GMAT Question of the Day: Daily via email | Daily via Instagram New to GMAT Club? Watch this Video

 It is currently 27 Jan 2020, 08:12

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

How to Review and Analyze Your Mistakes

Author Message
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 18887
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5

Show Tags

Updated on: 13 Jul 2018, 06:08
100
282
I have always been surprised how many people let their mistakes just slide, go away, and disappear, only to make them again. If you have allowed your mistakes to not bother you, this post is for you!

Introduction:

There are 2 primary ways we learn and prepare for the GMAT: 1)by studying theory and 2)by taking tests/quizzes. What we learn in those two approaches actually differs. Often when we read a book or watch a lesson, we observe and soak in - we see the big picture. Think of someone explaining you how to drive a stick shift - they tell you how to release the clutch and give gas to the car. Then the quiz part is when you actually sit down to drive the car and realize you don't know how to shift gears, you don't know which gar comes first, how quickly to release the clutch and all other questions you forgot to ask during the "big picture" overview. Thus to soak in the most from each lesson, you need to combine the passive learning with the active testing/quizzing... just one or the other does not work.

1. Always time yourself. If you are not timing yourself, don't bother reading further.
2. Save every question you miss/get wrong/guess - my suggestion would be to print every one of them out and build a binder you can grab at any time. You can also look into using an online solution of sorts or an error log and expand it. GMAT Club forum has its own error log that contains every question you practiced on the forum
3. For every test/quiz question that you miss or guess, you should ask yourself the following questions:

• Why did I make this mistake?
Write a reason for making a mistake - figure out exactly what it is! For example:
• Is it not knowing something?
• Forgetting a formula?
• Confusing concepts?
• Not reading the question carefully?
• Not following a strategy?
• Not recognizing a correct choice A in SC?
• Making a silly mistake?
• Rushing?

• What did it teach me? What did I learn from it?
Each error is a learning opportunity - use it. Don't just say - it was a silly mistake or I made a calculation error but turn it into something more meaningful. Here are a few examples:
• You learned that you tend to make calculation mistakes when you do math in your mind or you tend to miss some important words in PS or CR questions
• You forgot not know the Triangle area formula
• You learned a shortcut for arithmetic
• You understand inference and assumptions now and see the difference
• You hate RC

• What do I need to do so that I never make it again?
The next step is to turn it into an action item. Here are some examples:
• How do you ensure that you never make that silly calculation mistake? Well - you always do all math by hand.
• Still does not help? You double-check your math when doing word problems or you backsolve to make sure.
• Are you skipping important words in CR? You should make a rule to always check for keywords in questions on your CR.
• Are you not sure why C or D answer choice in CR? Don't leave the question until you know - most likely that question is discussed in the forum - find it and figure it out. If you can't tell a difference in a CR or RC question answers - that's a sign of a much bigger problem that you need to address ASAP

Other Suggestions For Mistake Review:

• Periodically go back to the questions you got wrong, esp the hard mean ones that you did not know how to even approach and make sure you can solve them and know the path to solve them and the key to the solution.
• Most likely you know there is a dark little secret about your mistakes, for example, you always miss DS questons or struggle with geometry - that's where you need to camp out and dig until your hand bleed.
• Don't get overwhelmed. You may have a lot of ground to cover; try to stick in one area as much as possible before moving on

:!: Next Steps:

After you have done analysis of your recent CAT or Quiz mistakes and patching holes, it is a good idea to test if you have really learned what you think you have learned.
• You can head over to Question Banks and practice 5-10 questions on each topic you messed up and see how good quality of patching you have done
• Alternatively find similar questions and practice them! It is quite easy - find the question that cause you pain in the forum. Then, click "Find Similar Topics" link and you will have a collection of questions to work with. Be careful practicing GMAT Prep questions if you are still taking GMAT Prep as that may inflate your scores. Here is a screenshot how to do this:
Attachment:

similar topics.png [ 83.82 KiB | Viewed 14246 times ]

What do people usually do wrong:

