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Best Strategies for Skipping Qs in Quant

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New post 15 Mar 2019, 21:02
Hi all!

I have my 3rd official GMAT coming up on Thursday, 3/21. During my last GMAT, I ran out of time on the quant section and pretty much had to guess for the last 6 questions (I know, ugh). As the questions are getting harder, I am finding that I end up taking way too much time trying every problem.
I recently found out about the guessing/skipping strategy, where you guess on a few questions here and there on questions/topics that are more challenging to you in order to save time on questions you actually know how to answer.
On my practice tests (from the official GMAT site), I am scoring about Q48/V41, on my most recent one, I got Q50/V41. Last time I took the official one, I was so confident that I was going to get 700+, but the math section killed me.
This time, I want to try using the guessing/skipping method on a few questions in the middle so I can ensure I have enough time.
Does anyone have tips/tricks on how to use this method? Or any advice on how to save or budget time on quant?

Please let me know.

Thanks!
Tanusree
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New post 15 Mar 2019, 23:27
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tmunshi wrote:
Hi all!

I have my 3rd official GMAT coming up on Thursday, 3/21. During my last GMAT, I ran out of time on the quant section and pretty much had to guess for the last 6 questions (I know, ugh). As the questions are getting harder, I am finding that I end up taking way too much time trying every problem.
I recently found out about the guessing/skipping strategy, where you guess on a few questions here and there on questions/topics that are more challenging to you in order to save time on questions you actually know how to answer.
On my practice tests (from the official GMAT site), I am scoring about Q48/V41, on my most recent one, I got Q50/V41. Last time I took the official one, I was so confident that I was going to get 700+, but the math section killed me.
This time, I want to try using the guessing/skipping method on a few questions in the middle so I can ensure I have enough time.
Does anyone have tips/tricks on how to use this method? Or any advice on how to save or budget time on quant?

Please let me know.

Thanks!
Tanusree
Are you sure that you want to skip questions when you are capable of a Q50?

Have you faced any time pressure on your practice tests? Having a plan for what to do if you're running out of time is fine, but going in with a plan to skip all questions from specific topics (preemptive guessing!) is risky. I suggest that you come up with a timing strategy that works for you, and start guessing only if you find yourself falling behind.

Also, all the best for the exam! :)
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Re: Best Strategies for Skipping Qs in Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 09:48
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Hi tuminhsi,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, honestly, you need to be really careful about blindly guessing on quant questions in order to pick up time during the exam. Because, if you have too quick of a “trigger finger,” before you even realize it, you’ll have guessed on 5+ quant questions, and then what will happen to your score, right?

Thus, you may consider taking a more organic approach to solving GMAT quant questions. In other words, your goal should be to correctly answer as many quant questions as you can (all the while keeping an eye on the clock).

With all this said, to know when to give up on a question, you need to trust your instincts and follow your internal clock. For instance, let’s say you are 2 minutes into a question, but you know that you are on the right path; in that case, you’d want to keep going even if it would take you 3 minutes to answer, right? After all, if you have fully mastered GMAT quant, then you should be in a position to answer some questions in 30 seconds, and thus it’s OK to spend more than 2 minutes on certain problems. On the other hand, say you are 60 or 90 seconds into a problem, and you know that you are going down a rabbit hole and likely will not be able to correctly answer the question. In that case, take an educated guess and keep things moving.

So my overall point is, yes it’s OK to guess, but ensure that you are taking a strategic approach to how and when you are guessing, OK?

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about Timing Strategies For a Higher GMAT Quant Score, which discusses various aspects of quant section timing, including guessing strategies, in great detail.

Good luck!
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Re: Best Strategies for Skipping Qs in Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2019, 08:50
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Echoing the last post. When I got a 50Q, I blind guessed one question(and got it wrong based on EHR). It was an epic geometry question and at first glance would have taken me at least 3-4 minutes — and I wasn’t certain I’d get it right. So it’s okay to guess 1 maybe 2 questions, but this shouldn’t be something that you plan on. Your goal should be to answer every question— it’s more of an emergency response if you truly find yourself lost on a hard question

I suffered from timing issues early on. What I realized is that I just didn’t know the material well enough. Early on in my prep a question might have taken 2 minutes. Once I started really prepping (1500 practice questions +) I learned a lot of shortcuts and that same question might have been a 30 second question that saved me time for a tricky one elsewhere.

Getting better through practice is not just about getting better at getting questions right— it’s also about picking up time saving tricks along the way.

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Re: Best Strategies for Skipping Qs in Quant   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2019, 08:50
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