What am I not doing right - Need help! : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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# What am I not doing right - Need help!

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Manager
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What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2011, 07:20
Hello:

My Background - E. Indian with an Engg. degree, have always felt Quant as my strength(stereotype)
Target GMAT test date - April end '11

Stage 0
First GMAT Prep test ~ Dec 18th. I messed up something during the exam so didn't get a score but I could see the list of questions answered correctly/incorrectly.
Quant - 11 wrong of 37
Verbal - 18 wrong of 41
Referred to some website and concluded that it represented a score of 590
Common factor - had to rush through the last few questions in both sections

Stage 1
English - RC - Subscribed to NY times and started reading it every day
SC ->Grammar - referred to wren & martin for basics
Maths - OG11 - Completed PS and DS in ~ three weeks (20-30 questions/day)

Second Test - GMAT Prep ~ Feb 5th - Deleted some files and retook Test 1
Quant - 8 wrong of 37 - Section score - 49
Verbal - 19 wrong of 41 - Section sore - 27
Overall - 630
Common factor - had to rush through the last few questions in both sections

Stage 2
English -SC: Worked through GMAT club's ultimate gmat grammar - Basic section
- SC: Kaplan GMAT Verbal Foundations
- SC: Doing grammar
- CR - GMAT CR Bible
- RC - NY times
Maths -
- Read through the concepts in Kaplan GMAT maths foundations

Third Test - Manhattan GMAT test 1~ Mar 12th -
TYPE SCORE ESTIMATED PERCENTILE RANK
Quantitative 44 73 % (19 questions wrong of 37)
Verbal 33 69 % (18 wrong and 1 missed of 41)
Total 640 80 %
Common factor - had to rush through the last few questions in both sections.

After the last test, I am feeling a bit clueless as to what should be done next and have lost a bit of confidence in my ability to even break the 700 barrier. Also, I am highly doubtful that I can meet my april-end test date(have not yet scheduled the exam). My earlier next steps were to go through below-
1) Manhattan SC guide and then Revise it
2) Revise CR bible
3) Practice Quant from OG11, OG12 and kaplan maths workbook
4) Practice verbal section from OG11 and OG12
5) Take a manhattan test each weekend and work on weak areas

Any recommendations or suggestions are appreciated.
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2011, 08:01
Focus on weaknesses. Dig deep in any question you got wrong or spent too much time, try to understand why (!!!) you did it wrong and what quant/verbal concept behind it. Use e-log to track your answers, if you got the same question wrong twice, it's a bad sign and means you are staying at the same level.
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Manager
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2011, 17:03
walker wrote:
Focus on weaknesses. Dig deep in any question you got wrong or spent too much time, try to understand why (!!!) you did it wrong and what quant/verbal concept behind it. Use e-log to track your answers, if you got the same question wrong twice, it's a bad sign and means you are staying at the same level.

Thanks a lot, I'll work on this.
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2011, 18:40
Quote:
Common factor - had to rush through the last few questions in both sections.

You gotta work on your timing man
Developing a good rhythm contributes to at least a 20 point increase in the score
gmat-timer-56014.html?highlight=ml505
This is the link to the Timer developed by Walker! Give it a try :D
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2011, 12:49
Hi ravsg,

As an Indian engineer, your verbal score is very important. Your quant score is almost expected to be good.

What will help your GMAT score is improving your ability to grasp the most important points about a passage in a short amount of time. If you read the same way you did before, well--you'll probably get the same results.

You may be interested in these Reading Comprehension passages and explanations.

By far the easiest section to improve is Sentence Correction. The rules here are definitely learnable and system is definitely beatable. I see you have a variety of resources---make sure you try to redo questions you got wrong and are not making the same mistakes even after seeing the question earlier.

Here are some tips on how to "do" GMAT questions.

Hope that helps!
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2011, 18:04
One way in which you can break the 700 barrier is getting an exceptional Quant score (which should not be too tough given that your fundamentals should be fine) and an average-above average Verbal score (for which quite a bit of effort will be required).. But in this case your score will be skewed which is not a good thing since schools like balanced scores... Still, a 700 skewed is better than a 640 balanced... So my suggestion is to put in effort in both the sections... See why you are not in the 49-50 Quant bracket since the concepts tested on GMAT are very basic (as compared to let's say JEE).. Focus on the mistakes you make in the section and make sure you understand the basics.
For Verbal, CR is very straight forward and much like Quant i.e. it is quite logical with no ambiguity... Work on the question types and guidelines for each question type... SC focuses on a handful of error types so work on them again and again so that you can identify them easily....

Further, you need to get a handle on time... check out the drill and links given below.

A timing drill that students find very useful:

Quick First Step
Select a set of 10 or 20 questions, and give yourself 30 seconds per question to get started on each. When you’re completed with the set, go back and finish each question, checking to determine how accurate your first steps were. The goal of this drill is to begin working through each question quickly and accurately – even if all you do is transfer values, variables, diagrams, etc. from the screen to paper. Students who begin working quickly are at a tremendous advantage, as prolonged hesitation not only wastes time, but also increases anxiety.

You will also learn through this drill where your initial errors are made when attacking a question quickly. Often students will find a pattern in the way that they start questions incorrectly – misinterpreting equations, making incorrect assumptions, etc. – and can improve substantially by simply correcting one or two major error categories.

If the above drills are tough to complete in 30-40 seconds per question, then you may simply want to train yourself to categorize by not even getting started on the problems, but taking 30 seconds to just identify “what are they asking” and “what skills will be necessary” so that you can start to see the similarity between questions and not just the differences.

Check out the links below for more on timing strategies:
http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2010/10 ... for-field/

http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2010/08 ... algorithm/
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2011, 18:37
Thanks Zeke and Karishma for a lot of good information and tips. I really appreciate it.
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Re: What am I not doing right - Need help! [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2011, 07:00
If you're running out of practice questions, try starting all over and use an error log. Jot down any knowledge gaps, review all gaps after you're done w/ the questions and go back to re-do the ones you got wrong b/c of knowledge gaps.
Re: What am I not doing right - Need help!   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2011, 07:00
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