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Alinder's story, pre and post 1st take + Horror Story

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Alinder's story, pre and post 1st take + Horror Story [#permalink] New post 04 May 2008, 21:32
Hello All,

I recently joined this site and in the past couple of weeks and it has become an addiction. There are so many talented people on this site, hopefully some of you can share some good advice with me to help me on my journey to break 700. :)

So this is my first introductory post on this site, I would like to tell you about my prep thus far:

I took the MGMAT course from Dec - Feb and basically have been working out of the OG 11 books and MGMAT Strategy Guides, so far these are my scores from their CATS:

MGMAT CAT #1: 580 - Q40 V30
MGMAT CAT #2: 580 - Q37 V32
GMAT Prep: 540 (Dont remember the breakdown)
MGMAT CAT #3: 580 - Q37 V33
MGMAT CAT #4: 620 - Q39 V35
MGMAT CAT #5: 640 - Q44 V34

As you can see just very recently I broke out of the 580 slump, and am somewhere in the low 600s. I am starting to freak out because my test is planned for end of May and I really dont know what I should do (or can do) to help me improve to be consistently scoring in the 700s.

I have done for the most part what everyone else has proposed in their journey posts. I have diligently kept an error log, and have taken copious notes. In which I have transcribed to 3 X 5 cards and try to go over them as frequently as possible. Have done all (if not most) Quant problems in all of the OG books and similarly for the Verbal (except for RC and CR - which I have been really trying to focus on these last couple of weeks with some minor improvements) Whats more frustrating is that I quit my job the last couple of months to study for the GMAT fulltime, and my score has shown relatively low ROI. But I swear I have been working my ass off!

And on top of it all I had initially planned to take the test next week (6th) and booked a vacation to Mexico on the (7th) as either a congratulatory trip or a relaxation trip after bombing it to unwind for a few days, and then to get back into the grind when I got back.

So clearly that is not the case now since I postponed my test to the end of the month, because I just dont feel ready, Im not consistently scoring where I would like to be (700s). And now I feel super guilty for abandoning my studies for a couple of days to go vacation on the beaches of Mexico when I havent even taken the test :( (Since I am unable to cancel the airfare or hotel bookings) I know I should probably try to relax out there, but I know this is going to be eating away at my soul.

So basically when I come back I will somehow have to shake the hangover and will have about 2 weeks to study hardcore to remember everything that I forgot due to my Mexico trip and try to learn what I am clearly lacking to help me break into the 700s. Is this even possible?

When I come back I plan on reviewing all of my problems from the OG that I missed again, truly trying to understand the solutions, and attempt to take a practice test every 3-4 days to keep my stamina up and improve my timing. Aside from that does anyone else have any helpful tips/advice to help me on my quest?

I guess to summarize:
1). Is this even realistic given my schedule, to go from where I am at now to the 700 range within a couple of weeks?
2). If so, can someone provide some helpful tips/advice (i.e. Questions I should be working on, timing drills, certain content areas of focus, etc.)
3). What do you guys propose I do for my Mexico trip, I have a tendency to lose all of these rules and content very quickly (i.e. should I make an attempt to do some studying on the plane? Try to shake my hangovers in the mornings and attempt to do some reading? etc.)
4). When I return from Mexico does my approach detailed above (studying old problems, taking practice tests every 3-4 days, reviewing some specific content areas, etc.) make sense, or do you guys propose any other processes, tips, studying areas, etc?

Sorry for the long winded story, it was my attempt to seek advice as well as do some therapeutic ranting....Im just really burned out right now since I have been religiously studying this stuff since December and I still feel so far from goals with the deadline fast approaching.

Thanks everyone for listening and for anyone that can provide any kind of input/advice, I would sincerely appreciate it!! :)

Thanks!

Last edited by AlinderPatel on 12 Jun 2008, 00:23, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 05 May 2008, 02:27
my 2 cents..

Go For it. One or two weeks of intense practice can really push up the quant scores. So spend the second week just doing a lot of math. Finish all the problems in OG and any other material you have. push yourself to do sets of 10 questions in 12 minutes to improve your speed. make sure you are doing all the questions.

But it seems to me, you need to really crack a barrier on the verbal to achieve that push above 700..Spend the first week on Verbal.. Pick a section that you feel is your weakest( CR ? SC?) and focus on really cracking it. Do sets of 10 questions at a time..take your time on it..and make sure you get all 10 correct.

Do the GMAT Prep 2 after the second week and see where you stand..I found GMAT prep a very accurate indication of my actual score.

Heres to a gruelling couple of weeks, and hopefully some fun and frolic still in Mexico !
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 05 May 2008, 03:43
You need to push the Verbal higher and slight more for Quant. Verbal makes the difference. Look at the GMAT rubric in my GMATMalaysia blog. To score 700 (my aim too), Verbal makes the difference.

