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V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up!

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Manager
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Joined: 24 Apr 2013
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GRE 1: 333 Q163 V170
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V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2013, 15:34
I'm a non-traditional MBA candidate (background in education). Have been out of college for 9 years. Was never super strong in math and have been doing OG 13 and OG Quant Review for 10+ weeks. On both books my average of correct problems hovered around 75%. I also did MGMAT and worked my way through all the quant books.

I had a family crisis and had to delay taking my first practice test (GMAT Prep), which I just did this past Friday. I got a 680. IR 7, V42, Q40. I was happy with the V score (GMAT Prep software said 96th percentile, which is good enough for me) and plan to just do maintenance practice there on CR and SC.

The Q score worries me. I'd really like to be at a 720 total on test day. When I reviewed the problems I got wrong, none of them stumped me except for one. I could see a path toward solving them but was pressed for time during the test and so jumped to an answer too quickly. I was very conscious of finishing on time so I had to work quickly. I did finish all sections within the time window.

My error log shows that I have weaknesses on some geometry (not all, some of it goes well) but one major area of struggle is in number properties. That is from my OG 13 and OG Quant log. On the test, I struggled with some of those as well as a few assorted problems in geometry and rates/work.

Today I did a Veritas prep test (only did the quant) and got a Q42. Error log there shows that I improved on number properties but got a geometry problem that I messed up on. I also struggled with one question on complementary events/percents and one on prime factors.

I feel pretty shitty about posting this considering how well the folks here do on quant! Usually what happens (based on reviewing my work so far) is that I see a correct path toward a solution but either second-guess myself, get stuck because I am not confident in my skills, or make a mistake and take too long and jump to an answer. It's frustrating and I don't know where to focus my work.

Here are my dilemmas with rescheduling my test:
I'm a teacher, so I scheduled my test on the last day before I go back to work.
Once I go back to work, I'd have to test on a weekend.
I am aiming for R1 applications and want to have time for a retake before the deadlines in case I need it.
Based on my numbers I'd feel confident in my applications with a 720 as long as my Quant score can come up.

I really don't want to reschedule if I can help it (would like to focus on applications and get this test over with) but wonder if it sounds like I can round out my issues in the next two weeks and be ready to do better on test day.

If rescheduling doesn't sound like the right approach, where would you suggest I focus my attention in math review? I am not working right now so I have a lot of time to prep/practice/study!

Thanks-- advice appreciated!
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Re: V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 07:55
When you run into problems with fundamentals, go back to fundamentals to resolve.

Some anecdotal evidence: To get my quant up, I needed to stop skipping steps in the arithmetic, as that was where I was making the most "careless" mistakes. I also found at times when skipping steps, I would apply a rule incorrectly and not catch it due to skipping steps. Your goal is to finish the test with a little bit of time to spare, not a lot. Remember: timing is all about averages, not time per problem. You want to pace yourself to finish, but not rush through and miss problems you could otherwise answer correctly.
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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 141
Location: United States (CA)
GRE 1: 333 Q163 V170
GPA: 3.47
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 54 [0], given: 53

Re: V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 09:27
mohater wrote:
When you run into problems with fundamentals, go back to fundamentals to resolve.

Some anecdotal evidence: To get my quant up, I needed to stop skipping steps in the arithmetic, as that was where I was making the most "careless" mistakes. I also found at times when skipping steps, I would apply a rule incorrectly and not catch it due to skipping steps. Your goal is to finish the test with a little bit of time to spare, not a lot. Remember: timing is all about averages, not time per problem. You want to pace yourself to finish, but not rush through and miss problems you could otherwise answer correctly.


Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the guidance about not skipping steps in arithmetic. I think that is a problem of mine. I'm just sitting down to start going back through the MGMAT books on my problem areas.

I'm debating with a few scenarios that are all dependent on how I can do in the next period of time. I'd love advice on these.
1. Take test on 8/13, have time to retake before R1 apps are due.
2. Reschedule test for October, aim for R2 apps and have even more time to study.

These are tough considerations! I wonder how much people can raise their quant scores in a few weeks? Part of what's tough about this is also whether the 80/80 split is essential for someone with my background to get into top-tier programs. It's challenging because I'm such a nontraditional candidate and don't know what role my test scores will play in my overall application.
GMAT Forum Moderator
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Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA fund
Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Economics
Schools: Ross '14 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V38
GMAT 2: Q V
GPA: 3.54
WE: Accounting (Manufacturing)
Followers: 55

Kudos [?]: 412 [0], given: 234

GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member Reviews Badge
Re: V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 09:39
That's really up to you. Very few people are ever 100% ready when he/she takes the test. The key is being comfortable and at ease on test day.

My test day was a bit of a downward spiral (nothing really bad, just lots of things I planned on not happening happened), but I still managed a 710 while never scoring higher than a 680 on practice tests.

Non-traditional makes you much more attractive as a candidate, but the GMAT is still important (albiet, the pool you're fighting spots for is also much smaller).

Things to keep in mind:

The GMAT is only 1 part of your application
The rest of your application still needs to sell you as a valuable candidate to any program.
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Manager
Manager
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Joined: 24 Apr 2013
Posts: 141
Location: United States (CA)
GRE 1: 333 Q163 V170
GPA: 3.47
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 54 [0], given: 53

Re: V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 09:44
mohater wrote:
That's really up to you. Very few people are ever 100% ready when he/she takes the test. The key is being comfortable and at ease on test day.

My test day was a bit of a downward spiral (nothing really bad, just lots of things I planned on not happening happened), but I still managed a 710 while never scoring higher than a 680 on practice tests.

Non-traditional makes you much more attractive as a candidate, but the GMAT is still important (albiet, the pool you're fighting spots for is also much smaller).

Things to keep in mind:

The GMAT is only 1 part of your application
The rest of your application still needs to sell you as a valuable candidate to any program.


Thanks-- that's reassuring in a few ways. I'm confident in the rest of my application and feel I can make a strong case for myself with my background and experience. It's just this test that is weighing me down!
Re: V42, Q40 on GMAT Prep: Test on 8/13, help me get Q up!   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2013, 09:44
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