1. Some will do questions only and skip theory/tips/lessons. It is definitely possible to learn how to drive a car without anyone telling you which pedal does what, but it sure is not a very pleasant one. Why not let someone give you a tour and overview first? Not only it is faster, it will also save you from missing a lot of questions since learning solely from questions/quizzes is only good enough when you encounter similar/same questions. When you meet a new question, you will be stuck.
2. Taking too many questions - taking thousands of questions and becoming a machine at pattern recognition (waste of time frankly - i believe that doing 1000 or questions total including quizzes and tests is sufficient). More is not always better. Do you really need to solve 400 of the same arithmetic or geometry questions? probably not, it would probably be much more useful if you were able to solve 40 word problems questions.
3. Not doing the mistake analysis on the questions and that's what the focus of this post is on. Many will classify their mistakes in a pretty error log and stop right there. That's not enough!

What mistakes are you making?

Report what mistakes you make and what worked for you in the past! OR let me know if something is not working and where I can help you - post your specific issues here and I will be happy to provide my recommendations
_________________

Originally posted by bb on 05 Feb 2014, 17:17.
Last edited by bb on 13 Jul 2018, 06:08, edited 3 times in total.
Updated the list with 2018 Edition
Intern
Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Posts: 7

Show Tags

10 Mar 2014, 23:13
6
This is so true. The hard part is accepting the fact that it's okay to make mistakes probably because it gets scary if we make a lot of mistakes, and it also hurts your ego. When I took my practice exams, I would search for the explanations on this forum for difficult questions before answering them, so that I get the questions right. This was a wrong move because I didn't learn the real way. I learned some strategies, yes, but only temporarily. I didn't know where I actually stand on my own (and in real test conditions) and where I needed to focus my energies on. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way (GMAT 520). Planning to retake now, and make use of a good error log. Saw Saruba's error log and might make use of that. This time I will make mistakes and accept them, and learn from them until I don't make any.
CrackVerbal Representative
Affiliations: CrackVerbal
Joined: 03 Oct 2013
Posts: 563
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46

Show Tags

Updated on: 13 Dec 2017, 01:31
6
7
Whenever a student comes to us asking for more material because he has exhausted all the available GMAT prep material, we have an "Uh oh!" moment.

The OG has ~900 questions. The Verbal and Quant Reviews put together have ~600 questions. Plus, we give our students a collection of ~2000 official GMATPrep questions to practice from. This itself comes to about 3500+ official GMAT questions. So if you have solved all of this, and still your performance is not improving, then more practice is NOT the solution.

Analysis is.

You need to go through the questions you have solved and track where you are going wrong, what sort of mistakes you are making, why, what happens to you as you solve questions in a timed environment...

This discussion is much-needed and some excellent points have been made. So I thought I'd share the Error Log that we recommend to our students. (Attached with this post) If you use a notebook or diary to keep track of the questions you solve, it maybe difficult to review later. At the same time, you don't want to overcomplicate things by capturing too many details.

So it is best to keep an online tracker that captures the following:
Question details
The concept being tested
A tag to understand what sort of mistake it was
A takeaway from the question.

For e.g. let's say you solved CR #11 from the Verbal Review. You picked E while the OA is B. You then tag this question as one of the following: N, M, G, T or S.

Nailed it (N) - Yes, you got it right. Good work! Make sure that you got it right for the right reasons, that you know exactly how to tackle it.

Missed it (M) - Aargh, made a silly mistake. Knock yourself on the head and tell yourself to be more mindful!

Guessed it (G) - Had to guess this question. On a good day, the guess would have paid off, but on a bad day, it need not. So make sure you understand the question thoroughly now.

Timed it (T) - Spent far too much time on the question! Remember, it doesn't matter whether you got a question right if you have spent more than 2.5 minutes on it!

Screwed it (S) - Didn't know what hit you when you saw this question. That means there could be something basic that you don't know about such questions.

Since you got this question wrong, it is not going to be tagged "N".

The advantage of having such a tracker is that you can sort the sheet by concept or by type of mistake to see which specific topic/area you need to work on.

Another important aspect of keeping such an error log is writing down a takeaway for each question. Ideally, the takeaway should be not just for that one question but for all similar questions. These notes you make will come in handy when you are on the last leg of your prep or in the last week before your test date.

Hope you find this useful!

