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Getting Over The Hump

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Getting Over The Hump  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2018, 08:14
Well, I have been studying for GMAT for over a year now and I am trying to bring to a close. I do very well in verbal and I don't have any issue there. My problem is quantitative. My goal for the quantitative section is 60th percentile. My most recent GMATPrep full test that I took last week I got 43(50th Percentile) on quant. I think I am close to my goal, but so far I have not been able to make it.

My strategy up to this point has been to identify my weak areas and then go back to my Manhattan Prep books and study those sections again, as well as do the assigned Official Guide 2017 problems for those sections that are assigned by those Manhattan Prep sections. My weakest areas at this point seem to be Algebra and Word Problems. It is very frustrating studying for so long and still falling short of my goal.

I have read repeatedly on this forum that the GMAT Club tests are very helpful. So, I was wondering if maybe I should invest money in those and give them a try to see if they will help. If this is a good idea, I would like to ask what is the best way to use these tests in order to help improve my quant score? Is there instructions somewhere that would help me get started with them? I have heard that Jeff Sackmann's practice sets are very helpful also.

Also, any other advice on how to improve my score I would greatly appreciate. I am also using Kaplan's QBank and that seems to be helpful. I also, tend to make silly mistakes, sometimes make calculation errors, and sometimes do not read a question carefully enough. But, I have improved in those areas quite a bit.

Again, any advice I would greatly appreciate. I would really like to hit my target goal. Actually, I need to in order to have a chance at being accepted at the school that I wish to attend.
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Re: Getting Over The Hump  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2018, 11:29
Hi twilliams,

This recent CAT Score result is almost identical to the Official Score that you reported back in April, so it's likely that you continue to 'see' (and respond to) the Quant section in the same ways as before. By extension, continuing to work through more and more practice materials - in those same ways - is probably not going to lead to the improvement that you're looking for.

"Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing the Quant section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?

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Re: Getting Over The Hump  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2018, 23:34
twilliams wrote:
Well, I have been studying for GMAT for over a year now and I am trying to bring to a close. I do very well in verbal and I don't have any issue there. My problem is quantitative. My goal for the quantitative section is 60th percentile. My most recent GMATPrep full test that I took last week I got 43(50th Percentile) on quant. I think I am close to my goal, but so far I have not been able to make it.

My strategy up to this point has been to identify my weak areas and then go back to my Manhattan Prep books and study those sections again, as well as do the assigned Official Guide 2017 problems for those sections that are assigned by those Manhattan Prep sections. My weakest areas at this point seem to be Algebra and Word Problems. It is very frustrating studying for so long and still falling short of my goal.

I have read repeatedly on this forum that the GMAT Club tests are very helpful. So, I was wondering if maybe I should invest money in those and give them a try to see if they will help. If this is a good idea, I would like to ask what is the best way to use these tests in order to help improve my quant score? Is there instructions somewhere that would help me get started with them? I have heard that Jeff Sackmann's practice sets are very helpful also.

Also, any other advice on how to improve my score I would greatly appreciate. I am also using Kaplan's QBank and that seems to be helpful. I also, tend to make silly mistakes, sometimes make calculation errors, and sometimes do not read a question carefully enough. But, I have improved in those areas quite a bit.

Again, any advice I would greatly appreciate. I would really like to hit my target goal. Actually, I need to in order to have a chance at being accepted at the school that I wish to attend.
I generally recommend that test takers choose questions that are just slightly tougher than they are comfortable with. Not too tough, not too easy. Especially not too tough, as you might actually want to develop the habit of letting the really tough questions go, so that you are in a better position to hit your target score.
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Re: Getting Over The Hump  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 16:42
Hi twilliams,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help.

Since your quant score is in the 50th percentile, it’s clear that you lack certain GMAT quant fundamentals that are necessary for a high score. Thus, you really need to look at HOW you have been preparing, and potentially make some changes. Looking at your current study routine, it appears that your prep is centered on doing practice questions. While engaging in practice is a necessary part of improving your GMAT skills, such practice is only beneficial after you have studied the necessary topics on which those questions are based. Thus, moving forward, consider adjusting your study plan such that it allows for linear learning. Specifically, consider using a resource that allows you FIRST to learn the concepts and strategies related to GMAT quant and verbal and SECOND to practice with a large number of realistic questions.

For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

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 need some new quant resources, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: Getting Over The Hump &nbs [#permalink] 07 Sep 2018, 16:42
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