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# Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March

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Director
Status: Gonna rock this time!!!
Joined: 22 Jul 2012
Posts: 547
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q43 V34
GMAT 2: 630 Q47 V29
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
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Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

### Show Tags

09 Mar 2013, 07:08
Experts/Folks,

I am a non-native speaker of English. According to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, I have been certified to be at C1 level.

I took my Manhattan CAT 5 today.
Got 37 in Verbal. This has been my highest till date. I know and have experienced that verbal on GMAT is very tough and is tougher than MGMAT Verbal.

I did not guess until 21st question and most of the first 20 were right. Followed what Rajat from e-gmat recommended. Thanks a lot Rajat for the session you took in January. I can see the benefits.

After that, followed his Takt time strategy.. I am very strong in SC compared to CR and hence I had decided that I would throwaway CR questions to get back on track.

I had to throwaway 5 CR questions today .. Am I the only one facing problem in timing in Verbal section or is it with every non-native speaker or is it also with native speakers?

I don't prefer to throwaway RC questions because I would anyway have spent the time reading the entire passage and so no point in not attempting
RC questions. Also, I don't always get all RC questions correct. So by throwing away RC questions, I would increase chances of making consecutive mistakes.

I plan to guess on questions from 21 to 33 to get back on track. I guess more number of experimental questions would be between this range.

Please let me know if this strategy is fine? Does it need some tweaking?

Strategy for quant:

I did not the follow a similar strategy in Quant section today and the result was not so pleasant.

I noticed that I made 7 careless mistakes.

Main reasons : failing to consider What exactly is Given; failing to see waht exactly is asked; failing to consider the scope for plugging in numbers.

My strategy to overcome these mistakes:

Write down the following for every question on scratch pad. Fill it with relevant information
G: Given
A: Asked
S: Scope for plugging in.

This might involve a lot of time but I guess this is the only way I can avoid these kind of mistakes.

Also, I am not gonna guess until I hit 19th Question. I plan to guess on questions between 19 and 30. I guess more number of experimental questions would be between this range.

Please let me know whether the strategy I have mentioned for quant and verbal is ok.

Regards,
Sachin
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

### Show Tags

11 Mar 2013, 02:04
5
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Expert's post
I am a little late to the party but you've still got time so let me re-iterate what many others have told you. If you know that you are going to fall short on time, it's ok to throw away some questions. But ensure you keep the following in mind:

1. Be flexible. Doing first 20 questions no-matter-what could turn out to be a disaster. Do not give more than 2-2.5 mins to any SC/CR question - be it the first question or the 20th (I certainly hope though that you sail through the first few questions - at least it will give you loads of confidence for the rest of the test). I have known people to spend 5 mins on the first question and then spiral downwards. No one knows the actual GMAT algorithm so don't take such risks - one question cannot make or break it.
2. Don't guess blindly. Take 30 secs to read the question. The look/length of a question cannot tell you whether it is easy or hard. If you feel it's too much, guess and move on within 30 secs.
3. Try to evenly space your guesses. Sequential guessing can do more harm. But again, this is not a hard and fast rule. Do not feel obliged to guess just because you have been comfortably sailing through the last 5 questions.
4. Do not bind yourself into knots trying to find the right questions to guess in between questions 20 - 35. If they happen at that time, fine, else guess when you really need to.
5. You know that your CR is weakest - there is actually a silver lining there - usually, CR questions take maximum time. So if you read the question and feel it's too convoluted, quickly guess and move on. But, keep an open mind about guessing on SC/RC questions too. If you get stuck with a particularly tricky SC question, remember, you can guess on SC questions too. You can use that time in some other CR question that might be easier than expected.

