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My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011

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My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 13:11
Hello GMATClubbers,

I have been on the forum for 1-2 months now without taking part into its life. It is now time to seek advice and motivation from fellow members :-)

I am a non-native English speaker and I have not done maths in 5 years since I left high school.

Target score (obviously) 700+

Schools applied to: HEC, ESSEC, EDHEC, ESCP-EAP for a Master in Management program.

Fragmented and chaotic background:
- Male
- 24
- Weak high school background (french baccalaureate with 11.80/20) 16/20 In maths and 10/20 In English
- Passed first year of medicine and dropped it to go to UK to learn English
- First year in Cambridge, I passed the Cambridge Advanced Level of English (CAE) with grade C. 2008
- Currently in 3rd Year BA Business Management at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge UK (poor ranking in the UK) Aiming for a first class degree. (I am on the way, I need only As in 3rd year)
- President of the University Ski Club
- Member of the Cambridge University Technological and Enterprise Club's marketing team. Do not have time to attend anymore.
- Work in a retail shop as a sales consultant about 20-30 hours a week.

I took my first GMAT Prep test on the 23/09/2010 and scored 570 (Q37-V31)

My study materials:
- OG 11 & 12
- Quantitative and Verbal Reviews Edition 1 & 2
- GMAT Premier 2010-2011
- Manhattan GMAT 4th Edition (8 books)
- GMAT Toolkit
- GMAT Club forum
- How to pass the GMAT book (relevant?)
- Manhattan review Q and V Turbocharge books (questions and solutions) (any good? Worth spending time on those?)

Plan:

Quantitative
- Finish book 2 Manhattan GMAT by 24/10
- Finish book 3 Manhattan GMAT by 31/10
- Finish book 4 Manhattan GMAT by 07/11
- Finish book 5 Manhattan GMAT by 14/11

Verbal
- Finish book 6 Manhattan GMAT by 21/11
- Finish book 7 Manhattan GMAT by 28/11
- Finish book 8 Manhattan GMAT by 05/12

Once I have finished the Q books of the Manhattan I will do one full length CAT a week in the morning.

I want to try to get rid of the Manhattan asap but I have trouble focusing and doing one book a week. I would like to do more though and to try to take less time to wrap those books.

Once the Manhattan books are finished, I will be a month away from the crucial date.

From 5/12 onwards:

Practice practice practice and start an error log to try to spot my weaknesses and work on those.

Any thoughts and advice are welcome.

P.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 18:53
Expert's post
My 2 cents

Trust your strengths and focus on your weaknesses.
If you have enough time, that's good to go through many books (I mean MGMAT books), but if not, I would recommend to jump to your weakest area as soon as possible. I wasted a couple of months polishing my quant (maybe from 49-50 to 50-51) but when I took a mock test and got SC disaster... it was pretty chilly :)

So, I would recommend take a mock test (you've already took it) --> find the weakest area --> focus only on it for a week --> take a mock test --> find the weakest area -->....

Good luck!
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2010, 15:30
I have found it quite helpful to go through the manhattan books but it is true that it takes ages.

I will do a test to see where I stand. Hopefully above 570 ;-)

Thanks for the advice walker!

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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2010, 03:35
My Suggestion is to complete each MGMAT Question banks once you complete each part.
Also, Try to take GMAT quant exams once you complete Quant part before moving to Verbal.

Best of Luck :)
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2010, 15:25
Hello,

So it is a bit more than midnight and I just finished a full-length MGMAT Test. I scored 520 (Q41-V21).

I am happy because I improved my quantitative part even though I completely guessed the last 7 questions as I had less than 3-4min left. I got 2 out of 7.

HOWEVER, I completely missed the verbal section with a poor 21. 10 less than my first test. I got 12/14 CR wrong :-S

Good times indeed :-)
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2010, 18:08
Expert's post
Burnkeal wrote:
... I got 12/14 CR wrong :-S


That's a good news as you know on which topic to focus.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 11:26
MGMAT CAT 2: 610 (Q44-V31) It is going up slightly.

I got Q44 but I had the feeling I was doing poorly when doing it. I also ran out of time and guessed the last 7 questions. I do not think this Q44 is relevant because of this.

Q31 is actually what I got at my first test so I am actually ok with what i got as I have not yet started studying the verbal.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2010, 16:36
Hello again,

I am back into studying for the GMAT. I stopped completely for 1 month to get on with my course work.

I have now about 20 days left to study hard and crack the GMAT.

What would be the best strategy? Should I keep on doing CAT and focus on weaknesses after I reviewed it?

I was also wondering if it was useful going through the GMAT books for verbal. Is it useful to read everything from beginning to the end?

Insights are more than welcome.

