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# stuck at Q38

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 31
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

24 Aug 2018, 01:45
Hello everyone,

I'm currently preparing to re-take the GMAT end of Sep/beginning of Oct. However, my quant score is really low (Q38-39) and did not improve at all since the first time studying for and taking the GMAT. I am quite desperate now, since I already tried a different approach to quant this time during my prep.

Just to give you some background: I specialised in finance and accounting and want to apply for a master's programme in finance. Thus, my target score is 700+, ideally 730. What drives me crazy is that I was never bad at maths before and followed all the recommendations on how to study for GMAT and improve your (quant) score that I could find.

My study plan is as follows
- I started studying for GMAT again on the 30th Jul for ca. 6 hrs/day, 6 days/week and time all of my questions. After solving a question, I review it and try to identify patterns and shortcuts that I write down in a designated notebook.
- In addition, I also tried to identify the root cause of the errors that I have made and in which content area they usually occur. Based on this analysis, I have embedded some simple "tricks" that have helped me to reduce for instance the number of silly mistakes (e.g. circling the variable the question stem asks for).
- Currently my focus is more on quant, as I am naturally more comfortable with verbal (V38).
- What I realised is that my accuracy in the 600-700 range during my study sessions is quite ok with 80% on average. However, I am unable to translate that during my CATs and end up with an accuracy of only 50% in this range.
- For materials I used all the Manhattan Prep books, their online GMAT Navigator, and I did all of the OG 2018 questions. Currently, I am using the GmatClub question banks for quant.

I would be so thankful for some advice!
Manager
Joined: 28 Jun 2018
Posts: 147
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Marketing
Schools: CUHK '21 (II)
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V30
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

24 Aug 2018, 02:36
laulau wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm currently preparing to re-take the GMAT end of Sep/beginning of Oct. However, my quant score is really low (Q38-39) and did not improve at all since the first time studying for and taking the GMAT. I am quite desperate now, since I already tried a different approach to quant this time during my prep.

Just to give you some background: I specialised in finance and accounting and want to apply for a master's programme in finance. Thus, my target score is 700+, ideally 730. What drives me crazy is that I was never bad at maths before and followed all the recommendations on how to study for GMAT and improve your (quant) score that I could find.

My study plan is as follows
- I started studying for GMAT again on the 30th Jul for ca. 6 hrs/day, 6 days/week and time all of my questions. After solving a question, I review it and try to identify patterns and shortcuts that I write down in a designated notebook.
- In addition, I also tried to identify the root cause of the errors that I have made and in which content area they usually occur. Based on this analysis, I have embedded some simple "tricks" that have helped me to reduce for instance the number of silly mistakes (e.g. circling the variable the question stem asks for).
- Currently my focus is more on quant, as I am naturally more comfortable with verbal (V38).
- What I realised is that my accuracy in the 600-700 range during my study sessions is quite ok with 80% on average. However, I am unable to translate that during my CATs and end up with an accuracy of only 50% in this range.
- For materials I used all the Manhattan Prep books, their online GMAT Navigator, and I did all of the OG 2018 questions. Currently, I am using the GmatClub question banks for quant.

I would be so thankful for some advice!

please check below post , might be helpful (don't forget to bookmark it)

https://gmatclub.com/forum/what-to-do-i ... l#p2108758
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Manager
Joined: 10 Apr 2018
Posts: 114
Schools: Booth
GMAT 1: 600 Q44 V28
GPA: 3.56
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)

### Show Tags

24 Aug 2018, 03:47
laulau wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm currently preparing to re-take the GMAT end of Sep/beginning of Oct. However, my quant score is really low (Q38-39) and did not improve at all since the first time studying for and taking the GMAT. I am quite desperate now, since I already tried a different approach to quant this time during my prep.

Just to give you some background: I specialised in finance and accounting and want to apply for a master's programme in finance. Thus, my target score is 700+, ideally 730. What drives me crazy is that I was never bad at maths before and followed all the recommendations on how to study for GMAT and improve your (quant) score that I could find.

