I have been reading this forum for the past 2 weeks and am amazed with the amount of information, kindness of people and the hard work that everyone seems to put into helping themselves and others. Truly inspiring.
Well, I had a very disapointing testing experience yesterday where I got SO nervous that I cancelled my scores.
3 months ago, I took my first diagnostic test and got a 580 (36q38v). I went to a private tutor for quant and on the last 2 weeks before the exam really gave a lot of me. During these two weeks, I scored around 630-680 on prep tests. Whenever I was able to get a good quant grade (for me, 42 is an already decent quant score), my verbal seemed to go down. I never managed a 700 on a prep test before the gmat (only a 740 fluke on the 2000 prep that I don't consider to be reliable). Since I am aiming for a 700+, I shouldn't have gone in without having scored that in the prep exams. The result was a complete freakout that can be read on the experience section of GMAT club.
With that said, I am not giving up and just signed up for the Gmat again on Dec 20th. I want to apply to at least 2-3 schools for round 2 this year so I want to really give it my all. I am on the mid 600's range. Scoring as low as a 590 on a manhattan CAT to a 680 on a gmat prep. Normally, I score around the 650 range, as I did just one day before the exam (39q/40v).
I would really appreciate if you guys could advise me on my preparation as I feel at a loss of how to organize myself - something essential to obtain my results in only 30 days. First, being realistic, I am expecting to study 2/hours a day after work starting this monday. I am a social person by nature, so I would say that being locked at home for the past 3 weeks before my exam and taking a week off work just exacerbated my anxiety. I ended up sleeping a lot, obssessing a lot, and driving myself crazy before the test. This time, I plan to work (9am-8pm) until the friday before my exam (Dec 20th is a monday), and study every night from 9pm-11:30pm. I will really limit myself of going out during the week but, I will not stay at home on the weekends. I will also try to get 2 hours of study eachday on saturday and sunday though. I will also attend private math sessions for 1 hour two times a week during my lunchtime.
Here are the questions:
1) Error log
: I am very interested in this feature, as I believe it was my biggest weakness during preparation. I did NOT use an error log
and I did NOT go over my errors as I should have. How do I use these excel sheets? Where is the most basic one that I can find? Judging by my quant scores, it is clear that mathematics or excel spreadsheets isn't my forte. Do I have to use the error log
during the CATS or can I go over my past CATS and FOCUS' and use it?
2) CATS: I was overwhelmd with CATS on the last two weeks. I had the 6 official ones, bought 2 focus bundles and the Manhattan CATS bundle of 5 (+the free one). That was my second biggest mistake which is correlated to the error log
. I felt like I had so many CATS to do that I didn't have time to correct my mistakes or go over my weaknesses. The result is that now I have ZERO official preps left to do and only 3 manhattan ones. Plus, I do so badly with the MCATS that I feel like it really kills my confidence. What can I do? Are there other CATS that you all suggest? I don't plan on doing ANY for the next 2 weeks. Is that a good strategy?
3) Math skills: Should I go over every math skill? I feel like I already did that with my private tutor for the past 2 months. I know most of the skills. But should I buy a book like the MANHATTAN quant books and start from zero?? How long does it take for the books to arrive internationally? I feel like I have a LOT of material with the 3 OGS (I did the 2 seperate quant/verbal but barely had time to touch the 12nd edition), my teacher's material, friend's material. Would you guys advise me to buy prep books?
4) Verbal: During prep, I normally get 2-3 CR questions wrong, 0-1 RC, and the rest on SC (5+). Therefore, my plan is to study SC. My friend has the Manhattan SC book that I heard is the best one out there so I am going to read that and try to improve my 42 to a 44/45. Alas, I will devote 90% of my time for quant.
Do you guys think this will work?? What should I do for 2 hours each night? Go over the math skills? Practice problems? Error logs? Introduce the CATS earlier, like next week, or later, in about 2 weeks time???
Is 2 hours per day enough to reach my goal? Any final advices??
Monday it all starts again for me. And I'm actually excited to beat the GMAT.