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Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score:

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Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score: [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2013, 07:39
I am looking for suggestions on a long term preparation strategy for GMAT. I figure that I have a good 18 months before I take the exam so I am guessing there is a lot that I can do about it right now with such a long time on my hands.

I have just recently started with the preparation and have studied 4-5 hours each week for the last month or so. I have finished the Quant section and SC from the OG13.

Today, I gave the GMATPrep Exam 1 and scored a 730 on it: [Q:50,92%, V:39,87%]. IR: 8.

My questions are:

1. Given that I have such a long time on my hands and with my 730 on the GMAT Prep1, what score should I be realistically aiming at on the GMAT ?

2. Towards the end of the GMAT Prep exam I felt fatigued in the verbal section and I got 5 questions wrong on the trot - 33-37 - I think at that point I just wanted to get done with the test :| I finished the verbal section with 7 minutes remaining....are there any techniques that I could use to ensure that I do not feel fatigued by the end of the verbal section ? Honestly by the end of it, I was staring at those verbal questions without being able to think anything.

3. I have bought myself the MGMAT guides, what are some other sources that I should be looking at to take my scores higher ? What sources can give me access to good 700-800 level questions for quant and verbal?

Any suggestions would be very helpful, thanks!
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Re: Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score: [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2013, 08:40
I am in a similar situation (decent starting score and lots of time for prep). I'm curious to see the responses and I want to receive all notifications to this thread, so I am making this post. I wish you the best! (Score: 48Q/38V, 710 on GMATPrep Exam 1 without any studying or prior knowledge of the GMAT.)
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Re: Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score: [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2013, 09:56
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soods26 wrote:
I am looking for suggestions on a long term preparation strategy for GMAT. I figure that I have a good 18 months before I take the exam so I am guessing there is a lot that I can do about it right now with such a long time on my hands.

I have just recently started with the preparation and have studied 4-5 hours each week for the last month or so. I have finished the Quant section and SC from the OG13.

Today, I gave the GMATPrep Exam 1 and scored a 730 on it: [Q:50,92%, V:39,87%]. IR: 8.

My questions are:

1. Given that I have such a long time on my hands and with my 730 on the GMAT Prep1, what score should I be realistically aiming at on the GMAT ?

2. Towards the end of the GMAT Prep exam I felt fatigued in the verbal section and I got 5 questions wrong on the trot - 33-37 - I think at that point I just wanted to get done with the test :| I finished the verbal section with 7 minutes remaining....are there any techniques that I could use to ensure that I do not feel fatigued by the end of the verbal section ? Honestly by the end of it, I was staring at those verbal questions without being able to think anything.

3. I have bought myself the MGMAT guides, what are some other sources that I should be looking at to take my scores higher ? What sources can give me access to good 700-800 level questions for quant and verbal?

Any suggestions would be very helpful, thanks!


730 is a great start. You should look towards a 99% score, with a well executed strategy.

Sometimes you will have 7 minutes left at the end of the test, and sometimes you won't be able to finish in time. These things happen and time management only comes with practice and working under timed conditions. Once you take a few more tests, you will iron out these things. Build a strategy that is best suited to you. Take a note of things on checkpoints during both verbal and quant sections. The most difficult thing to do on the test is to leave a question. Make sure you don't spend inordinate amount of time on any question.
I will also stress on the fact that you should take tests with AWA and IR. Unless you do this, your scores will remain inflated. 1 hour of extra grey cell burning is a significant factor.
Look at the whole thing as a marathon. Believe you will be able to build your stamina through these practice tests and by the time you give your GMAT, you should be in good shape.

Practice through GC quant and verbal forums. They have questions from various sources and of varying difficulty level.
Be thorough with the official questions. It won't help you much if you do 700+ level from a second grade source and don't do the official questions. MGMAT has a good repository of 700+ level questions as well. For verbal CR and RC, you may also try a few LSAT questions. I can name a few more sources, but I'll refrain myself from doing that. It is important that you focus more on quality than on quantity.

Make sure to document your mistakes, revisit them and learn from every question.

Finally, I would advise against lingering on for too long with the GMAT. There will be a time when you will peak and it is best to take the test in those weeks. You don't want to halt your life for months while you prepare for an exam. Time it well and take it whenever you are comfortable.

good luck.
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Re: Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score: [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2013, 18:59
jumsumtak wrote:

730 is a great start. You should look towards a 99% score, with a well executed strategy.