My study plan is as follows
- I started studying for GMAT again on the 30th Jul for ca. 6 hrs/day, 6 days/week and time all of my questions. After solving a question, I review it and try to identify patterns and shortcuts that I write down in a designated notebook.
- In addition, I also tried to identify the root cause of the errors that I have made and in which content area they usually occur. Based on this analysis, I have embedded some simple "tricks" that have helped me to reduce for instance the number of silly mistakes (e.g. circling the variable the question stem asks for).
- Currently my focus is more on quant, as I am naturally more comfortable with verbal (V38).
- What I realised is that my accuracy in the 600-700 range during my study sessions is quite ok with 80% on average. However, I am unable to translate that during my CATs and end up with an accuracy of only 50% in this range.
- For materials I used all the Manhattan Prep books, their online GMAT Navigator, and I did all of the OG 2018 questions. Currently, I am using the GmatClub question banks for quant.

I would be so thankful for some advice!

The quant score is too low -39/40 represents just 52/56 percentile. I would suggest to work o your Math skills. Take free trials of the many of the courses companies have been offering. Try target Test Prep free trail. So far, it's working for me - and yes, I started from the same score.
Hope this helps. Reply to this post, to if you need any more suggestion. And hit Kudos if you liked this.
_________________

The Graceful
----------------------------------------------------------
Every EXPERT was a beginner once...
Don't look at the clock. Do what it does, keep going
..
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Joined: 07 Dec 2017
Posts: 890

### Show Tags

24 Aug 2018, 05:43
Hey laulau, I feel for you. this does sound like a frustrating situation. The good news is, though, you do seem to be doing everything right - in particular, your focus on reviewing mistakes and finding solution strategies is right on the money (as evidenced by the fact you managed to eliminate a certain kind of silly mistake. Thus, I recommend to keep doing this - eventually it will pay off.
At the same time, you may benefit from 1) discovering new answer strategies, and 2) receiving feedback on which answer strategies are right for you, and when. To this end, I'd invite you to check out exampal, which uses artificial intelligence to suggest personalised answer strategies for each and every questions. There's a free trial version, check it out.
Feel free to ask me any questions in our chat - ask for David and I will personally answer!

laulau wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm currently preparing to re-take the GMAT end of Sep/beginning of Oct. However, my quant score is really low (Q38-39) and did not improve at all since the first time studying for and taking the GMAT. I am quite desperate now, since I already tried a different approach to quant this time during my prep.

Just to give you some background: I specialised in finance and accounting and want to apply for a master's programme in finance. Thus, my target score is 700+, ideally 730. What drives me crazy is that I was never bad at maths before and followed all the recommendations on how to study for GMAT and improve your (quant) score that I could find.

My study plan is as follows
- I started studying for GMAT again on the 30th Jul for ca. 6 hrs/day, 6 days/week and time all of my questions. After solving a question, I review it and try to identify patterns and shortcuts that I write down in a designated notebook.
- In addition, I also tried to identify the root cause of the errors that I have made and in which content area they usually occur. Based on this analysis, I have embedded some simple "tricks" that have helped me to reduce for instance the number of silly mistakes (e.g. circling the variable the question stem asks for).
- Currently my focus is more on quant, as I am naturally more comfortable with verbal (V38).
- What I realised is that my accuracy in the 600-700 range during my study sessions is quite ok with 80% on average. However, I am unable to translate that during my CATs and end up with an accuracy of only 50% in this range.
- For materials I used all the Manhattan Prep books, their online GMAT Navigator, and I did all of the OG 2018 questions. Currently, I am using the GmatClub question banks for quant.

I would be so thankful for some advice!

_________________
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13585
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

24 Aug 2018, 14:31
Hi laulau,

You mentioned that you started studying AGAIN for the GMAT, which implies that you had previously studied for the Exam (and possibly taken the Official GMAT before). Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long had you studied before July 30th and what study materials had you used?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) Have you taken the Official GMAT before? If you have, then when - and how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to School?
5) What Schools/Programs are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

Intern
Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 31
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

26 Aug 2018, 22:48
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi laulau,

You mentioned that you started studying AGAIN for the GMAT, which implies that you had previously studied for the Exam (and possibly taken the Official GMAT before). Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long had you studied before July 30th and what study materials had you used?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) Have you taken the Official GMAT before? If you have, then when - and how did you Score (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to School?
5) What Schools/Programs are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Thank you all for your replies!

