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Skipped 11 questions in a row in each section of the GMAT

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 02:03
Hi all.
I took my exam today. I anticipated that my score would be not the best, but I didn’t know that my biggest weakness would be my timing. I had to skip and guess the last 11 questions in each section of the test, which means that I answered about 20 questions (both verbal and quant) incorrectly, presumably.

I’m sure, however, that the first questions especially in verbal were answered correctly.

Do you think skipping the last 10 questions affect the overall score immensely even if you were answering all of the previous questions correctly? If so, then how?

What should I do to better my pace as a non-native speaker and a slow reader? I’m also taking the exam in 16 days (in another country). Do you think I can improve my timing within such a short amount of time?

Thank you!


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New post 20 Dec 2018, 06:09
Hi AKF89,

The ultimate aim of any test taker is to maximize the score. Everything else is done to achieve this goal. One of the ‘everything else’ to be done is manage time properly so that it does not affect the score adversely. Pacing yourself appropriately is important because:
    1. If you rush through you may make errors and thereby affect your score. Let’s take the example of a student who has an Ability of 80%ile in SC when he spends 1 minute 30 seconds on an average to solve the questions. If he panics under the perceived time pressure in the exam and spends only 1 minute 10 seconds on an average on SC questions, his Ability might drop to 40%ile. In order to save 20 seconds per question, he ends up making more mistakes and his score drops.
    2. If you take too much time in the beginning, you are likely to fall short of time later and will have to rush in the end which will again impact your score. GMAT penalizes heavily for every question that is left unanswered. How heavy is this “heavily”? According to Official Guide 2019, not answering five questions in Verbal could reduce the score from the 91st percentile to the 77th!

To learn effective and efficient Time Management Strategy that balances the issues mentioned above, read this article on Timing Strategies.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com if you have any further queries.

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 13:39
Hi AKF89,

Having to rush through so many questions at the end of each section (and presumably get most - if not all - of them wrong) would almost certainly have significantly impacted your Score. What were the results (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)? 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 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 apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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New post 21 Dec 2018, 08:06
Thank you so much!

I’ve been using Target Test prep for Quant for the last two months. I covered almost all the topics on TTP. As for Verbal, I’ve been mainly practicing OG.

My target score is 700, and I aim to apply to top schools in the US in R2, Januany 7th. I’m currently writing my essays and also using help from Admissionado to make sure my essays are compelling/good enough. My score was 500. Verbal 22.

I’m taking the exam in 14-15 days, so I don’t know what to do. I would study every single day after work, but I was mainly too tired. I finally took my annual vacation, so I can focus on my prep. I was wondering if I can get a desired score in such a short period of time.


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New post 21 Dec 2018, 17:30
Hi AKF89,

No one here knows you well enough to say for sure what you are capable of (as far as how quickly you might learn or how high you might score on the GMAT). That having been said, raising a 500 to the point that you could consistently score 700+ would likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. Unfortunately, trying to make those gains in just 2 weeks of additional study is likely too difficult to be considered realistic.

While i understand that you might really want to apply for Round 2, there's no benefit to 'rushing in' an application if it's not going to be strong enough to earn you an invite to that Program. Beyond giving you the extra time to study for the GMAT, you will also be able to put more time into each individual application, meaning that you would likely benefit in a number of ways by pushing back your applications.

1) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
2) What is the minimum Score that you would apply with?

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New post 26 Dec 2018, 18:04
Hi AKF89,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, you won’t be able to achieve a good GMAT score when skipping the last 10 questions. Thus, I wouldn’t worry about what the exact outcome of that would be.

More importantly, I’d like to address your issue with timing. The first thing to understand is that timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve. Timing does not improve simply by “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger. Although you’re not yet at the four-minute-mile mark, your training has yielded considerable improvements.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed right at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that once your GMAT knowledge improves, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of your reaction time when seeing a particular question. For example, consider the following simple question with which many students who are beginning their prep struggle:

14! is equal to which of the following?

(A) 87,178,291,200
(B) 88,180,293,207
(C) 89,181,294,209
(D) 90,000,000,003
(E) 91,114,114,114

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? Or, are you able to quickly recognize that using the “5 x 2 pair rule” will allow you to efficiently attack the problem? (See the solution below.)

Solution:

14! = 14 × 13 × 12 × 11 × 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1.

Notice that there is at least one (5 × 2) pair contained in the product of these numbers. It follows that the units digit must be a zero. The only number with zero as the units digit is 87,178,291,200.

Answer: A

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT quant question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

So, although I do not know the score from your GMAT or your goal score, since you had to guess on the last 11 questions of the quant and verbal sections, it’s clear that you will need more than just 16 days to improve your GMAT skills and thus your timing. Are you able to take the GMAT at a later date?

If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out. You also may find it helpful to read this article about how to get faster at solving GMAT questions.
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Re: Skipped 11 questions in a row in each section of the GMAT  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 02:37
Hi, AKF89

I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling with time management. Many students also suffer from time controlling, so you don’t have to be frustrated much. First of all, I recommend you not to skip those questions and try your best to complete the exam, considering that GMAT penalizes skipping questions more than answering wrong answers. Also, if you want to get the score Q49-51, you should answer ‘common mistake type’ questions correctly. It could seem very difficult for you right now, but completing test is achievable. However, 16-days is too short to solve your timing problem, since your problem could be rooted in complicated factors, such as your studying styles, lack of knowledge and so on.

Based on our company’s data, most of the non-native speakers get V36 and Q49 to hit the score over 700, which means that they focus on getting high quant score to complement lack of the verbal score. You’d better also make your strategy to achieve your goal much more quickly and easily. I recommend you to focus on Quant, because it could be easier to improve than verbal.

If the cause is lack of solid math foundation(which could be the most likely cause looking at your score), you should focus on refreshing the basics. Focus on 5 key topics (Integer, Statistics, Inequality, Probability, and Absolute Value) that account for 80% of the GMAT exam. Fully understand and internalize these topics, then jump into the other stages. Most of the companies offer MATH REVIEW course where you can learn basic concepts of quant, and you should master it. The way teaching basics and skills are different by companies and you should choose one that takes your fancy. Math revolution’s online courses and teaching styles are a bit different and unique and focus on saving time. Math Revolution’s ‘IVY approach’ for PS and ‘Variable approach’ for DS guarantee high accuracy and quick solving. Most of our students have 10 minutes to spare on the real test. We apply ’variables–equations matching system’ to the DS questions, which is counting the number of variables and equations given in the question. By doing so, you can determine which answer choice will most likely be the answer. Then, you can apply our ‘IVY approach’ to PS type questions. Our IVY approach for PS can give you lots of tips and techniques to find the answer quickly and easily. You can quickly solve the questions and have 10 minutes to spare. (More information about our approach: https://www.mathrevolution.com/gmat/vs)

I recommend you to spend 2-3 hours a day for more than 3 months if you want to hit the score over Q49. The rest days would be too short to change your studying style and establishing the foundations.

Please let us know if you have further questions.
You can reach us at info@mathrevolution.com

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Re: Skipped 11 questions in a row in each section of the GMAT   [#permalink] 08 Jan 2019, 02:37
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