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How should I split my studying time?

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How should I split my studying time? [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2009, 21:37
Hi everyone,

I have recently joined this forum and really found some helpful topics.

I am starting my GMAT journey and I was confused as to how I should split my time. I took GMATPrep 1 test and scored 520.

I want to score 720+ (I need to make up for my college grades!!). How many hours of studying should I be doing for my entire journey? I am planning to spend about 20 hours per week on the GMAT. Will 10-11 weeks be enough? That will equal about 200 hours in total. Is that enough to get a 200 point increase?

I was also wondering how I should split my time between studying and doing the CATs?

Should I spend 50/50? That is, 2 CATs per week which totals 8 hours and 2 hours to review the results (I estimate reviewing each CAT's results about 1 hour). So 10 hours on CATs and 10 hours on studying? Is this a good split?

How many CATs should I do? I know answer to this question depends on each individual, but will 10 CATs be enough? I can probably get hands on 22 CATs (6 MGMAT, 6 Kaplan, 2 GMAT Prep, 1 Veritas, 1 Princeton, 1 Knewton, 5 800Score). Should I do them all?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks
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Re: How should I split my studying time? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 02:14
What were your scaled scores for GMATPrep? Knowing your scaled scores could tell you where you could improve the most, verbal or quant.

I'm in the same boat as you. My college GPA is terrible and am aiming for a 710+.

I would study your books first and use CATs periodically to assess your progress after each book/chapter/topic. Also, for me, I felt that using CATs before studying was a waste because there are things I've simply forgotten and would have no way of answering several math questions without guessing (for example, questions over geometry formulas)

If you can get 22 CATs, then use them all, but buying 22 CATs kinda sounds like a waste of $$ to me. For me, its good enough practice going over questions I got wrong, why I got them wrong, and how to solve them efficiently. CATs are more for assessing your progress and practicing with time restraints. But without studying the information first, CATs are almost pointless.
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Re: How should I split my studying time? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 06:03
I agree with ael719 that you should study the material first before hitting the CATs. 22 CATs seems like a bit much to me. I'm in the middle of a 3 month study plan that consists of 7-8 CATs (2 GMATPrep and ~6 MGMAT). There's no real correlation between number of hours studied and point increase. For most people it seems like it depends on how you study, not for how long. In my opinion, you should review your GMATPrep 1 results and see where your weaknesses and strengths are. Construct a study plan based on your analysis.
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Re: How should I split my studying time? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 19:17
Hey guys,

Thanks for the reply. I was 520 (41%) Q35 (41%) V27 (42%). So, I guess I am low on both?

I have Manhattan Guides 1-8, OG 12, OG Q and V, Kaplan Book, and PowerScore CR Bible. Is PowerScore Bible worth reading everything? Its so long! Also I feel that since it was written 5 years ago, GMAT has probably changed quite a bit in those 5 years. So should I read PowerScore or go with Kaplan and Manhattan's CR?

I do agree with you guys that I need to learn before just doing CATs. I will do another CAT in maybe 2-3 weeks after some studying and see the feedback I get. Which tests are most reliable? I have found GMATPrep and Manhattan are very good, while Kaplan scores are usually 80 points below. Can I use Kaplan's scores to at least find the weak areas?

Thanks
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Re: How should I split my studying time? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 19:31
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Sure - you can use any of the tests, just dont pay too much attention if they fluctuate between the providers.
GMAT prep is indeed the most reliable. We also have this tool: http://gmatclub.com/gmat-score-estimate/
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Re: How should I split my studying time? [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2009, 19:37
Some advice: I would definitely start with the Kaplan GMAT book, since it provides a nice overview of the test as well as some decent strategies. Next, take a look at the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook to get comfortable with math concepts. As you're going through the GMAT Math Workbook, start to do some practice sets from Official Guide 12, to see how successful you are in applying concepts to real (but retired) GMAT questions. Then go through the OG supplements.

I was told to try to take practice tests on a weekly basis. Also, try to simulate the testing conditions and take your tests at the same hour you would be taking the real exam.

I'm sticking with the GMATPrep and Manhattan tests. I've heard bad things about the Kaplan tests (questions being much harder than the real thing etc.).
Re: How should I split my studying time?   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2009, 19:37
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