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My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments

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My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2011, 11:38
Dear GMATClub members,

I have been a member of this forum since a couple of months but did not post much until recently. Now I want to be a regular poster and try to continue my GMAT journey.

I took the GMAT once and scored 620 (Q47, V27) after 3 months studying. I decided to break for a few months to spend time on other priority deadlines. Now it's time to continue my incomplete task: GMAT. Through this forum, I am happy to see that many members receiving assistance and encouragement from other members kept motivated and finished perfectly their GMAT journey. Hence, I need your comments and support on my study plan so that I can achieve my target score: 700-720 or anything higher (I will be more than happy if I reach 720 :D)

My background -- I was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam. I graduated in mid 2007 with a bachelor degree in corporate finance. I worked in credit analysis dept for nearly a year in a local bank then moved to a Big4 firm. I decided to take leave from my job and commit to prepare for the GMAT.

Materials used:
Quant: MGMAT Word Translation, Geometry and Number Properties
RC: RC Module MLIC (to study the strategies) and RC99
SC: MGMAT SC and Grail SC
CR: LSAT Logic Reasoning, Comprehensive CR Guide by Whiplash
OG12 and the collection of questions on this forum

CAT used:
MGMAT CAT, 800ScoreCAT, and GMATPrep.

During the last 3 weeks, I finished reviewing concepts and studying strategies for each section. I have made a study plan for the next 2 months and would love to receive your inputs/suggestions:

Image
Image

Thank you very much.

P.S.: I try inserting 2 images in my post but they doesn't show up. Would you mind referring to the attached file? By the way, I wonder if anyone could tell me how to insert images in my post? Thanks so much.
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Last edited by windofchange on 08 Mar 2011, 07:52, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2011, 12:00
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Good luck. Have you taken a full-length practice CAT exam recently?
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 07 Mar 2011, 07:25
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ibbys wrote:
Good luck. Have you taken a full-length practice CAT exam recently?


Yes. When I started my prepping, I took one GMATPrep and got 660 (Q49, V32). I think my quant score may be a little inflated because I caught several familiar questions. I was quite surprised about my Verbal score. I thought it would have been lower, somewhere 27-30 :D.
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 07:27
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Today's update

Until now, I have done 93 PS, 45 DS, 62 SC, 43 CR, and 35 RC.
- PS is quite easy, but some questions that required much calculation took me more than 2 minutes! I noted down these problems in my OG12 Error Log for future review.
- DS is rather tricky, even from the first questions.
- I got 2 strings of 4 incorrect SC: (47, 48, 49, 50) and (56, 57, 58, 59). The common errors are parallelism and modifiers.
- RC passages in OG12 made me more relaxed than those in RC99. While I can't remember the content in RC99 through the first reading, I can remember the gist in OG12 even though the first time I read OG passages was a couple of months ago. So ironic. I guess the reason is that OG12 passages are much easier to digest :D.

This weekend, I will make flashcards for the questions that I got wrong. This work may take a lot of time, but I think it will help me identify my weak areas and learn new concepts.

Maybe I should not save all the CATs until April. I will try to do one CAT every weekend to gauge my ability.

I have nearly two months to study. I haven't gone through all the MGMAT Math Books, only WT, NP, and Geometry. Do you think I should spend more time revising the remaining Math books at the same time with doing the OG problems? Or I should only go through the sections I got wrong in OG?
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 09:39
windofchange wrote:
This weekend, I will make flashcards for the questions that I got wrong. This work may take a lot of time, but I think it will help me identify my weak areas and learn new concepts.

Maybe I should not save all the CATs until April. I will try to do one CAT every weekend to gauge my ability.

I have nearly two months to study. I haven't gone through all the MGMAT Math Books, only WT, NP, and Geometry. Do you think I should spend more time revising the remaining Math books at the same time with doing the OG problems? Or I should only go through the sections I got wrong in OG?


Making Flash Cards for the questions you got wrong is a very good method. It's worth the time.

It's best to finish with the last prep test at least three or four days before the test date. As for the rest of the tests, try and spread them out at equal intervals :)
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 10:16
Looks like you just need to work on your Verbal part.
Good Luck.
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 10:27
Entwistle--Actually, I learn the flashcard method from you after reading your debrief :D. Thank you, by the way.