1) The first time I took the GMAT was in March this year and I started actively doing questions from the OG 2018 in January. Before I was doing questions, I went through the concepts, using all of the Manhattan Prep books. I did every single question in the OG and also some of the Verbal and Quantitative Review.
2) I took the Manhattan CATs and the GMATPrep one:
The first time preparing for GMAT:
- MGMAT CATs: 5th Feb - 550 (Q38, V28), 12th Feb - 590 (Q39, V32), 20th Feb -640 (Q39, V38), 28th Feb - 620
(Q39,V36)
- GMATprep: 600 (I do not have the scores for Q and V anymore)

Current scores:
- MGMAT: 630 (Q38, V37)
3) I took the official GMAT before and scored really bad: 580 (Q31, V38)
4) I'm planning to apply in October
5) all are Masters in Finance at European universities:
- University of St. Gallen
- Stockholm School of Economics
- HEC Paris
- University of Oxford Said
- University of Warwick
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13585
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

27 Aug 2018, 10:55
Hi laulau,

Many Finance Programs place a greater emphasis on an Applicant's Quant Scaled Score (that Score is an indicator of how that Applicant might handle the 'academic side' of the Program) - so a Q46 or higher should be one of your Goals. Quant Scaled Scores in the high-Q30s imply that you're probably fine with many of the math subjects that appear on the GMAT, but there might be some 'holes' in your knowledge, you make lots of little mistakes as you work though the Quant section and you miss out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' points. It's worth noting that the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. To score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.'

1) What are the exact application deadlines for each of the Schools that you plan to apply to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

Intern
Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 16
Location: Singapore
Schools: HKUST '21 (A)
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V37
GPA: 3.11

### Show Tags

28 Aug 2018, 06:10
1
You need to find out how many mistakes can be avoided (silly mistakes), and review your CAT performances carefully. I'm very bad at maths and it's been years since I last solved a maths problem, but I was able to consistently score Q46 and above. It's not great, but I'm happy to get a Q48-49, or 50 if I'm lucky.

It seems to me that you have no problem with the foundations, since you mentioned that you can get 80% of the harder questions right during practice. Generally speaking the first 15-20 questions are extremely important. My advice to you is spend as much time as you want for the first 15-20 questions, and try to get them all right. If you get can achieve 90% accuracy for the first 15 questions, you should be able to get at least 40+. My rationale is that there's no point for me to save time for harder questions, because I'm not entirely comfortable with Q50-Q51 questions and there's no guarantee for me to get them right - that strategy may be useful for people who are really strong with maths but certainly not for me. If I rush through questions in the middle only to get them wrong, I'm wasting valuable time since subsequent questions will only get easier and I will not be needing the extra time. As questions get harder and you have limited time, do not dwell on questions that you can't solve. Simply take an educated guess and move on.

Hope that's useful. Good luck.
Intern
Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 31
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

28 Aug 2018, 09:44
nilsinelabore wrote:
You need to find out how many mistakes can be avoided (silly mistakes), and review your CAT performances carefully. I'm very bad at maths and it's been years since I last solved a maths problem, but I was able to consistently score Q46 and above. It's not great, but I'm happy to get a Q48-49, or 50 if I'm lucky.

It seems to me that you have no problem with the foundations, since you mentioned that you can get 80% of the harder questions right during practice. Generally speaking the first 15-20 questions are extremely important. My advice to you is spend as much time as you want for the first 15-20 questions, and try to get them all right. If you get can achieve 90% accuracy for the first 15 questions, your should be able to get at least 40+. My rationale is that there's no point for me to save time for harder questions, because I'm not entirely comfortable with Q50-Q51 questions and there's no guarantee for me to get them right - that strategy may be useful for people who are really strong with maths but certainly not for me. If I rush through questions in the middle only to get them wrong, I'm wasting valuable time since subsequent questions will only get easier and I will not be needing the extra time. As questions get harder and you have limited time, do not dwell on questions that you can't solve. Simply take an educated guess and move on.

Hope that's useful. Good luck.

Hi nilsinelabore,

Thanks for sharing your experience! I think you made a really important point by saying that quality > quantity/timing for the first questions. I will definitely try this during my next CAT.

