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 Post subject: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:29 am 
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Posts: 137
Hi Stacey ,

I have been studying for GMAT for a while.

I am aiming for a score of 700+.

In my first attempt , i got a 620.

I took the GMAT Prep exams after 4 months.

In the Practice Test 1 , i got a 670 ( Quant 48, Verbal ( around 35-36).

I then took the GMAT Practise test 2 , i got a 710
( Quant 48 , Verbal - 40)

I somehow felt that i am getting inflated scores and that i should wait for one more month for the actual GMAT.

Again after a month , t took the Practice Test 1 , i got a 720.
( Quant 48 , Verbal 41)

Now i was supremely confident and thought about taking the GMAT after the second practice Test result score that i expected to be >= 720.

When i took the second practice test , to my horror , i scored a 670 ( Verbal - 35 , Quant - 47 ).

This resulted in me not registering for my actual GMAT Test.

I am working and it gets difficult for me if this happens.


Between all these months , the only good thing happened is
1) My RC has improved. I take 8 mins for long passages and 6 mins for shorter ones. The range of the no of RC questions getting wrong is ( 2 - 4). I used to read Economist regularly and i think that has helped.
2) I have improved my Quant score from 44 to 48. Somehow it managed to drop to 47 when it mattered the most. :(

One thing for sure , i feel that
1) I should focus to increase my Quant scores because they are fairly consistent. But i am finding it difficult to improve from 47-48.
2) Verbal scores fluctuate.They disappointed me a lot this time.

Please tell me the plan that i should take now.

Sorry for this long story.


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:13 pm 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 7587
Location: San Francisco
Results vary - all of these tests do have standard deviations. At the same time, I'm noticing that the drop on that last test came almost entirely from verbal - so what happened?

Have you been doing the essays? Have you been sticking to 8-minute breaks? In other words, have you been taking the test under 100% official conditions? (If not, that can result in score inflation - in particular, I see people all the time who skip the essays, get inflated scores, then try a test with the essays, and the score drops - usually the verbal score.)

Next, you talk about taking GMATPrep. Have you taken any MGMAT CATs? I ask because GMATPrep doesn't give you any data to analyze your performance, so it's hard to figure out what the problems are. And I can't give you very specific advice if we don't know the specific problem areas.

If you've taken one of our tests, you can use this article to analyze the data:

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... ice-tests/

If you haven't, go take one (under 100% official conditions, including essays, please!) and then analyze it. You can share the results of your analysis here. (Note: please don't post just the raw data. We want to know what you think the data means - it's important to be able to analyze the results yourself.)

You also mention that your verbal score fluctuates a lot. That's often due to timing problems, so pay particular attention to the analysis of your timing data.

_________________
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Posts: 137
Hi ,

I have been taking the GMAT Prep Exams under 100% Official Conditions .

As you said , the Verbal Drop was significant.

I have taken the MGMAT test in the past. But i will take the MGMAT again this weekend ( so that it reflects where i am currently ) and post you my analysis.

As of now i feel below are my problem areas :
1) I take much time with inequalities questions ( 2.5 - 3.25 mins)
2) Rate & Work , Overlapping Sets are posing an issue.
3) Probabilty ( As always --- Though i have improved in it But i do not care abt it much now )
4) Variable in Choices
5) Basic Equations ( Simultaneous Equations ---- That GMAT uses to question our thumb rule that 2 Variables require two equations to solve )


Verbal
1) Assumption Questions ( CR)
2) RC - I have issues with a difficult RC Passage as i tend to spend more time on it.
3) SC ( On an average i am getting 10 SC Questions Correct )...Need to really analyze this.

I am also facing one more issue. I already know a significant no of GMAT Prep Ques. Can i trust it now ?Is there a way out of the this problem ?

( But i must add that in my last test i was knowing some questions but still i got a low score :( )


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:44 pm 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 7587
Location: San Francisco
Inequalities are often used to disguise other issues or principles. See this article for an example:
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... qualities/

Rates, work, sets, and probability are not super commonly tested. Know how to answer lower level Qs of these types and know how to make a good educated guess. Then move on. :)

The VIC (variables in the answers) technique can be used quite a lot - so that's an important one to study.
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/10/ ... arithmetic

In general, you also need to be able to cut yourself off on any too-hard question in any category, even a strong area for you. Don't expect that you'll someday have studied enough such that you can answer everything correctly and in 2 minutes or less - that doesn't even happen for people scoring 750+. :) Read this:

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... anagement/

For simultaneous equations, it's important to notice something really important. In school, we were told the old rule of "2 equations, 2 variables" because you do need 2 distinct linear equations in order to solve separately for each of the 2 variables.