Could you please explain how to make flashcards for quant questions? (you did not mention about this in your debrief :P) Eg when I get a quant question wrong because I have no idea how to crack it, what should I write in the flashcard?. Honestly, the flashcard thing is quite new to me and I want to make full use of this method during my study.

Thank you so much!
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 10:32
Mongolia2HBS wrote:
Looks like you just need to work on your Verbal part.
Good Luck.


Thank you. I need to work on both of them to achieve my dream score :D, but need to put more energy on Verbal.
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 08 Mar 2011, 18:01
Expert's post
windofchange wrote:
Today's update

Until now, I have done 93 PS, 45 DS, 62 SC, 43 CR, and 35 RC.
- PS is quite easy, but some questions that required much calculation took me more than 2 minutes! I noted down these problems in my OG12 Error Log for future review.
- DS is rather tricky, even from the first questions.
- I got 2 strings of 4 incorrect SC: (47, 48, 49, 50) and (56, 57, 58, 59). The common errors are parallelism and modifiers.
- RC passages in OG12 made me more relaxed than those in RC99. While I can't remember the content in RC99 through the first reading, I can remember the gist in OG12 even though the first time I read OG passages was a couple of months ago. So ironic. I guess the reason is that OG12 passages are much easier to digest :D.

This weekend, I will make flashcards for the questions that I got wrong. This work may take a lot of time, but I think it will help me identify my weak areas and learn new concepts.

Maybe I should not save all the CATs until April. I will try to do one CAT every weekend to gauge my ability.

I have nearly two months to study. I haven't gone through all the MGMAT Math Books, only WT, NP, and Geometry. Do you think I should spend more time revising the remaining Math books at the same time with doing the OG problems? Or I should only go through the sections I got wrong in OG?


DS - Decide on the strategy you would like to use. e.g. Read the question stem and analyze it till you understand what is given and what is asked. Go to stmnt 1 (or 2) first and see if it is enough. If not, put a cross next to it. Else put a tick next to it... Go back to the question stem and quickly look at it to refresh what data it has and what it doesn't (i.e. filter out stmnt 1 info from your mind). Then go to stmnt 2 (or 1) and now see if it is enough. Tick or cross it accordingly. Now select your answer.... or something else, whatever you like the most... Thereafter, practice the strategy in every DS question till it becomes second nature... If you feel that PS is easy, DS will also become easy though a little more time consuming than PS. (Veritas has a separate DS book which gives these and other strategies and pitfalls... You can check it out for more details)
Most SC questions have some basic errors e.g. parallelism, subject verb agreement, modifiers, pronouns etc... Read up a little on these error types... That itself will improve your score to a large extent...
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2011, 10:24
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:

DS - Decide on the strategy you would like to use. e.g. Read the question stem and analyze it till you understand what is given and what is asked. Go to stmnt 1 (or 2) first and see if it is enough. If not, put a cross next to it. Else put a tick next to it... Go back to the question stem and quickly look at it to refresh what data it has and what it doesn't (i.e. filter out stmnt 1 info from your mind). Then go to stmnt 2 (or 1) and now see if it is enough. Tick or cross it accordingly. Now select your answer.... or something else, whatever you like the most... Thereafter, practice the strategy in every DS question till it becomes second nature... If you feel that PS is easy, DS will also become easy though a little more time consuming than PS. (Veritas has a separate DS book which gives these and other strategies and pitfalls... You can check it out for more details)
Most SC questions have some basic errors e.g. parallelism, subject verb agreement, modifiers, pronouns etc... Read up a little on these error types... That itself will improve your score to a large extent...


Karishma, thanks for your inputs.
I used the same strategy as you pointed out. It is critical to understand what is asked; it helps save a lot of time. I sometimes find DS very interesting because I don't really need to do much calculation to find the answer.

By the way, could you shed some light on my CR strategy? In a string of 10 CRs in OG12, I constantly got 7 questions wrong, although I applied the strategy in CR guidebook. The reason is that I don't understand clearly the meaning of the stimulus (I am always stumped by a question relating to Archaeology :D). I suppose this is not a strategy-related issue, but rather a matter of English language proficiency. I try to overcome this obstacle by doing a lot of CR questions, but do not improve significantly.
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2011, 15:39
Good luck. I'm in a bit of a dilemma at the moment. I booked myself an exam for April 28th. I have holidays booked from the 22nd, so I should get at least some practice.