Overall, my suggestion would be to be flexible. Don't use more than 2-2.5 mins on any question and guess when you feel the need to (according to the difficulty of the question). Do not go to the test center with pre-conceived notions on how the algorithm works. No one but GMAC knows it.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Manager Joined: 13 Aug 2009 Posts: 223 Location: United States GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46 GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51 GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170 Followers: 30 Kudos [?]: 135 [4] , given: 81 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 08:01 4 This post received KUDOS 1 This post was BOOKMARKED March 14? That's pi day (3/14)! It's your lucky day, I can feel it. First of all, your #1 job on quant is to get rid of the careless errors. Four or five or seven dumb mistakes on easy questions will absolutely torpedo your score. You can study all of the advanced math questions you want, but if you make silly mistakes, the algorithm will kick you in the nuts over and over again until you're writhing on the floor in agony. It's the nature of adaptive tests. On every question you do--whether in practice or on a test--focus on reading the question twice before you start scrawling numbers on your page. Sure, it takes an extra few seconds, but you absolutely can't afford to miss the little modifying phrases that change the question ("x is positive" or "x is a two-digit integer", etc.), and you definitely can't afford to make small transcription errors. As you're completing the question, double-check any simple algebra and arithmetic if you have a tendency to make dumb errors in those areas. And before you click "next", re-read the question again, and ask yourself: "How are they trying to screw me?" By now, you've done enough studying that you've seen nearly every trap that the GMAT throws at you. You're making bad errors because you're letting the clock get in your head, and you're not taking the extra few seconds that you desperately need to spend to avoid those errors. As you practice, focus on developing a good rhythm: read the question twice, check your work twice, read the question again, and look for traps and dumb errors before you move on. Be absolutely religious about this. On every question. Without exception. Yes, it takes a few extra seconds, but you can't afford NOT to spend those seconds. Also, look carefully through your practice tests, and identify questions that took you more than three minutes. Are you being stubborn on the harder questions? Maybe you need to focus on letting go of those questions quickly. If you're overmatched by a question, don't waste your time on it. You can miss tons of questions and do extremely well on the quant section, but you can't afford to put yourself in a huge timing hole, which then causes you to rush through questions and make more dumb mistakes. So seriously: focus on developing a good rhythm to reinforce your accuracy, and then focus on consciously walking away from questions when they give you trouble. If I could wave a magic wand and make you 1) never make errors on questions that you understand, and 2) never waste time on questions you don't understand, then you would absolutely score at least a 47 on your next test, and possibly a 48 or 49. I would bet my life on that if I had to, Sachin. On verbal, the unglamorous reality is that you're probably a slow reader, and there isn't a whole lot you can do to improve your reading speed in the short run. Some native speakers also struggle with reading speed, but non-native speakers are more likely to have a hard time completing 41 questions in 75 minutes. And no, it's not fair. When your test is a week away, all you can really do is focus as much as you can on efficiency (especially on SC, since you can save at least some time by quickly eliminating certain answer choices if you're quick to recognize the GMAT's favorite SC rules), and try not to let the timing issues rush you into bad errors. The verbal algorithm fundamentally works the same way as its quant counterpart: dumb errors on easy questions can really kill your score, and if you do well enough on the first, say, 35 questions, you can afford to screw up on the last six without completely wrecking your score. Whatever you do, concentrate on maintaining accuracy early in the test. You don't want to make a dumb error because you're rushing through question #5, just for the privilege of taking a look at question #36 or #41. That's always a terrible tradeoff on an adaptive test. My usual advice is to do the verbal questions accurately and methodically until you start to run out of time toward the end of the section, and then guess at the very end if you have to. All else being equal, I just don't think it makes sense to skip question #21, either--in theory, a mistake earlier in the test will hurt you more than a guess later in the test. You might get lucky and guess on experimental questions in the middle of the test, but that seems a little bit dangerous, since we don't know exactly how many experimental questions are on the test, and you'll need some luck if you want to miss the experimental questions only. Then again, if you're substantially worse (in terms of both speed and accuracy) at, say, CR questions, then maybe you could start skipping them a little bit earlier. That would make some sense, if you're confident that you're stronger on the other question types. But in all honestly, I would pour as much energy as possible into becoming more efficient on SC at this stage--I think that's probably more likely to help your score than any particular guessing strategy. Lucky guesses definitely help, though. Good luck, Sachin! _________________ Helping students kick the GMAT in the nuts since 2002... http://www.gmatninja.com. Manager Joined: 13 Aug 2009 Posts: 223 Location: United States GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46 GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51 GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170 Followers: 30 Kudos [?]: 135 [4] , given: 81 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 09:30 4 This post received KUDOS Wholehearted agreement with our man souvik101990 (who, incidentally, deserves major kudos for the Frankie Goes to Hollywood