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3rd attempt at GMAT... N finally... I ask for HELP!!

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3rd attempt at GMAT... N finally... I ask for HELP!! [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2012, 11:14
3RD attempt at GMAT... N finally I get the guts to ask for Help on the forum!!

I have been fighting the GMAT since some time now. I am an Engineer working in the construction sector and a non native English speaker.

First Prep: GMAT Score (520 Q41 V21) – April 2009
I attended a 2 week coaching class with Princeton Review (the only available GMAT coaching available at my place). I was on a full time job but it got over at 4 pm. So I was free to attend evening classes. This was my first time on a standardized test. So, the classes gave an idea about how to traverse through the test. Also, I got some basic concepts on quantitative, verbal and timing sense. Then I spent time going through OG 11 and PR materials for the next weeks of prep. I made some flashcards. I gave both GMAT prep test. After GMAT main test, I realized I have a long way to go.
Mistakes learned:
1. I had gone through very few materials and thought it was sufficient to get through the test. I thought if I finished the material at hand I can score well. (Adaptive test concept hit me rightly only after the test!)
2. I took long time with less material and didn’t evaluate the problems I did.

Second Prep: GMAT Score (560 Q44 V23) – November 2010
I realized that I need better preparation, better material and quality preparation to beat this test. I couldn’t prepare for it again soon though. I changed my job to a more demanding one and with worse timings. My work got over at 5.30pm and reached home by 6.30pm. I had only 1 day off. At a time when the work was a little slow, I decided on giving GMAT a try again. This time around I wanted to do it the right way. I went through online forums, articles, suggestions, posts, advices, materials, etc.
Material Used:
1. OG12
2. Kaplan Math Workbook
3. Manhattan SC
4. Powerscore CR
Methods used:
1. Made Flashcards throughout the prep for important points or error I made
2. Maintained error log for all questions practiced and evaluated the problems.
• I used ‘GMAT club error log by spoilt’ for all SC questions from OG12 and made notes on all. Also, I used the planner provided to keep track of my progress and plans.
• I used another error log (GMAT study grid- HOC) to track other OG12 questions.
3. Timed all practice questions from Kaplan Math workbook and Powerscore CR (using GMAT timer)
4. During work hours, maintained reading habits of articles and working out few problems in between.

On August ’10, I started prep. I started with reviewing the previous materials and flashcards.
Then on 19/8/10, I gave Manhattan diagnostic test: 530 (Q33 V31)

Next 2 to 3 weeks, I concentrated on Kaplan Math workbook. (Meanwhile, I went through my verbal flashcards as well so that I don’t loose touch.). I thoroughly went through each session and evaluated my errors as well.
Then on 12/9/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 1: 640(Q47 V31)

I was happy that my quantitative improved. Now, I thought I need to focus on my verbal which was my main weak point. So, I started going through Manhattan SC thoroughly and did the OG questions on SC while maintaining an error log. Then, I went on to cover Powerscore CR. So, these 4 to 5 weeks went on improving my verbal.
Then on 22/10/2010, I gave a Kaplan test : 550(Q38 V26)

I was disappointed :( with the score. So did both math and verbal question for a week from OG12 and gave another test on 29/10/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 2 : 590(Q45 V26)

Then I had only a week more left for my test date. I took the week off. I practiced on OG12 questions. I reviewed through my flashcards and notes. I went through AWA templates. I gave GMAT prep tests again for practice(there were repeat questions).
On 2/11/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 1 : 680(Q47 V35)
On 5/11/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 2 : 670


Test Experience: As I started with my essays, I realized the SHIFT key and Caps Lock key functions on the keyboard were interchanged. This made me slow on the essays and made me a bit irritated and sad. After break, I reoriented myself and went through with math part. After the next break, I returned few minutes late and I tensed out a bit. But, I calmed and thought will make up for it through the test. But I couldn’t finish last 2 or 3 questions and I don’t remember now whether I guessed and marked those.

Finally, on 9TH November, I scored 560 (Q44 V23) on the GMAT.

I was thoroughly disappointed :( and couldn’t even think of giving GMAT again. Then, my work also started getting very hectic and demanding.

