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Top 20 GMAT Tips - 4th Edition - ExamPal

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Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 4551
Location: United States (WA)
Concentration: Leadership, General Management
Schools: Ross '20 (M)
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
GMAT 2: 740 Q49 V42 (Online)
GPA: 3.8
WE: Marketing (Non-Profit and Government)
Top 20 GMAT Tips - 4th Edition - ExamPal  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2018, 09:00
GMAT Tip of the Week:Top 20 tips - 4th Edition

This topic is a part of the GMAT Club Tip of the Week Series

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    61. Score cancellation The minute your GMAT is over, you’ll get an unofficial score on screen. If you’re not satisfied with your score, you can ask to cancel it. If you didn’t do it in the two minutes you get to decide, you’ll be able to do it later - but you’ll need to pay for it. If money is not an object, you shouldn’t worry about cancelling it. You’ll be able to reinstate it later. Just pay some more...
    62. How can you improve Critical Reasoning? First, research all the questions that you've already solved and take notes. The greatest problem test-takers usually face with Verbal questions is lack of time. This usually happens if you read all the answers to all the questions and expect to find the correct answer just because "it sounds right". Train yourself to solve the questions before going to the answers. About a third of the questions can be solved using just the question stem and figuring out what we should expect to find in the answers. That’s what we call the Precise approach. Another third of the questions requires the Logical approach. That is, that you use some knowledge that doesn't appear in the question, such as the properties of averages, range, pricing, or even argument structure. The rest of the questions can be solved using the Alternative approach - using the answers.
    63. Re-takers: The best starting point Not sure where to begin? Order the ESR from the GMAC. That’s the Enhanced Score Report, which will tell you the most important thing you don’t know: how your ACTUAL performance in the real test was.
    64. How to use the ESR? If you have already taken the GMAT, you can order the Enhanced Score Report - ESR - to analyze your actual performance in the test. For the entire exam, the ESR shows you your average time per question per section, and compares this to all test takers. For the Quant and Verbal sections, it tells you both your percentile score and average response time for each sub-section, and gives you data on your progress throughout the test: percentage of questions answered correctly, average difficulty of questions answered and average response time, all broken down by the different quarters of the section. For the IR, you are shown the the percentage of questions answered correctly, and the average response time for both correct and incorrect answers. The AWA score is not included in the ESR.
    65. Taking notes If someone offers you a great summary of all formulas, tips and tricks for GMAT - decline it. In order to be engaged in learning (as studying must be an active process), I advise you to take your own notes. Add examples where needed to clarify things you figured out along the way. Moreover, different students need to practice different questions and relate to different notes according to their own performance. Thus, there's no "one size fits all" material, but rather what YOU need, according to your own level of performance, strengths and weaknesses.
    66. Compiling a day’s schedule
    Divide your study day into three-hour study sessions, no more than 3 sessions a day, with at least a one-hour break between sessions. During the sessions, take a 10-minute break for every 50 minutes of studying, or a 5 minute break every 25 minutes. Take time to exercise, rest and eat well.
    67. Making the most out of the OG It is important to know that while the Official Guide for GMAT is a great resource, it cannot be your ONLY resource: it is neither a computer nor adaptive, which is why it cannot prepare you for an adaptive test. But we can use it to practice whatever skills require refining. The best way to go about this would be to analyze a mock test first, decide which kind of questions you’d like to practice and which solutions tools to try, and then look them up in the OG. When it comes to the provided explanations… well, we should take into consideration that while they tell us why the correct answer is correct, they don’t tell us what the fastest way to solve it is. Did I already mention it is not the greatest resource?

    68. Using private tutors Studying with a private tutor CAN be great, but this really depends on the individual tutor and your connection with them - and you’ll only know how to evaluate these after you’ve spent a whole lot of time and money. Money, of course, is a reason many of us may want to dismiss this option from the get-go - paying for someone else’s time can get pretty expensive. So, the real problem is that private tutors only get to know us for the precious few hours we spend together. Moreover, when tutors recommend a certain solution strategy - how can they tell that it is the best one for you? They only GUESS, based on their experience and personal taste - but what is right for others may not be right for you. So if you want to use private tutors, use them in the specific incidents in which you need help and not as a comprehensive solution.

    69. How to make faster calculations? Your starting point must be: using the scratch pad. Mental calculations will only slow you down. Another thing to remember is that extremely hard calculations are a sign that either (A) you’re not supposed to do them - consider estimating or applying another kind of logic; or (B) you’re in the Integrated Reasoning section, and your best buddy is your calculator. In other cases, it is helpful to realize that subtraction is the opposite of addition, so instead of asking how much is 117 minus 79, ask how much should we add to 79 in order to get 117. In division, it is useful to break down the number into smaller numbers. For example, in order to divide 1,000 by 8, we’ll divide 800 by 8, then another 160, and then the remaining 40. And the best way to get most calculations right is not to do them in the first place: the most important ones used in the GMAT are there in the memorization lists throughout examPAL’s course.

