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Thoughts About GMAT Preparation (long)

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Thoughts About GMAT Preparation (long) [#permalink] New post 07 May 2004, 18:24
Sorry it took so long to post this, I got a little busy and have not had time to type lately. I feel I owe it to those on this list to give a detailed account of my GMAT experience. Sorry for the length of this post, I just want to give enough detail to be helpful.

I took the GMAT for the first time on April 15th. I scored a 720 (Q: 46 V: 42) and IтАЩm extremely pleased.

Several people asked me to describe what I did to get a high verbal score so I'll try to be helpful regarding verbal advice. As my quant score is not nearly as high as other peopleтАЩs on this forum, IтАЩll leave that advice to others. My math skills were very rusty (13 years out of college) so IтАЩm pretty pleased to have done as well as I did on the quant section.

First, IтАЩd like to describe how I prepared. I have some strong opinions about the prep material and the prep methods. Please be aware that these are only my opinions and others have done very well on the GMAT by doing something different than I did.

I started my prep on Jan 26th after buying the PR тАЬCracking the GMAT.тАЭ In my opinion, unless youтАЩre one of those people who is going to ace the GMAT no matter what you do, you would be crazy to take the test without reading this book and understanding it thoroughly. The strategies and tips in this book are outstanding and give you the proper mindset to tackle the questions. My only complaint about this book is that it caused me to be overly concerned with getting the first questions on the test correct and did not facilitate me developing the proper timing on the test. More on that later.

Next I bought both the PR Verbal and Math Workout books. These were pretty good and gave me some more practice, especially on my weak math skills. (I was literally having trouble just doing long division and remembering my multiplication tables!!)

Feeling pretty good at this point, I downloaded the PP tests from the GMAC website. I took the first test and scored a 530. Timing! I was so worried about getting the first questions correct, that I did not finish either section and guessed on literally the last 10-12 questions.

At this point I had to leave on business for two weeks. This is not good for your studies. DonтАЩt take time off if you can avoid it. When I returned, I felt like I was almost starting from scratch.

OK, after my first PP test, I knew that I needed more help. I bought the Kaplan book and CD and went through the entire CD. I found the book to be pretty useless after the PR book, but the 100 Math Concepts section was very good for review. I did the entire CD-ROM. It was good to get more practice on computerized questions.

I took the Kaplan diagnostic test on the CD and scored 630, mainly (I realize in hindsight) because I worked quickly and answered all the questions.

I took the Kaplan CAT 1 test and scored 510! Yikes! I was freaking out. I had heard that the Kaplan scores were low, but only by 100 points. Giving myself the extra hundred points would have me making a 610 on the GMAT and that was not going to work for me. My chosen schoolтАЩs median GMAT score is 670. Again, it was a timing issue. I had to guess on the last 10-12 questions and this is not the way to do it. More study, more review, took the Kaplan CAT 2 and got a 530. Same problem. TIMING!

OK. I felt I needed to study the OG in order to really make progress towards a high score. But, knowing that the PP tests use OG questions, I really wanted to take the next PP so that I could move on to studying the OG without tainting the results of the test.

Took PP2 and scored 570. Timing again!

At this point I wanted to dive into the OG book and get a feel for how the real questions were written. I cracked open the OG and worked the first 50-75 PS questions with the vision of doing every question in the entire book. This didnтАЩt last long.

A few days later I was speaking to a friend of mine and she mentioned that she had an MBA and had used the PR online prep material to prepare. She endorsed it highly. I went to the PR site and checked out their pitch. Basically they wanted $500 for a comprehensive online course. $500!? ThatтАЩs a lot of dough! But I asked myself, тАЬWould I pay $500 for a higher GMAT score if I took the test and didnтАЩt get the score I wanted?тАЭ The answer was clearly тАЬYes.тАЭ I paid for the online course and got 4 tests and some pretty good online instruction. I spent the next 2-3 weeks going over this material in depth.

Analysis of the PR Online Course- Pretty good actually. Lots of good practice answering questions on a computer and more fun than reading a book. A lot of it was redundant after the books and other practice I had done. The explanations about CR and some of the PS/DS groups, probability and standard deviation questions were good. Overall, I would recommend this course to anyone who needs to improve his or her score. The practice tests alone are worth it in my book. However, donтАЩt waste your time on the practice problems in the companion guide they send you. Your time is much better spent working on real OG questions.

