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# GMAT Study Plan - How to Start your GMAT Prep

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06 Jun 2011, 20:05
Hi BB

Thanks for the wonderful preparation guide. Since i m a newbie to the circuit it has helped me to get a plan in place.

I had a few doubts regarding the prep.

1. 1st month -- Maths --> 2nd Month ---> Verbal.. Wont i loose my touch on maths post the 2nd month? Specially due to the lack of practice in the second month. Is a simultaneous approach beneficial?

2. I have the OG 12 edition. I have recently come across the OG verbal review and the OG quant review. How are they different form the 12 edition? I mean do they have anything extra??

TIA

Varun
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07 Jun 2011, 18:20
bb wrote:

 ! Common Mistakes with GMAT preparation1: Rushing to take tests before learning anything - waste of tests2: Starting with the Official Guide - waste of official GMAT questions3: Giving GMAT the worst time of the day - studying after a long day4: Skipping basics and rushing to advanced topics5: Starting to prepare with poor English proficiency

Hi bb,

I refer to point 2 of the "warning". I just bought the OG and thought that I should start there but wait, I read your advice and apparently, starting at the OG is wrong!?

So I was wondering where else to start studying for the GMAT when startin at the OG is not advisable...

Thanks!
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18 Jun 2011, 06:44
Hi BB,

This probably is my first post in GmatClub,but i have been quite a frequent visitor of this site.I have always found the posts/articles very useful.I have been trying to take Gmat exam since last year June but haven't taken yet.due to lack of focus and lack of determination...Yes i know that's really long time and i am still finding it hard to get into a rhythm.But i have decided i will take gmat by Aug,2011 at any cost.I am going to spend my next 2 months to prepare for gmat with focus and dedication.I am pretty comfortable with quants as i have been a CAT (test which is taken in india to get into IIMS ) though i would need to revist the concepts ...but i am really scared about verbal part...i am really week in CR and SC .Please suggest me a proper approach for my preparation.My Aim is 700+ in Gmat .I can definately spend 4-5 hrs on weekdays and 7-8 hours over weekends. I have got - OG12,Manhattan SC,Powerscore CR,BGT practice questions subscription,ARCO 99 RC and some stufs for quants. Please do let me knw the right approach .

Thanks,
GC
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18 Jun 2011, 07:43
kohym wrote:

Hi bb,

I refer to point 2 of the "warning". I just bought the OG and thought that I should start there but wait, I read your advice and apparently, starting at the OG is wrong!?

So I was wondering where else to start studying for the GMAT when startin at the OG is not advisable...

Thanks!

You should start with one of the guidebooks: Kaplan, MGMAT, Veritas, etc but not with solving questions.
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18 Jun 2011, 07:46
gmatcracker24 wrote:
Hi BB,

This probably is my first post in GmatClub,but i have been quite a frequent visitor of this site.I have always found the posts/articles very useful.I have been trying to take Gmat exam since last year June but haven't taken yet.due to lack of focus and lack of determination...Yes i know that's really long time and i am still finding it hard to get into a rhythm.But i have decided i will take gmat by Aug,2011 at any cost.I am going to spend my next 2 months to prepare for gmat with focus and dedication.I am pretty comfortable with quants as i have been a CAT (test which is taken in india to get into IIMS ) though i would need to revist the concepts ...but i am really scared about verbal part...i am really week in CR and SC .Please suggest me a proper approach for my preparation.My Aim is 700+ in Gmat .I can definately spend 4-5 hrs on weekdays and 7-8 hours over weekends. I have got - OG12,Manhattan SC,Powerscore CR,BGT practice questions subscription,ARCO 99 RC and some stufs for quants. Please do let me knw the right approach .

Thanks,
GC

You have 2 great books - MGMAT SC and MGMAT CR. I would work through those to improve your verbal score. Also, brush up your grammar for the sake of SC (MGMAT SC has good coverage but not perfect). You can consider the MGMAT Verbal Foundations or GMAT Club's Ultimate GMAT Grammar e-book and finally, try to read as much fiction/quality english text as you can. Have you seen my GMAT Fiction post?
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20 Jun 2011, 05:13
bb wrote:
gmatcracker24 wrote:
Hi BB,

This probably is my first post in GmatClub,but i have been quite a frequent visitor of this site.I have always found the posts/articles very useful.I have been trying to take Gmat exam since last year June but haven't taken yet.due to lack of focus and lack of determination...Yes i know that's really long time and i am still finding it hard to get into a rhythm.But i have decided i will take gmat by Aug,2011 at any cost.I am going to spend my next 2 months to prepare for gmat with focus and dedication.I am pretty comfortable with quants as i have been a CAT (test which is taken in india to get into IIMS ) though i would need to revist the concepts ...but i am really scared about verbal part...i am really week in CR and SC .Please suggest me a proper approach for my preparation.My Aim is 700+ in Gmat .I can definately spend 4-5 hrs on weekdays and 7-8 hours over weekends. I have got - OG12,Manhattan SC,Powerscore CR,BGT practice questions subscription,ARCO 99 RC and some stufs for quants. Please do let me knw the right approach .

