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# My Rough Start (A Tad Long)

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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2010, 23:22
HI GMAT Club,

This is my first post about my very rough start with taking the GMAT. First, I agree with everyone who thinks MGMAT books are the best...They indeed teach you the fundamentals of math and verbal. I took the prep course earlier this year in March-May and for the most part did my homework while working as a bookkeeper and eventually a tax preparer during tax season. The instructor was really smart and totally gave us insight on how to prepare. I studied about a month and a half after the class had ended about 8-10 hours per week. Nonetheless, I felt fatigued studying every day and even on the night before the exam, I felt stressed out. But I never lost confidence in the material. My score was 430 (Q32, V18). After I took the test, I joined this club to seek some advice. I'm now using an error log, re-reading all the MGMAT books, beginning with SC, RC, and CR, and utilizing this website for support. My new goal is to try to study for at least 100 hours, working on OG ed 12 problems and taking the practice exams, such as GMATPrep, GMAT Club free tests, Free Kaplan, and maybe Veritas. I'm open to study groups, watching videos, anything that pertains to boosting my verbal. I've already taken all my free CAT exams from MGMAT and will probably review those again.

My concern is that my verbal may not improve immediately, especially in RC. I heard that reading an article per day and perhaps a gmat fiction will help.

VinceCPA and fellow Accountants - I'm trying to get a MST/MSA and eventually a CPA. I have a long road ahead!

I would welcome any advice or feedback on how to have better studying habits. I have approximately three months to study and a little more before applying for Fall 2011 in late January of next year. Best of luck to everybody.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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23 Sep 2010, 07:24
Andreweng wrote:
HI GMAT Club,

This is my first post about my very rough start with taking the GMAT. First, I agree with everyone who thinks MGMAT books are the best...They indeed teach you the fundamentals of math and verbal. I took the prep course earlier this year in March-May and for the most part did my homework while working as a bookkeeper and eventually a tax preparer during tax season. The instructor was really smart and totally gave us insight on how to prepare. I studied about a month and a half after the class had ended about 8-10 hours per week. Nonetheless, I felt fatigued studying every day and even on the night before the exam, I felt stressed out. But I never lost confidence in the material. My score was 430 (Q32, V18). After I took the test, I joined this club to seek some advice. I'm now using an error log, re-reading all the MGMAT books, beginning with SC, RC, and CR, and utilizing this website for support. My new goal is to try to study for at least 100 hours, working on OG ed 12 problems and taking the practice exams, such as GMATPrep, GMAT Club free tests, Free Kaplan, and maybe Veritas. I'm open to study groups, watching videos, anything that pertains to boosting my verbal. I've already taken all my free CAT exams from MGMAT and will probably review those again.

My concern is that my verbal may not improve immediately, especially in RC. I heard that reading an article per day and perhaps a gmat fiction will help.

VinceCPA and fellow Accountants - I'm trying to get a MST/MSA and eventually a CPA. I have a long road ahead!

I would welcome any advice or feedback on how to have better studying habits. I have approximately three months to study and a little more before applying for Fall 2011 in late January of next year. Best of luck to everybody.

Hi Andreweng,
I know a bit about where you are coming from, having to get through tax season while also trying to study for other things. If you are anything like me, this likely through off your game on test day. Also, I really only felt like I understood the more advanced concepts after going through the MGMAT series a second time. It was the like the first pass helped with the basics and fundamentals. The second pass reinforced and I built on that, finally understanding some (though not all) of the advanced concepts. I still have problems with certain areas as I have NEVER, not in school nor in my professional career, dealt with some of these concepts. Still, you don't need to get it all, just enough, to get into the higher score zone. So that being said, if you haven't already, I would suggest a second pass through the books. Also, as you have the books, have you used their online version of the error log? This will tell you, based on the multiple CATs taken on their website, where your strong points and weak points are. You can use this to concentrate on the weaker areas and thus get a better return on your investment of time.

As for your career goals, I think that's great. It sounds like your path was similar to mine. I also started at the bottom as a bookkeeper, working into tax prep, then moving up from there, eventually taking the CPA. Now I also have a CFE and looking at further education/licenses. As for your MST/MSA, that's a great idea. I know that a LOT of CPAs go exactly this route as you can get the units necessary to sit while also earning an advanced degree. Send me a message if there is any advice I can give. Believe me, I've been there and I understand a bit of what you are going through!
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2010, 13:21
Hopefully this is one of my last updates before I take the real deal. I have now finished my second pass through the MGMAT. The Verbal was pretty darned easy for me by the end. I had skipped the advanced Verbal on my first pass so the stuff was actually new to me, even though it was my second time reading the books. If I missed some advanced question, it was likely a dumb mistake on my part. It's funny for me to see the large disparity in my understanding between Quant and Verbal. In Quant, I think I've got a good shot at 71 - 75%, but Verbal - hopefully - will be a LOT higher.

