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Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy

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Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 03:29
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Hi all,

I gave my first GMAT attempt 2 weeks ago and scored 680 (V39, Q45). Following is the strategy I followed:

Study duration: ~140 hours

Quant:
- Study material for concepts: Manhattan strategy guides
- Practice material: OG Quant guide (all questions) + Gmatclub (200 questions)

Verbal:
- Study material for concepts: Manhattan SC guide, Powerscore CR brief notes (Didn't read any book for RC)
- Practice material: OG Verbal guide (all questions) + Overall OG (~50% of the questions)

Results for 6 practice CATs:

- GMAT Prep 1 (Diagnostic): 640 (V37, Q40)
- GMAT Prep 2:710 (V41, Q47)
- GMAT Prep 3:680 (V40, Q40)
- GMAT Prep 4:730 (V41, Q49)
- GMAT Prep 5:710 (V40, Q47)
- GMAT Prep 6: 680 (V35, Q48)

Issues faced:
- Quant: I fail to recognize logical approaches that can be used to solve a lot of questions. I usually do questions the traditional way which takes a lot of time when GMAT throws hard questions at me. My concepts are clear as I can solve most questions if there are not time constraints.

- Verbal: Can't crack difficult CR questions. (especially strengthen/weaken questions)

I am planning to retake the exam in 4 months. Given my work schedule, I can carve out 30-45 min max on weekdays and 3-4 hours on weekends.
Target score: 740

Would appreciate if anyone can help with a new strategy.

Thanks a lot.
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GMAT 1: 540 Q49 V16
GMAT 2: 680 Q49 V33
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Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 09:37
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Hello bilaltariqakthar ...welcome to the community.



For Verbal: You are pretty much there .
1. Concentrate on Official materials.
2. Try to cover the vedios by GMATNinja :
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-ninja-v ... 51718.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-ninja-w ... 59122.html


For Quant :
1. Use GMAT Club pdf (free !! :) )to refresh and/or learn the concepts tested in the exam.
2. Start practicing 600 level Qs at the links below, and once I reach 80% accuracy I would move to 700 level.
3. And then continue with 700 level ..... more the merrier !!
4. Finally use GMAT Club Q-Tests if you are targetting Q49++ :)

DS : https://gmatclub.com/forum/ds-question- ... 28728.html
PS : https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-ps-ques ... 27957.html

According to your target timeline ...... you have time at your side.

All the best !!
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Re: Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 10:00
Thanks for your reply u1983.

I will definitely go through these. Could you please re-share the links for quant? I can't open them.
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Re: Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 11:15
bilaltariqakthar wrote:
Thanks for your reply u1983.

I will definitely go through these. Could you please re-share the links for quant? I can't open them.



Here you go : :-) :-)

DS: https://gmatclub.com/forum/ds-question- ... 28728.html
PS : https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-ps-ques ... 27957.html

All the best !!
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Re: Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 22:20
Thank you.
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Re: Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 16:39
Hi bilaltariqakthar,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, 680 is a good start! That said, since you are at a Q45, you need to go through GMAT quant carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

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.

Regarding verbal, to improve in Critical Reasoning, you first need to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

A major mistake that people make when training for CR, and for GMAT verbal in general, is that they do practice questions too fast. To get Critical Reasoning questions correct, you have to see exactly what is going on in the passages and answer choices, and you likely won't learn to do so by spending a few minutes on each question. At this stage of your training, you may need to spend as many as fifteen minutes on each question, learning to see what there is to see. Here is a way to look at this process: If you get a new job in a field in which you are not experienced, you may not be as fast as the other people working with you, but you know you have a job to do and you make sure you learn all the angles, so that you do the job well, if not as quickly as those around you. Rushing through the job and doing it incorrectly would not make sense. Then, as you gain more experience, you learn to do the same job more quickly. Think of Critical Reasoning questions similarly. Your job is to do what? To get through questions quickly? Not really. Your job is to get correct answers.

So, first you have to learn to get correct answers, generally at least 10 to 15 in a row consistently, and more in a row would be better. That is your job, and if it takes you 15 minutes per question to get correct answers consistently, then so be it. Only after you have learned to get correct answers consistently can you work on speeding up. Working quickly but not doing your job is useless. Better to work slowly and learn to do your job well. You can be sure that with experience, you will learn to speed up, and then you still will be doing your job well, i.e., getting correct answers consistently.

Finally, a key aspect of getting correct answers to Critical Reasoning questions is noticing the key differences between trap choices and correct answers. Trap choices can sound temptingly correct but don't get the job done. The logic of what a trap choice says simply doesn't fit what the question is asking you to find. So, to get better at your job, learn to see the key differences between trap choices and correct answers.

You may consider using some new materials for your retake, so check out the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Retaking GMAT - Need help with strategy   [#permalink] 09 Mar 2019, 16:39
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