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Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed

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Manager
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Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2009, 22:00
I dont know where to begin. I gave my first real GMAT on 28th July this year. Nervousness and anxiousness took over and I performed way .. way below my best. Heres a sneak peak of my story :
humpty-dumpty-had-a-great-fall-650-to-560-suggestions-pls-81564.html

So finally, after studying for more than a month, revising the math concepts thouroughly, building up strategies of my own, reading various posts and experiences, and answering various posts here and there, I have started with my finals sets/challanges. With final preparations I mean, final challanges on which I am testing my performance level. These I will use during the next one month. However, I will finally end with all the tests I will have access to ie GMATPRep, MGMAT,Princeton and Kaplan. Following are the resources I just started using :

Quant : GMAT Club Tests
I am using GMAT Club Tests as my final Quant Preparations. With so many users supporting and testifying in favour of these tests, I am sure I can't be wrong here.

Verbal :
1000SC
1000CR(incl LSAT LR)
3000 RC Challanges(Not sure if this will be any help at all)
I know that these are not upto the mark however, they are sure good enough for practice.

What I have been doing during the last one month:
1) Studied Math concepts from where I could in an organised way.(GC, OG, MGMAT Books, etc)
2) For SC, I studied MGMAT SC Guide. Thrice.
3) For CR, studied MGMAT CR. But the strategy of writing down points doesn't work for me. Still working on one that works for me. Planning to refer to Powerscore CR for this.
4) For RC, MGAT again. Still struggling with their strategy but it should work for me I think.
5) Maintained my own notes/error log for all the practice questions I have attempted.
6) Read a few books(mentioned in GMAT Fiction).

Here is where I wish to be:
Planning to take GMAT by Mid Oct. Aiming for 700+.

Recent developments:
Took GMATPrep1 2 weeks back and scored 690. But I should add that quite a few were repeats in verbal. Took GMATClub QTest today m01 and had 28 correct answers. Yet to review the wrong ones.

My doubt lies in whether I am on the right path. Is there a better way to prepare? Its not that I doubt my own preparations, but its always a good thing to get an insight of an outsider. Though, I always feel at home here at GC. :)


So an appeal to everyone , especially the experts, to post of what you think about my preparations. All suggestions are welcomed. +1 Kudos for a good review ;)
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 06:18
Maybe I missed it, but did you take any prep class :?:
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 06:52
Just to supplement your confidence:

I never broke 680 on any practice test (MGMAT and GMATPrep).

I scored a 710 on the real thing.

Assuming you can control your nerves on the real thing, you should be good to go.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 08:46
calical wrote:
Maybe I missed it, but did you take any prep class :?:


Yes calical. I did take a reputed local prep class. It definitely helped me alot in terms of Quant concepts. But the teaching was only content-based. No strategy-based teaching. That was one drawback that I realised only after joining this website.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 08:49
mohater wrote:
Just to supplement your confidence:

I never broke 680 on any practice test (MGMAT and GMATPrep).

I scored a 710 on the real thing.

Assuming you can control your nerves on the real thing, you should be good to go.



Thanks mohater. That is a definite boost for me. :)
Please feel free to add any other views/opinions you have. I am all ears. :)
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2009, 10:08
bhanushalinikhil wrote:

Thanks mohater. That is a definite boost for me. :)
Please feel free to add any other views/opinions you have. I am all ears. :)


Have you seen the strategy thread (see my sig for link to strategy discussion and strategy master).

Although strategies are useful, I have found too many prep books/programs focus on strategy and answer elimination. I think prep companies should give content prep its due time and then supplement the content with strategies.

If you have solid grounding in the content, working on your timing and strategies should not be very difficult to become proficient in.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2009, 07:51
Im in the same situation as you. I had consistently been scoring 700+ on MGMAT and a 740 and 760 on the GMATPrep Tests. On test day I let my anxiety and preoccupied mind get in the way as I ended with a 650. I felt devastated as I failed to perform to my own expectations. When I came to this forum, I found countless posts about people that scored at or above all their practice tests when it came to the real deal and realized that I need to work on maintaining a calm attitude and clear conscience.

To prove my theory, i borrowed a friends Kaplan CD and took a CAT exam there. When I saw the score of 730, I realized that it wasnt my mental abilities or study preparations that killed me. The GMAT is all about little tricks in wording and if you arent calm and focused you miss those, and hence miss the question.

My retake is OCT 3rd and up to that time i plan to just take a few full CAT exams with time in order to prep myself for the length of the test.

