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How do I Review my CAT?

This topic has 4 expert replies and 1 member reply
Blackkings Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
15 Nov 2016
Posted:
2 messages

How do I Review my CAT?

Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:25 pm
This Might Seem like a simple question, but what is the best strategy for reviewing my CATs. In the past, I would review every question right and wrong and add them to my error log. This process didn't help much since I'll never see these questions again, and it is also very time-consuming. I wanted to know if I'm doing this process right or does anyone have any tips on how to improve this process?

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Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:21 pm
Blackkings wrote:
This Might Seem like a simple question, but what is the best strategy for reviewing my CATs. In the past, I would review every question right and wrong and add them to my error log. This process didn't help much since I'll never see these questions again, and it is also very time-consuming. I wanted to know if I'm doing this process right or does anyone have any tips on how to improve this process?
Focus more on the forest and less on the trees. The individual questions are only worth reviewing to the extent that they give you insight into what strategies are working for you and what categories you need to devote more time to. So the emphasis shouldn't be on making sure you understand the individual questions you've missed - though that is worthwhile - it should be on distilling the test into 3-5 concrete actionable steps. If, upon review, it turned out you were missing questions because you were spending too much time doing brutal algebra and not employing simple strategies, such as picking number and working with the answer choices, that's one thing. If you were missing questions because you simply require more practice in a given category, that's quite another. And, of course, there could be a blend. It's possible that after one test, your action steps will look something like: 1) remember to pick '100' as a starting value for tough percent change questions, 2) do drills to improve at rate/work questions and combinatorics, and 3) remember to try the assumption negation technique for tough "assumption" question in Critical Reasoning. Then, once some time has passed, you'll repeat the process on the next practice test. Wash/rinse/repeat until you're hitting or exceeding your goal score.

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Post Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:12 am
Hi Blackkings,

With this post, you're clearly focused on one aspect of the study "process", but there might be other factors involved (before you get to this type of review) that are impacting your overall experience. Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What materials have you used?
3) How have you scored on each of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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Blackkings Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
15 Nov 2016
Posted:
2 messages
Post Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:17 am
1) I've been studying on and off for 2 years, Yes it seems like a long time but my current job is extremly demanding, think almost as if I'm deployed in the military for 90% of the year, Mining sector.
2) I First Used the Kaplan Primer, then I purchased a Kaplan online course, with an online tutor. Now I am currently using Kaplan online and doing the Manhattan Books to sure up my weak spots these seem to be making a difference.
3) CAT Scores:

GMATPREP FREE 1: IR 2, Q(38) V(30) 570
GMATPREP FREE 2: IR 2, Q(39) V(32) 590
KAPLAN CAT1: IR 3, Q(44) V(32) 630
KAPLAN CAT2: IR 2, Q(43) V(35) 640

Goals:
4) My goal score Is 710-720
5) Planning on Taking the GMAT at end of May, Have taken it twice but this time i'll move it back if CAT's aren't indicating my desired Range.
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School? First Round 2018
7) Looking at NYU, Georgetown, Columbia, Michigan Ross, IEA, University College London.

Post Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:06 am
Hi Blackkings,

As challenging as it may be, you likely need at commit to at least 2 months of consistent, guided study to hit your score goal. While there's an 'upward trend' in your practice CAT scores, these results are not as different from one another as they may appear. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 4 CAT score results all revolve around 600 or so - which could mean that you essentially performed the same way each time (+/- a few points).

I have a few questions about how you took these CATs:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take the Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Jennifer@Kaplan Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Joined
12 Oct 2015
Posted:
28 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Thanked:
2 times
Post Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:14 pm
Hi Blackkings,

Every time you take a practice CAT, you should go back and review your approach to each question with an eye on the big picture, as you were advised above. What is the best strategy for the given question, and was there a particular mistake that you made, especially if it was multiple times, that you can train yourself to avoid in the future with practice in the Qbank? I will also add that after you finish the Item Review in your Kaplan CATs, you can click on the Performance Summary to see a breakdown of your performance by topic or question type. This tool is a great way to assess your current strengths and weaknesses and to help you determine what area to target in your next study session or your next GMAT Channel session. Also, reach out to your Kaplan tutor at any time for some extra advice! That’s why we’re here!

Best,
Jennifer Kindy

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