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How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?

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Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2016, 16:13
That was an awesome post... Thanks a lot
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Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Mar 2018, 08:45
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bb wrote:
[*] Not timing your practice (e.g. books, mobile apps, anything you solve, you should be timing yourself)
As a professional GMAT tutor, and someone who has improved his own scores from Q44 to Q50 (see my verified scores on lower left), I agree with almost all of this very helpful advice, except for the "always time yourself when practicing" part. I believe that in many cases, you need to practice untimed first: time pressure can build bad habits and/or create unnecessary anxiety.

Over 16 years of tutoring, it has become clear to me that it's better to first learn how to solve the question properly at your own speed, and then learn how to do so within the required time limit, in the same way that a musician might learn a song at half-speed, practicing each note slowly and carefully before ultimately performing it at the required tempo.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 10 Oct 2017, 08:56.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 25 Mar 2018, 08:45, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 10:26
Sooo... I was getting between 43 and 44 on Quant on my last mock exams (diagnostic/practice tests from official GMAT prep) and went down to a 35 on my first attempt at the real one the other day (I was aiming for over 45 :roll: ). Not sure if I was nervous or was just obsessed with time that I lost accuracy in solving questions. Or maybe I just freaked out. Anyway, would you guys recommend paying for a quant online course? If that's the case, which one would you recommend? I feel like I know the basics well and it is just a matter of keeping calm and trusting my prep but that score the other day really brought me down and made me think I might need additional materials.

Anyways, thank you for your time. I have just come across this community and that might be the reason why I did not do well the other day.
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Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 May 2018, 12:28
bb wrote:

How to improve your quant from 44 to 50?


There are over 100,000 discussions on GMAT Club and a number of them touches on this subject. This is the collection of the best tips GMAT Club users have shared over the last 10 years addressing the question of improving your Quant score. Some of these are mind and others are from users who have contributed to numerous topics and discussions. There is no one-size fits all approach here. Some tips will work for you and others may not as everyone has various strengths and weaknesses. As always - I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Note, there is a separate post on going from Q49 to Q51


Assumption of this Thread:

If you are constantly performing at the 44-46 quant range (previous tests , trusted prep material) that means:
- Mastered most of the required skilled
- Understand the structure and requirements of gmat math questions


Your Most Likely Weaknesses


  • "Silly mistakes" i.e. things that in the pressure of the gmat you do wrong although you know and understand them
  • Get yourself into unnecessary complications in solving questions that can be solved much faster (not being able to see shortcuts)
  • Timing issues... there are some things that just take you too much time to get right
  • Mistakes that are a result of a subtlety of concepts that you were not sure about (which made you both spend time, eventually guessing or answering without confidence, sometime getting it wrong)


The Most Common Prep Mistakes:


  • Concentrating on advanced concepts and hard questions. the ROI of this kind of prep is small (it would be higher if you were to advance from 49 to 51 for example). Otherwise, you are learning how to play the game at the highest level but actually never get there.
  • Jumping into the tests. I see a lot of GMAT Club members jump into the CAT's and not only use up many of them (to only end up with few resources by the end) but also discourage and distract themselves. Think of it as trying to reduce the fever with a thermometer. No matter how many times you check your temperature, it will be about the same and it won't help to keep checking.
  • Not timing your practice (e.g. books, mobile apps, anything you solve, you should be timing yourself)
  • Study mostly from the OG. OG is not a guidebook! It is a question collection. It is not designed to ace the test but rather give you an idea what to expect. The value comes in honing your ear and practice AFTER you have covered the basics and material, not before.
  • Not keeping track of their mistakes - if you encounter a mistake don't hide it and try to forget about it.
  • Stretching their prep time to 6+ months. The brain is a tricky thing and the older you are, the faster it forgets things. You need to refresh and go back frequently if you have been studying over 4 months. Otherwise, it is 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.


Recommendations for Improvement:


  • Perfect your basic techniques. for example: solving regular linear, one variable equations should be performed with no mistakes at all, and should take you no more than 20-30 seconds; doing simple arithmetic - again... no mistakes are allowed, do it fast and with confidence... etc...
  • Try to understand types of math questions frequently appearing in the GMAT exam such as those featured by Math Revolution
  • Boost your confidence. My suggestion - do questions again and again, until you can do, in time, without guessing and providing full answers, until you can do a full test (37 questions of various difficulty) with no more then 2-5 mistakes.
  • Try to look for the simplest way of solving questions. Don't "buy" complex explanations. for 95% of gmat questions there are simple explanations. Also, don't sufficient yourself with just one way to solve questions. For many questions there are more than one good way to solve. familiarizing yourself with all of them will help you find the simplest way to do it. Follow Bunuel's posts - he often provides very eye opening solutions that are quick and effective.
    - Look for specialized material that concentrates (correctly) on subtleties of concepts, especially the concepts you feel are difficult for you. Usually it is really hard to come by specialized sets, but on GMAT Club forum, you can search questions by Tags and by Difficulty. You can use this forum very wisely.
  • Try GMAT Club tests - these are hard math problems designed to make you work hard for every question
  • Save the questions you miss. Print them out and go back to in a few days or weeks to make sure you can solve them. If you can't answer the same question again, then try again for the third time (remember - time yourself!). If you made a mistake the third time - memorize the question, the solution, and the answer. Yes, memorize and be able to write it out when needed from memory.
  • Get better at solving simple things and memorize some of the shortcuts. Here are arithmetic shortcuts to remember.
  • If nothing else helps, take a look at some of the timing strategies on GMAT Club
  • Use GMAT Club Math book - it is a free PDF download with the most common and hardest to grasp concepts
  • I would recommend focussing on accuracy in the beginning. Do the last 50 OG questions, 10 at a time after thoroughly understanding the concepts. Spend as much time as possible to ensure you get all right. for me, it took almost 2 and a half hours to complete. Once you find, you are getting 9 out of 10 right every time, you can move to practicing on a timed test, and try finishing 37 questions in 60 minutes. ( Keep accuracy at the top of your head, if you have to guess, try to eliminate at least 3 wrong answers.), but move on. This balance between speed and accuracy is the key to a higher quant score. - by Ashaker


If you Are not Quite to Q44 Yet:




Content reference and credit: inspiration and quite a few tips for this thread came from Hobbit's thread from 2007


I can't thank you enough for this thread.
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Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2018, 09:13
mcelroytutoring wrote:
bb wrote:
[*] Not timing your practice (e.g. books, mobile apps, anything you solve, you should be timing yourself)
As a professional GMAT tutor, and someone who has improved his own scores from Q44 to Q50 (see my verified scores on lower left), I agree with almost all of this very helpful advice, except for the "always time yourself when practicing" part. I believe that in many cases, you need to practice untimed first: time pressure can build bad habits and/or create unnecessary anxiety.

Over 16 years of tutoring, it has become clear to me that it's better to first learn how to solve the question properly at your own speed, and then learn how to do so within the required time limit, in the same way that a musician might learn a song at half-speed, practicing each note slowly and carefully before ultimately performing it at the required tempo.


I agree with your approach. In my (fewer than 16) years of tutoring, I have helped numerous students get 49-50 on the Quant portion, and I always got them to learn how to solve problems first. Once they are comfortable solving problems in a logical and efficient way, they naturally get faster. They would need to check the clock when they faced a tough question and had to decide whether to tackle it. I like your musician analogy too :)
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Re: How to improve your quant from Q44 to Q50? &nbs [#permalink] 08 May 2018, 09:13

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