reference): CALM DOWN! Get some sleep. You're not going to beat the GMAT with some crazyass guessing strategy six days before your test. You can beat it with a mix of hard work, confidence, and clear thinking. At this point, you need to stop trying to find a miracle strategy, and just focus on being as rested, clear, and well-fed as you can. Keep practicing, keep working to become more efficient, and accept that you're probably going to have to take some lumps at the end of your verbal section. If you're strong enough on the first 35 questions or so, you can afford some guesses toward the end. But seriously, I think you've shot your blood pressure through the roof already today, and that's not good. Go eat a good meal, breathe, listen to some nice 80s music, and then come back and do some nice, methodical, calm studying. _________________ Helping students kick the GMAT in the nuts since 2002... http://www.gmatninja.com. Moderator Joined: 02 Jul 2012 Posts: 1230 Location: India Concentration: Strategy GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.8 WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 110 Kudos [?]: 1253 [3] , given: 116 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 11 Mar 2013, 03:00 3 This post received KUDOS Anything I add now will just be chaff... But just one word of caution... Us Indians, IMHO, we just are not able to let a question get the better of us.. As a result when we get stuck on a toughie, we end up using much more time on it than it deserves.. IMHO, if you cannot answer it within two minutes, guess and move on.. No point in wasting 5 minutes to get one question right and ending up not completing the section.. _________________ Did you find this post helpful?... Please let me know through the Kudos button. Thanks To The Almighty - My GMAT Debrief GMAT Reading Comprehension: 7 Most Common Passage Types VP Joined: 23 Mar 2011 Posts: 1113 Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy Schools: Duke '16 (M) Followers: 78 Kudos [?]: 487 [1] , given: 463 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 07:36 1 This post received KUDOS Your test is pretty close so I won't suggest a lot of changes to what you are doing right now. You've done decently well in the first attempt and with the extra prep you've done, I'm sure you can achieve a sizable jump. Having said that, I'll give a couple of suggestions: 1.) Don't just 'throw away' CR questions as soon as you see them. Reading them takes 30 secs - and if you feel you've understood the argument well enough proceed to attempt. Else, leave and move ahead. Your strategy on trying not to miss consecutive questions is spot on. 2.) I will never suggest writing GAS for every question. The better way to do it is to remind yourself before every question that you need to do X, Y and Z. You can practice this for the remaining days and write down stuff on the sketch pad in big bold letters, before you start attempting the quant section. Basically, train your mind to behave in a certain way instead of wasting time on every question. Also, don't be so rigid on not guessing till X number of questions. You may take inadequate amount of time to solve a question with that strategy. Attempt the question on its merit and your strengths. rest of it looks good. Do well Retired Moderator Status: worked for Kaplan's associates, but now on my own, free and flying Joined: 19 Feb 2007 Posts: 3561 Location: India WE: Education (Education) Followers: 581 Kudos [?]: 4669 [1] , given: 321 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 08:18 1 This post received KUDOS Hi, Sachin Verbal strategy From what it looks, you seem overwhelmed by your tricky experiences and unnerving you. In these circumstances, you will start doubting even your correct experiences. Rather I feel that you should train your focus to complete the questionnaire 100%. It is clear that GMAC is creating a database that is totally different from the past ones. There is a compulsion for GMAC to do this because, many Universities, even as top as Harvard, have started accepting GRE as an alternative score. So most of the questions are going to be new or for that matter, even many more experimentals. And if you are going to guess half of them, you better be a specialist in the guessing game. And please also remember that in the guessing game, one might lose or one might win; that is part of the game. But in the process, you time management and pacing should not become causality. Whether you guess or you are cock-sure, better does it within you own pacing? There should never be a case when you should throw away 5 questions that are 12% of the questionnaire. Guess with a stop watch or timer; the motto should be to get your answer within the time either in right or wrong mode to start with and then go on to more right than wrong mode as you progress. I have no more that this at this point of time. _________________ “Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher” – a Japanese proverb. 9884544509 Moderator Joined: 01 Sep 2010 Posts: 2994 Followers: 714 Kudos [?]: 5731 [1] , given: 969 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 08:25 1 This post received KUDOS GMATNinja wrote: March 14? That's pi day (3/14)! It's your lucky day, I can feel it. First of all, your #1 job on quant is to get rid of the careless errors. Four or five or seven dumb mistakes on easy questions will absolutely torpedo your score. You can study all of the advanced math questions you want, but if you make silly mistakes, the algorithm will kick you in the nuts over and over again until you're writhing on the floor in agony. It's the nature of adaptive tests. On every question you do--whether in practice or on a test--focus on reading the question twice before you start scrawling numbers on your page. Sure, it takes an extra few seconds, but you absolutely can't afford to miss the little modifying phrases that change the question ("x is positive" or "x is a two-digit integer", etc.), and you definitely can't afford to make small transcription errors. As you're completing the question, double-check any simple algebra and arithmetic if you have a tendency to make dumb errors in those areas. And before you click "next", re-read the question again, and ask yourself: "How are they trying to screw me?" By now, you've done enough studying that you've seen