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#### Likelihood to score 700+?

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 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:52 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 7964
Location: San Francisco
 Nice! Yes, it might be a little inflated if you picked up time (would the problem still be on the screen, but the timing wouldn't be counted, so you had more time on problems?).Quote:The quant section felt awful, truthfully.Good. You WANT that feeling. If you're really doing terribly, the questions will get a lot easier, and you won't keep feeling awful. The most awful feeling is reserved for when you are working at the absolute peak of your ability - because then you're also seeing a lot of questions that really are too hard for you. You can only get those if you earn them. :)Have you ever heard of the Peter Principle? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_PrincipleWell, the way this test works, you rise to the level of your inability. ;) Oh, wow, and you still had to rush through 6 Qs at the end and got the score that you got? Okay, you're in good shape. You've got work to do, but you're going in the right direction. Keep it up.Quote:From what I understand, higher level questions tend to be less about brute force calculations and more conceptual and strategy-focused. Please correct me if I'm wrong.Yes, there are often "elegant" solutions to really hard questions. But it's often tough to spot the elegant solution unless you really understand the brute force / computation heavy methods as well as the actual theory behind it. That's what lets you cut through the junk.Are you struggling with all kinds of calculations? Certain things? Usually people are slower only with certain things. Struggling with translation from words to math? Exponent and root manipulation? Hopping back and forth between fractions, decimals, and percents?Anything that's more pure lower-level computation you can find in our Foundations of Math book - lots of drills to help you make it more automatic.Here's an article on translation:http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... into-Math/Next CAT comes when (a) you think you've gotten a good handle on the timing issue, and (b) you've made significant progress on many (but not necessarily all) of the content areas that you identified as weaknesses on your last CAT. Not sure what those are? See below.http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... ice-tests/ _________________Stacey KoprinceInstructorDirector of Online CommunityManhattanGMAT

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:43 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18
 Hi Stacey,I was hoping I could get some input on my study plan moving forward. I've finished the OG12 for quant and have moved onto the Quant2 book. Things were going pretty smoothly--I was doing 10 questions in a row to practice my timing, etc. However, now that I've gotten to the 600-700 level questions (somewhere around Q130 out of 175), I feel pretty stumped if I attempt it in the 2:00 time frame. I'm averaging only 50% correct. A lot of the time, I simply cannot do it fast enough, either due to translations or just calculations.Although this is discouraging, I'm not letting it get me down. I believe I can improve on this and I remember one of your posts saying that you certainly don't need to master everything to get a 700--you just need to be great with the basics. I believe I'm getting there, but it is discouraging to see the drop off in ability between the 500-600 level to 600-700.I was wondering, does it make sense for me to continue to push forward doing 10 in a row? Or is there a more efficient and effective studying technique. At this point, it's certainly helping me get my 2:00 internal clock developed, but I don't really start "doing" the problems completely until I've gone back and error-checked.Since my last post, I've done some work on speeding up my calculations, but I think there's still room for improvement.Any insight is greatly appreciated.Thanks,Jason

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:03 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 2674

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:32 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18
 Hi Jamie and Stacey,Thanks for your responses. I've since completed the Quant book--the last 20 or so questions seemed more manageable than the preceding 20. Something I found a bit odd, but I'll take what I can get.I'm happy to report that I finally scored 700 on a MGMAT CAT (Q45 V40).Seeing as I've finished the MGMAT guides, OG12, and Quant book, where should I go now (my test date is June 2)? I have the Advanced Quant guide, so I'm planning on going through that. I know I also need to work on my timing as well, but I'm not entirely sure how to do that, as I've already completed all of the OG materials.Also, my verbal scores have hit a plateau at around 38-40 in my 4 CATs, with errors spread pretty evenly across RC, SC, and CR. I've been keeping an error log to help identify what types of questions I get wrong and why I get them wrong. Is there anything else I can do? I'd really like to be scoring around 45, and I'm hoping that this is possible in the remaining 1.5 months that I have.Finally, how should I be splitting my time between quant and verbal?Any help is greatly appreciated.Thanks,Jason

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:09 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 7964
Location: San Francisco