My timing problem- Up to this point all my practice tests kind of sucked because I was really concerned with getting all of the first questions correct. To exacerbate my timing problem was an ego problem. I am not the kind of person to give up easily. During the course of my life, IтАЩve learned that if I put in more effort than other people I will succeed. I donтАЩt give up when faced with a challenge. Have you ever played that game Free Cell on your Windows operating system? I will start one of those games and stare at the screen for 30 minutes before giving up and quitting a game I canтАЩt win. ThatтАЩs the way I operate. On these practice tests I was operating the same way. тАЬIf I only think about this problem a little more, I know I can get it rightтАж. I have to get the first questions right in order to get a good score.тАЭ Ego. ThatтАЩs all it is.

Lesson- Give up your ego! No matter how smart you are youтАЩre going to get a question on the GMAT that will stump you. 99.9% of the people who take the GMAT miss at least one question. There is no shame in this. If you get a hard question, guess. Move on and answer the next one. ThatтАЩs the game. It took me a long time to learn this.

Before you start the PR Online course youтАЩre supposed to take a diagnostic test. This is actually a free test that anyone can take by visiting their website. I remember the feeling I had that day. I felt like I didnтАЩt really care. I just wanted to blow through the test so I could get on with my studying. With that mindset, I answered every question on that test within the time allotted. This was a first for me. I guessed on a lot of questions and just made a point to work as quickly as I could. I scored a 660 on that first test!

This was a breakthrough for me. The secret of getting my timing up to speed. I missed a lot of questions and even missed the first question in the verbal section, but my score was the highest I had seen. It was then that I realized that the test was about answering all the questions, not only about answering the first few correctly. (Sorry, but this took a long time to hit me.) TimingтАжit all started to make sense to me.

It was about then that I found this website. As I worked through the PR Online course I also was reading information on this site. Somewhere I saw someone suggest the idea of timing yourself on every practice question in order to improve your timing skills. I started doing this and it REALLY works. If you donтАЩt do it already, time yourself every time you work a problem. You need to develop an innate sense of how long it is taking you to work a problem so that youтАЩll know when to give up and move on if youтАЩre spending too much time.

Working through the PR Online course, they intersperse practice tests. My scores on those were markedly better than any previous attempts because I now had the proper mental attitude for success. My scores were as follows:
Test 1: 690
Test 2: 710
Test 3: 690
Test 4: 710

At this point I was getting really burned out on studying. I was spending 4-6 hours a night on this and it was starting to wear on me. I was getting antsy to take the real GMAT. I had another long business trip coming up (about 2.5 weeks in length) and I knew that I absolutely had to take the GMAT before I left on that trip. But, I had not even scratched the surface of studying the OG yet! The PR Online course assigns various practice questions from the OG, but the order seemed random. I had kept track of the questions IтАЩd missed, but had failed to keep track of the questions I had completed.

On this site, I found a link to the MBA Game Plan site http://www.mbagameplan.com/ where I downloaded the very useful Access database that categorizes all the questions in the OG. This is an outstanding resource!! I will attribute as much success to finding this tool as to any other thing that I did. I had 2 weeks to study before my trip so I used the database as my exclusive tool for practice with the OG. If you havenтАЩt downloaded this yet, you should. In the database, the authors have gone through and categorized every question in the OG by its difficultly level. I knew that with a limited time to study I would need to concentrate on hard problems exclusively. I sorted each question type in the database by difficulty level and started studying only the questions that were ranked as тАЬhardтАЭ questions. This was great! I also added a column into the data table to log my errors: whether it was timing, not reading the question properly, or mostly for me, arithmetic errors.

Now, realizing that timing was the key to my success, I studied under strict time constraints. I also realized that I needed practice solving different question types back-to-back under simulated test conditions. I developed what I call the тАЬMini-Blaster.тАЭ The Mini-Blaster (just a fun name I gave it so it would be more interesting to me) is a short test of only hard questions from each category of question contained in the OG done back-to-back in a set amount of time.