On the GMAT, though, they often don't ask us to solve for x and y. Rather, they might ask us to solve for x+y instead. That's very different - sometimes you can solve for that combination of variables even though you can't actually solve for x and y individually. Alternatively, they might give you three variables (a, b, and c) and only ask you to solve for c. And it might be possible to solve for c even if you can't also solve for a and b.

In other words, unlike in school, this test often does NOT ask us to solve for all of the individual variables. So if you just stick with the rule from school, you're going to fall into a trap - because the rule from school assumed that we did have to solve for all of the individual variables.

CR general: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... g-problem/
CR assumption: http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... -problems/

RC reading: the harder the passage, the LESS time you spend getting sucked into the details. Try to get the big ideas. If you have to bail on some very nitpicky detailed question, that's okay.

http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/04/ ... mp-passage
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/07/ ... rc-passage

http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/06/ ... on-problem

http://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/GMATprep-SC.cfm

Quote:
I am also facing one more issue. I already know a significant no of GMAT Prep Ques. Can i trust it now ?Is there a way out of the this problem ?
( But i must add that in my last test i was knowing some questions but still i got a low score


You may know the answers, but that doesn't mean that you've learned what you need to learn in order to get better. See the "how to analyze SC" article (the last article I linked to above). If you aren't analyzing questions in this way, then you're not learning what you need to learn from these questions - so going off and trying a bunch of new questions is a really inefficient use of your time. Learn to get better THEN try new problems.

Also, if you recognize too many GMATPrep problems now, then you shouldn't use GMATPrep to get a sense of your current scoring level. You can still do the Qs for practice, but you should use something else when you want to take a full test and try to get a sense of your current scoring level.

_________________
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:47 am 
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Posts: 137
Hi Stacey ,

I Took the MGMAT Test. I scored a 650 ( Quant -- 47 , Verbal -- 32 ) .( I knew something was going wrong )

Please find below my findings for Quant.


1) There were no strings of 4 or 3 questions incorrect.
2) There were two strings of 2 questions incorrect.
3) For Two Question i took 5 mins and for one question i took 4 mins ..Considerable time loss here.
4) Last 17 questions , i did in 25 mins.

My Weakness Areas Based on the analysis( as per the link )

Quadratic Equations
Basic Equations
Variable in Choices
Digits ( Rounding off nos -- Advanced ones)
Exponents and Roots ( Taking Too much time here )
Overlapping Sets ( Either i do it correctly or take too much time )
Rates and Work
Probability ( As Always)
Non Standard Word Problems
Divisibility and Primes -- Advanced

I am doing 68% of the Problem Solving Questions correctly with Average Difficulty level of 710 for Right answers and with Average Difficulty level of 740 for wrong answers.

I am doing 53% of the Data Sufficiency Questions correctly with Average Difficulty level of 750 for Right answers and with Average Difficulty level of 740 for wrong answers.


Last edited by aps_asks on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:28 am 
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Posts: 137
My Analysis -- Verbal

Weakness Areas in CR
1) Assumption ( I do it correctly but take extra time )
2) Analyze Arg Structure
3) Evaluate Conclusion

I am trying to go fast in the below topic(s)
1)Draw a conclusion

For CR , I am getting 50% correct with an Average Difficulty of 610 for Right answers and 710 for wrong answers.

Weakness Areas in RC
1) Main Idea, Tone ( I never do Passage Tone Questions correctly )
2) Passage Structure
I am going too fast in the above areas and getting it wrong.

For Specific Detail Questions, I take too much time for this question 3 mins 4 sec on an average but I am doing 60 percent of them correctly.I need to speed up in this area without comprimising accuracy.
For Inference Questions I am either moving too fast or too slow.
For RC I am getting 58% correct with an average difficult for right answers to be 560 and average difficulty of 600 for wrong answers
For RC I am spending more time reading the long passages . Spending between 5 min - 6min for reading long passages

Weakness Areas in SC
1) Modifiers
2) Clarity of Meaning , Concision
3) Idioms
For SC I am getting 53% correct with an average difficult for right answers to be 640 and average difficulty of 680 for wrong answers

I had 5 Questions Wrong in a bunch from 27 - 31 and my score suffered due to that. It fell from 82 percentile to 69 percentile and never recovered after that.The Problem is that I encountered a tough 4th RC Passage ( long one ). And I went a little fast on the passage and did it incorrectly( All the 3 Questions of the RC passage i did in correctly ).

Also ,I was not having much time for the Questions in end. I did the last 10 Question in 12.5 minutes

Please tell me whether i am going the right way with regard to analyzing my test.If possible , please give me a sample link of analysis that i need to do.You might have encountered one from one of your students.

All this was high level Analysis. I am still continuing with detailed analysis for each Question.


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:52 am 
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Posts: 137
Also please let me know which test should i take to test my scoring level accurately.

Will GMAT Paper and Pencil Test Help??