nearly every trap that the GMAT throws at you. You're making bad errors because you're letting the clock get in your head, and you're not taking the extra few seconds that you desperately need to spend to avoid those errors. As you practice, focus on developing a good rhythm: read the question twice, check your work twice, read the question again, and look for traps and dumb errors before you move on. Be absolutely religious about this. On every question. Without exception. Yes, it takes a few extra seconds, but you can't afford NOT to spend those seconds. Also, look carefully through your practice tests, and identify questions that took you more than three minutes. Are you being stubborn on the harder questions? Maybe you need to focus on letting go of those questions quickly. If you're overmatched by a question, don't waste your time on it. You can miss tons of questions and do extremely well on the quant section, but you can't afford to put yourself in a huge timing hole, which then causes you to rush through questions and make more dumb mistakes. So seriously: focus on developing a good rhythm to reinforce your accuracy, and then focus on consciously walking away from questions when they give you trouble. If I could wave a magic wand and make you 1) never make errors on questions that you understand, and 2) never waste time on questions you don't understand, then you would absolutely score at least a 47 on your next test, and possibly a 48 or 49. I would bet my life on that if I had to, Sachin. On verbal, the unglamorous reality is that you're probably a slow reader, and there isn't a whole lot you can do to improve your reading speed in the short run. Some native speakers also struggle with reading speed, but non-native speakers are more likely to have a hard time completing 41 questions in 75 minutes. And no, it's not fair. When your test is a week away, all you can really do is focus as much as you can on efficiency (especially on SC, since you can save at least some time by quickly eliminating certain answer choices if you're quick to recognize the GMAT's favorite SC rules), and try not to let the timing issues rush you into bad errors. The verbal algorithm fundamentally works the same way as its quant counterpart: dumb errors on easy questions can really kill your score, and if you do well enough on the first, say, 35 questions, you can afford to screw up on the last six without completely wrecking your score. Whatever you do, concentrate on maintaining accuracy early in the test. You don't want to make a dumb error because you're rushing through question #5, just for the privilege of taking a look at question #36 or #41. That's always a terrible tradeoff on an adaptive test. My usual advice is to do the verbal questions accurately and methodically until you start to run out of time toward the end of the section, and then guess at the very end if you have to. All else being equal, I just don't think it makes sense to skip question #21, either--in theory, a mistake earlier in the test will hurt you more than a guess later in the test. You might get lucky and guess on experimental questions in the middle of the test, but that seems a little bit dangerous, since we don't know exactly how many experimental questions are on the test, and you'll need some luck if you want to miss the experimental questions only. Then again, if you're substantially worse (in terms of both speed and accuracy) at, say, CR questions, then maybe you could start skipping them a little bit earlier. That would make some sense, if you're confident that you're stronger on the other question types. But in all honestly, I would pour as much energy as possible into becoming more efficient on SC at this stage--I think that's probably more likely to help your score than any particular guessing strategy. Lucky guesses definitely help, though. Good luck, Sachin! I agree with GmatNinja.........other words are only fluff, so I cannot add nothing more. In this short time is difficult to improve in CR and RC. So try to concentrate and make educated guess. All the best believe in yourself _________________ MBA Section Director Joined: 19 Mar 2012 Posts: 3344 Location: India GPA: 3.8 WE: Marketing (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 1372 Kudos [?]: 10171 [1] , given: 1850 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 08:25 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post You are being hysterical with mass PM. My first suggestion is CALM DOWN Nerves play a much bigger role than you think. First you need to do as Frankie said. RELAX! Second, your strategy is logical albeit a little too methodical. I will completely agree with jumsumtak. Don't be too fixated on throwing away. Read them quickly and see if you comprehend the argument. If you do, quickly answer the question. If you dont just move on. More important advice Eat and sleep correctly. The GMAT is a nerve battle. How are you sleeping? MAKE SURE that you get enough sleep and dont get nervous. YOU WILL DO AWESOME! _________________ MBA Section Director Joined: 19 Mar 2012 Posts: 3344 Location: India GPA: 3.8 WE: Marketing (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 1372 Kudos [?]: 10171 [1] , given: 1850 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 08:35 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post Sachin9 wrote: souvik101990 wrote: You are being hysterical with mass PM. My first suggestion is CALM DOWN Nerves play a much bigger role than you think. First you need to do as Frankie said. RELAX! Second, your strategy is logical albeit a little too methodical. I will completely agree with jumsumtak. Don't be too fixated on throwing away. Read them quickly and see if you comprehend the argument. If you do, quickly answer the question. If you dont just move on. More important advice Eat and sleep correctly. The GMAT is a nerve battle. How are you sleeping? MAKE SURE that you get enough sleep and dont get nervous. YOU WILL DO AWESOME! Thanks mate.. I am in a catch-22 situation.. Cant throw away SC and RC but have to get back on track.. So what do I do ? Have you also observed your scores going up by focusing on the first 20 questions? Yes so my score went up because I had not internalized SC till then. I watched thursdays with Ron and it had a HUGE impact on me, more than any other study material