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I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying

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I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2008, 16:07
I'm applying for the part time programs at both UC Irvine and USC. I don't really have the option of applying anywhere else, since I'm 32, have a wife, 2 girls, and a mortgage. I'm finishing my undergrad in business admin this spring, so my brain is used to tests, writing, and numbers. If I get 560+ then hopefully I won't have to retest. If I get accepted to either, then I saved myself time and stress without studying. If my GMAT score is too low, and that is the determining factor, I know the admissions guy at UCI told me they will ask me to take it again. Hopefully they give the same courtesy at USC.

I've got 9 years work experience relative to my undergrad.

Any advice or opinions?

BTW...the class of 2009 GMAT average scores;

UCI: 595
USC: 619
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2008, 16:30
Well, I'm definitely not in the same boat in terms of demographic and work experience (although I'm still in undergrad working on my BBA)--

But I studied for the GMAT, and still bombed it! I'm still baffled at how I got a 510 on the practice test but 390 on the real one.

The test is not a measure of work experience or leadership skills. The only time those things really come in handy is for the writing section in which you can offer some insight based on your work/undergrad experience (for instance, when I had to do the Analysis of an Argument Essay, the writer talked about having employees work in groups as part of a new management strategy. Having been made to do so in classrooms and at jobs before, I wrote about that experience to help prove my point. I got a 5/6 on that section, the only part I did well on!)

I know, this part sounds like reiteration and you've probably heard it from other people and info sessions/guides about the GMAT....but take it from someone who bombed the test: it's NOTHING like how the SAT was, and regular college tests! There's a certain way you have to answer the questions...and all kinds of stupid crap the test makers throw in there to confuse you. And the biggest reason studying for it is important regardless of your education and experience:

EVERY exam is different. Dumbly, I brushed up on my statistics for the test because some classmates of mine said that things we covered in Rudimentary Stats like standard deviation, probability, mutually exclusive events, etc. Guess how many stats questions were on my version? A grand total of 2! What I REALLY should've studied more of was just basic algebra...

I'm not retaking the GMAT until maybe 8-10 months from now, after I've completed my school's math requirement and my last stats course. I think I'll have a better understanding of quantitative methods after that; and that after taking Calculus, the algebra problems I butchered will seem like nothing. That, and I don't have another $250 laying around. I mean, I'm 23, taking 18-20 credits a time at school, and I don't have children but I do have a band to support. :)

Well, there you have it. Reasons why studying for this torture tool is integral. Hope my rant has proved helpful!
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2008, 16:50
Thanks for the info and advice.

I feel confident in my algebra. Got an "A" in both college algebra and business calculus (both were taken within the last 2 years). I am currently tutoring my wife in her college algebra class, so it is extremely fresh in my head.
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2008, 17:38
that actually make some sense for you. If it works, you will have saved yourself tons of time.

I would still look at how Data Sufficiency questions are set up, it took me several practice tests to get the hang of those.

other than that, go all out.
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2008, 22:28
Yep, if you're good at algebra and aced calculus...you won't need to spend much time reviewing the math section. (Unlike me, who probably needs to take the short bus to math class. In spite of failing algebra three times in high school and once here at Lehman, I actually got a B+ in statistics with a tough professor. I pulled a Homer.)

Apparently though some rudimentary stats will be on some tests. Each real and practice exam is different. The real one I bombed only had two questions, one about mutually exclusive events and the other about standard deviation. The practice one I did okay with had more stats questions.

And YES, those data sufficiency questions are a killer...they found a way to make algebra even tougher and more pointless.

If you're fine with the quant section, the verbal section is still a bit different than most regular college exams. I did fine with the reading comprehension (that is somewhat similar to the SAT and the CPE that the CUNY university system makes you take) but totally bombed the rest.
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2008, 21:27
Well who knows this strategy might work for you. Also I heard part time programs have lower GMAT/GPA requeirements and more WE.
One suggestion I have is take GMAT prep tests. They are free and can be downloaded from GMAC test. It should prepate you for type of questions you will get in GMAT tests.
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 10:50
I am generally pretty good at standardized tests, so I wasn't too worried about the GMAT either. I ended up buying the $30 princeton review book and did the following:
1) take a practice test
2) read descriptions for what i got wrong
3) skim through the rest of the book (discounting most of it)
4) take a 2nd practice test.
All told I maybe spent 8-10 hours? Remember how badly this score can SINK you if you don't do well. (since you might not have time to retake it if you do poorly. Sometimes appointments are tight) Its probably worth spending a few hours and $30 on review.

In the end, i was right - I got a 740 on my GMAT.

Side note: I attended UCI for undergrad/Grad. It is a beautiful, well thought out campus. Master planned in fact - just like most of orange county. If it is important for you to live in a place with some character, then I would suggest looking at other schools. On the other hand, if you are happy with a clean, safe, (but expensive, somewhat boring) place, then go for it =) Just my 2 cents
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Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2008, 19:25
I would at least take a practice test so you're familiar with it and know what to expect. The GMAT is nothing like the tests you take in college. Download the free tests from http://www.mba.com at the very least.
Re: I'm gonna take the GMAT without studying   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2008, 19:25
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