Learn proven strategies to get an MBA through GMAT in 2018! Join our free 4 part MBA Through GMAT Video Training Series
https://gmat.crackverbal.com/mba-through-gmat-video-2018

Attachments

File comment: Simple, intuitive error log for GMAT takers.
CrackVerbal GMAT Error Log.xlsx [61.94 KiB]

_________________
- CrackVerbal Prep Team

Register for the Free GMAT Kickstarter Course : http://bit.ly/2DDHKHq

Register for our Personal Tutoring Course : https://www.crackverbal.com/gmat/personal-tutoring/

Join the free 4 part GMAT video training series : http://bit.ly/2DGm8tR

Originally posted by CrackVerbalGMAT on 10 Oct 2014, 00:45.
Last edited by CrackVerbalGMAT on 13 Dec 2017, 01:31, edited 2 times in total.
Intern
Joined: 22 Jun 2013
Posts: 46
Concentration: Healthcare
Schools: Johnson '17 (S)
GMAT Date: 04-24-2014
GPA: 3.67
WE: Consulting (Health Care)

Show Tags

12 Apr 2014, 22:42
5
1
For me, flashcards have worked wonders.

Whenever I get a question wrong, or even if I get a hard question right, I'll spend a long time analyzing the explanation. After however long it takes me to internalize any takeaways from the explanation, I make a flashcard. I find that re-writing the solution and takeaway on the back of the flashcard helps me reinforce what I just read. Plus it's nice to have these flashcards with key takeaways on my way to work via public transit
_________________
MGMAT1 - 650 (Q44, V35)
MGMAT2 - 670 (Q42, V39)
MGMAT3 - 640 (Q44, V34)
MGMAT4 - 630 (Q41, V35)
GMATPrep1 - 720 (Q48, V40)
GMATPrep2 - 720 (Q48, V41)
MGMAT5 - 690 (Q45, V39)
GMATPrep3 - 700 (Q47, V39)
GMATPrep4 - 710 (Q49, V38)

Test Day: 740 (Q49, V41)
Manager
Joined: 10 Dec 2009
Posts: 90
GMAT 1: 750 Q47 V47
GPA: 3.6

Show Tags

12 Apr 2014, 22:37
4
1
Very important post here. I would add that when reviewing a Quant problem it is often helpful to rework the problem, while keeping in mind that on the challenging problems, seeing through to what makes the problem challenging is important. Are you asked to be creative in a specific way with basic knowledge? Is there a less common number property at play here that tests the breadth of your knowledge? etc.

When reviewing a Verbal problem, it is very helpful to analyze the incorrect choices deeply. On a Critical Reasoning problem, figure out why the choice you selected (or considered selecting) is incorrect. Use the stimulus to help you see why that choice does not do the task at hand. This will help you work the choices on similar problems more effectively.

www.gmatclarity.com
_________________
Thomas Hall
Manager
Joined: 06 Sep 2018
Posts: 72
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42
GPA: 4
WE: Analyst (Investment Banking)

Show Tags

09 Dec 2018, 00:58
4
aa008 wrote:
bb

I am following your strategy of maintaining error log and revisiting all the wrong question periodically.
This strategy is working fine for SC but for CR i somehow remember the right answer even after 2 months.

i am confused how to use the error log of CR?

aa008

A tip for CR would be to understand why the answer is what it is. Also, understand why the other four options were incorrect. CR is logic-based and recalling logic is easier than understanding it. Once you have understood the logic for, say, 50 incorrect CR problems, you may notice a pattern in the logic. 80% of CR GMAT problems follow one of 6-7 common logic threads - the logic is only worded differently. Once you have internalized the logic, you will be able to spot the thread when you solve new problems.
_________________
The importance of mindset on the GMAT - 640 to 690 to 740 (Q49 V42) : https://bit.ly/2R1WaK5
CrackVerbal Representative
Affiliations: CrackVerbal
Joined: 03 Oct 2013
Posts: 563
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46

Show Tags

09 Apr 2015, 00:23
2

arslan101 wrote:
I seem to make the following mistakes regularly. I don't know to get rid of them. Can someone help please.

SC
1. I see long sentences, get anxious and tend to freak out, resulting in spending a lot of time re-reading.

