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Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there?

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Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 15:28
I have been studying for the GMAT for the last 6 months, mostly focusing on Math (cause I thought verbal was my strong suit). Took the GMAT today and this was my score:

Verbal:34
Quant:37

Needless to say I am not happy. I am going to retake the test again and need a study plan. While I was studying for math I would only study one section at a time and never took the time to put everything together. I am using MGMAT self-study online, and I have all the MGMAT books, OG 11 and 12 as well as the official verbal and quant books.. Since my two scores are pretty balanced can you guys recommend a plan of attack? Since I didnt study any verbal at all I will definitely start doing verbal questions going forward. This is going to be my new study regime.

Monday - Friday: 1.5 hours each day alternating from QUANT one one Day and verbal on the other.
Saturday: Take practice CAT (I only had taken 4 practice CATS prior to the test)
Sundays: Review, error log and CAT.

Do you guys have any input in this strategy? Do you think this is viable? Even though my score doesnt show it I find verbal to be a tad easier but it is more subjective than math...therefore Quant should be easier to improve (and would please a whole lot more on a personal level as I was a philosophy major who sucked in Math).

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 17:00
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The GMAT is a beast, but it can be tamed - don't let one lost battle defeat you. I think that you are on the right track with your study schedule. If I were you, I would eschew the CATs for a few weeks and diligently study the OG. Once you have gone through the OG from cover to cover, completed and reviewed every question, then take a CAT. If you can confidently and accurately answer 4 out of 5 questions in the OG, I bet you will be able to score mid 6's on a GMAT Prep test.

Here's how I set my study schedule and moved from a 540 on my first GMAT to a 720:

- I would do one set of questions from the OG every night. I would do quant in sets of 35-40 and verbal in sets of 40-45 in order to simulate the duration of the test. I would not time myself, so I would sometimes take more than 75 minutes to complete a set. After completing my set, I'd take a short break and then go back and do a detailed review of each question. The review is where you will really improve. Make sure you do more than just glance at the answers in the back. You must make certain that you understand how to solve a quant problem or how to reason to the correct answer in verbal. Contrary to what you may think, the verbal section is not subjective. There are a limited number of principles that the GMAT tests over and over again. If you do enough practice problems, you will be able to identify what concept the test is asking with each question and how to work your way to a definite answer. Nearly every question you get on the GMAT will be a reproduction of a question you have done in the OG, only it will be with different wording or numbers. The concepts will be the exact same as the concepts needed to solve OG problems.

Now I mentioned that I only did one set of problems a night. Usually, I only did one set because it would take me roughly 2 minutes per question to do the first set and as a rule of thumb, I spent twice as long reviewing questions as I did solving them the first time around. So, to complete a set of 40 questions and then review the set, I spent about 240 minutes (40*2 + 40*4 = 80+160 = 240) or somewhere around 4 hours a night. Perhaps you will be able to pick up on GMAT wording and concepts quicker than I was able to, but in all likelihood, you need to brace yourself for an arduous battle. Uncommon results require uncommon efforts. Now get out there and slay that beast.

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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2010, 19:54
what was your studying like for 6 months? Were you focused on quant only since you said you didnt study verbal? The suggested study time is 3 months so everything stays fresh and it keeps you in check (so you dont go lazy and extend time). Depending on your schedule and time frame the study varies...
1. first and foremost, get the MGMAT books and OGs if you havent done so.
2. judging by your score you might need to improve on all sections but you might not- check up on that.
3. i would study 3 hours a day - 1.5 on verbal and 1.5 on math. follow the books and do all suggested problems. take advantage of CATs from mgmat, this site's problem sets, mgmat CATs etc. if you want more CATs i suggest Kaplan online premier since it has online portion that gives you a quiz/cat every month so that plus the book's cats gives you like 6-8 cats.

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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 06:51
I took the manhattan GMAT online course (is a 2 month course). Where I did all the homework..(including the verbal homework) however as soon as the course stopped I only worked on math for a month......The score I am looking for would be:

Quant: 45 (7 points up from my current score)
Verbal: 40 (6 points up from my current score)

680 cumulative hopefully but if close I would be fine. I think my problem was that I only studied content and would only study one content at a time so by the time you threw everything at me at the same time I would invariably forget how to solve one question or the other as I hadnt practice it for a couple of weeks. Also, by the time I finished verbal I had 10 minutes left on that portion of the test so I might have been going too fast ( I read unusually fast and this might be a problem on the GMAT as I may be missing out on the small details)

Phillypointgod thank you so much for your advice. Right now I dont feel like studying but something about your post gave me inspiration to keep on going with this journey. ...It is very hard to go from this defeat but I am going to set things in motion so I can start studying again the 15th of this month. That should give a month a half of solid work to get this together.

Shaselai, I will work with the MGMAT people so they extend my online access but right now I am a little wary of practicing too much MGMAT stuff.....i scored a 650 on an MGMAT practice test a got a 43 on the Quant two weeks before the test...yet my actual test score was 60 points lower....their guidebooks however are incredible and only because of them I feel confident enough that I have a good base on which to build on..
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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 08:05
Your MGMAT score before the test may have been accurate. Don't discount the intimidation factor of a Pearson testing center. When you have to do fingerprints 2 or 3 times before being escorted to a cubicle that is monitored by a camera and a speaker...that can be a little unnerving. Then, throw in the fact that you are taking an extremely nerve-racking test that has all kinds of little tricks to throw at you and, well, you get the idea...

Now that you have a test under your belt, you will be much more confident when you return to the testing center for a rematch with the GMAT. Continue to study diligently. When you begin to feel more comfortable with the material take the GMAT Prep tests and if you can score near that 680 that you want, then go ahead and schedule a date for the real thing.

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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 09:04
ok i think your problem with "forgetting" is probably due to the long study time you got - which is one of the reasons why 3 months is the recommended time to study. If you had a higher score i wouldve suggested knewton since they are very good and with 50 pts guarantee but with 580 you might surpass 630 easy and end up spending ~500$ and not meet your 680 goal. Get back to basics and use error log to check specific areas you got wrong on..

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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 09:13
Phillypointgod....Can you tell me how long it took you to study from the first test to the seconds? If I were to study for 4 hours a day I am pretty sure that by two or three weeks I would run out of OG questions.
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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2010, 09:33
That's really just a matter of how well you're able to retain the material. If you can quickly and accurately navigate your way through the OG, you may very well be able to kill the whole book in 2 weeks. I would recommend that you focus less on timing and more on comprehension. First round applications for fall 2011 enrollments will not be due until early to mid October, so you have about as much time as you need to score highly on the GMAT. Use that to your advantage. Instead of being concerned with time, focus more energy into learning how to recognize the different concepts tested by each question in the OG. You may supplement OG questions with MGMAT material or GMAT Club tests. If you are able to understand how to use the frequently tested principles in the OG, you will find that you will be able to transfer that knowledge into your performance on MGMAT and GMAT Club tests. In my opinion, the key is master the fundamentals, then begin taking CATs to develop comfort with the time constraints of the test.

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Re: Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there?   [#permalink] 04 May 2010, 09:33
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Got a 590 on the GMAT...where do I go from there?

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