P.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2010, 19:03
with less than 3 weeks to go I recommend the following:
1. Polish the OG questions, make sure you know how to solve all question types given in the guides.
2. Review your error-log if you have maintained one.
3. Download older version of Gmat Prep and knock out a couple of tests. GMAT Prep is a true indicator of your actual GMAT performance. Milk* the GMAT Prep as much as you can - I did the older version 8 times and the newer version 4 times: the point is to get familiar with all different question types when you are doing well. The older version is posted on this website - search for it. Also, read the instruction on how to re-install GMAT Prep.
4. Keep a log of the questions you erred on and search for discussions surrounding them.

DONT go on doing new books or any new material with 3 weeks to go, polish what you have and work on your weak areas.

All the best.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2010, 14:37
Thanks for that.

Mock test yesterday ==> 490 (Q19 - V32)

After I stopped studying GMAT for a month, here is what I get! OUCH! Yesterday was not a really good day for me. I least I improved my verbal as it was the only thing I revised 2 or 3 days before the mock test.

I just reviewed the test and I must say I dont know what I did. It is strange. I lost count of how many questions I could have gotten right just by being more focused. It is not even a lack of focus but about stupidity this time :-(

I will keep on focusing on my weaknesses and polishing what I have got as adviced.

For the verbal, how much can I improve in 15 days? I am round 31-32 and I have not really started learning anything. I have been through some of the chapters of the RC book but that is all.

Thank you for those of you supporting me.

BRING IT ON GMAT!
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2010, 15:09
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Mock Test ? GMAT Prep or MGMAT?
What issues are you facing right now:
a) Inability to complete section(s)?
b) Silly mistakes ?
c) Second guessing yourself?

Q19 is a definite NO-GO. Grad Level Math is tough and with a low Quant score you may not make the cut. I recommend that you review your concepts, and then practice the OG problems (timed); see where you stand. You have 15 days to go, cleaning up the entire Quant section - OG 12 - shouldn't take more than 3 days.

Verbal - What are your weak areas? SC/CR/RC? Identify your weakness and address it.

GMAT Prep is the most accurate predictor of your actual GMAT performance, so don't get disheartened if you did poorly on a MGMAT CAT.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2010, 16:42
Thanks for all your advice vicksikand.

It was MGMAT.

After reviewing the test from Monday, here is what I can say;
- Quantitative: Off my game on that day. A lot of silly mistakes and all the questions I have had, I knew all the concepts. It was not hard at all. Obviously the concepts and questions were fairly easy as I kept on answering wrongly. Range of questions was from 300-600, which is really bad. Even on my first test I did not do that bad. Anyway I will get back to old myself.
- Verbal: CR SC and RC are all around 50% accuracy on the monday's test. I improved by 15% my RC compare to the previous test by doing the first 4-5 chapters of the RC MGMAT book.

I have started going through the OG 12 again and so far I have done the first 70 PS questions with a 70% accuracy with a lot of silly mistake (10) and about 2-3 questions where I was stuck. (too much time on the questions). My mistakes are often related to Divisibility and prime, basically of lot of numbers properties issues.

The verbal section, I do not know what to do to try to reach 38-40 beside practising. I have started doing the SC 1000, which I think helps me. I may start having a look to the RC MGMAT book for some insights on how to tackle such questions. I will also continue going through the CR book and try to finish it. This will allow me to also go through all the OG questions.

Any further advice?

Thankssssss!
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2010, 18:56
After reviewing the test from Monday, here is what I can say;
- Quantitative: Off my game on that day. A lot of silly mistakes and all the questions I have had, I knew all the concepts. It was not hard at all. Obviously the concepts and questions were fairly easy as I kept on answering wrongly. Range of questions was from 300-600, which is really bad. Even on my first test I did not do that bad. Anyway I will get back to old myself. // On the actual GMAT they actually have more trick questions* than hard ones. Case in point - have your basics strong , work out the tough OG and GMAT Prep problems and you should be in good shape. In addition to that learn basic shortcuts/formulae such as
1.Trig equations: Cos , Sin and Tan formulae- you can effectively use them in questions in which you need to find the lengths and/or areas.
2. Alligation rule for mixtures:
Say you 2 mixtures A (has 60 % Fat) and B (has 40% Fat) the resultant mixture has 42 % Fat. In what ratio were A and B mixed.
Write this down in the following format:
........60.............40
.............42..............
......(42-40)......(60-42)
Ratio in which A and B are combined is 2:22 or 1:11.
3. Compound Interest for 2 years compared to Simple interest for the same period.
Say A invested 1000 @ 10 % for 2 years. What is the compound interest at the end of 2 years.
A: SI = prt/100 Simple interest for each of the 2 years will be the same = 1000.10.1/100 = 100 now at the end of the 2nd year total interest will be interest on the first years interest i.e. 100.10.1/100 = 10 + simple interest for 1st yr + simple interest for the 2nd year = (100) YR1 + (100+10) YR2 = 210
4. number-line / Inequalities Read Bunuel's posts - he has talked about quite a few good shortcuts.