Third Prep: (Aiming to touch 700)

Mistakes learned from previous try:
1. On evaluating and learning, I may have slowed down my speed. So, after learning I should have spent more time on practice and timing.
2. I found the RC passage too long on the test. Need to practice with longer passages. Again, more practice needed.

Now, I have resigned from my job and I want to give a shot at GMAT again. After all, I had worked so hard then and wanted to give myself one more chance. I will be doing some part time work from home. So, deducting that time(maximum 1 day per week), I will be able to spent the remaining time on the prep
New Materials available:
GMAT Quantitative review
GMAT Verbal review
Kaplan GMAT premier program 2009 with CD
Old GMAT paper tests

Issues: :?
1. I haven’t booked a test date yet. I wanted to get some evaluation on my previous prep before that and how to rectify it and do a better plan this time. Please suggest how long should I spend for prep this time?
2. Before making a detailed plan I wanted to get some advices or suggestions.
3. How many hours of effective study (daily) should I go for without stressing myself out?
4. How would you suggest I divide my daily prep?
5. What material should I concentrate on now?
6. Should I practice area wise or mix it?
7. At what frequency should I take tests and how many adaptive tests?
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
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GMAT 1: 660 Q44 V37
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Re: 3rd attempt at GMAT... N finally... I ask for HELP!! [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2012, 11:40
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Issues:
1. I haven’t booked a test date yet. I wanted to get some evaluation on my previous prep before that and how to rectify it and do a better plan this time. Please suggest how long should I spend for prep this time?
1- This time you have plenty of things on your side . To name a few - time, earlier preparation and most important the zeal to get a 700 . In my opinion , you are fine with the content and the material but lacks on applying the knowledge that you have learned . Make a study plan for 2 months and stay focused during this period .

2. Before making a detailed plan I wanted to get some advices or suggestions.
2. The advice from my side is to use the material that i am going to mention in your issue NO 5, and give plenty of practice tests. Tests will build your stamina and you can keep an eye on the timing part. SO you will be practicing and becoming more efficient.

3. How many hours of effective study (daily) should I go for without stressing myself out?
3. Well i believe nothing less than 5 hours and not more than 8 hours for the next 2 months. Dont Eat ,drink or sleep GMAT . Just stay focused.

4. How would you suggest I divide my daily prep?
4. One thing at a time and once you are through with it ,practice questions related to it everyday even when you are studying some other topic.

5. What material should I concentrate on now?
5. You should use the following material :
a) OG 10 & 12 , Verbal review, Quant Review
b) Manhattan Quant set of 5 books, Manhattan Advance Quant , SC & Rc
c) Powerscore CR
d) Jeff Sackmann Total Math and Verbal.
Thats all buddy and keep going through the regular posts on gmat club and utilise the 700 level questions available here.
6. Should I practice area wise or mix it?
6. Area wise but once you have completed one area then do the ques related to it everyday . Do atleast 10 a day but dont forget to do it . It will help you in retaining the concepts.

7. At what frequency should I take tests and how many adaptive tests

7. Complete the Manhattan quant ,SC & RC books and powerscore CR as early as possible and start giving tests. Evaluate your tests religiously and go through Advance quant , Jeff Sackmann Math simultaneously .


I hope i have done my best to answer your queries . Even i gave my test on 9th November buddy and got a 660 . Will be giving one more shot at gmat in may end.
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Re: 3rd attempt at GMAT... N finally... I ask for HELP!! [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2012, 14:09
Thank you Gladiator for your prompt reply!! Really appreciate it..

Thank you for the boost of confidence. I really need to work on my stamina to practice in timed conditions as much as possible. Re-doing question of areas already covered is something i haven't done. Thanks for that piece of advice.
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Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2014
GMAT 1: 680 Q50 V31
GMAT 2: Q V0
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Re: 3rd attempt at GMAT... N finally... I ask for HELP!! [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2012, 16:24
Have you considered taking GMAT prep course? If you have already tried self study that will be something to look into.

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Re: 3rd attempt at GMAT... N finally... I ask for HELP!!   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2012, 16:24
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