In this 2 weeks, focus more on Verbal
- For SC, MGMAT SC is good material
- For CR (and RC), go for PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible. RC questions are basically the same kind of questions you find in CR except that the stimulus is either a short or long passage.
- Do 1000 SC, CR and RC.

Good luck mate! You can do IT!
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 16:06
Hey guys thank for the advice! So Im back now from my trip and really wasnt able to do much studying... :(

But I figure that is a good thing since I am now re-energized to give one last push!

So for these two remaining weeks this is my plan:
1st week: Focus more on verbal and some math to keep those skills up to date

4 hours on RC/CR
2 hours on SC
2 hours on Math

2nd week: Focus more on Math and ramp down my time on verbal, hopefully to improve math and continue to make headway in verbal

4 hours on Math
2 hours on RC/CR
2 hours on SC

What do you guys think? Is this is a good approach to follow or should I make some changes?

ashaker wrote:
- For CR (and RC), go for PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible. RC questions are basically the same kind of questions you find in CR except that the stimulus is either a short or long passage.
- Do 1000 SC, CR and RC.


Also where can I get the PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible and 1000 SC referenced above.

Thanks again for your guys' help! I really hope I can do this!!
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 16:35
Alinder - try practicing Verbal stuff on gmatter. Get it from http://www.gmatter.biz.

Also note that MGMAT tests are very tough (esp their quant), not close to the real thing. I'd highly recommend taking the gmatprep2 to assess your actual level (or a gmat prep 1 retake).
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 12 May 2008, 16:47
Quote:
What do you guys think? Is this is a good approach to follow or should I make some changes?

Your strategy is good. For the remaining two weeks, work only on OG. Try to understand why an answer is wrong. Good you have Error Log.
Important 1: Do Math at the beginning, after 1 hour, switch to Verbal. Do RC when you are tried or at the end (When you have less focus). Because if you could do it well at that time. The final exam will be a cake walk for you.
Important 2: Always there will be the most obvious answer (an it will be wrong). See why it is wrong. At the next level, always two answers will be so close to each other (understand why the other answer is incorrect). I am trying to do this now.

Don't over work , but try to mechanize yourself. I hope it helps.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 19:07
Thanks for the input!

bsd_lover wrote:
Alinder - try practicing Verbal stuff on gmatter. Get it from http://www.gmatter.biz.

I just downloaded the Gmatter app, seems like a good tool thus far. Quick question, where do these questions come from? Are they OG questions? For some reason some of them seem familiar. And if they are not OG questions, how accurate are they in comparison to actual GMAT type questions?
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2 weeks left!! [#permalink] New post 13 May 2008, 19:51
I believe the question sets are from SC1000 and CR1000. So you may have seen some before. But what gmatter gives you is a "GMAT like" interface that you can use so that you're not fazed when switching to a computer screen to solve verbal problems from a paper based medium.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 5 days left!! [#permalink] New post 25 May 2008, 23:10
Hey guys im in my last week of studying, i take the exam on the 31st (about 5 days)

Any last minute preparation suggestions, and major Dos and Donts... For the next couple of days i plan on taking practice tests to keep the stamina (one a day up until wed), and do some review as well of my major weakness areas.

I plan on ramping down thur - probably use that day and fri to review AWA, (i have never looked at these or done them, will it be to late to review them then or should i start now, anyone have any good tips/resources which will help me shave some time to devote to this area this week?

thanks for the help thus far...and I appreciate all of the advice given.

its almost judgement day.....
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 5 Days left!! [#permalink] New post 26 May 2008, 16:19
Oh BTW guys, in addition to any advice you guys can give me for this final week, I just completed another MGMAT practice test:
MGMAT CAT #6: 670 - Q45 V36

So a 30 point increase from the last practice test, but still not close to 700.

For some reason I can break out of the mid 30s in Verbal, i dont know whats going on, ive been doing SC, trying to work on CR in OG 11, but i cant break that barrier...

does anyone have any tips for me that I can hopefully utilize for the remainder of this week and on test day that will help me break into the 40s for V.

Thanks for the advice in advance guys, I have so little time with so much more to do...hopefully I can do it :)


4 Days and counting....
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 5 Days left!! [#permalink] New post 27 May 2008, 14:32
AlinderPatel wrote:
Hey guys im in my last week of studying, i take the exam on the 31st (about 5 days)

Any last minute preparation suggestions, and major Dos and Donts... For the next couple of days i plan on taking practice tests to keep the stamina (one a day up until wed), and do some review as well of my major weakness areas.