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:35 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18
 Hi Stacey,I'm happy to report that I was able to score significantly higher on my verbal. My total score for the most recent exam was 740 (Q46 V45) and I actually did the essays this time.Overall, I'm not entirely sure how to feel about my quant score. It has ranged from 44, 45, 47, and 46 for the past 4 exams, in that order. It's more variance than I'd like, although perhaps it's not statistically significant. This time around, I really screwed up timing. I made a note on the top of each scratch paper page about which question I should be on and how much time I should have left, except I did it incorrectly. I was 10 minutes behind at one point because of that...yikes. Additionally, I somewhat stupidly did not answer the last question, which further hurt my quant score, I'm sure.I noticed that my accuracy for 600 - 700 questions has improved drastically from my previous tests, now in the 75% range. However, my 700 - 800 accuracy dropped considerably. I was scoring around 50% and it dropped to around 25%. I'm not entirely sure why this happened and I'm not sure if this should concern me.I've noticed that the number of 700 - 800 level questions I received in this exam was quite a bit less than previous exams, even though I thought my performance was on par with my previous exams. While I understand that the official GMAT and practice tests are computer adaptive, do they draw from isolated "pools" of questions with varying amounts of questions from each difficulty level? In other words, if I were to perform similarly on two tests, is it possible that I may see a significantly different number of 700 - 800 level questions?As always, any insight would be greatly appreciated.Thanks,Jason

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Tue May 15, 2012 11:15 am
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 7964
Location: San Francisco
 Nice! The quant score variance is not unusual. The trend is generally up, and dropping by 1 point on the last test is not statistically significant. Especially because you really messed up the timing. Fix that timing issue and your quant score will likely recover or possibly go up even more!Quote:I noticed that my accuracy for 600 - 700 questions has improved drastically from my previous tests, now in the 75% range. However, my 700 - 800 accuracy dropped considerably. I was scoring around 50% and it dropped to around 25%. I'm not entirely sure why this happened and I'm not sure if this should concern me.Good. :) The lower level questions are actually more important, because if you miss those, then you can only score so high. You want to be performing at such a high level that you start getting problems that really are way too hard for you - in which case, you're going to get them wrong. So this is fine.Our exams pull from the same big pool of questions, and I believe the real test is the same way, although I'm not sure that they've actually disclosed that info. But it is possible to have some fluctuation in the actual number, yes, depending upon the way in which you move through the section. Someone could be doing really well and getting almost all 700+, then crash and burn towards the end and the score could drop significantly. Someone else could be on more of a steady trajectory, so the difficulty levels wouldn't have big peaks and crashes, and that could result in a lower number of 700+ Qs overall even though the final score might be higher. (This is all because wherever you end is what you get in terms of score - it isn't the case that you finish and then everything gets averaged together.) _________________Stacey KoprinceInstructorDirector of Online CommunityManhattanGMAT

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:23 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18
 Hi Stacey,I just took the GMAT and, unfortunately, I did not get my ideal score. I scored 690 (Q46, V38). I had been scoring consistently between 720 - 740 in my practice tests, including GMATPrep with Q46-47 and V42-44.While I am disappointed, I'm really just more curious as to what happened. I really thought quant was going well--better than it had ever gone in the past. My pacing was much better. In fact, I actually finished with an extra 30 seconds, whereas I typically rushed the last two questions. I was incredibly surprised when I saw the (relatively low) raw score of 46.Then came verbal. It started out fine, but then I hit a wall. I couldn't focus anymore and the verbal seemed more difficult than it ever had in the past. I was surprised that I hit that wall, as I had practiced full length tests. Normally there are some SC that confuse me, but almost all of them confounded me this time around. Additionally, I typically don't have issues with RC and CR, but I found myself guessing on more than I'd like to admit.For my own mental health, I'm going to take a week off or so. I've been feeling pretty burnt out. However, I'd like to establish some type of attack plan for when I do resume and I was hoping you could give some insight into that.Some thoughts...1. Reset the GMATPrep tests and retake them to get a better idea of what they typically try to trick you on2. Review MGMAT SC book3. Review MGMAT Advanced Quant book4. I'm not sure if my error log is helpful anymore, especially in quant. I've been scoring around 80% correct in the 600 - 800 level questions, with a pretty even split across all subject types.5. Ideally, I'd like to be scoring Q50 and V45 in order to build a comfortable buffer for the next testUntil next time...Jason

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:09 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 7964
Location: San Francisco

