GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition

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The Definitive GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition

Hope you find this study plan helpful - please PM me any of your tips or suggestions for those just starting out on their GMAT Journey You can bookmark this topic on GMAT Club by clicking the STAR button to the right[/url] or you can print it out for future reference.


Other Study Plans

Advanced Study Plan: Go from 650 to 700+
GMAT Course Study Plan
Ultimate Verbal plan
How to go from Q44 to Q50
How to improve verbal from V30 to V40[/textarea]

The decision to go for an MBA is a big one in itself. However, immediately upon decision, the big hurdle that most people face (unless you are applying for some certain Indian schools or a few online universities) is the GMAT. Unfortunately, GMAT is a beast that may need more than one attempt. However, crafting a systematic study plan with an objective focus to do better progressively will surely lead to success on the test day, and as a result the entire MBA application. The GMAT is also important for numerous other reasons

  • Recruiters, especially consultants, use GMAT scores as indicators of future performace.
  • The recently included IR section has shown to be somewhat correlated with B School GPA.
  • In the last few years, the average GMAT scores of top B Schools have risen steadily.
  • A high score on the GMAT often gets you into interesting conversation in dinner parties

While the last one may not be entirely true, the first three are good enough reasons to kick some serious GMAT butt, and I am here to collate a lot of experience in the GMAT Club forum to revise our extremely popular but slightly antiquated thread on the same topic.

At this point, before moving on, you may want to check out the GMAT Club 2-min Talk Videos. You will find several of our partners talking about basic and advanced strategies of the GMAT about topics ranging from how long you should take to prepare to whether you should retake.


Step 1: First, You should familiarize yourself with the GMAT structure and principles if you have not done so already - see GMAT FAQ for details. You can also visit http://www.mba.com and poke around. While you are there - go ahead and download GMATPrep - 2 practice tests released by makers of the GMAT. These 2 tests contain real GMAT questions, follow real GMAT principles, and are the best at estimating your GMAT score at any point in time.


Step 2: Take a practice test to find out how far you are from your target . Many believe it is a good use of one of the free GMAT Prep tests (I'll tell you to actually get more than 2 tests out of the package later). The main reason it is a good use is that you can see your starting point (now) and then compare it against the ending (taking GMAT). Alternatively you can use any other computer adaptive test from Princeton, Kaplan, Manhattan, or others and then use GMAT Score Estimator/Calculator to find your real GMAT equivalent. If you are offered to write an Essay (AWA) - skip it. For listing of all available GMAT tests - see all-gmat-cat-practice-tests-links-prices-reviews-77460.html (This is slightly outdated and will be updated soon)

Step 3: Find out what GMAT score you actually need. Just to give you an idea - You need at least 700 for Top 10 schools, 680 for Top 20, and 650 for Top 50 to pass - meaning your score should not be an issue and you will need something 50 points higher to actually stand out. Most people are able to improve between 50 and 150 points - that should give you an estimate of what you can count on based on the diagnostic test you just took. You can see current average applicant GMAT scores here. To visualize the entire application process, please use MBA Timeline Tool

Step 4: Identify your weaknesses - take a look at your practice test score and note the raw score distribution (you will get one three digit score such as 600 and 2 two-digit scores such as 35, 40 - those two are your raw scores for each of the sections. They have corresponding percentiles). See how you rank in each. Also, do a basic mistake analysis and understand which question types are the most challenging for you. The options are PS, DS, CR, RC, SC and potentially even more detailed such as probability, or assumption questions, etc. Don't only look at what questions you got wrong, but also why. Why did you make a mistake? You can also take a diagnostic test - GMAT Club offers a Quant Diagnostic test and eGMAT offers a verbal diagnostic. Use this information to build your study plan.

