Need to improve score on Quant.

This topic has 5 member replies
Pachyderm Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
31 Mar 2007
4 messages

Need to improve score on Quant.

Post Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:36 pm
I took the GMAT a month ago after a couple months of sporadic studying.

The following are the materials I used:

1) OG 11 (Did 1/3 of it without timing myself)
2) KAPLAN GMAT 2006 (finished)
3) 1 GMATPrep CD test

Although I originally had plans for studying rigorously and taking practice exams under real test-like situations, it never truly came to fruition. Instead of postponing the exam, I decided to bite the bullet and see where I'm at.

To my disappointment, the following were my results:

Verbal: 40 (90%)
Math: 35 (45%)
AWA: 5
Total: 620 (76%)

I was mostly suprised by my poor quant. score, since I've done relatively well when I practiced problems at home. On the test day, I totally lost pace during the quant. section, ended up skipping problems and rushed through the end without answering a few questions. A classic case of time mismanagement!

Luckily, I was able to put most of it behind me when I got to the verbal section, but it was too late to salvage my total score.

Well, I'm planning to take another crack at the GMAT this summer. And obviously, I will work on relearning quant. fundamentals and pacing.

My goal is a 720 or higher. That would mean getting 5 more points on verbal and 15 more points on quant. I've ordered the KAPLAN 800 book and Manhattan GMAT's SC work book. Some of your posts should be of help, so Thank You!

I'd greatly appreciate any tips you might have to offer.
Eric, I reviewed your posts. Thanks! A question: I discovered that some of the tools such as Ursula's Excel Grid was no longer available on line. Would it be possible to get that from someone?

Thanks again!

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Post Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:39 pm
Glad to see your renewed spirit to reach your goal on the GMAT!

Here's Ursula's Grid:

The resources available on this website still exist--check out the new GMAT Resource Wiki:

Best of luck!

Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

RachelAL Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
07 Mar 2007
26 messages
Post Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:18 am

You say "I was mostly suprised by my poor quant. score, since I've done relatively well when I practiced problems at home. On the test day, I totally lost pace during the quant."... did you ever try a full practice exam, or did you just practice problems? I think you just need to practice keeping the pace.

Tips (learned from MGMAT):
1) Get a stop watch and keep a time log for each question. You should time yourself one question at a time, and then maybe 15 questions at a time. This way you get an idea of how well you are pacing yourself.

2) TAKE PRACTICE EXAMS! And during these exams try to follow this time schedule:

Time Remaining Question Number
75 min
60 min 7-8
45 min 14-15
30 min 21-22
15 min 28-29
0 min 37

If you lose your pace, get back on track.

Hope this helps.


BrianSmith Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
27 Apr 2009
23 messages
Target GMAT Score:
GMAT Score:
Post Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:42 am
Hi Pachyderm,

Facing the same problem myself - got 640 and need a higher score. I also found that self-studying has left me with certain gaps regarding time strategies (thanks for the tips, RachelAL).

Got a few questions on how to continue:
1. Should I sign up for a course?
2. Are there courses that focus on improving results (rather than starting from scratch)?
3. Are there courses that focus on time strategies?
4. Are there any other means to practice time-related skills?

Thanks for all the tips so far!

reachsb Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
17 May 2009
9 messages
3 times
Target GMAT Score:
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:48 am
I feel your pain. When I started preparing for the GMAT, I followed the same steps - purchased the recommended books from Kaplan and Princeton, signed up for the Kaplan classroom course, etc. It didn't take me too long to realize that the quality of math/quant in any of these books or courses was pretty dismal.

Striving for excellence in GMAT Math requires a different bent of mind and you can't acquire it by perusing through some of these horrid Kaplan Math guides (even the Kaplan 800 isn't worth it). I believe that one should only attempt to solve the OG after building a solid foundation in math. This becomes all the more imperative if you have been out of school for a long time and don't use quant for your daily work. So I set about searching for other sources. I scanned all the bookstores in my area for math prep books, went through various SAT guides, Regents and Barrons' guides, etc. to no avail. Nada...nothing.

And then someone told me about a few Math/Quant books available in India:

Mathematics For M.B.A. - RS Agarwal
Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations - RS Agarwal

Quantitative Aptitude for MBA - Abhijit Guha

How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT - Arun Sharma

I had one of my connections in India ship them to me. As I started working through some of the material in these books, I had this feeling of deja vu - finally got my hands on some real Math books. Each topic has work problems in varying degree of difficulty. These books were primarily written to assist folks taking the CAT exam for MBA admissions in India. The level of math on the CAT is probably 10 times higher than the GMAT Math and therefore, as you peruse these books, learn to conveniently skip some of those wacko problems and topics because your chances of encountering them in the GMAT are pretty slim. Almost all the topics have various short-cuts for rapid problem solving. Bear in mind that the folks in CAT get only about 30 secs per problem (the 2min on the GMAT sounds like luxury).

These books are intended to prepare your foundation in math. Even if you don't encounter some of the tougher problems in your GMAT, the solid foundation gained from mastering these guides should come in handy if you intend to pursue quant finance during your MBA. The topics in Permutations/Combinations and Probability in itself makes these books worth purchasing. You'd spend much more buying the thrash from Delta course for advanced GMAT math.

Now I'm sure that some of these books are floating around the internet as pdfs. I'd rather purchase these books because the cost of printing 800 pages/book far exceeds their selling price in India (anywhere from $7 to $21). It's sad that some of these books are published by McGraw Hill in India and not available Stateside.

mike22629 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
27 Mar 2009
322 messages
24 times
Test Date:
May 26th
GMAT Score:
Post Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:57 am
To put it simply, people who succeed in Math understand the "why" behind the answers. Simply understanding a formula does not mean you will be able to apply to it different situations, which is what the GMAT does.

In my opinion the prep materials are good for learning what the fundamentals tested on the GMAT are. After that, I would suggest using this site to see the way smart people work through the problems. Once you have this down, it is only a matter of timing.

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