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Is there such a thing as starting too early?

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Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 15:25
I don't plan on taking the GMAT until the beginning of next year and then hopefully (pending acceptance) starting my MBA in the fall of 2012.

I work full time (sometimes more--I introduced myself on the knowing club members thread and described my job there) and I want to get into Stern Business school, in NYC. Will starting to prep and study for the GMAT now help me?

I'm not one who likes to feel stressed.. but honestly I've read that they recommend doing 12 hours a week over a 3 month period for studying. I cant do that in my job when I don't know if I'm going to be traveling or get an increase in work that requires me to go in early and stay late.

Any advice would be nice, Thanks.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 15:55
I am applying for Fall 2012 as well. I don't think it's too early to start.

I would say that you should take a diagnostic test ASAP to see where you are. I scored 690 on my first one without any studying. (The one you get when you register for the test.) My goal was to hit at least 700 on the real thing, and I knew I had to brush up on some of my junior high geometry/inequalities, etc. (Which was almost 25 years ago!!)

I started studying my GMAT prep materials in early February 2011 (I used the 8 strategy guides from Manhattan GMAT Prep). I work full-time and go to school part-time (still completing my bachelor's), so I devoted some hours on the weekends and some week nights. I decided to take the GMAT in April (last month) so that if I had to take it again, it would give me enough time to do some more studying and then retake around October. (BTW, I'm not retaking it!) :-D

If you wait until early next year to take the GMAT, that might not give you enough time for a retake (if necessary) in order to apply for Fall 2012. And you probably want to apply in Round 1 or 2, so you'll have to take it earlier, anyway.

Good luck!!
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 17:27
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I guess there is no early start for anything. However, I feel that it is usually a better result if you can put 3-4 months of intense prep instead of 6-12.

I have done both (did a long period of toying with one GMAT book - spent 6 months to cover half of it) and scored 540 on a GMAT Prep. Then spent 3 months studying intensively and got 750. That was my experience YMMV....

I guess it depends what you actually do. I felt i had a lot of time, so I never got anything done.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 17:51
I guess the reason why I want to start early, is I'm really bad at math. There is a reason why I was an English major. However, my business sense and analytical skills are quite good.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 17:57
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cgisler wrote:
I don't plan on taking the GMAT until the beginning of next year and then hopefully (pending acceptance) starting my MBA in the fall of 2012.

I work full time (sometimes more--I introduced myself on the knowing club members thread and described my job there) and I want to get into Stern Business school, in NYC. Will starting to prep and study for the GMAT now help me?

I'm not one who likes to feel stressed.. but honestly I've read that they recommend doing 12 hours a week over a 3 month period for studying. I cant do that in my job when I don't know if I'm going to be traveling or get an increase in work that requires me to go in early and stay late.

Any advice would be nice, Thanks.


Starting early is never the wrong approach but you have to be cautious, as bb pointed out. Whenever I am studying for anything, I like to do it slowly, absorbing the details and trying to understand on a holistic level. You will not feel the need to rush things and hence cut corners if you start now. But, that means you need a schedule, a plan that you will stick to. As a first step, figure out where you are right now using the GMAT Prep Test 1 from mba.com. Then research a little on study material you will be using. Then jot down a solid plan. Say, an hour a day, 5 days a week, a week on Quant and the next on Verbal and so on. After that, all you have to do is stick to the plan.

If you are applying for Fall 2012 session, you would probably be better off taking the GMAT in August/September 2011 so anyway, it isn't actually early.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 17:59
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cgisler wrote:
I guess the reason why I want to start early, is I'm really bad at math. There is a reason why I was an English major. However, my business sense and analytical skills are quite good.


In that case (uncomfortable with Quant, super comfortable with Verbal), you might want to split your time in the ratio 2:1 for Quant:Verbal or even 3:1.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 03:04
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Starting early per se does not concern me so much. But it can present a problem, in the sense that one would study for too long and suffer from fatigue or burnout. I first tried the long approach and got nowhere with it; my scores were pathetic. I then took the hardcore approach for three months and scored a 730.

Another danger relates to the general attitude which may come along with a long-term approach. Quantity does not necessarily equal quality, but some assume this. In other words, don't become passive and think that simply studying for a few extra months at a leisurely pace can make up for high-quality, intense study with a shorter time schedule. Three months of study for 300 hours is much better than six months of 300 hours of study.

For the GMAT, a passive approach never works. Ever.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 03:13
cgisler wrote:
I don't plan on taking the GMAT until the beginning of next year and then hopefully (pending acceptance) starting my MBA in the fall of 2012.

I work full time (sometimes more--I introduced myself on the knowing club members thread and described my job there) and I want to get into Stern Business school, in NYC. Will starting to prep and study for the GMAT now help me?


Hey cgisler, keep in mind that if you're not taking the GMAT until the beginning of next year, that you'll be applying in the last round of applications for Stern. There are less available spots in the later rounds, so most people feel that the last round decreases your chances of being accepted.

http://www.stern.nyu.edu/AcademicProgra ... /index.htm
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 03:29
Perhaps I should just start brushing up on math, since I know that to be greatest weakness, the do an intensive 3-4 month study for the GMAT. I'm not concerned with the other aspects of the test. I'll be taking the first prep text this weekend, so I guess I'll see from there.

Anyone have a good way of brushing up on math?
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 04:14
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I would just start with the Manhattan math series (or whatever guides you want) and keep reading them over and over until you feel fully comfortable and confident with the material. The math concepts are not that difficult, really. It just takes some time to remember or relearn them.

But make sure to be careful about the verbal section. I realize that this is your strong area, but keep an eye on it! This section comes last when everyone feels a bit tired due to the test.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 04:25
thanks bmillan01. I plan on studying all of the areas, but I recognize that I'll need the most help with math.
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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 05 May 2011, 05:25
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It seems more like quality > quantity to me. Three months of really intense studying will be way better than 6 months of taking your sweet time. If you can do 6 months of really really focused effort, that is probably even better than having a limit of 3-4. But is that realistic? I know I would start getting fatigued or burn out. So you have to figure out how much tolerance you have for just not doing anything other than studying as opposed to what you think you need to focus more effort on. Maybe 4 months? Give an extra month to math and maybe that's enough?


cgisler wrote:
I don't plan on taking the GMAT until the beginning of next year and then hopefully (pending acceptance) starting my MBA in the fall of 2012.

I work full time (sometimes more--I introduced myself on the knowing club members thread and described my job there) and I want to get into Stern Business school, in NYC. Will starting to prep and study for the GMAT now help me?

I'm not one who likes to feel stressed.. but honestly I've read that they recommend doing 12 hours a week over a 3 month period for studying. I cant do that in my job when I don't know if I'm going to be traveling or get an increase in work that requires me to go in early and stay late.

Any advice would be nice, Thanks.

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Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early? [#permalink] New post 06 May 2011, 06:26
I dont think you can ever start prepping too early. Just be aware that certain parts of the verbal test are changing mid 2012, so dont study anything that wont still be on the test!
Re: Is there such a thing as starting too early?   [#permalink] 06 May 2011, 06:26
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