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GMAT Study Plan - How to Start your GMAT Prep

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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2009, 15:44
I see for Manhattan, there are different books for Math. Don't they have only 1 book for Math?
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2009, 12:43
Hi bb, Hi Everyone,

I just joined GMAT Club after reading your reviews of the Official Guide for GMAT on Amazon.
I'm planning to take the GMAT in late November this year.

After reading the study schedule guide posted here, I realized that I have less than 3 months to study.
This will be my first time taking the GMAT and I'm quite worried that I won't get a good score. I am aiming for 700+.

My Background:
It's been awhile since I've graduated from college. I have a B.A. from a "top-ten" university in History and a M.A. from another well-known college in Information Systems Management.

My Strengths and Weaknesses:
My stronger area is probably in Math, but my weakness is in test-taking. I have trouble with taking timed tests. I take too long to think about each problem and waste a lot of time re-reading the problem or just writing out my calculations. I also have trouble concentrating on the problems after about an hour (either from boredom, distraction, or frustration). As for Sentence Completion and Reading Comprehension, I feel a bit overwhelmed because there seem to be so many study guides out on the market. I think I can write a good essay since I'm a native English speaker, but I tend to think that essays are subjectively scored rather than objectively scored -- such as math scores.

My Goal is to Join the 700+ Club!
I would like to know if I stand a chance at 700+ on my first try. I'm able to study 5-8 hours a day, 7 days a week (I know that sounds drastic but I'm hardcore and I'm willing to do what is necessary!). I only work part-time at the moment, and I am also taking a finite mathematics course at a community college (to brush up on my math skills), so I've got tons of time during the day and on weekends. I'm the type who feels motivated to study when there are other people studying around me. :-D

I've already purchased the following books:
- The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th edition (I know the 12th ed. is out, but I bought this book last year)
- Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction, Guide 8, 4th edition (I've started reading Chapter 2 today)
- Manhattan GMAT Reading Comprehension, Guide 7, 4h edition (haven't started yet)
- EZ Solutions Math Practice Advanced Workbook
- Any other books that you'd suggest for me to use within a 2 month study period?


In addition, I am reading The Economist every week to hone my reading comprehension, vocabulary, and "business-speak" skills.

I am also thinking of taking a Manhattan GMAT Online GMAT course. Do you think it is worth it (for someone in my situation with only 2 months but plenty of time in the day) to take a course like this? If anyone here has had experience taking a course with MGMAT in person or online, could you please share some of your experiences? Was it a good investment? How much of an increase in score were you able to obtain?

I realize that many of my questions have probably already been answered on this forum. I just joined and started reading all the posts - my apologies if I sound redundant. :P


I'd really appreciate your advice. Thanks!


700+ Bound...
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2009, 13:10
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Welcome to GMAT Club Bambie

Here is a collection of gmat prep class reviews to get you started: gmat-prep-courses-classes-reviews-ratings-and-comparison-78451.html
The class is often recommended, but it does not guarantee the score, so take it with a grain of salt, though MGMAT is definitely one of the best classes you can take.

I would recommend you take a gmat prep to get an understanding of where you stand and weaknesses, and we can see what you really need. Joining 700-club is definitely doable within your timeframe and resources.

Post after you have taken the GMAT prep and we'll go from there.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2009, 09:23
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chiank wrote:
hi,

i have very poor english .....how should i start my preparation for gmat?


You will need to get your English up to standards. No use to get into strategies if you have trouble understanding.
Start learning vocabulary (get some english books), and start reading/speaking as much as you can - get interesting books, join some English language forums/wesbsites, get a tutor, etc.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2009, 12:48
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chiank wrote:
thanks for your reply bb ....but cant i use gmat verbal books as tool in my english learning process? i can use verbal books to check my improvement


You could, but it resembles running a race in winter boots :)
GMAT books assume that you are proficient in English already and are not designed to be ESL materials. The only one that could work for you is Kaplan Verbal Foundations - it is a grammar book that starts from scratch. Maybe start there, see how it goes, and then move on to MGMAT SC or PowerScore SC and other books.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2009, 20:45
bb wrote:
WOW - you are are crazy :lol:
Two notes of caution - don't burn out and do not assume all the materials will do the job for you.
You must believe and fully dive into each book. Keep an error log and not move on until you are comfortable. I do think it is a heavy overkill - it is highly recommended to take less than 4-6 months to take the GMAT - otherwise you start forgetting what you have learned.



