A few days ago I wrote about how pleasantly surprised I was at my high math scores on the practice GRE despite the fact that I haven’t actually done math in many years. The few mistakes I was making were silly calculation mistakes that could be easily remedied.

Six practice tests later I am still making the same mistakes. This is a problem. Yes I am glad I remember the concepts, and am using the right formulas. It is far easier to correct inattentiveness than to learn entire theories. Unfortunately on a multiple choice test a wrong answer is a wrong answer.

The GRE people don’t care if I accidentally inverted a positive and negative sign on the third step using the quadratic formula. I don’t get points for having remembered which formula to use in the first place.

I know I am only missing a couple of questions per section, but on a section of only 20 questions missing two or three is actually quite egregious.

My problem is time. I am not using enough of it. I am given 35 minutes per section. I am finishing in 15 or less. I try not to look at the clock so I don’t worry about it, but then by not looking at the clock I panic thinking I am running lower on time than I actually am, and I rush. And that is when the careless mistakes happen.

A couple dozen more practice tests should fix the problem.