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Hi Everyone, I just started preparing for my GMAT since 2 weeks and yesterday gave my GMAT Prep Diagnostic Test. These two weeks I started with MGMAT for Quant and Verbal and did exercises from OG12. I was good in solving GMAT-club daily questions and was on hope that I could score atleast 550 in my first prep test. But to my disappointment I just got 390 ( unbelievable and quite depressing) with Q-32 and verbal-13.I have a statistics background and I work as a statistical Consultant. I have a daily schedule of 1 hr in the morning for verbal and 1 hr in the evening for Quant on weekdays and 5-6 hrs on weekends. Meantime, my 2-yr old son keeps me busy after my office work( though part time). But with this score I am sure I need to revise my study plan but quite unsure about how to start and how to move on. I am planning to take my GMAT in feb 2013. So, any inputs from you guys will be of great use.
It is evident that the Verbal was smashed up bad and the Quants score, on a starting note, was the saving grace. I did pretty much go through the same journey (but for me Quants was the villain). But that did not prevent me from getting to a 630 on the 1st attempt. I am in a way just summarizing my journey (not yet complete for me though) - may be it can help you gain some perspective. The best remedy here is introspection – Check if you had in the first place seriously studied the Verbal Manhattan (VM) Guide, if you are sure that you gave your best on that, then go deep and see if you were making a mental note of all the important points from the VM Guide. The key is to immerse yourself onto the book for a period of at least 10hrs, go over some specific and “tangible”(operative word) rules over and over till it becomes second nature to you(Subject-Verb Agreement, Proper reference to antecedents, Verb Tense match, Proper usage of common idioms/phrases etc..). Make sure that while practising questions from the OG, you identify the rule that was not followed even in the wrong answer choices- most of us will cut to the right answer and forget where exactly the other options went wrong. For Verbal, IMO the golden rule is Quality over Quantity (the other way around for the Quantitative Section). For RC the main stress should be on improving your ability to focus and think actively while wading through an already information dense GMAT passages – the bottom line here is stamina and purely mental stamina. LSAT RC passages are tough and I have a plan to do at least 10 of them before my 2nd attempt. My other observation on doing RC’s effectively, is to shut down the CR kind of thinking. To be more precise, on the actual test, say, after doing 3 CR questions in a row, there is an involuntary spillover of that hard core logical thinking spree onto the RC passages. I personally found shifting gears a toughie. RC is mostly all about assimilating the information given and eyeballing the question and ticking the right answer – whereas in CR you have to assimilate the information (stimulus), eyeball the question stem, iterate to the right answer using logical thinking and tick the right answer. For Quants keep the plan simple – Focus first on the most important areas such as Number Theory, Inequalities, Ratios/Percents, Geometry & Work/Rate problems. Again Manhattan Quant resources are your best buddies. Go through all the indexed questions available on the GMAT Club Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving sections. Keep it simple and focus hard, GMAT is definitely not the proverbial Goliath and even if it claims to be one, it definitely is not an unslayable Goliath. Do not get depressed, it by default puts you in a no-win situation. Snap out of it as quickly as you can and ensure you learn the habit of recovering from upsets – there is always a chance that some of the scores in the practice test will hurt and again this habit may also come in handy on your actual test day.
I will rather do nothing than be busy doing nothing - Zen saying
Thank you Pansi for ur suggestion. To add more, i just prepared myself just wid sc and did not touch the rest and wid quant ds had banged me. I am quite unsure about how to prepare wid verbal. One at a time or dividing the three sections everyday?
Hey mansi. Do not spend too much time on fixing up the high level details. In my opinion a loose framework is enough when it comes to the schedule. But what really matters is the amount of painstaking and meticulous efforts we put into the fine details - IMO you need to consider the below things in your prep. 1.Where do you go wrong the most (is it the inequalities - if it is the inequalities is it only with Modulus bases questions, If you go wrong in DS questions - is it because you have a problem with confidently selecting E or C, If it is CR- are you going wrong with Assumption, Inference or Weaken or Support based questions). 2. Strengthen your strengths and slough off your weaknesses? For me to begin with it was Work-Rate, I leveled it. Then it was Geometry- Now I am very comfortable with the questions asked. Hands down my biggest bugbear was inequalities, now I have gotten control over it, though not to the level of mastery I set-about for. I have gotten stronger at the CR over the course of the last 2 months(hardly do I go wrong in these questions). RC still remains my nemesis - working on it. 3. Practice Tests- A must. Manhattan ones are the best. GMAT prep will help when you get close to the final lap of prep. Please ensure that all the Practice Tests are reviewed question by question as soon as you complete the test.
Please remember that all that matters on GMAT are the fine details and solid homework one does to strengthen the basics - because 2 minutes/question is a tough ask and can be beaten only if you know the basics strongly, feel an instant familiarity with the topic being tested, feel a sense of ease navigating the question set-up and practice enough to be wary of the numerous pitfalls that are inherent in GMAT questions.. All the best! Just get a piece of paper, write down your plan and get moving. Most of the times we make many false starts before we actually get serious towards the prep. More better get an exam date, if you have'nt already
I will rather do nothing than be busy doing nothing - Zen saying
-study in the evenings instead of the mornings. It's possible you're not fully awake when you study verbal. -study for more than an hour at a time, if possible. You might try studying only verbal for two hours one day and studying only quant for two hours the next day. -truly reflect on every single question you answer. If you answer it correctly, reflect on it. Look at the wrong answers and understand why they are wrong. If you answer a question wrong, reflect doubly. -study in an environment free of distractions. If you can study in an area that is totally silent, do it. This might require you to study while your child is sleeping, at school, or in the care of another adult. -don't lose confidence. Remember that for every question, all the information you need to select the correct answer is right in front of you.
Many of these points apply to studying quant as well. Like the above poster mentioned, the quantity of problems you study matters more for the quant section, but I want to emphasize that reflection is just as important in that area. Don't assume that more problems attempted will result in better scores. More understanding will result in better scores. Spend time learning concepts and focus on understanding.