Will Manhattan GMAT tests suffice??

How about 800 score?

Please let me know your comments.

How much will my score be inflated if i take GMAT Prep test under strict official conditions?


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:06 pm 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 7587
Location: San Francisco
Quote:
3) For Two Question i took 5 mins and for one question i took 4 mins ..Considerable time loss here.
4) Last 17 questions , i did in 25 mins.


That equals significant timing problems, particularly item #4. Start doing what that time management articles says (if you haven't already).

Quote:
I am doing 53% of the Data Sufficiency Questions correctly with Average Difficulty level of 750 for Right answers and with Average Difficulty level of 740 for wrong answers.


In future, when discussing the above, also include timing data - you need percent correct, diff level, and timing, all three, in order to understand what's going on. The fact that your diff level is higher for the ones you got right, coupled with your discussion of timing issues leads me to believe that you are probably going over time more often on PS, which means that you're probably rushing more often on DS to make up for the time, and that's causing some careless errors and that sort of thing. Check the data - is that part of what's going on?

For verbal, I gave you some resources last time. Look at those first, and then move on to the below:

RC: don't worry about tone - they're very infrequent
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/09/ ... prehension
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/11/ ... il-problem
http://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/a ... estion.cfm

CR:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2009/10/ ... -questions
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2012/02/ ... en-problem
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/04/ ... en-problem
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/01/ ... on-problem
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/02/ ... ce-problem

SC: also go through our blog posts for the past 6 months for more on modifiers and meaning
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... orrection/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... on-part-2/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... h-meaning/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... problem-2/

Don't use the paper and pencil tests - they are very different from taking a CAT. Start with both MGMAT and GMATPrep CATs (which gives you a total of 8). If you need more, then 800Score is good - but don't just keep taking a ton of tests. Take a test and then study A LOT until you really feel you've improved before you take another!

Quote:
How much will my score be inflated if i take GMAT Prep test under strict official conditions?


I assume you mean how much will your score be artificially inflated if you do NOT take CATs under official conditions? There's no way to tell how much, but in general, when people skip the essays, do the test sections on different days, take longer breaks than allowed, use the pause button - basically do anything that would be an advantage and is not allowed on the real test - then there's the danger that your score is artificially inflated. But the only way to tell how much is to take a test under 100% official conditions and see what you get then!

_________________
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Posts: 137
Thanks Stacey for your Inputs

Please find the link to the Assessment Summary Report

http://postimage.org/image/clktqxu87/

I am indeed spending a little more time in Data Sufficiency.The Difficulty levels are high in this area. But the Percentage correct is also less here.


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:04 pm 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 7587
Location: San Francisco
Nope - I'm not going to do the analysis for you. The ability to do this self-analysis is a really important skill for you to develop.

For example, did you happen to see a harder mix of data sufficiency questions than problem solving? That can happen randomly. If so, a lower percentage correct would make sense, as well as somewhat higher time (since we do spend a little bit longer on harder questions - which is okay, as long as it's within reason).

That sort of thing. So what do you think this all means?

Also, dive into some of the individual categories. FDP % correct is great but timing is high. (Okay, fine, I did look. :) Why is timing high? Was it one question or do you tend to be high on these in general? Can you learn to be more efficient?

Contrast that with timing on incorrect Geo. Too slow - learn to cut those off faster. And so on.

_________________
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:38 am 
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Posts: 137
Hi Stacey ,

Thanks for providing me a direction.

I got into the individual categories for Quant.

Please find below my analysis for individual areas

FDP
I am taking more time on the topic digits for FDP
3 min 50 secs ( i.e. almost 4 minutes for Digit Questions )
Hence the increase in average timing for right answers for FDP
Need to be efficient here.

Geometry
I need to improve in Triangles and Diagonals,Polygons area for Geometry ( Similiar Triangles )
I am taking almost 3 minutes for the Questions in these areas.
Need to be efficient here.

Algebra
I am consuming on an average 3 mins 40 sec for the Questions with regard to Quadratic Equations.
Hence getting in a negative time position.
I knew i am weak in the area.
I am already studying this area.

I also need to work on Exponential Equations as i am consuming 2 min 36 sec per right question.


Word Translations

Overlapping Sets -- Major Problem area. Consuming much time here.
3min 45 sec for right Questions.
2min 46 sec for wrong questions.
I know the concepts. Need to increase the speed.

Need to revist this. But very quickly.Most Probably will be taking this area for review today.

Number Properties
Taking more time for the Problems in Divisibility and Primes.
2 min 48 sec for right answers.
But the problems are generally hard in this area.
Good thing is i got 3 out of 4 correct.
Will try to be efficient here. But this is a bit lower priority area compared to others.


Taking too much time for Exponents and Roots .3min 10 secs to be precise.

But , as pointed out above.I am weak with exponents.


