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I was encourage to post this on the forum by other users. Its basically my detailed GMAT log. I will post every Sunday night what I do during the week.
GMAT Journey Log
August 26, 2011
I have started to prepare for the GMAT. I followed the advice from Mark on the forum and did the Math Diagnostic test. It is 20 questions of math in the 300-500 range. I got 19/20 which means that I should skim over the foundations of GMAT math book and not spend too much time on it.
I’ve decided to take the GMAT Club diagnostic test on the 28th. It is very long and it’s been a long day and I am too tired to take the diagnostic. On the 28th I plan on taking the diagnostic and going through the Foundations Math. I plan on finishing the book by the end of the weekend and start the Foundations of Verbal by Labour Day. As soon as I finish both books I will be taking the first MGMAT CAT.
September 5, 2011
I took a while to restart this GMAT journey. However I am going to start getting serious after today. I scored 19/45 in the diagnostic test. This is quite low although I did not put that much focus to it. I also ran out of time. I am briefing my answers and I will be briefing them more in depth tomorrow. I will start making notes on foundations of Math GMAT. I got to take this seriously if I plan on writing on December. This is much harder than I thought.
September 10, 2011
I reviewed the diagnostic test in detail to find out what I got wrong and how to improve my speed. I had to review pretty much everything, so I moved to the MGMAT Foundations of Math book. I’ve done chapter 1: equations on the book and it seems pretty elemental….however when I did the first 2 drill sets; most of my mistakes were careless. I have to pay more attention to detail when I do this massive math review. I will complete the entire Foundations of Math book before moving to foundations of verbal.
September 24, 2011
I’ve found a better strategy to tackle foundations + strategy. Do the chapters that relate to the strategy. So I’ve finished chapters 1 – 3, 8 on the foundations, then I moved to the strategy book called Equations, Inequalities, and VICs. I have to be careful in the word problems as I tend to put the variable on the wrong side of the equations. Some of my questions were wrong based on small math errors, but I understood all of the foundations of math questions. Chapter 1 of the strategy book was good; it has a lot of tips. I do need a ton of practice.
September 25, 2011
I’ve done chapter 2 of E, I, VIC, but I need to go back and review the basics of exponents, in order to increase speed + accuracy. I will be using the calculus book for that as it was very good. I will do this before I advance to chapter 3. I need to pick up my pace. I got stuck in a lot of the questions; I need to practice to be able to do them more naturally.
October 1, 2011
I did chapters 3 -6 of E, I, VICs. Will try to finish the basic part of this book tomorrow so I can start with word translations next.
October 8, 2011
I decided to do odd problems of the strategy book in order to speed up the process. Finished the E, I, VICs book.
October 9, 2011
I Finished Chapters 1 and 2 of the Word Translations book, and I will require some more practice. I will do the first MGMAT practice test tomorrow to gauge which areas I will need to put more time going forward. I’m also very curious where I stand right now. Note that I have yet to do any verbal.
October 10, 2011 (1st Test Day)
I finally completed the first MGMAT practice test. Did quite poorly, scoring a 550, Q33 and V33. I did not finish the Quant section but I finished the verbal section with 20 minutes remaining. Verbal was not that bad considering I have yet to review it, but this is going to be an uphill battle. For verbal there’s no point in reviewing as I have yet studied for it. I got basically the same average for all three different sections which were between 50% - 60%. I believe that is a strong foundation, and I will be happy if after actually studying in detail I can average a score between 40 – 45, Meaning I will have to increase my score by 8 – 12 points. We will see if it is doable. For quants, I focused on reviewing the questions I should have known. I made a few careless mistakes as well as one question I went completely wrong about. I only got half of the questions I should have known which is not good. I’ve decided to switch my strategy a little bit. After seeing some of the questions that show up, I realized that the hardest questions come from WT and E, I, VIC sections. I’m going to take a step back and continue my review by doing the easier parts: number properties and FDP. I will finish the foundations of math book with the exception of chapter 9 before moving to the strategy books. Once I finish the NP and FDP books, I will go back and finish the WT book. I need to speed up the process as there is a lot of material to cover. After finishing the entire quants review, I will move to verbal foundation, followed by CR, RC, and SC in that order. I will then take the next MGMAT to see if my score improved. Target date for MGMAT 2: Saturday November 12. Finished Chapter 4 of Foundations of GMAT math with a near perfect drill set score.