Step 5: Design your study plan - finally!
You need to build up your toolkit and get some ammo for the GMAT. You will need books or a course (online or in person) to refresh/learn fundamentals and then test taking strategies. You will also need GMAT tests to practice those strategies and also evaluate your prep level. See these links for: GMAT course reviews, GMAT Math Books reviews and GMAT Verbal Books
Finally - chart/plot/graph your study plan - use this calendar format

Step 6: Avoid typical GMAT prep mistakes and pitfalls.
Here is the most common one I see - jumping into questions and tests completely unprepared and expecting results/miracles. GMAT consists of several layers and it is important to master each one before moving on to the next - think of it as of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. There is no use in satisfying your social needs before you can take care of basic needs such as safety and food. The same is here, if you don't know the underlying principles that GMAT is testing (such as grammar, arithmetic, etc) there is no use in solving hundreds of questions or taking multiple GMAT tests. This means that if English is not your native language, you should not work on the RC strategies if you can't understand half of the passage - you need to get comfortable reading long passages of text before moving on. To illustrate this principle, consider the following hierarchy for the GMAT:

Image
In the General Knowledge stage cover basics for a chapter/section/area
In the Question Strategies stage start practicing questions either for the area you just covered or for an entire section but don't attempt questions for sections you have not covered yet
In the Test Strategies start taking full length tests and practice on putting questions and knowledge together

Step 7: Commit to excellence and doing the best job possible. Think about what you can do to improve your score – is it creating your own notes? Is it not moving to the next chapter until you are able to get 90% of the questions right? Is it reading a lot of fiction to get comfortable reading? Is it shifting your schedule to wake up at 5 AM and study till 8 before work? Is it investing in the right books, courses, and tests? You get the idea…





Study Plan Resources
Study Plan LevelMath ResourcesVerbal ResourcesPractice ResourcesTest Resources
BeginnerOffline: Manhattan GMAT Guides - 6th Edition (Latest), or Veritas Prep GMAT Guides, Manhattan GMAT Math Foundations. Online Resources: Magoosh, e-GMAT, GMAT Pill, EmpowerGMAT, Economist, and Optimus Prep all offer online courses, which are comprehensive and come with a study schedule by itself.Offline: Manhattan GMAT Verbal books - 6th edition, Powerscore CR (in case you do not like MGMAT’s approach), or Aristotle SC, CR, and RC bible books. Online Resources: Magoosh, e-GMAT, GMAT Pill, EmpowerGMAT, Economist, and Optimus Prep all offer online courses, which are comprehensive and come with a study schedule by itself.Official Guide 2016, Official Guide 2016: Quantitative and Verbal Review, GMAT Club Forum Tags, GMAT Toolkit app, GMAT Question pack 1GMAT Prep (free) GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1 GMAT Prep Exam Pack 2
AdvancedIn addition to the books mentioned above, you may want to go through the following Manhattan GMAT Advanced Quant, Jeff Sackman’s Total GMAT MathGo through the Thursdays with Ron videos - they deal with advanced verbal concepts, e-GMAT articles on GMAT Club are great as well. Take a look at the articles from GMAT Club Verbal Advantage as wellBunuel’s signature problems for quant, Official Verbal problems on GMAT Club, Hardest Questions on the forumManhattan CATs GMAT Club Tests, Veritas CATs


The time frame that we recommend for a start to finish GMAT Prep is 3 months. We recommend a quant heavy month 1, followed by verbal in month 2, and then getting it all together in the 3rd month.


Online Study Plan:

You can get online access to almost anything these days and self-paced options among prep companies have really gone down in price.

Step 1: Foundation Most Online courses have modules that teach the fundamentals and that will quickly help you build the foundation and come up to speed. These modules can be particularly useful for students who have not studied quant for quite some time or who are not particularly strong in Quant.

Step 2: Core concepts Once you have built a foundation, focus on mastering the concepts. Solve OG during this time and maintain an error log. Keep track of your mistakes and guesses - this will become your study guide in Month 3. This is also the time to get involved in GMAT Club’s math forum.
Determine where you stand: almost all online courses come provide plenty of CAT's. Start taking the math portion of the tests you have.
Move to Verbal only after reaching at a certain Level: Evaluate results and decide if you need to spend more time in Math and patch up certain weak areas or move on to Verbal. This decision will be based on your target GMAT score. If you are looking for high 600's and 700's, I would not move past Quant unless I was able to score around Q44 and possibly higher. Quant scores have been inflated recently with Q51 (highest possible quant score clocking a mere 97th percentile and Q49 is 79th), so make sure you are up there. Do not leave a section unless you were able to solve 90% of the questions correctly in the allotted time. Don’t run away from your mistakes – sooner or later they will catch up; the better strategy is to address them right there and then and make sure you never see them again.