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:09 am 
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Posts: 137
Links....Just for your reference.

I will be doing the Analysis :

Analysis report by topic for Quant:

Algebra

http://postimage.org/image/pndrrq7i5/

FDP's

http://postimage.org/image/krnx59bif/

Geometry

http://postimage.org/image/9b8bfqil7/

Number Properties

http://postimage.org/image/rmudj51tp/

Word Translations

http://postimage.org/image/ek5qdkabr/


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:51 am 
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Posts: 137
Verbal Analysis by Topic

Critical Reasoning :
Expected Time -- 2mins
Too Much TIme -- 3 + mins

Taking too much time in the below areas for Crtical Reasoning.Need to improve.
1) Find the Assumption --
Time for Right Answers -- 2 mins 16 secs
Time for Wrong Answers -- 2 mins 53 secs

2) Strenghten Conclusion
Time for Right Answers -- 2 mins 12 secs
Time for Wrong Answers -- 2 mins 52 secs
I used to think that i am very good at strengthening conclusions. :)

Need to revisit Analyze Argument Structure as i find it confusing.


Reading Comprehension

Doing 67% of the questions in the Main Idea category incorrectly.
I need to improve in this area.

Though i did the Entire 4th passage incorrectly , which was because of the below reasons:
1) Encountered a very long 4th passage ( Very Unusual ...We do not usually get long 4th passages )
2) Did not have surplus time But exact time.
I tried to rush through the 4th passage by not paying much attention.

Overall i feel i am fairly good with regard to the Reading Comprehension area.



Sentence Correction

I take too much time in the below areas :
1) Modifiers
I generally find Modifiers difficult.Spent around 3 mins for one of the modifier question.
2) Clarity of meaning
Spent around 3 mins 20 secs for one of the question in this category.

I always find that whenever i revise the SC ( By Seeing a lot of SC questions before the GMAT Exam )...My SC Performance increases.

For this particular test...I did not study at all.

I just wanted to find where i stand.

Links for Verbal Assestment Reports ( By Topics ) -- Just for your reference

Critical Reasoning
http://postimage.org/image/hh0h84jg3/


Reading Comprehension
http://postimage.org/image/cdwmzzsqd/

Sentence Correction
http://postimage.org/image/634r5fu6f/


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:31 am 
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ManhattanGMAT Staff


Posts: 7587
Location: San Francisco
Quant.

For the areas where you say "need to be more efficient" - how are you going to do that? (I have an answer, but I'm asking because this is the kind of thing you need to ask yourself, too.)

On some questions, you'll study more efficient solution methods. These are the questions that you completely get after reading the solutions and you're mostly just thinking "Oh, why didn't I think of doing it that way?" or "Oh, that's what they were talking about? Now I get it." Then your task is to figure out what clues in the problem should have triggered the "they're talking about this" and "I should do it this way" thoughts.

On other questions, though, you'll say, "Yep, they got me on this one. This one was way too hard. I should have let it go." When? How would you have made this decision? And how should you then have guessed?

Also, what's the tradeoff for these ones on which you're spending too much time? On the two quad eqn questions, you lost a total of 3.5 minutes (and got 1 right). Did you have other Qs on which you made careless mistakes because you were rushing? You know the ones, where you say "I can't believe I did that! How did I get that wrong?" If you had gotten both of the quad eqn wrong in about 2 minutes each, you could have added that 3.5 minutes to 3 to 4 questions on which you spent not enough time, and you might have gotten more than 1 of those right. (Which is likely if you did have a number of too-fast-careless-errors.)

Verbal.

For CR - it's not that you're spending too much time on all. It's that you're spending too much time when you don't know how to answer the question. You're being stubborn and hanging on for an extra 40-ish seconds. Let those go faster!

CR analyze structure:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/02/ ... ce-problem

SC mods and meaning:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/03/ ... sc-problem
http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/03/ ... -problem-2

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... orrection/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... on-part-2/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... h-meaning/
http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... problem-2/

You can also search our blog for the last roughly 6 months for more. :)

_________________
Stacey Koprince
Instructor
Director of Online Community
ManhattanGMAT


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Confidence Issue
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Posts: 137
Hi Stacey ,

I have read all the articles that you suggested and the articles were indeed helpful.

I have also realized that i do spend more time on CR Questions.
Because of many reasons.
1 ) Sometimes i do not understand the question type ( If it is twisted)
2) I do not write main points in CR as i do in RC. I do realized that writing in CR ques also helps in comprehension.

For SC , i did went though the forums.

For Quant , i am asking myself the same questions that u asked me.
I got some answers regarding where i should focus.

I am following the approach , that if i am not able to do a question in 2 minutes then there is something wrong.

I plan to take a practice GMAT next week. ( 7th April ).

Thanks


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