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Timed or Untimed

This topic has 3 expert replies and 0 member replies
Azizakaria Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
29 Sep 2012
Posted:
76 messages
Thanked:
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Timed or Untimed

Post Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:09 am
hello everyone, My test is in 2 months I studied all the concepts and solved a little of it, my last test was timed and I scored 400, today I'm thinking about taking an untimed MGMAT test as I think it will help me know my weakness points in content, so is that thinking is right ? should I take the tests time or untimed?

of course I know I will have to take timed tests as the official test will be timed, and I'll have to learn to solve the questions within the 2 mins. but at this stage of studying I'm focusing on master the contents & know my weakness points.

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Post Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:48 am
Early on in your prep, there's a danger in focusing too much on your timing. In my view, this focus has the potential to actually hinder your preparation. I feel so strongly about the whole timing issue that I wrote two articles about it:
- Making Friends with Time on the GMAT - Part I (http://www.gmatprepnow.com/articles/making-friends-time-gmat-%E2%80%93-part-i)
- Making Friends with Time on the GMAT - Part II (http://www.gmatprepnow.com/articles/making-friends-time-gmat-%E2%80%93-part-ii)
Executive Summary: Use a timer, but only to get an idea of what 2 minutes feels like. Later on (once you've covered all of the content), you can start working on your speed.

Executive Summary of the Executive Summary: Content First - Speed Second

I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Brent

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Post Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:37 am
Hi Azizakaria,

Since there are plenty of ways to practice and 'test yourself' untimed, you really should NOT be taking your CATs that way. Each CAT is a 'measuring device' that you can use to gauge your actual progress and 'readiness' to face the Full Exam. By taking a CAT in ANY way that doesn't match up with what you'll face on Test Day, you'll be receiving an unrealistic score result - which begs the question WHY would you take a CAT if the results weren't accurate or meaningful.

Just about every Test Taker has to deal with some type of 'pacing issue' at some point during their studies, so you're not alone. Taking untimed CATs is NOT going to help fix that issue though.

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

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Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Post Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:40 am
Here's what I tell my students: take every practice test timed, but don't worry about what your score looks like. Go immediately back (before you've looked at the answers) and try the questions again untimed. This 2nd pass will achieve what you're aiming for - content mastery and pattern recognition, without worrying about the timer. But I do think that there's value in pushing yourself to take practice tests timed, even before you're an expert:
- it helps you develop guessing instincts
- it helps you develop the important instinct of knowing when to bail on a question that's too hard
- it's harder to fix timing later, if you're used to doing it untimed

So, it more work, but I'd recommend doing 1) a timed CAT, then 2) an untimed pass through the exact same test.

Good luck!

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EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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