If you prefer the online study option, use the Magoosh, eGMAT, Optimus Prep, or EMPOWERgmat online courses. They come with everything you need, including practice tests and quizzes. You can compare them all in the Marketplace. Online courses also provide constant feedback. Most also come with Free access to GMAT Club tests. Many self-study courses offer free trials so you can test drive them before you buy, and for most no credit card is needed. Your cost may even be less than with books ($99 - $300).

Mobile Apps:
There is a number of free GMAT Apps for iPhone and Android including GMAT Club's ToolKit. Many courses have free companion apps - Veritas Prep

Offline Study Plans


Beginner and Advanced Study Guide (Quant)



  • You may want to start off with Math guides from either Manhattan or Veritas, and as these guides are numbered, you can just follow along the progression they have. As you progress through different guides, make sure you are on top of homework problems (concept specific) in the Official Guides and the GMAT Club forum.
  • Start using an error log. An error log is one of the most crucial steps to problem solving, and it is imperative that you go back to the problems that you have missed or have gotten correctly with some level of difficulty. Error logs can range from complicated macros on the excel, or just a simple notepad. it really depends on your taste but we wouldn't recommend going overboard with the structure.
  • As you get more confident with the content of the Math portion, start familiarising yourself with the GMAT Club Math Forum. You will find thousands of people with the same problems as yours, and they just may end up becoming your business school buddies. Don't forget to follow Bunuel and his sets (mentioned in the resource table), as he will definitely add 5-10 points to your quant scaled score.
  • Optional Step: If you are feeling the load is too heavy and you are really weak in Quant get MGMAT Math Foundations; it is great in providing a more general overview of math concepts.
  • After you are done with the math section - start taking the math portion of the tests you have. (The GMAT Club tests provide ideal sectional quiz resources.
  • Evaluate results and decided if you need to spend more time in Math and patch up certain weak areas or move on to Verbal. This decision will be based on your target GMAT score. If you are looking for high 600's and 700's, I would not move past Quant unless I was able to score around Q44 and possibly higher. Quant scores have been inflated recently with Q51 (highest possible quant score clocking a mere 97th percentile and Q49 is 81st), so make sure you are up there. Do not leave a chapter or a section unless you were able to solve 90% of the questions correctly in the allotted time. Don’t run away from your mistakes – sooner or later they will catch up; the better strategy is to address them right there and then and make sure you never see them again.
  • If you need additional help in Quant - refer to the Math Resources on GMAT Club or the GMAT Math Books section.
  • If you are comfortable with Quant but want to get to Q50+, use the GMAT Club Tests - they contain only hard questions and were designed as practice for high-level math scorers. You can purchase them, earn a free subscription by earning 25 Kudos, or sign up with a partner course (almost all come with GMAT Club tests as a bonus)
  • Another worthwhile resource for you may be this quant-focused discussion: how to get from Q44 to Q50

Beginner and Advanced Study Guide (Verbal)



  • Start working on the Verbal section. You can start with any question type, but my suggestion would be to tackle Sentence Correction first as it is usually the most straightforward
  • Error Log!
  • Sentence Correction Optional Step: If you are not a native speaker, you will need a good grammar book or a verbal-intensive course such as the SC course by eGMAT that focuses on concepts for non-native speakers. Several grammar books are recommended on the Forum (best-gmat-grammar-book-for-international-students-79934.html). We have created a book specifically for this need - Ultimate GMAT Grammar (it covers all of the tested grammar topics on the GMAT, plus a bit more concepts that international students seem to struggle the most (articles, etc). The best thing of all is that it is Free ). Other books to consider are Kaplan Verbal Foundations and MGMAT Verbal Foundations. This is for you to decide how much help you need or how much time you have. Also, take a look at GMAT Club's Verbal Resources for many copies of study notes.
  • If you are short on time and can’t cover the MGMAT’s SC book, you can use the Aristotle SC Grail - it has good strategies and I have personally used it to prepare, so it does work, though it is not as complete as the MGMAT or Vertas Prep books.
  • Critical Reasoning Optional Step: If you need additional help with Critical Reasoning - Do not get both PowerScore CR and Manhattan GMAT CR - the books are virtually identical (not really but kind of). Instead, you can get an inexpensive online course such as SC eGMAT or GMAT Pill's CR Pill.
  • Reading Comprehension is often the hardest area to conquer. Unless you strongly feel that Reading is your forte, I would recommend you pick up a reading habit for the time being. I have written a large post on what I call GMAT Fiction and its benefits - take a look. I felt that reading books was a big contributor to my SC and RC abilities and gave me a 96th percentile in Verbal (not too shabby for a person who spoke zero English until 12). There are no downsides to this really - worst thing possible is that you would have read some great books. And yes - make sure you read them during your low productivity time (at night, during transit, etc).
  • Verbal forum should be your hobby by now and we have a great feature – GMAT Club Forum Timer. Use it! If you have not discovered it yet, you should – the timer will keep track of all your practice and even more – it will suggest you questions (every day Monday through Friday) that are at your level, and after about 10 questions in SC and CR, it will even give you a daily estimated GMAT score.
  • Verbal Advantage – you may have seen badges and posts about it – make sure you use this initiative. Every year for about 3 months, GMAT club teams up with the best verbal prep companies to bring you the best experts, articles, and questions. You can use these resources at any time and benefit from the previous years of work. Verbal Advantage 2015, Verbal Advantage 2013 and also the first season – Verbal Advantage 2012
  • Take the verbal-only portion of the tests to evaluate your progress (compare to how you did in the diagnostic test).
  • Another worthwhile resource for you may be this quant-focused discussion: how to get from V30 to V40


