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#### ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?

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 Post subject: ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?  Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:26 pm
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Posts: 7
 My journey studying for the GMAT has been bumpy to say the least! I've taken a number of practice tests in the last month or so and here's how I have been tracking so far (and in this order):MGMAT 1 - 580 (Q37/V33)Kaplan Free Practice Test - 620 (don't have the breakup)MGMAT 2 - 670 (Q46/V35)GMATPrep Test 1 - 670 (Q46/V35)MGMAT 3 - 670 (Q43/V38)MGMAT 4 - 650 (Q40/V39)Knewton Free Practice Test - 640 (Q42/V37)Veritas Free Practice Test - 630 (Q40/V38)Princeton Review Free Practice Test - 610(Q39/V36)From my scores, it is fairly obvious to me that quant is where I need to apply the most attention. I've switched gears from taking tests to reviewing material and solving questions off of the OG and strategy guides. Any tips on what the most efficient way to improve in Quant would be. I have 3 weekends left before the GMAT and plan on at least one practice test each weekend and review every weeknight (from the OG and MGMAT question banks) I seem to be having the most trouble with probability and combinatorics; and mostly with the DS questions. Would much appreciate some expert advice on what I can do to improve here and what my study strategy should be here on out.While I'm definitely consistently in the 80th percentile on Verbal, I'm also afraid that my increased focus in quant might affect my Verbal score - though I recognize I could probably do better to get my score to the 40s in verbal - I'm pretty good at SC, but my scores on CR and RC vary. RC is by far where I've run into the most trouble. Any tips on what my focus should be over the next 3 weeks?Thanks!Kartik

 Post subject: Re: ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?  Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:55 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

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Location: San Francisco

 Post subject: Re: ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?  Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:55 pm
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Posts: 7
 Thanks Stacey for your response!All tests were taken under exact test conditions - 60 mins for the essays followed by a 5 minute break, 75 minutes for quant, followed by a 5 minute break and 75 minutes for verbal.My goal score is 700-720. What baffles me about the swing in scores (on quant at least) is it appears I got a higher percentage of questions correct on the tests in which I scored lower. On the MGMATs, I kept getting at least 10 questions wrong in the Quant section, yet my scaled score was higher (in comparison). It appears that the scoring algorithms on the free Knewton, Veritas and PR practice tests vary quite a bit from MGMAT. I honestly don't know what to make of it. Timing was initially an issue for me (I would come down to the wire on my last 5 in Quant) but since the last MGMAT test (and all subsequent tests), I've been able to pace myself better - however, it seems I may have sacrificed accuracy in favor of pace (I made more silly mistakes).Since the Princeton Review test (which I took last Friday), I've been spending time reviewing Number Properties, Inequalities, FDPs, VICs, Rate and Work, Ratios, Stats, Geometry and Coordinate Geometry. I created a cheat sheet of useful formulas of things I needed to remember. I spent a lot of time initially on Probability and Combinatorics - but I always seemed to be getting mixed up on when to apply a combinatorics principle. Also the trickiness of the wording on DS questions got the better of me on more than one occassion.Dec 20th is when I plan on taking the GMAT (which is exactly 3 weeks from tomorrow). I have 2 MGMATs and 1 GMATPrep left, so I figured the best thing to do would be to review during the week and take 1 test each weekend. Does that sound like a reasonable plan of action? I know that the last 1-2 weeks won't have a significant impact on my score - but since I was scoring at the 650-670 level (until I switched to the free practice tests), would looking at 700-720 score 3 weeks from now be too ambitious? I want to make sure I go in to the test with the right expectations!Thanks again for your help!Kartik

 Post subject: Re: ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?  Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:03 am
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 6857
Location: San Francisco

 Post subject: Re: ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?  Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:00 pm
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Posts: 7
 Today's timed test was a relief. I finally broke the elusive 700 score on MGMAT 5 under exact test conditions (all sections timed and 2 5 minute breaks)MGMAT 5 - 700 (Q42/V42)While I had a strong showing in verbal (having had no practice in verbal whatsoever over the last week), my quant woes continue. Some of the DS questions got me and again, the desire to pace myself better resulted in careless mistakes. DS questions in Inequalities seem to be a big problem area and once again word translations seem to be giving me a harder time. Do you have any effective practice suggestions now that I am coming up to the 2 week mark before test day? I'm reviewing all wrong answers on all my previous tests to learn what I did wrong and why. Do you have any tips specifically around what my strategy should be for DS?Thanks!Kartik

 Post subject: Re: ~ 3 weeks left for D day - scores still in the 600s, advice?  Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:01 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 6857
Location: San Francisco
 Nice work!Quote:the desire to pace myself better resulted in careless mistakes. How? Pacing + careless mistakes is when you rush, which means going faster (usually significantly faster) than 2 minutes. You never HAVE to go faster than 2 minutes UNLESS you went too slow on other questions. So really the "too-slow" questions are the ones that are holding you back.And I would argue that you can't make a careless mistake on a too-slow question. Yes, technically, you can, but if you need 2m45s to answer a question, that makes it a really hard question to answer for you, and there aren't *careless* mistakes on really hard questions. Just regular mistakes - because it's a really hard question.A careless mistake is when you 100% knew exactly what you were doing and could do it in the right time frame (or faster), and you made a mistake on something that you totally understood and knew how to do.For DS inequalities - are the questions themselves actually testing inequalities principles, or are they using inequalities to disguise some other topic? Eg, when I see x < 0 in a problem, I know it's almost certainly a positive / negative problem in disguise, not a true inequality problem.So maybe that's the problem - maybe you're not seeing / interpreting the disguise? Or is it really a pure inequalities principles issue?For word trans, is that all in general - so the technique of translating from words to math? Or are there certain topics that are giving you trouble (eg, rates, or combinatorics)If translating in general, try these two articles (and practice!):http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/05/ ... -into-mathhttp://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/05/ ... ath-part-2If it's specific topic areas, tell me which. If it's combinatorics, probability, or set, don't worry about them - not very common, so just give those a shot and move on at or below the 2 min mark with a guess if needed.(People hate when I say that, but that's my own strategy for combinatorics - I hate those! - and my high score is a 780. So you can do it too. :)Finally, if you think you're struggling in general with DS, try these two articles (and the first one's kind of about translating, too, in a more conceptual way):http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/09/ ... t-problemshttp://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... questions/ _________________Stacey KoprinceInstructorDirector of Online CommunityManhattanGMAT

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