did. GMAT Ninja is pretty spot on with the problems. What I feel is, you need a quick band aid instead of a full blown surgery. Clock is ticking Sachin. You need to stop worrying right now. Do the GMAT Prep questions from my set in the signature and google them EXTENSIVELY. That is how I learnt SC. Its hard and time consuming but its SO worth it. _________________ MBA Section Director Joined: 19 Mar 2012 Posts: 3344 Location: India GPA: 3.8 WE: Marketing (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 1372 Kudos [?]: 10171 [1] , given: 1850 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 09:09 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post YES In my opinion last questions might be a safer bet but DO NOT throw them in a block. An interesting strategy is guessting alternatively. You guess 37, work on 38, guess 39 and so on. _________________ Moderator Joined: 10 May 2010 Posts: 823 Followers: 25 Kudos [?]: 388 [1] , given: 192 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 09 Mar 2013, 10:30 1 This post received KUDOS GMATNinja, You have given pretty good advice in this thread, especially in the long post. You can repost it in your blog . Sachin, You are being too stringent in your method. Let me tell you once for all your intuition is much more stronger than any strategy. For example MGMAT SC has over 100 rules how many of these rules do you consciously apply in the exam. My guess would not more than 10-15. Even for these rules you are not always applying them consciously. It is too hard to be deliberate in your actual exam. You have to let your gut feeling rule on the D-day. What is your last GMAT Prep score and your target score ? _________________ The question is not can you rise up to iconic! The real question is will you ? Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 6827 Location: Pune, India Followers: 1917 Kudos [?]: 11920 [1] , given: 221 Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink] ### Show Tags 11 Mar 2013, 21:34 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post Sachin9 wrote: VeritasPrepKarishma wrote: I am a little late to the party but you've still got time so let me re-iterate what many others have told you. If you know that you are going to fall short on time, it's ok to throw away some questions. But ensure you keep the following in mind: 1. Be flexible. Doing first 20 questions no-matter-what could turn out to be a disaster. Do not give more than 2-2.5 mins to any SC/CR question - be it the first question or the 20th (I certainly hope though that you sail through the first few questions - at least it will give you loads of confidence for the rest of the test). I have known people to spend 5 mins on the first question and then spiral downwards. No one knows the actual GMAT algorithm so don't take such risks - one question cannot make or break it. 2. Don't guess blindly. Take 30 secs to read the question. The look/length of a question cannot tell you whether it is easy or hard. If you feel it's too much, guess and move on within 30 secs. 3. Try to evenly space your guesses. Sequential guessing can do more harm. But again, this is not a hard and fast rule. Do not feel obliged to guess just because you have been comfortably sailing through the last 5 questions. 4. Do not bind yourself into knots trying to find the right questions to guess in between questions 20 - 35. If they happen at that time, fine, else guess when you really need to. 5. You know that your CR is weakest - there is actually a silver lining there - usually, CR questions take maximum time. So if you read the question and feel it's too convoluted, quickly guess and move on. But, keep an open mind about guessing on SC/RC questions too. If you get stuck with a particularly tricky SC question, remember, you can guess on SC questions too. You can use that time in some other CR question that might be easier than expected. Overall, my suggestion would be to be flexible. Don't use more than 2-2.5 mins on any question and guess when you feel the need to (according to the difficulty of the question). Do not go to the test center with pre-conceived notions on how the algorithm works. No one but GMAC knows it. Thanks a ton Karishma for your time.. What I actually meant is I wuold guess on a question if it's difficult but I will start throwing away only after 20th question. Also, my acuracy on question pack1 hard quant questions was around 60-70 % . Some of them would take 1.5 min .. Some of them would take 2.5 to 3 , and some 3. 5 in the worst case. This would happen on DS questions which need plugging in and testing. So at this stage I can't really try to speed up as that would be a disaster; rather I would throwaway if I am back on track. Hope this is fine. Also,Some PS questions are easy bt take a crazy amount of time : more than 5 mins. I find it hard to recognize such questions and get carried away. and I did follow the GAS strategy I mentioned in my post for quant. By trying to look actively for Given, Asked and Scope, I could eliminate all the careless mistakes I was doing that had to do with GAS. Usually, there is a way of doing every PS question in less than a minute. If you are unable to get the answer in 2 - 2.5 mins, I am not sure it is worth giving it any more time. Just move on. I can understand that DS questions would take some extra time - there is more info to process and lots of pitfalls to be wary of. If you get the answer in 2.5 mins, it fine. Also, no need to focus too much on the clock the entire time. You will save some time on the initial easier questions so you will have some extra time later. Just keep in mind that if you are putting in too much time in a question, it will take away all the time advantage. Keep your eye not on the one-question battle but on the entire war. If you are having time troubles in Quant, it may be a little less advisable to write down the entire GAS strategy. Sure, write down what is given - that's value add, read what is asked and consider the scope for plugging in. Before you mark the answer, read again what is asked and see if it matches what you have found. If yes, then go ahead. Writing down what is asked will not add much value. Today is 12th so take a short quick Quant test in this way. Hopefully, it will work for you. Relax tomorrow. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

