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Tips for improving quant from 49-51 and how to deal w timing stress?

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Tips for improving quant from 49-51 and how to deal w timing stress?  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 16:11
I just took my first practice test on the GMAT website and got a 770 (49 Quant, 47 Verbal). I am very happy, but hope to improve a bit in quant. I thought 49 was a great quant score, but it's only 75th percentile so I think that I have some room for improvement.

I studied by doing all the Quant questions from the OG and the DS questions from the Quant supplemental book. I was consistently getting only 1-2 questions wrong from every 10 I attempted and thought I was absolutely ready for Quant on the actual exam, but after this practice test I am less certain. Once I actually sat down for the test and started on the quant section, it's like my brain went into "instinct" mode and I started answering questions as quickly as possible because I did not want to run out of time and I'm worried that a lot of what I learned was forgotten as I went back to my math instincts.

I have 2 weeks until my exam and think that I can improve quant a bit more. Does anyone have tips for last minute studying and how to deal with timing-related stress during the actual exam?

Thanks all for the help.
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Re: Tips for improving quant from 49-51 and how to deal w timing stress?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 08:33
Hi gmat5ever.

The best move you can make to drive up your quant score is to find less strong areas in your quant skill set and make them stronger. So, far, with the type of preparation you have done, using the OG, my take is that you have done mixed sets of quant questions. Now, to strengthen less strong areas, work on questions one type at a time.

For instance, if you are not strong in answering probability questions, focus on probability by itself. Learn all about the concepts that underlie how to answer probability questions, learn how to answer the questions accurately, and practice by answering dozens of such questions, until effective methods become your instincts.

Then move onto another type, such as overlapping sets questions, absolute value questions, or whatever other type you could be better at answering.

In two weeks, you could become MUCH better at answering ten types of questions, and by doing dozens of questions of each type one after the other, you will lock in your use of effective methods for answering them.

Meanwhile, take more practice tests over the next two weeks, both as a way of determining what types of questions to focus on in order to strengthen your less strong areas and to develop better timing. If you think about it, it's not that surprising that you would have some timing related stress the first time you took a practice GMAT. Imagine how much different you will feel in your third or fourth GMAT experience.

The OG quant questions are, generally, not as difficult to get correct as some of the questions on the real test. So, to practice, you should find another source of questions. One suggestion is Target Test Prep. You could check it out for for $1 for the first five days, and see what you think. There are thousands of categorized questions on that site. So, even though you plan to spend only another two weeks preparing, it may be worth signing up. Whatever you do, find hard, tricky categorized questions and practice by type.

When you are doing practice questions, do them slowly, focusing on getting them correct. 8/10 to 9/10 correct in practice may not be quite high enough a hit rate for scoring 50 - 51 in the quant section. Probably, you should slow down and seek to get 10/10 correct on some sets. Any question that you don't get right can be an indicator of a less strong area in your quant skill set. So, any time you don't get one, consider focusing on that type of question to build your skills.

When you take the test, focus on the question in front of you and seek to get it correct. Don't rush. Breathe deeply and seek to execute. One great way to reduce anxiety is to ignore anxiety and focus on the question in front of you. You can spend way more than two minutes on some questions, as you will likely answer some in way less than two minutes. For practice, you could take a practice test and see what happens if you barely worry about the time. Just seek to get right answers without worrying about the clock too much, and see how it goes. Even if you were to run out of time at the end of the quant section and were to have to guess on a few, you could still score 50 or even 51 on the quant section. The test will give you a higher score if you miss the last three quant questions than it will if you miss three closer to the middle of the section.

Finally, see the GMAT as a game of getting as many right answers as possible. By playing it like a game, you can make it fun for yourself, optimize your attitude, and maximize your score.

Marty Murray
GMAT Coach

GMAT Club Bot
Re: Tips for improving quant from 49-51 and how to deal w timing stress? &nbs [#permalink] 11 Jul 2018, 08:33
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Tips for improving quant from 49-51 and how to deal w timing stress?

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