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GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method

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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
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makshay62 wrote:
I am particularly not very good at RC and hence plan to apply this method. The RC topics which involve geography, and science are the ones which I detest. I will be solving them. God help me and thanks for the technique.

Hi makshay62.

Do your best to like the passages at least a little. The more engaged in the passages you are, the more effectively you'll read and understand them.

Also, take your time reading the passages and answering the questions. By taking your time, you'll give yourself time to learn to go through the motions necessary for succeeding in RC. Then, once you're getting questions correct in streaks, you can work on speeding up.
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
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MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Introduction to the Streaks Method

Many people ask me what they can do to increase their accuracy and their scores. Often they have been achieving reasonably high accuracy in practice, but they still aren't reliably hitting their score goals when they take practice GMATs or the real thing.

What I often recommend is the streaks method, which I first recommended years ago to a student who then used it to quickly go from 610 to 710, and which was basically perfected by another person with whom I worked, Target Test Prep user and GMAT Club member dcummins, who used it as one of his key final steps in getting to his 700+ score goal and gaining admission to his dream school.

So, here's the deal.

The Issue

Let's say you are practicing Weaken questions and getting about 70 percent correct. That accuracy seems decent, but are you really confident in Weaken at that point?

Notice that, to get to 70 percent, you could have been confident in answering 40 percent of the questions and guessed 50:50 between the last two choices for the other 60 percent and gotten to 70 percent.

Also, it's possible to get 70 percent correct while getting only 2 or 3 in a row correct. Are you really under control in Weaken if you typically get only 2 or 3 in a row correct? Not necessarily.

So, you can see why someone who typically gets 70 percent of practice questions correct may not feel particularly confident while taking the GMAT.

The Solution

So, here's a cool alternative way to gauge your skill level and learn to do exactly what you need to in order to ace the GMAT. Go beyond shooting for accuracy levels to shooting for streaks of correct answers.

Here's how it works.

For any category of question you want to choose, and the important categories can vary for each test taker, keep working on that category until you get at least 15 questions correct in a row.

So, for Weaken, for instance, you would practice Weaken questions until you get 15 Weaken questions correct in a row.

You can see the difference between 15 correct in a row and 70 percent correct. 70 percent correct is decent, admittedly. At the same time, 15 correct in a row means you are under control.

Also, the GMAT rewards streaks of correct answers by presenting you with harder questions that are worth more. So, when you shoot for streaks of correct answers, you are not only developing your skills, you are training to do exactly what the GMAT rewards.

Now, here's the refinement that dcummins came up with.

The Streaks Method Perfected

For every question type, shoot for a streak of 15 easy questions, a streak of 15 medium questions, and a streak of 10 hard questions. That method is brutal, but it works super well. By the time you achieve the streak of 10 hard questions, you may have answered over100 questions, and you'll be super confident with that question type.

The process typically goes something like this for a category.

Easy Weaken:

1 2 3 4 5 broken

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 broken

1 2 3 broken

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 broken

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Streak completed.

You can see that the method can be brutal. If you get to 14 and really want to use the method seriously, you have to start again at 0 and keep going until you get to the streak goal of 15. Then, after the easy questions, you have to do the same thing for medium questions and then for hard questions.

Of course, you don't have to use the streaks method in that exact way. You could simply shoot for streaks of CR questions or streaks of DS questions, whatever you want to focus on.

Also, you can use different streak goals that fit your practice needs and score goal. dcummins scored 710. If you want to score in the 600s, you could use shorter streak goals. If you want to score in the upper 700s, you could use longer streak goals.

Untimed streaks practice works well.

A key thing to understand is that the point of shooting for streaks is to develop focus, stamina, and consistency. So, you don't have to time yourself when you are shooting for streaks. If you can get 15 correct in a row untimed, you have demonstrated that you understand the type of question you are practicing and that you know how to get that type of correct reliably.

If you want to do timed practice after you have achieved your streaks untimed, even better - could be fun - but you don't have to.

In Conclusion

So, that's the streaks method in all its glory. You can play it like a game and use it to become a master of the GMAT.

For more on how to work accurately and hit your streaks - Improving Your Accuracy on the GMAT

Hey Marty,
I have a question. Suppose my streak breaks at question no 5. So I'll restart my streak from question no. 6, right?
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
makshay62 wrote:
I am particularly not very good at RC and hence plan to apply this method. The RC topics which involve geography, and science are the ones which I detest. I will be solving them. God help me and thanks for the technique.

Hi makshay62.

Do your best to like the passages at least a little. The more engaged in the passages you are, the more effectively you'll read and understand them.

Also, take your time reading the passages and answering the questions. By taking your time, you'll give yourself time to learn to go through the motions necessary for succeeding in RC. Then, once you're getting questions correct in streaks, you can work on speeding up.

