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# Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?

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Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?  [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2018, 22:27
Hi,
I was hoping to give my GMAT in about 6 months; however my mathematics skills are really pathetic. Haven't studied it in years, and I heavily rely on calculators and the internet over the past few years to solve most problems. Even looking at a practice tests gives me math anxiety and everything seems near gibberish. Even lurking through these forums makes me feel like I'm a step behind. So, what's the best course of action for someone with atrocious math skills?
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Re: Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?  [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2018, 10:35
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Hi Mashal981,

It sounds like you're just starting out with your GMAT studies. Is that true? Have you done any studying so far?

For free math practice and help, I recommend that you set up an account at Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). The site is completely free and makes the learning a bit more fun and 'game-like' (as opposed to the dry academic approach taken by most books). While the site is vast, you should limit your studies to basic Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. After spending a little time re-building those skills, you can start your GMAT studies.

If you have not already done so, then it would be a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH practice CAT Test; you can access 2 for free from www.mba.com (and they come with some additional practice materials). If you want to do a bit of practice first, so that you can familiarize yourself with the general content and question types first, then that's fine - but you shouldn't wait too long to take that initial CAT. A FULL CAT takes about 3.5 hours to complete, so make sure that you've set aside enough time to take it in one sitting. Once you have those scores, you should report back here and we can come up with a study plan.

I'd like to know a bit more about your timeline and goals:
1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?  [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2018, 17:33
1
Seconding Khan Academy as a good way to brush up on your math skills. Don't worry about necessarily starting with algebra. Remember, no one needs to know what you're working on in KA! If you need some time to really work on arithmetic and things like multiplication, division, addition and subtraction, take that time. Take it before you even worry about studying GMAT style problems. If you are trying to do GMAT problems and you don't remember how to solve a single variable algebra equation, then it's going to be really frustrating. KA is also great because the videos will often talk about the why behind the arithmetic, which is really useful for the GMAT.

That said, I'd still suggest starting with a practice CAT to see where you're at. Don't worry about the score. It's not going to be where you want it to be. Focus on what kind of math you're getting wrong and focus on finding a couple strengths that you can exploit.

And it might sound silly, but there's some good research that links how students frame subjects to how they do on those subjects. Framing yourself as "not got at math.... yet" can help remind you that you can get better. (Again, it sounds silly, but there's been research done to suggest that not only are students who do this more willing to challenge themselves, but they perform better as they're doing it!)

One last thing. The thing to remember is that we all have to start somewhere. Although it's true that this forum can seem a little intense, it can also be incredibly supportive. Don't be shy! Take advantage of GMAT club to its fullest and ask questions even if you feel silly asking them - chances are someone else has the same question as you and is too shy to ask it themselves, so you're helping someone else too.
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Re: Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?  [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2018, 17:27
Hi Mashal981,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, stay strong! Yes, GMAT math can be intimidating; however, if you get on a smart and thorough plan, you really can get a great quant score on the GMAT, OK?

Since you are first starting out, as much as this may pain you, you need to get a baseline GMAT score. So, before doing anything else, take an official GMAT practice exam, so you can determine your baseline score.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using a quant self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 78864.html

Hi eswarchethu135,

What stands out from your post is that you’ve taken nine practice tests, but your verbal score has yet to improve. Thus, it’s clear that you are taking practice tests before you are ready to do so. GMAT practice tests best serve two main purposes. The first purpose is to provide diagnostic information. In other words, you get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you’re comfortable answering and arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time. The second purpose is, naturally, to provide a way to practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

People often misuse practice tests as primary learning tools. You may have seen posts that go something like this: A person with a score goal of 740 has been preparing for six weeks, has already taken all six of the official practice tests, and is wondering why her scores have been 600, 590, 570, 610, 600, and 560. In such a case, the person likely has been using practice tests as primary learning tools, meaning that taking practice tests has been much of, or possibly most of, what she has been doing to drive up her score.

Of course, you can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation. Furthermore, once you’ve done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GMAT, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas that require further study. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how a person would score on the GMAT at a particular point in time, because the sample size of questions on any practice test is rather small (31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions), practice tests don’t do a very good job of pinpointing specific areas of weakness.

For example, let’s assume that of the 31 quant questions on a given practice test, you encounter one Rate-Time-Distance question and get it wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Of course not. Similarly, what if you correctly answered the Rate-Time-Distance question? Are you good to go on those questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s assume that you took six practice tests, saw a total of six Rate-Time-Distance questions, and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GMAT challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of variations of Rate-Time-Distance questions that can appear on the test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) Rate-Time-Distance questions doesn’t really tell you much. You must take care not to over-infer based on practice tests alone.

If you’d also like some specific advice on how to improve your Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension skills, feel free to reach back out, and I’d be happy to provide detailed advice.

Good luck!
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Re: Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2018, 17:27
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# Best way to tackle the Quant section when you're terrible at Maths?

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