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Countdown to G-DAY - Today's go time! [#permalink]
30 Nov 2010, 20:52
Hello once again friends!
I have finally scheduled my GMAT for December 23rd, here in Pennsylvania (US). I took the GMAT two years ago without preparation and scored 560 (Q35, V35), not caring for scores at all (my school required me to score above 450...). Now, that my masters degree is on its way, i am looking into applying to doctoral programs and need a strong GMAT score. I was terribly lazy and only allowed myself some 50 days of preparation, starting from the scratch (I wasn't even able to factor out numbers). However, i did put some effort and with the help from this forum, i acquired some good materials so my time wasn't wasted. I started the prep with Princeton Review book, thinking it was a good one. Once I stumbled upon this place, I realized how wrong and wasteful my prep was. I did diagnostic tests, kept error log and located my weaknesses. After that, i purchased some Manhattan and Veritas materials to help me overcome those weak areas. Currently, i am around 680 (GMAT PREP), with Q43 and V 40. I am tackling Aristotle SC Grail in order to eliminate my only Verbal weakness, which will hopefully raise my V to 43-45. At the same time, I am hitting Manhattan's NP, WT, and Inequalities books, combined with Veritas' DS and possibly Combinatorics Book (is this even learn-able in 20 days?!). Anyways, I see this as my pre-debrief as i hope to come back with a good story for you guys. I am really hoping to strike that 700 barrier. I think it is realistic and doable (will take the last 10 days off and spend some major time studying).
Any comment or advice is much appreciated!
p.s. I seem to be much different candidate than an average forum member here. Most of you guys (especially non-native speakers such as myself) are killing Q whereas V is average. I, on the other hand, am doing really well in V with mediocre Q. Go figure! _________________
I have the same trouble with that approach on CR, with the exception of boldface questions, where you know what it is as soon as you see the bold print. I found diagramming and note taking helps.
On the CR, despite what some of the CR study books say, I think note taking/diagramming can certainly benefit some test takers, but I don't think i should be the recommended course for everyone. That is, I think MGMAT basically says that everyone should do it, and IMHO that is overreaching. People should experiment with various techniques on it, but I find that all it does is slow me down. Then again, i'm used to the LSAT CR and law school which sort of helps focus those skills.
Personally, I simply read critically from top to bottom and think about any issues or openings I see as I read down. Then, I just go through the question choices and if you've been thinking critically going down you can usually cross of 3 of the answers straight away as they are not even close to being relevant to the question.
The only exception for me is with the bold print questions. For me, what I have found helps most is: (1) read the passage (2) before looking at any answer, formulate in my own mind the relationship between the bolded parts (e.g., evidence that supports a conclusion and that conclusion, evidence that supports a conclusion and evidence that undermines that other evidence, etc.); (3) then find that among the answer choices.
I find that if I look at the answers before determining in my own mind the relationship, it makes it a much slower process as often some of the answer choices are worded in such a way that you can get easily confused if you haven't formulated an idea of the answer before you read it.
Quant is my stronger suit so Im working more on Verbal, im scoring at around V36-37 and want to bring that up to 40. Im doing 40 SCs from the OG and Verbal Guide every day (really helps) along with Alternating work on RC and CR. For quant Im just reviewing problems Ive gotten wrong on previous CATs and OG Work and working on timing for both sections. Ill also be working on the AWA template the day before (and morning of, who am I kidding ) the test[/quote]
Well good luck to you man, let us know how it goes for you!
p.s. Yup, CAT a day... I've taken some 20 CATs so far, the best way to get used to a long test... _________________
Quant is my stronger suit so Im working more on Verbal, im scoring at around V36-37 and want to bring that up to 40. Im doing 40 SCs from the OG and Verbal Guide every day (really helps) along with Alternating work on RC and CR. For quant Im just reviewing problems Ive gotten wrong on previous CATs and OG Work and working on timing for both sections. Ill also be working on the AWA template the day before (and morning of, who am I kidding ) the test
Well good luck to you man, let us know how it goes for you!
p.s. Yup, CAT a day... I've taken some 20 CATs so far, the best way to get used to a long test...[/quote]
20? WOW! I totally agree the CATs are great for "building stamina" and working on your timing, i just dont have the time to take as many as Id like plus review them thoroughly and still get in my OG work.
Best of luck to you as well, hopefully we'll both have good debriefs to share afterwards
Oh ok. Im working full-time up until the day before the test, as i used all my vacation days for the year (brilliant move on my part) and studying in the evenings after work, just hope it works out for me.
I'm sure it will. If you have a security of your work to fall back to, that certainly alleviates the pressure of having to score well on GMAT... I, on the other hand, am under all the pressure there is: if I don't get 700, chances of getting a PhD fellowships are slim and my future becomes uncertain since my visa expires soon. It's all good though, you live only once, so no pressure! _________________
That sounds good! My biggest weakness by far is SC and I will be doing 50 of them a day for the next 4 day to get in shape! Thanks for that... As far as CR goes, some say it helps to read the question first, then the story. I personally find that confusing. I like to read the story, read the question, then try to answer it before looking at the answers. If you're doing really well, answers will be so convoluted that they won't look like anything you expected...
Make sure that you're reviewing your answers and seeing where you're going wrong! Also, you should do the GMAT Prep SC document that's floating on here, in the SC forum. Think it'd be supremely beneficial!
As for CR, I usually read the stimulus first. I don't take notes physically, but I mentally search for the conclusion and if there's any assumptions or logical flaws, I make note of them. This is useful because:
1. If it's inference, you got the answer down 2. If it's weaken, look for the logical flaws you found 3. If it's strengthen, look for something that negates the flaws you found
I think the key at this point is to just kinda chill and not be too worried about anything. I'm sure you'll achieve your target in the exam. Did you do the GMAT Prep SC document yet? And I am posting a GMAT Prep CR document later tonight; check that out as well (but if I remember correctly you didn't have any issues with CR, so you should be fine)