October 12, 2011
I Finished chapter 5, exponents and roots, and I’m glad I did as I needed good practice simplifying roots. Key is to do prime factorization – something I haven’t done since 10th grade. I also forget that even powers when rooted have 2 answers. I need to ingrain that in my head.
October 16, 2011
I finished chapters 6 and 7 of Foundations of Math. I will finish chapter 9 once I finish all the other strategy books.
October 17, 2011
I Finished Chapters 1 and 2 of Number Properties, and I only had 1 mistake in both problem sets.
October 18, 2011
I Finished Chapters 3 and 4 of Number Properties, had 2 silly mistakes and 2 conceptual mistakes. _________________
October 25, 2011 Finished chapter 5 of NP, problem set was flawless. I do however have to pay attention to detail when these questions come up.
October 26, 2011 Chapter 6 of NP is done, however I need to be careful about the relationship about even exponents and even roots. This is one of the trickiest things I’ve found about the GMAT.
October 29, 2011 I finished the number properties book. This should be the book everyone should start with when starting to review quants if you’re not using the Foundations of Math book. I also finished chapters 1 -3 of the Fractions, Decimals, and Percents book. This book was fairly easy for me because these subjects are used heavily in finance. However I made careless mistakes because I’m yet to be agile at multiplying and dividing 3 and 4 digit numbers fast. _________________
I skipped a week of working on the GMAT and I’m not very happy about that especially after signing up for the test. I will need to make up approximately 10 lost hours of studying in this month. My target is to hit 50 hours of studying during November, or approximately 2 hours a day.
I’ve decided that to make up lost time I will be going to work 1 hour early and using that hour to study the Foundations of GMAT verbal book. Once I finish the MGMAT strategy guised which I’m hoping it will be on November 20, I will be staying one hour after work just to do questions, that way I avoid the temptation of getting lazy once I get home.
I’ve finished the FDP book. While doing combinatorics, probabilities, I struggled. I finished chapters 3 – 6 of the Word Translations book. _________________
I finished Chapters 1 and 2 of the Foundations of Verbal book. Very basic but it has some good tips. I also finished chapter 7 of word translations.
November 8, 2011
Finished chapter 3 of Foundations of GMAT Verbal
November 9, 2011
I finished chapter 4 of FGMAT Verbal and the Word Translations book. I need more practice in the minor problem types.
November 10, 2011
Finished chapter 5 of Foundations of Verbal
November 12, 2011
I finally finished the Foundations of GMAT math book. I recommend this to everyone who hasn’t done basic math in a long time as it has helped me brush up immensely. On the last chapter’s drill set, I kept messing up how to get the area of the triangle as I kept forgetting to add the ½. In Geometry problems, taking a little more time to find the intermediate information is key to getting every question right. I plan to use the step process they suggest in the book.
I finished chapters 1-4 of the Geometry strategy book. I had very few conceptual errors in the problem sets. I think that I have figured this section pretty well. Know the formulas to find angles, areas, perimeters, surface areas and volumes really well, and when tackling a question, get as much info written (intermediate steps they call it in the guide) as you can as fast as possible. The question then becomes elemental.
November 13, 2011
I finally finished the Geometry book. Note that I have yet to do the advanced sections of the strategy guides. I plan to write MGMAT 2 next Saturday morning and I have crafted a study schedule for the upcoming week. In the mornings I will keep hammering through the Foundations of Verbal Book, while in the afternoon I will be doing a cram 2 hour review of each guide in the following order: Monday NP, Tuesday E, I VICs, Wednesday FDP, Thursday WT, and Friday Geometry.