Most students get overwhelmed about a long sentence and sentences that are completely underlined. Little do they realize that these sentences are easier to handle. Longer sentences mean more errors and thereby easier to spot them. This also means that one skill that you should develop to do SC well is error identification. Learn to identify errors on sentences and this actually helps to zero-down on answers better.

CR
1. After reviewing the incorrect answers I always realize that I hadn't read the question/passage properly. I know the straight forward solution is to read properly, but however much I try to do that, this error is still responsible for 2-3 mistakes per mock.
2. I'm totally unable to solve bold faces.
3. Can strengther/weakener question strengthen/weaken any thing else except the conclusion?

Here are the solutions to your CR problems.

1. The first and most clear step to do on CR is to read and understand the question task. This is important because the way you attack the given argument totally differs from question to question ( I am sure you are aware that there are about 9 types of CR questions )

2. For bold face there are only three things that you need to know.
a. Classify each sentence in the argument as an opinion or a fact.
b. Find out the relationship between both the bold phrases.
c. Read through options vertically and eliminate.

3. Strengthen and Weaken questions only attack the assumptions.

Thanks,
Ars

Hope that brought some clarity.

Thanks and Regards,

Saikiran Dudyala
_________________
- CrackVerbal Prep Team

Register for the Free GMAT Kickstarter Course : http://bit.ly/2DDHKHq

Register for our Personal Tutoring Course : https://www.crackverbal.com/gmat/personal-tutoring/

Join the free 4 part GMAT video training series : http://bit.ly/2DGm8tR
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 18887
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5

Show Tags

26 Jun 2016, 14:37
2
sj21 wrote:
I review my incorrect answers when I do practice problems and most of the correct answers make sense. I read it and go “Ah I see”. But I’m not sure that it’s helping me. How do you internalize my mistakes so I’m not just looking at what I missed but making sure I get the correct answer on exam day?

Do i need to make notes of every mistake i make ?

As long as you don't miss the same question type again, you don't need to do anything extra.
You can spend a few hours on your mistakes in probability but they won't help you with Geometry or Subject Verb Agreement. You can only learn so much from each question.

If you are however, seeing systemic issues - all of arithmetic is having issues or something else scares you, revisit this topic. Use mistakes as sensors and indicators and VERY strong indicators if you make the same one twice - that's something I committed to not doing. Suggest you do as well.

Thank you
BB
_________________
Intern
Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 3

Show Tags

27 Apr 2014, 22:57
1
I seem to make the following mistakes regularly. I don't know to get rid of them. Can someone help please.

SC
1. I see long sentences, get anxious and tend to freak out, resulting in spending a lot of time re-reading.

CR
1. After reviewing the incorrect answers I always realize that I hadn't read the question/passage properly. I know the straight forward solution is to read properly, but however much I try to do that, this error is still responsible for 2-3 mistakes per mock.
2. I'm totally unable to solve bold faces.
3. Can strengther/weakener question strengthen/weaken any thing else except the conclusion?

Quant:

1. get scared by equations
2. uncomfortable with testing numbers

Thanks,
Ars
Manager
Status: I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions
Joined: 20 Jan 2013
Posts: 105
Location: India
Concentration: Operations, General Management
GPA: 3.92
WE: Operations (Energy and Utilities)

Show Tags

25 Sep 2014, 08:43
1
I have 1 more query..Now that i have completed Manhattan,Offical guide and Power score,should i go for Online courses such as e gmat prep or revisit these books again.[/quote]

MGMAT guides for Verbal and Powerscore have almost the same content.... MGMAT has a methodical approach. There is actually no need for online courses if you have the concepts ingrained in your mind. If you need to develop on identifying patterns then practice questions. Start of with sub 600 level questions. If you feel that these questions are pretty easy for you, don't just ignore them all together. Use these questions to time yourself and identify pattern. Most of the time sub 600 question choices provide out of scope choices along with the correct choice. So you can easily identify which choices to eliminate. You can then move on to 600 - 700 level questions and then 700+ level questions as you become familiar with the pattern. Don't directly jump to 700+ level questions. Keep your error logs and go through them daily. I practice it this way. Though its a bit time consuming but still it has its rewards.
Intern
Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 8

