### Practicing Sets of GMAT Problems: Mimic the Real Test (Part 2 of 3)

*Guess what? You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free—we’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.*

Last time, we talked about all of the basics of creating practice problem sets. Today, we’re going to talk about how to create larger sets that really mimic the GMAT testing experience. (If you haven’t read the first part yet, do start there.)

**What are my goals for these larger sets of GMAT problems?**

When you’ve made it through your primary review of all study materials (all question types and content areas), you’re ready to start doing larger problem sets: 8, 12, 16. (I’ll tell you later why these are all multiples of 4.)

Your goal is two-fold:

—Test (and continue to build) your skills on all this stuff you’ve been studying.

—Practice your overall business-decision-making skills (in other words, practice under conditions that mimic the real GMAT as closely as possible). Read more

### Practicing Sets of GMAT Problems: Mimic the Real Test (Part 1 of 3)

*Guess what? You can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person GMAT courses absolutely free—we’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.*

When you first start studying, you’re going to do GMAT problems one at a time and then check your work and analyze the problem. But, eventually, you’re going to need to graduate to *sets* of GMAT problems that allow you to practice your executive decision-making—as on the real test.

So how do you do that? How many should you do at once? Where should you get those problems? How should you choose which ones to do?

That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about right now. Read more

### How to Create the Most Effective GMAT Problem Sets (Part 1)

You’ve heard a million times that you’re supposed to create Official Guide (OG) problem sets in order to practice for the test. But *how* do you actually do so in a way that will help you get the most out of your study?

Fear not! This article is coming to your rescue.

Initially, when you’re studying a new topic or problem type, you won’t do sets of problems; instead, you’ll just try one problem at a time. As you gain experience, though, you’re going to want to do 3 problems in a row, or 5, or 10.

### Why?

Because the real test will never give you just one problem!

The GMAT will give you many questions in a row and they’ll be all jumbled up—an SC, then a couple of CRs, then back to another SC (that tests different grammar rules than the first one), and so on.

You want to practice two things:

(1) Jumping around among question types and topics

(2) Managing your timing and mental energy among a group of questions

### When do I start doing problem sets?

You’re going to use problem sets to test your skills, so you’ve got to develop some of those skills first. If you’re using our Strategy Guides to study, then at the end of one chapter, you’ll do only two or three OG problems to make sure that you understood the material in the chapter.

Later, though, when you finish the Guide, do a set of problems that mix topics (and question types) from that entire book. Make sure you can distinguish between the similar-but-not-quite-the-same topics in that book, and also practice your skills on both problem solving and data sufficiency. As you finish subsequent Guides, your sets can include problems from everything you’ve done so far. Keep mixing it up!

### How do I make the sets?

You’ll need to balance three things when you create a problem set:

(1) *Number of problems.* Initially, start out with about 3 to 5 problems. As you gain experience and add topics, you’ll increase the size of the sets—we’ll talk more about this a little later.

(2) *Type of problem and content.*

(a) For quant, always do a mix of Problem Solving (PS) and Data Sufficiency (DS). For verbal, mix at least two of the three types; you can include all three types in larger sets.

(b) Do *not* do a set of 3 or more questions all from the same chapter or content area—for example, don’t do 3 exponents questions in a row. You know exactly what you’re about to get and the real test will never be this nice to you.

(3) *Difficulty level.*

(a) Include a mix of easier, medium, and harder questions in your set. For all types except Reading Comprehension, the OG places problems in *roughly* increasing order of difficulty. On average, aroblem 3 is easier than a problem 50, which is easier than a problem 102. (This does not mean that problem 5 is necessarily harder than problem 3. In general, higher question numbers represent harder questions, but the increase is not linear from problem to problem.)

(b) Note: your personal strengths and weaknesses will affect how you perceive the problems—you might think a lower-numbered problem is hard or a higher-numbered problem is easy. They are… for you! Expect that kind of outcome sometimes.

### Timing!

Next, calculate how much time to give yourself to do the problem set.

Read more