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GMAT Study Plan - How to Start your GMAT Prep

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GMAT Study Plan - How to Start your GMAT Prep [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2009, 01:17
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GMAT Study Plan for New GMAT Test Takers

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 next to the topic name or you can print it out for future reference.

Improvement: 50-150 points depending on the starting point
Concept: You are just starting your GMAT journey and need the shortest way to a solid GMAT Score
Recommended for:
  • GMAT Novices
  • Stagnant gmat test-takers
No prior knowledge is required

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


Hello - welcome to GMAT Club.
If you are new to GMAT and looking how to start and dip your toe in the water - this is the right place to start.

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

Step 3: Find out what GMAT score you actually need. Just to give you an idea - You need 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.

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 Books reviews
For collection of all GMAT Tests available today: all-gmat-cat-practice-tests-links-prices-reviews-77460.html
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:

Attachment:
gmat pyramid.gif
gmat pyramid.gif [ 12.6 KiB | Viewed 1564823 times ]

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…


Here is the most common GMAT study plans used by GMAT Club Members:


If you study best with books, get the full collection of the MGMAT Guides or Veritas Prep Guides + OG 13. The book bundles come with everything you need and both are fully all-inclusive in terms of what you need. My only other suggestion is to get the MGMAT Roadmap which serves a collection of study-related tips. This is a reliable/proven approach with good results. The cost will be $150-300.

If you prefer an online study option, use the Magoosh, GMAT Pill, or eGMAT (verbal only) online courses. Like books, they come with everything you need, including practice tests and quizzes. In addition, online courses provide constant feedback and instructor support and you also get GMAT Club tests free of charge with GMAT Pill and eGMAT. These Courses offer a free trial and a score improvement guarantee. E-GMAT in particular is very popular with non-natives. Your cost may even be less than with books ($99 - 300)

Month 1
  • Start with Math section first and focus just on math alone (you can do both math and verbal but I suggest you put all attention into one). Both MGMAT and Veritas Prep have numbered books, so all you have to do is open Book1 or Book0 and just follow along. Plan to spend 4 weeks on it.
  • Start using an Error Log - keep track of your mistakes and guesses -this will become your study guide in Month 3.
  • Optional Step: If you are feeling the load is too heavy and you are really weak in Math - get MGMAT Math Foundations book; it is great in providing a more general overview of math concepts.
  • At the same time, start reading GMAT Fiction (see below for details on what it is for)
  • Get involved with the Math Forum - you will learn a lot esp. when you try to teach someone or explain something
  • After you are done with the math section - start taking the math portion of the tests you have.
  • 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. Another book you may consider is the PR 1012 - it contains targeted GMAT practice questions, which could be helpful in honing one's skills.
  • Though may seem attractive, Advanced Quant book from MGMAT has received mixed reviews from the users - many feel it is really too hard and is not representative of the GMAT's difficulty. We did attempt to go through it and even for yours truly, it proved discouraging and painful. Unless you are really bored, it may be a book better left for another time.
  • 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


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:

Month 2
  • 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 Kaplan Verbal Workbook - 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. You can also use the PR 1012 book for targeted practice with Assumption or Conclusion questions or you can go very heavy weight and use LSAT books, but that's a tad too hardcore and usually unnecessary. See BM’s review of the LSAT resources.
  • 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 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


Month 3
  • 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



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.


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Last edited by bb on 03 Mar 2014, 11:06, edited 34 times in total.
Major Update/Rewrite of the Thread
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 17:49
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excellent post bb.
One thing I would emphasize is how quickly procrastination time goes by. It is way too easy to begin studying with 3 months left, take a short break, and resume studying with only weeks left. On the one hand, it seems like one month is plenty of time to study for just a single test, but after really starting, you realize that you have a LOT to cover and begin panicking. I know that's the case with me. 2 months ago I thought I had an eternity to study, but a couple of days ago I realized I am screwed and wish I had more time. :(
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2009, 18:56
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bipolarbear wrote:
excellent post bb.
One thing I would emphasize is how quickly procrastination time goes by. It is way too easy to begin studying with 3 months left, take a short break, and resume studying with only weeks left. On the one hand, it seems like one month is plenty of time to study for just a single test, but after really starting, you realize that you have a LOT to cover and begin panicking. I know that's the case with me. 2 months ago I thought I had an eternity to study, but a couple of days ago I realized I am screwed and wish I had more time. :(


Thank you!
Great point - the message should be clear: If you only have 3 months left and need 700+ score - you are already late!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2009, 23:16
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gmanjesh wrote:
BB you might want to edit the following sentence

"Note1: MGMAT CR and MGMAT SC come without any practice questions. Instead they refer to questions in the Official Guide 12 and OG Verbal, so you must buy that book to practice and preferably should not have covered it in the past. On the positive note - all Manhattan books come with access to 6 online CAT tests, so you should buy at least one Manhattan GMAT book (any one of them)."


