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Experts advice required - GMAT 1 month preparation

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Experts advice required - GMAT 1 month preparation [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2012, 20:10
Hello Experts,

*Who Am I?
I am Jyo, working as a software engineer in a globally reputed IT firm for the past two years. I have decided to apply for MBA, preferably for classes commencing spring 2013.

*What I did for my GMAT till now?
Speaking of MBA applications in top / top-mid tier universities, I require a good GMAT score (minimum of 650). And since, most of the applications start by end of august, I have scheduled my test date on 16th August. I have not prepared much for the GMAT till now, except for taking up a couple of free prep tests to get acquainted with the test pattern. I have also purchased the "Self-study" course materials from the Princeton Review, which includes the 13th edition official GMAT review/Guide, a couple of strategy books and access to online contents and 10-practice tests online.

*Where do I stand at GMAT?
As stated earlier, I took a couple of prep tests and scored 500 (44 Q, 16 V, 5 IR) in my first test and 550 (42 Q, 23 V, 5 IR) in the second. And nevertheless, these were scored without preparation and includes guessed answers (due to time constraints???), especially in the verbal section. I have started preparing for my GMAT with the purchased contents a couple of days back and would be attempting another prep test today.

What are my expectations?
Since, I would prefer a b-school that gives me a good ROI and a good career growth, I would require a decent GMAT score, ranging between 650 to 750 and nothing less. I should also mention that I would be dedicating a month's time (July 12th to August 15th, my test date is August 16th) just for GMAT preparation with no office / personal works. As you can see, I am an average test taker and since I do not have a proper strategy to execute for my preparation, I am in need of some expert's advice. Posting my queries here seeking help in scoring well on my GMAT with minimal preparation time.

I would appreciate any valuable advice, suggestions and "proven" strategies on preparing for the GMAT with the constraints and scenarios I have stated above.

(In short - An average test taker with 550 score without preparation, expecting to score 650+ with limited prep resources and dedicated preparation time of one month)

Hoping to use this post as my guide throughout my preparation time. I would also require advice in choosing my universities and the process throughout applications, but i suppose it shall wait until i get my GMAT score.

Thanks

UPDATE:
Well, I took a prep test from princeton review and again got a score of just 550 but this time

Verbal: 22
Quantitative: 43
Total (V & Q): 550
Analytical Writing: *
Integrated Reasoning: 9

VERBAL SECTION: 22 (18 of 41)

QUANTITATIVE SECTION: 43 (33 of 37) - Wrong answers at questions 1,5,13 and 27

INTEGRATED REASONING: 9 (9 of 27)

I am planning on taking up the drills and OG13 problems a bit before I attempt another full test by next week. I shall also update the post with my actions and improvements, if any. It would be great if I get a proper guidance and strategy to follow.

-Jyo-
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Re: Experts advice required - GMAT 1 month preparation [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 20:56
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Jyothiswaroop Rajan wrote:
Hello Experts,

*Who Am I?
I am Jyo, working as a software engineer in a globally reputed IT firm for the past two years. I have decided to apply for MBA, preferably for classes commencing spring 2013.

*What I did for my GMAT till now?
Speaking of MBA applications in top / top-mid tier universities, I require a good GMAT score (minimum of 650). And since, most of the applications start by end of august, I have scheduled my test date on 16th August. I have not prepared much for the GMAT till now, except for taking up a couple of free prep tests to get acquainted with the test pattern. I have also purchased the "Self-study" course materials from the Princeton Review, which includes the 13th edition official GMAT review/Guide, a couple of strategy books and access to online contents and 10-practice tests online.

*Where do I stand at GMAT?
As stated earlier, I took a couple of prep tests and scored 500 (44 Q, 16 V, 5 IR) in my first test and 550 (42 Q, 23 V, 5 IR) in the second. And nevertheless, these were scored without preparation and includes guessed answers (due to time constraints???), especially in the verbal section. I have started preparing for my GMAT with the purchased contents a couple of days back and would be attempting another prep test today.

What are my expectations?
Since, I would prefer a b-school that gives me a good ROI and a good career growth, I would require a decent GMAT score, ranging between 650 to 750 and nothing less. I should also mention that I would be dedicating a month's time (July 12th to August 15th, my test date is August 16th) just for GMAT preparation with no office / personal works. As you can see, I am an average test taker and since I do not have a proper strategy to execute for my preparation, I am in need of some expert's advice. Posting my queries here seeking help in scoring well on my GMAT with minimal preparation time.

I would appreciate any valuable advice, suggestions and "proven" strategies on preparing for the GMAT with the constraints and scenarios I have stated above.

(In short - An average test taker with 550 score without preparation, expecting to score 650+ with limited prep resources and dedicated preparation time of one month)

Hoping to use this post as my guide throughout my preparation time. I would also require advice in choosing my universities and the process throughout applications, but i suppose it shall wait until i get my GMAT score.

