I went to Manhattan GMAT because I had taken the GMAT twice and scored 650 both times with good verbal (95%) but poor quant (50%). I had one last shot at the GMAT before the admission deadline.
For my first 650 I had done quite a lot of preparation but on the day I misjudged the quant timing so I was not hugely surprised when I got this score. However, the second time I took the test I had worked very hard to learn all the mathematical principles, do hundreds of OG practice questions and focus on my timing. I was very disheartened to get a score of 650 again.
I called up MGMAT who put me in touch with Sarah. We booked a session right away. In all, I had three sessions with Sarah, two face to face and one online, and we focussed solely on quant.
I talked her through my approach and immediately she identified that I should modify my study technique so that I placed much more emphasis on reviewing in detail every question which I practiced. Previously, I had only reviewed the questions which I answered incorrectly. I had also not really understood that a good review involves understanding the principles of each question and critically thinking 'how could they have made this question harder?', 'what have I learnt from this?'. After my first session with Sarah, I reviewed every question whether I had answered rightly or wrongly.
Between our lessons I noticed the difference immediately. My review process became more sophisticated and I began to 'see' how to rephrase questions very quickly and understand the potential traps that each question presented.
Sarah also showed me that certain concepts such as prime factorisation could be used across whole ranges of questions. This seemed to unlock a lot of questions which I had been unable to do previously in the 2 minute time limit per question.
One critical point that Sarah taught me was the importance of strategic guessing. I had done very little of this in my previous attempts because it felt so unnatural to approach a question knowing that you were going to have to strategically guess. This really unlocked the quant section for me. In each question after 45 seconds if I was not certain that I could get to the answer in time then I would put all my energy into making the most intelligent guess possible. At first, I felt very uncomfortable doing this but after a while it made a significant difference to my practice test scores.
The day of my final test came and I incorporated everything that Sarah had taught me as well as all the principles that I had learnt in my practice reviews. I had to guess quite a few of the questions in the test but unlike before I actively narrowed down the potential answer choices. The final few questions of the test were quite challenging so I felt cautiously optimistic that the section had gone well.
Then came the moment of truth and 740 appeared on the screen. All the work had paid off.
I wouldn't have been able to do this without sessions with Sarah. She never promised that I would get over 700 or sell me something that she couldn't deliver on. Instead she gave me lots of encouragement and was very patient when I had any difficulties. Although I still had to do lots of work she made sure that I did the right type of work which would actually benefit my score. I'd recommend personal tuition even for a few hours to anyone who feels stuck with the gmat like I did. Now on to the next stage!
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