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:56 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:36 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 7964
Location: San Francisco
 Quote:The reason I say this is because I was actually ahead of the 2 minute per question pace for a good portion of the quant section, something that has never happened to me in the past.I was hyper aware of timing during the actual test, especially because I had yet to finish a practice test with good timing.Ding, ding, ding. Yep. You overcompensated, which is one typical stage along the path to nailing the timing - but you want that overcompensation to happen in practice, not on the real test, obviously. You'll eventually find the right balance, but you need to do some more work with the timing to get there.You can reuse old materials for this - learning how to get more efficient at some questions that take you too long, learning how to let go and guess on other ones that are Just Too Hard, etc. Learn HOW using the old materials, then use new materials to test yourself (to see whether you really did learn how).Re: verbal, there have been changes to SC and CR over the past year and those changes wouldn't have been in OG12 or GMATPrep. The proportion of SC questions dealing with meaning has been increasing - meaning questions have always existed, but not in as high a proportion. Also, the proportion of CR questions written in the "Complete the Argument" or "Fill in the Blank" format has also been increasing (any argument type can be written this way - the important thing is to know how to recognize which type of argument it is). Did you feel like you saw any of these changes on the real test? (For SC, it might have felt more like "I don't understand what the original sentence is trying to say" or "I can't find splits" or "I've narrowed it down to 2 but now I have no idea how to decide.")I just wrote an article about the SC stuff - check our blog over the next few days (not sure when it's going to go live). If you think CR was an issue, you may want to look into the 5th edition of our CR book - we added a chapter on how to deal with Complete the Argument types and also revamped the general CR strategy. Here's an idea of what that general strategy looks like now:http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... g-problem/Depending on whether you took our course, etc, you may be eligible for a discount on that new book - talk to our student services team (studentservices@manhattangmat.com or 800.576.GMAT).Sources of new official questions:- OG13 (About 200 total Q+V are new, plus gives access to 50 IR questions)- GMATPrep 2.0 (CATs have roughly same database of questions, but there are 15 free practice questions of each type, including IR, and you can also buy GMATPrep Pack #1, which consists of ~200 Q and ~200 V plus 24 IR questions - total cost \$25.But again remember that you're going to be using your old Qs too. Learn from the old, then test yourself on the new - that's your mantra. :) _________________Stacey KoprinceInstructorDirector of Online CommunityManhattanGMAT

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:16 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18
 Hi Stacey,Well, I'm back again, after continuing to study and refine my weak areas. I've taken a look at all the articles you posted, as well as looking through the blog for SC and CR articles.I just took the quant portion of a CAT today, and I saw more than a handful of repeats--I want to say around 15+!By the way, my quant score went down, even despite these repeats, to 45. More than a few of the errors I made were due to sloppy calculations and/or understanding of the question prompt. Overall, I felt much more comfortable with the material and fewer questions absolutely "stumped" me. I'm hoping this drop is just a fluke, perhaps due to careless errors and/or not taking a CAT in 30+ days. Still, a drop with repeat questions is somewhat discouraging.My main question is this: How many repeated questions can I expect to get? I saw in one of your posts that I'll likely see more repeated questions if I haven't improved drastically. That being said, at the Q45+ level, is the question bank for 600 - 800 questions pretty limited? Is there a better use of my time?Thanks,Jason

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:41 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 32
 jhwang116,I was hoping to ask you for some quick advice on the best method you found for breaking the 700 barrier on your practice tests. My last four practice tests have been in the 670-680 range. My quant is the lower score so I was wondering if you had any tips on how you boosted your quant to get you from the 680 to 700 range. I.e. what was most helpful: the Adv Quant book or timed sets, etc?Thanks!

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:42 pm
 Course Students

Posts: 18
 Hey,I would say the biggest jump of improvement for me came with getting a better handle on timing. I think I went from Q38 to Q44 in less than a month just by being more aware of timing. The biggest thing to learn is when to "let go." I improved my timing overall by working on sets of 10 or so questions in a row, trying to finish within 2 minutes for each question. By doing this, I was able to get a better internal 2-minute clock, as well as build stamina.On a final note, the Advanced Quant book shouldn't really be used until you're comfortably scoring Q45.Hope this helps,Jason

 Post subject: Re: Likelihood to score 700+?  Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:47 pm
 ManhattanGMAT Staff

Posts: 7964
Location: San Francisco
 Re: the repeats question (first new post), it can really vary and it is the luck of the draw to some extent. It also depends how much you happen to remember - there are plenty of people who don't remember the repeated questions. :)You're really remembering them, though, so it sounds like you need to get a new set of tests. We've negotiated a discount for our students with 800Score (note: whether you qualify depends upon what you've actually done with us). Check your student center for the discount or contact studentservices@manhattangmat.com to ask.Quote:I'm hoping this drop is just a fluke, perhaps due to careless errors and/or not taking a CAT in 30+ days.There's a good way to find out. Start going through all the questions. :) Ask yourself exactly why you missed something. If it was due to a careless error, don't just say "oh well." Articulate *precisely* what caused the error and figure out what you can do differently next time to minimize the chances of repeating the same kind of error.Thanks for answering your fellow student's request for advice and I LOVE what you had to say. Too many people don't realize how huge of an impact the timing has - and it's hard to understand intuitively that getting some questions wrong faster is actually a strategic advantage that can lift your score. But that is exactly how things work. :) _________________Stacey KoprinceInstructorDirector of Online CommunityManhattanGMAT

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