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3 Months Study Plan - Target 780

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3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2012, 10:26
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Guys,

Can any one guide on a study plan to bag 780 ?

Should I go through study guides again and build a strong foundation ?
OR
Do a lots of practice problems/work on speed strategies/tips/shortcuts etc etc ?

I have attached my study plan that I am planning to follow. Suggestions to improve the study plan are most welcome.

As you would notice , I haven't given much time for the core foundation books/Strategy guides because I have gone through MGMAT Study guides 4th Ed twice in past 1 year and I do not get the energy/motivation to go through them again as it makes me feel that I am repeating the same story again & again without any substantial improvement in my score level.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Study Details

I have been in the gmatland for quite sometime now, not consistent though. I have scheduled my D day in four months from now. Please note that I had to rescheduled the GMAT twice because I was nowhere close to my target score. Both the times I got stuck on 680-700 level.

Current Score level - 680-700 (GMAT Prep)
Target - 780

My weakness
- Speed - have to rush through both Quant and Verbal for last 5-8 questions every time I give a mock test.
- Reading Comprehension.
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Last edited by soaringAlone on 06 Oct 2012, 07:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2012, 13:08
3 Months is a tough challenge, especially when you have to work, family, duties, etc. I guess openly, and candidly, the odds are that you won't
accomplish it within 3 months.

In my opinion take it day by day, when you're ready to take the exam, you'll know. I know a HBS MBA grad that now works for Intel, he told me out of his mouth that he
had to take it like 3-4 times. So go figure.

At times, for different people, this is a year long process buddy. I'm sure, you'll have other people tell you the same. 3 Months, is not impossible, it's just not obtainable for majority of people.

Welcome to gmatclub.com, and good luck!
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2012, 21:53
laythesmack23 wrote:
3 Months is a tough challenge, especially when you have to work, family, duties, etc. I guess openly, and candidly, the odds are that you won't
accomplish it within 3 months.

In my opinion take it day by day, when you're ready to take the exam, you'll know. I know a HBS MBA grad that now works for Intel, he told me out of his mouth that he
had to take it like 3-4 times. So go figure.

At times, for different people, this is a year long process buddy. I'm sure, you'll have other people tell you the same. 3 Months, is not impossible, it's just not obtainable for majority of people.

Welcome to gmatclub.com, and good luck!



Thanks for replying. Unfortunately I do not have the luxury of deciding when I am ready because I have already scheduled the exam on end of January 2013 and I have to work backwards from there. I can not afford rescheduling as well because I have done that in the past. This time I just want to go for it with my full potential.

Actually, I have 4 months in total. I am keeping that one last month for revision and mock tests.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2012, 11:15
Getting a 780 or a 760 depends a lot on whether you are putting a 760 level effort every day till your GMAT. Most of us (of course including me) tend to slack off in between. We focus too much on end result and not on the process enough.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2012, 18:55
I applaud you for setting your GMAT goal so high. However, as a former admissions officer, I can confirm that the GMAT score is just one of many factors admissions uses in assessing your academic abilities and potential. My concern for candidates setting such a high goal is that they will use all of their time and energy focusing on the one score at the expense of addressing other aspects of their application. From my perspective, there was often no difference in opinion between candidates who scored a 720 and a 780 -- expect that the candidates who scored a 720 often had much better developed applications, stronger recommendations, better crafted essays and stronger recommendations -- simply as they took the time to focus on these instead of that one three digit score.

With time being tight, try to remember that there are many aspects to your application and that you might be better advised to lower your test goal a bit and focus on other controllable aspects of your application.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2012, 10:14
ManhattanReview wrote:
I applaud you for setting your GMAT goal so high. However, as a former admissions officer, I can confirm that the GMAT score is just one of many factors admissions uses in assessing your academic abilities and potential. My concern for candidates setting such a high goal is that they will use all of their time and energy focusing on the one score at the expense of addressing other aspects of their application. From my perspective, there was often no difference in opinion between candidates who scored a 720 and a 780 -- expect that the candidates who scored a 720 often had much better developed applications, stronger recommendations, better crafted essays and stronger recommendations -- simply as they took the time to focus on these instead of that one three digit score.

With time being tight, try to remember that there are many aspects to your application and that you might be better advised to lower your test goal a bit and focus on other controllable aspects of your application.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review


Kimberly, Thank you very much for guiding me in the right direction. Would you mind checking out the study plan I have attached and provide me feedback/suggestions on the same. ?
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2012, 10:16
AbhiJ wrote:
Getting a 780 or a 760 depends a lot on whether you are putting a 760 level effort every day till your GMAT. Most of us (of course including me) tend to slack off in between. We focus too much on end result and not on the process enough.


