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550 to 750 - How YOU can be just as successful (long post)

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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2010, 09:32
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2010, 11:21
Very motivational post! I agree with the error log, I used to fill in everything while studying quant questions but found it to take too much time.

I have about a month left before my test. I've done pretty much all the questions in the official guide. The books that I used to study (apart from OG) were Kaplan & MGMAT SC.

My plan for the next month is to review my weak spots (geometry, permutations & combinations, and sentence correction) and do all the practice tests I can get my hands on.

I think your great score is simply due to your diligence (i.e. going through all the MGMAT books and taking notes).

I have a question:
I find I'm still weaker on the quant section than what I think I'm capable of. Is there a point in buying the MGMAT number properties book and going over it in the next month? I'm a bit hesitant because its only 1 of a number of quant MGMAT books, and the after looking at all the chapter titles, they don't look too impressive. What do you think?
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 08:30
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DAYNE wrote:
Quote:
The same question types tested in the official questions are frequently tested on the actual exam, the the test writers are lazy or lack the desire to make significant changes to the problems.


are you saying memorize the og questions?


No, I'm not saying to memorize the test questions. To be successful, you should learn to recognize patterns in what the GMAT is testing for, both for verbal and for quant. Don't worry if you cannot see this right away, it can take a few weeks or even months of study to start to recognize this. Once you have a nice, fuzzy feeling about what is commonly tested vs a rare question type, you can focus on what is relevant. From there, you should understand the question, NOT memorize.
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 08:37
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PadawanOfTheGMAT wrote:
How did you work? Did you just allocate 1 week to problem solving, then 1 week to DS, etc. Or did you work a little bit of everything every day?

Concerning the error log, you maybe wrote too much info into it, and it was killing your pace. I keep one, but only write the mistakes I made, it also helps me identify recurring questions that show up and which I do not have the knowledge to solve, therefore I have been putting more focus on these weak points.

Regards, and thanks for your feedback.


Early on in my studies I tackled one subject at a time. I would go through all of the verbal areas and then all of the quant areas. In the middle part of my studies, I did a week of verbal, then a week of quant, etc.. Near the end of my studies, I was feeling generally comfortable with all the material, so I just went freestyle, but tried to focus on any remaining perceived problem areas. Math one day, verbal another, then math, math, etc.. no real organization involved near the end.

With the error log, I didn't put a lot of info in it per question, but I was trying to complete at a minimum the fields that were in the templates on this site. That on top of the fact that I like to go back to not just questions that I got wrong, but that I like to go back to questions that I got right (but covering concepts that I deemed important and wished to review at a later time), meant that the error log contained too many questions in it. I found that simply circling the questions in my review books made it easier to go back than writing details into an error log. But again, I understand that the error log probably does help a lot of candidates.. just that it probably isn't for everyone, as some of the other posts in this thread seem to indicate.
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 08:45
nickk wrote:
Very motivational post! I agree with the error log, I used to fill in everything while studying quant questions but found it to take too much time.

I have about a month left before my test. I've done pretty much all the questions in the official guide. The books that I used to study (apart from OG) were Kaplan & MGMAT SC.

My plan for the next month is to review my weak spots (geometry, permutations & combinations, and sentence correction) and do all the practice tests I can get my hands on.

I think your great score is simply due to your diligence (i.e. going through all the MGMAT books and taking notes).

I have a question:
I find I'm still weaker on the quant section than what I think I'm capable of. Is there a point in buying the MGMAT number properties book and going over it in the next month? I'm a bit hesitant because its only 1 of a number of quant MGMAT books, and the after looking at all the chapter titles, they don't look too impressive. What do you think?


I think the MGMAT number properties book was very helpful for me given that my math skills were weak prior to the exam. If you're unsure whether or not the books are worth it, I recommend going to your local bookstore, such as Barnes and Noble, and reading it at one of their Starbucks cafes. You could probably go through the entire number properties book in half a day. That's what I did initially and I thought it was so helpful that I ended up buying the entire MGMAT set.
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 11:40
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Hi I wanted to find out what you did in the one month that you thought was the most important thing. I went from a 530 (one month ago) to a 660 (today). I finished the test with Q42 and V40, and I definitely felt like I muffed the quant section terribly. Any ideas? Anything helps thanks.
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2010, 12:10
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rjraider05 wrote:
Hi I wanted to find out what you did in the one month that you thought was the most important thing. I went from a 530 (one month ago) to a 660 (today). I finished the test with Q42 and V40, and I definitely felt like I muffed the quant section terribly. Any ideas? Anything helps thanks.


I edited my post to include this information. Refer to the last bold point. Congratulations on the tremendous improvement to your score!
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 06:31
Congratulations! Truly motivating!

Personally, I started off with Kaplan but saw it wasn't really doing it for me and am currently completing the foundations of GMAT Math by MGMAT (should be done by this week).

I am planning to signing up for the 9 week self study course since I feel I lack discipline. The thing is I do work full time and am aiming for a targer score of 700. I am planning to take the GMAT early July and will be off for 1 month off of work in order to be fully dedicated to the GMAT. I plan to complete the 9 week course by the time I am off although I might need the first week that I am off to tie up some loose ends.