Last Month: Test Prep
  • This month should be spent on 2 things: taking full length tests (polishing your test taking techniques, timing, stamina) and Reviewing your error log (going through your weaknesses, making sure you understand why you keep making mistakes and how to solve every problem you encountered). You can start using Error log earlier than this by the way - the earlier the better.
  • You can also use this time to prolong your prep (we assume most will run about 4 weeks late and will need this time) or you can use it to spend on digging deeper in some areas.
  • Schedule your test if you have not done so already.
  • Start taking full length tests (including AWA and IR ) - this is important for your test stamina. Plan to spend a Saturday on this and then subsequent test review.
  • Spend a few weeks taking tests and drilling down into your areas of weakness. Create a "black list of questions" that you continue to struggle with and find a way to solve them with minimal mental effort.
  • For IR, there is always the big question of, how important is IR really, and the answer, clearly, is – nobody knows. We expect that it will be more definite in 2015/2016 years when the first IR test-takers have graduated and GMAC can trace patterns. Meanwhile, go here for IR resources and practice.

The BIG Day and Final Thoughts
Make sure you take a look at these before you take the GMAT:




!
Common Mistakes with GMAT preparation
1: Rushing to take tests before learning anything - waste of tests
2: Starting with the Official Guide - waste of official GMAT questions
3: Giving GMAT the worst time of the day - studying after a long day
4: Skipping basics and rushing to advanced topics
5: Moving through material too fast or too slow
6: Starting to prepare with poor English proficiency


Sidebar
At this time you will probably be wondering about questions such as “how many can I get wrong and still get a Q50?” and other questions which really do not have answers. If you find yourself wondering about these things at night, head over to the following discussions:

How long should you prep really?


The study plan above suggests 3 months, and that's probably 10-15 hours per week (2 hrs/work day and 5 hours on the weekend).
Over 3 months, that's about 120 - 180 hours, which includes reading some books, so the true study time is probably 80 - 120 hrs.
What if you study 2x or 3x of that and take 9 months instead of 3, can you triple your improvement? No, actually, your performance will be MUCH worse if you spread out your prep over a time period great than 5 months. Long study stretches are demotivating, hard to keep fresh, and ultimately ineffective as after 6 months, you start forgetting material faster than you can learn it and the time you will have to spend 75% of your time on refresh. It is much more effective to spend 3-4 months, and that’s what I would encourage you to do.

How do you Measure Improvement and what if you are not seeing any?