P.S. My mistake - the MGMAT Number properties book should be mentioned.


I agree with bb, this is a absolute overkill ... and there is a lot of redundant books in the list you mentioned, like if you go for LSAT CR and RC then you need the GMAT CR and RC books ...

Remember GMAT prep is not about just doing all kinds of problems known in this world, but doing the right kind of problems .. u need to study smartly and not blindly ...

as bb said anything beyond 4-6 months you will surely tend to loose interest in it and the tempo would go down ...
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 00:02
chiank wrote:
oh...then how to study smart ? then should i go for standard plan or advance plan ?....i will be soon joining english classes .....

i need to start atleast from next month since i have CFA final exams to appear in coming june.....and after exams i will get 2months ......i will not overkill my self ...2-3 hrs daily is easily managable


bb and superman ...how do you suggest i shld select books .....i mean i cant study every book and decide whether it is bad one for me or good one ....i need to decide startegy beforehand.......i thnk for me ...doing grammar, kaplan verbal foundation , prob. and cmb. for dummies is must .....
it might be too much for asking but can you people suggest some good plan? :twisted: ........plan for 6-7 months studies ...or alteast suggest books i should removed from above posted plan


Ok this is what I would do ...

Diagonstic test GMATPrep - to check out where you are ...

Step 1 ) Quant - 6-8 weeks - complete all 5 MGMAT guides along with the OG 12 and the OG quant review books that the MGMAT guides refer to ...

Step 2 ) Verbal - 3-4 weeks - Is your verbal really that bad ?. If yes then go over doing grammar/kaplan verbal foundation if not skip the doing grammar/verbal foundation and jump to MGMAT SC book, Power Score GMAT CR, MGMAT RC along with the OG 12 and the OG verbal review books that the MGMAT guides refer to ... this should take another 4 weeks ...

Step 3 ) Practice - 1-2 weeks - At this point take a MGMAT test ( you get 6 free test when you purchase any of their books) to check your score improvement and the areas you need to revise. Do PR 1012 for the sections you identified as weak and also complete all the question banks that MGMAT provides online along with the books for free.

Step 4) Practice more 4-6 weeks - you should have been in 600-650 range by now and the next step is all about practicing tough questions

Quant Practice resources - GMAT Club tests - 25 of them and also tests on individual subjects areas

Verbal Practice areas - LSAT CR, LSAT RC, Brutual SC doc, 180 SC doc and lots of practice questions at http://www.gmat-success.com/gmat-verbal.html

Also start taking more and more tests as you near your exam and gain confidence ... Make sure to keep an error log right from the beginning and also review them every now and then ...

prob. and comb. for dummies - my sincere opinion is that MGMAT Word Translation book covers this enough and do not worry much on this topic as most of the de-briefs I have read have either seen none or max of two (easy) questions from prob and comb topics ...

hope this helps ...
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 05:38
This is really helpful!

I just started my prep about 1 week ago. I will follow through the suggested study plan. I'm planning to do this in 5 months (1 month to broaden my vocabulary + 4 months GMAT study).

Hey bb, English is totally a different language from Chinese or Japanese, from your perspective how big vocabulary is necessary and enough for a non-English speaker test taker? I mean like ~10k? Thanks. :) BTW I'm Asian.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 08:24
chiank wrote:
really thanks ....so according to your plan i need to buy mgmat books
mgmat guide( is it for quant?)
mgmat SC
Mgmat rc
power score CR
PR1012
and test test test


right ?


MGMAT Quant consists of 5 books - Number Properties/Geometry/FDP/Word Translations/Inequalities and Algebra
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 09:22
Good study plan. I have a question though. Whenever I do Kaplan CAT I see those hard probability/combination problem and I never get them right. Right now I am at 46 level with lots of silly mistakes. You think I should not worry about prob/comb problems? I am targeting for 49 Q as my verbal is weak.
Also I have taken 3 CAT and planning to do another 12 (total of 15). That should be enough right?
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 11:21
Thank you so much for your quick reply. You are right I should not waste any time on probability problems. I am just going to take a chance.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 11:50
do you why Powerscore CR is preferred over MGMAT CR?
What about 1000SC & 1000CR?
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 12:02
orsang8 wrote:
do you why Powerscore CR is preferred over MGMAT CR?
What about 1000SC & 1000CR?


