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My GMAT journey and your inputs

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My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 10:53
Dear all,
I am nearing the date for my G-Day, 5 weeks to go, and am looking for some inputs on my plan/strategies.

I have completed reviewing most of the material in the MGMAT guides(I bought all 8 of them including the FoM book). What remains is advanced SC, portions of Quant, WT(got almost all quest wrong on OG :x ). Anyway, I'm not too concerned about these portions as I know that I can complete it alongside my prep plan for the next 5 weeks. I have taken 4 tests upto now and scores are 520,530,590 and 620(taken 2 days back). The last one was a GMAT prep test and the other 3 were MGMAT CATs. What I have noticed is the Verbal part is hard for me to crack, SC and CR are a hit or miss(and sometimes I don't even know why!!!). From my practice scores, it seems to me that my score, if I would take the GMAT right away, would be around 590-600. I need a 640 for a sure admit into my target school . However, I am targetting a 700-720(tall dreams?? :oops: ). This target is so that I can apply to other schools too that have a GMAT requirement of 650 or so.
I took the GMAT in Sept 2010 to score a 490(39Q,20V,6AWA). I was so disappointed, upset, broken and what not that I quit my job,took a break of 3 months and only then I started to prepare for the test again. So, I have been into my prep for 5 weeks now.My Quant scores on practice tests range from 42-46 and VErbal ranges from 25-35. I found the SC book of MGMAT too confusing and I'm going to start using SC grail now.I was very weak in RC but I worked really hard and now I have the strategy to crack RC(none of the books worked for me). I have done 70% of the OG problems and I intend to go through all the problems once before my test.

Now that I have put forth a little background about me I would like to know - is it possible for me to shoot for 700 considering that I have just over a month? What should be my plan of action?
any inputs welcome :)

Thank You
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 11:11
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yeah dude... the score is very much possible... I want you to do the following:
1. Go to http://www.manhattangmat.com/tags/study-tips/
2. Read the following articles:
a) How to Prepare in 14 Days (If You Absolutely MUST) <<< Brilliant article on how to spot your weak areas and how to cover your weaknesses!
b) Evaluating Your Practice Tests, Part 1
c) Evaluating Your Practice Tests, Part 2

The last two articles will help you make the best use of the Manhattan GMAT CATs :)
I wish I had read these earlier! I'm sure it will benefit you immensely to read and re-read these articles :)

Good luck!
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 11:57
Thanks for that link on study tips. It is surprising that I did not see that link on the MGMAT website despite using all their books/CATs :).
By the way ,did you change ur username :-D ?
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 13:17
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I think it's quite possible to achieve targeted score since the areas in which you are weak right now can be successfully nailed by memorizing certain rules and techniques. So draw a study plan somewhat like this: 1st week: SC (SC grail + MGMAT) 2nd week: CR (MGMAT+RC99 for practice) 3rd week: dealing with problem areas in quant (use GMATclub tests for tough questions since OGs are too easy) 4th week: recalling things learnt during previous 3 weeks, solving OG and other problems. 5th week: getting accustomed to CATs (pacing etc.)
Just make sure that you really LEARN concepts and implement them during your practice sessions. With that done you will boost your confidence and skills!
By the way, what's your strategy for RC? Personally I don't want to devote much time to this section and plan only to read fiction/magazines...
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 15:08
Thanks DaoEmo for that! I think it will be a good idea to use one week for each area and nail it down. My only fear is that concentrating on one area should not leave me getting weak in other areas. However, I think this strategy is overall good
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 15:15
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DaoEmo wrote:
By the way, what's your strategy for RC? Personally I don't want to devote much time to this section and plan only to read fiction/magazines...
I am not sure whether you are a native speaker or whether you are doing bad/well on the RC section. In my case, I used to get all Rc questions wrong in my past CAts as well as on OG questions. So, it was definitely a BIG weakness for me. I used one entire week, went through the MGMAT RC book and then started with some questions. I realized that things like headline lists,too many notes etc did not help me. I had to find my own strategy by trial and error and it took me almost 10 passages to find one. On passages that were 'easy' for me, I did not even have to write a word. But, on difficult passages I just write down a sentence or two about each para so that I can get to that stuff when the questions come. I start a passage by reading 2-3 sentences of each para. This helps me a lot since I know what to expect in the forthcoming paragraphs. Then I would go to the start of the passage and read it entirely. Upto this point usually takes me 4 mins-5 mins. Then I attack the questions. I did read a few of the GMAT fiction books, from the GMAT fiction thread here by bb. It did help me but I'm not sure whether my accuracy in RC shot up coz of that.

I think you should solve some passages from OG and not rely entirely on fiction/magaines. Infact, if you are short on time then just skip the fiction part and concentrate more on official questions.

Good Luck
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 17:01
heygirl wrote:
By the way ,did you change ur username :-D ?