Many test-takers waste a lot of tests and precious time by taking un-needed CAT’s. As a matter of fact, you should be able to get away by taking no more than 10 CAT’s during your GMAT love affair. The question you may ask then is – how do I measure improvement and keep track of my score?
A number of ways actually:
  • Make sure you are hitting a certain percentage of the questions in each topic/subject. Set a goal such as 90% of questions have to be right in exercises, OG, or wherever. E.g. if you just covered Geometry, there is no reason to take a whole quant CAT since you will only hit 3-4 Geometry questions tops (perhaps as few as 1-2) and it will be a minimal impact on the score, while you will waste a few hours, waste a test, and more importantly, grow discouraged.
  • Use short quizzes and exercise. Let’s say you covered that same Geometry chapter in the book and only hit 50% on the quiz at the end of the chapter. Do 2 things: 1) Analyze your mistakes, read the explanations how to solve questions, and make sure you can solve each one of them 2) Go back to the chapter and using the mistakes you just made re-read/learn (make notes, create PPT, etc) of the areas you are still lacking. Then you can use OG, GMAT Club tests, Kapan Quiz bank, or whatever you want to do real short/quick checks to see if you have improved.
  • At this point in time, it does not matter what your overall Quant score is, it only matters what percentage of the types of questions ALREADY covered is.
  • You can use the GMAT Club Forum timer. As long as you take about 10 questions in PS and DS, you will get a quant raw score estimate and as soon as you do the same in SC and CR, you will get a verbal score estimate (note that RC is not evaluated). Learn more about the amazing and free GMAT Club Forum Timer and Workbook here.
  • Finally, once you have covered ALL of the quant topics, it is time to take the Quant CAT and similarly when you have finished the Verbal section, it is time to take the full Verbal CAT. (This is the reason GMAT Club tests have split quant and verbal CAT’s – we don’t think you really need to take a Full CAT until the very end when you are working on improving your stamina and test-day strategy, and at that point, you can just Quant and Verbal CAT’s with an 8 minute break).
  • What if No improvement? My suggestion would be to understand why, what needs to change, and how. You need to answer this yourself. If you can’t, post it on the forum, though I have to warn you, it is a hard one to answer from afar. A much better option is to get a tutor for an hour or two (that’s all you should need) to get you back on track. Any decent tutor can spot most of the issues after one session and you can use the second session to answer any questions and draft a personalized plan for the rest of your prep. You can also take a course – that’s become an especially popular and cheap alternative with the online offerings from EGMAT, Magoosh, and GMAT Pill, many of which have courses for less than the cost of books (as long as $59). Many of the courses are interactive and adapt to your needs. Online adaptive courses often are much more effective than books since they are audio visual, provide constant feedback, and provide instructor support.


You can bookmark this topic on GMAT Club by clicking the STAR button next to the topic name or you can print it out for future reference.


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Last edited by bb on 22 Jul 2016, 10:26, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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Hi,

I've just started my prep for the GMAT and spent enough time on this forum. As suggested , I took the diagnostic test at GMAT Prep and scored 540 (Q 35, V 28). Really astonished with the verbal scores because I didn't expect to do so horrendously on the SC.

My target score is 720 + . I am pursuing a fellowship program with insane work hours but I am currently on a month's holiday so I intend to study 8-10 hours everyday and get as much review done as possible so that I can just practice and take CAT from June onwards. Aim to give the exam in August or September (Flexible)

I have purchased the OG'16 along with the quantitative and Verbal OG. I also have access to MGMAT guide set 5th 'edition ( ebooks) which I plan to refer, study and review concepts from now on.

What should be my strategy to get that score and utilise the free month I have to the full potential? Should I be looking at purchasing an online course?
I realize I have to work on both : Quant and Verbal.

BB and other experts please give feedback.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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Diksha09 wrote:
Hi,

I've just started my prep for the GMAT and spent enough time on this forum. As suggested , I took the diagnostic test at GMAT Prep and scored 540 (Q 35, V 28). Really astonished with the verbal scores because I didn't expect to do so horrendously on the SC.

My target score is 720 + . I am pursuing a fellowship program with insane work hours but I am currently on a month's holiday so I intend to study 8-10 hours everyday and get as much review done as possible so that I can just practice and take CAT from June onwards. Aim to give the exam in August or September (Flexible)

I have purchased the OG'16 along with the quantitative and Verbal OG. I also have access to MGMAT guide set 5th 'edition ( ebooks) which I plan to refer, study and review concepts from now on.

What should be my strategy to get that score and utilise the free month I have to the full potential? Should I be looking at purchasing an online course?
I realize I have to work on both : Quant and Verbal.

BB and other experts please give feedback.


Hi Diksha,
the score in both Quant and Verbal requires a lot of improvement BUT good thing is that you have just started with your preps so there should be a good scope of improvement..
the best judge for taking an online course or an inperson classes or self study is you and would depend on your ability to grasp things...
there are many who have done self study and reached there score and there are very many who have gone through couple of courses and are still there from where they started..