Hi Marty,

I came across this method recently and have started to apply it today. I have a few questions:
1. How many people have been able to improve their confidence and performance using streaks?
2. For someone aiming to score between 700-720/730. What should be the ideal streak lengths for easy, medium and hard questions?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Target Test Prep Representative
Joined: 24 Nov 2014
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
sharmashagun770 wrote:
Hi Marty,

I came across this method recently and have started to apply it today. I have a few questions:
1. How many people have been able to improve their confidence and performance using streaks?

Many many people have improved their confidence and performance using streaks. The method is awesome because it gets you to focus on exactly what you need to focus on to master the GMAT.

Quote:
2. For someone aiming to score between 700-720/730. What should be the ideal streak lengths for easy, medium and hard questions?

E- 15, M - 15, H - 15 would be ideal. H - 10 would work OK too, but might not get you to 730.
Target Test Prep Representative
Joined: 24 Nov 2014
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Posts: 3479
Own Kudos [?]: 5221 [0]
Given Kudos: 1431
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V51
Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
SUV0508 wrote:
Hey Marty,
I have a question. Suppose my streak breaks at question no 5. So I'll restart my streak from question no. 6, right?

No. The idea is that you need to get the streak of questions correct in a row without any missed questions. So, if your streak breaks, you start again at 0.
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Introduction to the Streaks Method

Many people ask me what they can do to increase their accuracy and their scores. Often they have been achieving reasonably high accuracy in practice, but they still aren't reliably hitting their score goals when they take practice GMATs or the real thing.

What I often recommend is the streaks method, which I first recommended years ago to a student who then used it to quickly go from 610 to 710, and which was basically perfected by another person with whom I worked, Target Test Prep user and GMAT Club member dcummins, who used it as one of his key final steps in getting to his 700+ score goal and gaining admission to his dream school.

So, here's the deal.

The Issue

Let's say you are practicing Weaken questions and getting about 70 percent correct. That accuracy seems decent, but are you really confident in Weaken at that point?

Notice that, to get to 70 percent, you could have been confident in answering 40 percent of the questions and guessed 50:50 between the last two choices for the other 60 percent and gotten to 70 percent.

Also, it's possible to get 70 percent correct while getting only 2 or 3 in a row correct. Are you really under control in Weaken if you typically get only 2 or 3 in a row correct? Not necessarily.

So, you can see why someone who typically gets 70 percent of practice questions correct may not feel particularly confident while taking the GMAT.

The Solution

So, here's a cool alternative way to gauge your skill level and learn to do exactly what you need to in order to ace the GMAT. Go beyond shooting for accuracy levels to shooting for streaks of correct answers.

Here's how it works.

For any category of question you want to choose, and the important categories can vary for each test taker, keep working on that category until you get at least 15 questions correct in a row.

So, for Weaken, for instance, you would practice Weaken questions until you get 15 Weaken questions correct in a row.

You can see the difference between 15 correct in a row and 70 percent correct. 70 percent correct is decent, admittedly. At the same time, 15 correct in a row means you are under control.

Also, the GMAT rewards streaks of correct answers by presenting you with harder questions that are worth more. So, when you shoot for streaks of correct answers, you are not only developing your skills, you are training to do exactly what the GMAT rewards.

Now, here's the refinement that dcummins came up with.

The Streaks Method Perfected

For every question type, shoot for a streak of 15 easy questions, a streak of 15 medium questions, and a streak of 10 hard questions. That method is brutal, but it works super well. By the time you achieve the streak of 10 hard questions, you may have answered over100 questions, and you'll be super confident with that question type.

The process typically goes something like this for a category.

Easy Weaken:

1 2 3 4 5 broken

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 broken

1 2 3 broken

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 broken

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Streak completed.

You can see that the method can be brutal. If you get to 14 and really want to use the method seriously, you have to start again at 0 and keep going until you get to the streak goal of 15. Then, after the easy questions, you have to do the same thing for medium questions and then for hard questions.

Of course, you don't have to use the streaks method in that exact way. You could simply shoot for streaks of CR questions or streaks of DS questions, whatever you want to focus on.

Also, you can use different streak goals that fit your practice needs and score goal. dcummins scored 710. If you want to score in the 600s, you could use shorter streak goals. If you want to score in the upper 700s, you could use longer streak goals.

Untimed streaks practice works well.

A key thing to understand is that the point of shooting for streaks is to develop focus, stamina, and consistency. So, you don't have to time yourself when you are shooting for streaks. If you can get 15 correct in a row untimed, you have demonstrated that you understand the type of question you are practicing and that you know how to get that type of correct reliably.

If you want to do timed practice after you have achieved your streaks untimed, even better - could be fun - but you don't have to.

In Conclusion

So, that's the streaks method in all its glory. You can play it like a game and use it to become a master of the GMAT.

