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# Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?

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Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 08:55
For instance, if you are attending an instructor-led course and they teach specific strategies for tackling Powers & Roots, Statistics, Probability problems, etc, but then then you start looking at the main online study guides like Kaplan, Magoosh, etc., and they teach a different system.

During a timed test, with pressure on you to solve a problem quickly would the two strategies not present a conflict and cause you to loose precious time by trying to decide
which to use? How should this issue of choosing strategies be avoided?
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 09:10
Absolutely. Then on the test, you end up using neither strategy or get stuck deciding which one to use.

You should pick one strategy and learn to apply it and be very disciplined at following it and sometimes very simple and basic strategies are very effective because people can apply them easier and achieve more success under pressure than with more elaborate approaches.

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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 09:21
egrizzly wrote:
For instance, if you are attending an instructor-led course and they teach specific strategies for tackling Powers & Roots, Statistics, Probability problems, etc, but then then you start looking at the main online study guides like Kaplan, Magoosh, etc., and they teach a different system.

During a timed test, with pressure on you to solve a problem quickly would the two strategies not present a conflict and cause you to loose precious time by trying to decide
which to use? How should this issue of choosing strategies be avoided?

I would recommend to find a strategy that you are comfortable with and go with that.

The more conflicting strategies you try to incorporate, the higher the likelyhood that you end up confusing yourself during the test.
Furthermore, some strategies completly contradict each other in the respective approach.

Best regards,
Chris
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 11:05
if you are looking for a high scores of Q49+, then an essential skill on 90% of the Quant problems is to know within a few seconds of reading a question, the steps you need to take to solve the question.

A good analogy will be swimming, if you have practiced your strokes enough number of times & built that confidence, your body will not think but rather it will act.

So the key is "Act not think"

This will require
- a comfort level with the variety of problems tested on the GMAT
- a fair amount of practice solving the problems on the most common concepts tested on the GMAT.
- a fair amount of practice testing your strategy to solve each type of problem
- building that confidence level, of knowing that the steps you took have led you to nothing but the correct answer. This is very true for DS questions, as you should not have any doubt, while choosing the answer choice.

Now you can choose to have multiple strategies, but you should also have one master strategy, which you know for sure that it will lead to right answer, & accessory strategies (if there are any) as back up, in case a tricky question comes up.

Even if you are not aiming to score high on Quant, still honing your Strengths & overcoming weaknesses with the above process, will ensure in achieving your goal.

Hope that helps!!

Cheers,
GyM

P.s. - i guess your query was pertaining to only Quant problems
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 11:20
egrizzly wrote:
For instance, if you are attending an instructor-led course and they teach specific strategies for tackling Powers & Roots, Statistics, Probability problems, etc, but then then you start looking at the main online study guides like Kaplan, Magoosh, etc., and they teach a different system.

During a timed test, with pressure on you to solve a problem quickly would the two strategies not present a conflict and cause you to loose precious time by trying to decide
which to use? How should this issue of choosing strategies be avoided?

Yeah using multiple different strategies on the exam is not a great idea. Use your study time to try out different strategies to decide what works the best for you. Make sure not to change your strategies right before the exam.
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 15:24
Hi egrizzly,

The 'intent' of what you're asking and what would actually be most beneficial to you are not the same thing. Trying to learn two (or more) different ways to answer a question at the same time is arguably NOT an efficient way to study - so it makes sense to focus on one particular Tactic at a time (so that you can learn that one skill and 'hone' it a bit before you move on to another skill). That having been said, most GMAT questions CAN be approached in more than one way, so learning more than method would give you 'options' on Test Day. A certain degree of repetition and focused study is necessary regardless of how you approach the Exam - and your Score Goal will likely dictate how much 'extra' work you might want to do to learn additional skills. As you become more and more familiar with the various question types and patterns, you should be able to draw on your memory and experience to define which approach would be the most efficient way to tackle an individual question. The 700+ Score is approximately the 90th percentile, meaning that 90% of Test Takers either CAN'T or WON'T do what it takes to score at that level. If you don't want to do 'extra' work, then that's fine - but that choice likely means that there will be a limit to how high you will score on the Official GMAT.

Before I can offer you any additional advice about your studies, 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?
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 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
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2018, 17:59
egrizzly wrote:
For instance, if you are attending an instructor-led course and they teach specific strategies for tackling Powers & Roots, Statistics, Probability problems, etc, but then then you start looking at the main online study guides like Kaplan, Magoosh, etc., and they teach a different system.

During a timed test, with pressure on you to solve a problem quickly would the two strategies not present a conflict and cause you to loose precious time by trying to decide
which to use? How should this issue of choosing strategies be avoided?

The solution is practice and a time will come you will sleepwalk the questions. as someone said act don't think on the test "There is no time for caution-cooper"
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2018, 11:36
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi egrizzly,

The 'intent' of what you're asking and what would actually be most beneficial to you are not the same thing. Trying to learn two (or more) different ways to answer a question at the same time is arguably NOT an efficient way to study - so it makes sense to focus on one particular Tactic at a time (so that you can learn that one skill and 'hone' it a bit before you move on to another skill). That having been said, most GMAT questions CAN be approached in more than one way, so learning more than method would give you 'options' on Test Day. A certain degree of repetition and focused study is necessary regardless of how you approach the Exam - and your Score Goal will likely dictate how much 'extra' work you might want to do to learn additional skills. As you become more and more familiar with the various question types and patterns, you should be able to draw on your memory and experience to define which approach would be the most efficient way to tackle an individual question. The 700+ Score is approximately the 90th percentile, meaning that 90% of Test Takers either CAN'T or WON'T do what it takes to score at that level. If you don't want to do 'extra' work, then that's fine - but that choice likely means that there will be a limit to how high you will score on the Official GMAT.

Before I can offer you any additional advice about your studies, 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?
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 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

Thank you Empower for your response. To answer your question I've been studying for the past six weeks. Since budget is a big issue for me, I purchased a course on Udemy. It, I believe, is the highest rated GMAT course for Quantivative Official Guide. Anyway, that's what I've been studying with.

Studies:
1) How long have you studied? 6 weeks.
2) What study materials have you used so far? "GMAT Official Guide Course 2018" from Udemy
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score? 630-650
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT? December 2018 or January 2019
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School? Summer 2019
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to? University of Texas at Dallas; University of Texas at Austin; Texas A&M University

*** Also note that a crippling deficiency for me is that I could never finish the questions on time. Their's at least 15 questions on both the Verbal and Math section that I
had to just click-through just to input an answer. I would definitely need to find whatever it is that's causing me not to do questions within the 2-minute average time. I'm most likely attention-deficit.
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores?  [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2018, 15:14
Hi egrizzly,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've been studying for just 6 weeks, then you should not expect to have mastered any part of the process just yet. That having been said, the pacing issues that you describe are pretty severe. It's worth noting that pacing issues do NOT exist on their own though - they're the results of OTHER issues. The immediate issues are likely based on your organization and general efficiency with your work (how you take notes, the number of times you have to read the prompt, etc.), but there is also something to be said for "your way" of approaching questions. It's possible that the Tactics that you're currently practicing are ultimately the "long ways" to approach the prompts.

While I understand that you had to guess on a lot of questions when you took your CATs/mocks, we still need a basis for comparison as you continue to study.

1) How many practice CATs have you taken so far?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Is learning multiple strategies bad for your GMAT scores? &nbs [#permalink] 22 Sep 2018, 15:14
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