Sometimes you will have 7 minutes left at the end of the test, and sometimes you won't be able to finish in time. These things happen and time management only comes with practice and working under timed conditions. Once you take a few more tests, you will iron out these things. Build a strategy that is best suited to you. Take a note of things on checkpoints during both verbal and quant sections. The most difficult thing to do on the test is to leave a question. Make sure you don't spend inordinate amount of time on any question.
I will also stress on the fact that you should take tests with AWA and IR. Unless you do this, your scores will remain inflated. 1 hour of extra grey cell burning is a significant factor.
Look at the whole thing as a marathon. Believe you will be able to build your stamina through these practice tests and by the time you give your GMAT, you should be in good shape.

Practice through GC quant and verbal forums. They have questions from various sources and of varying difficulty level.
Be thorough with the official questions. It won't help you much if you do 700+ level from a second grade source and don't do the official questions. MGMAT has a good repository of 700+ level questions as well. For verbal CR and RC, you may also try a few LSAT questions. I can name a few more sources, but I'll refrain myself from doing that. It is important that you focus more on quality than on quantity.

Make sure to document your mistakes, revisit them and learn from every question.

Finally, I would advise against lingering on for too long with the GMAT. There will be a time when you will peak and it is best to take the test in those weeks. You don't want to halt your life for months while you prepare for an exam. Time it well and take it whenever you are comfortable.

good luck.


Thank you for your reply!

Could you please elaborate more on the sources for LSAT questions? Right now I am open to do more of them because I felt that in the CR and RC questions I did not attempt them having their types, what they were trying to test etc. in mind. I just went by the question stem and went by whatever I understood from it. So, I would definitely like to practice them more.

I feel that I need to take time on GMAT because I am planning to apply to MBA Schools for the class that starts in '16. I feel constrained right now and have to wait before I take the plunge into going full throttle after an MBA because I need to gain on work experience since I will only have around 50 months of experience by the time I start applying to R1 of B-Schools in October/November of 2015. Now having told you more about my approximate timeline for applying, do you think it is a good idea to take GMAT out of the way in around 10-12 months ? The negative thing that I see in doing that is that I am not sure if the Adcom would see that against me since around 2 years would have already passed after my GMAT before I start applying to schools? I figured that closer the date of GMAT to the applications the better it is?

Would be interesting to see if there are others like me on the GC forums, where they feel like an MBA is just the thing that they need next in their career but are waiting out to gain enough work experience so that they are at least close to touching the median work experience of their dream schools. While I do my "time" before applying to B-Schools are there any other options that I could be looking at like Masters, Msc etc. in business related areas? Any suggestions on prospects of Masters, Msc would be really helpful to me!
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Re: Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score: [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 02:35
answers:

1.) You would be better off to practice official questions first. LSAT questions should come much later in your prep (if at all)
2.) No. GMAT scores are valid for 5 years and adcom will not raise a flag if you take the GMAT much earlier to your application cycle. Just make sure they are valid when you apply.
10-12 months is just too long to prepare for GMAT. Most of us do it in 3-4 months and manage to get a good score. Either concentrate on other things right now and take on the test later or study the concepts, and build your understanding over the next few months (without going flat out) and then take the test when you are comfortable.
3.) There are deferred MBA programs and MIM programs as well. Have a look at HBS 2+2, Yale's silver scholar, LBS' MIM, Duke has a similar one as well. That is all of what I can think right now. Do a bit of research and you will find a lot of them.
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Re: Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score: [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2013, 02:55
Hey man, I was in the same situation as you. Because I had so much time I had a very relaxed study schedule and probably didn't improve as well as I could have with a shorter, more intense study plan. Additionally, there were even times when I would take weeks off at a time. The ideal time is probably a 2-3 month intensive study plan. After this time period, if you're scoring what you want to on the practice test, just take it. My practice tests reflect my peaking as I went from 690-720-740-710 and scored a 710 on the real thing about a week after my 710 practice test.
Re: Long term Prep strategy for GMAT and setting a Target Score:   [#permalink] 16 Jan 2013, 02:55
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