Thanks

UPDATE:
Well, I took a prep test from princeton review and again got a score of just 550 but this time

Verbal: 22
Quantitative: 43
Total (V & Q): 550
Analytical Writing: *
Integrated Reasoning: 9

VERBAL SECTION: 22 (18 of 41)

QUANTITATIVE SECTION: 43 (33 of 37) - Wrong answers at questions 1,5,13 and 27

INTEGRATED REASONING: 9 (9 of 27)

I am planning on taking up the drills and OG13 problems a bit before I attempt another full test by next week. I shall also update the post with my actions and improvements, if any. It would be great if I get a proper guidance and strategy to follow.

-Jyo-


Following would be my advice:

1. Rather than one month 8 hrs a day rigorous prep for GMAT, 3 months 3 hrs a day prep yields better results. GMAT isn't about 'learning'. It's about 'application'. Your mind works better in short intervals. It's easy to burn out and not see progress after a while if you work on GMAT all the time. That said, one obviously needs to work under one's own constraints.
2. You have taken enough practice tests for the time being. I see you have a decent Quant score. With some brush up, you should touch 45-48 without any problems. Obviously, verbal needs a lot of work.
3. Go through a complete set of books thoroughly once, especially for Verbal. Thereafter, try 50% of the OG13 questions using the strategies you learn from the material.
4. Next step is to take a GMAT prep test (available free on mba.com). Hopefully, your verbal score would have improved by at least 10-15 points. Pin point your weaknesses - areas you had most trouble with - SC/CR/RC.
5. If needed, get material which specifically takes care of these areas. Review these areas from the new material and work on the rest of the 50% OG 13 questions. Then take GMAT prep test 2 from mba.com.
6. In the leftover time, work on your weaknesses.

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Re: Experts advice required - GMAT 1 month preparation [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2012, 20:17
Hello experts,

I have my exam in exactly 15 days from tomorrow (on August 16th 2012).

I have been practicing gmat problems for the 2 weeks and taken a good number of prep tests from GMAC prep and TPR.

Please find the details of my test results below (ordered by latest test to oldest)

Test Name Date %ile Total Q Q cor V V cor IR IR cor

Princeton Review 7 30-07-2012 79th 650 800 51 23/37 30 26/41 - 15/29
Princeton Review 6 27-07-2012 85th 680 800 51 28/37 33 24/41 - 17/30
GMAC Prep Test 1 25-07-2012 63rd 600 800 49 22/37 24 22/41 8 18/21
Princeton Review 5 24-07-2012 32nd 490 800 47 27/37 11 26/41 - 16/29
Princeton Review 4 22-07-2012 74th 640 800 47 27/37 31 23/41 - 17/28
Princeton Review 3 19-07-2012 57th 580 800 41 26/37 29 27/41 - 14/27
Princeton Review 2 17-07-2012 54th 570 800 39 28/37 29 19/41 - 21/28
Princeton Review 1 08-07-2012 48th 550 800 43 33/37 22 18/41 - 9/27

If you could observe, there is a significant improvement in the overall score (Total) in the last 3 test taken. However, the number of questions answered correctly (Q cor and V cor) are actually less in comparison to the older tests.

Also since the score fluctuates between 490 - 680, there is a high probability of getting a score less than the 600 mark in the real GMAT test; I am still not sure how the test is scored in real, but to be honest, the tests where I have scored high (600-680) and in the test where I have scored a 490 had difficult questions (may be that is the reason the over all score got boosted??? but why 490 in the 5th test??? in all the tests the incorrect answers were scattered evenly across the sections and not more than 3-4 consecutive incorrect answers).

It could also be noted that in the test where I have scored a 550 had the maximum number of correct answers but still the score was low with the test where i have scored a 600 having the least correct answers.

Since I am having just around 2 weeks of preparation time for the test, I am not able to judge myself so as to position myself of where I stand even with all these statistical data as listed above.

I can say that, most of the mistakes in quants are resultants of either misinterpreted questions (only in DS types) or "silly" mistakes which I am trying to avoid by spending more time; I almost take all the 75 minutes for quants section inspite of rushing the last 5-6 questions under 8 minutes;

When it comes to verbal, I have improved to a little extent when it comes to CR and SC types; But still RC score is determined only by luck!

I would be able give a 10 point increase in verbal but still RC does not seem to be in my hands; Even if i study the passage well and give a reasonably correct answer, it turns out to be wrong most of the times;

I am expecting a 650 + (or atleast 600 and nothing less) in the real test and would be glad if i could be given some suggestions, justifications about the unpredictable scoring as given above and expert's advice on how i can proceed further;

[The materials i am using are posted earlier - OG 13th edition and The princeton review (TPR) selfstudy online materials and books; I would not be able to purchase or avail anyother materials due to time constraints].

Your feedback and suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks
Re: Experts advice required - GMAT 1 month preparation   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2012, 20:17
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