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A study plan

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A study plan [#permalink] New post 19 Jul 2003, 19:57
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Now that we are sort of changing generations of test takers, I thought that it would be good to develop a solid study plan together - all suggestions are welcome. I will start and you can pitch in. Don't be shy :wink:

1. How Much Time for GMAT?
In my experience not less than 3 moths, but not more than 6. This was true for me: If I spent less than 3 months - i would not have covered all I needed to in both math and verbal. I went over the Kaplan's general book with CD and two workbooks. I spent about 1.5 months working with the workbooks - closer to the end of my prep. I felt that just one Kaplan's book was not enough. I did not have much respect for the PR book I bought, so I just used the tests.
The reason I did not want to make it more than 6 months was that by the end, I would not remember what I learnt in the beginning. I started studying on Nov 1 and finished Feb 5th. However, I felt I was ready around Jan 20 or 25, but could not get a test scheduled earlier. Also if you study for more than just a few months, there is a tendency to get relaxed and get off track, skip, etc. - takes much more persistence and focus.


2. How Much Time per Week?
I spent probably 20 hours a week; I studied in the mornings before work (i started my workday at 10 or noon two days a week) and on the weekends.


3. Where to start?
Assuming, you have done your school research and figured out what score you need, you can proceed to material agregation stage - download some tests
all-gmat-cat-practice-tests-links-prices-reviews-77460.html

4. What books are recommended?
I usually recommend only Kaplan but a few people said Arco's Verbal was quite good. I am unsure as of now. You can see my personal book recommendations above in the previous paragraph. If I were to take the GMAT from a scratch again, and I am glad I don't have to do that, I would get 3 Kaplan's books - one with CD and two workbooks. I would also get OG and got some practice on combinations and probability - thank goodness we have plenty of problems in the Math discussions: http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=7
The reason is that Kaplan is harder than the real GMAT, as a rule, but Kaplan has no probability/permutaiton problems or explanations esp. in the workbooks, so you need to seek that somewhere else.

5. What books/tests should I start with?
Start with the Kaplan's book with CD - you will get the basics and the strategy down.
Move ahead with the workbooks and you will get advanced practice you need to settle the strategies you learnt from the first book
Take a few Kaplan's Full Tests - and go carefully through the errors, writing or printing out your mistakes
Study what you are lacking
Take PowerPrep
Work on the OG - it will probably seem easy after Kaplan, so it is doubtful whether you should get it or not. I did not have it.




-=-=-=-=-
I will add More in a few days.
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 [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2003, 12:49
I would also add as an option for those who really have been out of school for awhile a really good college algebra book for example Algebra for College Students by Allen R. Angel and a really good english handbook called The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.

I would read the Elements of Style as a refresher course before getting into the Kaplan Verbal workbook. The book is really short ~ 100 pgs. Use the Algebra book as a fall back if you need more practice or if you're not grasping the Kaplan Math workbook explanations or problems. This Algebra book is really a Gem. It not only shows the basics of algebra equations but also shows how an algebra equation is applicable in real world word problems. Good luck to all.
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Short Term [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2003, 10:28
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Less than 1 month to the Test.

Scenario 1: You have no clue what GMAT is

1. I would immediately run to the store to get Kaplan's GMAT Book with CD. It will help you to get the basics down and general strategies.

2. Take a diagnostic test that is on the Kaplan's CD. The score is completely un-representative since the test cosists of 6 sections, 10 minutes each. Reading is very un-representative.

3. Having only a month requires to prioritize your time - see where you can get the most bang for the buck. One good option is to study the short math guide that comes at the end of the Kaplan's book. Depending on the results of your Diagnostic test, you will know which evil has to be taken care of first. Reading will probably be the hardest, and the requires the most time to improve, so don't start with that.

4. Get the strategies down first. If you have very little time - it does not mean you need to study only formulae and grammar - on the contrary, it is better to get those down first.

5. Don't haste to take tests - spend at least a weak studying and figuring out a strategy for questions before taking sample tests. There are not that many of them on the market, anyway.