Using the database, I would pick 3-5 hard PS questions, 3-5 hard DS questions, one RC passage, 3-5 hard SC and 3-5 hard CR. I would allocate 2 min. for each math question and 1:47 for each verbal question. Add in a few random seconds for flipping through the pages, find the total time allowed, set a timer and go to work. Each Mini-Blaster would take 30-45 minutes and I would then thoroughly review the answers to each question (especially the ones I missed) while they were fresh on my mind. The whole process would take about an hour. I would then record my errors in the database so I could review the questions I missed later. I would also record any question on which I spent too much time.

Working in this manner I completed all the тАЬhardтАЭ questions in each category (except the RC section.) This comprised about 30-40% of all the questions in the OG. It was now getting really close to time to take my test but I had yet to sign up. I logged in to the GMAC website on a Sunday and signed up for a test time for the coming Thursday, April 15. I continued to do Mini-Blasters all week and made a point to review all the quant problems I had marked for review in the database. I used Wednesday (the day before my test) to read the PR тАЬCracking the GMATтАЭ for advice on the AWA section.

I knew I needed to sleep well that night so I went to the gym and worked out hard for about an hour and a half. Went to my local steakhouse, had a huge steak and baked potato, drank two 24oz. beers, went home and went to sleep.

Next morning I woke up, fired up my PP program and practiced writing my essay on that crappy word processor they make you use. I knew from my practice (and using the database to log my errors) that my most common errors were due to not reading the question carefully. Careless errors! Next most common problem I had was getting fooled by the trap answer choices. Before I left to drive to the test center I wrote on a piece of paper the following.тАЭ 1. READ the QUESTION CAREFULLY! 2. The most common WRONG answer choices are there just waiting to TRICK YOU!тАЭ I took this paper with me to the test center. I donтАЩt know if it helped me, but it seemed like the thing to do.

The test went well for me to say the least. I guessed on what seemed like a lot of questions in the quant section. I was surprised that not many of the questions allowed for the tricks of "backsolving" or "plugging in" like I'd practiced so much. Like many others, I only had one easy probability question early on and super easy standard deviation question.

The verbal was very straight forward. Back-to-back RCs early, but the questions were not that hard. I made a point to focus completely on the passage and never let myself think, тАЬOh, this is boring.тАЭ I read with the authors intention in mind. SC questions were not too bad. Almost all of them were grammar questions (as opposed to idiom questions.) CR (to me) was easy. I had always done well on that section.

In the end I was not sure how I did on the test. I had finished each section just in time, although I had to rush some in the middle of the quant section. I accepted my score thinking I would score somewhere around 600-620 on the test. When I hit the enter key and saw that IтАЩd scored 720 I was frankly stunned! This was better than any of my practice tests!

Lesson: (And everybody should know this by now) There are about 30% experimental questions on the test that donтАЩt even count towards your score. You can guess on a lot of questions, think youтАЩre doing really poorly, and still do well on the test!

I hate to say this, but I really donтАЩt have any tips for you folks wanting verbal assistance. It is something IтАЩve always been good at. I write every day and edit a magazine as part of my job, so (although IтАЩm not a grammarian) I deal with words a lot. This is the same as you engineers who think the math section is easy.

My one tip for the verbal is to make a grid for your answer choices on your scratch paper before you start the section. If you spend 2 seconds writing A,B,C,D,E each time, thatтАЩs 82 seconds that you could use to answer a question on the test. Make a grid on you scratch paper before you begin. Then, on a CR question, read the question first and determine what it is asking. If you are supposed to find an assumption, put an тАЬAтАЭ above the column you are working on. If you need to find the conclusion, put a тАЬCтАЭ over the column. This helped me stay focused on what I needed to know when I was picking answers and allowed me not to be confused into picking the opposite answer (a favorite trick of ETS for CR.)

Also, I hate to say this too, but ETS is really, really good at what they do. They write tests that determine a personтАЩs true ability level accurately. If you retake a test, ETS data shows that your score will be about the same as before. RC and CR questions are in this category. These questions test your ability to read something and understand it. How can you study this?? If you are not good at reading and understanding, you cannot just practice a zillion questions and get better, you have to be able to read and understand better. This is a lifelong skill, and one that admittedly comes much easier to native speakers. Once you learn the question types, the patterns that ETS uses on these verbal questions and how to answer each of these question types, thatтАЩs about all you can do in a short period. DonтАЩt mean to be negative, but ETS data backs this up. Get the concepts, donтАЩt stress over practicing until youтАЩre sick of it.