After writing MGMAT 2, I plan to do an extensive review to find my quants weaknesses and I will be using Sunday morning to craft my strategy as to how to tackle the OG books. By next Sunday I will have one month and a half left and if I keep the momentum I feel confident I will be ready for January 7. _________________
Finished the sentence correction of Foundations of Verbal
November 16, 2011
I finished chapter 8 of Foundations of Verbal. I will be doing a massive review of the math strategy guides on Saturday and I will be doing the MGMAT test 2 on Sunday instead.
November 17, 2011
I finished chapter 9 of Foundations of Verbal. I really like this section as I’ve done it before in a logic class.
November 18, 2011
I finished chapter 10 and 11 of Foundations of Verbal. If I find myself in trouble with CR I will go and review my logic book, which is much more explicit at finding argument flaws than the MGMAT book.
November 19, 2011
I started reviewing math prior to the MGMAT test 2 and didn’t finish. I did 2 of the MGMAT question banks then spent a lot of time setting up the error log, which is great because you input the data and it spits your weaknesses pretty clearly. I felt really weak on some sections and I still suck on Data Sufficiency. I will populate my error log, do the qbank for FDP, and do a timed MGMAT test tomorrow
November 20, 2011
I spent the day populating the error log. I also planned my attack for the next week, where I am starting to do OG 12 questions early at work. _________________
November 21, 2011 I did the QBANk for the FDP Section. Overall I did much better than NP and E, I VICs. I feel like I made a lot of concentration mistakes, which I should be able to correct through practice.
November 22, 2011 I completed the first 14 questions of the OG diagnostic case. It took me 40 minutes. I got 5 wrong which is OK in my opinion and a decent start. I will retake the WT QBANK again tomorrow
November 23, 2011 I finished chapter 12 of Foundations of verbal. It didn't say much other than skimming through the passage is a formula for failure. I also did questions 15 - 28 of the OG guide diagnostic test in 30 minutes, closing to the 2min per question mark. My accuracy was very poor, which means that I am still eons from the optimal accuracy for a 45+ quantitative score.
I will finish the diagnostic test tomorrow, and will be doing a major error dissection after I do the MGMAT 2 test on Saturday.
I did the WT QBANK and it went fairly well, except most of my mistakes where conceptual. So far E, I, VIC and WT are my weakest sections, and were also the sections that I started with. I will review this strategy books again.
My goals for Saturday night are the following: - Finish foundations of verbal - Finish OG guide diagnostic test - Finish MGMAT Quant Qbanks - do a timed MGMAT Test 2 (skipping AWA) - Dissect errors from QBANKS, MGMAT 2, and Diagnostic test and start finding major quant weaknesses to start tackling on Sunday
November 24, 2011 I finished the diagnostic test from the OG guide timed and I was a little disappointed at the result especially the PS. My avg time per question was a little over 2min and my number of questions right per section was 13 out of 24. That being said I will be reviewing the diagnostic test along with MGMAT 2 on Saturday afternoon to ensure that my conceptual mistakes are covered and I know what to review.
November 25, 2011 I finished chapter 13 and 14 of Foundations of GMAT verbal, leaving vocabulary and idioms to do. The sections were small and easy but they gave me a great idea. Since I read a lot at work, I'm going to read articles and tackle them GMAT style. I will read them timed and I will write down on a pad what I get from the articles. This way I will be doing both work and gmat practice at the same time. I'm looking forward to MGMAT CAT 2 Tomorrow. I 've also downloaded the mgmat flashcards.
November 26, 2011 I finished the Qbank of Geometry. I didn’t do as well as I thought mostly because of careless mistakes.
I finally completed MGMAT 2 and got a 600, but I’m very disappointed on the quant section where I only achieved a 35 and finished only 30 questions. I was not expecting this at all and the breakdown leaves me even more confused. Even though I just finished a qbank on geometry, I got 0 geometry questions right. I am very frustrated that I had to leave 7 questions blank. As someone who considers himself a fast thinker, this is a huge blow. I did however improve on the data sufficiency questions.
In verbal I had great improvements in RC and CR, and they definitely come because of the tips in the Foundations of Verbal chapters. SC remains unchanged, although for some reason this exam says that 90% of the questions were in the 700-800 range. That is very strange to me…are this questions a lot harder than MGMAT 1 verbal?
