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Feeling discouraged about my speed of solving quant problems

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Feeling discouraged about my speed of solving quant problems  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2017, 13:08
I am working through the GMAT OG problems for the first time using the MGMAT problem sets/quizzes, and I've noticed on the 600 to 700 level questions, my timing is way off compared to the average time for GMATClub users. Should I be concerned about this? Some of the problems seem really tricky the way they are worded, and I've never seen anything like those problems. It's taking me a little while to figure out the best approach to solving the problem. I've noticed on problems like this, it might take me 2:30 to solve it, but the average GMATClub user time is like 00:52 to solve the same problem. After redoing the problem, I can easily solve it in less than a minute, it's just that the first time around, it takes me a little while to figure out how to solve it.


So I have a few questions:
1. When it shows the average time a GMATClub user takes to answer a question, is that only for the first time they solved the problem, or does it include their second time solving it, etc?
2. If I can't solve every OG quant question the first time around in under a minute, am I most likely insufficient with my math skills?
3. Should I even worry about timing at first? I think I remember seeing a video by Ron Purewall saying that you should strive to get the correct answer to every OG question the first time around, and not worry about timing.

Thanks
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Re: Feeling discouraged about my speed of solving quant problems  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2017, 23:50
atr0038 wrote:
I am working through the GMAT OG problems for the first time using the MGMAT problem sets/quizzes, and I've noticed on the 600 to 700 level questions, my timing is way off compared to the average time for GMATClub users. Should I be concerned about this? Some of the problems seem really tricky the way they are worded, and I've never seen anything like those problems. It's taking me a little while to figure out the best approach to solving the problem. I've noticed on problems like this, it might take me 2:30 to solve it, but the average GMATClub user time is like 00:52 to solve the same problem. After redoing the problem, I can easily solve it in less than a minute, it's just that the first time around, it takes me a little while to figure out how to solve it.


So I have a few questions:
1. When it shows the average time a GMATClub user takes to answer a question, is that only for the first time they solved the problem, or does it include their second time solving it, etc?
2. If I can't solve every OG quant question the first time around in under a minute, am I most likely insufficient with my math skills?
3. Should I even worry about timing at first? I think I remember seeing a video by Ron Purewall saying that you should strive to get the correct answer to every OG question the first time around, and not worry about timing.

Thanks



Hey atr0038,


In the initial phases of preparation, it is quite normal for someone to take more than the usual time to solve a question. You should not worry about it so much.

I cannot answer your first question, maybe some from gmatclub might be in a better position to answer this. Let me try an answer your 2nd and 3rd question.

2. If you are taking more than say 3-3.5 minutes to solve a question, try to understand why it took you time to solve the question? There could be a number of reasons to take more than usual time to solve the question such as -(i) could not comprehend the question while reading it for the first time or (ii) took a lot of time to recall the formula to solve the question or (iii) made a silly mistake while solving the question or (iv) missed an important point in the question stem and got the wrong answer, etc.
The above examples are just a few most frequent problems that a student faces while solving a question. Understanding the root cause of your problem will help you in channelizing your effort in improving those areas of concern. If you do this analysis properly and keep on working on them, then after some time you will surely see an improvement in your timing as well as accuracy.

3. I agree with Ron that while solving OG for the first time, one should not worry about the timing. As I said in the second point, the focus should be more on learning how to solve the questions and figuring out where one can improve.



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Saquib
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Re: Feeling discouraged about my speed of solving quant problems  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 13:37
atr0038 wrote:
1. When it shows the average time a GMATClub user takes to answer a question, is that only for the first time they solved the problem, or does it include their second time solving it, etc?


I'm not sure if it shows the first time or the average. However, I wouldn't take the timer data too seriously, just because you don't know what those users are actually doing. For instance, I sometimes forget to start the timer until I've already been looking at the question for a minute. In that case, my time would look a lot faster than it really was.

Quote:
2. If I can't solve every OG quant question the first time around in under a minute, am I most likely insufficient with my math skills?


No. If you could do that, you'd be well on your way to a Q51. But you certainly don't need to be able to do it.

That said, there are some things you should be able to do quickly. You should be able to do arithmetic, such as adding, multiplying, dividing, subtracting, factoring integers, combining a system of equations, etc. very quickly and accurately. If you can do that, you buy yourself more time to think about the problems.

You'll get faster at the 'thinking' stage as you do more problems. To speed that process up, you should spend more time reviewing the problems that you do, and asking yourself: 'what was the clue or keyword that told me to use that particular approach? How did GMATClub users manage to figure it out so quickly?' Once you identify a lot of these 'clues', you'll be able to recognize and respond to them quickly.

Quote:
3. Should I even worry about timing at first? I think I remember seeing a video by Ron Purewall saying that you should strive to get the correct answer to every OG question the first time around, and not worry about timing.


Not everybody agrees on this. I've seen students succeed using either approach. My own belief, though, is that you should time yourself from the very beginning. When you do a GMAT problem without a timer, you're doing a very different task, mentally, than when you do it with a timer. Doing problems without a timer will let you get away with approaching them inefficiently. It'll also encourage you to stick with tough problems until you finish them, which you can't and shouldn't do on the test. If you train yourself to work with the timer from the very beginning, you'll be doing problems in a way that will be more useful on the actual test.
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Re: Feeling discouraged about my speed of solving quant problems  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 16:02
atr0038 wrote:
2. If I can't solve every OG quant question the first time around in under a minute, am I most likely insufficient with my math skills?


I'd like to know if anyone in history has ever achieved this feat. You're setting the bar unreasonably high, my friend.

atr0038 wrote:
3. Should I even worry about timing at first? I think I remember seeing a video by Ron Purewall saying that you should strive to get the correct answer to every OG question the first time around, and not worry about timing.

Thanks


I am of the opinion that you should not. Learn how to solve problems accurately and efficiently first, and speed will follow.
Re: Feeling discouraged about my speed of solving quant problems &nbs [#permalink] 30 Dec 2017, 16:02
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