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Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books

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Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2011, 11:01
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Hello everyone,

On November the 14th, I have finally started to study for GMAT. There is a lot of material to be covered and it will take me a lot of effort to get as high in 700s as possible. I still have not registered for the actual test but my goal is to get done with GMAT before it switches to the new version in June.

There is, I believe, a lot of time to get it all done if I prepare myself the proper way. Good thing is that I will start working in January/February so I have a lot of free time to study before I start working. I get in 3-4 hours of studying per day and look to increase it further. I have these study books.

-OG 12th Edition
-OG Quant and Verbal Reviews
-MGMAT 8 Strategy Guides

I have started with MGMAT and so far I covered the basics of Number Properties and Geometry. I am able to understand all the concepts but more often than I would like, I need to look into solutions in order to solve some problems (and I am not even talking about official GMAT problems). It kind of worries me so I am looking for people who did well on GMAT using Manhattan Guides to share their experiences with me. I would really appreciate it.

My question is, when should I really start expecting things to get better? Do you think that I did not go over the concepts well enough or there is a big learning curve? Or is the biggest knowledge hidden in the GMAT problems that I will go over after I go over the concepts?

Any answer, idea, tip or advice will be also welcome. Thanks in advance.

By the way, I am reading things in this forum for a few years when I was in college to get basic info. I must say gmatclub and its users are truly wonderful for their contributions. It is like an oasis in a GMAT desert :)

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2011, 11:15
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Wow, yes, I see you registered a few years ago.

I think you want to focus on the gmat for 3-4 months and not much longer than that (otherwise you start forgetting things and losing track of your journey).

I would say start with the MGMAT Book 1 and go for it. As to improvement, because you will be covering one topic at a time (e.g. 1 quant book out of 5) it will be gradual - you should not really be taking tests at this point - not until you finish the Quant section at least, otherwise you will get a muddy picture and definitely will waste a test. (What use is it to take a full gmat after you just covered the Geometry and have no idea about CR or Arithmetic) Progress comes slow if you are impatient (unless you are this guy). You should take a diagnostic first and then just work through the books and the OG's. Gauge your level from the exercises and remember to always time yourself.

You can expect to improve 100-200 points over the 3 month period from your diag.

By the way, the latest book MGMAT published, called GMAT Roadmap is actually a neat little thing (not many gmat tips but it helps instill a rigorous study schedule that is both flexible and adaptive to your needs). It is common sense for the GMAT studying.

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 02:18
Would it be better to get into advanced concepts after I go through the basics of a certain book? Or it would be better to go through basics of each book and then dive into the advanced concepts of each book?

I believe that good results depends a lot of the right approach while studying but I am not sure where to find such details on the forum, regarding the strategy with MGMAT books.

p.s. I have a weird feeling that I am asking stupid questions.

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 04:16
Laker7 wrote:
p.s. I have a weird feeling that I am asking stupid questions.


If you are, then I'm right there with you - I was going to post a similar thread when I saw yours.

Good luck with your studies! :)

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 05:14
;) Don't worry, guys. The "asking-stupid-questions" group has grown to three with me ;)

The thread is very interesting and I somehow hope us to reach to the ultimate studying strategy. I have also the 8 MGMAT Guides, the 3 OG12 Guides and in addition - Math & Verbal Foundations and Advanced Math. Latter two will be the books I will start with, but the tough questions is how to proceed once I have started with the 8 strategy guides. Currently I think I might start with Quant and then, as I have finished the 5 quant guides, move to Verbal. But I would be very grateful if someone could share his experience. Another questions is if the MGMAT Strategy Guides should be read in their exact sequence. And should we complete the OG Exercises right after every MGMAT chapter, or first finish the books and then do exercises from OG12, OG Quant and OG Verbal. At least I know when to use the Advanced Math book ;)

Is it a good idea to have CAT's (no matter if GMATPrep or MGMAT) prior to having read the MGMAT Guides at least once?

Regards,

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 07:13
Everybody studies differently and gets value from different areas of studying, but personally, while I found the MGMAT guides to be helpful, I focused on them too much. I would honestly recommend running through them once without stressing over the material. Then focus on OG problems (work corresponding problems with the topics you have covered in a study session) and refer back to the guides to cover weak areas in depth.

I just finished the 9 week MGMAT class a couple weeks ago and I have a month of self study left. I have concerns that I did not place enough emphasis on doing additional OG problems outside what was assigned in the syllabus.

The study guides are fantastic and I am certain I will return to them for brush up, but from my experience, I would recommend focusing more on actual problems.
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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 12:53
@ neilferrini: Thanks for the feedback! Your opinion that you focused too much on the books could be vital. Initially I thought to try to read the 8 MGMAT Guides twice. But maybe it will be better to read them once (together with the OG12 questions) and then to try how the score has improved resp. to define some problem areas. The foundations' books as well as the Advanced Math book are respectivelly prior and after the 8 strategy guides.

