I still revising for the GMAT. I am using the KAPLAN GMAT to frame my revision. The book has 9 sessions, of which 8 are lessons and exercises and the 9th is a revision of the prior sessions as well as more advanced exercises. I have officially finished the first two sessions.
The first session
The first session focuses on the Core Competencies basically highlighting the need to thinking critically, recognise patterns, paraphrase the given information before attempting the question and finally paying attention to detail. It seems like a lot, and blimey! it is a lot to do all at once when it does not come naturally.
The Core competencies apply to both the Quantitative and Verbal sections of the GMAT test. After applying or being very aware of the Core Competencies, you now look at the Exercise. Focus on the question first, read the question stem and then Read Strategically at all moments. Reading strategically is important because you save a lot of time and keep your brain power intact and ready for more difficult questions.
The Second Session
The Second session, helps you to demystify many awkward, mean looking questions. Kaplan introduces you to their method. First of all all Quantitative questions are divided into either Problem Solving questions (PS) or Data Sufficiency questions (DS).
Each one has its own Kaplan Method.
When faced with a PS question, you first need to Analyse the question, you simplify the whole exercise by rephrasing the data, state the task and then you answer the question and you confirm (double check) your answer before moving on. You always have a choice of 5 answer choices to choose from. They are ordered in ascending order with A being the lowest number and E being the highest.
Knowing that the answer choices are in ascending order can save you a lot of time because it means that when you are faced with a complex set of calculations and you have your equation all set out with all the variables and the only unkown variable X is one of the five choices. You can start with (B). If after plugging in (B), you find that the result is too low, then plug in (D). If (D) is still too low then you are sure that it must be (E). Before you validate (E) double check that (E) is correct by plugging it in and then you can validate.
The opposite is also true. If After plugging in (B) the result is too high, then you are sure that it is (A). Double check (A) by plugging it in, and then validate your answer.
How does this strategy help? Well it saves you a lot of time, you end up testing a maximum of 3 choices instead of going through all five choices. Also instead of wasting your brainpower on solving the equation you prepare the equation and you plug in the possible values. You feel less tired.
Often when faced with a question, I read the question, read the data then start solving without looking at the answer choices. Wrong thing to do! You spend a lot of time calculating and you run out of time simply because you are not using the multiple methods available to you are even exploiting the fact that some answer choices are logically impossible.
My other weakness is that I simply naturally freak out, I am a bad test taker and I am working on undoing this attitude I have towards maths and test taking in general, needs to go away.
I am not anywhere near my goal, my GMAT score I think is 500, and I’d like a 650 minimum 🙂 Is that too much to ask? I don’t know. I have one more week left to concentrate on the KAPLAN lessons and the weeks after that will be spent just practising day in day out. Maybe, hopefully practise a max of 80 questions per/day and in the afternoon work on the corrections, so that in the evening I ‘retake’ the failed questions. I don’t know. I hate planning what I have to do for the next week because I often do the opposite. I suck at planning, I need to stay in the present and do what I can do.
Next week, I’ll be back in Paris for 10 days, to change scenery and hopefully optimise my learning abilities and keep my motivation.
I have rescheduled my GMAT exam for the 16th of MAY, but I want to be done with all my lessons by the 18th of April 2012. So that all i concentrate on are the exercises. I think that is possible. I really do hope that the exam will go well and that I will find the maturity and the self confidence not to flip out in front of the computer 😀
Thanks for reading 🙂