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Importance of an Error Log

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Importance of an Error Log [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2018, 11:26

How to use Error Logs during your preparation?



I hear a lot many people struggling with the preparation. I was one of you few months ago. One common problem that I found in almost 90% of us is that we don't really know the importance of Error Logs during our preparation. Even if some of us know Error Logs are important, we don't really know how to use really use them. Today, I want to share my views on how important Error Logs are and how you should use them efficiently. Error Logs are critical and that's why we built an Error Log on GMAT Club.

What is an Error Log?

Simple definition - An error log is a tool that we use to track all our mistakes during our preparation and revisit them to learn and improve. If this tool is used effectively, it can do wonders, especially for those who are struggling and don't know how to improve. Few days ago, we (GMAT Club Team) implemented an inbuilt error log functionality, which can be fully utilized to follow all the strategies I am going to mention below. More details are here.

How should I use it during my preparation? Tips from abhimahna !

Okay, enough of theory. Let's come to its practical use. I am going to share some key Error Log Strategies along with study plan that I used and some strategies that I suggested alot many people in the past one year. I have seen people improving their scores from 650s to 700s within just 2-3 weeks and yes, error logs played a very important role in their success. You need to understand that Error Logs are very very important than doing tons of questions.

1. Learn all the basic theoretical stuff either online on GMATClub or by joining any good course or maybe buying some books.

2. In addition, learn all the strategies of how to attack each type of question on GMAT, especially verbal questions.

3. Make sure you do some practice questions whenever you are learning any strategies. For example, if I learn how to attach a Bold Face question, I will do 5-10-15 boldfaced questions until I get comfortable applying the strategy I learned.

4. This way cover all the topics along with some practice questions within a month or so. Don't extend the timelines as this may lead to frustration.

5. Make sure you are tracking all the mistakes you were doing. All you have to do is to "Add Notes" against the questions that you got wrong or maybe got it right but took alot of time or maybe you got it right but not sure why the wrong answers were wrong.

6. Step 1-5 should be followed every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

7. Now, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday should be utilized to revisit the error logs.

8. All you need to do is first attempt the questions that you did the entire week(only the ones where you added notes as per suggestion at Step 5) and then see which all mistakes did you repeat.

9. It may happen that this time you made a new mistake, keep a note of such questions.

10. Prepare flashcards to highlight the mistakes that you repeated the 2nd time and start revisiting those flashcards every morning such that those things should move from your conscious to unconscious.

11. Make sure while revisiting/doing any question you are following the strategies I mentioned at Step 3 here.

12. Focus on getting the accuracy first and then worry about timings. I have seen alot many people worry about timings but don't bother about accuracy. Rule is simple: You didn't start driving the car with the speed of 100 miles per hour, right? You must have increased your speed once you got comfortable driving it.

13. Sunday should be taken as a complete day off. No Study- Just relax and chill.

14. Once you feel you know every theoretical concept, start following the time based strategies - meaning make sets of questions and do everything in a single sitting. Very similar to a individual section Mock test.

15. Once timed sets are done, revisit all your mistakes, make notes and understand what went wrong.

16. Again start revisiting the error logs as I mentioned above and drill down what made you go wrong.

17. Enjoy the success!

Tip: Go for Quality of study rather than Quantity. For example, If you do 100 SC questions, you MUST know 400 reasons of why those 400 answer choices were wrong rather than just understanding why those 100 answer choices were correct. If you do that, trust me you will see huge improvement in your score.

Other resources

While the error log format I used to improve from V21 to V40 was exactly the same we implemented on GMATClub, there are a large number of other formats available on the forum. But my point is whichever format you use during your preparation, use it as the MOST important component of your preparation. Analyse it, drill it and just eat it. Some of the resources are listed below:

1. Error Logs made by members - Format 1 with timer, Format 2 with timer and other collection.

2. Magoosh Suggested GMAT Companion.

3. GMAT Toolkit for Mobile Apps.

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Re: Importance of an Error Log [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2018, 06:37
Let me be the first to appreciate the thread. You have really touched the nerve of majority of test takers :-D.

I am also using your RC strategy and seeing the improvements, though RC preparation is a painful job as it makes you mad :sad:


"Success is not as glamorous as people tell you. It's a lot of hours spent in the darkness."

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Re: Importance of an Error Log [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2018, 23:49
This is a really great post. I had maintained an error log during my first attempt but I didn't really use it to it's full potential. Hopefully implementing this strategy will help me in my next attempt. :)
Joined: 15 May 2017
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Re: Importance of an Error Log [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2018, 10:44
Integration of the Error log in GC is great! Awesome work!
I do have a suggestion.
Is it possible to add a filter for notes, so that users can select only questions with notes? You may already have this planned, but just thought it might be useful
Joined: 26 Jun 2018
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Re: Importance of an Error Log [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 09:08
:-D :-D :-D Awesome Work. I like it. You have really touched the nerve of majority of test takers
Joined: 07 Jul 2018
Posts: 1
Re: Importance of an Error Log [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2018, 00:08
Thank you for sharing this great post
Re: Importance of an Error Log   [#permalink] 07 Jul 2018, 00:08
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Importance of an Error Log

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