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Quant Strategy Thoughts?

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Quant Strategy Thoughts?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2016, 11:11
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum, but appreciate all the posts that I've read, since I've been lurking for a while now. I'm taking the GMAT sometime near end of June to mid-July. I took one of the free practice GMAT tests, cold, on GMATprep and scored a 42 on quant. I looked back through my mistakes and I made 3 stupid mistakes because I was rushing. Most of the problems I missed (and weren't sure how to approach) were similar to ones like "If n is a positive integer and the product of all integers from 1 to n..." and the data sufficiency. I feel like I wasted time on the first problem type, because I was trying to think of a way to do it more purely mathematical and am now realizing it's more of just understanding what it's asking and using numerical sense and testing numbers (other ideas?).

I started working through the OG 2016 quant questions yesterday and did 60 problem solving and 30 data sufficiency. So far, based on what I've done, I'm at 90% accuracy for both of them, with some of them just being silly mistakes.

I'm a high school math teacher that changed careers from working in Finance, so I have a pretty solid math background, especially since I've taught every high school math class over the last three years. My plan is to work through all of the math problems through the end of the week and then see if there are any problem types I continually miss. Then I plan to do 10-20 problems of each a day just to stay fresh.

Any thoughts on this plan? Do the OG problems get harder as the problem set progresses? I did terrible on the verbal (28), so I want to focus mainly on those strategies when I'm studying. I'm going through the recommended SC, CR, and RC books over the next couple weeks.
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Re: Quant Strategy Thoughts?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2016, 12:15
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nat724 wrote:
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum, but appreciate all the posts that I've read, since I've been lurking for a while now. I'm taking the GMAT sometime near end of June to mid-July. I took one of the free practice GMAT tests, cold, on GMATprep and scored a 42 on quant. I looked back through my mistakes and I made 3 stupid mistakes because I was rushing. Most of the problems I missed (and weren't sure how to approach) were similar to ones like "If n is a positive integer and the product of all integers from 1 to n..." and the data sufficiency. I feel like I wasted time on the first problem type, because I was trying to think of a way to do it more purely mathematical and am now realizing it's more of just understanding what it's asking and using numerical sense and testing numbers (other ideas?).

I started working through the OG 2016 quant questions yesterday and did 60 problem solving and 30 data sufficiency. So far, based on what I've done, I'm at 90% accuracy for both of them, with some of them just being silly mistakes.


The GMAT is, bizarrely, totally unlike a high school math test in this regard. It doesn't take into account the % you get right or wrong at all when calculating your score - instead, it changes the difficulty of the test so that most people get about the same % right, and your score at the end is basically a measure of how tough a test you took.

If you're consistently getting 90% of Q questions right within 2 minutes each, that means you're studying questions that are a bit too easy. Ideally, since the test will try to show you problems it thinks are 'at your level', that's where you want to study (well, those problems, and ones that are just a little harder.) You're right that the OG gets harder as you go through a section, so I'd recommend skipping to the middle and trying to find a point where you're missing 1/3 to 1/2 of the questions. Keep in mind that I'm counting anything you can solve, but can't solve within 2.5 minutes or so as a miss! Timing is critical. :)

For Data Sufficiency, it might be a good idea to do the MPrep free trial class, even if you aren't planning to register for a full course. DS strategy is covered extensively in that session, and there are a lot of online sections to choose from. Here's a link to the list of upcoming classes; you can attend session 1 of any of them for free: http://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/classes/

In your position, at least for now, I'd think of Quant as mostly a way to take a break from Verbal. You need to pay quite a bit more attention to Verbal, given your current score breakdown, than you do to Quant. Don't totally ignore Quant - a few more points never hurt anybody - but you'll see much larger gains from learning the Verbal material.
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Re: Quant Strategy Thoughts?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2016, 12:50
Thanks for the advice! I was getting 90% with most of the problems taking less than 30 seconds, so definitely too easy to be worthwhile. I'll try skipping to the middle, but definitely will focus more on verbal. And thanks for the advice on the free session, didn't know that was available.

Since I'm focusing on the verbal (even though this is posted in quant), can you tell me your thoughts on my strategy? My plan was not to even look at the OG questions yet and to work through the manhattan RC and SC and the Powerscore CR over the next week, because I need to work through strategies, then start doing practice problems. Would you recommend anything different? Should I start doing some practice problems here and there first? I wanted to leave at least a few weeks to start doing 1-2 practice exams a week with focused practice in between. One of the benefits of teaching, so much free time to prep this summer :)
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Re: Quant Strategy Thoughts?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 May 2016, 19:00
1
nat724 wrote:
Hi All,

I'm new to the forum, but appreciate all the posts that I've read, since I've been lurking for a while now. I'm taking the GMAT sometime near end of June to mid-July. I took one of the free practice GMAT tests, cold, on GMATprep and scored a 42 on quant. I looked back through my mistakes and I made 3 stupid mistakes because I was rushing. Most of the problems I missed (and weren't sure how to approach) were similar to ones like "If n is a positive integer and the product of all integers from 1 to n..." and the data sufficiency. I feel like I wasted time on the first problem type, because I was trying to think of a way to do it more purely mathematical and am now realizing it's more of just understanding what it's asking and using numerical sense and testing numbers (other ideas?).

I started working through the OG 2016 quant questions yesterday and did 60 problem solving and 30 data sufficiency. So far, based on what I've done, I'm at 90% accuracy for both of them, with some of them just being silly mistakes.

I'm a high school math teacher that changed careers from working in Finance, so I have a pretty solid math background, especially since I've taught every high school math class over the last three years. My plan is to work through all of the math problems through the end of the week and then see if there are any problem types I continually miss. Then I plan to do 10-20 problems of each a day just to stay fresh.

Any thoughts on this plan? Do the OG problems get harder as the problem set progresses? I did terrible on the verbal (28), so I want to focus mainly on those strategies when I'm studying. I'm going through the recommended SC, CR, and RC books over the next couple weeks.


Some thoughts on your post:

1. The moment you see "If n is a positive integer and the product of all integers from 1 to n..." put n = 1 and try to make sense of the question.

2. For DS strategies, check out our DS book freely available on our website: http://www.veritasprep.com/gmat/
It discusses what exactly is the "sufficiency" we keep talking about. Gives you lots of strategies to handle DS questions and makes you aware of common pitfalls. The DS format should be breeze after you go through the book.

3. OG Quant questions are mostly about 500 - 600 level. The later part of the section has some 700+ level questions too, but not many. I suggest you to check out 700 level questions by searching on this forum (use the tags) to get an idea of the level of questions you are actually likely to get.

4. For verbal, put the OG aside for now. Work on your theory. Check out our SC video on the link given above.
Once you understand what it is that you are required to do in each question type of verbal, you can start practicing from OG but do it in a timed manner. Say, 20 questions - 40 mins, to begin with.

5. One practice test ever week in the last few weeks sounds perfect. Ensure that you put in sufficient time to analyse every question properly after the test and review the topics in which you made conceptual mistakes.
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Re: Quant Strategy Thoughts?   [#permalink] 26 May 2016, 19:00

Quant Strategy Thoughts?

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