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I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2011, 19:50

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Hello,

My test date is March 10, 2011. I have been studying for the test for the last three months, learning about the test, brushing up my math, and taking practice tests. My first practice test on the GMAT software, my score was 13Q, 16V. After that test I knew I had a lot of work to do. After trying to brush up the math, I am finding that I cannot even get through the assesment test at the beginning of the OG12 book. I have tried the first 15 problems and I have not been able to answer one correctly. I used a tutor to help and he informed me that I am lacking basic algebra skills. He could not help me because he was basically just showing me how to answer the questions, instead of actually teaching me how to do it. Does anyone have any advice for me. I still have some time left before I take the test. I was thinking maybe attending a GMAT live class somewhere, but I am worried that they are too expensive and I am too far behind. I do not know what to think, could I just be overreacting?? I don't know, my head is spinning and I don't know what to do!!

Get the MGMAT Foundations of GMAT Math - the second edition just came out. That's all you need to get your Quant under control (at least to a certain level)
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Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2011, 07:37

I think taking a GMAT class would not make a lot of sense for you at the moment. As bb said, try to improve your math skills. If you go through relevant books and look things up on the internet, you should be covered. Once you think you know the basics, get back to working on the problems in the OG. Start from the beginning, as the first questions are easier than those at the end of each section. You should spend a lot of time on actually going through each question you got wrong. Do not proceed until you understand what it is that you got wrong and how you will arrive at the correct answer the next time.

There is still plenty of time left until March 2012, but use it wisely. The quicker you are at getting your math to a level sufficient for the GMAT, the more time you will have left to actually improve your overall GMAT score. By the way, looking at your verbal score of 16, you should realize that you will have to work on that part, too. Although I have not used it myself, I have heard a lot of good stuff about the Manhattan GMAT SC book. On this forum, you will find book recommendations for both the quant and the verbal section. Speaking of the forum, joining GMATClub.com has been an important step towards your target GMAT score. Most of the content here is free; use as much of it as possible. The members here are extremely helpful and perhaps all questions from the OG and the different CATs have been discussed here already. Use the forum search to find answer to problems you cannot solve yourself.

Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2011, 09:40

Thank you bb and dmnk for your advice. I am going to order that book today and get going on it asap. The weird thing that I was just thinking was that when I have gone through my review of math over the last three months, it feels like I am familiar with most of the topics. It is just when I go through the GMAT math questions and word questions, I get really confused and then do not know how to start to answer them. Then I would go through the answer in the answer section and see how to do it, and I am familiar with the actual math in answering the question, but setting up how to get to the math is where I think I am disconnected the most. I am not sure if I am making much sense. Let me know if you understand. Thanks a million, and yes this site is amazing, I am very glad to have found this!!!!!

I would also recommend the GMAT roadmap book - it is not designed to teach you the GMAT strategies or material but for $16 you will get a list of the best practices and tips for how to study and structure your prep - all 240 pages.

It is an easy read and comes with 6 cat tests (though you may have already gotten them)
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Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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30 Nov 2011, 00:11

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I used to be terrible at Math as well. My quant score increased from a lowly 12 to a respectable 44. It took me about 3-4 months to slowly pick up all the pieces. I used a bunch of free resources and I bought a couple of books as well . MGMAT quant foundations book helped me a lot, but I determined that I needed more help, I wanted to see problems being worked in front of me for this purpose, I used Khan academy lectures, which are available for free online. Finally, there is another new resource out there called GMATPREPNOW (GPN), the content is delivered in bite sized videos, many of them are free to watch. I watched all the free videos and decided to purchase all the quant modules for 139$. Once I completed my video lessons not only was I able to do 80% of OG 12 problems with relative ease, but also I saw my quant score go up 10 pts (on GMATprep test 32 to 42). Above all, it all comes down to the number of hours you spend practicing and analyzing (post-problem analysis, even if you get it right). I maintained detailed error logs by problem type and would review them after each study session. So, good luck on your path to mastery, for the GMAT you'll need to be very comfortable with the content almost to the point that all this becomes second nature.

Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2013, 03:13

Same boat, how do I improve my math Starting from scratch, the MAnhattan guide is hard for me, is the Kaplan Math refresher any better, or a waste of $300?

Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2013, 08:09

Policarpa wrote:

Same boat, how do I improve my math Starting from scratch, the MAnhattan guide is hard for me, is the Kaplan Math refresher any better, or a waste of $300?

My math score was pitiful on my first practice test. I think it was in the low 20's. I found the Manhattan math guides to be very helpful to me. I went through them slowly starting with the numbers properties guide and working up. Once I finished them I worked through the OG's and made sure I understood how to do every problem. The entire process took me over 4 months, but I ended up getting a pretty decent 49 on the math section.

I was lucky that I'm naturally good at the verbal so I never had to study that. I focused completely on the math section for 4+ months. I studied about 2 hours every night, and more on the weekends.

Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2013, 13:04

Thanks for the quick response, what about the Manhattan Math Foundation book, it's 500 pages, how does one possibly work it in, do you do it concurrently w the others or start after number properties or save it for last? Thks

Re: I am really bad at Math, need help PLEASE!! [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2013, 08:14

Policarpa wrote:

Thanks for the quick response, what about the Manhattan Math Foundation book, it's 500 pages, how does one possibly work it in, do you do it concurrently w the others or start after number properties or save it for last? Thks

Posted from my mobile device

Good point, I almost forgot about that book. I actually worked through it completely before starting the standard books. Then you can use it as a reference if you need to look back at certain concepts as you study the rest of the books. You could also do it concurrently - do the numbers properties section of the foundations book, then jump right into the number properties guide etc. I liked reading the foundations completely first however, because that way it made me come back to each concept twice, once in the foundations book, and a second time in the individual guides.

Not sure when you are applying, but if you have time, I recommend going through all or most of the practice problems in the MGMAT books and the OG's and make sure you understand the principles behind each question.

It's hard to see it now, but the math is very learnable. There are a finite number of concepts that you have to master, and you'll see that they get easier and easier as you practice. The harder questions don't really introduce many new concepts, most of them just incorporate multiple concepts into one question so you have to understand how things relate, and untangle the parts to solve them. They also try to trick you on the wording and format.

Lastly, don't worry about it now, but once you are more comfortable with the question types, you'll want to really focus on the timing. On the real test you'll screw yourself if you waste 5 minutes trying to crack a problem, you'll need to figure out how to narrow down choices quickly and make accurate guesses when you need to. But for now just take your time to learn the concepts and solve problems.