Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 04 , 2012 – Work & Data Sufficiency. The score booster / demolisher

While I have not taken a month to post again, it has been relatively late. 2 weeks is not something that I wanted to space out for. That said, I believe I have become a much wiser man in these 2 weeks. Work wise I have absolutely been killed. 24 hours seem less for the amount of work getting directed my way.

That said, I have realized over the last few days that there is no end to work as such. The more you slog and do, the more work you get. While this is really good normally and even I have enjoyed it in my career, this particular fact is detrimental when there are some other ambitions / tasks that get lined up. In this case it is specifically studying for my GMAT and preparing my application. I am not sure how many of the working people face this dilemma. It is tough to give one’s 200 % at both work and study at the same time.

My solution to this problem is resorting to the same logic as solving Data Sufficiency in a way. One has to prioritize at all stages of one’s life and career and my present stage is such that my priority has to be my study time and my application. I cannot stop working and stop putting in efforts at work, can I? So what do I then? The answer I realized is work for the stipulated time and as much as is sufficient. After all every one if happy if sufficient work and output is received. This way I am working well to complete my assigned tasks and also not burning out myself. I have done this for the past 2 days and I realize that I have done a good job so far. I am not exhausted when it is study time and am able to devote at least 1 session of 75 mins in solving problems. I need to now make another 30-45 minutes more daily to analyze my problems and mistakes.

I completed the OG12 problem solving section. There is considerable increase in my accuracy which has risen to 90%. Interestingly, the most mistakes that I have made are in the easy and the medium difficulty levels. A few of these were silly mistakes and I have to be careful in my attempts and maybe take another 10 seconds to verify if needed. I made only 6 mistakes from the 78 hard questions. This was encouraging. I am now scouring for some really good questions to take my score to the next level. I feel that the OG12 questions are good enough for around 650+. To achieve 720+, I need to start practicing some really tough and testing questions more regularly.

I then moved on to Data Sufficiency questions. I have completed 100 questions and I realized that I am doing well initially and then when it comes down to the final choice I am just going the wrong way. Normally when the question comes down to C or E then the mistakes I am making are where I am choosing the wrong one. So while strategy wise, when I am guessing between C and E there is a probability of getting the correct answer 50%, I am ending up getting the wrong answer. I have already mentioned in my previous post that I am making this mistake. I need to work more carefully on reducing such mistakes. Another observation is that I tend to get 2-3 mistakes on a stretch and then a real good run of correct answers. This will kill me in the actual GMAT. I am trying to analyze if there is something wrong in my approach to the Data Sufficiency questions. I feel when I guess the answers here in DS, I tend to linger on that question even when I have the next question. This can be fatal. I need to consciously avoid this. I have some way to go still with the official guide questions and then the quant guide questions. I hope I adapt and improve.

For someone interested, a basic step in DS that maybe everyone knows but does not use is AD or BCE. I am using this and this helps narrow down solving questions that absolutely stump the living lights out of you. So as a step, I am writing this down on my notepad and striking out when I have evaluated one of the answer choices. This is surely helping me. Another general tip is to not be fixated with trying the first answer choice for evaluation. If the second one is easier to understand then it needs to be chosen. There is a reason why the first statement is sometimes convoluted and hard on you. Don’t get caught up there and move to the second statement first. After all the GMAC is spending roughly $250 per question that is being put forth in the actual test’s question bank. It cannot be so easy and straight forward, is it?
I hope I get back to my next post soon with some further news on my preparation and hopefully lesser DS mistakes. J


  1. Nice post about GMAT. I like your writing skills.

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