### Show Tags

09 Mar 2013, 08:05
jumsumtak wrote:
Your test is pretty close so I won't suggest a lot of changes to what you are doing right now. You've done decently well in the first attempt and with the extra prep you've done, I'm sure you can achieve a sizable jump.

Having said that, I'll give a couple of suggestions:
1.) Don't just 'throw away' CR questions as soon as you see them. Reading them takes 30 secs - and if you feel you've understood the argument well enough proceed to attempt. Else, leave and move ahead. Your strategy on trying not to miss consecutive questions is spot on.
2.) I will never suggest writing GAS for every question. The better way to do it is to remind yourself before every question that you need to do X, Y and Z. You can practice this for the remaining days and write down stuff on the sketch pad in big bold letters, before you start attempting the quant section. Basically, train your mind to behave in a certain way instead of wasting time on every question.

Also, don't be so rigid on not guessing till X number of questions. You may take inadequate amount of time to solve a question with that strategy. Attempt the question to its merit and your strengths.

rest of it looks good. Do well

Thanks jumsumtak.
First attempt was a disaster with 43 in Q when I had hit 47 in GMAT Prep CATS. This time I feel confident thanks to GMAT Club CATs, questions of which are simply awesome.
But today, I got only 44 in Q in Manhattan Quant. I know MGMAT Quant is tough but was expecting at least a 47. Guess, those 7 careless mistakes might have brought down the score.

and Yes, you are right. I think I shouldn't throwaway every CR question but don't think I have a choice. I am very strong in SC and I cant throwaway in RC. So this is a catch-22 situation.

About GAS, I am gonna try to form the GAS in my mind but since time is limited to train my mind and I think good old practice of writing down everything as we did in school back then will help. Taking a test tomorrow with GAS on paper; will keep my progress updated.
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 08:21
GMATNinja wrote:
March 14? That's pi day (3/14)! It's your lucky day, I can feel it.

