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3 Advantages to Reviewing Questions That You ALREADY Answered Correctly

By Max Peterson On Jul 17, 2015 In  Quant Verbal IR Study Plans General GMAT 

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Almost without fail, the first questions that most Test Takers will look at after taking a CAT are the questions that were answered incorrectly. Reviewing questions that were answered CORRECTLY is almost an afterthought (and oftentimes avoided) – THAT ‘missing’ review is a HUGE opportunity. Sometimes the biggest overall improvements can be made in areas in which you are ALREADY knowledgeable. 

First, there’s a distinct possibility that you answered some questions correctly by taking a lucky guess (either because you were stuck or low on time) – so reviewing those questions is just as important as reviewing questions that you got incorrect. If a question is legitimately too difficult, then learning to recognize the fact that it was too difficult can help you. Learning to recognize those difficult questions faster in the future can be quite beneficial (so that you can ‘dump’ them quicker the next time you face similar prompts and improve any pacing problems that you might have).

Second, by reviewing correct answers, and re-doing the ‘steps’ involved, you can build up your ‘mechanical’ skills (the note-taking, labeling and physical solving of the prompt). The GMAT is a Test built around patterns, and the work involved in solving GMAT questions is also built around patterns. Answering a question correctly is only part of the goal – you also want to answer the question in the quickest way possible. If you can practice a new tactic (and work on your mechanics), then you could very easily find a faster way to approach the prompt. If you already use the fastest method, then there is likely a way to work FASTER, do the work more efficiently, keep from having to reread the prompt, etc. You’ll only be able to make those improvements by attempting those questions again. 

Third, the GMAT consistently tests the same content knowledge and skills over-and-over. At the higher levels though, those patterns involve variations and ‘twists’ that you might not immediately recognize… unless you’ve been reviewing the concepts that you think you know fairly well.

As an example, consider the following:

X^2 – 5X + 6

You probably recognize this as one of the standard Quadratic patterns… and you could immediately reverse- FOIL it into….

(X-2)(X-3)

Why are you able to do that so quickly? What knowledge and patterns are you using? What would you think about IF you saw the following…?

X^2 –XY – XZ + YZ

It’s the SAME pattern, but with Y and Z substituted in for the ‘numbers’…

(X-Y)(X-Z)

While the above example is relatively simple (and a relative rarity), it goes to show that there are ‘levels’ to how well you might actually understand a concept. Making sure that you have set aside some time to review your stronger subjects, tactics, and questions that you’ve already answered correctly, is worthwhile.

GMAT assassins aren’t born, they’re made,

Rich

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