How many practice tests should I consider

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How many practice tests should I consider

by utkalnayak » Wed Jan 21, 2015 5:55 pm
How many practice tests should I consider. I took the diagnostic test from OGMAT before I started my studies, then I think I am done with the concepts hence have taken 1 more. But I guess I am not doing a good time management, as a result over all I end up guessing 5-6 questions in both quant and verbal. I believe that taking more tests should help, but I am worried that if I do not have a balanced plan between improvising skills vs. improvising time management, the actual test may go out of control. What do experts suggest ?

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by [email protected] » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:29 pm
Hi utkalnayak,

There's no "magic number" of CATs that you should take during your studies. As a general rule, it's a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH CAT every 1-2 weeks, so that you can assess your abilities and define (and work to fix) your weaknesses. Taking lots of CATs does NOT make you a better Test Taker though - a CAT is just a "measuring device" - IF taken correctly, it will give you a reasonable measure of your abilities and point out your weak spots. Some Test Takers end up taking too many CATs (as a substitute for doing the necessary studying) and the end results on Test Day are often problematic.

When is your Official Test Date?

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by utkalnayak » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:37 am
[email protected] wrote:Hi utkalnayak,

There's no "magic number" of CATs that you should take during your studies. As a general rule, it's a good idea to take a FULL-LENGTH CAT every 1-2 weeks, so that you can assess your abilities and define (and work to fix) your weaknesses. Taking lots of CATs does NOT make you a better Test Taker though - a CAT is just a "measuring device" - IF taken correctly, it will give you a reasonable measure of your abilities and point out your weak spots. Some Test Takers end up taking too many CATs (as a substitute for doing the necessary studying) and the end results on Test Day are often problematic.

When is your Official Test Date?

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Thank you Rich, that helps. I am taking test on Feb 7, which is exactly 15 days from now. I have been studying for about couple months and getting a good hang of how to get most of the questions right. The only issue I got to fine tune at this point of time is time management. Hence my game plan is to increase the number of tests so I can adjust myself to time. Also I have to go to work everyday, so pretty much all I get is 3-4 hours in the late evening. Weekends are better where I can spend about 8-10 hours. Any recommendation on my game plan ?

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by ceilidh.erickson » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:55 am
If your content knowledge is solid but time management is your primary concern, then I would recommend taking 2 or 3 (but not more than 3) CATs in the next 2 weeks.

Before you take another CAT, though, do these things:

- Read about time management, and have a timing plan going into the test:
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/ ... anagement/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/ ... nt-part-2/

- Memorize your timing benchmarks.

- Analyze your first 2 CATs in depth, and assess your strengths and weaknesses. (If you take Mprep CATs, we have assessment reports that can aggregate that data for you). Decide which types of questions deserve more of your time, and which you can allow yourself to skip.

When you take your next CAT, be sure to:

- Write your timing benchmarks at the top of your scrap paper and refer to them throughout the test.

- If you find yourself more than 2-3 min behind at any point, know that you need to skip a question to catch up.

- Don't get stubborn! You should not be committing to every question. Even 750+ experts skip questions throughout the test. Most test-takers should skip 3-5 questions per section if they struggle with timing. You should keep a tally of the ones you've skipped at the top of your scrap paper.

Good luck!
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by [email protected] » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:53 am
Hi utkalnayak,

Since you have just 2 weeks until Test Day, figuring out how to maximize the compressed time-frame might be a little tricky.

How have you been scoring on your practice CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)?
Have you been taking the ENTIRE CAT (including the Essay and IR sections)?
What is your score goal?

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by [email protected] » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:57 am
Hi Utkal,

1. You have taken only 2 tests so far. You should take atleast a few more - maybe one this long Republic Day weekend and another one next weekend. Don't stuff your schedule with too many tests. They will help you fine-tune but only if you are able to get the questions right in the first place. So focus instead of sharpening your saw - when the time comes, you will realise tree-cutting "strategy" and "stamina" is not that awful!

2. You haven't said what you scored on the test and how much you hope to improve by. I really don't know if 15 weeks are sufficient (660 -> 700 yes) or insufficient (540 -> 700 not happening). So that is something you might want to consider.

3. Also did you analyse your GMATPrep tests? What do they say? How did you do on Quant? What questions in Verbal got you stuck? If you had to do it again, how would you do it differently? Have you been able to implement the learnings in the questions? What about RC? How are you solving the passage? ........ as you see the list is long :)

I had written about how to take GMATPrep tests sometime ago: https://gmat.crackverbal.com/how-to-take ... ice-tests/

Hope this helps!

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by JTuquero » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:41 pm
Hi Uktal,

You've received some good thoughts on how many CAT exams you should take. But since exam day is coming up, I thought I'd provide some general tips on how you should be using your time.

One week before the exam, you should:
-cover the last of new topics and concepts. Start reviewing what you have already learned with practice questions and simulation tests.
-Alternate between taking sim tests and reviewing strategy. Be sure to simulate actual test conditions as much as possible. Take another full-length test to get accustomed to timing.
-Focus on good sleep and exercise habits. If you don't already have a solid sleep routine, begin one as soon as possible so that you are well rested for the test. Light exercise may help with nerves as well.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

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by VivianKerr » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:49 pm
I'd actually recommend you take 4 CATs, since you're sort of in "cram" phase with a major emphasis on the GMATPreps. In fact, I would plant to take the GMATPrep 1, GMATPrep 2, GMATPrep 3, and GMATPrep 4, with the last CAT 2 days before your exam date. Be sure to THOROUGHLY review all of them. BUT I definitely agree you should have benchmarks in front of you each time. The "true value" of a CAT lies in:

1) the information it provides about WHAT type of questions you get wrong and WHY you get them wrong (to be extracted by you in an Error Log completed after each CAT)

2) the ability to manage all the questions within the given time. how confident are you in your ability to STAY ON BENCHMARK...even if that means 'walking away' from a challenging question? Check the benchmarks I recommend below.

Besides the CATs, you should be doing PACING DRILLS. Every single day. I think they are extremely underutilized in GMAT prep. Why should full-length CATs be the only time we work on pacing? They don't have to be long. For example, doing 5 SC problems in 10 minutes counts! But if you don't put intermittent pacing pressure on yourself as your practice, how are you supposed to deal with that timer on test day?

Hope this gives you some food for thought!
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by BestGMATEliza » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:26 am
I would definitely recommend taking more practice tests to both improve your pacing and build your mental endurance, so that you aren't exhausted by the verbal section. To make the best of your practice test they should be done under as close to test like conditions as possible. This means, it should be a computer adaptive test, not on paper. Also, do the IR and AWA sections and take only the allotted 8 minute breaks.

Good luck!
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by gmat barcelona » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:20 am
Hi utkalnayak,

If you mean the free GMAT Prep test you may know that these example of the official test are insufficient to make a good and effective preparation.
Moreover, in these test the score you get is higher than the one that you can get on the official test , the difference can be up to 100 points above your actual score .

These are free trial test so you can see the structure and content of the GMAT test but We consider that this is insufficient for your preparation.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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by VivianKerr » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:22 pm
Also, if you're considering CATs outside the GMATPrep, there's a pretty solid rundown over at GMATClub: https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-gmat-cat- ... 77460.html
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