Thanks,
GC

You have 2 great books - MGMAT SC and MGMAT CR. I would work through those to improve your verbal score. Also, brush up your grammar for the sake of SC (MGMAT SC has good coverage but not perfect). You can consider the MGMAT Verbal Foundations or GMAT Club's Ultimate GMAT Grammar e-book and finally, try to read as much fiction/quality english text as you can. Have you seen my GMAT Fiction post?

Thanks BB. I will start with GMAT Club's Ultimate GMAT Grammer e-book and then move on to MGMAT SC .I haven't taken a look at - GMAT Fiction post yet.but i will surely take a look soon and try to get some books listed on them . One more trhing which i wanted to ask you is - Which section should i start with either Quants or Verbal ? And should i take up one section at a time while preparing ? example : I start with quants ..should i not start Sc or CR untill and unless i completed Quants completely ?
And how do i consider that i have completed the section and move on - Should i be taking up customised tests?

Please advise. ( I consider myself weak in Verbal than in Quants)
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GC24

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23 Jun 2011, 05:26
Thanks for sharing those important and helpful steps which will help to get good score in GMAT
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26 Jun 2011, 09:20
First of all thanks for the great job in helping out with gmat. This forum is amazing and i´m getting so much help from it. Im studying in sweden where not many people take gmat. So we don´t have any similar forums like these. Anyways to my question, kaplan or manhattan? manhattan comes first on the list but it seems like more people are using Kaplan! Which one should i buy?
Take care!
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26 Jun 2011, 15:49
so helpful!!
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07 Jul 2011, 22:59
Just getting and doing OG Review is definitely a waste of a good resource.
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10 Jul 2011, 19:17
Hi everyone!!!

This is my first post. First of all, I want to thank to BB for your help and for you amazing sutdy plan

I am gonna start to prepare the GMAT, and I am planning to take it at the end of this year. I have read most fo the post and I have a mess to decide which books I should buy. I am thinking to buy Manhattan Edition but I am not really sure, Any recommendation?? Apart of that, I am good at Maths but as you can see I am not English native speaker and I have some problems with Verbal section, specially with the Analitical Writing Assessment Section.
I would like to ask if any of have a recommedation for TOEFL?????
Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!
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12 Jul 2011, 06:46
Hi guys

I've posted this on another forum as well so wanted to apologize for the repeat.
I was wondering if anybody could advise me on how I should study in my last 2 weeks before the test. Quick background, I've taken the test twice in Jan 2010 & Feb 2010, VERY bad idea. 640 both times (M44/V36 & then M42/V38).

From what I've understood, statistically, chances of me doing better are low. But I know I didn't prepare well the first two times and rushed into the test. I've done a far more systematic approach this time, picking up Manhattan guides for quant & SC topics (my real weaknesses). My scores over the last 3 months on practice tests are as following:
GMAC 1: 710 (inflated because of OG12 repeats), Veritas (free): 690, MGMAT1: 700, MGMAT2: 700, Princeton (free): 700.

Now here's my dilemma. I'm taking leave from July 14th to August 3rd, and my test is on August 3rd.

My weaknesses remain:
Quant (average practice test scores 45 - 47), target: 48-49
1) Probability/combinatorics
2) Functions
3) Number properties DS questions (will review Manhattan guide properly)
4) Tougher rate questions
5) Overall timing (have been trying to improve calculation speed as much as possible by working on timers)

Verbal (average practice test scores 40 - 41), target 42-43
1) SC: This is improving, I'm just completing the SC Manhattan guide

bb, any management, or anybody who has advice for how I should really buckle down to raise my scores in these final two weeks - your advice would be invaluable. Again, sorry for repeating this post here as its also on the GMAT Re-takers forum.
Aximili
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12 Jul 2011, 09:32
At least the score is consistent in terms of 640.

When you stretch out the prep for so long (over a year) it is hard to nail down the issue.
I would focus on the area that can give you the most improvement. I am not sure what it is - you have to figure that out.
This could be the area you perform the worst on or something you can easily improve (are there any of these)?

