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Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant

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Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2009, 10:21
This topic is locked. If you want to discuss this question please re-post it in the respective forum.

I am currently on the summer waitlist at Booth for the Fall 2009 admission. I think the weakest part of my application was my GMAT Quant score. Even after retaking the GMAT last May, I was only able to score a 42 on the Quant section, with a 46 in Verbal to get a 710 overall. (Improved from a 39Q earlier that year).

Leading up to that retake, I prepared with the Official Guide materials and supplements, and the entire Manhattan GMAT topic books. I thought they were the most valuable, and towards the end, I was scoring in the mid 750s on the GMAT Prep CATs. I thought Kaplan and Princeton Review were useless.

This time around, I am not sure if I should reuse the same material. I took a CAT the other day just to gauge my current ability, and I got a 44Q, though I still recognized some of the old questions.

I know I need to take the test again. I don't have time to do it between now and the June 1 deadline for Booth, but I figure if I am waitlisted again, or if I reapply in October, I will need to have a better quant score. Especially since Booth has a grade non disclosure policy, recruiters may use GMAT as a barometer for applicants.

My approach last time was to log all of my answers, do up to 37 at a time, and then review the questions that I got wrong. The hardest thing for me is algebra/equations and geometry. I want to approach this in a focused, and systematic way, but with new questions. Can any of you offer any advice on how to do this?

Thanks. Mental math has never been a strong point for me, but I'm a pretty smart guy, I should be able to get this up to the 80%tile with the right approach.

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2009, 10:51
Have you tried the gmatclub quant tests. They are comparatively more difficult than the GMAT quant. The OG quant is somewhat at a lower difficulty level than the 80th percentile GMAT questions. GMATPREP is the best indicator. If you are scoring a 44Q on the GMATPREP - I would set the expectation for the actual score to be around 42Q. So you might want to spend some time with the gmatclub quant questions.
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New post 13 May 2009, 11:15
pleonasm wrote:
Have you tried the gmatclub quant tests. They are comparatively more difficult than the GMAT quant. The OG quant is somewhat at a lower difficulty level than the 80th percentile GMAT questions. GMATPREP is the best indicator. If you are scoring a 44Q on the GMATPREP - I would set the expectation for the actual score to be around 42Q. So you might want to spend some time with the gmatclub quant questions.


I did try the GMATClub tests, but was too distracted by some of the typos and grammar that I had a hard time giving it a lot of credibility. I also heard that they were unreasonably difficult, and was pretty frustrated by that. How do you think they rank?

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2009, 12:59
Manbehindthecurtain wrote:
pleonasm wrote:
Have you tried the gmatclub quant tests. They are comparatively more difficult than the GMAT quant. The OG quant is somewhat at a lower difficulty level than the 80th percentile GMAT questions. GMATPREP is the best indicator. If you are scoring a 44Q on the GMATPREP - I would set the expectation for the actual score to be around 42Q. So you might want to spend some time with the gmatclub quant questions.


I did try the GMATClub tests, but was too distracted by some of the typos and grammar that I had a hard time giving it a lot of credibility. I also heard that they were unreasonably difficult, and was pretty frustrated by that. How do you think they rank?


I myself haven't tried the tests but have looked at the questions and they are way harder than the actual GMAT - but that's the advantage. You get set to a higher difficulty level and then questions of the lower difficulty will seem like a cake walk, well not literally but I guess you get my point.
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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2009, 13:03
Hello, guy I should pay no attention to :-) Congratulations on your existing improvement!

One product you might want to look for is the GMAT Quantitative Focus. Have you seen it? The only reason I ask is that it's fairly new. If you have, skip ahead to the ***. GMAT Quant Focus is an online test you can take that supposedly gauges your individual strengths and weaknesses, and tells you where to focus your study, subject matter wise. One nice advantage is that, unlike with the CATs, answer explanations are provided. Each time you take the test, it's $25, but if you buy 3 at a time, it's $65.

***
Here's a question for you; what is your overall approach? Is it the old school classical approach or have you learned some of the powerful techniques and shortcuts that are out there?

I got a quite strong test score the first time I took it (710), but it still wasn't quite where I wanted it to be. Oddly enough, the biggest handicap I had was the fact that I had been a math major in college. Therefore, by God, I could solve some equations. Work things out the long way. If there's anyone who could do that, it should be me.

Eventually, I learned that it's much better, whenever the problem permits, to just take the answer choices, ask yourself "is this it?" and confirm. For example, do you have the new 12th edition burgundy book? If so, question #13 in the PS section does a beautiful job of demonstrating this idea. Another good hint here is to first check answer choice D, and then answer choice B. As a math major, I didn't like this idea; it offended me! And yet, I can't argue the results of this paradigm switch (760).

I don't want to preach to the choir, so if you already know all this, then I'll leave it at that. :-)

However, if you'd like me to go on, I gladly would. Know this: doing things the same way will get you the same results.

