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450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice

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450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 13:42
I am scheduled to take the Gmat on May 14th 2011. I recently took my second practice exam and scored a 450. My goal is to get to a 700 or at least high 600's. I know that it is possible because I am a very dedicated and committed individual but need your advice as to what my strategy should be.

I am currently enrolled in the online manhattan gmat prep course which ends on April 2nd. From my practice two tests (my first test was a combined score of 380 and much of the improvement was from simple strategy), my verbal is much stronger than my math. I believe I just need to work harder problems for verbal because I get a majority of the 500-600 level questions correct, but get less than 50% of any level above that incorrect. I also took advantage of the GMAT Write and scored and 5 on the argument statement essay and a 4 on the issue statement essay.

Relating to the math, I really need practice in all areas because I am currently getting questions only at a 300-500 level and some 500-600. My weaker areas include Rates, FDP, VICs and inequalities. I know that I should begin doing some OG problems but am not sure where to start. I do not know if it is more efficient for me to look at certain question types at a time, or just work problems that occur one after the other in the OG guide. I know that I am capable of a high score because I had a very high undergrad GPA 3.99/4.0. My problem is that I am book smart and I have always struggled with standardized testing. I really want to good to a top B-school and know that I can accomplish my goal. Please let me know your advice regarding a good strategy to tackle OG problems as well as an overall strategy to accomplish my goal. Thank you!
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Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 15:02
ebethke, have you been reviewing the questions you're getting incorrect?

The more information you provide in this thread, the more people will be able to help.

You mentioned some specific areas in quant that you were struggling; you should spend some time reviewing those areas and getting the fundamentals before diving into the OG problems.


Edit: I should note that I am not, by any means, an expert on the GMAT, just a fellow test-taker. However when looking at the OG questions, they provide a two-fold purpose: 1) practice, 2) identification of problem areas. If you already know what your problem areas are, you can focus on tackling those without using your OG questions at half value.
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Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 16:28
I haven't done as many practice problems that I have liked because I've been reading the material for the course and doing some of the problem set for the individual books. But, for instance, tonight I worked on overlapping sets and problems that were in a 500-700 range. I got a majority of them wrong, but before reading the answer, I try to do the question again. Once reviewing the answer, I do the problem again and note down the problem on a list with anything that I struggled with. I want to hopefully go over the problem again in a week or so.
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Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2011, 19:32
http://www.manhattangmat.com/articles/two-week-prep.cfm

Use the info in this article to help you strengthen your weak areas :)
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 06:43
I did a set of GMAT Club V06 questions and also did some factorization/expansion practice last night after work and I feel quite exhausted today.

I think I will go home and sleep for a while first before doing any more studying. I printed out a load of Combinations/Permutation questions and I will also work on some rate problems.
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Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2011, 07:47
If you're weak in a particular area/section, practising questions is important but what is more important is to practise questions the right way. You need to ensure that you you're not moving from one question to another without seeing the explanation. Now you'll say that I read the explanation but I still don't improve. The reason behind that is most of the times we just read an explanation and think that we understand it. What we forget to ask ourselves what is the valuable thing or my takeaway from this question which I can apply in similiar questions in future. Because of not doing so, you'll see that you'll get stuck in questions which will probably test the same concept but twist it a bit and you'll be left wondering how to tackle this now.
So it is important that you think and ask yourself the takeaways from each question and it applies equally to Verbal and Quant. If you do so, then I'm sure that you should improve.
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Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2011, 17:22
Thanks for those who responded. All of the above links were very helpful. I just took my thrid MGMAT CAT exam yesterday and scored a 530 Q32 & V31. My quant has been steadily improving and I have found that I am strong in number properties, algebra, and geometry but am very weak in rates/Non standard word problems, VICs, and FDPs. In the areas I am weak in, I plan to revisit the strategy guides and make sure I understand the key concepts while also doing harder more advanced problems for the areas I am stronger in. If you are aware of any good strategies to tackling such problems, please let me know.

As far as the verbal goes, my score has remained the same for the first 3 tests. How can I begin to improve it? I am strongest in RC, followed by SC, and then CR and the average level of the questions I get right are 670-690. The last test I noticed that my accuracy for CR and RC improved b/c I was spending more time outlining the argument & taking notes that I had to rush through the last 10 questions get almost all of them wrong. If I did not have to do this, my score may have increased slightly. I am going to take a look at Whiplash's CR guide. I have found a couple SC summaries provided by other Gmat club members and will look over this as well. Please let me know if you know of any other good resources to skim through.

I have my final Manhattan GMAT session tomorrow and then have 6 weeks until my exam. I've done almost all of the reading for the MGMAT books so really want to focus on doing problems. Please also let me know if you know any additional strategies I should be focusing on in order to reach my goal. Appreciate all the help :)



Last bumped by ebethke on 03 Apr 2011, 17:22.

Re: 450 to goal of 700; Need Strategy Advice   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2011, 17:22
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