I guess the reason why I am struggling so much with GMAT Quant is a combination of the following issues:
- I have a tendency to make silly mistakes (e.g. I will identify B) as the right answer and then select A).
- I rushed through the questions at the expense of accuracy.
- I tend to solve questions using the "textbook approach", not using alternative, clever shortcuts.
- I tend to not read the stem as carefully as I should and thus miss important information.

As you can see, I am quite aware of the root causes of most of my mistakes. In addition, I also analysed my weaknesses and strengths in terms of content areas.
One would assume that based on this analysis I should be able to implement actions to avoid repeating these mistakes.

However, during CATs, I somehow seem to be unable to to do that and sometimes just freeze. It's so frustrating during the review, when I realise that I could have increased my accuracy by 20-30%, if I had just paid more attention.

-
Intern
Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 31
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

28 Aug 2018, 09:59
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi laulau,

Many Finance Programs place a greater emphasis on an Applicant's Quant Scaled Score (that Score is an indicator of how that Applicant might handle the 'academic side' of the Program) - so a Q46 or higher should be one of your Goals. Quant Scaled Scores in the high-Q30s imply that you're probably fine with many of the math subjects that appear on the GMAT, but there might be some 'holes' in your knowledge, you make lots of little mistakes as you work though the Quant section and you miss out on LOTS of 'strategy-based' points. It's worth noting that the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. To score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.'

1) What are the exact application deadlines for each of the Schools that you plan to apply to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hey Rich,

You defintely got me here: I am approaching Quant the wrong way, trying to solve the questions with the textbook approach you were supposed to use during high school and university. In a nutshell: I tend to make my calculations and approach too complicated and ignore shortcuts. Nonetheless, I have started to make a note every time I come across a more efficient approach to a question.

- University of St. Gallen: 1st Oct-30th Ap
- Stockholm School of Economics: 1st Oct-15th Nov
- HEC Paris: 24th Oct, 9th Jan, 28th Feb, 17th Apr
- ESADE Barcelone: 3rd Oct, 28th Nov, 16th Jan, 13th Feb, 6th Mar, 10th Apr, 22nd May, 12th Jun
2) I will be able to study 8-9 hrs/day until the 1st Oct 2018. After that maybe just 1-2hrs/day as I will be busy with 3 demanding internships until July 2019.
Intern
Joined: 05 Jul 2018
Posts: 16
Location: Singapore
Schools: HKUST '21 (A)
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V37
GPA: 3.11

### Show Tags

28 Aug 2018, 13:40
I did 3 CATs before my 1st attempt and was hovering around Q46-47. I was so anxious the night before test day and was only able to get 3 hours of sleep. I could feel my brain shutting down in the morning as I felt like I was sleep walking when I stepped out of my house. I got 620 on my last CAT before the exam and I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse so I went into the test centre rather calm and composed, despite my brain not functioning properly. I did quant first and used the strategy mentioned above, making sure that I double check my answers before proceeding, and I still finished the section with a few minutes left. I was able to get Q48, the highest that I've ever got. Upon reviewing my ESR, I made 4 mistakes for the first 14 questions, possibly all careless mistakes as I don't remember any particular question that I was clueless about. I got the next 7 questions correct in a row but because I made too many mistakes in the beginning, the difficulty never went up much and I could feel that the last few questions were super easy. In total I got 6 questions wrong, and if you can follow the same pattern I'd say it's almost guaranteed that you will get at least Q45.
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### Show Tags

28 Aug 2018, 16:32
Hi laulau,

I would never expect you to study 8 hours/day. You have to be careful about confusing "quantity" or study with "quality" of study - and that type of volume would great greatly increase your chances of 'burnout' before Test Day. With a Score Goal of 700+, you will likely need at least another 2 month of consistent guided study - whether you're 'cramming' or not, so you might need to make some adjustments to your timeline. That having been said, if you're a flexible-enough thinker to make the necessary changes to how you "see" (and respond to) the GMAT, then you could potentially improve a great deal on this 580 quicker than that. Now, it's a matter of how you want to proceed. You can continue to study as you have been - and try to self-correct - or you can restart with resources that will help you focus on the Tactics, patterns and little secrets to the Exam (so that you don't have to try to learn all of that content randomly on your own).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
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*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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### Show Tags