My initial exam was at 8 am. A time when I had never really spent studying GMAT. I therefore switched to a 12pm time and hopefully this will help me out as well.

Good luck to you.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2009, 16:20
mohater wrote:
bhanushalinikhil wrote:

Thanks mohater. That is a definite boost for me. :)
Please feel free to add any other views/opinions you have. I am all ears. :)


Have you seen the strategy thread (see my sig for link to strategy discussion and strategy master).

Although strategies are useful, I have found too many prep books/programs focus on strategy and answer elimination. I think prep companies should give content prep its due time and then supplement the content with strategies.

If you have solid grounding in the content, working on your timing and strategies should not be very difficult to become proficient in.


Completely agree with you on this one, mo. One has to be absolutely sure about the content.

@GrantChap :Best of luck you as well. I am sure you will do great. By the way, how do you plan to keep your self calm and not let the anxiety take over your mind?
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2009, 16:38
If nerves are your main problem, maintaining your confidence should help you stay cool throughout the exam. If you are confident in your skills and truly believe you have what it takes to answer each question correctly, you'll be less likely to freak out and rush through the questions. My friends who tend to get nervous during exams usually take a sedative beforehand (they've done extremely well, btw) but I obviously wouldn't recommend that course if you're not used to them :/
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2009, 19:18
Expert's post
You seem to be on the right track everywhere. Sounds like you have used MGMAT books and now working on question practice.

Here are a few thoughts that may help:
1. Make sure you time yourself with any exercises you do. Don't just solve problems and take 4 mins per question - make sure you are always timed
2. Take full length tests with AWA
3. Print out/analyze mistakes - get a binder. I see you have an error log, but take it a step further
4. If you are not a native speaker, make sure you know all the vocab for math and as much as you can pick up for verbal
5. Study/take tests when your mind is fresh
6. Dont' take more than 6 months to prepare as your mind starts getting rusty. Pathfinder, the "former" moderator of this forum, spent half a year studying for a retake (after getting 720) and ended up with 690, so don't study for too long
7. Don't focus on practicing questions too much, rather on foundamentals. Use questions to guide you but don't try to use them to teach you

Also, you mentioned you got 690 on your GMAT Prep - can you tell us the split of questions you got wrong?



P.S. Unfortunately nothing guarantees a 700+. The score is a combination of factors, and does not have to do with intelligence or effort, rather a combination of attributes.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2009, 12:24
bb wrote:
You seem to be on the right track everywhere. Sounds like you have used MGMAT books and now working on question practice.

Here are a few thoughts that may help:
1. Make sure you time yourself with any exercises you do. Don't just solve problems and take 4 mins per question - make sure you are always timed -
2. Take full length tests with AWA
3. Print out/analyze mistakes - get a binder. I see you have an error log, but take it a step further
4. If you are not a native speaker, make sure you know all the vocab for math and as much as you can pick up for verbal
5. Study/take tests when your mind is fresh
6. Dont' take more than 6 months to prepare as your mind starts getting rusty. Pathfinder, the "former" moderator of this forum, spent half a year studying for a retake (after getting 720) and ended up with 690, so don't study for too long
7. Don't focus on practicing questions too much, rather on foundamentals. Use questions to guide you but don't try to use them to teach you

Also, you mentioned you got 690 on your GMAT Prep - can you tell us the split of questions you got wrong?



P.S. Unfortunately nothing guarantees a 700+. The score is a combination of factors, and does not have to do with intelligence or effort, rather a combination of attributes.


Thanks bb for your views. I am certainly timing myself. Though I am going beyond my planned time limits I am certainly trying to get them down. I am not planning to extend this any longer. I am retaking it by Oct. The only reason I am planning to solve a big chunk of questions is to see the pattern in my mistakes. Once I see that, I think I should be good to go.

My previous score of 690 had split of Q49 V34.
7 Wrongs in PS, 8 in DS, 5 in SC, 3 in CR and 4 in RC.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed [#permalink] New post 18 Sep 2009, 13:19
Expert's post
Here is a thought - once you have a clear idea of your weaknesses, get PR 1012 - it has targeted practice, so you don't have to waste time on subjects/areas you are strong in. People report it has mistakes in explanations but 99% is right, and you can use it for your SC practice (time yourself) and possibly for RC/CR. However, I found that you need to go back to either OG or GMATPrep to get your brain tuned to the GMAT level of logic as both PR and Kaplan were not fine enough.
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Re: Final stages of R2 GMAT preparations - All Opinions welcomed   [#permalink] 18 Sep 2009, 13:19
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