SC is a skill. You can develop this by learning the rules much like the quant section. If you need to improve your verbal score, SC questions are where you will be able to make your gains. Read all the PR material on SC. This is the best resource as far as IтАЩm concerned.

In hindsight, I feel that the Kaplan material sucks. ItтАЩs boring and generally poor. Use the Kaplan CD to practice the quant section. DonтАЩt event bother with their verbal. It is poor. Kaplan seems to rely on tricks to make their questions hard such as changing the units they require for the answer (тАЬHow far did she walk in 2 hoursтАЭ when you were solving for 1 hour.) Also the Kaplan RC is ridiculous. Anyone can make a really hard RC passage by using obscure vocabulary. The real GMAT is very straight forward and a standard high school vocabulary is sufficient for this test.

And hereтАЩs the one I really hate to say because there is so much good information to be gained from this site and it has helped me so muchтАжтАжDonтАЩt spend too much time answering the questions on this forum. Many, many of them are just plain BAD questions from some unknown source. People from around the world post extremely poor GMAT style questions to this site and there is hardly anything to be learned from those who answer these. тАЭIt is CтАЭ is not a discussion of a math or verbal concept. (Yes, I fell into doing this too.) This is not helpful. DonтАЩt get me wrong, there are some great questions and great discussions here. There is just way too much of the bad stuff. Beware. Use this site for a distraction. Log in and answer some questions for fun and to keep your mind sharp at work. Also, use this site to ask a genuine question if you have one. You will get a genuine answer. But if youтАЩre looking for practice, just be aware that there is really no substitute for the REAL GMAT questions found in the OG. This is what you need to focus on.

That said, I have gained tons of valuable information from this site. Thanks to all of you who contribute and work so hard to keep this thing going!! The most valuable information was from posts like this one (although IтАЩve yet to see one this longтАж..)

Best of luck to all of you out there. This is only a test, itтАЩs not life or death or anything too serious. Study hard and have fun!

Jumbee

Last edited by Jumbee on 09 May 2004, 10:55, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 May 2004, 18:59
Congratulation Jumbee. Quite a long post indeed. I read it all and find it pretty encouraging and you certainly gave lots of details (I'll remember to eat a steak, a baked potato and 2 24oz beers before my next attempt :lol: ). I agree with you that some problems on this forum are very tough and that their sources are obscure but trying them will somewhat help stretching one's intellectual capacity and still believe it is good practice. I saw you answer verbal questions and you clearly excelled at it. Your advices are wonderful. Good luck again.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 May 2004, 19:13
Ha-Ha! Yes, it was definitely the steaK and beer that did it....
And don't forget the workout. You'll sleep like a baby regardless of how nervous you are.
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 [#permalink] New post 07 May 2004, 19:30
Thanks Jumbee for your post. Very detailed and nicely structured.

I am a bit surprised, but Jumbee made some interesting observations about the forum and i would like to add some perspective for our members. :)

The use of this forum is totally, and i mean totally dependent on how useful we want to make it for ourselves.

We have members from atleast 68 countries. Its quite possible that different people have vastly different needs. We got to appreciate that people might have different educational backgrounds and most dont know too much about the content of GMAT when they join. The OG is not freely available in most countries as it is here. This forum is probably one of the major sources of information for them. We got to appreciate that

Sure, problems are difficult. The best way to retain knowledge is to work hard to earn it. Solving difficult problems is one of the better ways to do so. if you are looking for a 48+ quant, i can assure you that OG is not sufficient. OG is representative, but not complete. On test day, unless one understands a concept really well, I am confident that that person will struggle to solve problems under time pressure. The "bad problems" that you are talking about maybe important for someone else. We simply dont know. Solving tough problems forces you to summon all your knowledge available to solve a problem. If you can do it, fine. But if not, you learn more about the concept. This is the way we learn about a concept. OG gives specific problems, sure, but does solving them tell you everything about that concept. I dont think so :)

About maintaining the quality of discussions, we have to keep in mind that most of us are working professionals who are looking for practice and do not study the way you and me might do. We are trying very hard to build a culture of learning by discussion and i explain answers everytime i can. But we cannot expect everyone to have time and the motivation to explain. So that explains the "it is C" phenomenon. But its not as pervasive as one might think.