I'm planning to do 2-3 hours a day + 8 hours/weekend... still need to do a diagnostic test.
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2011, 18:13
Expert's post
windofchange wrote:

Karishma, thanks for your inputs.
I used the same strategy as you pointed out. It is critical to understand what is asked; it helps save a lot of time. I sometimes find DS very interesting because I don't really need to do much calculation to find the answer.

By the way, could you shed some light on my CR strategy? In a string of 10 CRs in OG12, I constantly got 7 questions wrong, although I applied the strategy in CR guidebook. The reason is that I don't understand clearly the meaning of the stimulus (I am always stumped by a question relating to Archaeology :D). I suppose this is not a strategy-related issue, but rather a matter of English language proficiency. I try to overcome this obstacle by doing a lot of CR questions, but do not improve significantly.


Yes, DS questions are generally quite interesting... there are some pitfalls associated with not solving for the actual answer too e.g. you see a quadratic and think that there will be 2 answers so it is not sufficient but actually you get equal roots... etc

As for CR, I don't think it is English language proficiency problem. To successfully tackle RC and CR, you don't need to be excellent in English. If you can understand and speak reasonably well, you should be fine. If you understand write ups in a standard English daily, you should have no problem in understanding RC and CR questions in GMAT. The gap could be in knowing what you are required to do in CR. Every CR question in GMAT will be very logical with no ambiguity. The higher level questions will need you to consider implications of what is said; the lower level questions will give you direct consequences. The idea is to understand what to focus on in each question type. Let's say if it is a weaken question, we focus on our conclusion. So first figure out the conclusion of the argument. Then look for an option that specifically weakens the conclusion, not some premise given in the argument. For mimic questions, define the logic of the argument using symbols. e.g. A does B. B is also done by C. So A and C are brothers. Then look for same structure in the options. In Inference questions, there is no conclusion in the stimulus. You have to give the conclusion. Remember that the correct option will never provide new information. It will only rephrase information given in the argument... so on and so forth.

Links of some posts to give you an idea...

parasitic-wasps-lay-their-eggs-105879.html#p829135
until-now-only-injectable-vaccines-104803.html?hilit=conclusion
cr-og12-84-sulfites-in-wine-105867.html?hilit=conclusion
must-be-true-qstn-103474.html#p827083
mr-janeck-90932.html#p822465
many-small-roads-dont-have-paintings-104915.html?hilit=roads#p819131
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2011, 19:20
windofchange wrote:
Entwistle--Actually, I learn the flashcard method from you after reading your debrief :D. Thank you, by the way.

Could you please explain how to make flashcards for quant questions? (you did not mention about this in your debrief :P) Eg when I get a quant question wrong because I have no idea how to crack it, what should I write in the flashcard?. Honestly, the flashcard thing is quite new to me and I want to make full use of this method during my study.

Thank you so much!


This is how I made my Flash Card for the Maths part :)

P.S.

Step I:
On one side of the card, I wrote down the source of the question and the question itself.
e.g.
Src - Manhattan Prep Test #2 Q - 24
Q: If integer k is equal to the sum of all even multiples of 15 between 295 and 615, what is the greatest prime factor of k?

Step II:
On the other side of the card, I wrote down the Topic and Subtopic (if any) for the Question.
e.g.
Numbers - Divisibility and Primes

On the same side, I worked out the problem
e.g.
sum of Mult. of 2 and 15 from 295 to 615.
mult. of 2 & 15 = LCM(2,15) x m = 30m
mean = (300 + 600)/2 = 450 (evenly spaced set)
number of elements = [(600-300)/30]+1 = 11
Sum = mean x number of elements = 450 x 11
k = 450 x 11 = 2x3x3x5x5x11
Greatest Prime Factor of k = 11
Ans - 11

Step III
If you can think of any ways to guess the answer to the problem, write it down.
I couldn't think of anyways to guess the answer for this one. So I didn't write anything :P

For DS... It's the same deal.. But in step II, instead of working out the problem, just write down why the statements is sufficient or insufficient
;)

\Peace/
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 05:18
Entwistle- Thanks for the averages problem, what would you rate the problem as? 600 level?
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Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2011, 05:25
VeritasPrepKarishma: thanks for the DS strategies
Re: My GMAT Study Plan from 620 to 700-720 - Need your comments   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2011, 05:25
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