Maybe the best strategy is to follow the sequence of the 8 guides and start with Quant, and end with Verbal. Once all strategy guides are completed and one can use a CAT to gauge the situation. Once you already have the basics, it is better to mix Quant and Verbal (their question types) depending on the amount of errors. As an example: 2 days SC, then CR (and still some SC questions) etc. But share your experience ;)

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 15:55
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Personally, I recommend that you do not work through the guides in sequential order. Again everybody has different learning styles, but I think in general it is best to study a balanced focus on quant and verbal during individual study sessions or over a couple of study sessions. Not sure what your study schedule will look like, but if you work through the guides in sequential order you won't touch verbal until the 6th guide. If you spend a few hours every night it could be weeks before you see verbal strategy. Also, once you begin verbal strategy guides you may forget the quant principles and strategies form weeks ago. I think it would be best to work through a specific 2 quant guides and a verbal strategy guide and then move on to the next pairing of quant and verbal guides.

I would recommend going through a few chapters of each strategy guide only one time and working through the in action problems un-timed. After doing this, go to your OG 12th ed. and look at the corresponding problems (they are detailed in each study guide) for the material you have just covered and work through some of those problems timed. If you struggle in some areas go back and read those specific sections again and then work a couple more problems.

As far as mixing and question types within verbal and quant, this is always a good idea. Do 10 question timed drills picking a few random questions from the OG problem lists for material you have covered out of the strategy guides. The more guides you knock out, the more question types you should pull from. Ultimately when you have done everything, your timed drills of 10 to 20 questions will include everything.

Hopefully this helps. Best of luck. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. I'm no expert as I haven't hit my goal score yet, but I have worked through all of the guides. I now have a month of pure drilling through OG, VR, an QR timed questions and a weekly CAT exam.
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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 19:13
Thanks neilferrini !
I'm in the same situation as the other guys here . I just bought the 8 Mgmat guides and the 3 OGs but I'm not sure what strategy to adopt . ok I'm going to use my Kaplan practice cat as my baseline score . I scored a 670 ( q 42 v 41) . So based on that what strategy do you suggest ?

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2011, 21:57
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
Thanks neilferrini !
I'm in the same situation as the other guys here . I just bought the 8 Mgmat guides and the 3 OGs but I'm not sure what strategy to adopt . ok I'm going to use my Kaplan practice cat as my baseline score . I scored a 670 ( q 42 v 41) . So based on that what strategy do you suggest ?

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A 670 is a great baseline score to start your prep with. I would run through the guides and really only focus on areas you aren't already comfortable with. If you are scoring a 670, you must have some of the foundations and strategies covered. Definitely go through every guide (a couple quant and one verbal and then move onto the next set), but just focus on areas you need to improve on. My guess is that if you are already scoring in the upper 80th percentile, drilling timed problems, taking CATs, and reviewing weak areas are primary focus.
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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2011, 10:49
Thanks Neilferrini,

I think I like the 2:1 guide approach. One month of only studying Quantitative section seems a bit too much. Before moving on the second book I will cover each book thoroughly, including the few dozen problems from the OG that the guide is referring to.

I am still not sure, should I start doing problems from the OG in depth when I am completely done with Q and V section, or as I move on?

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 25 Nov 2011, 13:59
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Laker7 wrote:
Thanks Neilferrini,

I think I like the 2:1 guide approach. One month of only studying Quantitative section seems a bit too much. Before moving on the second book I will cover each book thoroughly, including the few dozen problems from the OG that the guide is referring to.

I am still not sure, should I start doing problems from the OG in depth when I am completely done with Q and V section, or as I move on?


Are you referring to to the official verbal and quant review books? If so, I am going to work through those problems after the OG 12the ed problems. Personally, I don't think it matters too much which books you begin with as they all consist of GMAT problems from the official test writers. I have heard advice from MGMAT instructors saying you can start with those books or you can use those books after the OG. The MGMAT syllabus assigns OG 12th ed benchmark problems after each chapter in their strategy guides so I chose the latter approach. I plan to use the VR and QR book questions to do timed drills of various question types to mimic the real test after covering all material in the OG.

Hope that helps
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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2011, 14:18
I was wondering...

If I do problems in the OG wrong and look into solutions for the explanation, OG's approach is sometimes quite different from what I have learned in the MGMAT book (including advanced section). It seems to me that some MGMAT explanations did not cover the OG to 100%.

Would should I do? Memorize each approach to the problem or look elsewhere to learn about general concepts (where?)?

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Re: Looking for advice regarding studying from MGMAT books   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2011, 14:18
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