iliavko wrote:
Also, as an additional questions, in 3 hours how many topics should I cover? should those be completely unrelated? (if such thing exists on GMAT) like geometry, multiples, probabilities for ex.
Thank you!
Dear
iliavko,
I'm happy to respond.
My friend, thank you for providing more background. Now, this makes more sense.
A few more concrete suggestion---the biggest is as follows. In no part of your life should you ever touch a calculator. You need to practice mental math 24/7. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide in your head every day. Get a friend to hold a calculator, and have that friend quiz you and use the calculator to check your answers. Make it your active goal to discover new patterns with numbers---this is what people who love numbers do all the time. Estimate all the time---estimate distances, areas, times, prices, weights, etc. Approximately how much weight does a barrel of water have? How much water would fit into your local supermarket, if you could seal it off and fill it from floor to ceiling? Be hungry for opportunities to look for math around you in your everyday life!
See this blog:
How to Study for GMAT MathEvery link in that blog will be something relevant to you. In particular, read the one on
number sense, and every single day play the "number sense game" described in that blog. You have to get so comfortable with numbers that you actually have fun playing with them.
This is a really important point now. My friend, I don't know whether you are familiar with the "habits of excellence." I want you to observe something. I spoke of how important an
error log would be and gave a link discussing one. Then you said, Oh, I already have an
error log, but it's not that helpful. Don't you see? Can you see what you are doing to yourself? The thing you are calling an "
error log" is not serving its proper function. I don't know what you are doing, or how you are doing it, but this tells me that what you are doing right now doesn't even deserve the name "
error log." Let's call what you have right now a "proto
error log"---certainly there are aspects of this that will serve in the next level version. Until you have something that is actively preventing you from making mistake time and time again, you do not have something that merits the name "
error log"! Read the link I sent and search on the web for more. Make it your goal to make the more effective possible
error log, the best
error log that any student has ever created. Do not tolerate mediocrity in any part of your studies.
Here's a big recommendation on error logs. For each problem you get wrong, diagnose the mistake by yourself, with the OE---that's step #1. Then, for step #2, come to GMAT Club, search for a pre-existent thread on that problem (start a new thread only if you can't find the problem at all); give a detailed explanation of what you do, your understanding of the mistake and what you think the correct way to think about it is, and then ask the experts--what else do I need to understand about this problem? You need to ask an
excellent question. You are more than welcome to solicit my input on any problem of that sort, and of course, Bunuel the genius is the great master teacher in math. Step #3, once you get the additional insights from experts, write all this into your personal
error log. You see, the philosopher
Ludwig Wittgenstein said, "
We do not know what we do not know." When you get a problem wrong, always assume there are dimensions of problem solving and problem analysis that you don't even see and that the official explanation may not make clear to you. Make it your default assumption that you need outside expert input to get to the next level with any mistake.
You see, this is all part of the attitude of excellence. It's the attitude of mediocrity to say, "
OK, I've already done that, but it wasn't that helpful" ---in other word, "
Been there, done that, because I don't want to have to put any more effort into thinking about that" ---that's all part of the mindset of mediocrity. It's the attitude of excellence to say, "
What else can I do? How can I make this aspect of my preparation the most effective possible version of what it does? How can I get the absolute most from myself?"
My friend, you started from zero, and you want to get to an elite score. I know you've been working for a while, but you still have a long way to go. You can take absolutely nothing about this for granted. If you try to phone this in, in any way, then you will not hit your target. You have to prepare as if your life itself were in the balance. You have to prepare as if you have to get the highest Q score that anyone has ever achieved on the GMAT. You have to pull out every stop and commit yourself to this in a way that you have never committed yourself to anything before. Whatever you think you maximum possible dedication is, you have to outdo that.
Finally, in three hours, here's what I recommend. Take 60-90 mins to do depth review and focused practice on one topic, a different topic each day. That's notes, recordings of your summaries, practice problems with entries in error logs, the whole shebang on one topic. That focus time is 60-90 mins, and the remaining time, 90 - 120 mins, is devoted to mixed practice. Thus, if in that time, you do, say 25 practice questions, you may see as many as 25 different topics. Once again, if all you have are single-topic batches of questions, then you simply don't have enough. Especially to make the kinds of strides you want to make, you need to do mixed practiced every day. If you don't use it already,
Magoosh is essentially an unlimited source of mixed-practice practice problems---about the same price as any large book, and much higher quality that just about any book you could buy. Also, my lessons with give you a depth of understanding of each topic that you may not get on your own. Here's a sample lesson:
MultiplesHere's a sample PS:
91!−90!Here's a sample DS:
Square and TriangleWhen you submit your answer for either question, the next page will have a complete video explanation. Each one of our 500+ math practice questions has its own VE---that kind of immediate feedback will accelerate your learning.
My friend, please let me know if you have any questions on what I've said. Best of luck!
Mike
_________________
Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test PrepEducation is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)