View Full Version : Leaving questions blank?

02-17-2003, 12:30 AM
After 4 practice tests I am still unable to get to all the questions in the Math section. The past few times I have run out of time with 10 questions to go so start to answer randomly when I have less than 1 minute to go. I am not sure what the best strategy should be. I was planning to take my time on the first ten questions and then start speeding up the pace for the remaining sections but even then I cannot seem to get to all the questions. Any advice???

(On the flip side I seems to finish the Verbal sections with minutes to spare...go figure)

02-17-2003, 12:49 AM
Really the only thing you can do is practice, practice, practice to become familiar with the questions. As you become more familiar, your speed will increase.

I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to take your time at the beginning; the old thing about the first questions being worth more isn't true.

02-17-2003, 03:58 AM
Erin, what are you talking about? The first few questions on each GMAT section are critical to your score. You start out with one that's of average difficulty, and if you answer correctly, they get harder until you get one wrong, and then they get a bit easier. The harder questions early on have more of an impact on your score than questions at the end. All the books say it's important to spend more time on those first 5-10 questions, becuase they affect your score much more than the last few. I think even ETS says that. Has something changed that we don't know about?

02-17-2003, 06:40 AM
ETS does mention that earlier question do have an impact more significantly on the final score. This is infact even mentioned in the OG. It is a little illogical to have something deceide on the score with the first few questions , however I guess thats how the adaptive test software works. However using that logic it would be foolhardy to waste too much time for the first 10 questions, in Quants one does tend to run out of time more easily than in Verbal. Thats my experience.


02-17-2003, 07:45 PM
Raj, please tell me precisely what you are referring to. I am fairly confident that this information does not appear in *any* official guides.

LadyDi, this strategy used to be true, but not anymore. I only have a minute right now, but I have compelling evidence to substantiate my claim, including but not limited to, my students' success!

02-18-2003, 02:55 PM

Sorry Erin , you are right. This claim is not made by any official Guides, only some other books still maintain that this is how the scoring works(I got a little confused and read through the instructions in OG once again). I think its best to work at each problem with the same seriousness and to give fair time to all questions.
However Erin, do you know how many experimental questions may appear in each section?
Once again sorry if I confused any one with my "Big" Claim.


02-18-2003, 09:15 PM
Erin, when was this changed? I have a kaplan Class Lesson book that i received this summer when i signed up for the course that states :

"Your score takes larger swings at the start of the test than at the end of the test"

The give a diagram that is supposed to be a 4 question mock CAT scoring chart, showing that if you answer the first two questions right, then the next 2 wrong, your score will be 580, but if you were to answer the first 2 wrong then the next 2 right, your score would onnly be 480, EVENTHOUGH, in both instances, you have answered 2 questions right and 2 wrong

Has this changed very recently, or does this statement refer to something else.

02-18-2003, 11:01 PM
You are referring to the chart that uses world capitals as the answers to the questions? Yes, I know that chart, it's very clever.

Again, I have good evidence, and I'll post it later, okay?

02-19-2003, 02:49 AM
This compelling evidence is sounding eerily familiar to Colin Powell's Presentation at the UN last week :D

Ok, i look forward to hearing it, the suspense is killing me though

02-19-2003, 03:27 AM
I don't want to leave you in suspense, so here's a summary of why I can say this:

1. GMAT/ETS wrote me an email and told me that it's not true.

2. I have tested the PowerPrep more than ten times, experimenting with getting different stretches of questions correct in different locations, and my score was identical each time. Remember, I've been teaching the OG questions for many years, so I've got most or all of the answers pretty much memorized, so I can easily choose to answer a question correctly or incorrectly.

3. None of my students who have gotten good scores on the GMAT has ever told me that they used a strategy of paying more attention at the beginning, although I should say that I don't find this evidence enormously compelling as it's quite possible that they have used this strategy and simply haven't told me.

02-19-2003, 05:07 AM

Why would GMAT write to tell you this information? When did this change? Is seems every book on the market says the contrary to what you have stated. I also finished the Kaplan course 2 weeks ago and they said the same thing Empire said a few comments ago.

This is quite an interesting development; I am very surprised none of the other test prep courses have mentioned this change, especially when they brag about millions of dollars in research. Maybe I shall write to Mr. Kaplan and ask for my money back ;) As far as the powerprep software goes its quite unsophisticated I suppose because it is free...and I am sure everyone tests out this theory. I would not expect the software to run exactly the same as it would at a test center. Oh well.


Despite what I have said above I still think the Kaplan course is pretty good.

02-19-2003, 06:44 AM
I think I'll have to make a separate post about this, but the bottom line is that no matter what I say, you will have to choose whom to believe--me or the "big guys."

02-19-2003, 07:05 AM
Its not a matter of whom to believe its a matter of doing the best you can.

02-19-2003, 05:01 PM
Ahhhhhh, i find this interesting. Im prone to believe Erin, over the faceless Kaplan, but either way, its doesnt make a huge difference, to me at least. i have watched my timing, and despite what kaplan says, i found that i spent equal amt of time throughout the test, even when i tried to spend more on the earlier ones.

I think the moral to all of this is not to become obsessed with timing. While it does play an important role, it is not as important as working diligently and carefully through the test.

Lets hope it works for me[dance]

02-19-2003, 07:00 PM
Yeah I agree. I am rethinking my strategy. Doesn't matter who is right or wrong...I just need to pace myself and watch my timing.