Yeah... Changed it to from "AmrithS" to "Entwistle"

Tribute to John Entwistle, the bass guitarist of my favourite band!
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2011, 19:48
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Since Verbal is your trouble area, I would suggest you to focus on CR for 3-4 days. It is an area in which you can make great progress in a relatively short duration of time. It is all about understanding the focus areas of various question types. e.g. identifying the correct conclusion is the most important step in strengthen/weaken questions. You have to strengthen/weaken the conclusion. Once you know your CR, try and work as much as you can on SC.
If you are good with at least two of the three question types of Verbal, you should definitely be able to manage a good score.
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 06:37
Entwistle wrote:
heygirl wrote:
By the way ,did you change ur username :-D ?


Yeah... Changed it to from "AmrithS" to "Entwistle"

Tribute to John Entwistle, the bass guitarist of my favourite band!

Ok! I thought so too that you changed your usename :)
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 06:38
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
Since Verbal is your trouble area, I would suggest you to focus on CR for 3-4 days. It is an area in which you can make great progress in a relatively short duration of time. It is all about understanding the focus areas of various question types. e.g. identifying the correct conclusion is the most important step in strengthen/weaken questions. You have to strengthen/weaken the conclusion. Once you know your CR, try and work as much as you can on SC.
If you are good with at least two of the three question types of Verbal, you should definitely be able to manage a good score.

Thank You so much for your perspective. I will make a plan to do CR this week followed by SC next week and with that I should be 70% done with my prep! I hope, though, that a 700 is still manageable for me :oops:
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 06:39
heygirl wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
Since Verbal is your trouble area, I would suggest you to focus on CR for 3-4 days. It is an area in which you can make great progress in a relatively short duration of time. It is all about understanding the focus areas of various question types. e.g. identifying the correct conclusion is the most important step in strengthen/weaken questions. You have to strengthen/weaken the conclusion. Once you know your CR, try and work as much as you can on SC.
If you are good with at least two of the three question types of Verbal, you should definitely be able to manage a good score.

Thank You so much for your perspective. I will make a plan to do CR this week followed by SC next week and with that I should be 70% done with my prep! I hope, though, that a 700 is still manageable for me :oops:


If you have the Powerscore book, this is the time to read it inch by inch. I have read that book 2-3 times and my accuracy in CR is way higher shortly after I finish reading. i have also observed that my CR accuracy comes down after some time. This is where i read that book again :) It is helpful. Give it a shot. You will not regret it.
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 15:33
gmatpapa wrote:
If you have the Powerscore book, this is the time to read it inch by inch. I have read that book 2-3 times and my accuracy in CR is way higher shortly after I finish reading. i have also observed that my CR accuracy comes down after some time. This is where i read that book again :) It is helpful. Give it a shot. You will not regret it.

Thanks for ur inputs here. Incidentally, I too find that I forget the CR concepts easily :x especially if I have not been doing it for like a week. I will need to re-read the book.
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 16:51
I have been working toward my Verbal in the past few days and I have reviewd a little of Quant concepts too.

For those of you using the MGMAT guides - do you actually solve the OG problems after reviewing each book? or do you do it later, after covering all 5 quant books/concepts?

I did take up the OG problems for the NP and a couple of other books but then I realized that my mind gets to recognize the question based upon the material I just reviewd and this kind of becomes a 'cheat sheet' as I know already what type of problem I could expect.

So is it better to review all the books and then start with the OG questions, taking like 20-30 per day?
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 18:14
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heygirl wrote:
I have been working toward my Verbal in the past few days and I have reviewd a little of Quant concepts too.

For those of you using the MGMAT guides - do you actually solve the OG problems after reviewing each book? or do you do it later, after covering all 5 quant books/concepts?

I did take up the OG problems for the NP and a couple of other books but then I realized that my mind gets to recognize the question based upon the material I just reviewd and this kind of becomes a 'cheat sheet' as I know already what type of problem I could expect.

So is it better to review all the books and then start with the OG questions, taking like 20-30 per day?


As and when you finish a chapter, I'd recommend doing the corresponding OG problems. The main intention behind it is to expose you to the different ways in which questions can be presented to you from that chapter. After you finish a book, do all the problems from the OG for that book. Then, after you finish all the books, start solving the OG questions from the first one onwards!
If you follow this scheme, you will have completed all the problems in the OG thrice!!!
IMPORTANT: Remember to take notes as you go from chapter to chapter. Use flashcards and sort them chapter wise. During the second round of problem solving, add additional flash cards to note down problems that gave you trouble. In the third round of problem solving, use a timer and solve blocks of 40 questions. Since the problems in the OG are arranged in the increasing order of difficulty, use the following scheme to solve problems:
1. Select a number e.g. 1
2. Do all the questions that have their serial number ending in 1 e.g. 1, 11, 21, 31, 41, 51,.... all the way to the end!
By doing so you'll be exposed to easy, medium and hard questions in one block :D
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 18:15
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heygirl wrote:
I have been working toward my Verbal in the past few days and I have reviewd a little of Quant concepts too.