First of all, your #1 job on quant is to get rid of the careless errors. Four or five or seven dumb mistakes on easy questions will absolutely torpedo your score. You can study all of the advanced math questions you want, but if you make silly mistakes, the algorithm will kick you in the nuts over and over again until you're writhing on the floor in agony. It's the nature of adaptive tests.

On every question you do--whether in practice or on a test--focus on reading the question twice before you start scrawling numbers on your page. Sure, it takes an extra few seconds, but you absolutely can't afford to miss the little modifying phrases that change the question ("x is positive" or "x is a two-digit integer", etc.), and you definitely can't afford to make small transcription errors. As you're completing the question, double-check any simple algebra and arithmetic if you have a tendency to make dumb errors in those areas.

And before you click "next", re-read the question again, and ask yourself: "How are they trying to screw me?" By now, you've done enough studying that you've seen nearly every trap that the GMAT throws at you. You're making bad errors because you're letting the clock get in your head, and you're not taking the extra few seconds that you desperately need to spend to avoid those errors.

As you practice, focus on developing a good rhythm: read the question twice, check your work twice, read the question again, and look for traps and dumb errors before you move on. Be absolutely religious about this. On every question. Without exception. Yes, it takes a few extra seconds, but you can't afford NOT to spend those seconds.

Also, look carefully through your practice tests, and identify questions that took you more than three minutes. Are you being stubborn on the harder questions? Maybe you need to focus on letting go of those questions quickly. If you're overmatched by a question, don't waste your time on it. You can miss tons of questions and do extremely well on the quant section, but you can't afford to put yourself in a huge timing hole, which then causes you to rush through questions and make more dumb mistakes.

So seriously: focus on developing a good rhythm to reinforce your accuracy, and then focus on consciously walking away from questions when they give you trouble. If I could wave a magic wand and make you 1) never make errors on questions that you understand, and 2) never waste time on questions you don't understand, then you would absolutely score at least a 47 on your next test, and possibly a 48 or 49. I would bet my life on that if I had to, Sachin.

On verbal, the unglamorous reality is that you're probably a slow reader, and there isn't a whole lot you can do to improve your reading speed in the short run. Some native speakers also struggle with reading speed, but non-native speakers are more likely to have a hard time completing 41 questions in 75 minutes. And no, it's not fair.

When your test is a week away, all you can really do is focus as much as you can on efficiency (especially on SC, since you can save at least some time by quickly eliminating certain answer choices if you're quick to recognize the GMAT's favorite SC rules), and try not to let the timing issues rush you into bad errors. The verbal algorithm fundamentally works the same way as its quant counterpart: dumb errors on easy questions can really kill your score, and if you do well enough on the first, say, 35 questions, you can afford to screw up on the last six without completely wrecking your score.

Whatever you do, concentrate on maintaining accuracy early in the test. You don't want to make a dumb error because you're rushing through question #5, just for the privilege of taking a look at question #36 or #41. That's always a terrible tradeoff on an adaptive test. My usual advice is to do the verbal questions accurately and methodically until you start to run out of time toward the end of the section, and then guess at the very end if you have to. All else being equal, I just don't think it makes sense to skip question #21, either--in theory, a mistake earlier in the test will hurt you more than a guess later in the test. You might get lucky and guess on experimental questions in the middle of the test, but that seems a little bit dangerous, since we don't know exactly how many experimental questions are on the test, and you'll need some luck if you want to miss the experimental questions only.

Then again, if you're substantially worse (in terms of both speed and accuracy) at, say, CR questions, then maybe you could start skipping them a little bit earlier. That would make some sense, if you're confident that you're stronger on the other question types. But in all honestly, I would pour as much energy as possible into becoming more efficient on SC at this stage--I think that's probably more likely to help your score than any particular guessing strategy. Lucky guesses definitely help, though.

Good luck, Sachin!

Thanks a lot, Charles!! I can't thank you more for your advice. I will certainly follow your advice of reading the question twice.

You mentioned that we can afford to lose the last 6 questions in Verbal. But, from what I have read in some blogs, last few questions matter a lot as the CAT would then be finalizing your score and I have also read a couple of debriefs in which folks have mentioned about screwing up the test because they had only around 11 mins left with 10 questions left.

