Well, I’m here to tell you one thing: they are.
Seriously, I use them for all the tests I teach (GMAT, GRE, and LSAT).They’re a really fantastic way to organize yourself, find out your weaknesses, and keep improving through test day.
So, how do you use an error log? Simple: you log your errors 🙂
By that, I mean you need to keep track of the questions you miss, categorize them, and look up the proper explanations for them. You can do this in a spreadsheet or in an app (nb: my app).
So far, so good. Now let’s add a little twist: spaced repetition.
Every question you miss you need to redo the next day, without looking at your notes. If you get the question wrong, plan to redo it again the next day.
If you get it correct, plan to redo it again in a few days. Wrong that time, back to redoing it the next day. Right that time, you’re probably set on the question.
Please note: getting a question right means recalling the entire process to solve the question. If you only remember the answer, that doesn’t count as getting the question right.
So, why is this method effective?
Categorizing the questions you miss lets you focus your studying on your weaknesses, as opposed to just studying whatever.
By redoing questions and memorizing the processes, you will master the questions on the GMAT.
There are a limited number of question types on the GMAT. If you master enough GMAT questions, you will master all the types of questions on the GMAT.
Spaced repetition means that you review questions just as you’re about to forget them, so you’ll remember them all the way until test day.
My credentials for this post: 750 GMAT, full-time GMAT tutor, instructor for the GMAT for Deloitte Boston, writer of really long essays about effective ways to learn.