Finally,i would like to stress, that the use of this forum is only dependent on how useful you want to make it for yourself. Post problems from your sources if you dont like what others are posting. Be active and ask questions.

I hope my comments have given you guys more information about the use of this forum. :)

Good Luck
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 [#permalink] New post 07 May 2004, 20:00
Thanks for the input Praet. I understand your well-made points.

Please donтАЩt think this is a quarrel. This is only my opinion and I have learned very well in this life that my opinion can be wrong.

I hope that my comments were taken as constructive criticism not complaining. That was my intent at least.

First, my statement that included тАЬpeople from around the world postтАжтАЭ was definitely meant to be inclusive of the U.S.

Second, I just donтАЩt want people to stress over trying to solve all the problems on this forum. If you miss a question posted on this forum, it may be because you donтАЩt know how to answer it. That is a problem that you need address. Alternatively, if you canтАЩt answer a question on this forum, it may also be because the question is very poorly worded or structured. It could be a GMAT тАЬstyleтАЭ question without the elegance and nuance of a real GMAT question. For example I have noticed DS questions posted here that contain contradictory information in the two data statements. ETS does not do this, and practicing on a poorly structured question like this does not advance your learning. I would not suggest people worry about this type of question any more that I would endorse that people stress because they canтАЩt answer all the Kaplan RC questions. The Kaplan RC is just plain bad practice. Not representative of the real test. This, IтАЩm aware, is why you are developing questions that you are selling for download; because there is a demand for more тАЬgoodтАЭ questions. Right?

Third, unless I didnтАЩt emphasize it enough, this site is a great resource and all of you guys are providing and outstanding service. I completely agree, you get out of it what you desire to get out of it.

Thanks again, and thanks for letting me clarify my position.

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 [#permalink] New post 07 May 2004, 20:42
oh no, come on, You are doing great, jumbee. there are no quarrels at GMAT Club. that i will assure you. :)

Quote:
Thanks for the input Praet. I understand your well-made points. Please donтАЩt think this is a quarrel. This is only my opinion and I have learned very well in this life that my opinion can be wrong. I hope that my comments were taken as constructive criticism not complaining. That was my intent at least.


You are right. But I only wanted to put your observations into perspective. It is difficult to someone who just started out to analyze a problem if he or she does not understand it. By posting it here, they might learn that yes, these kind of questions are incorrect. thats why one might see some questions here that are wrong or some that are out of scope of the GMAT. :)

Quote:
First, my statement that included тАЬpeople from around the world postтАжтАЭ was definitely meant to be inclusive of the U.S.


Sure.

Quote:
Second, I just donтАЩt want people to stress over trying to solve all the problems on this forum. If you miss a question posted on this forum, it may be because you donтАЩt know how to answer it. That is a problem that you need address. Alternatively, if you canтАЩt answer a question on this forum, it may also be because the question is very poorly worded or structured. It could be a GMAT тАЬstyleтАЭ question without the elegance and nuance of a real GMAT question. For example I have noticed DS questions posted here that contain contradictory information in the two data statements. ETS does not do this, and practicing on a poorly structured question like this does not advance your learning. I would not suggest people worry about this type of question any more that I would endorse that people stress because they canтАЩt answer all the Kaplan RC questions. The Kaplan RC is just plain bad practice. Not representative of the real test. This, IтАЩm aware, is why you are developing questions that you are selling for download; because there is a demand for more тАЬgoodтАЭ questions. Right?


True. very true. Dont stress at problems that look stupid, but look at the final solution and see if its worth learning more about it. We can expect poor quality of questions. Members use different kinds of materials (there are 100's of companies churning out questions). Yes, thats one of the reasons we developed our own product.

Quote:
Third, unless I didnтАЩt emphasize it enough, this site is a great resource and all of you guys are providing and outstanding service. I completely agree, you get out of it what you desire to get out of it.


I appreciate that and i also understand what you are trying to say.

Quote:
Thanks again, and thanks for letting me clarify my position.
Jumbee


You were fine jumbee. I did not disagree with you , i only complemented the information you provided.

