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Struggling with Math Concepts and Application - Advice?

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Struggling with Math Concepts and Application - Advice? [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2010, 11:43
I've been a member of this forum for the last 3-4 weeks and have been reading advice that users have given to various members. I am really struggling with Quant and I'm looking for direction from people who have been in a similar situation as me. I welcome advice from everyone, but especially if you started off dreadful in Quant and boosted your score.

I have spent well over 120 hours studying for the GMAT over the past 4 weeks. I'm doing about 6 hours a day. The first 1-2 weeks I spent on Verbal and I'm scoring around a 42-44 in that section. But on the Quant section I'm doing horrible: On GMATPrep I got a Q19...so low. On CATPrep.com exams I've ranged from 27-33, but I don't think they're very accurate, but who knows.

So far I've made it through part of the MGMAT Series: Foundations of GMAT Math, Number Properties, Fractions, Decimals & Percents, and Equations, Inequalities and VICs. I will be doing the Word Translations and Geometry in the next week. To be honest, when I've recently gone over the material, I can apply it alright to the problems they present immediately after each lesson, but I tend to forget the stuff a few days later when I've moved onto a new topic. The problem for me seems to be two-fold when it comes to actual practice CATs: (1) Retaining all the information from the hundreds of pages of MGMAT that I've gone through and moreso, (2) knowing how to decipher the problems and apply the correct formula or strategy. I feel like this second part is the biggest issue: I take the exam and I see these problems and think "I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO START." Even when I try to "slow down", it still doesn't seem to come to me. I feel like 1 out of every 2 questions at least I'm completely confused on how to attack the problem.

I have about 1 month left and I really need to use it wisely. For anyone who has been in my position or has advice on how to really learn to decipher these problems and/or apply the correct strategy under the rough time conditions, I welcome your advice. Right now I plan to finish up the MGMAT series, then spend the 20 days or so I have after that to go through OG 12, and the official Quantitive Review and Verbal Review. I am also considering the Sackman math sets that certain people have suggested.

Do you think even if I am having trouble retaining all the MGMAT lessons that once I start going through hundreds of questions that it'll start to stick? I hope so. Thanks ahead of time for your advice and feedback!
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Re: Struggling with Math Concepts and Application - Advice? [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2010, 15:24
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I went thru a similar situation, although for a very specific sets of questions i.e. I seem to struggle with conditional probabilities. For the two fold question that you have the first part is easy to address. I maintain a detailed error log of all my tests. I try to update the error log as soon as I am done with the exam so that the thought process to tackle any question is still fresh in my mind. Then as I review the test results I try to find the similarities or differences in my thought process and the detailed explanation. I agree that it is a long term resolution. But given a month and as many as 2-3 hours a day I think it is still doable. I study 3-4 times a week after busy day at work. This strategy seems to work for me.
For the part two of your question I'd suggest try Kaplan's Quant Workbook. The Kaplan GMAT Premier definitely has good examples for the starters in each math concept. But it doesn't have good practice questions.
Good luck!
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Re: Struggling with Math Concepts and Application - Advice?   [#permalink] 02 Aug 2010, 15:24
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