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Help critique my GMAT study plan

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Help critique my GMAT study plan [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2011, 01:57
Hi all,

I plan to retake the GMAT in about 9 weeks (Oct 22), and I would love to have any of you critique the schedule/plan I'd like to follow.
I reviewed a few posts on these boards and they have been very helpful:
1. How to start your GMAT prep (can't link to it)
2. GMAT Study Plan: go from 650 to 700+ (can't link to it)

Goal and reason for a retake:
On my first GMAT 2 years ago, I scored 690 (Q:44, V:41). They basically map to 69th percentile Quant and 89th Verbal. My main goal is to score at least 48 on Quant (84th percentile). Secondary goal is to keep my verbal at around my previous score (no less than 39, 87th percentile).

I took the GMAT prep a few days ago to determine my weaknesses, and I scored exactly like my first official GMAT: 690 (44, 41).

Materials available:
- MGMAT books (all 8).
- OG11 & OG12
- OG Quant & OG Verbal
- Kaplan Math Workbook
- Kaplan GMAT PP

Tentative Schedule:
Week #1:
- Word translations MGMAT review (including OG exercises).
- Specific error log review
- 40 CR questions (Kaplan)

Week #2:
- Number propperties MGMAT review (including OG exercises).
- Specific error log review
- 20 CR questions (Kaplan)
- SC idiom review

Week #3:
- Fractions, Decimals, Percent MGMAT review (including OG exercises).
- Specific error log review
- 5 RC passages (Kaplan)
- Review Quant time saving strategies

Week #4:
- Geometry/Inequalities MGMAT review (including OG exercises).
- Specific error log review
- Quant test strategies review
- Take MGMAT 1st CAT test online

Week #5:
- CR MGMAT review (including OG exercises).
- Specific error log review
- 40 word translations questions (OG Quant), error log review
- 40 number properties questions (OG Quant), error log review
- Take MGMAT 2nd CAT test

Week #6:
- RC MGMAT review (including OG exercises).
- Specific error log review
- Verbal time saving strategies review
- 40 SC questions (OG + OG Verbal), error log review
- Take MGMAT 3rd CAT test

Week #7:
- Global error log review
- test taking strategies, mental notes review
- MGMAT 4th CAT test
- GMATPrep 2nd CAT test

Week #8:
- Global error log review
- Essay strategy

I am open to criticism (that's the point of this post :) ), so please let me know what you think I should change. I put my Quant weaknesses first. I have flash cards from 2 years ago that are still helpful to me for SCs, so that's why I don't have an "SC week".

Questions I'd like to hear opinions on:
1. I plan to rely on Manhattan GMAT for all my reviews of basics. I used the one on SC, and that really helped me bump my verbal scores from ~35 to 41 despite English being my 2nd language, so I am assuming that their prep material are all very good. Is there any problem you see solely relying on MGMAT?
2. I plan to do OG exercises while I review basics as this is how MGMAT books are structured. I don't see an issue with that since I am retaking the GMAT and don't have much time, but I'd like to hear people's take on that.
3. Am I planning for enough CAT tests? I have 5 total in my schedule in addition to the one I just took.

On a side note, I'm thinking about a way to incorporate GMAT Club Tests rather than Kaplan's. Given my limited time, is it worth the $100?

If anybody can point out something I am not doing right or has suggestions that will help a lot.
Cheers.
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Re: Help critique my GMAT study plan [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2011, 21:58
Anybody?
I now realise that my message was pretty long. Maybe someone can take a crack at one of the questions below?
Cheers.

bluesiege wrote:
1. I plan to rely on Manhattan GMAT for all my reviews of basics. I used the one on SC, and that really helped me bump my verbal scores from ~35 to 41 despite English being my 2nd language, so I am assuming that their prep material are all very good. Is there any problem you see solely relying on MGMAT?
2. I plan to do OG exercises while I review basics as this is how MGMAT books are structured. I don't see an issue with that since I am retaking the GMAT and don't have much time, but I'd like to hear people's take on that.
3. Am I planning for enough CAT tests? I have 5 total in my schedule in addition to the one I just took.

On a side note, I'm thinking about a way to incorporate GMAT Club Tests rather than Kaplan's. Given my limited time, is it worth the $100?
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Re: Help critique my GMAT study plan [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2011, 11:34
Your plan could be fine.

A GMAT study plan needs to be partially fluid. You must change your plan to always address your weakest areas and not neglect other areas.

Keep an error log, document progress and figure out the "why" part of answering problems incorrectly.

Start off with a practice test and adjust your study plan. Go from weakest section to strongest. Take practice tests every so often to gauge progress and adjust the plan accordingly. Don't rush to take practice tests. Make sure you use your error log properly and make progress. Simply doing practice problems doesn't always work.

Your verbal score is fine and in the 80+ percentile. You only need a few points in math to get to 80+ percentile (one point to break 700), and if you make progress in both sections, scoring a 760+ should be achievable.

Best of luck
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Re: Help critique my GMAT study plan [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2011, 13:58
Thanks Mohater.

I just got started and it is really tough to put the time each week so I have to be very efficient. You are correct that the Error Log is essential to any GMAT preparation.
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Re: Help critique my GMAT study plan [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2011, 14:53
Expert's post
I'd recommend the last week or at least last few days to be focused on running through practice exams. Mark down the ones you get wrong and revisit them forwards, backwards, and in random order.

Do the same for multiple practice exams and jot down notes of where you've gone off path. And review those mental notes the day before the exam.

You can also see more of what we recommend here: http://www.gmatpill.com/the-gmat-pill-m ... tudy-plan/
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Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Posts: 34
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, General Management
GPA: 3.5
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 1

Re: Help critique my GMAT study plan [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2011, 10:02
Thanks for the tips. What I try to do with my mental notes is to take note of what thinking patterns will help me solve the exercises which give me trouble the most. For instance, I can look at a few questions in my error log and write down "When doing work/rate problems, take 5 sec to make sure I did set up my equation correctly".
Re: Help critique my GMAT study plan   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2011, 10:02
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