What to do when you're not improving : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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# What to do when you're not improving

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What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2011, 15:42
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So I just took my first MGMAT CAT, and got a 520 30/32 split, which is basically the same score the last PT I took, 530, 31/31 split. I was studying for a while last year but had a huge project come up at work and had to stop studying for like a 2 months. I just started back up about 3 weeks ago, and have made it through MGMAT Number Properties and FDP. I"m just about through MGMAT equations/vics. I have gotten most of the OG questions right, both the normal and the advanced ones, about 75/80% correct and have been reviewing my errors in my log. I'm just not sure why it does not seem to be reflected in my scores. Any suggestions or hints when your score does not seem to be changing? I'm sure I know more than the first time I took a CAT.
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 17:52
First of all, I think MGMAT 1&2 are very difficult. Second, unless you test is very close I would focus more learning skills than on your scores. If you haven't already, hit SC hard, as its easiest to improve on.
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 18:54
Hi bigred2008,

You seem to be thinking you're making progress but the results don't seem to show it.

It's hard to definitively say what the reason is, but here is a critical questions to ask yourself:

If you randomly pick 10 questions that you previously got wrong one day and do them in random order the next day, will you get all 10 of them correct?
Well, you'd better--right? After all, you saw what the right answer is and reasoned your way through.

In other words---do you REALLY understand your mistakes so you don't make them next time when they are reworded a bit differently? Did you REALLY spot the pitfall?

There's a method of "doing" GMAT questions that I teach that involves a little repetition but is quite effective. You can read about it here:

http://www.gmatpill.com/practice-questi ... questions/
Current Student
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2011, 19:07
gmatpill wrote:
Hi bigred2008,

You seem to be thinking you're making progress but the results don't seem to show it.

It's hard to definitively say what the reason is, but here is a critical questions to ask yourself:

If you randomly pick 10 questions that you previously got wrong one day and do them in random order the next day, will you get all 10 of them correct?
Well, you'd better--right? After all, you saw what the right answer is and reasoned your way through.

In other words---do you REALLY understand your mistakes so you don't make them next time when they are reworded a bit differently? Did you REALLY spot the pitfall?

There's a method of "doing" GMAT questions that I teach that involves a little repetition but is quite effective. You can read about it here:

http://www.gmatpill.com/practice-questi ... questions/

If I randomly picked 10 questions I would most likely get 7 of them right because I haven't covered geometry and probability yet. But on number properties, equations and the topics I have covered I get them right because I have spent so much time on them. I might try taking my next CAT after I have covered the next 2 books and see what happens.

Thank for the link.
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 00:56
I am having the same problem. Even though I have been studying a great deal in the past few weeks my score has not improved much. I think it is due to time management. I have heard that getting the first few questions is very important, so if you are getting the first part of the test, or a lot of questions in a row wrong, this can have a very negative impact on your score. So it may be the way you are taking the test, instead of your knowledge that is resulting in stagnant test scores.
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 05:51
Are you keeping an error log?

Maintaining a proper error log is key to overcoming certain obstacles.
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Current Student
Joined: 10 Aug 2009
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 17:24
mohater wrote:
Are you keeping an error log?

Maintaining a proper error log is key to overcoming certain obstacles.

I am keeping an error log and going through the problems to make sure I understand the issues I ran into the first time whether it be knowledge or timing. Question, when should I bring SC into my study plan, I have been focused on quant for the last 1.5 months, any suggestions on when verbal should make an entrance?
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 17:36
In regards to error logs, I am using the "friendly error log" but I am a little confused on how it works. The data is not matching up in the graphs, but I only have about 7 questions inputted so far. Do I need to have more questions in order for the graphs to be truly representative?
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Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA debt repayment fund
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 19:30
Bigred2008 wrote:
mohater wrote:
Are you keeping an error log?

Maintaining a proper error log is key to overcoming certain obstacles.

I am keeping an error log and going through the problems to make sure I understand the issues I ran into the first time whether it be knowledge or timing. Question, when should I bring SC into my study plan, I have been focused on quant for the last 1.5 months, any suggestions on when verbal should make an entrance?

This all depends on your needs and how much time each section requires. People generally take a practice test to gauge progress and decide when to move on.

Also consider the economics of studying (diminishing returns). At some point, additional time on quant is not very valuable, while a little extra time in verbal could prove quite useful (again, this is key where an error log is useful).
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GMAT Forum Moderator
Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA debt repayment fund
Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 1884
Location: United States
Concentration: Operations, Finance
Schools: Ross '14 (M)
GMAT 1: 610 Q0 V0
GMAT 2: 710 Q48 V38
GPA: 3.54
WE: Accounting (Manufacturing)
Followers: 59

Kudos [?]: 788 [0], given: 234

Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 19:30
MeestorEno wrote:
In regards to error logs, I am using the "friendly error log" but I am a little confused on how it works. The data is not matching up in the graphs, but I only have about 7 questions inputted so far. Do I need to have more questions in order for the graphs to be truly representative?

Post your question in the error log thread.
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Current Student
Joined: 10 Aug 2009
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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25 Sep 2011, 17:46
So I just took a practice test on MGMAT and my score has barely changed even though I feel like I know more. I currently am half way through reading through the MGMAT Equations/VICs book (number 3) and working on the problem set. I spent a lot of time studying number properties to make sure I got that, and got all the suggested questions right from the MGMAT question set. I don't know if it is because I'm not completely through the set of books and haven't had a chance to work out all the kinks or what it is, but I thought I would of seen some sort of improvement on my scores. When I first took the GMATPrep to set the groundwork I got a 520, 30Q/32V.

What my remaining schedule looks like is to continue with the MGMAT books and finish them in 2 weeks time and work through all the OG questions and then review them all to make sure I'm getting the basics and can project them forward. Then I plan to use some of Jeff Sachmann's sets to get some more practice in, but not to do problems for problem sake but to get a feel and understanding of how possible questions can be constructed. I also plan to go through all of the questions from MGMAT books again especially percentage ones as I did not do well in that section. Any other suggestions other than finish the MGMAT books and go from there, I am looking at taking the test 12/3 and I'm panicking a little bit.
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Joined: 10 Aug 2009
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2011, 06:21
Do you have suggestions on how I could change my study plan or what the holes I'm missing are?
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Re: What to do when you're not improving [#permalink]

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26 Sep 2011, 06:33
You know, I’m kind of in the same boat as you, but mine is worse. I took a practice CAT, scored 340 without any studying. Afterwards, a 600, and then it went downhill from there. 560, 540, 470, and just yesterday, an abysmal 400. So I feel you, but at least your score is stable. My score on the other hand…its going the opposite direction of improving.

This was after going through each MGMAT book twice and going through my error log with consistent M-F studying for 2.5-3 hours of studying and 6+ hours on Sat-Sun combined. My test is coming up this Friday. I’m debating whether I should cancel the test and lose the \$250, or go all the way and live with the crappy score and give up on my dreams of business school. Honestly I was thinking of suicide, that’s how depressed I am.

Also, I’m also a little lost with the error log. Either I’m inputting the data incorrectly, or it’s not really helping me. The type of question stated on MGMAT differs from the type of question on the OG. MGMAT might say its an EIV/FDP question, but OG states its algebra/arithmetic, so my error log shows skewed data where like 90% of my error log is algebra/arithmetic.
Re: What to do when you're not improving   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2011, 06:33
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# What to do when you're not improving

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