Problem Solving

November 20, 2006

Number Nightmare!!Let's Warm up with Numbers!!

Ideally anyone preparing for the GMAT should schedule the study sessions in such a manner as to include atleast three topics a day (i.e. PS+SC+CR or RC+DS+CR or....). This helps you in the tests, simply because you will be better able to switch between question types and also this kind of scheduling helps your 'prepping' not going askew. Obviously while prepping you can't mix question types, but you surely can take up three sessions of 50 questions in three different sections each day...easily. 50 is not a magical figure here...but I feel 50 questions per hour will attune you to the right speed. The actual speed is lower, no doubt...but remember its an adaptive test, which means you will have to get the earlier questions correctly so as to improve your chances to get a good score. And that means you will have to spend more time on the, let's say, first 10 questions. That will leave you with the later tougher questions with lesser time.

Let's start!!

Pick up the OG. Start your stopwatch and start...
......1 hr passes by.....
Go through your mistakes. Analyze your GRID for will get to know your weak areas. You will know where you made mistakes...was it algebra or was it mensuration. The mistakes I made were mostly the silly goes the list (may be not the entire list...but look out for them!!)

  1. units...feet/inches, miles/kms...I screwed up mostly because I forgot to convert them for my final answer.
  2. I didn't read the entire information and wasted my time doing the question over and over again until realizing that hey, it's an equilateral triangle...or this angle is given to be 90...or something else.
  3. I solved the problem correctly, but I found something that was not asked. Let's say I found out the number of chocolates Jack initially had, only to realize that I was supposed to find the number of chocolates he is left with. The best way to handle such questions is : take 'x' to be the quantity you have to find, i.e., take 'x' to be the number of remaining chocolates. (Silly sounding tips?? That's cuz they're for silly mistakes)
I think the OG has around 400 problems. It will take you around 9-10 sessions to solve them completely and also go through the explanation. (I have uploaded OG 10. It's in parts and also the OG grid). By the time you're through with the OG PS, you will have a grid, wherein you will have a detailed analysis highlighting your weak areas. Make a note of all the mistakes you did and swear that you won't make the same mistakes again.

Guys I've put up a Formulae sheet. This is very important. You won't find many of these formulae in either OG or Kaplan. I hope you'll find this very useful.

The next step in PS is to start solving Kaplan 800. It's a great it carefully for all the tips it has for the 800 test taker. While doing Kaplan 800 you can include fewer questions per session. That's because you need to give more attention to these problems. And your primary goal here is to learn concepts rather than simply solving questions in time bound conditions.

Once you're done with OG and Kaplan 800, start OG and Kaplan 800. :-D Yes!! do it again. But this time you may want to solve only those problems which you screwed up in your first attempt. That you can easily filter out from the grid (that's also there on my google base).

Finally, you would like to solve the "tough quant problems". Download the file and start doing it. It's fun. You will learn many new things in Permutation/Combination, Probabilty, etc.

Suggested Books : Kaplan 800, Maths Workbook : Kaplan/Manhattan/Princeton/OG

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Nothing much. Love capturing the essence of a beautiful place with my camera. Helps me appreciate the endless beauty around us. Like to tinker with stuff. Have a long wish list.