I agree with you AbhiJ. Would you mind checking out the study plan I have attached and provide me feedback/suggestions to improve the same ?
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2012, 22:52
You have mentioned that you have studied MGMAT Strategy Guides 3, 4 times, then why are they included again in your 3 month plan. Are you starting after a break. We tend to think that if we study from every last resource, article, video, available out there we would excel at GMAT. I made the same mistake. We need to select a few resources and study them exhaustively. For example

Basics
- Manhattan SC
- Powerscore CR
Both the above books to read multiple times, till you have truly mastered the concepts.
- Any quant book based on need.
- OG12/13 & OG V2

Topic Wise Practice

- 1000 SC/CR/RC (Or any other source that give you 700 problems of each type)

Tests

MGMAT 6
GMAT Prep 1, 2
Repeat all the tests once.

Don't wait till the last month to give tests.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 10:56
Expert's post
I think the biggest challenge to overcome will be getting the energy to study and getting the motivation to do it since you have been doing it for so long. You need to do a "surge" approach - intense 2 or so hour days during the week and practice tests later on, on the weekends, when you are ready to start taking them.

Do not focus on the tests too much (i think you know that) but rather go through the materials

Make sure you know why you make mistakes and know every single one of them and guarantee you will not make it/them again

MGMAT roadmap is a great book with wisdom from many applicants and experts - I recommend it!

Good luck!
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 13:03
What I'm saying is that no one is exempted from taking this exam, all those who want to earn an MBA, must take it, it depends on you how many times you want to take this exam. You can take it once, and do mediocre, or you can study you're ass off the first time and do well, then move to the rest of the college applications, with the tools you need to do well on the gmat.

In my opinion, MGMAT provides a great deal of resources for you to do well. It does not depend solely on strategies or gimmicks, it shows you how to think of the problem, how to execute, and an exit strategy if you do pass the 30 second mark per question and you don't know how to solve, or have forgotten how to.

I'm sure if you take a poll on how many people have retaken the gmat, most will say more than once, so it's up to you how much you give it your best the first time, so you don't have to retake once again.
In my opinion, if I can score between 690-740 in my first shot, then I can move forward and strengthen my application, through essay's, letters of recommendations, etc. Your application is looked at as a whole, so don't be in a rush to get a crappy score on the exam, and a crappy job on everything else, the GMAT reflects you're predictability on your success on the program, if you can't dedicate time and effort to the GMAT, as everyone does, what makes me think that you're application's, letters of recommendations, and essays, will have such attention to detail in the process?

Reality is that, this takes times. If you must apply to another program that does not require the GMAT, then consider those options, and utilize these 3 months to concentrate on essays, and LOR, and redoing you're resume. You can earn an MS in Finance, other great customized programs without having to take the GMAT.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 15:29
Just curious..why have you set your target as 780? It's just a number and after you take the test and start applying to schools, you will realize that the GMAT score is just a number on your application and far less significant than you thought it would be. Scoring a 780 does not guarantee a spot in a top b-school...far from it.

On a related note, I think it might be better to just take a more balanced -- I will give it my best shot and see what happens -- approach. Most people who tend to set these type of goals -- just put so much more pressure on themselves and really underperform on exam day. My $0.02 would be -- prepare and study hard and give it your best. What happens on exam day is not always in your control. Sometimes you might do better..sometimes worse. There's an element of luck involved as well.

Finally, I think a study plan is a good thing..but you need to be able to adapt and be flexible with your plan. As you study, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are. It's good to be open to making changes depending on what's needed. Only you can judge those things.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 20:08
DevilDoggNC wrote:
Just curious..why have you set your target as 780? It's just a number and after you take the test and start applying to schools, you will realize that the GMAT score is just a number on your application and far less significant than you thought it would be. Scoring a 780 does not guarantee a spot in a top b-school...far from it.

On a related note, I think it might be better to just take a more balanced -- I will give it my best shot and see what happens -- approach. Most people who tend to set these type of goals -- just put so much more pressure on themselves and really underperform on exam day. My $0.02 would be -- prepare and study hard and give it your best. What happens on exam day is not always in your control. Sometimes you might do better..sometimes worse. There's an element of luck involved as well.

Finally, I think a study plan is a good thing..but you need to be able to adapt and be flexible with your plan. As you study, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are. It's good to be open to making changes depending on what's needed. Only you can judge those things.


I don't believe that this exam is based on luck, it's based on preparation, and execution. Those that can think critically about a response, within a set amount of pressure, and time allowance will do good, usually those that score high, have had a proper game plan, preparation of all areas, not just quant, and proper command of the all subjects, and having the ability to teach others the same material.
I do agree, that the gmat is only a number, and it's only part of the application. I've read stories of people who score high, and were not accepted.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 20:26
Why is the GMAT score only a number? If the application is strong (essays, recommendations etc) then a high GMAT score will only make the application stronger.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2012, 20:43
@ laythesmack23:

I said -- there is an element of luck...I did not say this test is based on luck. You might want to re-read my post.