Good luck with everything!

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2009, 13:37
Liquid,

Are you on the Booth WL too? Don't worry about helping the competition, I won't be taking the GMAT again before the June deadline.

I didn't know about the Quant Focus tool. I will check that out. It definitely sounds like it is worth the money.

My original approach was to work everything out the long way, and I think I could benefit from using more test taking strategies. During each live test, I started the first question with some iteration of a ratio problem that I hadn't seen before, wasted too much time trying to figure it out, and then chose a random answer after 3.5 minutes. When the test was over, I was still rattling off formulas and math properties that I had memorized, didn't get asked on the test, and ended up not taking the test strategically.

So please, if you have any other guidance, I would appreciate it.

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2009, 02:53
I think it might be worthwhile for you to go through another good math book: check Nova's "GMAT Math Bible". I went through MGMAT books and still found Nova's book a good alternative. Nova's exercises emphasize more creative thinking than do MGMAT's books.

Once you went through a good math book, I still think you need to do some GMAT Club math tests. That you found them difficult is revealing - you need to practice on tests that you find challenging!

Also, make sure you go through OG12 even if there is an overlap with OG11.

Finally(!), look for the hardest GMATPrep questions in this forum and make sure you know at least two ways of solving these problems.

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2009, 21:53
Manbehindthecurtain wrote:
I am currently on the summer waitlist at Booth for the Fall 2009 admission. I think the weakest part of my application was my GMAT Quant score. Even after retaking the GMAT last May, I was only able to score a 42 on the Quant section, with a 46 in Verbal to get a 710 overall. (Improved from a 39Q earlier that year).

Leading up to that retake, I prepared with the Official Guide materials and supplements, and the entire Manhattan GMAT topic books. I thought they were the most valuable, and towards the end, I was scoring in the mid 750s on the GMAT Prep CATs. I thought Kaplan and Princeton Review were useless.

This time around, I am not sure if I should reuse the same material. I took a CAT the other day just to gauge my current ability, and I got a 44Q, though I still recognized some of the old questions.

I know I need to take the test again. I don't have time to do it between now and the June 1 deadline for Booth, but I figure if I am waitlisted again, or if I reapply in October, I will need to have a better quant score. Especially since Booth has a grade non disclosure policy, recruiters may use GMAT as a barometer for applicants.

My approach last time was to log all of my answers, do up to 37 at a time, and then review the questions that I got wrong. The hardest thing for me is algebra/equations and geometry. I want to approach this in a focused, and systematic way, but with new questions. Can any of you offer any advice on how to do this?

Thanks. Mental math has never been a strong point for me, but I'm a pretty smart guy, I should be able to get this up to the 80%tile with the right approach.



As a GMAT Club Member with 200+ posts, you also have access to the GMAT Club Tests - don't use them to learn/study math principles, but they will give you a very thorough understanding about areas you are still lacking. Don't get discouraged if at first you barely get any score - they are very hard.
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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2009, 22:47
seofah wrote:
I think it might be worthwhile for you to go through another good math book: check Nova's "GMAT Math Bible". I went through MGMAT books and still found Nova's book a good alternative. Nova's exercises emphasize more creative thinking than do MGMAT's books.

Once you went through a good math book, I still think you need to do some GMAT Club math tests. That you found them difficult is revealing - you need to practice on tests that you find challenging!

Also, make sure you go through OG12 even if there is an overlap with OG11.

Finally(!), look for the hardest GMATPrep questions in this forum and make sure you know at least two ways of solving these problems.


What are the big differences between OG12 and 13? I read a review on amazon that said they are virtually identical.

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2009, 23:16
I think you mean 11 and 12. 12 just came out in March - a bit early for the 13th.

See here: the-official-guide-for-gmat-12-merged-76806.html
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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2009, 01:47
Manbehindthecurtain wrote:
seofah wrote:
I think it might be worthwhile for you to go through another good math book: check Nova's "GMAT Math Bible". I went through MGMAT books and still found Nova's book a good alternative. Nova's exercises emphasize more creative thinking than do MGMAT's books.

Once you went through a good math book, I still think you need to do some GMAT Club math tests. That you found them difficult is revealing - you need to practice on tests that you find challenging!

Also, make sure you go through OG12 even if there is an overlap with OG11.

Finally(!), look for the hardest GMATPrep questions in this forum and make sure you know at least two ways of solving these problems.


What are the big differences between OG12 and 13? I read a review on amazon that said they are virtually identical.

I assume you mean OG12 vs. OG11 See some good analysis here: http://www.manhattangmat.com/official-guide-12.cfm
1/3 of the questions are new. OG12 is more representative of what you will see in actual test.

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Re: Taking the test a third time - Need some guidance for Quant   [#permalink] 17 May 2009, 01:47
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