    70. Choosing the best order of the test The choices are to start with (1) Integrated Reasoning and Analytical Writing; (2) Quant; or (3) Verbal. There are two types of test takers - the ones who need to warm up and the ones who gradually cool down. For the warm-up people, it is best to start with what they are best in, so that even if it takes them a bit more time to warm up, they’ll be fine. Are you a Quant wiz who needs some warm up? Start with the Quantitative section. For the cooling down people, on the other hand, it is best to start with the section they find the hardest and, if possible, end up with the easiest one for them. Are you the cooling down type and find the Verbal section to be the most challenging? Start with the Verbal. While there’s no such thing as ‘the best order’, there is ‘the best order FOR YOU’.
    71. Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect It’s not about how much you practice, it is what and how you practice. Just solving thousands of questions will only exhaust you. If you want to improve, research your previous mistakes and solve questions in which you can implement what you’ve just learned - and at the right level. examPAL will help you focus just on the right ones.
    72. How should you improve your ‘Cognitive Flexibility’? The key is: don’t stick with what you’re used to, find the right PAL for you. Force yourself to solve questions using all three PAL strategies - Precise, Alternative and Logical. Get comfortable with all available solution tools. Once you are well-acquainted with all versions of PAL, you can choose the right answer tool FOR YOU for each and every question.
    73. The best strategy for the Quant section If you’re the kind of student who always finishes the Quantitative section on time, there’s no point in talking about strategy. But if you TRIED to solve all the questions in the section and got 10 of them wrong, then this tip is for you: your major problem is that instead of SOLVING questions, you were busy just READING questions. Apparently, reading too quickly to actually solve them. So next time you solve a mock test, decide which 7 Quant questions your are going to skip over. Here’s the surprise that you are going to get: first, you’ll have a lot more time on your hands, so you’ll probably get more questions right. Moreover, since you guessed 7 questions, you’d probably get at least 1 or even 2 of them right. And the best thing? Since you decided which questions you’d rather answer, you probably chose the topics which are easier for you, which means these questions might even take less time, and you might even have 2 minutes for another question. This is how 10 mistakes become 5, just by using the right strategy.
    74. The best strategy for the Verbal section If you are a non-native English speaker you must know the feeling that no matter how much effort you put into vocabulary, grammar and reading magazines, you just can’t make it through the entire section fast enough. Giving yourself less time for every question is the worst thing you can do. What you should do is first and foremost, practice how not to read all the answers to all the questions, which will save you a lot of time. Our course is full of advice on how to do this. Next, you’ll have to decide what to skip. Some people feel that most Reading Comprehension passages just take them too long, while others wish to skip just the general questions. Maybe there’s a certain kind of Critical Reasoning questions that are usually too hard for you, or maybe you find long Sentence Correction questions to be too intimidating. The point is that you have to have a clear decision BEFORE the test how many questions you are going to skip and which kind. Your rule of thumb should be general, even visual. Something that doesn’t require to actually read through the entire question before deciding whether to skip it or not. You want to be either solving a question or skipping it altogether, or else - you’ll find yourself spending all your time reading questions instead of solving them.
    75. Love your mistakes Hate them all you like, but ignoring your mistakes is, well… a big mistake. If you’re not going to try and improve upon your weaknesses, you really may as well just walk into the exam without doing any prep at all. Mistakes really are what prep is all about - improving upon your weaknesses, teaching yourself what you don’t already know, and getting better.
    76. Teach someone. Anyone. Our brain remembers experiences better than anything else. If you explain what you’ve learned to somebody else, you’ll benefit twice: first, you’ll understand things better, because you’ll realize some of the logic while figuring out how to explain something. Second, you’ll have an ‘event’ in your mind which has all the ingredients of a good drama: place, characters, conflict...
    77. Ask for help While preparing for the GMAT, you’ll inevitably come across many challenges. Don’t try to solve all of them on your own. Ask for help. It doesn’t have to be a private tutor. You can ask friends, go to forums, or contact us through our chat. And it is always good to know that you’re not alone.
    78. The new you: Perseverant Before starting your GMAT prep, take a deep breath, and come to terms with on fact: no matter how smart and successful you are there will be failure along the way. You’ll get a lower mock score than you were hoping, or not manage your time as well as you thought, or just find things harder than you were expecting. Everyone does. What sets apart the successful GMAT-takers - and incidentally, the successful businessmen and women as well - is that they see all failures as both temporary and necessary, and instead of letting them slow them down - embrace them as tools to improve.
    79. The new you II: Patient There may come a point in your GMAT prep where studies don’t seem as rewarding as you were expecting - many of us overestimate our level and underestimate how much work is needed. A huge component of the success of your GMAT prep is whether or not you can continue to put in the work even though the rewards may be far away. To adapt the old adage about a journey of a thousand miles: the journey to a perfect GMAT score starts with a single practice IR problem.
    80. The new you III: incrementalist An incremental approach to studying is more than a mental trick which makes the the journey more palatable—it’s also a way to organize your test prep so as to maximize efficiency and ensure mastery of concepts. If you simply do a straight run through a set of verbal questions and only consult the answers to see how well you did, you probably aren’t actually helping yourself to better learn different concepts. You should devote a solid chunk of time exclusively to studying subject-verb agreement until you master the concept thoroughly, and then do the same with parallelism, comma placement, or any other concept you can expect to find on the test. The best GMAT-takers tend to organize their prep so they can master specific concepts in route to mastering the different sections and the test at large.

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Top 20 GMAT Tips - 4th Edition - ExamPal   [#permalink] 23 Oct 2018, 09:00

Top 20 GMAT Tips - 4th Edition - ExamPal

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