Monday, April 13, 2009

Additional Materials

In addition to all the books I purchased, I scoured the internet in search of other resources that would be helpful. You might think some of them are ridiculous but I will explain why I am finding them helpful.

Simple Math Formulas: At one point I was a mathematics rock-star. I mastered calculus, derivatives, integrals, matrices, and could figure out the forces at any point on a suspension bridge with nothing but pencil and paper. The truth is though; I haven’t needed that knowledge for almost 6 years now. I thought it would be good to refresh on the basics. I decided I would make up a simple word document of formulas broken up into different sections such as fractions, geometric equations, and algebraic strategy. I had to laugh a bit when I was searching around for online for some of these things because I would be looking at a website seriously and there would be cartoon characters saying things like, “Don’t forget to show your work!” It is elementary but it has already been a help because:

1. Terminology – I know the different operations I have been doing for 18+ years simply by what they look like. It has been good to refresh myself on the terminology like Distributive Law, Difference of squares, Associative of Multiplication, etc. All very simple concepts but it’s always nice to know what they are called in case it comes up in a random question.

2. Speed – Reviewing the basics has already helped me cut down on my time per question. It’s not that I was having issues completing the problems, it’s just I occasionally had to sit back for a second and recall the proper procedure to figure out certain types of problems. I will admit, it took me a bit to remember how to work with variables as exponents. .

Flash Cards – I have found flashcards to be a very effective tool for me. I am a very visual learner, so having a quick and concise burst of information seems to be an ideal way for me to digest things. I am using the flash cards for everything and anything. I already have built a decent stack with grammar rules, math formulas, tips, key strategy points, and the “look for” type reminders. I plan to go though them every couple days and will be adding plenty more as I continue to study.

GMAT Prep – GMAT Prep is the free online software provided by the actual people that write the test. I haven’t even run the program yet but I have read that it is probably the closest simulation out there. I will be saving this one for when I get closer to the actual test date.

Spreadsheet – Through I was directed to a user who had created a spreadsheet to help them break down how they were performing. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot and now I am hooked. It’s a brilliant way to see where you are struggling, where you can save time, and how to attack the test on the big day. The spreadsheet has a number of sections including, time used (per every 5 questions), correct/incorrect, and if it was a careless error, conceptual error, or procedural error. Once again, I am early in my studying so I haven’t had a chance to fully utilize this but I am already finding it helpful.

Grammar notes and AWA help – There is a ton of resources out there to help with the sentence correction and AWA portion of the test. I searched around and found a number of sites that offered tips, templates, and topic lists to score a 5 or 6 on the AWA.

I am impressed if anyone out there has taken the time to read all this. None the less, I am enjoying it and my next post I am going to dive into something that not many people talk about in relation to the GMAT but I am a very strong believer in...nutrition.


jeanne on April 19, 2009 at 5:12 PM said...

After all this purchasing, do you have money left to eat????? Typical question from your Mom, huh?

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