I reviewed my wrong answers for RC and CR and most had to do with reading the question or choices properly. Some were really tough.
I set some goals to finish for Saturday night. Lets re visit if I accomplished them all:
My goals for Saturday night are the following: - Finish foundations of verbal - DONE - Finish OG guide diagnostic test - DONE - Finish MGMAT Quant Qbanks - DONE - do a timed MGMAT Test 2 (skipping AWA) - DONE - Dissect errors from QBANKS, MGMAT 2, and Diagnostic test and start finding major quant weaknesses to start tackling on Sunday
So I did not do the last one, and I’m glad I didn’t because I’m exhausted. Tomorrow I will start with dissecting MGMAT 2. I will also set up a schedule for Monday-Thursday questions before work.
November 27, 2011
I finished reviewing the MGMAT CAT 2, it took me over three hours but it was very extensive. I've also set up a schedule for Monday - Thursday. _________________
I did the first 20 questions on OG guide and they were very easy although I had a couple of dumb mistakes. I also did a few of the GMAT Club daily questions. I have a backlog of about 2 months on those questions so I’ll have plenty to do on my down time at work.
I also corrected the first 15 questions of the diagnostic test. Reviewing questions is taking me a lot of time, but I will now be using my down time to populate the error log. I hope this error log is useful for my purpose: to find my biggest weaknesses and review them again with the MGMAT strategy guides.
November 29, 2011
I did the first 20 DS questions of the OG guide. Only 3 wrong and slightly over time which is so far my best performance.
November 30, 2011
I did the next 30 questions of PS. I got over 80% accuracy with 6 minutes left which is the best performance yet. This gave me a confidence booster although I feel that the first questions are a lot easier. I’ve checked and reviewed some more of the diagnostic test questions.
I’m happy I did 47 hours of timed studying this month. My goal for December is 60.
December 1, 2011
I finished questions 21 - 50 of the OG guide but I was 17 minutes over time. This concerns me even though I only got 5 wrong. I need to do something about this.
December 3, 2011
I went through all my errors in the diagnostic test that I had left over, reviewed what type of questions I get wrong and wrote MGMAT 3. I got a 630 (Q37, V38) leaving quant questions 27-37 blank. I still can’t finish the damned quant section even though I did 100 questions of the OG guide, most of them under time.
I also did a schedule for the upcoming week regarding questions before work. I will not be doing any work tomorrow, as I want to take a break and use the next two weekends for full on study + review. _________________
I finished 20 more questions of the PS section of the GMAT and only got 1 wrong and took 30 minutes to do them. Is it me or these questions are very easy?
December 7, 2011
One month from now I will be free from this GMAT prison that is my life. I will also put forth an effort of studying much harder than I have until today. Luckily, I am not going home for the holidays (or perhaps not so lucky?) so I will have plenty of days to study.
I finished 20 more questions from the DS sections and I had trouble with some but I managed to skip the ones I had trouble and moved on. What's good about DS questions is that you can usually narrow it down to 2 possible answers…so your chances of getting a q wrong diminishes. I got 15/20 right with 1 minute over time. There is obviously room for improvement. I've also 'read carefully' an article either from Harvard mag, u of c mag, or scientific american. What I mean by 'carefully' is reading it and timing myself, writing the main point of each paragraph, then reading it carefully to see if I got the main points right. I think this keeps my RC fresh. I did part of RC but again I’m too tired at night to learn something new. I used the rest of my allotted time populating the error log.
December 8, 2011
I finished another 20 questions of OG 12 with only 3 wrong. I still find them quite easy. I also spent the afternoon populating the error log.
December 9, 2011
I finished another 20 questions of DS of the OG guide. Got 8 wrong and I have a busy weekend ahead.
December 10, 2011
I finished correcting the 90 questions that I’ve done in the OG 12, Problem Solving section. While correcting, I found out that I was getting a lot of the Variables in Choice questions wrong, especially the ones that are easier through direct algebra. This will be the first Quant section I’ll be reviewing. I finished correcting the 90 questions that I’ve done in OG 12, Data Sufficiency section. I did over 6 hours of work today.
