OK here it is. This is going to be a long one, but hopefully be useful to someone... Again these are tips I got from old time GMATClubbers and my buddies here. I am just summarizing them. I don't claim to be sole inventor of any of these
Long live GMATClub!
A couple of words on my Quant experience:
I found that the test questions quite solvable in 2 minutes or less. But they are really tricky. Some were cumbersome but I was able to balance the time lost on difficult questions with the time gained on some easy ones. Initial questions were difficult ones, but after 15-20 questions.. I really got a couple of sitters and again the last few DS questions were very tricky. There was one questions that the choices were clearly wrong. Just picked one and moved on.. Finally I had 8 minutes to solve the last three questions. Both 36th and 37th questions were tough and I ended up finishing the section with 45 seconds to spare.
How do I improve my Quant?
1. Basics/Fundamentals: The most important aspect of GMAT is knowing the basics/fundamentals in each of the areas such as rate/work, geometry, inequalities, co-ordinate geometry... Some of us have good fundamentals because of rigorous high school cirriculum. Some of us don't. But believe me it is possible to learn most of the fundamentals from good quantitative guides and a few websites such as:
a). Purple math website
http://www.purplemath.com/modules/index.htm - very good fundamentals on most of the GMAT Quant areas.
b) Mahnattan GMAT books - I only purchased the Word translation book. But I would recommend them.
c)
Kaplan GRE/GMAT quantitative - I didn't read this book. But my wife took her GRE a few weeks back and she recommended this book for fundamentals. It doesn't cover the ineuqlities and absolute value stuff.
d). Most important OG - The bible of GMAT. Oddly enough
OG10 has more difficult questions than
OG11. I discovered that a couple of days before my test. It was too late. I don't regret it either
2. Familiarity with problems: Once you know the basics, your need to get enough practice to solve several types that help in remembering the concepts. For e.g. everybody knows that 0 is an EVEN Number. But the question is: when you are faced with a DS questions that requires you to reject a choice because 0 is an even number, do you THINK that way? Take a look at the question in the link below
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=28158
3. Focus on GMATPrep questions: They are really represntative of the difficulty level of the actual test. Especially the
a) Number theory problems - I would say this is the most tested area in GMAT. A good e-book for this topic is from an Indian test prep company
http://www.4gmat.com/prep_courses/e-books/gmat_math_number_theory_inequalities.shtml
b) Overlapping set problems - Maghattan GMAT Word translation guide + OG are good enough to solve these questions
c) Geometry problems - Don't know any good resource. I was always decent at solving Geometry problems.
... Well I liked all of the GMATPrep questions. They are one notch above OG. But first do OG to get your basics right.
4. Use GMATClub Forums and Challenges: Don't just read the solution or copy the solution. YOU WILL NOT SEE THE SAME QUESTION IN THE FINAL TEST. You are more likey to see a variant of the quesiton but based on the same concept. So try the question first and then look at the solution.
5. Picking numbers: Before picking the numbers make sure that you understand the question properly. Most of the time, if you can reduce the complex expression to a simpler equation, there is no need to pick numbers.. For eg., if you see an expression xy<0 ... don't start picking numbers right away. If xy<0 it must be true that
1. x and y are of opposite signs.
2. Either x is -ve and y is +ve or x is +ve or y is -ve
Look for other conditions that can help you narrow down the search.. say x^3>0.. Which means x is +ve. So you will need to pick a +ve value for x and -ve value for y..
Also when you see a question that states:
1. x and y are POSITIVE INTEGERS, write down x,y = {I+, ==} (== means that x and y could be equal)
2. x is an EVEN number, write down x = {0, +2, -2, ...}
3. x - Nothing specified x = {-2, -1, -0.5, 0, 0.5, 1, 2, +/-sqrt(2)}
6. Know when to give up: This is the most important skill the Challenges taught me. After I analyzed my performace over 10 challenges, I found that whenever I was stuck on problems and spent more than 10-20 minutes on 4-5 difficult questions, my challenge score was horrible 57-75%, only because I could not complete the test. But when I gave up on difficult questions and made a best guess and completed the test, I consistently scored 85-98% on challenges. The idea is if you are not getting anywhere after 1-1.5 minutes
, the likelihood that you will get a solution in the next 2-3 minutes reduces exponentially. Those 2-3 minutes could be better spent on other problems that you might know the solutions for.
TAKE THIS SUGGESTION WITH CAUTION. Apply this is only when you truly have no clue how to solve a question.
7. Attitude: Last but the most important factor for doing well in Quant is developing a good ATTITUDE towards solving questions. If you think Quant is difficult, your mind is more likey to turn off the CREATIVE region of your brain. Don't just say to yourself "Somehow others can come up with solutions, but I can't." You can too.. You need to develop a positive attitude and a liking for solving new type of questions. On the test I saw a few questions types that I had never seen before.. But somehow I trusted myself and solved them (well I'll never know if I got them right).
For those of you who want to know my performance on mock tests:
PP1 680 (Q47, V??)
PP2 710 (Q50, V36)
PR1 650 (Q41 ,V41)
--- These scores were way back in Februray when I gave up my prep due to work pressure.
In my second round of prep (last 3.5 weeks)
MGMAT - 680 (Q49, V??)
GMATPrep1 - 720 (Q50, V38)
GMATPRep2 - 720 (Q49, V40) -- Did not confirm the last question Quant
Hence 49.
GMATPrep3 - 740 (Q50, V39) -- Knew a few questions in Quant.
I did not take any
Kaplan tests 'coz I heard the Verbal is not representative at all.
While my Verbal could have been better, I have no complaints.. What you sow is what you reap. I lost steam after Quant and My first and second RCs were pretty involved. So I had to almost re-read the second one. Lost time and hence could not complete the test - Just clicked last 5 questions. Closed my eyes and prayed God to give me a score that'll not make me take the test again. Bham! saw a 710 + 50 in Quant. Was ecstatic!
Good luck to everybody. I will defenitely stick around and answer any questions you have..
PS: For Verbal. Esp for RCs and CRs build good stamina by doing as many questions from CR1000 and RC1000 or Next 10 Actual official LSAT (This book essentially has the most of same questions as CR1000/RC1000, but they have true OAs). And read some magazines such as
Economist/WSJ... to improve your SC/RC/CR skills.. After all most of us want to be Business School grads in a couple of years.
_________________
"To dream anything that you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."
- Bernard Edmonds