Final question - what have you used for your prep previously? What books did you cover?
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13 Jul 2011, 07:52
I think while preparing you should start both quant and verbal simultaneously.Take a prep test first .identify your weak areas.Work on your weak areas more.Take atleast six test in end.
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13 Jul 2011, 14:24
gmat club is the single most important place for the gmat aspirants
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14 Jul 2011, 03:30
Gautam/bb thanks for your inputs.
I actually started my prep in April (gave over a year break because I was discouraged). So its been about 3/4 months of prep, and now I'm writing on August 3rd. I guess my main weaknesses are Combinatorics/probability, number properties DS questions (700-800 level), Rates, functions (I can’t find questions on functions ANYwhere - didn't find Manhattan book helpful). Verbal: SC (reviewing Manhattan, its helping a lot!).

I’ve charted a tentative schedule for the next 2 weeks before my test, based on advice on some other forums and your advice; please let me know what you think:

Day 1 (today, July 14th) – Map study plan, OG 10 – Finish DS (50Q left), Verbal Supplement RC (SC/CR complete) – do 6 passages on timer. OG 10 PS – do 25 Q (still 200+ left)

Day 2 – MGMAT 3 (morning/afternoon), evening: OG 10 PS: 50Q OR Manhattan SC Idioms list (haven’t touched)

Day 3 – Review MGMAT 3 in depth. Finish Idioms, review few chapters SC Manhattan. OG 10 PS (finish it already!!). RC Supplement (6 passages on timer)

Day 4 – Questions on probability/combi from prep source. Practice calculations (20 x 20 tables once, remember squares and inverse ratios for percentage). CR practice (begin OG 10 CR)

Day 5 – Manhattan Number Properties (read specific chapters & practice corresponding OG 12 questions again). OG 10 SC questions practice. Read Manhattan SC

Day 6 – MGMAT 4, RC Supplement book (try to finish!), do quant questions from prep book (Jamboree) for specific questions

Day 7OG 10 SC (50Q), OG 10 CR (50Q), practice quant (leave it open)

Beyond this, it will mainly be revision of OG 12 (last 50 questions), going through practice questions, sitting with a friend to go over a probability/combi/inequality basics
Day 8 – <practice quant> , Finish OG 10 VERBAL

Day 9 - <practice quant> <practice RC/SC>

Day 10 – GMAC 2 (or should I take MGMAT 5 first??), revise EVERY QUESTION in depth using analysis guide on this club

Day 11 - <tentative>

Day 12 - <tentative> I still have MGMAT 5/6 and free Knewton test left (also want to reload GMAC and write at least twice to exhaust questions, maybe???)
Day 13 - Day 20 (tentative, don’t want to go that far right now). Day 21 is D-Day!

Lengthy read, but any comments or suggestions would be awesome. The advice on this forum has really kept me going these past few months. Can't thank GMATClub enough.

Aximili
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15 Jul 2011, 07:45
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Hi Aximili,

It sounds like you've really been working hard and paying attention to your weaknesses. You mentioned that you've been taking the MGMAT exams-- have you been running the assessment reports on them? I've found the breakdowns of question categories to be really helpful for my tutoring students, especially when there is as large a volume of data to draw from as you have (from multiple CATs)--you can also analyze the payoff in time on questions--for higher-scoring students (especially ones used to working hard and doing well in school) I often find a big problem is staying too long on questions that should be abandoned in favor of strategic guessing...remember that, due to the adaptive nature of the test, even if you scored a 700+ you would miss a huge chunk of questions--being ok with that and picking your battles is a strategic, psychological step that can often get overlooked. And if you can nudge your guessing percentage up on questions that aren't worth your time (which I find almost always to be the case), those are free/cheap points that can have a huge difference in your score--especially since saving that time allows you to have more time on other questions you can do. If you see that you are spending longer on questions you get wrong than questions you get right, that could be an area that needs attention.

I generally recommend saving the GMATPrep test for 1 week before the exam, to do as your final CAT. The score and algorithm are more accurate, but it is much more difficult to draw conclusions from the question material since all you can see is wrong/right instead of categorization, time, etc.

It sounds like you're planning to do sub-chunks of 50 questions a day-- that may be too many! Doing a really detailed review is preferable to burning through a lot of new questions--especially if you haven't mastered the old questions. If you've seen a question before and mastered it, then any time you see it again you will be able to CATEGORIZE it (and know why it fits into that category), and then select from possible STRATEGIES to do it QUICKLY and ACCURATELY. If that's not the case for questions you've worked on, you haven't squeezed the value out of the work that you've done. A student I worked with, who had the biggest score jump I've ever seen, was a martinet about review, and made a separate page for each question she ever did (other students do notecards), and if that question still troubled her she reviewed it and left it in the stack to hit again a little later. You don't have to go that far, especially if you've already done a TON of questions, but that kind of deep review works a different part of the brain and is just as important as doing new questions.

