Sunday, October 17, 2010

Face the demons - Review All, Round off & other learnings

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This week I took a Manhattan GMAT CAT. Just prior to my first GMAT test, I had taken the MGMAT free CAT and was unable to finish the quant section. The verbal section was completed in a complete rush, owing to my not having answered 12-15 questions in the quant section. I was so disappointed with the poor score of 580, I had decided that some of the GMAT forum members who say that the score you get in the MGMAT is not as important as the practice, were right.

Now that my studies and mock CATs have resumed I thought it would be useful to give the MGMAT CAT a try again. After buying the paid CATs, I gave my 2nd CAT and again faced the same difficulty. Far too many tough questions coming to me in a row, I couldn't keep pace. Lost out in a similar way by not answering the last 10-12 questions and got a 590. I spoke to a MGMAT user, who eventually went on to get a 760 and he believed that the MGMAT could be completed in time and that should be the aim. I also so a few other fellow bloggers post their MGMAT scores and thought maybe I need to face it fairly.

This week I took the MGMAT CAT 3. I guess owing to a lot more quant practice (remember my GMAT take 1 score of Q48 isn't so bad in itself), I kept a focus not on the timer, but on the questions this time. My aim was solve and move to the next. I have to get it right in the first attempt to solve, else I take my best guess and move on. This time I felt I performed well. I was getting more and more DS problems on number properties. Got a score of 650 (Q 47 , V32). I was glad I even got something with a significant score difference. Faced the demons and now for more to go!

My next aim is to review ALL my verbal questions across all Grockit games and CATs I've taken and write a comprehensive word document on all my points of failure. Most SC questions across tests/exams, tend to repeat with the same mistakes being tested and I'm going for trends. I'm also reviewing a few of the notes from other GMAT takers, ones I've listed in 'GMAT notes/resources' in the Resources Tab. Sometimes the explanations they have amalgamated for my mistakes make things more clear.

For Quants, a friend of mine who has got a 730 with a Q50 has advised me to study my tables uptil 24 and Squares and Cubes until the number 20. I can understand his point when he says you tend to then recognize numbers very quickly, during factorizing or division. Another great tip he gave me was to check if the answer choices are significantly different in value, and if so, try to round of numbers to solve problems quicker. I did try this late last night on a practice game in Grockit and it worked for me. My timings reduced. But I think it should be done with some caution.

Next week, on for more CATs. Hope some of my learnings in this post are helpful to all of you GMAT takers. Good luck!

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