You have following at your disposal..
1) self study... If you can pick finer points when you have been given theory or some videos and notes..
2) online course.. if you can learn from the videos and few techniques put across via video and othe rmaterial..
3) in person classes.. you have a chance to clear your doubts in class one to one but ofcourse the time in a class is limited and you do not have to be a person shy to ask doubts in front of others. And a lot depends on the type of instructors and courses where you are staying..
4) Private tutor.. a lot depends on instructor but you can ask doubts and a lot of attention gets paid on your preparation.

If you have to invest, invest wisely because more than money you are investing your time. take some time, do your homework and select what is best for you. do not get carried away by reviews or persuasion without giving it a proper thought..
The most important is to realize your weaknesses and what it will take to overcome.

Regards
Chetan
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Hi Chetan! ( Open to other experts as well)

Thank you so much for your time and valuable input.
I'd like to probe a bit more . Tutor and Classrooms are out of the question since I don't have the time for it.

I plan to do the following :

Month 1 : Review and practice all the concepts from the MGMAT Guides ( Quant and Verbal) combined with Power score CR. Solving questions /sectional tests from OG '16 and GMATClub ( free) on weekly basis.

Month 2 : Practice OG'16 + Verbal & Quant '16. Will start taking CAT on weekly basis .

Month 3 : IR + AWA & Full length CAT + Error log and reviewing/practicing.

Question : Would this be enough? Should I consider purchasing the Kaplan Math workbook as well ?

I am also wondering whether I should be investing in an Egmat Verbal prep course as I'm not too sure about the effectiveness of MGMAT guides for verbal ? Would I need to purchase additional CAT/Exam Pack ?

Greatly appreciate your input and effort. Thank you so much.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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My GMAT exam is during the first week of August and after much studying I took a test to see where I stand and I scored a miserable 240. I am a full time employee and that's my only livelihood for now.

What would be the best method of working and studying at the same time? Also the best available approaches to boost my score from a measly 240 to a 700? Exam takes place 3 months from now.

Thanks.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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NevilleB wrote:
My GMAT exam is during the first week of August and after much studying I took a test to see where I stand and I scored a miserable 240. I am a full time employee and that's my only livelihood for now.

What would be the best method of working and studying at the same time? Also the best available approaches to boost my score from a measly 240 to a 700? Exam takes place 3 months from now.

Thanks.



Would suggest that you restructure your daily schedule and study in the morning before work.
If you are getting 240, you are getting most questions wrong and I would suggest to rethink your prep strategy and probably revisit your high school material and make sure you can do basic math and have a decent command of English (which it seems you do). Would start with the MGMAT Math Foundations and MGMAT Verbal Foundations and read the MGMAT Roadmap book.

Good Luck!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 23 May 2016, 00:54
Thank you for this excellent study plan BB.
I very much agree with your suggestion to study in the morning. I started my GMAT preparation about 10 days ago and have found studying after work to be extremely taxing and least effective.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2016, 09:04
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Quant - Probability, Set theory weak points

Dear BB

Thanks for this excellent source for beginners.

I seek guidance on studying Probability and Set theory - a big mental block that is stopping me from learning these concepts to the level of GMAT.

Please suggest online resources/books where I can get the required practice as well as conceptual clarity on these topics.

I started with OG Quant a month back when my CAT (Gmac) score was 530. I took second CAT (Economist) yesterday and it was 590 (Q44, V28, IR 4 :(

I understand Economist wasn't really close to what a real GMAT is. Quant was way easier and Verbal was really tough. Still i am hopeful that I have improved a bit in these 30 days. I plan to take GMAT in August last week so that am thorough in Quant and Verbal both with highest accuracy.

Slowly getting a hang of preparation methodology and this forum is a God sent!!
Looking forward to more tips!

Thanks!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 25 May 2016, 06:31
Hello experts,

I am not a native English speaker. I am having trouble to finish the reading comprehension in time. Usually I take five minutes to understand the tone of a passage. I have been trying to increase my reading speed for last few months. Still no improvement.
Help!
T_T

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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jun 2016, 07:09
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Great advice as always, bb.

Here is my two cents:

MY RECOMMENDED GMAT STUDY PLAN:

My core philosophy: use Official GMAT Questions Only! It’s OK if you end up memorizing all the solutions and answers—that’s part of the point, and a little bit of repetition is helpful. But there are thousands of real GMAT questions, so it’s unlikely that you will ever run out.