I plan on ramping down thur - probably use that day and fri to review AWA, (i have never looked at these or done them, will it be to late to review them then or should i start now, anyone have any good tips/resources which will help me shave some time to devote to this area this week?

thanks for the help thus far...and I appreciate all of the advice given.

its almost judgement day.....


AlinderPatel wrote:
Oh BTW guys, in addition to any advice you guys can give me for this final week, I just completed another MGMAT practice test:
MGMAT CAT #6: 670 - Q45 V36

So a 30 point increase from the last practice test, but still not close to 700.

For some reason I can break out of the mid 30s in Verbal, i dont know whats going on, ive been doing SC, trying to work on CR in OG 11, but i cant break that barrier...

does anyone have any tips for me that I can hopefully utilize for the remainder of this week and on test day that will help me break into the 40s for V.

Thanks for the advice in advance guys, I have so little time with so much more to do...hopefully I can do it :)


4 Days and counting....


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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 4 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 27 May 2008, 18:02
MGMATs are harder than the GMAT, I think you will be fine. Make sure to get a good amount of rest between now and Saturday. Concentrate on the SC rules from MGMAT SC. Do as many problems tonight as you can and maybe some more tomorrow night. Tail off on Thursday and do none on Friday. Eat a good breakfast and relax, you'll do well. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 4 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 27 May 2008, 18:48
I guess you can give GMAT prep1 again and Gmat prep2 2 times to gauge youre scores at gmat.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 4 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 28 May 2008, 01:45
Hey allinder in total agreement with the past posters, MGMAT tests are way tougher than the real thing. If you are regularly scoring mid 30s in MGMAT verbal - it means you need to just be a little bit more careful and focused on the actual test.

Do the GMATPreps --> thats the most important thing at this stage. dont be afraid to retake it after you've got one diagnostic score. Redoing the gmatprep will expose you to more accurate gmat questions.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 4 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 28 May 2008, 04:12
Good luck!

Can anyone suggest any practice, strategy for AWA?

Thanks
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 4 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 28 May 2008, 05:39
A search for AWA on the forum will yeild a ton of stuff but this is the most recent thread I remember.

1-t64327
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 4 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 28 May 2008, 08:59
Quote:
Hey guys im in my last week of studying, i take the exam on the 31st (about 5 days)

Any last minute preparation suggestions, and major Dos and Donts... For the next couple of days i plan on taking practice tests to keep the stamina (one a day up until wed), and do some review as well of my major weakness areas.

I plan on ramping down thur - probably use that day and fri to review AWA, (i have never looked at these or done them, will it be to late to review them then or should i start now, anyone have any good tips/resources which will help me shave some time to devote to this area this week?

thanks for the help thus far...and I appreciate all of the advice given.

its almost judgement day.....

Last Minute Do’s and Dont’s

1) Just read OG for getting an AWA format. Use two examples and explain it fully (for each essay).
2) Don’t learn anything new at this stage. But, read your error log atleast 5 times (This is the best material).
3) Do only Official GMAT Prep (atleast 4 times). It will tell you where you are.
4) Again, you won’t be that tired during verbal. But at the same time, you won’t be that fresh. Hence, if you are like a machine, it will play a big role. I use the word machine because on the test day just implement what you have learned (like a machine). Don’t try anything new. Don’t worry or feel happy like human after each problem.
5) IMPORTANT : Keep track of time. Don’t rush. Don’t waste time.

Scoring a 40 in verbal is a dream. Even I am getting V 35’s consistently. Best thing you can do is relax and get 37 (>80) instead of aiming for 40.
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 3 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 28 May 2008, 12:02
Thanks for all the info guys!!!! I really appreciate it!! I just feel like so much is going on and I need to calm down and take in everything piece by piece ;)

As for my AWA stuff, like I said I have never even looked at this section before nor have I ever practiced this section till my last CAT.

If anyone would like to help this poor soul out by giving me a grade and some feedback on what I wrote I would greatly appreciate it!!

Link to my AWA Post

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2.5 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 28 May 2008, 12:49
With that little time left, the best thing would be to re-take as many GMATPreps as you can. Also try to retake at least one MGMAT Quant section (skip the verbal) the day before the test - that would put you in the right quant mode if you are aiming for 45+.
For AWA, yes, this thread should be all you need:
1-t64327
Just memorize the template, phrases, etc and try it once on one essay each, so you feel comfortable transitioning.

Pray before the test and have fun during it. Don't fight it.
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Best AWA guide here: how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html

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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2.5 Days Left!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 00:20
Hey guys, took the test over a week ago and have a crazy Horror story to tell!! If you are interested I posted the details in a different thread. Man o Man, its a dousy!!

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Re: Help!! Need GMAT Prep Advice from Gurus!!! 2.5 Days Left!!   [#permalink] 12 Jun 2008, 00:20
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