MGMAT CR and RC needs both OG and the Verbal Review books. that was the case with MGMAT 3rd ed not sure about the 4th, but I assume its the same


Thank You!
I believe the 4th edition of the MGMAT RC does not rely on the Official Guide anymore but that book is packed and I can't get to it to confirm...
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2009, 06:42
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My friend has the book, will get it confirmed by tonight.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2009, 06:10
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Thank You!
Quote:
I believe the 4th edition of the MGMAT RC does not rely on the Official Guide anymore but that book is packed and I can't get to it to confirm...


That's good to know, especially since I am preparing OG and fundamentals in parallel.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2009, 22:20
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Hello All,

I have started preparing for GMAT from this week.

I plan to follow the 3 month approach suggested by BB. However need some advice from all of you on finalising my study schedule.

month 1 - math. I plan to use Kaplan for brushing up fundamentals and then doing section tests for practice.

month 2 - verbal. I will use Kaplan and section tests here as well. Reading fiction is a regular add-on to this.

month 3 - full length tests. I plan to give 3 tests in a week followed with a detailed analysis and error log. The tests from OG, Kaplan (advanced), mba, etc will be used in this phase.

I have a full time job as a Manager in a Research firm with a 50 hour/week schedule. I will try to take out 15-18 hours in a week for this preparation. ( Majorly on weekends)

Please help me tweak this schedule. I am pretty unsure about how to start. Also, if 15-18 hours a week for the next 3 months would be enough to get a 700+ score.

Looking forward to all your suggestions :)
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2009, 22:57
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I got a 720 after 3 months of studying, but I started "truly" studying after I got a 650 on the first real GMAT I took. When I took the GMAT the first time, I didn't really study much for it and told myself "If I get anything over a 650, then I retake and really study for it. So I got the 650 and studied for 3 months like crazy (I mean truly like crazy, I think I posted over 700 posts on here in that 3 month time).

My 3 month experience can't be compared to someone starting from scratch. I had already experienced one real test day which is a huge advantage.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2009, 04:14
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This looks like a solid study plan; I look forward to trying it out. At which point do you recommend working through the OG?
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2009, 22:04
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Hey BB - need your comments on the schedule I have decided below....please :)
rookieR wrote:
Hello All,

I have started preparing for GMAT from this week.

I plan to follow the 3 month approach suggested by BB. However need some advice from all of you on finalising my study schedule.

month 1 - math. I plan to use Kaplan for brushing up fundamentals and then doing section tests for practice.

month 2 - verbal. I will use Kaplan and section tests here as well. Reading fiction is a regular add-on to this.

month 3 - full length tests. I plan to give 3 tests in a week followed with a detailed analysis and error log. The tests from OG, Kaplan (advanced), mba, etc will be used in this phase.

I have a full time job as a Manager in a Research firm with a 50 hour/week schedule. I will try to take out 15-18 hours in a week for this preparation. ( Majorly on weekends)

Please help me tweak this schedule. I am pretty unsure about how to start. Also, if 15-18 hours a week for the next 3 months would be enough to get a 700+ score.

Looking forward to all your suggestions :)

_________________

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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there

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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2009, 12:41
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bb wrote:
GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - [work-in-progress - suggestions welcome]


!
Common Mistakes with GMAT preparation
2: Starting with the Official Guide - waste of official GMAT questions
so by which books do I have to start?

3: Giving GMAT the worst time of the day - studying after a long day
i work from 8 am - 5 pm. by the time i get home and have supper, it's 7 pm...no other time to study but after a long day of work. any suggestions?


what's the Error log? do you have a template? thanks
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 21:48
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MontrealLady wrote:
bb wrote:
GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - [work-in-progress - suggestions welcome]


!
Common Mistakes with GMAT preparation
2: Starting with the Official Guide - waste of official GMAT questions
so by which books do I have to start?

3: Giving GMAT the worst time of the day - studying after a long day
i work from 8 am - 5 pm. by the time i get home and have supper, it's 7 pm...no other time to study but after a long day of work. any suggestions?


what's the Error log? do you have a template? thanks


Hey there,

I have the same problem having to study after a long day of work...but I guess there is no option. One way is to decide the number of hours per week you want to spend on prep and divide majority of it on weekends. It works well because you are relaxed on weekends and have better focus and retention capability.

It works for me .... do try it out :)

Error Log - It need not be a set format/templatized. I have a small notepad wherein I am writing down the questions from topics that are particularly difficult for me. YOu can make a note of explanations, formula, short-cuts that you learnt from such questions. At the end of say 2-3 sections it serves as a revision note.

Hope this helps....
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 15:50
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rookieR wrote:
MontrealLady wrote:
bb wrote:
GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - [work-in-progress - suggestions welcome]


!
Common Mistakes with GMAT preparation
2: Starting with the Official Guide - waste of official GMAT questions
so by which books do I have to start?

3: Giving GMAT the worst time of the day - studying after a long day
i work from 8 am - 5 pm. by the time i get home and have supper, it's 7 pm...no other time to study but after a long day of work. any suggestions?


what's the Error log? do you have a template? thanks


Hey there,

I have the same problem having to study after a long day of work...but I guess there is no option. One way is to decide the number of hours per week you want to spend on prep and divide majority of it on weekends. It works well because you are relaxed on weekends and have better focus and retention capability.