Anyone who says that there is no element of luck in the process is just naive. Of course results are driven by preparation and execution and a little bit of luck. Let me explain..for instance: you study really hard for 3 months and then right before the exam you get a bad cold -- it might affect your performance and that might be the difference between 710 and 730..a very small difference but a difference nonetheless. Along those lines, the timing and difficulty of experimental questions can shift scores by a few points up or down because of the amount of time / energy you spend on them. Even silly things like having a guy next to you making noises or your marker running out of ink can throw you off your game.

My basic point is this -- try and put your best foot forward and don't obsess over an exact number...the dynamics / unpredictability of test day mean that it's best to go with the flow. A good number of people are even pleasantly surprised on test day -- they get a higher score than they expected.

One of the best explanations about Standardized tests is through a golf analogy. Tiger or Phil don't go start a round thinking they are going to break 60 (that's like setting up for 780 / 800 on the GMAT)...The best golfers go out there and take what the course gives them..if they can go low they do..but sometimes they know it's going to tough just to shoot even par. No matter how well prepared you are -- sometimes it's just not going to be your day. That's that element of luck or intangibles or whatever else you prefer to call it.





laythesmack23 wrote:
DevilDoggNC wrote:
Just curious..why have you set your target as 780? It's just a number and after you take the test and start applying to schools, you will realize that the GMAT score is just a number on your application and far less significant than you thought it would be. Scoring a 780 does not guarantee a spot in a top b-school...far from it.

On a related note, I think it might be better to just take a more balanced -- I will give it my best shot and see what happens -- approach. Most people who tend to set these type of goals -- just put so much more pressure on themselves and really underperform on exam day. My $0.02 would be -- prepare and study hard and give it your best. What happens on exam day is not always in your control. Sometimes you might do better..sometimes worse. There's an element of luck involved as well.

Finally, I think a study plan is a good thing..but you need to be able to adapt and be flexible with your plan. As you study, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are. It's good to be open to making changes depending on what's needed. Only you can judge those things.


I don't believe that this exam is based on luck, it's based on preparation, and execution. Those that can think critically about a response, within a set amount of pressure, and time allowance will do good, usually those that score high, have had a proper game plan, preparation of all areas, not just quant, and proper command of the all subjects, and having the ability to teach others the same material.
I do agree, that the gmat is only a number, and it's only part of the application. I've read stories of people who score high, and were not accepted.
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2012, 06:54
bb wrote:
I think the biggest challenge to overcome will be getting the energy to study and getting the motivation to do it since you have been doing it for so long. You need to do a "surge" approach - intense 2 or so hour days during the week and practice tests later on, on the weekends, when you are ready to start taking them.

Do not focus on the tests too much (i think you know that) but rather go through the materials

Make sure you know why you make mistakes and know every single one of them and guarantee you will not make it/them again

MGMAT roadmap is a great book with wisdom from many applicants and experts - I recommend it!

Good luck!


Thanks a ton for your advice BB. Have you checked out attached study plan ? if not, could you please have a glance on the same and let me know your feedback. It will be great to get the critique from experts like you.

As you would notice, I have set aside a lot of time for going through various study articles on gmatclub, manhattan gmat, and beat the gmat. Do you think it's worth the effort and time or should I just stick to Manhattan GMAT books and OG ?
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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780 [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2012, 07:07
DevilDoggNC wrote:
Just curious..why have you set your target as 780? It's just a number and after you take the test and start applying to schools, you will realize that the GMAT score is just a number on your application and far less significant than you thought it would be. Scoring a 780 does not guarantee a spot in a top b-school...far from it.

On a related note, I think it might be better to just take a more balanced -- I will give it my best shot and see what happens -- approach. Most people who tend to set these type of goals -- just put so much more pressure on themselves and really underperform on exam day. My $0.02 would be -- prepare and study hard and give it your best. What happens on exam day is not always in your control. Sometimes you might do better..sometimes worse. There's an element of luck involved as well.

Finally, I think a study plan is a good thing..but you need to be able to adapt and be flexible with your plan. As you study, you will know what your strengths and weaknesses are. It's good to be open to making changes depending on what's needed. Only you can judge those things.



@DevilDoggNC, I agree with you to take a more balanced approach. The reason I have set my target as 780 is - If I train myself hard enough to score a 780 or anything >750, I can be rest assured that even if I underperform on the D day - I will fall back on 720+, which is must for someone who has got profile as mine to stand out.
_________________

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Re: 3 Months Study Plan - Target 780   [#permalink] 06 Oct 2012, 07:07
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