Tomorrow, my plan is to correct MGMAT 3, do both 91-110 questions of the OG guide and correct them immediately after I do them so they are fresh, and then move into the sentence correction book. I’m also having trouble setting up the questions algebraically correctly.
December 11, 2011
I finished reviewing the MGMAT CAT 3. As I mentioned, the summary states that 3/27 questions were in the 600-700 level, while the rest were in the 700-800 level. Some of wrong questions were extremely tough, others I think I have a knowledge gap in VICs and algebraic translations because I keep getting these wrongs. 2 were careless mistakes. I’m going to assume that the q37 is due to not finishing 10 of the questions. Also, some of the questions I got right were extremely hard and I’ve yet to see them in the OG guide, however they usually took me between 3 -4 minutes. This is a big issue.
I finished both PS and DS from the OG guide 12 questions 91 – 110. I got 80% and 65% respectively. In DS, I’m starting to get questions wrong based on reading the question wrong or using information from statement 1 to answer statement 2. This is due to the fact that I’m doing them at a faster speed. Practice makes perfect I guess. I need to find time to cram the Sentence Correction guide. I’m running out of time! _________________
I did half of the Verbal Diagnostic, scoring average in RC, and I already have 4 wrong in CR. They are different from MGMAT for sure. I also did chapters 1 and 2 of the SC book.
December 13, 2011
I finished the diagnostic test, getting 10 done in CR and 11 in SC. I’m going to need to cram Verbal hard in the upcoming three weeks.
December 14, 2011
I finished questions 111-130 of OG guide PS. Did fairly well and definitely boosted my confidence. December 16, 2011
I finished question 111-130 of OG guide DS. The questions are getting tricky and touch! I got 12 right.
December 17, 2011
I debriefed the questions of OG guide I did over the week. PS is getting better while DS seems stagnant. The diagnostic test for Verbal was in line with expectations.
I did MGMAT 4 and I got a 660 (Q 44, V36). What a difference it makes to finish the quant section! I had to do the last 4 questions in a combined time of 2:10. I got 3 wrong so my timing isn’t that good just yet. My verbal slightly got worse but that is because I haven’t yet targeted my weakness: SC
I have 20 days to go and I have to tackle my identified weaknesses: Algebraic translations, Variables in Choices, and sentence correction. I really need to get going on the SC strategy book. I underestimated how hard it would be to study over the break…so many things come up!
I also populated the error log with the OG questions and started debriefing the MGMAT 4. I don’t know if I should do MGMAT 5 tomorrow, but I think I just might in full test mode (Including AWA)
December 18, 2011
I decided to forgo the MGMAT 5 and instead did 3 hours of review for the MGMAT 4. Again it came out that I need to review algebraic translations and VICs. I will do that next week. This week I’m focusing on the SC book. I won’t be doing much, only work on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I will be back home for the 24th and I hope to do a couple of GMAT Club Tests. _________________
Sorry to bring this up, but I don't think you are being too efficient with your time. I like keeping track of my studies as well, but think of the time that could be spent studying a little bit more...
I appreciate your thoughts man. I was already thinking of tracking less and studying more. My goal is to write the first GMAT Prep on the 27th, which means I need to spend significant amount of time studying for SC as well as reviewing the fundamentals of Algebraic Translations (My main weakness). There is essentially no time for tracking until then. _________________
I worked on the SC strategy book and did the questions they recommended on the OG guide. I’m in chapter 3 so far. I also did the MGMAT RC qbank and did ok. Finally I finished debriefing the MGMAT 4 Verbal section.
December 20 - 22, 2011
Worked exclusively on SC both the strategy guide and the OG guide.
December 24 - 25, 2011
I took advantage of doing the GMAT Clubs math test for free on the 24th and did one of the tests scoring 23/27. I also reviewed the questions I’ve gotten wrong from the OG Guide. I also reviewed Chinese Burned’s AWA guide in anticipation of doing the MGMAT CAT 5.
