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You know the concept, the setup, the steps. You have equations ready and a prowess with algebra. You solve the problem and come up with what is certainly the correct answer, yet you quickly find that answer is not one of the answer choices. You, my friend, are in danger of having just committed a careless error. Read more
A student of mine once emailed me after he took the GMAT. Instead of telling me his score, he wrote, “let’s just say that 4 times my score is a multiple of 88, and 5 times my score is a multiple of 35.”
Can you tell what he got? If not…you may need to work on your GMAT translation skills! Read more
Note: This is Manhattan GMAT instructor Ceilidh Erickson’s first post on our blog. Here is her bio. Welcome Ceilidh in the comment section!
Has this happened to you? You’re reviewing a practice test, and you look at a question you got wrong. That was just a stupid mistake, you say, I should have gotten that one right. I’ll get it next time.
That’s not a big deal; we all make stupid mistakes sometimes “ momentary brain lapses, skipping steps, or just writing down the wrong thing when we knew the right answer. The problem is that unlike in high school, when your teacher might have given you partial credit, on the GMAT there’s no distinction between almost right and completely wrong! You understood the question, solved it all correctly, but then just clicked the wrong answer? Too bad, that’s still a wrong answer.
Careless errors are the #1 cause of score drops on the GMAT! They cause you to miss easier questions, hurting your score a lot more than not know how to solve the harder ones. The biggest mistake that GMAT students make when studying is not tracking errors from the very beginning.
If you want to improve your score on the GMAT, it’s not enough just to know which problems you got wrong. You need to know why you got them wrong. Think about it this way “ if you were just learning to play baseball, and every time you got up to the plate you swung and missed, you wouldn’t just say, oh well, my mistake, I missed it. You’d want to analyze exactly why you were missing it. Did you swing too early? Too late? Above or below the ball? Is your batting stance wrong?
When I make an error, I get excited. Seriously “ you should be excited when you make errors, too. I know that I’m about to learn something and get better, and that’s definitely worth getting excited!
Errors can come in several different forms: careless errors, content errors, and technique errors. We’re going to discuss something critical today: how to learn from your errors so that you don’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. First, let’s define these different error types.