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720 Q:49 V:39 -The mental aspect of the test

This topic has 1 expert reply and 7 member replies

720 Q:49 V:39 -The mental aspect of the test

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I got done my with my Gmat test yesterday. I started preparing end of last year, but then had to take break at the beginning of this year. The change of pattern really forced my hand in a good way. I had to buckle down, take the appointment and get done with the test.

This forum has been vital in preparation, guiding me in using the right resources and helping me build confidence. I wanted to share my experience.

Resources


Quant
Mgmat Guides
GC tests

Verbal
E-gmat
Mgmat SC
Powerscore CR
Ron Purewal posts and videos


Practice
Official Guide 12th ed, verbal 2nd ed.
Gmat Prep Pack 1
Gmat Prep and Mgmat Cat tests

My comments on some of these resources

1. Mgmat Quant guides are very good in brushing up the fundamentals. They cover all the basics needed for someone who has been away for a while from academic math. Practicing OG problems for corresponding chapters drills down the concepts.
2. GC tests are one of the best resources available for quant. Due to time constraints, I could only do 6 of them. They really helped. I wish I was able find time to do all of them. I could have definitely pushed my quant score by a point. sigh.
3. E-gmat is the best resource for SC in combination with mgmat sc. I recommend this for all non-natives who are looking to improve accuracy and timing. The foundational knowledge in preparing for SC helps in all areas of verbal.
4. Mgmat SC is well-known and highly regarded for SC, and it deserves all the high praise. Covers all the topics and nuances of gmat sentence correction. Going through Mgmat SC, a book which is too dense, after E-gmat will be a breeze and it will re-enforce all the concepts.
5. Gmat Prep Pack 1 is another great resource. Just as Official guides are a great practice material(and a MUST buy in the preparation), the gmat prep pack1 gives you more of the official questions (around 400 more). The added benefits are - you get to practice them on a computer, you get to pick practice questions based on difficulty. It has detailed answers, although some of the exlplanations are not as good as those I found in OG. While most of the hard questions are absolutely great, couple of them will make you scratch your head (like this one).
6. Practice tests A word about Mgmat practice tests - Although they are great and next best after Gmat prep, I stopped after giving first 3. I felt that I was getting used to their testing style and I noticed the difference after giving a gmat prep test. Mgmat tests do help in time management and stamina. In the end I was using Gmat prep tests and Gmat prep pack 1 extensively. They are the ones that prepare you for the real one.


Verbal preparation

Majority of my preparation went towards verbal. I planned to tackle one section at a time and gauge the progress. (This is something I got from e-gmat's strategy session.)
- I started with SC and focused on understanding the concepts, formulating and sticking to a process.
- I took a practice test and saw immediate improvement in accuracy of SC. I repeated this for CR.
- Analyzing these practice tests, I noticed that RC accuracy suffered quite a bit. After more deep analysis, I realized that it is not because of the lack of RC skills but because of the extra time I am now spending on all SC questions.
- This made me to focus on SC even more in order to gain speed on it. I quickly realized that my overall performance in verbal hinged upon speed (1 min avg.) and accuracy of SC.
- For RC and CR, the only way I can solve at the high level is by comprehending the text. As these can be detail oriented, I need to understand and reason out the answer. The additional time gained from SC is crucial for these.


Mental aspect

I wanted to add some of my thoughts to the great advice that this forum already provides. I felt that the mental aspect of this test is the most important part to prepare. This test is all about how one manages his/her attitude and emotions.

Attitude: This is important not just during the actual test but also during the preparation. A mere shift of attitude towards learning from a practice question will go a long way. With this attitude, you will be more excited when you miss a problem than be disappointed. During the final days/week of preparation, you will be looking for those problems that you get wrong, because they are the ones from which you will learn. Moreover,Try to enjoy the journey.

Emotions: Scores from practice cats shouldn't dampen your preparation or make you overconfident or cloud your mind in any way. Imagine if the practice cats didn't give you any figure/score at the end. You will not worry about anything other than looking at the timing for each section, performance in the strong and weak areas. I noticed this difference when I was using gmat prep pack1 which has no scores attached with it.

Monotask: During the test, the attitude to focus on one and only one thing helps quite a bit. Ignoring all other thoughts (score, performance on previous questions, level of the questions, etc), you should focus on only the question in front of you. In fact I noticed that even during my preparation, if did less, i was able to gain more. (related link)

Contingency plans: Practice even the mental side of the test i.e. relaxing techniques when your anxiety level is going up, learning to let go of problems and guessing if you need to get back on the timing plan.

In the end, I told myself - If I do this one single thing(being in control of my mind and staying calm), I will be able to reach my potential score that reflects my preparation.

Thank you very much to forum. Especially to Ron purewal. His posts and insight about preparation have greatly helped.

If there are any specific queries, I would love to answer those.



Last edited by LiveToRise on Thu May 24, 2012 10:02 am; edited 2 times in total

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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Thank you for posting this debrief and big congratulations on a great score!!
Did you find the actual GMAT quant and verbal questions on the exam a lot tougher than what you experienced with the preparation materials, such as GMAT Prep software or the OG 12 book?

How did you gain more speed for SC questions? Is it just doing lots and lots of practice questions?

Thanks in advance!

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alex_katharina wrote:
Thank you for posting this debrief and big congratulations on a great score!!
Did you find the actual GMAT quant and verbal questions on the exam a lot tougher than what you experienced with the preparation materials, such as GMAT Prep software or the OG 12 book?

How did you gain more speed for SC questions? Is it just doing lots and lots of practice questions?

Thanks in advance!
Thank you. I found that the actual gmat very much inline with the Gmat prep software questions and the last 30-40 questions of each section in the OG. Take gmat prep multiple times and extract all the questions from it. The actual test questions have the same pattern, style and tricks.

For gaining speed for SC questions - yes lots of practice and more importantly review of each of those questions. After spending considerable amount of time on official sc questions understanding why the incorrect answers are incorrect, you will gain the speed. I wrote down my process and approach when solving the questions. I practiced these steps for each question and after a while, those steps become intuitive.

You can come up with your own approach that is working for you and make sure do practice it. With practice, you will start to gain an intuition about concept(s) that is tested as soon as you see the question.

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Thanks so much! This is really helpful.
Good luck with your MBA or graduate business degree!

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I really agree that the mental strategy can make or break you from doing bad and good in the real gmat. It is very much needed that you keep your emotions under control and the best you can do is to tackle the question in front of you. Concentrate on it hard.

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Sanjib

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Thank you for review of the process. By GC tests do you mean GMAT club or something else?

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Losina wrote:
Thank you for review of the process. By GC tests do you mean GMAT club or something else?
Yes. Gmat Club tests for Quant.

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alex_katharina wrote:
Thanks so much! This is really helpful.
Good luck with your MBA or graduate business degree!
Thanks. Good luck with your Gmat. If you have more questions about my strategy or thought process, I would love to answer them here.

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Congrats on your score, and thanks for the kind words.

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Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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