"Section" = a timed, scored section from the GMATPrep Software (Exams 1 through 6). Helps you practice test-taking techniques, and leveraging the GMAT algorithm.
"Practice" = unscored (no composite score, only correct/incorrect) and the time limit is less strict. Take as long as you need for understanding.

Remember that you don’t necessarily need to pay for Exam Packs 1 and 2, because there are approximately 1,500 potential questions in (free) Exams 1 and 2, so you can just keep resetting the tests and using them again. The IR sections will be exactly the same (not adaptive!), but the quant and verbal sections will be different every time.

Another option is to install the GMAT Prep software on 2 different computers. 2 different computers = 2 different versions of the test = nearly twice as many questions to practice.

Use the GMAT Club Guide the the GMAT Official Guide 2016 to keep track of your progress in the book, and for easy access to question explanations on the forum.

Here is a sample weekly schedule that I would recommend IF YOU ARE TRYING TO PREPARE IN ONLY ONE MONTH (see modifications for 2-6 month study plans below):

Day 1: COMPUTER DAY

1) 75 minute Quant Section - GMATPrep
2) 75 minute Verbal Section - GMATPrep
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quant Questions + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbal Questions + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 30 minute IR Section or Practice - GMAT Prep / IR tool from Wiley
6) 30 minutes Essay Practice

Day 2: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 3: COMPUTER DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in GMATPrep (Question Packs)
2) 41 Verbal Questions in GMATPrep (Question Packs)
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies

Day 4: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 5: COMPUTER DAY

1) 75 minute Quant Section - GMATPrep
2) 75 minute Verbal Section - GMATPrep
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 30 minute IR Section or Practice - GMAT Prep / IR tool from Wiley
6) 30 minutes Essay Practice

Day 6: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 7: Take a rest! You’re only human.

Repeat for three more weeks, and you’ve completed approximately 2,160 real GMAT questions out of the approximately 4,000 official GMAT questions available.

Here are my modifications for 2-6 month study plans:

2-month study plan: complete 3 assignments (numbered above) per day.
3-month study plan: complete 2 assignments per day.
4-month study plan: complete 1-2 assignments per day.
6-month study plan: complete 1 assignment per day.
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Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 05 Jul 2016, 07:55, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2016, 12:48
Hi,

I in the middle of my preparation and am kind of unsure the way I have planned it. I have a doubt in the way I have planned to cover the Quant part of the exam. Right now, as per my current plan, I have planned to finish OG from quant around 20th July given the fact that I have planned to invest 2-3 days during the week on quant and the rest on verbal. I plan to take the exam in August.

But I gave a deep thought on my plan and what I think is that I should give a week's time and finish off the important topics from OG and then subsequently just practice.

Just to give a brief, I have planned to give a quant sectional test every week and I have recently given two GMAT Club test wherein in the first test I got Q37 and in the second test I got a Q27(couldn't complete the section)

I really need suggestions on would this kind of plan make sense? If yes, are there any specific topics in quant that I should focus on during this week.

Also, would it make sense to build quizzes on GMAT Club tests for specific topics and select the difficulty of questions(start from including 500,600 level questions)

Below is the link to the previous post where I gave a brief about my past GMAT attempts.
(strategy-tips-needed-218678.html#p1688769)

Thanks in advance! Would appreciate the valuable guidance and strategies.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2016, 14:18
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I may be in the minority on this, but I believe that you can, and should, prepare fully for the GMAT using only GMAC official materials for your practice questions (OG, GMATPrep, Question Packs, Exam Packs, etc.). Go ahead and use other materials for strategy and learning, but for practice questions and tests, don't settle for imitations.

However, I would make use of the many resources on GMAT club that can help point you to similar questions to the questions you are getting wrong. Just try to make sure that they are real GMAT questions whenever possible.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2016, 10:07
Thanks mcelroytutoring! I will keep that in mind while doing the prep.

But what I am more curious to know is the way to approach the GMAT club tests, i.e. making topic wise sectional tests with 500-600 level questions initially?
Also, which topics in quant can be considered relatively more important which demand more variety of questions to be practiced because of the vast number of concepts involved?
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New post 09 Jun 2016, 10:32
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Of course. That's a tough question to answer. In general, I would say spend more time on basic concepts, and less time on esoteric ones. But it's tough to be more specific than that because every GMAT exam is different.