For those of you using the MGMAT guides - do you actually solve the OG problems after reviewing each book? or do you do it later, after covering all 5 quant books/concepts?

I did take up the OG problems for the NP and a couple of other books but then I realized that my mind gets to recognize the question based upon the material I just reviewd and this kind of becomes a 'cheat sheet' as I know already what type of problem I could expect.

So is it better to review all the books and then start with the OG questions, taking like 20-30 per day?



I saved all the OG problems for the very end. Like you, I felt that I would get an inaccurate representation of accuracy since the concepts were fresh in my mind. However, I did every single "In Action" problem in the book, reread certain chapters and did the online question bank. I made flash cards so that I would be able to easily review the material. There are a lot of concepts so remembering them is key.

When I did the OG problems, most of the ones I got wrong were due to careless mistakes :beat or not entirely understanding the wording because some of the problems can be confusing. Very few were flat out concept errors.
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 18:43
Entwistle wrote:
As and when you finish a chapter, I'd recommend doing the corresponding OG problems. The main intention behind it is to expose you to the different ways in which questions can be presented to you from that chapter. After you finish a book, do all the problems from the OG for that book. Then, after you finish all the books, start solving the OG questions from the first one onwards!
If you follow this scheme, you will have completed all the problems in the OG thrice!!!
IMPORTANT: Remember to take notes as you go from chapter to chapter. Use flashcards and sort them chapter wise. During the second round of problem solving, add additional flash cards to note down problems that gave you trouble. In the third round of problem solving, use a timer and solve blocks of 40 questions. Since the problems in the OG are arranged in the increasing order of difficulty, use the following scheme to solve problems:
1. Select a number e.g. 1
2. Do all the questions that have their serial number ending in 1 e.g. 1, 11, 21, 31, 41, 51,.... all the way to the end!
By doing so you'll be exposed to easy, medium and hard questions in one block :D

Enwistle, as always, great post. Thanks. I don't think I"ll have the time(I have a month remaining) for doing the OG thrice :shock: but I'm going to try doing it twice. I really LOVED your suggestion on selecting problems - I must admit I never thought of anything even near :|
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2011, 18:46
ibbys wrote:
I saved all the OG problems for the very end. Like you, I felt that I would get an inaccurate representation of accuracy since the concepts were fresh in my mind. However, I did every single "In Action" problem in the book, reread certain chapters and did the online question bank. I made flash cards so that I would be able to easily review the material. There are a lot of concepts so remembering them is key.

When I did the OG problems, most of the ones I got wrong were due to careless mistakes :beat or not entirely understanding the wording because some of the problems can be confusing. Very few were flat out concept errors.

ibbys, thanks for ur perspective here. I actually forgot about the MGMAT Question bank :? . I have not even attempted it once. Now that you mention it, I'm going to start working on that too.

But, I'm still debating with myself on when to tackle OG. Infact, I have 2 OG versions with me 11 and 12.

Anyone has any more thoughts/suggestions, welcome :)
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2011, 11:12
Hii guys :-D

I'm back and I'm thinking of using this thread as a log/diary of my progress(if any????).
So today I took a MGMAT CAT, #4, and scored a terrible 590. Q42 and V 31 was the break up. I want to know if anyone here has felt that some test(s) of MGMAT had VERY HARD Quant sections? In my test, I can across questions in prob like a prob was given and the side of the triange was asked. I got 3 prob questions and one ,pretty untested, question in geometry, sphere inscribed in a cube and shortest dist was asked(between the side of cube to sphere). also some other geometry problems were things that I never heard of! I shall try to post these questions a little later. I got most of the questions in 500-600 level correct in quant and managed some right answers in higher level questions too. Verbal was ok but I felt the CRs were hard and I was stuck with 2 answer choices on many of them. I finished the quant section 7-8 mins earlier as I guessed on 3-4 questions because I had no clue on how to proceed. In verbal I was left with 10 mins. This is the first time I was left with time especially in verbal..

Your thoughts???

Im really apprehensive of using MGMAT CATs again, I dont want to get disappointed the next time too..but I'm saving the GMAT prep for my last week...are there any other tests that i could use?
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2011, 11:23
I had a similar problem with the MGMAT CATS. While they are good practice, I would not get discouraged with the scores.

Just try to learn from the mistakes. I kept an error log with these questions as well. I find that their explanations have some really good shortcuts.

Keep taking the MGMAT CATS so that you can get your timing down. Once you develop an innate sense of "2 minutes", your timing on GMAT Prep and the real exam should be solid. I think the MGMAT CATs are good because they teach you to move on from a problem if you simply don't get it. This is an important skill for the real exam as well.
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Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs [#permalink] New post 20 Feb 2011, 11:43
ibbys,I'm happy to hear that its ot only me who finds some of th MGMAT tests hard :-). I really need to continue to work as my target is,at the minimum, 640 and I have 3-4 weeks left.
Re: My GMAT journey and your inputs   [#permalink] 20 Feb 2011, 11:43
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