5. After a week, take a PowerPrep - test released by GMAC - it is very similar in content and logic to the real GMAT. Many say that the real test is much harder, but don't be concerned with that yet. Not onlly remember your score, but actually go through the questions you got wrong - know why you messed up. The purpose of this test is another Diagnostic.

6. At this time, you should have about 3 weeks left. The next 7 days would be best spent if you can work on the basics of math, grammar, and logic. The short math Guide in Kaplan's book I mentioned is a good starter. If you have more than an hour a day of productive time on your hands, you may invest some money into Kaplan's Workbooks for Math and Verbal. YOu will not have time to cover both of them in entirety, but make sure you get through Arithmetic and some word probems in Math and Grammar rules (beginning of the Verbal workbook) and idioms (very end of the workbook).

7. Two weeks till the test
It is time to start taking practice tests. The knowledge you have picked up about the test and the basics of math and grammar from the workbooks should be enough to give you a solid base - make sure your base is strong. Practice tests will be testing how well you know your stuff. One thing is to know and another is to apply that knowledge in 1.5 minutes in a stressful situation. Nevertheless, Kaplan comes with 4 practice tests - take two or three tests in week three.
Things to watch when you take the tests: Does it work for you to spend more time on questions or should you rather abandon them if you could not come up with a solution in 2 mins. Can you follow the strategies you learnt for Verbal? Can you do CR's fast enough? Reading is definitely an issue, so what is the best option - run fast through the passage or can you read it more carefully and have better luck with the questions.

8. Print out the questions you have made mistakes on. If they are in the book, checkmark or circle them. Make sure you know how to answer them, whether verbal or math.

9. Take the Powerprep a week before the test - this will be your approximate score +/- 30 points. It is not precise, but it will tell you that if you get 470 on the second PowerPrep test, you will not get 650 on the real test a week later.

10. If you got a low Score on the PowerPrep, reconsider your decision to take the test in such a short time. If your score is within the range [/b](hoping you can improve another 20-50 points) continue your studies. Study for 3 days and then take sample tests for 2 days in a row. Make sure you write the essays in the beginning so that you know how much energey is required for the WHOLE test. This way, you can leave some more brain power for Verbal rather than if you exhaust yourself completely over the essays and Math.

11. Learn from Sample tests - make conclusions and refine time question strategies. Make sure you stick to them on the test.

12. Last 2 days, go over the questions you missed before - the ones you printed out. Brush up some idioms and get a plan how to write an essay.

13. Relax on the last day. You can take a sample test at the same time you will be taking the real test. It is better to take PowerPrep than Kaplan, even though you have already gone through PP. Relax in the evening - dont' do crazy things.

14. Get up in the morning and show up - these two things are absolutely crucial :wink:



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GMAT Plan [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2003, 19:46
I think your suggestions are well put BB. One point I'd like to add concerns LSAT Material. I took the GMAT last over 5 yrs ago (have to retake now since my score expired) and a major reason for my success was studying LSAT material.

The two sections that are common on both exams, CR and RC, are more diificult in the LSAT. However, unlike the majority of prep material not published by ETS, the LSAT official tests have the same flavor as the ETS tests. Practicing these exams under the recommended time limits improves one's ability to complete questions quickly. After doing some LSAT exams, the GMAT material will begin to look relatively simple.
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books for gmat [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2003, 05:58
from where can i get LSAT material
which books are good for GMAT
i am doing barrons but i think its not worth it
thanks
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books for gmat [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2003, 06:00
from where can i get LSAT material
which books are good for GMAT
i am doing barrons but i think its not worth it
thanks
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Detailed study plan... [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2003, 12:50
Thanks a ton for starting the thread BB :-D

I was wondering if you had a detailed study plan (like say a project plan) at the granularity of say two or four hours. If you did, then my next question is does such a detailed plan work?