At this point I'll take my remaining MGMAT practice tests, one more GMAT prep test, then the real test. In my area there are plenty of test windows at the test centers (I just checked and can literally sit TOMORROW if I want) so, assuming my practice tests go as hoped, I'll schedule the test for later this week.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2010, 15:31
good luck bro
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2010, 16:10
Vince,

Good luck man!!! I'm still studying as we speak. I'm taking a week off of work to finish up with the books. Did you do the OG problems in the end of each book, or did you wait until you finished the entire series? Also, what are you Q scores looking like on your practice tests? I'm with you, hoping that my verbal score will compensate for my quant. Keep us posted, and great job!!
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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27 Sep 2010, 18:09
Hey VinceCPA,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm definitely using the assessment reports and an error log from MGMAT, after hearing about tracking my strengths and weaknesses. I'm on this road to studying for at least 100 hours by reading the MGMAT books a second time and doing more complex problems like you did. I'll definitely keep in touch if I have any questions. So how many hours have you used to study? Good luck!
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2010, 12:28
Well, my test is officially scheduled for this Friday. Since my brain has a tendency to slow down, if not shut off, in the afternoon I'll be taking it first thing. I am not looking forward to it as my scores on the MGMAT are all over the place. In the past 6 weeks I have scored as low as 630 and as high as 710 (I'm not counting the first 2 weeks of my 2 months of studying as those scores are not representative of reality at this point). The problem is that the scores are all over that 630 - 710 range (mean of 672, median of 670). I still have another GMAT prep to take, which I plan on attempting this Thursday morning.

It's funny, or not, that I scored quite high on my first MGMAT almost 6 weeks ago (710). Since then, I haven't done as well (last was a 670). I haven't taken the GMAT prep test in quite some time (last taken on 8/5/10 with a score of 590) so I'm hoping that I can turn around this sad trend. I only hope that I score well as I could use the ego boost. After that, I plan on taking it easy and resting my poor abused brain.

No matter what, I can always retake. Also, I have a good job, no real stress outside this test prep, and life is good. With that perspective, this test is only as stressful as I allow it to be.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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28 Sep 2010, 12:59
VinceCPA wrote:
Well, my test is officially scheduled for this Friday. Since my brain has a tendency to slow down, if not shut off, in the afternoon I'll be taking it first thing. I am not looking forward to it as my scores on the MGMAT are all over the place. In the past 6 weeks I have scored as low as 630 and as high as 710 (I'm not counting the first 2 weeks of my 2 months of studying as those scores are not representative of reality at this point). The problem is that the scores are all over that 630 - 710 range (mean of 672, median of 670). I still have another GMAT prep to take, which I plan on attempting this Thursday morning.

It's funny, or not, that I scored quite high on my first MGMAT almost 6 weeks ago (710). Since then, I haven't done as well (last was a 670). I haven't taken the GMAT prep test in quite some time (last taken on 8/5/10 with a score of 590) so I'm hoping that I can turn around this sad trend. I only hope that I score well as I could use the ego boost. After that, I plan on taking it easy and resting my poor abused brain.

No matter what, I can always retake. Also, I have a good job, no real stress outside this test prep, and life is good. With that perspective, this test is only as stressful as I allow it to be.

Great and encouraging story thus far. My MGMAT books arrive today, my journey begins in a matter of hours. Good luck on your test, your words are much appreciated.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 14:07
Good luck Vince. I'm pretty sure that you'll do well. If you don't hit 7+, like you said, you can always re-take.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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30 Sep 2010, 14:40
Good luck for the final shot.
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My gmat story
MGMAT1 - 630 Q44V32
MGMAT2 - 650 Q41V38
MGMAT3 - 680 Q44V37
GMATPrep1 - 660 Q49V31
Knewton1 - 550 Q40V27

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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 10:30
I just finished with a 680 (Q44, V38). So I guess my score improved from 420 (first practice test in July) to 680. Right now I'm emotionally drained. I think it's good enough, with my other skills, to have a chance at a top 25, if not a top 15. We'll have to see. Debrief later.

Last edited by VinceCPA on 01 Oct 2010, 10:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 10:36
wow.. amazing journey man! Waiting for your debrief. Good luck with your apps. I believe with this score you'll definitely have very good chance in top25 colleges.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 10:49
Great job Vince. I hope you're not disappointed or anything. That's a great score!!!

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 11:15
Womiwom wrote:
Great job Vince. I hope you're not disappointed or anything. That's a great score!!!

Posted from my mobile device

hey how's your studying coming along man. I'm taking mine on the 23rd of this month!
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 17:08
If anyone is interested in my final debrief, here is the link: after-a-rough-start-a-rough-finish-420-to-102037.html#p792152
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 18:07
vwjetty wrote:
Womiwom wrote:
Great job Vince. I hope you're not disappointed or anything. That's a great score!!!

Posted from my mobile device

hey how's your studying coming along man. I'm taking mine on the 23rd of this month!

It's coming along. A little slower than what I would have liked, but I took off all next week to study. I'll update my post soon. Good luck when you take yours man! How have the practice scores been for you?
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 19:59
Womiwom wrote:
vwjetty wrote:
Womiwom wrote:
Great job Vince. I hope you're not disappointed or anything. That's a great score!!!

Posted from my mobile device

hey how's your studying coming along man. I'm taking mine on the 23rd of this month!

It's coming along. A little slower than what I would have liked, but I took off all next week to study. I'll update my post soon. Good luck when you take yours man! How have the practice scores been for you?

it's been pretty consistent 630-660 range. all fully timed with timed breaks with awa. so im feeling pretty good. been using kaplan more. I think they're better than MGMAT.
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Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long) [#permalink]

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11 May 2011, 07:03
I just wanted to tie out this thread with a final update on this long journey that started in such a rough way. Over the past few months I was accepted into a few programs, but though I'd attend any of these schools, I wasn't super excited as none of my dream schools were showing interest. The safe schools filled their role as they were a safe bet for acceptance. Well imagine my surprise when I was contacted with my acceptance to Duke! So yeah, a rough start, a lot of time and money, and an acceptance into a top school. I'll take that! Good luck to everyone on their long journey.
Re: My Rough Start (A Tad Long)   [#permalink] 11 May 2011, 07:03

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# My Rough Start (A Tad Long)

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