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New to the forum, appreciate feedback on my study plan

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: Q V
GMAT 3: Q V
GPA: 3.5
WE: Consulting (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

New to the forum, appreciate feedback on my study plan [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 07:22
Dear All,

I've spent the past few weeks lurking on the forum, reading interesting posts and articles and have finally registered today. I must say that this must be one of the deepest forums that I've come across - so much to learn, so many useful members and discussions, and unfortunately so little time! Anyways, on to my questions and hopefully, some great guidance from the helpful members of this forum.

I've started thinking about my preparation for the GMAT and would appreciate your inputs on the tentative plan I have come up with. A little background about myself:
  • MBA from one of India's top management institutes (sadly, with a low GPA)
  • Bachelors degree from one of India's top humanities colleges (with a very good GPA)
  • Looking to do a top international MBA to shift industries and career track
I'm planning to shoot for a 750 at least, as I would like to compensate as much as possible for the low GPA on my existing MBA degree

My plans are to look at a Round-3 application into top universities in Europe and the US (with a bias towards Europe) or apply for the next year (2013 intake), depending on how good my GMAT scores are. I'm shooting for the GMAT in late November or early December, giving me around 1.5-2 months for preparation. I can't do much till around mid-October due to prior work commitments, excepting a couple of practice tests. Given this, my plan is as follows:

Setting the baseline
  • Do 1 practice test from GMAT Prep 2, by end September
  • Do the free practice test from Manhattan GMAT, by 1st week of October

Getting the materials
I'm planning to place an order for the Manhattan GMAT:
  • Strategy guides (set of 8)
  • Advanced Quant guide
  • Guide to the OG
  • Foundations of GMAT Verbal

The reason why I am taking the Foundations of GMAT Verbal guide is that while my verbal skills are strong, it's based more on "what sound's right" rather than "what's grammatically right" as is tested on the GMAT. The reason why I'm ignoring the Foundations of GMAT Math guide is because I'm quite confident that I know the basics of math (supported by the fact that I took the Manhattan GMAT Basic Math Diagnostic and got all the questions right.

I also have the OG 12 (which I plan to use) and the Manhattan Review set of books (which I'm not planning to open, so as to not get confused by differences in strategies - hope this is a correct decision?)

Nose to the grindstone
  • Week 1 - Week 2: Run through the MGMAT quant strategy guides. Do questions from the MGMAT question banks, Official Guide and questions from the GMATClub resources
  • Week 3 - Week 4: Run through the MGMAT verbal strategy guides. Do questions from the MGMAT question banks, Official Guide and questions from the GMATClub resources
  • Week 5 - Week 6: Run through the Advanced Quant guide, and more questions from the Official Guide and MGMAT question banks
  • Week 7: Practice tests every day
  • Week 8: Practice tests every day and the GMAT!

My questions
  • If I need to reduce the preparation time from my planned 8 weeks to 6 weeks, what areas can I compromise? Beyond how many practice tests does the marginal utility of additional tests, reduce?
  • How can I track my preparation, key areas of improvement and question results? I realize that I can use the OG Archer from MGMAT as well as the GMATClub tracker for questions on the forum, but is there any other resource that I can use for tracking across different providers, materials etc?
  • Any other opinions about this current study plan

Thanks very much for all your inputs!
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Director
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Status: -=GMAT Jedi=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 741
Location: Kochi, India
Schools: ISB
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WE 2: Faculty - T.I.M.E.
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Re: New to the forum, appreciate feedback on my study plan [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 04:12
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Hi,
I must warn you. The colleges in the US prefer international candidates to apply latest by round 2 of intake. Round 3 is very risky.

Now, the recommended time for preparing for the GMAT is 10 to 12 weeks. However, if you're strong in either verbal or quant, the prep time can be reduced to 6 to 8 weeks.

About the study materials.

1. Purchase the book "Quantum CAT" by Sarvesh Kumar Verma. For a person targeting 750, this is the best book to study quant. It has enough number of problems and good theory coverage as well. It's the only quant book you will need.

2. OG 12th Edition is a must have. The supplement guides are not required.

3. Manhattan SC Guide is a good book to learn SC. You don't need to buy all the books. Plus, one book will give you access to the 6 Manhattan Prep Tests. So why buy them all?

4. Powerscore GMAT CR Bible is a good book to learn CR.

If used well, these are the only books you will need.
_________________

Mission: Be a force of good and make a positive difference to every life I touch!

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

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Director
Director
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Status: -=GMAT Jedi=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 741
Location: Kochi, India
Schools: ISB
WE 1: Engineer - Larsen & Toubro, ECC Division
WE 2: Faculty - T.I.M.E.
Followers: 32

Kudos [?]: 121 [1] , given: 66

GMAT Tests User
Re: New to the forum, appreciate feedback on my study plan [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 04:27
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The tests cease to be useful when your score hits a plateau and there is no noticeable weakness or gap in your preparation.

Therefore, the tests are useful as long as they help you zero in your weak areas. Additionally, the prep tests will help you develop the stamina for the actual test.

I didn't really understand what you meant by "track my preparation." Could you please clarify what you meant?

STUDY PLAN

Week 1
1. Write the GMAT Prep Test 1, downloaded from mba.com. The scores will tell you your relative proficiency in verbal and quant.
2. Pick 3 of the weakest/least comfortable chapters (such as geometry, algebra, number properties etc) in quant. Study these topics only for the rest of the week.
3. Pick the weakest/least comfortable question format (SC or CR or RC) in verbal. Work on that question format alone for the rest of the week.

Week 2
1. Write the Manhattan Prep Test 1.
2. Pick 3 of the weakest/least comfortable chapters (such as geometry, algebra, number properties etc) in quant. Study these topics only for the rest of the week.
3. Pick the weakest/least comfortable question format (SC or CR or RC) in verbal. Work on that question format alone for the rest of the week.

Week 3
1. Write the Manhattan Prep Test 2.
2. Pick 3 of the weakest/least comfortable chapters (such as geometry, algebra, number properties etc) in quant. Study these topics only for the rest of the week.
3. Pick the weakest/least comfortable question format (SC or CR or RC) in verbal. Work on that question format alone for the rest of the week.

Repeat procedure till your score saturates and you no longer have any areas to strengthen.

Final Week.
Write GMAT Prep Test 2, downloaded from mba.com
This score will give you the most accurate projection of what your score might be if you were to take the actual GMAT within the next 2 weeks.

CAUTION
To get the best result, the prep test environment should be close to the actual GMAT test center. For this,
1. Make sure you're not disturbed during the entire test duration.
2. Make sure you time your breaks (8 minutes between Quant and Verbal)
3. Finish the entire test no matter how distracted you feel.
4. Write the AWA (only for the last 3 prep tests)
_________________

Mission: Be a force of good and make a positive difference to every life I touch!

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

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 2
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: Q V
GMAT 3: Q V
GPA: 3.5
WE: Consulting (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Re: New to the forum, appreciate feedback on my study plan [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2011, 19:35
Thanks a lot for the inputs and the study plan, entwistle. I wanted to respond after getting a practice test under my belt. I went into it cold this weekend, without reading much about the type of questions or any practice. I got a 620 (Q37 and V37) which means that I'm going to give myself a couple of weeks extra on the studyplan. Thanks again for all the thoughts and will definitely consider your input regarding the 3rd round of applications
Re: New to the forum, appreciate feedback on my study plan   [#permalink] 02 Oct 2011, 19:35
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