I have been studying fairly consistenlty since January. I took the Knewton course and watched most of the classes two times. I have also completed all of the practice problems, yet my cat scores all remain about the same. First 5 at 490 and the last 1 at 480! I just took the first official gmat practice and score a 470.
Studying for 5 months at a go - I understand that a lot of people have been out of school for quite some time and they have forgotten basic math concepts. But at the same time sustaining a high level of effort for 5-6 months is very tough, tiresome and it ultimately gives you a bad taste going into the exam.
I wasn't expecting a tone of improvement, but it is so difficult to motivate to study when you don't see any improvement. I want to schedule to take the test but I hesitate to do so until I see some improvement on the practice cats.
Do not schedule an exam until you are fairly familiar with all the concepts. You will hear a lot of people telling you to book a date right now, create a schedule and then work towards that date. I think this strategy only works well when you are already comfortable with math and verbal (not necessarily GMAT specific) and you have a medium-strong math background.
What I feel is a better strategy for someone in your shoes is to first set a tentative timeline, say 2 months, where your only focus should be towards becoming EXCELLENT in the basics. When you are about 3/4 of your way through this, you should ideally see your score hovering around the Q35-40 and V30 range. Only when you start scoring around 600 should you book your GMAT date - maybe 1 month ahead. (Assuming you are OK with a score of 600 - 650)
I do feel my overall knowledge has improved and I definitely felt my last cat was the best(by far best quant score, verb score way down though). I have just ordered the OG 12
and MGMT number prop book, hopefully I can work on fundamental some more.
Good call on the MGMAT books
and the OG. These are very important books. For verbal you might want to consider Manhattan SC and Powerscore CR
. I use these books and they have my 5 star rating.
Does anybody have a different approach I can try? I just need to see some improvement, so I can stay motivated! I am not looking for a 700 score, just somewhere around 600 so I can get intp a local part-time program.
A few other things -
1) Keep an error log
- It is very easy to forget the mistakes you make. Revisit this log at the end of every week.
2) Timing - Throw away the timer when you are learning the basics. Introduce it into your preparation later on in the game.
3) If you are not able to understand a particular topic, do some research in these forums and find out the others ways that people have solved these questions. I always had a hard time figuring out inequalities. I could never really just solve them following the methods prescribed in one of the books I was using. After researching quite a bit, I found a more intuitive way (using the number line) of solving inequalities. This is my go-to method of solving inequalities and inequalities is now my strongest area!
4) Don't attempt every question you see on this forum. Stay away from solving random questions that are posted on the forum. Use the forum only to research methods for questions in the OG, GMAT Prep & MGMAT.
Stay focused. A focused effort (short, sweet and hard) will reap you more benefits than a long drawn-out one.