I took my first full test today (AWA included) and scored a 640 (Q44, V34). It’s a little demoralizing to get less than my previous test but after reviewing I saw that I did significantly worst CR than in previous tests. With two weeks to go, getting to 700 will be an uphill battle.
Tomorrow and Tuesday are crucial days. On Tuesday, I plan to write GMAT Prep 1. That leaves tomorrow to prepare all day for the test. I plan to go buy the things I will be bringing to the test centre. I also plan to review the algebraic translations sections in the MGMAT strategy guides, followed by MGMAT SC and some questions of the OG Guide. Those three things will keep me busy tomorrow. _________________
I did all of the OG Guide questions that MGMAT SC Guide suggested to do for chapter 4, and my result was decent at 33/43. I then reviewed algebraic translations and VIC chapters from the MGMAT quant guides.
Tomorrow I will wake up and do a few advanced VIC questions, followed by 10 Qs in the OG Guide from each of the following sections: PS, DS, RC, CR, and finally overview ChineseBurned’s guide on AWA. I will take a short break and then move to GMAT Prep 1. Ideally I would not to any questions before hand but I have no choice. I also bought everything I will be eating the day of the exam.
December 27, 2011
Today is my 23rd birthday. I started this wonderful day by eating breakfast and finishing the advanced VIC questions in the MGMAT Strategy guide, getting a few mistakes. I then continued with doing questions from the OG guide. I did 10 PS, DS, CR, and 11 RC. I scored 7/10, 7/10, 10/10, and 10/11 respectively. I then took a 40 minute break eating EXACTLY what I plan to eat prior to the test.
I finished GMAT Prep 1 and got a 670 (Q47 V35). I’m happy that I finished all the quantitative question with no problem and didn’t really find them too hard. I’ve realized that MGMAT questions have too many “math” steps and too little “logic” steps, while GMAT Prep and OG Guide is the opposite. Verbal is still low, and I have 10 days to improve it. I want a V40, I’m going to get it.
Plenty of my mistakes were careless and some I still don’t know why I got them wrong. I got 7 SC wrong, 2 RC wrong, and 3 CR wrong. I will be reviewing RC and CR shortly. I feel good about improving verbal if I keep hammering the SC guide and the OG Guide questions.
December 29, 2011
I did 20 questions of the OG Guide and chapter 5 of the MGMAT SC Guide.
December 30, 2011
I did a few questions of RC and CR from the OG Guide 12, getting only 1 wrong. I also did a takeaway on what I got wrong from GMAT Test Prep 1.
December 31, 2011
I woke up and did 10 PS and 10 DS questions, getting 5 DS questions wrong. I reviewed ChineseBurned’s AWA guide again and after a short break I hammered GMAT Test Prep 2.
AWA was fine except I didn’t click submit on the second one. On quant, I was feeling too confident and was ahead of pace up until question 12, then took my sweet time in 3 of the next 5 questions and screwed up my pace completely. I pretty much had to hurry to finish quant, guessing a few of the last 10 questions but completing the exam. On verbal I felt really well in RC and CR, as I kept seeing harder and harder questions show up. Over all I got 700 (Q46, V40)which is what I predict my score would be next Saturday.
For the next 7 days I plan to spend the next two days trying to finish the MGMAT SC guide and in between just do questions in batches of 20 and reviewing them right after. I don’t want to do more CATs; just questions from GMAT Official guides and review. I will be posting my last post on Friday.
I did the last DS questions of the OG Guide. Tricky! But I got most of them. I went over my mistakes and my mistakes of the GMAT Prep 2.
January 4, 2012
I did 20 PS questions of OG Guide 12. I got two wrong with one careless and I also finished with 3 minutes to spare. This gave me confidence as this is my last this was my last timed quant practice. I also went over every single quant question of GMAT Test Prep 2 and every wrong question of Verbal. Some of the verbal questions that I got wrong were very tough!
January 5, 2011
Did some CR and RC questions in the morning, and SC in at night. This is my last entry before my debrief. I feel good and confident for test day.
I hope you’re looking forward to my debrief. _________________