Do drop by regularly to help other guys.

thanks. its nice discussing this with you :)

Sincerely
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 04:05
I tried to look for the gmat game plan website you mention but coun't find it. Would you mind giving me the website address ? Tks
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 05:33
Hmmm.... Well, I have sometimes found some of the problems - both on verbal and maths forums - quite tough and not really adding value. However "many to most " problems do !. Probably posters need to apply a self conscious GMAT filter before posting - simply the 2 minute test. If the problem cannot be solved in two minutes or max three minutes, well , don't post :-D .

The idea of posting a lot - encouraged by the ops :twisted: probably contributes to a surfeit of sometimes intellectually stimulating problems but not GMAT style. hmmm.... that is precisely how the maths forum is described. :ouch
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 11:32
anupag wrote:
Hmmm.... Well, I have sometimes found some of the problems - both on verbal and maths forums - quite tough and not really adding value. However "many to most " problems do !. Probably posters need to apply a self conscious GMAT filter before posting - simply the 2 minute test. If the problem cannot be solved in two minutes or max three minutes, well , don't post :-D .

The idea of posting a lot - encouraged by the ops :twisted: probably contributes to a surfeit of sometimes intellectually stimulating problems but not GMAT style. hmmm.... that is precisely how the maths forum is described. :ouch


Anupag

i understand the problem. We are working on a better forum system soon. Its hard to implement some of the things because of the number of posts every day. but i hope to find some solution very soon.

Should we classify the problems into sub-forums -- beginner, intermediate , advanced & Fun Math? I will open up a new forum, initially for math and subsequently for verbal to sort problems according to what our judgement is about the difficulty level of the problem. It will be hard to do it for verbal, but lets see.

Subsequently, we want to make a MOD where members will be given an option while posting the problems. So, the existing math forum will be gradually replaced with a more efficient and more useful system. its gonna be hard, but it would be worth it.

This will be for premium members.

let me know. I will talk to toyvo about it.

Sincerely
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 13:53
Praet,

Jumbee and Anupag raise some really good points and you are well aware of them. Unfortunately for many of the reasons you cite solving this is not so easy. Dividing the forums into beginner, advanced etc is a good idea as a first step. In addition it would be nice to start a verbal or math forum wherein its *not permitted* to just answer a question with "Its A or its C" you will *have* to give explanations.

One of the things i haven't found on this site is a "Posting ettiquete" FAQ. Perhaps this should be written down and when folks sign up for the club this should be sent alongwith the sign-on notification. Also perhaps all of the moderators should have a link to the guidelines in their signature ?. The regulars here should try really hard to follow the guidelines and set an example for the new folks who join.

Please don't take this as complaining. I've had a few good discussions (most of them with Paul) which were worth joining this forum for .... and i see that your answers are always very clear and detailed.

--Cheers
--V2

P.S ... if you need help with putting up a set of guidelines, please PM me and i'll help in any way i can.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 14:19
Version2 wrote:
Praet,

Jumbee and Anupag raise some really good points and you are well aware of them. Unfortunately for many of the reasons you cite solving this is not so easy. Dividing the forums into beginner, advanced etc is a good idea as a first step. In addition it would be nice to start a verbal or math forum wherein its *not permitted* to just answer a question with "Its A or its C" you will *have* to give explanations.

One of the things i haven't found on this site is a "Posting ettiquete" FAQ. Perhaps this should be written down and when folks sign up for the club this should be sent alongwith the sign-on notification. Also perhaps all of the moderators should have a link to the guidelines in their signature ?. The regulars here should try really hard to follow the guidelines and set an example for the new folks who join.

Please don't take this as complaining. I've had a few good discussions (most of them with Paul) which were worth joining this forum for .... and i see that your answers are always very clear and detailed.

--Cheers
--V2

P.S ... if you need help with putting up a set of guidelines, please PM me and i'll help in any way i can.


If you can write for us a set of guidelines, i will be very grateful. :oops:
Sure version2, thanks for your support. I always welcome suggestions.

The categorization will take care of the poor quality or too hard problems. Also it will be less intimidating for beginners to participate. I wanted to do something for them for a long time and i hope we can achieve it.

Now, let us first lead by example and always try to discuss. I do that and other very cooperative members do it. It was necessary that i start this and it seems to have slowly taken effect.