Another factor here is that the more difficult the question, the more specific the technique, so for hard questions it's helpful to memorize the solutions.

This blog from Magoosh should also help:

Breakdown of GMAT Quant Concepts by Frequency
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2016, 13:30
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I jotted down some strategies to prepare smartly for GMAT in the following blog. Hope it helps.

https://gmat720to760.wordpress.com/
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2016, 19:03
Hi! I just started preparing for GMAT. I plan to do a MBA in 2018 after I complete my Bachelors from NTU Singapore. I plan to take the GMAT in Dec 2016. Any advice how to start your preparations? Can you recommend a 6 mth study plan.
I currently have the 3 OG 2015 books. Should I buy any other resources or take up online prep courses?
I got a score of ard 520 in my first mock test. MY Quant was ard 40-42 and my Verbal was below 20. My target score is >700. Also how are my chances of getting into a top university as I only have 3 years of work experience.
Thanks,
Manick
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2016, 22:20
Hi Everyone,

I am preparing for GMAT since 4 months , and I have scheduled my exam after 20 days from now ,and I have already done many questions for practice , but I believe that there is no improvement in my verbal ability, insteady it seems like that I am loosing my ability to comprehend and understand the simple statement as it was not the case earlier , due to nervousness I guess.
Thus, I am loosing my confidence :(


As I am a student from Engineering background , I am quite comfortable at quant section but lacking in the verbal section mainly the CR and SC section.

So , could anyone suggest me , what should I do ,

OR is there some tutors which can help me to improve upon these areas within 15 days.
As exam date is approaching I am getting more conscious and nervous !!!!..

Any advice/suggestion would be of great help .......

Thanks in Advance :)
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2016, 09:10
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Manick9 wrote:
Hi! I just started preparing for GMAT. I plan to do a MBA in 2018 after I complete my Bachelors from NTU Singapore. I plan to take the GMAT in Dec 2016. Any advice how to start your preparations? Can you recommend a 6 mth study plan.
I currently have the 3 OG 2015 books. Should I buy any other resources or take up online prep courses?
I got a score of ard 520 in my first mock test. MY Quant was ard 40-42 and my Verbal was below 20. My target score is >700. Also how are my chances of getting into a top university as I only have 3 years of work experience.
Thanks,
Manick

Hi, I believe OG alone would not be sufficient.While you get lot of guidance through this forum,you can always get additional materials and prep well since you have time.I prepared using veratis online along with GMAT club tests and some useful references books(details I can provide if you wish).this helped me move my mocks from 540 to a 620 in a month's time. I heard mgmat is also very good .can provide more info if needed

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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2016, 17:19
navz2018 wrote:
Manick9 wrote:
Hi! I just started preparing for GMAT. I plan to do a MBA in 2018 after I complete my Bachelors from NTU Singapore. I plan to take the GMAT in Dec 2016. Any advice how to start your preparations? Can you recommend a 6 mth study plan.
I currently have the 3 OG 2015 books. Should I buy any other resources or take up online prep courses?
I got a score of ard 520 in my first mock test. MY Quant was ard 40-42 and my Verbal was below 20. My target score is >700. Also how are my chances of getting into a top university as I only have 3 years of work experience.
Thanks,
Manick

Hi, I believe OG alone would not be sufficient.While you get lot of guidance through this forum,you can always get additional materials and prep well since you have time.I prepared using veratis online along with GMAT club tests and some useful references books(details I can provide if you wish).this helped me move my mocks from 540 to a 620 in a month's time. I heard mgmat is also very good .can provide more info if needed

Posted from my mobile device Image


Hi! I just started GMAT prep and I am not sure where to start. This forum has been very useful. What is your opinion on Veritas online? I am deciding which online course to take.
Can provide more details on which reference books to use and about mgmat as well? Could you recommend me a study plan for abt 5-6 mths ? I work 9 to 6 and it very difficult to study on the weekdays.

Thanks a lot!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2016, 20:33
Hi all,

Please suggest me some material from where I can practice the CR and SC questions , I have already finished OG questions.
And I need some very good set of questions for quant too .
I don't have much time left , my exam is after 20 days , so accordingly please suggest some good set of questions , which could help me to gain confidence.
Re: GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition   [#permalink] 22 Jun 2016, 20:33

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