Show Tags

02 Jan 2015, 12:08
1
I am definitely going to follow these suggestions.Thanks vm.
Manager
Joined: 20 Apr 2018
Posts: 168
Concentration: Technology, Nonprofit
Schools: ISB '21 (A)
WE: Analyst (Non-Profit and Government)

Show Tags

13 Jul 2018, 03:26
1
bb wrote:

:!: Next Steps:

After you have done analysis of your recent CAT or Quiz mistakes, it is a good idea to test if you have really learned what you think you have learned. In a day or two, go out and find similar questions and practice them! It is quite easy - find the question that cause you pain in the forum. Then, click "Find Similar Topics" link and you will have a collection of questions to work with. Be careful practicing GMAT Prep questions if you are still taking GMAT Prep as that may inflate your scores. Here is a screenshot how to do this:

bb, screenshot seems to be missing?
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 18887
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5

Show Tags

28 Aug 2019, 20:17
1
aa008 wrote:
bb

I am following your strategy of maintaining error log and revisiting all the wrong question periodically.
This strategy is working fine for SC but for CR i somehow remember the right answer even after 2 months.

i am confused how to use the error log of CR?

Very late reply here.... of course you will remember your answer. I would hope that a little longer than 2 months and I would hope for all questions. I probably still remember some of the answers and I surely remembered every single question every single answer when I was studying. You are missing the point if you’re trying to surprise yourself with a repeat questions. The idea of revisiting is to refresh your mistake not to attempt to correct it. You can only attempt to correct it on your question. It’s not fair trying to attempt a question you know the answer to.

Posted from my mobile device
_________________
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15985
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

Show Tags

29 Aug 2019, 20:38
1
Hi mh95,

You will likely receive more of a response if you start your own post-thread (instead of piggy-backing on this one). With that first post, you should include as much information about your studies and timeline and you can. For example, 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? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your overall goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Intern
Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Schools: HBS '17
GMAT Date: 06-12-2014
GPA: 3.66
WE: Information Technology (Other)

Show Tags

28 Mar 2014, 02:14
This is an eye opener BB.
I use an error log but have not been analysing my errors as stated here.
Thanks for the pointer to similar questions and thanks for pointing that doing too many practice questions is a mistake.

+1 from me BB.
_________________
Constantly sharpening the sword...
Intern
Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 2

Show Tags

14 Apr 2014, 22:40
I always attempt those question first which i have answer correctly. Those question which i have some doubt or confusing i read that question again and answer them according to my knowledge not books words.
Intern
Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 32
Location: United States
GPA: 3.7

Show Tags

21 Apr 2014, 10:32
Very Good post. Would really help out a novice like me who is just starting out....
Intern
Joined: 15 May 2014
Posts: 12

Show Tags

15 May 2014, 05:01
Thanks for sharing this thread from this I can easily understand how to review and analyze the mistakes.
_________________
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 18887
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5

Show Tags

16 May 2014, 07:58
arslan101 wrote:
I seem to make the following mistakes regularly. I don't know to get rid of them. Can someone help please.

SC
1. I see long sentences, get anxious and tend to freak out, resulting in spending a lot of time re-reading.

I would recommend splitting sentence into parts and using a check-list to evaluate/find a mistake.
I would also recommend reading long sentences in fiction - Faulkner comes to mind.

Quote:
CR
1. After reviewing the incorrect answers I always realize that I hadn't read the question/passage properly. I know the straight forward solution is to read properly, but however much I try to do that, this error is still responsible for 2-3 mistakes per mock.
2. I'm totally unable to solve bold faces.
3. Can strengther/weakener question strengthen/weaken any thing else except the conclusion?

Study bold face and practice
I am not sure i get your question about strengthen/weaken - it is important to understand the assumptions. That's what this mostly is.

Quote:
Quant:

1. get scared by equations
2. uncomfortable with testing numbers

Thanks,
Ars

Study numbers
_________________
Intern
Joined: 11 Aug 2014
Posts: 15

Show Tags

29 Aug 2014, 17:38
Nice and very helpful post. I can help a lot to overcome our mistakes as a novice.

creating-strong-mba-resume-159158.html
Re: How to Review and Analyze Your Mistakes   [#permalink] 29 Aug 2014, 17:38

Go to page    1   2   3    Next  [ 45 posts ]

Display posts from previous: Sort by