My GMAT approach. Starting with Quantitative — Problem Solving + Data Sufficiency
Different from the TOEFL approach which I learnt all four skills at the same time, GMAT requires me to master the parts separately to gain the highest score possible. Hence, I start off with Quantitative which I find myself struggle the most. I will go through all the questions in the Official Guide 2017 Review first. That might take me one week to finish all. I have come half way through both the Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency Questions already.
Part 1: Problem Solving Questions
As a lesson for myself, the secret to crack the Problem Solving is just to read so so carefully the questions before making any attempt to solve the problem. Only by forcing myself practice this method do I learn to work without mistakes.
Along the way, I am able to identify which kind of behaviors cost me wrong answers. For example, the question asks for how much different between A and B, but I always misread or overlook that details to choose the value of A or B instead. The answer must be the value of (A-B). The tricky thing is that the answer choices always always contains results of A and B for those who are careless like me. Everyone receives gifts for their choice.
Part 2: Data Sufficiency Questions
As of the Data Sufficiency questions, I no longer feel intimidated facing those monsters. The secret is to follow exactly all the strategies mentioned in the Official Guide. Every single word counts, so I dare not leave it out of this post.
- Do not waste valuable time solving a problem. => Because the Data Sufficiency questions only ask you to recognize which given information if relevant and to determine at what point there is sufficient information to solve a problem. So the goal is not the final result of a problem, even in many cases I still need to solve it.
- Consider each statement separately. => Surely enough, if you do not follow this strategy, it will be very costly. The most costly thing is getting the wrong choice.
- Judge the statements in tandem if neither statement is sufficient by itself. => The mechanism of this is as following.
4. Answer the question asked. => Again, firstly, I need to emphasize and also teach myself to read very carefully the questions and not allow any details to drop out of sight! I still need much improvement on the level of carefulness. This is just another reminder for me!
5. Be very careful not to make unwarranted assumptions based on the images represented. => Actually, it is not needed to see the images in the test, my own drawing deceives me already. For example, in a question where I need to find the perimeter of an isosceles triangle MNP given the length of MN and NP, I draw one triangle in my paper and determine myself which MN and MP are the two same — length sides. Nevertheless, this is my own definition, not the questions. This leads me to wrong choice.
In my plan, the next part will be Sentence Correction. The reasoning behind my choice of this part is that I feel quite confident with this kind of question. Therefore, working on this part next will gradually boost my feeling on the test overall. Although I know there is still a long way to go, I only have nearly 3 months in total for the preparation. I scored 530 for the mock test, so to reach my goal of 700, I need to get 170 score more. I am not sure if it sounds impossible to anyone, I believe that I can attain that goal with the right strategy!