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560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth?

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560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 12:33
Hello,

First, I have to thank gmatclub for providing a place for all the useful preparation sources as well as for the different experiences of different test taker.
Today I took my first real GMAT and scored 560 (Q36, V31). My aim was to score at least 600, because I will need 600+ for a successful application for a MSc program.

Preparation
I started my preparation on 14th January and ended it yesterday. Due to three business trips (in total 2,5 weeks) I studied 6,5 weeks with approx. 12 hours per week.

I primarily used the following preparation material:

  • Kaplan GMAT 2012 Premier
  • The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition
  • GMAT Toolkit for iPad (the included practice questions)

Practice Tests
I started to take practice tests this week and scored the following (always without AWA):

  • GMAT Prep Software 550 (don't remember the single scores)
  • Kaplan Practice Test, online 600 (Q36, V39)
  • GMAT Prep Software 590 (Q43, V28)
  • Kaplan Practice Test, online 550 (Q33, V29)

Mistakes/Weaknesses
Well, one of my biggest mistakes was probably that I started with practice test just a few days before the actual test (and without the AWA part). Additionally, I definitely had/have a serious time problem in the quant part as well as in the verbal part (in the preparation and in the actual exam).

Now, I am not sure what to do. I have just one month left (admission deadline) to score a 600+. I am considering the following options:

  • studying like hell the next 30 days (maybe using "The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition")
  • signing up for an online course e.g. Knewton due to their 50 point-money-back guarantee

Do you have any recommendations for me? I am really lost and don't know what to do in order to achieve the 600+...

Regards from Germany!
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: 560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth? [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 18:03
It all comes down to whether you have sufficient time to study AND work on your app at the same time. I see no reason why you can't jump 40+ points in 30 days.

A few things to consider:
The GMAT is only "accurate" to within 30 points of your ability, meaning, if your ability is at 590, on any given test your score should range between 560 and 620. This is where some of the luck factor that people talk about comes in. Assuming your ability is 590 and you just had a bad day you could statistically have a 620 in you.

With regard to Knewton, I bashed them a little in my debrief, but in all honestly I think the course could be very valuable for someone aiming in the 600 to 650 range. Their teachers explain the basics very well, so that course alone might bring you up to your desired score. A word of caution: in order to qualify for the 50 point guarantee you have to view all their lessons, do all their homework and quizzes (which is a lot), and take all of their CATS (5 or 6 if memory serves). Given your timeframe and workload you might not get it all done in time to qualify for the guarantee.

I think a better bet for you is to pick up the 5 Manhattan GMAT quant guides, as well as their SC book. At a V31 you could see huge gains from the SC book alone. Their quant books are fantastic at teaching you all the fundamentals you need to score extremely well. I went from a Q25 to a Q47 just off the MGMAT quant guides (and 3 months of painstaking work). At the very least get the MGMAT Number Properties and Sentence Correction books overnighted to your door. The practice problems in the MGMAT quant books will direct you to the Official Guide 12th Ed., so you'll want to update your 10th Ed. to get the most out the the MGMAT books.

Best of luck!
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Re: 560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth? [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 00:32
Hey thekidjj,

Thanks for your reply! I always thought that the MGMAT book's content is to large to be covered within 3 months? Well, I finished my BSc in engineering last year and therefore thoght that my math skills are not that rusty, but it seems that I have a problem in solving the quant problems in the most efficient way. Do the MGMAT books teach the math basics with Real-GMAT examples? I think that would help me, because the Kaplan Guideline covers just the math needed and the questions after each chapter are not like actual questions on the test.

Well, I think it is a good idea to give the MGMAT books a try, I could skip a few topics in which I feel confident?!

Does anyone else have any comments on this strategy?

Regards


thekidjj wrote:
It all comes down to whether you have sufficient time to study AND work on your app at the same time. I see no reason why you can't jump 40+ points in 30 days.

A few things to consider:
The GMAT is only "accurate" to within 30 points of your ability, meaning, if your ability is at 590, on any given test your score should range between 560 and 620. This is where some of the luck factor that people talk about comes in. Assuming your ability is 590 and you just had a bad day you could statistically have a 620 in you.

With regard to Knewton, I bashed them a little in my debrief, but in all honestly I think the course could be very valuable for someone aiming in the 600 to 650 range. Their teachers explain the basics very well, so that course alone might bring you up to your desired score. A word of caution: in order to qualify for the 50 point guarantee you have to view all their lessons, do all their homework and quizzes (which is a lot), and take all of their CATS (5 or 6 if memory serves). Given your timeframe and workload you might not get it all done in time to qualify for the guarantee.

I think a better bet for you is to pick up the 5 Manhattan GMAT quant guides, as well as their SC book. At a V31 you could see huge gains from the SC book alone. Their quant books are fantastic at teaching you all the fundamentals you need to score extremely well. I went from a Q25 to a Q47 just off the MGMAT quant guides (and 3 months of painstaking work). At the very least get the MGMAT Number Properties and Sentence Correction books overnighted to your door. The practice problems in the MGMAT quant books will direct you to the Official Guide 12th Ed., so you'll want to update your 10th Ed. to get the most out the the MGMAT books.

Best of luck!
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Re: 560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth? [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 09:29
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Given 3 months the MGMAT stuff is definately not too much to cover. However if you only have a month and work full time it probably is too much. It all depends on how much of your free time you can devote to studying. The MGMAT books don't have any real-GMAT examples. What they do is teach you a topic, say ratios, then give you a 15 question quiz at the end to make sure you understand the concepts. What is fantastic about these books, however, is that they analyze all of the official GMAT questions in OG12 and break them out by category and difficulty level. This is why I mentioned that you'll beed to get the OG 12th edition in addition to the MGMAT books.

(From my MGMAT Word Translations book) OG12 ratio questions:
Problem Solving - 20,52,55,63,66,76,96,103,118
Data Sufficiency - 44, 58, 111
Advanced PS - 162, 169, 179, 192
Advanced DS - 155, 163

If you're short on time I'd recommend the following MGMAT books in their respective orders of awesomeness.
1. Sentence Correction
2. Number Properties
3. Equations, Inequalities, and VICs
4. Word Translations
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Re: 560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth? [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2012, 09:58
Thanks for your reply!
Amazon delivered the MGMAT books today and I started on Sunday to strengthen my math fundamentals using the gmatclub math book (I will go on here with the MGMAT guides).
I am confident that I could improve my score and bak the 600 barrier.

Thanks again for your advises!

Regards
Re: 560 (Q36, V31) - Should I retake the GMAT within 1 mounth?   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2012, 09:58
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