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Need some help with assessment!

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Joined: 18 Jun 2015
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GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
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Need some help with assessment!  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 02:08
Hi,

I started preparing for my GMAT attempt properly over two months ago but I had to reduce the amount of time I could dedicate to it since I decided to do an internship. I hope to take the actual exam by mid august. Over the course of the last 2 month I have tried to use this forum as much as possible and have solved a fair number of questions on here. This has created a bit of a unique problem for me. Whenever I decide to do a CAT, I happen to run into questions I have seen before. Till now I have taken 3 CATs and I hope to continue taking one every weekend this month. I try to take them as undisturbed as possible, following the timings strictly and in one sitting;however I have to take these CATs from my house since I do not have access to a quite place with good internet for 4 hours outside my house. So far my scores have been:

Veritas: 700 (came across 3-4 questions before the test)
MGMAT: 640 (came across 1-2 questions before the test)
GMATPrep: 720 (came across 3-4 questions before the test)

I took the CATs in the order above. I would also like to state that during the MGMAT CAT I was extremely hard pressed for time and couldn't finish either section properly. I guessed at least the last 5 questions on both Quant and Verbal. For GMATPrep, time wasn't that much of an issue but it was still tough to complete, so I had to guess the last 2 question in both sections. So here's my question, how indicative do you think mY scores would be considering the number of questions that I recognised in the exams and how to you suggest I proceed from here on?

The CATs I have left are:
1 Veritas
5 MGMAT
1 GMATPrep

Materials I am using:
OG (haven't touched it yet because I wanted to save the official questions for the end)
MGMAT Guides and self study

I would really appreciate any and all advice about the CATs or ways in which I can manage my pace and improve.

Thanks!
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Concentration: Leadership, Accounting
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V39
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Re: Need some help with assessment!  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 13:32
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Go with MGMAT, skip the veritas and at the end before the exam test yourself with the GMATPrep. That way you have an idea of where you are going into the exam. MGMAT quant is much tougher than real exam so don't worry about quant score, focus on your improve and how to continue to improve. Use the OG questions 3-4 weeks before the test. Spend the weeks leading to exam focusing on your mistakes and reviewing those concept.

For timing, I'd focus on getting the easy questions down to 60 seconds. Also skip 2-3 very hard questions that you have no idea how to approach. Chances are you will get it wrong and end up wasting time anyways. Strategically choose 2-3 questions and just skip em. That will give you an extra 5 mins to focus on the other questions that you can actually get right but you might get wrong because of rushing through them......
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Re: Need some help with assessment!  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2017, 02:09
jkolachi wrote:
Go with MGMAT, skip the veritas and at the end before the exam test yourself with the GMATPrep. That way you have an idea of where you are going into the exam. MGMAT quant is much tougher than real exam so don't worry about quant score, focus on your improve and how to continue to improve. Use the OG questions 3-4 weeks before the test. Spend the weeks leading to exam focusing on your mistakes and reviewing those concept.

For timing, I'd focus on getting the easy questions down to 60 seconds. Also skip 2-3 very hard questions that you have no idea how to approach. Chances are you will get it wrong and end up wasting time anyways. Strategically choose 2-3 questions and just skip em. That will give you an extra 5 mins to focus on the other questions that you can actually get right but you might get wrong because of rushing through them......


Thanks for the advice! Is there anything you would suggest that I can do to identify those 2-3 questions that I should skip? Is there anything I should avoid while identifying those question? (like to not skip any questions in the first 10 or last 10 or something along those lines)
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New post 07 Jul 2017, 08:18
The harder questions will start showing up after 10-15 questions. When you look at a question and go WTF or read it once and don't understand where to begin.... Skip it. You will likely end up spending 1-2 mins trying to figure out how to tackle it and end up making some silly mistake anyways. Also if you have a weakness i.e. Combinations or Sets (then you can skip those -- as long as they're not first 10 or last 10).

Skip 2-3 questions from 15-27 range. Don't skip last 10, don't skip first 10. First 10 are very easy anyways.
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New post 07 Jul 2017, 11:13
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A few things:

- you should only really trust your scores on GMATPrep tests. Company tests aren't using real questions or the real scoring algorithm, and some of those tests are very different from the actual GMAT. Unless you need to take a lot of tests, you should only be using GMATPrep tests - buy the additional tests if you need more.

- there's another important reason to rely primarily on GMATPrep, and it's something it sounds like you've noticed during your practice attempts. You can only get realistic pacing practice using GMATPrep, because other tests may not be realistically time-consuming. Some company test questions are far too long. If you use those questions as your pacing benchmark, you'll find yourself rushing unnecessarily through the real test, and possibly making careless mistakes.

- one thing about familiar questions on diagnostic tests - you should try to answer them 'honestly' (ask yourself 'would I get this right if I hadn't seen it before?'). If the answer is yes, answer correctly, and if the answer is no, then either use whatever criteria you would normally use to guess, or use a random number generator to pick a random answer choice (you shouldn't obligate yourself to pick a wrong answer every time - that will unfairly deflate your score). You should also let a fair amount of time elapse before you confirm your answer, so you don't get a misleading impression about how well you're pacing yourself. It's hard to say if those familiar questions on your diagnostics have inflated your score. If they were all questions you'd normally get right, and you let some time go by, your score shouldn't be inflated at all, but if not, your scores might be slightly higher than they should be.

- I would not agree with the advice above to try to rush through easy questions, unless you know you don't make careless errors. In my experience, easy questions usually take longer than hard ones, once you see what to do - the logic of an easy question is more immediately obvious, but the question designers balance out the time these questions take by making any calculation more awkward. One important principle to understand about the scoring algorithm is that wrong answers on easy questions are very damaging to your score. So you don't want to run the risk of careless errors on those questions.

- some tests start easy, some start hard. If your test starts easy, wrong answers early on will hurt you quite a lot. But if your test starts hard, wrong answers early on won't hurt you much at all. Don't panic if you need to guess at some early questions, especially if they seem difficult. There is no 'rule' about the first ten questions; it all depends on how hard those questions are.

- you'll learn by taking additional GMATPrep tests just how much of an issue (or hopefully non-issue!) pacing is for you. If you're having trouble reaching the end of the test without guessing in order to finish, you will want to find spots to save time earlier in the test. Bear in mind that wrong answers on very hard questions don't really matter (no matter where the question appears), unless you need a perfect Q51. So if you've fallen behind an ideal pace in the middle of a test, and 30 to 60 seconds into a question you feel you don't understand it or you have no idea what to do, you're probably looking at a very difficult problem. Those are the best spots to guess if you know you need to save time.

- I would not have advised you save the OG to the end of your prep - those are the best questions to practice from, and I'd suggest you start using them as soon as you can. You'll want to revisit those questions that you had trouble with the first time, after you review the relevant concepts.

Good luck!
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Re: Need some help with assessment!   [#permalink] 07 Jul 2017, 11:13
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