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First try 590...shooting for 700+

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Intern
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Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 11
Concentration: Finance, Accounting
Schools: Goizueta '16
GPA: 3.34
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 4

First try 590...shooting for 700+ [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2012, 09:45
Took the GMAT for the first time yesterday and got a 590 (42Q, 28V). I felt that I was doing well on the AWA (thank god for Chineseburned), but I felt that was crashing and burning on the Quant and Verbal. So when it popped up that I got a 590, i was pretty surprised and happy. (I only need around a 600 to get into my MAC program).

Anyways, for this first go around I studied for about 7 weeks averaging about 10 - 15 hours a weeks. I didn't not full grasp all the material at first. I was just doing problems and trying to figure out what I did wrong by reading over the answer in the back of the book. It wasn't until about 5 weeks before the test that I got my hand on the Manhattan SC book and was thrilled with my initial improvement (but that didn't stay very long). A week before the test I asked for help about how I could increase my score and some members suggest the Manhattan Number Properties book. This is an awesome book and I would suggest it to anyone taking the exam.

I had an error log, but didn't have enough time to review before the exam.

I am needing some guidance on taking the exam again and was wondering if there was a better approach than the one I am about to propose.

4-Months from April to August (10 hours a week)
Books: All 8 Manhattan Books, 12th OG, 2nd Verbal and Quant, and the 13th OG (in April)
Study Plan:
First Month - Do all the Manhattan Books and focus mostly on Verbal (maybe get the PowerScore books)
Second Month & Third Month- Work all the problems in the OG books for Quant and Verbal. Mixed with the GMAT club Quant
Four Month - Review all error log problems and focus on Manhattan SC again.

Mix in a test about every 2 weeks until a month before and do a test every week.

Here is the list of practice exams before the test:

Tests: Manhattan CATs and GMAT Prep

Date Total Quant Verbal
CAT I 14-Jan 490 29Q 29V
CAT 2 21-Jan 530 35Q 28V
CAT 3 4-Feb 610 41Q 33V
GMAT1 11-Feb 580 41Q 28V
CAT 4 18-Feb 570 34Q 34V
GMAT2 25-Feb 560 40Q 27V

Official GMAT 5-Mar 590 42Q 28V


I have a long time before I go back for my MBA, so I got plenty of time to kill.

I know the post is very long, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
T

**As you can see by my name I am trying to get into UNC Kenan-Flagler**
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Thanks,
T.

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Joined: 06 Oct 2011
Posts: 165
Schools: Wharton '15, CBS '15
GMAT Date: 06-30-2012
GPA: 3.7
WE: Accounting (Insurance)
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Re: First try 590...shooting for 700+ [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2012, 10:30
I think going through the MGMAT books you should easily bump your quant up to 45 and verbal to 33ish... beyond that I am trying to figure out myself.

I do think you should be able to work on your verbal score. Do you know what is your weakest area?
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Re: First try 590...shooting for 700+ [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2012, 15:17
Definitively SC

On the practice exams I score very well on CR and RC (usually 2 or 3 each per exam)
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T.

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Re: First try 590...shooting for 700+ [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2012, 10:01
If you're a native English speaker, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to improve verbal significantly with a little work. It sounds like you're going to get your MAC, which means you can't be completely Quant illiterate either, so I see no reason why you can't bump that up either with some targeted studying.

Also, if you are planning to go to business school, I would highly recommend getting your dream score now. You will be so mad at yourself if in three years, you realize you're applying to business school, didn't get the score you wanted/were capable of, and have to start over basically from scratch. Plus, as bad as studying is when you're a student, it's even worse after 12+ hour work days (you're going to be a CPA after all...), so if I were you, I'd try to get it out of the way ASAP.

1. For SC, it sounds like you started with the MGMAT book. That's great. I would go a step further and using that book, develop a specific framework that you apply to every single SC you get. Whatever is easiest for you as you read, but basically a 4-step checklist where you said "1) Subject-Verb, do they agree? 2) Parallelism, good or bad?...". You should do this for the original sentence, identify problem areas, and then go to work splitting the answer choices and everything else that they suggest. Then, in the end, apply your exact same checklist for your final answer before clicking it. From the people I have talked to (and myself), most English speakers don't have issues with Verbal timing, so you should have time to do all of this.

2. I broke this out, but DO NOT use your ear for SC until you've exhausted every rule you know and can't decide between the final two choices. Try to eliminate based on hard grammar rules (e.g. your checklist).

3. Study RC and CR strategy. You might be decent at them, but if you're able to improve your SC (which you will), you'll start getting much harder RC and CR questions, where it becomes much more important to have a strategy. While i never took notes like MGMAT suggests, they do have some decent tips for how to attack each type of questions, and I would recommend at least having a loose strategy for both of these when the questions get tough.

4. Study MGMAT Strategy Guides WITH OG problems. The books will lose 90% of their usefulness if you simply read them, and then move on to the next one. Read one, do every in-action problem, then do every official guide problem associated with that topic. When you can't figure one out, really try to work through it before looking at the answer (and definitely don't worry about time at that point). If you still can't get one, or get it wrong, look at the right answer, but not the explanation. See if you can figure out how to get that right answer now that you know what it is. If you can't, then look at the first step of their explanation, and see if you can solve it from there. Never just look at the answer and be done.

5. Once you have done every topic book, it's time to start with CATs and Error Logs, and go back to strategy books/the official guide where you need to (problem areas). This will also be the time to start thinking about timing (on your CATs).

6. If you're planning to take the test in August, you need a study plan for Integrated Reasoning too. I can't help you there, but just something to think about.

I could go into far more detail, but I would think that you could be a much higher scorer with some more, targeted work. My debrief probably has some more useful advice if you want to look there.
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Joined: 18 Feb 2012
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Concentration: Finance, Accounting
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Re: First try 590...shooting for 700+ [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 08:37
Bpeyster - thank you for the helpful advice.
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Thanks,
T.

Re: First try 590...shooting for 700+   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2012, 08:37
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