As i explained, it is unfair to "not permit" others to discuss as most of us just are looking for practice. but surely, like minded people like you and me can first set an example.

ok Version and anyone else who wants to comment on the following system , please do so. All criticism welcome. :oops:

So to be fair to those who discuss answers, here is what i am going to do.

- right now, everyone has total access to the category based forum.

- two weeks from now, we want the guys who discuss to have exclusive access to the intermediate and the advanced forums in the Category based system. I am going to move the problems one by one to those forums. So, the plum of our good discussions will be in that area.
every problem in the orginal math forum will be there for a week and then it will be moved to the exclusive area.

- the original math forum will still be there. and we will still help them out by providing good solutions. but if the members want to benefit from others hard work, they should be ready to contribute.

- Should we consider some form of incentive for the members who contribute their work to the CATEGORY Basd forums? maybe a amazon gifts certificate or something? what do you guys think? we are short on money, most of it is allocated to some great projects that we have planned. but i am willing to reward guys who help other out. let me know. :)

As a side note:
I dont mind enforcing the no one-liner rule, but I hate to affect anyone's prep guys. But as you might also agree, its kind of unfair for a guy who works 50-60 hrs a week to do that and still concentrate hard on his personal prep. A dilemma, but lets see.

Thats exactly why i started the math and verbal lessons forum , so that, even if guys dont understand and the answers are incomplete, they can go back to the lessons forum ,and look up whats missing. the lessons are a work in progress as i do a lot of other work too and cant find time to write the kind of quality lessons that i want. :( but its my committment to continue that project, so that even if you and me dont benefit from the lessons, the future 'generations' will.

I hope we can implement the category based system for our most valuable members. I need all of your support guys. please amend/change my suggestions to make this a place for good discussions.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 14:30
Praet, by classifying the problems yourself, I believe that it means you have to try out every single problem in order for you to do so? Although we may all have different standards as to what kind of problems are to be classified as "hard", "medium" or "easy", I may have a rough idea and can give you a helping hand in sorting out those problems that I have attempted. If ever you need help in sorting out some of those math problems, feel free to PM me.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 14:35
Paul wrote:
Praet, by classifying the problems yourself, I believe that it means you have to try out every single problem in order for you to do so? Although we may all have different standards as to what kind of problems are to be classified as "hard", "medium" or "easy", I may have a rough idea and can give you a helping hand in sorting out those problems that I have attempted. If ever you need help in sorting out some of those math problems, feel free to PM me.


i totally understand.

Sure, i have moved some problems in the category based forums.

you are the Moderator for the math forums, i wonder if you can see the small icons (there are four of them) at the bottom left of every thread . Out of those, the one with ARROW is for MOVING the posts. do you see that?
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 14:42
:cool I just moved my first topic. I will perhaps not match your pace but I'm on it Praet.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 14:57
Praet,

As Paul pointed out , classifying the problems yourself is going to be time intensive. Are you sure you want to do it yourself ??. It has to be done by people though ... i wish there was a way to do this automatically. On the other hand anything which "halle" posts could be marked right away as intermediate or hard ;-)

Quote:
two weeks from now, we want the guys who discuss to have exclusive access to the intermediate and the advanced forums in the Category based system.

What the criteria for "guys who discuss". For eg there are folks who post a lot of questions but rarely 'discuss' answers.


Quote:
Should we consider some form of incentive for the members who contribute their work to the CATEGORY Basd forums?

In general this is good idea. How about creating a voting scheme ??. Let other members decide who gets the reward?.

Actually of all the great projects you folks have in the pipeline i wish one of them involves attracting high quality tutors or supersmart (99%+) scorers to gmat club. I've always searched for akamai posts and always found some pieces of interest there. This could be the single biggest draw to GMAT club. In an exclusive rewards section we could have "Ask the expert" question wherein some detailed advice could be given to solve a specific question. Perhaps you could work out some remuneration with the expert based on number of questions answered?? Just a thought.

Quote:
I dont mind enforcing the no one-liner rule,

I really like enforcing this rule. What the point of posting the answer without explanation?. The OP will post the answer anyways so you are in no way contributing to the discussion. Anyways .. i'll come up with the posting guidelines in a few days ... we can wait and see the effects of that.