29 Aug 2018, 15:51
1
Hi laulau,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Since you are currently at a Q38, it’s clear that you lack certain GMAT quant fundamentals that are necessary for a high score. Thus, you really need to look at HOW you have been preparing, and potentially make some changes. Looking at your current study routine, it appears that your prep is centered on doing practice questions. While engaging in practice is a necessary part of improving your GMAT skills, such practice is only beneficial after you have studied the necessary topics on which those questions are based. Thus, moving forward, consider adjusting your study plan such that it allows for linear learning. Specifically, consider using a resource that allows you FIRST to learn the concepts and strategies related to GMAT quant and SECOND to practice with a large number of realistic questions.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant resources, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Please reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
_________________

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Intern
Joined: 02 May 2018
Posts: 21
GMAT 1: 660 Q49 V32
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

29 Aug 2018, 16:03
laulau wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm currently preparing to re-take the GMAT end of Sep/beginning of Oct. However, my quant score is really low (Q38-39) and did not improve at all since the first time studying for and taking the GMAT. I am quite desperate now, since I already tried a different approach to quant this time during my prep.

Just to give you some background: I specialised in finance and accounting and want to apply for a master's programme in finance. Thus, my target score is 700+, ideally 730. What drives me crazy is that I was never bad at maths before and followed all the recommendations on how to study for GMAT and improve your (quant) score that I could find.

My study plan is as follows
- I started studying for GMAT again on the 30th Jul for ca. 6 hrs/day, 6 days/week and time all of my questions. After solving a question, I review it and try to identify patterns and shortcuts that I write down in a designated notebook.
- In addition, I also tried to identify the root cause of the errors that I have made and in which content area they usually occur. Based on this analysis, I have embedded some simple "tricks" that have helped me to reduce for instance the number of silly mistakes (e.g. circling the variable the question stem asks for).
- Currently my focus is more on quant, as I am naturally more comfortable with verbal (V38).
- What I realised is that my accuracy in the 600-700 range during my study sessions is quite ok with 80% on average. However, I am unable to translate that during my CATs and end up with an accuracy of only 50% in this range.
- For materials I used all the Manhattan Prep books, their online GMAT Navigator, and I did all of the OG 2018 questions. Currently, I am using the GmatClub question banks for quant.

I would be so thankful for some advice!

I feel you. I was also traumatized and frustrated by MGMAT quant

I never got more than Q42 on MGMAT even after going through all their material.
Try Orion by Veritas. They have a free trial which is long enough to cover all your weaknesses.
They have quick reviews and questions to help you apply concepts on each question type.

I got Q49 after doing that.
Intern
Joined: 09 Apr 2018
Posts: 31
GPA: 4

### Show Tags

07 Sep 2018, 04:01
nilsinelabore wrote:
I did 3 CATs before my 1st attempt and was hovering around Q46-47. I was so anxious the night before test day and was only able to get 3 hours of sleep. I could feel my brain shutting down in the morning as I felt like I was sleep walking when I stepped out of my house. I got 620 on my last CAT before the exam and I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse so I went into the test centre rather calm and composed, despite my brain not functioning properly. I did quant first and used the strategy mentioned above, making sure that I double check my answers before proceeding, and I still finished the section with a few minutes left. I was able to get Q48, the highest that I've ever got. Upon reviewing my ESR, I made 4 mistakes for the first 14 questions, possibly all careless mistakes as I don't remember any particular question that I was clueless about. I got the next 7 questions correct in a row but because I made too many mistakes in the beginning, the difficulty never went up much and I could feel that the last few questions were super easy. In total I got 6 questions wrong, and if you can follow the same pattern I'd say it's almost guaranteed that you will get at least Q45.

Thank you for your hepful replies, everyone!

nilsinelabore: I am happy to report that there has been some progress, employing your strategy. In my latest CAT my quant went up from Q38 to Q44. Still much room for improvement but I am already happy scoring something in the 40s...

Thx again!
stuck at Q38   [#permalink] 07 Sep 2018, 04:01
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# stuck at Q38

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