I am in panic mode (not really) but I want to stress the significance of my post. I have been self studying since mid December. I took some practice tests and didn't score very well. Tonight, I took another CAT test and scored a 450! I couldn't believe it because my last test was in early January. If you check out my profile you will see I scheduled the test on 05-19-12 so I could avoid the new section. Now I probably won't be ready. I thought I didn't know a few concepts but I never imagined a 450 would show up on the screen.
I did hire a math tutor but it didn't work out. The tutor was good at math but not at preparing someone for the GMAT. Right now I do not have a game plan. I was thinking about an online class or an in-person class. I do not know if an in-person class would help since my scores are very low. I contacted Kaplan
about a tutor and the representative expected me to make a payment before I spoke or met with the tutor. I almost laughed at him because he was pushing me to purchase the 25 hour package. To his credit, he was going to include an online Kaplan class
My preparation with the Manhattan guides have been shaky. I was learning some of it but most of it went over my head. After going through the foundation book, the Number Properties was a lot easier then I struggled with understanding the Official Guide questions. My sentence correction has improved since I started using the E-GMAT
(my review should be interesting) though. I still haven't completed the Powerscore or Critical Reasoning guide. I was keeping an old school error log
(paper notes) and I tried to use an error log
from here but it got too complicated and time consuming. I did make some errors by not analyzing the practice test results. In the beginning, I was focusing on the quantity instead of quality of hours studying. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Tests Taken
GMAT Prep 330 No breakdown 12/10/11
Manhattan CAT 1 400 (Q24 and V19) taken on 12/31/11
GMAT Prep 380 (22Q and 21V) taken on 01/15/12
Manhattan CAT 2 450 (Q23 and V 29) taken on 03/30/12Preparation ToolsManhattan GMAT
8 set guide books
Manhattan Foundations of GMAT math
GMAT Math Workbook(recommended by tutor)Kaplan
GMAT Premier-have not usedPowerscore Critical ReasoningE-GMAT
Algebra for Dummies-Refresher
Official Guides 10 and 12 editions
Aristotle Prep Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension Set-Haven't used yet
From your current 450, you need to go to 700 (since you are planning to apply to some top schools). Following would be my advice:
1. You first need to work on Math. Then you can invest time in GMAT Quant. My guess is your basics are weak i.e. probably there are issues such as handling decimals, fractions, making equations for word problems, solving equations etc. So you first need to work on your general Math. I see that you are using Kaplan
material. I think they have a Math Basics book (or something to that effect). Veritas
has a book called Math Essentials which is similar. Make sure you have a handle on everything discussed in one of these books. I am sorry to say that this is something a tutor cannot help you with. Tutors are used to teaching GMAT Quant. It is frustrating for them to take students through middle/high school Math basics which the students need to know beforehand. Also, it is a waste of your money since you can easily go through your middle/high school books on your own and review these basics. So why would you want to spend precious hrs reviewing basics with a tutor? Once your fundamentals are clear, you can use a tutor to learn how to attack GMAT questions (that would be time and money well spent). Also, I don't know about Kaplan
but many test prep companies allow you to meet up with the tutor before you decide to hire him/her. You can discuss your goals and see whether you are comfortable with him/her.
2. I think your English is decent. I fail to understand why you are scoring low in Verbal (though I see your Verbal score has improved). Powerscore and Aristotle books are well known GMAT prep books with good reviews. You should see a significant improvement after going through them. I would suggest you to go through the theory of CR, RC and SC multiple times till you understand exactly what you are required to do. Then start practicing questions. Ensure that the questions you are doing have detailed solutions provided. It can be pretty frustrating to see a brief 'Answer is A because ...' solution which doesn't tell you why 'C' is not the answer (which you thought looked correct). The author needs to justify his answer choice and explain why the other 4 choices don't work so that you learn something from the question. A tutor can identify your particular problem areas in Verbal and guide you appropriately.
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