Power score has more examples and better structured

http://www.gmat-success.com/gmat-verbal.html ==> 1000SC & 1000CR & 1000RC

be careful about some answers as they are wrong .. discuss them on forums ..
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2009, 16:04
I think that this sounds like a great outline and I plan to start tomorrow at the local coffee shop. I decided late in the application process to get an MBA instead of the Masters of Science. I had given myself 3 weeks to study and a week before I was supposed to take the test I realized that I was truly naive. So I recently pushed it back another month giving me a total of 1 month and 3 weeks. I have 5 weeks until the test and since I don't have a full time job right now I am hoping that I can squeeze as many points out as possible. I think having an organized timetable and step by step layout really helps me focus on actually studying and less about the act of preparing my own untested outline.

So, Thanks!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2009, 16:11
I was reviewing the outline again and I have two questions.

1. Your outline is based on month increments. How many hours are you estimating that it would take to achieve the level that one would need to move on? Are we talking 20 hours a month / 5 hours a week? Or you looking at 40 hours a week?
2. Also you suggest not moving on from the Math Section before getting a 44 (if you want a high 600 to 700), but you don't give an amount for the Verbal. Should I be looking for the same 44?
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2009, 18:58
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savannahe wrote:
I was reviewing the outline again and I have two questions.

1. Your outline is based on month increments. How many hours are you estimating that it would take to achieve the level that one would need to move on? Are we talking 20 hours a month / 5 hours a week? Or you looking at 40 hours a week?
2. Also you suggest not moving on from the Math Section before getting a 44 (if you want a high 600 to 700), but you don't give an amount for the Verbal. Should I be looking for the same 44?


1. There is no exact formula - it may vary for everyone depending on your level. My suggestion is to take the amount of work and split it into 4 segments and do it in a month for Math and for verbal. For me -moving from 540 to 750, this meant 2 hours in the morning, and 1-2 hours in the evening, so probably 20 hrs a week.

2. It is easy with verbal - what score do you need (650 or 700 or...) and you know your math score, so figure out what verbal score you need here: gmat-score-guide-to-gmat-scores-score-reports-83890.html
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 07 Oct 2009, 22:31
thanks for the guide! i will be starting this next week!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2009, 19:08
I absolutely agree with not taking more than 4 months for prep work.
I did it and I truly regret it. I took about 7 months in total, first 3 months just playing with 2 books (Barrons and 1 MGMAT book) and the last 4 months I took Kaplan classes and I was studying more than 8 hours a day sometime knowing that it's not efficient.
I got 630 on my Kaplan Diagnostic exam. Kaplan classes offer a lot of practice and I didn't even miss one quiz. I was scoring pretty high on the Kaplan CATS with a few 100 percentiles in Math and varying scores in Verbal but overall I had 4 out of 10 scores above 700 and the rest were not low. BUT.. the last few weeks before the exam I was totally burnt out, I don't know what exactly happened to me but I scored very low on all the exams I took over the last 2 weeks and I got 610 on my exam to everyone's surprise. :(
Which is why I'm going to retake the test now and this time I want to take 2 months hopefully. It's only been 3 months since my last prep so a lot of the basic concepts are still with me.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2009, 22:26
Thanks for sharing your experience. I think that there is a lot to be learned from your experience.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2009, 02:17
Hi!

Thanks for outlining this detailed plan. I found it really helpful in this initial stage where the whole GMAT thing seems overwhelming, almost intimidating. I especially appreciate the nice extra concern for us non-American students. I started to read one of the GMAT fiction book (Moveable Feast), and wow, it's really interesting as well as a great help with English language indeed.

I just wanted to ask about one portion of the advice which explicitly says that you should focus on maths and maths alone first. I would actually find it more practical, if you study maths and verbal at the same time. The reason is that I think GMAT requires such ocused efforts, and it is really critical that you are in the right mindset while answering to GMAT questions. Your brain really needs to be tuned in the question types, strategies etc. while you're answering GMAT questions. I feel that if you perfect your maths first and then move on to verbal for the next month or two and then take the GMAT, you will have lost the momentum you built with the maths.

And I also find it easy to focus on multiple subjects simultaneously...but hey that could be explained by my female brain :)

Thanks again!
Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey   [#permalink] 24 Oct 2009, 02:17
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