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4th GMAT attempt - need advices

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4th GMAT attempt - need advices [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2013, 12:57
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Hey guys. I started with the GMAT for the first time about a year and a half ago. Since then I did the test 3 times but I didn't achieve the score that I wanted. For my poor scores I blame mostly the lack of time, and the insufficient preparation.

1st attempt: Jan. 2012: GMAT: 500 (Q:31, V:28)

I will be honest, I studied only about 20 days and I thought the GMAT is something that can be mastered in a short time without much practice. I didn't read or study from any book, I mostly did the OG questions and that was it. Only after seeing the score I realised that I'll have work much harder if I wanted to suceed.


2nd attempt: Apr. 2012: GMAT 600 (Q:36, V36)

The score went up 100 points but that still wasn't enough. I went through the Manhattan SC book and discovered beat the gmat and gmat club websites.. However I didn't study nothing in quant because I didn't have enough time and I thought that a high verbal score would be more valuable.

3rd attempt: Jun. 2012: GMAT 600 (Q:42, V31)

This was a complete disaster. When I saw the score I was really desperate. Before the third attempt I purchased the 5 Manhattan math books and went through almost all of them (I skipped some parts). However, in 30 days I practiced only quant. I didn't even touch the verbal part because I thought that the score was good and that I'll do again at least the V36 as I did on my second attempt. As you can see, even though the quant went up, the verbal fell down, and as a result I got the same score as on the second attempt.



All I want to do now is to unify my verbal and quant skills in order to get a 680+ score. I know it will be hard but I believe I can make it. I just want to ask for your advice on how to organize my time. I have about 2 months until my GMAT exam and I don't want to mess it up again. My plan is to study 5-6 hours on weekdays and on weekends even more. I have some weak spots (such as combinatorics, probability, geometry) and therefore I got the MGMAT foundations of math to help me get pass those weaknesses.

Until now I studied from these books:
5 Manhattan quant books
Manhattan SC book

I recently got these books and I plan to go through them also:
Powerscore CR bible
MGMAT foundations of math

I also plan to buy the gmatclub quant tests and since I already have the 6 MGMAT CATs I plan to do them on weekends.


Now my plan is to go through the MGMAT foundations of math and parallely to study from each MGMAT book. Only afterwards I thought to start solving the gmatclub quant tests and to begin reading the CR bible and MGMAT SC, and then to practice verbal. My goal is to get at least the 36 on verbal (as on my second attempt) and to improve my quant to at least 45.


I will really appreciate your advices. And thank you in advance!
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Re: 4th GMAT attempt - need advices [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2013, 13:58
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I think you're doing all the right things. However, as for quant, I would recommend spending 80%-90% of your time on your weaknesses. The GMAT tests only high school math concepts, and there really aren`t that many. Concentrate on your weaknesses (full time) for a month or so and you should be able to meet any question with confidence. Do not waste your time solving questions on subjects you already know.

Once you have covered your weaknesses, take as many timed practise exams as possible in preparation. I achieved a Q49 on my GMAT this way.
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Re: 4th GMAT attempt - need advices [#permalink] New post 21 Feb 2013, 15:55
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It appears that the fundamental problem is passive study habits. Before we go in to further detail, you really need to view this as your last chance at the GMAT. After this fourth attempt, it's almost certainly time to move on. So make sure that you can fully devote your time and energy to this undertaking. Is business school worth it? Are your future career goals worth it? Are you worth it? If so, then make the GMAT a priority and make this attempt the one that counts. Another concern is GMAT fatigue; as this is the fourth time taking the test, you've probably been studying for quite some time. This could lead to burnout, which will adversely affect your performance. Based on your last test date, it seems that you have taken a long break, which is good. If not, then you need one now.

Okay, now for the problems. One issue stems from your passive attitude and study habits. Ignoring either math or verbal for an extended period can definitely lead to one's downfall. You probably assumed that you would retain the information and skills learned previously. This is called passive studying. The GMAT doesn't just challenge you on the test day; it tests you from the first day you start studying until you walk out of the test center. And being passive during any period will bring trouble. The test will not do you any favors, so it's better to assume the worst. In this case, you need to be equally devoted to math and verbal every day (or at least alternate between the two each day). Don't assume that verbal or math will simply work out for you. It's up to you to make it work.

Your math scores show improvement, so the foundations book might not be the best investment. Fully reread the Manhattan math books (skip the end-of-chapter questions) and use all of the GMATClub tests. Those will kill you, but be patient and view every mistake as an opportunity to learn. The Powerscore CR Bible is excellent, so rely on that and Manhattan's SC guidebook. For RC, practice with lots of questions from GMAT and LSAT sources. Also, become very active on the verbal forums. Answer questions and fully explain your answer choices. You probably went over all the OG books, but it helps to completely read all of the verbal explanations - even for the ones that you answered correctly.

Good luck!
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Re: 4th GMAT attempt - need advices   [#permalink] 21 Feb 2013, 15:55
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