Finally, whenever anyone's working as hard as you are I like to remind him or her to keep an eye out for burnout. No full CATs a few days before the test...the closer you get the more you'll want to taper off to conserve your energy for the main event. After the detailed content review you've plotted out, the next few days (days 13-16?) should involve timed sets from the supplemental OG books --mixed content (PS and DS, CR/SC/RC) to give you practice shuffling back and forth between types, as well as identifying question types.

Hope this helps.
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17 Jul 2011, 03:53
Before responding to the above post, thank you so much for responding - really appreciate it. I read this Friday night before going to bed (India time), and applied some of the points yesterday to MGMAT 3 - 740 (M47, V44)!! My Math remained constant, but verbal +3!. That said, I took a 14 minute break M & V as opposed to 8 minutes, so that probably helped me recover from the severe disappointment I was feeling post M (which i thought went horrid).

Thank you Manhattan & bb, I''m going to print out the above advice and read it regularly till D-Day to remind myself not to make similar mistakes! That said, wrt to your advice:

"I often find a big problem is staying too long on questions that should be abandoned in favor of strategic guessing."/"being ok with that and picking your battles is a strategic, psychological step that can often get overlooked."
I'm JUST beginning to understand this. MGMAT has been the real teacher with this respect, for me to maintain a consistent 700 (which I have till now), with my weak math base, the MGMATs force me to very often guess or have no hope of finishing. Even with this latest MGMAT 740, I had 8 math questions left in 4 minutes! I remember the first 2 times i wrote the actual GMAT, I just could NOT get myself to move on leaving me with 8 Quant questions in the final 4/5 minutes (I didnt even read the final 5). Again, I'll keep the strategic guessing point in mind.

"If you see that you are spending longer on questions you get wrong than questions you get right,"
Hmm, again I haven't used the per-question time function on the MGMAT. I will keep this in mind during the review for successive tests (and while re-reviewing). I've been ignoring the value of that function so let me focus more here.

"Doing a really detailed review is preferable to burning through a lot of new questions--especially if you haven't mastered the old questions."
I'm going to take this advice to heart. I slowed down the pace today. I'd finished DS from OG 10 on Friday, spent 4 hours going over my mistakes on the last 50Q today instead of quick review. I've been going back and forth feeling guilty coz I didn't buy the Club tests which everybody here advocates, as I wanted to have all bases covered - after reading your advice I'm certain I will not buy those and not regret it either! Keeping your points in mind, once I'm done with OG 10 (and revise final 50 questions of OG 12 sections), I'm going to focus on Manhattan SC (I'm sure if I review that guide twice it'll give me another +1 on the verbal as my SC accuracy rate is still ~60% on MGMATs) & writing/re-writing GMAC tests.

You recommended I don't take any tests in the final week post GMAC 2- I'll do my best to wrap up all the test taking prior to July 29th, 5 days before D-Day - Aug 3rd. I might skip one Manhattan and write one free Knewton just to have max exposure to questions types (any thoughts?).

Sincerely, can't thank you enough for your advice.
A.
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17 Jul 2011, 03:57
Sorry didn't realize you were going under the name Parker; Thanks for your awesome advice Parker!
I'm feeling more confident by the day about this exam which has caused me so much grief last year!
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17 Jul 2011, 16:32
Hi,

i have been preparing for the GMAT now...started with concept revision from Kaplan premier...then started solving questions from OG 12...So far w/o timer my answers go correct.I also got Manhattan book for SC and have been practicing it.

So far my questions go correct from official guide.Today i solved the diagnostic test of OG12 by keeping timer on as i had completed all the sections from kaplan and manhattan as well as practiced questions from OG12 of all sections.I gave myself 30 mins extra in both the sections as the questions were more than the original GMAT tests.

I completely screwed the test.Got only 17/48 correct in quant,and verbal was more worse,barely 3 correct in CR,5 in RC and 7 in SC.

I am unable to understand,if i get answers correct during normal solving...If i consider an option that my concepts are not clear then i should be getting wrong while solving other questions in OG12..Why such a bad performance when i gave the test...I am confused how to go about my practise further...Please help..
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# GMAT Study Plan - How to Start your GMAT Prep

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