--Cheers
--V2
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 [#permalink] New post 08 May 2004, 16:06
Wow, these are some neat suggestions. :-D

Quote:
Praet,
As Paul pointed out , classifying the problems yourself is going to be time intensive. Are you sure you want to do it yourself ??. It has to be done by people though ... i wish there was a way to do this automatically. On the other hand anything which "halle" posts could be marked right away as intermediate or hard ;-)


I can give you moderator status. as i explained to Paul, you can careful judge the difficulty level of a problem and move it to the appropriate forum. all Moderators of a forum can move the topics. would you like mod. status? it will surely help me out.

Also, if there are unresolved questions, just move them to the incorrect/poorly worded section. i will take care of those later.

Quote:
What the criteria for "guys who discuss". For eg there are folks who post a lot of questions but rarely 'discuss' answers.


i will take care of the criteria. i got several candidates right now. like i said, i want to keep the regular math forum open ...guys can post there. we will help them out. but if someone wants to take advantage of the premium section, they got to participate in discussions by explaining themselves. i want to keep the basic gmat math forum and the regular math forum open for them to show their committment.

It might be harsh...but i guess we got to do something. :oops:

Quote:
P- Should we consider some form of incentive for the members who contribute their work to the CATEGORY Basd forums?


Quote:
V- In general this is good idea. How about creating a voting scheme ??. Let other members decide who gets the reward?.Actually of all the great projects you folks have in the pipeline i wish one of them involves attracting high quality tutors or supersmart (99%+) scorers to gmat club. I've always searched for akamai posts and always found some pieces of interest there. This could be the single biggest draw to GMAT club. In an exclusive rewards section we could have "Ask the expert" question wherein some detailed advice could be given to solve a specific question. Perhaps you could work out some remuneration with the expert based on number of questions answered?? Just a thought.


yes, i have been mulling that for a loooong looong time. We have discussed hiring tutors way back in february. We hardly got any money, Version 2. All the money from donations and advertising is allocated to our projects and its still not enough. so we got to take it one step at a time. but yes, we will.

About Ask the experts... cool idea.

Akamai, Paul, Kpadma, ndidi204, cbrf3,BG, Anandnk,Geethu, Version2, Hallelujah, monarc, Dharmin are some great contributors,... please forgive me if i missed someone :oops: i only remembered these. should we ask some of these guys to join the expert team

I want to give some reward to this expert team every quarter. Is that ok? I will find some way to reward you guys. Allow us to grow a bit, and in the meantime, stay with us. We could make that section paid access and raise some funds for rewarding the guys. OR allow all our donors to get access. About rewards, i think we can reward based on posts per quarter in the "Experts forum".

About the tutors, give us some time to figure out some way of allocating money to that project.

Quote:
P-I dont mind enforcing the no one-liner rule,
V-I really like enforcing this rule. What the point of posting the answer without explanation?. The OP will post the answer anyways so you are in no way contributing to the discussion. Anyways .. i'll come up with the posting guidelines in a few days ... we can wait and see the effects of that.


you are right. lets try to enforce it. i hope we succeed.

--Cheers
--V2


Thanks guys, you have all been great. Version, let me know what else we can do.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 May 2004, 05:39
Jumbee,

Congrats, can you please post the link for GMAT Game Plan site. I really like the idea of having an Access Database. I searched on this site but could not identify the link. If you can post the link that would be grateful.


Thanks,
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 [#permalink] New post 09 May 2004, 10:53
Ooops! Sorry, it's called MBA Game Plan!

I messed it up. The link is below. I'll edit my original post so no one else gets sidetracked.

http://www.mbagameplan.com/

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 [#permalink] New post 10 May 2004, 20:08
i think the grid is very useful for practicing OG, it's under tools:

http://www.mbagameplan.com/Tools.htm

you can download the zipped or unzipped version and read along the instruction.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 May 2004, 11:48
Praet,

Quote:
would you like mod. status? it will surely help me out.


hmmm... i'm reluctant to take mod status now since i'm not sure how much i can do. I have my GMAT in 7 seven weeks and have just started studying ;-). Moreover i'm not on the forums all that much--at most an hour a day (when i'm actually supposed to be working). However once i finish the exam , i'll definitely pitch in to help.

--V2

P.S. ... i know i signed up to write up the posting guidelines FAQ/doc ... look for it sometime near the end of the week :-).
  [#permalink] 11 May 2004, 11:48
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