I am trying to take my GMAT after three months and so I am working on a plan myself. Any inputs would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Re: GMAT Plan [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2003, 08:10
Expert's post
bholavi wrote:
I think your suggestions are well put BB. One point I'd like to add concerns LSAT Material. I took the GMAT last over 5 yrs ago (have to retake now since my score expired) and a major reason for my success was studying LSAT material.

The two sections that are common on both exams, CR and RC, are more diificult in the LSAT. However, unlike the majority of prep material not published by ETS, the LSAT official tests have the same flavor as the ETS tests. Practicing these exams under the recommended time limits improves one's ability to complete questions quickly. After doing some LSAT exams, the GMAT material will begin to look relatively simple.



Dear Bholavi
LSAT stuff is available from Amazon.com or just a regular bookstore. If you are outside of the US, which probably is the case, you can visit http://www.lsat.org and download some of their sample tests and practice tests.

BB

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Re: books for gmat [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2003, 08:12
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testtaker wrote:
from where can i get LSAT material
which books are good for GMAT
i am doing barrons but i think its not worth it
thanks


I would agree, Barrons is not worth the time; better swich to something more reputable. I don't know LSAT well enough, but probably the same Players as GMAT: Kaplan and PR. Stolyar has some LSAT stuff, you may try writing him a private message.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2003, 03:56
You can try some of the LSAT books/ test prep materials.

If you are already familair with the answering strategies, I would advise you to skip the strategies and tips of these books and jump straight to the questions..

Too many different kinds of strategies and tips are also often confusing to digest and apply!!
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Nov 2003, 00:22
I am new so bear with me!

What is OG - that everyone keeps refering to.

Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2003, 03:03
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 [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2003, 04:43
Thank you
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Delta Course - your suggestions? [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2004, 17:20
did you hear anything about Delta Course?
they tell that they train for "diffiult" gmat questions, including probability & combinations...
some of them could be really confusing, and i feel like i need practice with them.

also - does anybody know where it's possible to find more question to practice with number properties & arithmetic?

Kaplan is not enough for me - i solve their problems easily, but
after your challenges i suddenly realised that there is too much room for improvement for me :) :oops: :)
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Jul 2004, 21:05
Dear Andrea

I have not heard too much about deltacourse on gmat club or elsewhere.

The only way out to master arithmetic problems is to practice. Most, if not all , of us all know those concepts, but its really those subtle things in the DS questions that create problems.

Praet
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2004, 05:52
thanks Praetorian,
yes, there is all about old concepts, but for some questions it's good to use certain tricks (e.g. only on this website i saw the rule for finding the number of factors for big numbers; study guides don't have this rule in their math reviews) :)
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2004, 14:14
I bought the deltacourse access. You get acces for 3 months. It's very good for probability, combination, permutations, counting. It's the best material I've seen. It's only math. There are 19 probablity questions to help drill it in. There are 170 some odd questions that go over all Quant with the probability stuff thrown in. Includes all explanations. I found it very helpful.

I think everyone should get it.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2004, 06:34
yep, i coumpletely agree w/ you - i bought the course 3 day ago.

the course is very, very good for probability & combinations & statistics questions, and the price is reasonable ($27).

i would advise it to anyone who needs improvement in these areas.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2005, 23:45
BB thanks for the post, but I am curious has to how your balanced your time between the quant section and verbal.


Is it better to go big bang and study up on one section as much as possible then move to the next, or is it better to do a little bit of each section.

I am always worried that i am going to forget what i leanred in quant while studying for verbal and vice versa.....

Anyone else have any thoughts on whatworked for them?
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2005, 23:48
Also

How did you convince your company to let you come in at noon? I have an amazingly difficult time trying to balance work lifeand the gmat.


Anyone have any time allocation tips on how to balance it all out.

My current schedule is

530 - 8am wake up, gym, commute to work
8 - 6pm work
7-10 gmat
Repeat

Throw in about 8 hours on the weekend for the GMAT
4 hours a week playing in a basketball leauge for life
And helping my GF start her company for some more work

is this ever going to work, or am i going to have to cut something out?
  [#permalink] 06 Jan 2005, 23:48
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