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Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant

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Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 21:44
1
I honestly don't understand what's wrong with me. Math has always been my best subject. In high school, I took AP Stat and AP Calc in the same year and scored a 5 and 4 respectively. In college even though I majored in marketing/management, I took accounting classes for fun and got A grades in all of them. I currently work in private equity. All of this should dictate that I would be able to do well in the GMAT Quant but I can't seem to do well in it at all. My latest GMAT score is a 680, saved by my Verbal score (85th percentile there) and I want to take the test again but I honestly don't know what to do. I took a diagnostic GRE test today to see how I'd do and I got a score in the 88th percentile for math and 96th percentile for verbal so I'm seriously beginning to think I should just take THAT officially and apply with the GRE instead. The math was so easy compared to the GMAT and I'm surprised I actually got anything wrong (probably careless mistakes).

I've reviewed the official guide multiple times, completed all Manhattan prep books, and the Kolby Math Prep Course. When practicing I use the same pad as we get during the GMAT and I time myself to 2 minutes per question. I know I can do better, but I struggle on doing the 'Hard' level questions in under 2 minutes (if I go for completion I solve them in 3-4 mins), and honestly sometimes I struggle to answer some Hard questions at all.

My question is, what could I be doing better to study? Is there anything you guys did to really elevate your math score, that just helped open your eyes on solving problems you had trouble with before? Should I just get a dang tutor?

Thanks for any advice!
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Re: Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 04:31
corgigal wrote:
I honestly don't understand what's wrong with me. Math has always been my best subject. In high school, I took AP Stat and AP Calc in the same year and scored a 5 and 4 respectively. In college even though I majored in marketing/management, I took accounting classes for fun and got A grades in all of them. I currently work in private equity. All of this should dictate that I would be able to do well in the GMAT Quant but I can't seem to do well in it at all. My latest GMAT score is a 680, saved by my Verbal score (85th percentile there) and I want to take the test again but I honestly don't know what to do. I took a diagnostic GRE test today to see how I'd do and I got a score in the 88th percentile for math and 96th percentile for verbal so I'm seriously beginning to think I should just take THAT officially and apply with the GRE instead. The math was so easy compared to the GMAT and I'm surprised I actually got anything wrong (probably careless mistakes).

I've reviewed the official guide multiple times, completed all Manhattan prep books, and the Kolby Math Prep Course. When practicing I use the same pad as we get during the GMAT and I time myself to 2 minutes per question. I know I can do better, but I struggle on doing the 'Hard' level questions in under 2 minutes (if I go for completion I solve them in 3-4 mins), and honestly sometimes I struggle to answer some Hard questions at all.

My question is, what could I be doing better to study? Is there anything you guys did to really elevate your math score, that just helped open your eyes on solving problems you had trouble with before? Should I just get a dang tutor?

Thanks for any advice!

I am also stuck on same time dilemma although practicing have improved a bit but ultimately time gets you. If some expert could specific advise on it.
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Re: Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 09:26
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Hey Everyone,

While you await a reply from any Expert I'll try to chip in with my experience.

Most of the Gmat Quant questions can be solved under 2 minutes with the correct approach and strategy. There are some questions that may take 2+ minutes to solve, time for such questions can be adjusted by saving time on the easier ones.

I am taking your word that you are strong with Quant foundations. I guess you are not using the correct strategy then.
For eg, a very basic mistake that test takers do is that they try to calculate the values in every DS problem.
DS problems do not ask for the numerical values but for sufficiency for calculating the answer.
A lot of time can be saved on many such problems where you can just check the sufficiency instead of calculating the actual answer.

Also, I'll share my personal opinion. I found articles by karishma from Veritas prep to be very useful. they cover all the question types and teach tricks using examples. I am not sure if there is a consolidated thread of articles by her, but ULTIMATE GMAT QUANTITATIVE MEGATHREAD covers most of her articles. Do give it a try and see if you benefit from it.
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Re: Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 11:41
Hi corgigal,

To start, the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test'; it's a critical thinking test that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. Most of the questions that you'll see on Test Day can be solved in more than one way - and the 'math way' usually takes longer than other more-strategic options. From what you describe, I would bet that your math skills/knowledge are fine; to score at a significantly higher level in the Quant section (and thus, overall), you'll need to change how you "see" (and respond to) that section of the Test.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) How many times have you taken the Official GMAT and how have you scored on each attempt (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?

Goals:
3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 08:53
Hi corgigal,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Believe it or not, I speak to people daily who either work in math-related jobs or scored well on SAT math but struggle with GMAT quant. That being said, since you are struggling with GMAT quant, rather than switching to the GRE, you first should do all that you can to improve your GMAT math skills.

Since you have been studying for some time and still have not achieved your quant score goal, consider making a change in your study routine. Most importantly, ensure that you are following a study plan that allows you to FULLY learn and practice each quant topic before moving on to the next. Within each quant topic, begin with the foundations and slowly progress toward more advanced topics. 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.

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 materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses.

You also may find it helpful to read my article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 10:13
corgigal wrote:
I honestly don't understand what's wrong with me. Math has always been my best subject. In high school, I took AP Stat and AP Calc in the same year and scored a 5 and 4 respectively. In college even though I majored in marketing/management, I took accounting classes for fun and got A grades in all of them. I currently work in private equity. All of this should dictate that I would be able to do well in the GMAT Quant but I can't seem to do well in it at all. My latest GMAT score is a 680, saved by my Verbal score (85th percentile there) and I want to take the test again but I honestly don't know what to do. I took a diagnostic GRE test today to see how I'd do and I got a score in the 88th percentile for math and 96th percentile for verbal so I'm seriously beginning to think I should just take THAT officially and apply with the GRE instead. The math was so easy compared to the GMAT and I'm surprised I actually got anything wrong (probably careless mistakes).

I've reviewed the official guide multiple times, completed all Manhattan prep books, and the Kolby Math Prep Course. When practicing I use the same pad as we get during the GMAT and I time myself to 2 minutes per question. I know I can do better, but I struggle on doing the 'Hard' level questions in under 2 minutes (if I go for completion I solve them in 3-4 mins), and honestly sometimes I struggle to answer some Hard questions at all.

My question is, what could I be doing better to study? Is there anything you guys did to really elevate your math score, that just helped open your eyes on solving problems you had trouble with before? Should I just get a dang tutor?

Thanks for any advice!


It's not a math test! Once you understand the math basics (nothing past middle to high school math), you'll stop seeing much benefit from learning more math.

(Here's my favorite article on what the GMAT is actually testing, if it isn't math: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... lly-tests/)

On the one hand, that's good for you, because it means there's nothing wrong with you or with your math skills.

On the other hand, it means you probably have some work to do on your non-math Quant skills. Here are some ideas:

- Work on your Quant timing:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... ut-timing/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -to-study/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -test-day/

- Work on your guessing:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -to-guess/

- Try 'when I see this, do this' (from our GRE blog, but not GRE-specific) - this will help you with the 'how am I supposed to know what to do here?' issue
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gre/blog/ ... e-problem/
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My latest GMAT blog posts | Suggestions for blog articles are always welcome!

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Re: Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 00:17
I would strongly encourage you to try Target test prep.The course is structured in a way that you get deep understanding of the concepts and ample practice. I am enjoying my journey with Target Test Prep. I was weak on gmat quant. After using it for 2 months my score jumped to 40 from 32.
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Re: Good at math but struggle with GMAT Quant &nbs [#permalink] 19 Nov 2018, 00:17
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