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Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs

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Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 12:55
I have roughly 7 weeks before I plan on taking the exam. I've just begun a Manhattan Review GMAT course (so far, somewhat unimpressed) and have MGMAT books on the way from Amazon.

My question is this: I have numerous CAT practice exams available to me and I was wondering if the experienced people from GMAT Club could recommend how best to utilize them in the coming weeks. I know some CAT simulations are better than other, also. I guess my questions are: (1) How many CATs would you take a week if you have 7 weeks left? (2) Given the tests I have available to me below, is there any order you would take them in? Any other advice is welcome.

Here are the tests I have right now:

-CATPrep[dot]com Tests (4) [I find these CATs to be of very little help in teaching you why you got an answer wrong, so if I use them, it'll be more for the simulation/timing/scoring than for learning]
-GMATPrep Tests (2)
-Manhattan GMAT Tests (6)
-GMAT Club Diagnostic
-Official GMAT Guide tests (not CATs, but still useful in testing)

So, that's it. I welcome any guidance you guys have and if you could tell me the reasons behind which tests and the order you recommend them, that would be great.

-migaveli
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 13:08
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Well, I believe you have not "so many" CATs, as you have mentioned in your post. GMAT Prep is the ultimate one but its used normally for two purposes. Firstly, to check where do you stand & lastly when you are a week or two away from real test (just to check you approx score, as gmat prep is very close to the real test). So now you are left with MGMAT 6 tests. The other stuff, I have no idea about. GMAT Club diagnostic is good but again its best use is at the start & also its not CAT. So in my opinion you have 6 CATs. :-D

Coming to your query, first you should complete your course or your books, whatever the case is. If you do so in 5 weeks time, then you should use your CATs in last two weeks. You may choose to take a CAT daily & resolve every question. My suggestion is to study for first 5 weeks & to be here at this forum. Then do your first GMAT Prep to check where do you stand. After that launch your CAT show for two weeks & a day or two before real test, give the final shot to GMAT prep. The result you will get in that test will be the true representative of your score. You can also try GMAT Club Test. They are extremely good for polishing quanititative skils

Best of luck!!
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 13:15
Hussain, thanks for the advice. I was thinking that taking one test a week (each Saturday, for example) is a good way to slowly track your progress and always to get the mind/body prepared for the test over the entire study period. I also have the ability to purchase other tests, if it's advisable to have more CATs to use over the next few weeks and then a lot to use in the last 2 weeks. However, I'm not sure what the best move is. Thanks for your feedback.

Anyone else have two cents to share?
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 13:46
Thanks for the invite, but I'm actually studying/taking the test in London. Much appreciated though.
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 19:33
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I think that one per week is a good strategy unless you have more time. You'll probably want to dedicate a whole 3 hours to reviewing the test as well. The GMAT Club diagnostics are good. I'd also recommend taking maybe a free practice test from each of the test prep companies out there. Knewton, Kaplan etc. Take these with a grain of salt though, as they might be tougher in order to you know, convince people to take their classes. GMAT Prep is the closest indicator and so save this for the last weekend before your test. This way, you can figure out what your weaknesses are and will have a week to work on them.

I would have recommended the GMAT Club tests to you, but you might need to buy those. The math ones are 700+ material. Hope this helps.
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 19:43
I think taking one after reviewing your material to see your weaknesses, review weak areas, take one more, review, then just practice, practice, practice (and learn from your mistakes!).
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2010, 06:24
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CAT's are important, but don't let them take away from your proper studies. Too much of a good thing is still too much. The most important thing for you to do is to master the concepts involved. This is accomplished through reading and the guidebooks and practicing with questions. Make sure to time yourself and use an Error Log for question practice.

Regarding CAT's, the best is GMATPrep. A distant second are the six MGMAT online tests. To be honest, I only used those for the verbal. If you want solid math practice, go for the GMATClub Tests. These, however, are extremely difficult and exhausting, so prepare yourself!

It's also important to mimic test conditions as much as possible. Take the allowed breaks, work under timed conditions, and take the AWA. Try to find a quiet time and place to take the practice tests.
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2010, 06:33
Use CAT's to judge your performance not to hinder your preparation.
As whiplash has suggested you, one test per week will be a good blend to your preparation.
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Re: Maximizing Effectiveness of Available CATs   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2010, 06:33
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