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Practice CAT every day for week leading up to test bad idea?

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply
emilybarry Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
03 Apr 2017
Posted:
2 messages

Practice CAT every day for week leading up to test bad idea?

Post Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:08 pm
Hey!

Question for the experts out there. I've been studying on and off for about a year; took a Kaplan course, read two prep books cover to cover, lots of practice questions online, etc. I took the GMAT once already and the thing that really got me was timing on the quant section; I bought the analysis report and I was getting high difficulty questions and taking the time to get them all right (which I did), but completely ran out of time on the last 8 or so questions and guessed them all which obviously hurt my score.

I decided that Quant pacing was going to be my main point of focus going up to my second try at the test a week from today. To that effect, what would be the pros and cons to obsessively taking CATs until I really feel I have the timing down? I believe I have a basic grasp of the concepts being tested but am very guilty of getting bogged down in high-difficulty questions with heavy arithmetic etc. Just curious if anyone has tried this brute-force approach before and what the results have been.

By the way I've been above 95th percentile on verbal every test I've taken, so my main focus is doing just well enough on quant to get the score I want (710-720+)--I by no means need a perfect quant score.

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Zeke@GMATPill Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
02 Apr 2017
Posted:
5 messages
Upvotes:
2
Top Reply
Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:55 am
emilybarry wrote:
Hey!

Question for the experts out there. I've been studying on and off for about a year; took a Kaplan course, read two prep books cover to cover, lots of practice questions online, etc. I took the GMAT once already and the thing that really got me was timing on the quant section; I bought the analysis report and I was getting high difficulty questions and taking the time to get them all right (which I did), but completely ran out of time on the last 8 or so questions and guessed them all which obviously hurt my score.

I decided that Quant pacing was going to be my main point of focus going up to my second try at the test a week from today. To that effect, what would be the pros and cons to obsessively taking CATs until I really feel I have the timing down? I believe I have a basic grasp of the concepts being tested but am very guilty of getting bogged down in high-difficulty questions with heavy arithmetic etc. Just curious if anyone has tried this brute-force approach before and what the results have been.

By the way I've been above 95th percentile on verbal every test I've taken, so my main focus is doing just well enough on quant to get the score I want (710-720+)--I by no means need a perfect quant score.
I would not recommend that approach - largely because you will likely become fatigued and burn out right when it matters most.

Focusing intensely for long periods of time is not easy - and while you may have energy to do a few in a row - be cautious about how worn down you might be if you take 6 consecutive CATs and then sit for the real thing on the 7th.

But besides the mental marathon, you want to give yourself time to actually review and learn from your mistakes. Simply taking tests just to get your timing down is likely not to be as effective as learning what booby traps to avoid an how to think efficiently. If you are thinking efficiently, you won't have to worry about timing. So focus on doing things effectively and efficiently - everything down to your thought process. The timing will take care of itself.

That said, if you really want to take another CAT test, feel free to give it a shot here: www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-test/practice-test

Again, be sure to budget time to actually review mistakes because that's where the real learning happens.

_________________
Study Less. Score More. GMATPi11- 98%ile in 2 Weeks

1,000+ Free practice questions on the on the Practice-Pi11-Platform | Testimonials

Full Length Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), OG Video explanations, and more - available at:

www.gmatpill.com

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Post Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:51 pm
Hi emilybarry,

A CAT is really a 'measuring device' - when used correctly, it will give you a realistic score and help define your strengths and weaknesses, but it will NOT help you to fix any of those weaknesses. To raise your scores, you have to put in the necessary practice and repetitions. The CAT will show you whether your studies are helping you to improve or not. As such, you really shouldn't take more than 1 FULL CAT per week. By extension, the idea to take a CAT each day is NOT a good idea. You likely will not benefit at all, you'll increase your chances of 'burnout' before Test Day and you'll 'waste' a bunch of CATs that you might need later on.

1) How many CATs have you taken since you took the GMAT last month?
2) How did you score on each individual CAT (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
3) Did you take the FULL CAT each time?

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Zeke@GMATPill Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
02 Apr 2017
Posted:
5 messages
Upvotes:
2
Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:55 am
emilybarry wrote:
Hey!

Question for the experts out there. I've been studying on and off for about a year; took a Kaplan course, read two prep books cover to cover, lots of practice questions online, etc. I took the GMAT once already and the thing that really got me was timing on the quant section; I bought the analysis report and I was getting high difficulty questions and taking the time to get them all right (which I did), but completely ran out of time on the last 8 or so questions and guessed them all which obviously hurt my score.

I decided that Quant pacing was going to be my main point of focus going up to my second try at the test a week from today. To that effect, what would be the pros and cons to obsessively taking CATs until I really feel I have the timing down? I believe I have a basic grasp of the concepts being tested but am very guilty of getting bogged down in high-difficulty questions with heavy arithmetic etc. Just curious if anyone has tried this brute-force approach before and what the results have been.

By the way I've been above 95th percentile on verbal every test I've taken, so my main focus is doing just well enough on quant to get the score I want (710-720+)--I by no means need a perfect quant score.
I would not recommend that approach - largely because you will likely become fatigued and burn out right when it matters most.

Focusing intensely for long periods of time is not easy - and while you may have energy to do a few in a row - be cautious about how worn down you might be if you take 6 consecutive CATs and then sit for the real thing on the 7th.

But besides the mental marathon, you want to give yourself time to actually review and learn from your mistakes. Simply taking tests just to get your timing down is likely not to be as effective as learning what booby traps to avoid an how to think efficiently. If you are thinking efficiently, you won't have to worry about timing. So focus on doing things effectively and efficiently - everything down to your thought process. The timing will take care of itself.

That said, if you really want to take another CAT test, feel free to give it a shot here: www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-test/practice-test

Again, be sure to budget time to actually review mistakes because that's where the real learning happens.

_________________
Study Less. Score More. GMATPi11- 98%ile in 2 Weeks

1,000+ Free practice questions on the on the Practice-Pi11-Platform | Testimonials

Full Length Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), OG Video explanations, and more - available at:

www.gmatpill.com

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