It works for me .... do try it out :)

Error Log - It need not be a set format/templatized. I have a small notepad wherein I am writing down the questions from topics that are particularly difficult for me. YOu can make a note of explanations, formula, short-cuts that you learnt from such questions. At the end of say 2-3 sections it serves as a revision note.

Hope this helps....


Thanks Rookie!

actually i dont study very much in the weekends...i dont know why!!!
Ill try your way this week and im sure it will be much better than mind especially that i wake up earlly in the weekends, so i can stuy in the morning and go out in the evening.

Thanks for the error log link...it's a very helpful tool
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 22:49
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Hey BB - need your comments on the schedule I have decided below....please :)
rookieR wrote:
Hello All,

I have started preparing for GMAT from this week.

I plan to follow the 3 month approach suggested by BB. However need some advice from all of you on finalising my study schedule.

month 1 - math. I plan to use Kaplan for brushing up fundamentals and then doing section tests for practice.

month 2 - verbal. I will use Kaplan and section tests here as well. Reading fiction is a regular add-on to this.

month 3 - full length tests. I plan to give 3 tests in a week followed with a detailed analysis and error log. The tests from OG, Kaplan (advanced), mba, etc will be used in this phase.

I have a full time job as a Manager in a Research firm with a 50 hour/week schedule. I will try to take out 15-18 hours in a week for this preparation. ( Majorly on weekends)

Please help me tweak this schedule. I am pretty unsure about how to start. Also, if 15-18 hours a week for the next 3 months would be enough to get a 700+ score.

Looking forward to all your suggestions :)


Looks pretty good. I would not push for 3 tests in a week - you will hate life and yourself :wink:
Do 1 or 2 on the weekends and then spend the week going through errors and possibly still taking just the quant or just the verbal portion.

Spend the "good" time on GMAT (mornings) rather than the "leftover" time (nights and lunch breaks).
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 23:10
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Thanks BB....for the great advice!

:)
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 01:24
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Hi

I gave GMAT Prep test recently and scored 640 (Quant - 46 and Verbal - 32). My aim is 700 + and am planning to take GMAT in Oct.

I did best in RC followed by Problem solving. Data sufficiency was worst and i did average in SC and CR.

Any tips on how I can score better?

Regards
Jigna
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 09:13
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Try here: gmat-study-plan-go-from-650-to-80235.html
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 12:30
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BB

Thanks for posting such a wonderful plan layout.
As like other people here, I am aspirant for MBA targeting around 700 for my GMAT. I know its going to be quiet a bumpy ride though.
Based on my understanding of GMAT I guess it is extremely important to brush up the basic concepts. Your plan is definitely a good starting point for me. However I would think if I maintain an error log from your first day of prep you can utilize it earlier then your practical tests.

Here's what I am planning to do

1. First Section : Quantitative Section ( First Month): Real Basics for Number Systems , Inequalities, Equations, Percents, Geometery, Word problems, Permutation & Combination , Probability.
Maintain an error log from the practice questions when you cover each section. After 1 month - give 2 GMAT CLUB Quantitative tests. Get a broad understanding of where you stand, compare it with your error log and work on corresponding topics ( Take 2-3 weeks for it). Give 3 GMAT CLUB Quantitative tests after error log review.

2. Second Section : Verbal ( SC,CR,RC): Since I am an international I plan to give review the basics for grammar and then tackle SC. Review the guides for Verbal Sections available. Maintain an error log. After 1 month of time with Verbal, take 2 practice tests for Verbal Section. Analyze your practice tests, your mistakes, weakness and review those thing again for another 2-3 weeks.

3. Computer Adaptive tests : Practice as much as tests I can . review the results, error log . Tackle your weakness accordingly.

This type of concerte approach should help us reach where we want to in our GMAT SCORE .

THIS ALL IS COMPLETELY DEPENDENT ON OUR DEDICATION TOWARDS THIS TEST / CAREER
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GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 13:12
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BB,

Just wondering, why do you recommend tackling SC first? I'm actually debating right now whether to go through the Powersore CR or the Manhattan SC book first, since both will cover the last half of my prep. I was planning on tackling SC last so that the rules will be fresher in my memory. Thanks!
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2009, 14:18
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thescrappyone wrote:
BB,

Just wondering, why do you recommend tackling SC first? I'm actually debating right now whether to go through the Powersore CR or the Manhattan SC book first, since both will cover the last half of my prep. I was planning on tackling SC last so that the rules will be fresher in my memory. Thanks!


Good question - it does not matter which section per se you start with.
What matters is that You tackle the EASIEST section first and then dedicate the remaining time to the one you have the most issues with.

SC was the easiest for me, then CR, and RC was the hardest, so my "recommendation" follows that path.
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Re: GMAT Study Plan for GMAT Novices - Start your GMAT Journey   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2009, 14:18
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