Kindly advise. Thanks again for your kind help, Charles..
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 08:32
souvik101990 wrote:
You are being hysterical with mass PM.
My first suggestion is CALM DOWN
Nerves play a much bigger role than you think. First you need to do as Frankie said. RELAX!

Second, your strategy is logical albeit a little too methodical. I will completely agree with jumsumtak. Don't be too fixated on throwing away. Read them quickly and see if you comprehend the argument. If you do, quickly answer the question. If you dont just move on.

More important advice

Eat and sleep correctly. The GMAT is a nerve battle. How are you sleeping? MAKE SURE that you get enough sleep and dont get nervous.
YOU WILL DO AWESOME!

Thanks mate.. I am in a catch-22 situation.. Cant throw away SC and RC but have to get back on track.. So what do I do ?

Have you also observed your scores going up by focusing on the first 20 questions?
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 08:53
souvik101990 wrote:
Sachin9 wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
You are being hysterical with mass PM.
My first suggestion is CALM DOWN
Nerves play a much bigger role than you think. First you need to do as Frankie said. RELAX!

Second, your strategy is logical albeit a little too methodical. I will completely agree with jumsumtak. Don't be too fixated on throwing away. Read them quickly and see if you comprehend the argument. If you do, quickly answer the question. If you dont just move on.

More important advice

Eat and sleep correctly. The GMAT is a nerve battle. How are you sleeping? MAKE SURE that you get enough sleep and dont get nervous.
YOU WILL DO AWESOME!

Thanks mate.. I am in a catch-22 situation.. Cant throw away SC and RC but have to get back on track.. So what do I do ?

Have you also observed your scores going up by focusing on the first 20 questions?

Yes so my score went up because I had not internalized SC till then. I watched thursdays with Ron and it had a HUGE impact on me, more than any other study material did. GMAT Ninja is pretty spot on with the problems. What I feel is, you need a quick band aid instead of a full blown surgery. Clock is ticking Sachin. You need to stop worrying right now. Do the GMAT Prep questions from my set in the signature and google them EXTENSIVELY. That is how I learnt SC. Its hard and time consuming but its SO worth it.

Thanks mate, I have no issue with SC. Its just that I may be a slow reader as GMATNinja mentioned.
Do the last 6-7 questions matter or can I throwaway them instead of throwing questions earlier?
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 09:56
Suggestion!
Karma Chameleon by Culture Club!!
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 19:08
souvik101990 wrote:
YES In my opinion last questions might be a safer bet but DO NOT throw them in a block.
An interesting strategy is guessting alternatively. You guess 37, work on 38, guess 39 and so on.

Thanks man!

Souvik and Charles,

I have a feeling that If I start throwing away after 30th question in verbal or 25th question in quant, there's a high probability that I might make consecutive mistakes as the questions would have got very tough by then and even if I try to distribute the throwaways, they might still be around the missed hard questions that I actually would have tried.

And throwing away in the end will cause a very high degree of anxiety.

What do you suggest?
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March [#permalink]

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09 Mar 2013, 19:14
AbhiJ wrote:
GMATNinja,

You have given pretty good advice in this thread, especially in the long post. You can repost it in your blog .

Sachin,

You are being too stringent in your method. Let me tell you once for all your intuition is much more stronger than any strategy.
For example MGMAT SC has over 100 rules how many of these rules do you consciously apply in the exam.
My guess would not more than 10-15. Even for these rules you are not always applying them consciously.
It is too hard to be deliberate in your actual exam. You have to let your gut feeling rule on the D-day.
What is your last GMAT Prep score and your target score ?

Agreed Abhi! I am grateful to Charles( GMATNinja ) for his discussion on modifiers in quant questions . I tend to miss them. I am gonna train my mind over the next 3 days to read the question carefully, twice if needed and write down GAS. But the only thing I am actually thinking over is whether I should read the question again before I hit the submit button as reading it the third time would add seconds to the time already spent.

LAst GMAT Prep was in mid Jan and it was 650 ( Q47, V33)

Yesterday MGMAT 5 it was 670.
I have no target score. Having a target score causes anxiety in me. I just couldn't have any control over my anxiety during my first attempt.
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Re: Urgent: Strategy solicited; GMAT on 14th March   [#permalink] 09 Mar 2013, 19:14

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