- Verbal: CR SC and RC are all around 50% accuracy on the Monday's test. I improved by 15% my RC compare to the previous test by doing the first 4-5 chapters of the RC MGMAT book.
I would suggest just glance through the RC book and practice real RC's.

I have started going through the OG 12 again and so far I have done the first 70 PS questions with a 70% accuracy with a lot of silly mistake (10) and about 2-3 questions where I was stuck. (too much time on the questions). My mistakes are often related to Divisibility and prime, basically of lot of numbers properties issues.

The verbal section, I do not know what to do to try to reach 38-40 beside practising. I have started doing the SC 1000, which I think helps me. I may start having a look to the RC MGMAT book for some insights on how to tackle such questions. I will also continue going through the CR book and try to finish it. This will allow me to also go through all the OG questions. I wouldnt recommend doing the 1000 series - quite a few questions have incorrect answers. If you can spend some money or know someone who has purchased the GMAT Paper based tests(and is ready to share them with you) - go through those tests , they are a great source for additional questions.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2010, 17:13
Thanks this is really helpful.

I will go through the OG and verbal review first and I will see if I need more after those ;-)

My quantitative accuracy is going up. I am still doing a few silly mistakes due to inattention on very simple questions -___- It has always been a main issue for me hehe!

Thanks again for your help.
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2010, 16:57
Alright!

I was pretty down in the last few days as I haven't seen any improvement. I cannot even go back to the highest score I got 1 month back :-(.
Anyway, I decided to go back to my home country and to ask my mum to take care of me :-D I need to feel safe and loved.
I have 5 full days left plus another few half days. I can now focus completely on the GMAT as I do not have to go to work anymore. I will try to study about 15hrs a day for the next 6-7 days.

So I need a efficient way to improve in such a short time.

Quantitative Analysis by content area and topic: (focus on the <50% Accuracy)
World translations:
- Probability
- Combinatorics
- Overlapping Sets
- Ratios
Algebra
- Quadratic Eq
- Exp Eq
- Formulas
- Functions
- VIC
GEOMETRY (the black sheep)
- Everything topics
Number Properties
- ODD + EVEN
- Consecutive Intergres
- Divisibility and Prime
I seem to struggle a lot on those 3 topics of Number properties. I cannot get my head around it.
FDPs
- Fractions
- Decimals
- Percents

I am planning on reviewing some of the content of the MGMAT books related to the above topics and to re-do all the OG12 and Quantitative Review Questions asap. Plus I think it would be a good idea to do some more questions on the Gmat Club database and to look to tips and tricks ;-) (yes?)

After I have done all that I will probably do another CAT to see if I have improve and to review and design another Q strategy from it.

Regarding verbal, I am staggering on a V29-V32.

In the last CAT I did, I realised that after the 20 first questions I was at 90+ estimated percentile (MGMAT) which I think is not too bad. However, for the other half of the questions, it went down dramatically to a poor 56% percentile. Is that normally what happens when people score around V30?
I might need some help on what do to. Is practicing the best way to drive score up for verbal? I don't think I am missing any general knowledge. It might be my strategy.

Thanks for those who are looking at my chaotic strategy due to poor time management on my side ;-0

Any insights are more than welcome at this stage of my preparation.

TARGET SCORE 650+ but a 680-700 is what I really want! (Highest score so far 610 but averaging 530 in the past 2 CATs tests which took place in the last week also)
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2010, 13:06
Today I have been through Number properties and i did all the questions from OG12 and Q review. I also went through the questions I got wrong in my CAT tests. I am not yet that confident but it is building up a step at a time.

I am planning on doing some verbal before bed time.

Any thoughts on what I should do during those last few days?
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2010, 11:15
because of the lack of time:

What is the best?
- Go through the problem set from the RC MGMAT Book
or
- Go through the questions in the OG and Verbal Review

Thanks
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 31 Dec 2010, 11:43
Expert's post
I would go with OG as it's the closest to what you will see in a few days... GMAT Prep one more time...
And fight for each question on the test! Remember, in any particular moment there is only one question and 2 min to nail it down. Everything else is irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether you answered right or wrong before. Only you, a question, and 2 min. I hope it will help you to be concentrated, especially over Verbal section.

Happy New Year! :) Good luck on Thursday!
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2011, 05:53
Thanks Walter!

Happy New Year to you too!
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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011 [#permalink] New post 06 Jan 2011, 16:01
Well it's done!

After a week of hardcore study I failed to success writing the GMAT.

Final score 510 (Q31-V25)

It is one of my worst scores I have had during my prep. I was not ready enough!

I may write a debrief to show people the not to do list when I feel better.

Thanks GMATClub!

P.

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Re: My Study Plan - GMAT SCHEDULED ON 6th JAN 2011   [#permalink] 06 Jan 2011, 16:01
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