Studying too much....Diminishing Returns? : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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Studying too much....Diminishing Returns?

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03 Mar 2013, 12:23
Hey everyone,

I just took CAT 5 and scored a 600 56 quant 64 Verbal. I took CAT 4 in January, I got a 620 46 quant and 79 verbal. After CAT 4, I decided to meet with a MGMAT instructor for some tutoring to come up with a study plan. I went through everything he told me. After 60 hours of studying (good focused studying) I took CAT 5 and still finding myself making the same careless errors. My verbal score dropped a lot and my math improved marginally as expected because I was ignoring the Verbal section as part of the tutoring study plan. I really tried to make an effort to tell myself not to make careless mistakes but it did not happen today. In quant, I am getting too many 300-600 level questions wrong and I am still getting tricked on the wording in problems and making the same careless mistakes. The background knowledge is there but I am getting tricked really easily. Is this something that I can improve on? I am spending so much time on this and not seeing much improvement. I dont know whether its time to just take the test and accept reality or continue working on it and take CAT 6 and two GMAC tests and then the real test. My goal to take the test is at the end of April. Thanks !!!!
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Re: Studying too much....Diminishing Returns? [#permalink]

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03 Mar 2013, 13:16
Richard0715 wrote:
Hey everyone,

I just took CAT 5 and scored a 600 56 quant 64 Verbal. I took CAT 4 in January, I got a 620 46 quant and 79 verbal. After CAT 4, I decided to meet with a MGMAT instructor for some tutoring to come up with a study plan. I went through everything he told me. After 60 hours of studying (good focused studying) I took CAT 5 and still finding myself making the same careless errors. My verbal score dropped a lot and my math improved marginally as expected because I was ignoring the Verbal section as part of the tutoring study plan. I really tried to make an effort to tell myself not to make careless mistakes but it did not happen today. In quant, I am getting too many 300-600 level questions wrong and I am still getting tricked on the wording in problems and making the same careless mistakes. The background knowledge is there but I am getting tricked really easily. Is this something that I can improve on? I am spending so much time on this and not seeing much improvement. I dont know whether its time to just take the test and accept reality or continue working on it and take CAT 6 and two GMAC tests and then the real test. My goal to take the test is at the end of April. Thanks !!!!

Hi Richard,

No need to loose hope, you have sufficient amount of time to improve. If you haven't taken the GMATPrep tests then take the first one, this will give you a more accurate picture of your current level. First analyze your mistakes and find out what is bothering you. If you say that you are making careless mistakes, you are not pointing out the specific problem that you might be facing. For example, say in verbal, you are getting most of the CR and specifically assumption questions incorrect. Ask yourself what in assumption questions, are you not able to understand the stimulus, or the answer choices or you require a brush up of the assumption theory or basic concepts. Next, are you keeping track of the questions that you are getting incorrect, not only in the CATs but also in study material such as MGMAT guides and OG. Understanding one's weaknesses is a vital part in one's GMAT preparation; an awareness of these things will drive your score further.

Second, I should refrain myself from commenting on your study plan, but feel that one should try to stay in touch with both the sections. Concepts and rules not practiced regularly could be forgotten. You have a good chance to improve your score, just stay calm analyze, work on your weaknesses and then after a week or two take the next CAT, preferably GMATPrep. You should take at least 2 -3 retakes of GMATPrep tests during the last two weeks of your prep.

Hope this helps,

Vercules
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Re: Studying too much....Diminishing Returns? [#permalink]

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04 Mar 2013, 23:35
Richard0715 wrote:
Hey everyone,

I just took CAT 5 and scored a 600 56 quant 64 Verbal. I took CAT 4 in January, I got a 620 46 quant and 79 verbal. After CAT 4, I decided to meet with a MGMAT instructor for some tutoring to come up with a study plan. I went through everything he told me. After 60 hours of studying (good focused studying) I took CAT 5 and still finding myself making the same careless errors. My verbal score dropped a lot and my math improved marginally as expected because I was ignoring the Verbal section as part of the tutoring study plan. I really tried to make an effort to tell myself not to make careless mistakes but it did not happen today. In quant, I am getting too many 300-600 level questions wrong and I am still getting tricked on the wording in problems and making the same careless mistakes. The background knowledge is there but I am getting tricked really easily. Is this something that I can improve on? I am spending so much time on this and not seeing much improvement. I dont know whether its time to just take the test and accept reality or continue working on it and take CAT 6 and two GMAC tests and then the real test. My goal to take the test is at the end of April. Thanks !!!!

I would suggest reading the question twice to start, so you know what you really need to answer. If that doesn't work then try reading it an extra time just before selecting your answer. If they are errors in calculation, then slow down to get it right and then build up your speed gradually by practicing in the right way.
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Re: Studying too much....Diminishing Returns? [#permalink]

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10 Mar 2013, 15:46
Richard0715 wrote:
Hey everyone,

I just took CAT 5 and scored a 600 56 quant 64 Verbal. I took CAT 4 in January, I got a 620 46 quant and 79 verbal. After CAT 4, I decided to meet with a MGMAT instructor for some tutoring to come up with a study plan. I went through everything he told me. After 60 hours of studying (good focused studying) I took CAT 5 and still finding myself making the same careless errors. My verbal score dropped a lot and my math improved marginally as expected because I was ignoring the Verbal section as part of the tutoring study plan. I really tried to make an effort to tell myself not to make careless mistakes but it did not happen today. In quant, I am getting too many 300-600 level questions wrong and I am still getting tricked on the wording in problems and making the same careless mistakes. The background knowledge is there but I am getting tricked really easily. Is this something that I can improve on? I am spending so much time on this and not seeing much improvement. I dont know whether its time to just take the test and accept reality or continue working on it and take CAT 6 and two GMAC tests and then the real test. My goal to take the test is at the end of April. Thanks !!!!

Hi Richard, I'm in the same boat as you are. I've been studying for 16 weeks and just scored a 570 on my GMAT Prep when my best CAT exam was a 650. I think overstudying for too long is the principal cause. Everybody seems to say that anything over 12 weeks or so of intensive studying is going to diminish your score potential. After that 570 score I decided to take at least three months off. I just rescheduled from my official exam which was supposed to be March 18 to August 12. As I saw it I didn't have a choice since my practice scores were so much lower than my 700 target score. I'm applying for R1 or R2 of Fall '14 so I've got time.
Re: Studying too much....Diminishing Returns?   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2013, 15:46
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