Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012 – Review of the first mock test during this GMAT attempt

Before I move ahead, post introduction of the IR section, the official site now has the newer version of the GMATPrep tests. This version can co-exist with the older version (one having 2 essays). So effectively the students having both versions can avail of 4 mock tests.

I took the first mock test of the older GMAT Prep software yesterday. I did not attempt the essays and jumped straight away to the Quant section. The initial questions were a breeze and I was pretty much on time. However, around the 10 or 11th question, I got stuck and took about 3.5 to 4 minutes for a question. This was still acceptable since I was ahead of time even at this point. Around the 18th question and then the 22nd question, I really got stuck up on a relatively easier problem. I say relatively because when I was reviewing the test questions, I was able to solve it within 2 minutes with a much better approach. Due to this I ended up having to really rush through the questions from 27th to 31st and missed all 5 of them. Yes, 5 in a row were wrong. L I just managed to finish off the quantitative section just in time but I have surely learnt my lesson. I have to take immense care that henceforth I do not get bogged down by the middle questions. It cost me time and indirectly my accuracy heavily. I am not revealing my overall score as yet since I intend to cover it later on when I mention my review analysis.
Moving on to the verbal, I felt I started strongly. The first 2 were sentence correction questions and I was able to narrow down to 2 choices and then went with my judgment to nail it down to one. The third question was a CR with the question type as a variant of strengthen the argument. I felt that I got this one correct as well. I then a RC passage at question 6 and then onwards more of SC. There were 3 more RC’s with the total RC’s encountered being 4. Since this is almost my 6 or 7th attempt of this particular mock test, I had a feeling of having seen the questions. This mock was my first in over 8 months so chances of answering repeat questions based on my memory can be eliminated. I felt confident of my responses and that I had done well. So, with a calm mind I proceeded to the score. I felt I should be around 700 this time.
The overall score was 670 with Q 49 and V 32. Incidentally I had a total of 11 mistakes each on the quant and the verbal section. Disappointed a bit, I proceeded with the review of the performance.
          Quant Section --:

i. I started off really well. The first mistake was on the 9th question and it was a DS. The next mistake was on the 13th question. I had struggled on the 12th question and fortunately it was correct. This might not necessarily happen always. The next time, I might get one wrong after spending 4 mins on it.
ii. I am not detailing my entire review (I already started with that, didn’t I?) considering it might be boring for the readers. I will just state the gist of my analysis.
iii. My mistakes were question numbers 9,13, 19,20, 25,26, 28,29,30,31 and 35. As mentioned before, I got stuck at the mid-level and that resulted in the mistakes onwards of 20. It really hurts badly if one makes consecutive mistakes as I have. I am actually surprised to see a score of Q 49 after seeing the layout of my mistakes.
iv. I can surely improve on this and try not to get stuck in my next mock test. I might have possibly got the question that I got stuck on wrong but then maybe I could have avoided 2-3 mistakes from question 25 to 31. When reviewing the solutions, I realized with another 30 seconds for each of those hurried questions I could have got them correct. Lesson learnt is “No matter how much you practice with moving on after 2 mins, on the test you tend to avoid guessing on time. This has hurt me and I will take a lot of care not to repeat this mistake.”
v. My biggest confidence booster is that despite making such consecutive mistakes I ended up with a score of Q 49. This does not prove nor disprove anything about the impact of getting the first questions right but I feel, personally, that the do matter. I say this because of my verbal performance review. If I avoid getting stuck, I might be possibly looking at Q 50 which will surely boost the chances of reaching the target score of 730+.
vi. I have improved leaps and bounds on my quant score and specifically D.S. I made 2 silly mistakes on the D.S. and I am pretty sure I need to avoid a recurrence of this theme.
     Verbal Section --:

i. Contrary to my belief that I had started well, I started with a lot of mistakes. I missed the questions 1 and 2 which were both SC. The positive however is that I had correctly nailed down the actual correct OA and the one I chose. It was the final elimination that failed. I have not been working on SC so this is presently acceptable though not desirable. I firmly believe that with practice and SC review I will be able to improve my accuracy on SC.
ii. The third question was CR and this was correct. I missed the 4th and the 6th from the 4th to the 6th question which were all SC. So effectively I missed 4 of the first 6 questions.
iii. Hereafter I was pretty stable and my next mistakes were 19,20, 23,24, 29, 34 and 39. Getting consecutive questions wrong did not help my score in any way but I feel the damage was really done in those initial 4 questions.
iv. I am aiming for a score of V37+ and I need to work very hard on SC hendeforth. I missed 1 CR question and had 3 RC mistakes. I have been working on CR so I am pleased with my CR performance though I am sure my real test will come when I get the SC questions correct as well. The CR will then be of a level which tests my CR ability.
v. I have not started off with RC and I think I am taking RC lightly. I did this mistake in my previous 2 attempts and I intend to correct it this time.

Overall, the key learning’s are to start on SC now since my quant looks better. This does not mean that I overlook quant all together. There are 2-3 topics which seemed to appear as a pattern in my mistakes. I need to work on Simple Interest and Ratio & proportion word problems. The CR is looking better and I need to keep practicing to build on this. For RC I think it is time that I dedicated 3-4 days to learn the finer nuances and reduce the possibilities of any RC based mistakes. It is high time I took RC seriously.

I am planning of appearing for the GMAT in September first week. For that to happen I need to get my RC and SC sorted by the 10th August. I will be taking my next mock on 12th August and it will be with the IR one i.e the new mock test. I am thinking that I will then take the MGMAT on the 15th Aug since the quant in MGMAT’s mock is slightly difficult than on the actual GMAT.

I am happy with my performance and my review makes me feel positive about being able to next leap and cross that 700 barrier which I have till now never crossed. If at all I can ever do it then it has to be in this attempt. I seriously dread the thought of having to go through this entire process of GMAT preparation again. L


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