For more on how to work accurately and hit your streaks - Improving Your Accuracy on the GMAT

Hi Marty,
Thanks for sharing this streak method technique. But, my query is if I would practice 15 ques(Easy Level), 10 ques(Medium Level) & 10 ques ( Hard Level) in a day. What would be my streak in all the cases. Could you please explain?
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
poojaarora1818 wrote:
Hi Marty,
Thanks for sharing this streak method technique. But, my query is if I would practice 15 ques(Easy Level), 10 ques(Medium Level) & 10 ques ( Hard Level) in a day. What would be my streak in all the cases. Could you please explain?

Your streak is the number you get correct in a row with no missed questions in between.

So, if, for instance, you got 8 easy questions correct in a row when answering those 15, your streak would be 8. In that case, to achieve a streak of 15, you would have to start over again at 0 and seek to get 15 correct in a row.
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
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MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
poojaarora1818 wrote:
Hi Marty,
Thanks for sharing this streak method technique. But, my query is if I would practice 15 ques(Easy Level), 10 ques(Medium Level) & 10 ques ( Hard Level) in a day. What would be my streak in all the cases. Could you please explain?

Your streak is the number you get correct in a row with no missed questions in between.

So, if, for instance, you got 8 easy questions correct in a row when answering those 15, your streak would be 8. In that case, to achieve a streak of 15, you would have to start over again at 0 and seek to get 15 correct in a row.

Got it. Thank you so much for your response, Marty!
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
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Hi Marty,
MartyTargetTestPrep

1. Would love to understand what should the split be between ds and ps be in these streaks or there should be a single streak for both?

2. Can there be breaks between streaks or has to be done in one sitting?

3. what should be the review procedure for these topics?

4. Won’t we run out of official questions if it goes beyond certain number of questions? As they say quality > quantity at least in verbal

Thank you for sharing such an amazing study method

Looking forward to hearing from you

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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Introduction to the Streaks Method

Many people ask me what they can do to increase their accuracy and their scores. Often they have been achieving reasonably high accuracy in practice, but they still aren't reliably hitting their score goals when they take practice GMATs or the real thing.

What I often recommend is the streaks method, which I first recommended years ago to a student who then used it to quickly go from 610 to 710, and which was basically perfected by another person with whom I worked, Target Test Prep user and GMAT Club member dcummins, who used it as one of his key final steps in getting to his 700+ score goal and gaining admission to his dream school.

So, here's the deal.

The Issue

Let's say you are practicing Weaken questions and getting about 70 percent correct. That accuracy seems decent, but are you really confident in Weaken at that point?

Notice that, to get to 70 percent, you could have been confident in answering 40 percent of the questions and guessed 50:50 between the last two choices for the other 60 percent and gotten to 70 percent.

Also, it's possible to get 70 percent correct while getting only 2 or 3 in a row correct. Are you really under control in Weaken if you typically get only 2 or 3 in a row correct? Not necessarily.

So, you can see why someone who typically gets 70 percent of practice questions correct may not feel particularly confident while taking the GMAT.

The Solution

So, here's a cool alternative way to gauge your skill level and learn to do exactly what you need to in order to ace the GMAT. Go beyond shooting for accuracy levels to shooting for streaks of correct answers.

Here's how it works.

For any category of question you want to choose, and the important categories can vary for each test taker, keep working on that category until you get at least 15 questions correct in a row.

So, for Weaken, for instance, you would practice Weaken questions until you get 15 Weaken questions correct in a row.

You can see the difference between 15 correct in a row and 70 percent correct. 70 percent correct is decent, admittedly. At the same time, 15 correct in a row means you are under control.

Also, the GMAT rewards streaks of correct answers by presenting you with harder questions that are worth more. So, when you shoot for streaks of correct answers, you are not only developing your skills, you are training to do exactly what the GMAT rewards.

Hi Marty!

I understand that for any particular type of problems you aim for the streak of correct answers. I was thinking of applying same streak method on RC but then it occurred to me that RC has variety of questions. So how should I apply streak method in RC?

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
thelastskybender wrote:
Hi Marty!

I understand that for any particular type of problems you aim for the streak of correct answers. I was thinking of applying same streak method on RC but then it occurred to me that RC has variety of questions. So how should I apply streak method in RC?

Most people just go through RC passages of similar difficulty and answer the questions associated with those passages until achieving a streak of 15 questions correct.

You could also do only the easy, medium, or questions associated with some passages to get to 15 easy, medium, or hard questions correct in a row.

If you wanted to answer only one type of question, you could go from passage to passage answering questions of only that one type, such as detail questions or primary purpose question.

Still, most people keep it simpler and just do a variety of types of questions, though possibly skipping the easy ones, until they achieve a streak.
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Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]
In this blog post, I discuss the streaks method and the reasons for and benefits of using it in more detail.

How to Ace the GMAT Using the Streaks Method
Re: GMAT Practice Tip - The Streaks Method [#permalink]