I am planning to do 10-15 hours per week from now until early June (includes 3 hour MGMAT self-study course) and from early June to early July approximately 40 hours per week up until my exam. Therefore that's about 100-120 hours of studying from now to early June and then 160 hours the last 4 weeks for a total of 260-280 hours.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated

Thanks

BLITZ
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 08:31
Hey thanks a ton for taking time off to write such a detailed review. I am surely motivated by your success. I had taken the test in Feb and scored so less that I have been unable to come around to start the preparation once more.

But having read your preparation plan I will definitely restart....
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 09:06
Very inspiring and motivating debrief! You really have given me hope and to others! I'm currently in my 2nd month of studying, using all the mgmat series and the OG. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly.
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 11:51
CONGRATS... Great show of character and discipline
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 12:03
Nice job! I can totally relate to your experience with math, not feeling like you're very smart, and being generally bad at standardized exams. I initially scored a 480 (before I began studying), then I studied my ass off under less than favorable circumstances (long hours, burnout, general unhappiness, lack of confidence, etc.) and only mustered a 530 (I scored 89th percentile :| verbal and 25th percentile on math :cry:. I felt absolutely terrible afterwards.

I'm going to begin studying again in June under better circumstances and with renewed vigor.

Anyway, stories like yours are always inspirational, thanks! :-D
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 14:32
Motivating!
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 15:48
Congratulations on a great score. You said you didn't finish the test though? How many questions did you not get to? I assume you just did a bunch of quick guesses before the time ran out, but how many questions was that?
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 17:03
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If short on time, obviously the most important material to know is the stuff in the first half of the books (the stuff prior to the advance section). If you have the time, I would also review the advance material, though this is far less important. In fact, I only paid a minimal amount of attention to the advance sections in the MGMAT books.


I have a question in regards to what you said above. You said you paid minimal amt of attention to those advance sections but did you do all or most of the advance OG questions? If so, I'm guessing you just used the fundamentals you learned in the first part and transferred that over for the 2nd part questions. I just see it being difficult to approach the harder questions without going over part II. I would still like your input though.
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 18:33
I am so happy for you! Your post was very encouraging!
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2010, 21:16
Great going, congrats :)
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Re: 550 to 690 in 6 months. Then to 750 in one month. [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2010, 00:52
risys82 wrote:
DAYNE wrote:
Quote:
The same question types tested in the official questions are frequently tested on the actual exam, the the test writers are lazy or lack the desire to make significant changes to the problems.


are you saying memorize the og questions?


No, I'm not saying to memorize the test questions. To be successful, you should learn to recognize patterns in what the GMAT is testing for, both for verbal and for quant. Don't worry if you cannot see this right away, it can take a few weeks or even months of study to start to recognize this. Once you have a nice, fuzzy feeling about what is commonly tested vs a rare question type, you can focus on what is relevant. From there, you should understand the question, NOT memorize.


I have the same materials you have and want to know what did you use for Data sufficiency?
Quote:
Princeton Review Crack the GMAT - Worthless. Do not buy.


I got the Princeton guide because I went to a wack 3 weekend review of the gmat that was held at my college.
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2010, 08:45
blitz wrote:
Congratulations! Truly motivating!

Personally, I started off with Kaplan but saw it wasn't really doing it for me and am currently completing the foundations of GMAT Math by MGMAT (should be done by this week).

I am planning to signing up for the 9 week self study course since I feel I lack discipline. The thing is I do work full time and am aiming for a targer score of 700. I am planning to take the GMAT early July and will be off for 1 month off of work in order to be fully dedicated to the GMAT. I plan to complete the 9 week course by the time I am off although I might need the first week that I am off to tie up some loose ends.

I am planning to do 10-15 hours per week from now until early June (includes 3 hour MGMAT self-study course) and from early June to early July approximately 40 hours per week up until my exam. Therefore that's about 100-120 hours of studying from now to early June and then 160 hours the last 4 weeks for a total of 260-280 hours.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated

Thanks

BLITZ


I think 250+ hours should be sufficient prep time for the average person. Although you mention in the last 4 weeks you will study 160 hours, which is over 5 hours a day, every single day, for a month, while at the same time you mention that you feel like you lack discipline. Just make sure you don't burn yourself out. Otherwise you may wish to adjust yours hours a little to make up for potential rest days, etc.
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Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750 [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2010, 08:53
guytree wrote:
Hey thanks a ton for taking time off to write such a detailed review. I am surely motivated by your success. I had taken the test in Feb and scored so less that I have been unable to come around to start the preparation once more.

But having read your preparation plan I will definitely restart....


I felt the same after the first time I took the test. I was feeling lazy and everyone was telling me that a 690 wasn't bad and that I should just focus on the rest of my application. I wasn't going to take the test 4 or 5 times until I got the score I wanted (don't have the time or money for that), but I felt like at least one retake would be in order.

It is definitely tough to come back from defeat though. But with the right preparation, you can make it happen.
Re: My GMAT Takeaways - 550 to 690 to 750   [#permalink] 09 Apr 2010, 08:53
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