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# How do you organize your study materials? Binder? Notebooks?

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Intern
Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 11

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12 May 2010, 13:34
I am wondering if people on this board keep all of their scratchwork from MGMAT problem sets and OG problem sets.

Do you guys throw this stuff away, keep it on looseleaf paper and collect it all in a binder, or do it all in the same notebook? If you keep your scratchwork, do you ever go back and review? I don't want to collect a bunch of paper if I don't have to...

Assuming that I keep an error log where I mark all my wrong/correct answers and guesses, is it necessary to keep the scratchwork? Maybe for math, but not for verbal?

Also, do you guys take notes on what you learn in the MGMAT books or PowerScore Bible, or do you just read and remember?

Do you keep a notebook of "lessons learned"?
Current Student
Joined: 12 Jun 2009
Posts: 1765
Location: United States (NC)
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V39
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12 May 2010, 14:04
i used a binder to do problems and then on another section i keep a tally of what type of question i got wrong on with the number so i can get back to it later..
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Manager
Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 119

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12 May 2010, 14:12
I was on the same boat with you - not a big fan of storing unnecessary docs with me.
The way I do it...I usually analyze what kind of mistakes I'm making.
Is it just a careless error, or is there any specific rule/formula/shortcuts I can learn from this.
I usually have 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper "cheat sheet" ready to write some notes when I'm going over my mistakes.
1 for verbal, 1 for math.
I write my formulas, tricky grammar rules, useful shortcuts, etc there.

I don't keep scratch work, but I always ask myself if I made the same type of mistake as I did with the previous practice. Once you write down your "bad habits" that you want to avoid, your mind will subconsciously remind you to avoid it during the test.

Every time before I take a full practice test, I do a quick review of that 2 pages of sheets. So basically all I have are the books and that very valuable 2 sheets.
Hope that helps.
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 17130
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
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12 May 2010, 14:28
Fantastic topic to discuss - Love it!

Here is what I did, which was probably not enough in some areas and too much in others:
1. I took notes from the books I studied, so I would note the strategies and other items that I knew I would not remember.
For example, I wrote out the reading comprehension strategy and writing it out and organizing it on paper helped me to imprint it or somehow save up there for a longer period of time
2. I printed out every question from GMAT Prep and online tests that I missed (unless something I would not miss next time, which can be hard to judge)
3. Wrote out all interesting words (vocab as I am international) in a notebook. My rule was that if I encountered that word more than once, I would write it into the notebook with a definition
4. I marked every question i missed in a book to solve it (small stars next to the question made with a pencil - allowed to erase them if I knew how to solve the question a few days later/months later or allowed to put another star for the questions I got wrong twice)

In terms of organization, I had a folder/binder where everything went but it was not anything neat or pretty
I would usually review the questions I made a mistake in the following day - I would see the question (i would remember the solution still), so i would identify the issue, point the correct answer, and point my mistake (i remembered the solution and my mistake to each question i messed up).

My 2 cents - hope this helps.
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13 May 2010, 23:57
Taking notes (e.g., formulas, grammar rules etc.) and tracking your progress is key to avoiding going in circles. It would also help you to revise material effectively without the need to go through the book again. I would also recommend to write down new words, as bb has already suggested. I personally still haven't figured out which suggestions from books to write down. Sometimes it seems to me like a huge waste of time. Any thoughts on that?
Intern
Joined: 19 Feb 2018
Posts: 14

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27 Sep 2018, 23:56
As for me, I keep notebooks for classes like biology where you may need to flip back to notes a couple of months old in order to understand a concept. For everything else I keep a binder. Notebooks are for the note-oriented. Binders are for those who hole punch every handout. More info https://www.theolive.com/reviews/best-binders/
How do you organize your study materials? Binder? Notebooks? &nbs [#permalink] 27 Sep 2018, 23:56
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# How do you organize your study materials? Binder? Notebooks?

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