princeton Review, Manhattan Review and when I took the real exam I felt like it was different to what I had been studying.

For example on work problems that I have practiced I would see: " If Martha can paint a house in 4 hours and John can paint a house in 5 hours then how many hours will they paint a house together?" And on the real exam I was asked, " If John can paint a house in 2.4 hours and Megan can paint a house in 5 hours....
Although, the questions seem similar the "2.4" hours threw me off, I was not use to seeing this type of structure and I kind of panicked.

For the data sufficiency portion several of the answer choices seemed to be A or statement one only.
In general for the quant section I felt like I was choosing a lot of trap answers- but they seemed to be the correct choice

Also, on the verbal section, specifically the critical reasoning section I got several questions that were bolded statements- something I had been exposed to but did not practice enough to get a grasp of the question type and be able to answer them quickly.
On the verbal reading comprehension section I got four detail question type that highlighted a specific word or phrase and asked what the author thought about the phrase or word (this was also something that was not common/ was not my main study focus)
And for the sentence correction portion parallel structure questions, I was use to making the lists or phrases parallel, on the contrary the exam had the list parallel and underlined the opening sentence, which was also different to what I was used to studying.

I' am extremely disappointed with my score of a 410 (Q22, V24)and would appreciate any advice/tips you may have in regards to improving my score. As well as what I can focus on that is closest to questions I will see on the exam.

Thank you in advance!
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Re: Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams! [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 21:16
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Lisettepakroo wrote:
Hope all is well,

I took the GMAT on October 22nd and did horrible. I have to retake the exam, I don't know where to start or what to study. I've taken several practice exams from Kaplan, Princeton Review, Manhattan Review and when I took the real exam I felt like it was different to what I had been studying.

For example on work problems that I have practiced I would see: " If Martha can paint a house in 4 hours and John can paint a house in 5 hours then how many hours will they paint a house together?" And on the real exam I was asked, " If John can paint a house in 2.4 hours and Megan can paint a house in 5 hours....
Although, the questions seem similar the "2.4" hours threw me off, I was not use to seeing this type of structure and I kind of panicked.

For the data sufficiency portion several of the answer choices seemed to be A or statement one only.
In general for the quant section I felt like I was choosing a lot of trap answers- but they seemed to be the correct choice

Also, on the verbal section, specifically the critical reasoning section I got several questions that were bolded statements- something I had been exposed to but did not practice enough to get a grasp of the question type and be able to answer them quickly.
On the verbal reading comprehension section I got four detail question type that highlighted a specific word or phrase and asked what the author thought about the phrase or word (this was also something that was not common/ was not my main study focus)
And for the sentence correction portion parallel structure questions, I was use to making the lists or phrases parallel, on the contrary the exam had the list parallel and underlined the opening sentence, which was also different to what I was used to studying.

I' am extremely disappointed with my score of a 410 (Q22, V24)and would appreciate any advice/tips you may have in regards to improving my score. As well as what I can focus on that is closest to questions I will see on the exam.

Thank you in advance!


Great advice given above. Here is mine:

You took GMAT 10 days back so you know exactly where you stand right now. Take it as an exercise to understand the exam better. A score of 410 implies weak basics. In my opinion, following is what you should do:

1. Get a complete set of prep books/consider joining a classroom program or an online program. There is a lot you need to go through before you start worrying about the tricks and traps. Get through the basics thoroughly. If you start a program, work religiously on your home work and ensure that you clear all concepts one one topic before moving on to the next. Work hard at this stage.

2. Thereafter, take a practice test (GMAT prep test) and see where you stand. Check out your errors and review those topics again.

3. Start working on OG13 questions. Again, if you see too many errors in particular topics, revisit the theory of those topics. I promise, every time you revisit the theory, you will see something new in the same books and the same pages that you would have already gone through (if you are paying attention)

4. Take occasional practice tests (say, once a week or once in 10 days) and thoroughly analyze them. Figure out where you are making mistakes and keep working on those areas till you take the test again.

Let me respond to the issues you highlighted:

'For example on work problems that I have practiced I would see: " If Martha can paint a house in 4 hours and John can paint a house in 5 hours then how many hours will they paint a house together?" And on the real exam I was asked, " If John can paint a house in 2.4 hours and Megan can paint a house in 5 hours....
Although, the questions seem similar the "2.4" hours threw me off, I was not use to seeing this type of structure and I kind of panicked.'


If something like this happened, I would say that you got the same questions in actual exam as you got in practice tests! The numbers will obviously differ. You need to be very comfortable with decimals and fractions too. They are also just numbers. Learn how to deal with them quickly and efficiently. Either check out your middle school books for that or http://www.purplemath.com.

For the data sufficiency portion several of the answer choices seemed to be A or statement one only.
In general for the quant section I felt like I was choosing a lot of trap answers- but they seemed to be the correct choice


I would worry more if I were marking every DS question with a (C) or (E). Anyway, as I said, it is far too early to worry about patterns (even later, it doesn't pay but before you mark (C), you do need to ensure that no statement alone is sufficient). There are lots of traps and you can learn about them when you go through the complete set of material.

Also, on the verbal section, specifically the critical reasoning section I got several questions that were bolded statements- something I had been exposed to but did not practice enough to get a grasp of the question type and be able to answer them quickly.

Bold statement questions are gaining popularity. It doesn't matter how many of those you get. If you know what to do when you get one, come one come many, you are always good.

On the verbal reading comprehension section I got four detail question type that highlighted a specific word or phrase and asked what the author thought about the phrase or word (this was also something that was not common/ was not my main study focus)

Again, same thoughts are above.

And for the sentence correction portion parallel structure questions, I was use to making the lists or phrases parallel, on the contrary the exam had the list parallel and underlined the opening sentence, which was also different to what I was used to studying.


Point is, given any situation, you should be able to say what the errors are in a particular sentence. The actual GMAT questions will not be replicas of practice questions. It's not like school where you get a set of 10 questions and you get 5 out of them in the exam. You need to be able to think and adapt in GMAT (as you need to do in real life). So don't expect to be prepared for everything that GMAT throws at you, just do the best you can.
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Re: Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams! [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2012, 16:07
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There are a lot of booby traps on the GMAT exam. Going through the practice exams, you should have come across *some* of these booby traps. Did you take those tests under exam conditions? And then review the questions you got wrong for what that booby trap was?

Simulating the practice test in exam condition is extremely important because for many questions, you'll be down to 2 answer choices and you'll have to choose which one. The one you choose is going to have a big impact on your overall score.

If the question asked 2.4 hours...you should be able to manipulate this information in a way that you can use. How many minutes is that? 0.4 hours equals what portion of 60 minutes? Well if 1/10th is 6 minutes..then 4/10th is 24 minutes.

So that's 24 minutes representing 0.4 hours. So 2.4 hrs = 2hr 24 minutes.

You'll need to slowly go through some concepts and make sure you understand all variations and concepts - the GMAT is great at varying questions around consistent concepts/topics that it tests on.
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Re: Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams! [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2012, 20:49
Its very important to practice with official questions. I would start with the OG and do them at least twice. Then move onto GMAT prep there are lot of good collection of official gmat prep from each particular section on this link download.php

for complete free video solutions for OG quant I used this website http://www.gmatquantum.com/

lots of detailed info with very good explanations.
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Re: Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams! [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2012, 08:09
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Re: Real GMAT exam diffrent from practice exams!   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2012, 08:09
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