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Please critique my progress so far

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Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2009, 08:34
I've been studying for about 3 months now.

Here's the time line so far.

- I first scored 540 without studying
- Bought all the necessary books: OG11, Quant Review, Verbal Review, MGMAT SC Guide, Kaplan 800
- Was scoring between 560-620's on the GMATPrep's, took them about twice each
- Took the MGMAT practice test and scored about a 620 on the first try, then a 670 on the second.
- Studied for 2 months or so, with HARDCORE cramming the week prior. Got a 520 :( I could blame the low score to sleep deprivation.
- Took a break from studying to write essays (2-3 weeks)
- Continued studying for another 3 weeks or so, took the GMATPrep again, this time scoring 670-690 each time (Total times taking GMATPrep is about 4 each) I got 47-49's on Quant and about 30 or so on Verbal.
- Decided that the scores were inaccurate, since a lot of the questions were repeated and I already knew the answer
- Bought PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible - read the first 30-40 pages, which helped me to learn some good CR concepts. Not sure if I should spend time reading the rest of the book or practicing CR problems.
- Took the Kaplan Practice test (which I know is supposed to be harder, or at least you get a lower score) and go ta 630. (37Q, 41V => WEIRD, I am better at Quant, and always have been. Usually score about 43-49.) Not sure that it affected me, but I took this exam at 7AM without any sleep, insomnia's got me right now...

I'm aiming for a 670-700 right now... 700 would be GREAT! What do you think is the difference between the Kaplan score and the official GMAT score? BTW, I'm retaking the GMAT on April 28th.

Basically, right now I am pretty strong in quant, at least in the common problems. I'm going to keep practicing the concepts that I have not reviewed yet. Also, I need to keep practicing SC so I can get that down perfectly to improve my verbal.

Please help me focus and stay determined! I want to know what I should do in the week I have left to maximize the efficiency of my time. I'm so ready to pull the plug in a week.

Oh, also, one major mistake I consistently make are CARELESS ERRORS!! Is there any way to focus better to help read exactly what is being asked? For example, If it says "How many even prime integers?" I might miss the word "even" and count 1, 2, 3, 5, etc.. and get it wrong. Or just simple arithmetic errors like, where I would have gotten the question right, but I was just so silly.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2009, 05:48
Nach0,
Good luck on 04/28. your quant score looks great in second attempt. hope you do well with Verbal as well this time.

Do post your experience here.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2009, 13:58
Looking at what you've said about your progress so far, I'd say make sure you get enough sleep for the week leading up to the actual test date. At least in my personal experience, I know that one of the reasons I didn't do so well on my first try was b/c I was way too nervous and couldn't sleep well the night before. You've mentioned that two of your low practice test scores were due to lack of sleep, so I'd make sure that you don't repeat that for the official exam.

I'd also try not to work on your essays during your test prep. GMAT prep is stressful as it is, having to worry about writing your essays on top of that is just too much. And if you only have a short time before the exam, try to focus your efforts. Don't try to brush up on all subject areas, focus your efforts on the areas where you made the most careless, easy to improve mistakes and try to eliminate that as much as possible.

Best of luck!
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 01:16
Expert's post
Couple of things that jump out at me:

1. What book are you using for math strategy/concepts? - I did not see any. I would not touch any questions before covering all the concepts. By the way, solving gmat questions is practicing, not studying.
2. What practice tests are you using besides gmatprep?

By the way, go through OG's at the end, not beginning.

Kaplan - those are usually 100 points below your real gmat score, so don't get too concerned if you score 600.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 15:56
Thanks for all of your responses!

For math, I did not use any books besides the OG and Quant Review. My math foundation was pretty solid when I first started studying, I just needed to brush the rust off topics that I never used, such as exponents and roots.

I took the MGMAT Practice test, Kaplan, and GMATPrep.


Gonna take a break on Monday, like I said, and practice AWA. I should be fine with this section because I got a 6.0 on both essays the first time I took it. Just gonna review the basics and do a little practice runs. I'm gonna mostly relax and lightly study some idioms and flash cards.

I plan to get a good night's rest on Sun and Mon to be prepared for the test on Tues!!!

Please tell me what you think.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 21:31
Expert's post
You still sound as though you are cramming and not fully "ready" - that may be just an impression, so feel free to dismiss.
One keyword I look for usually, is the error log or mistake analysis - maybe good to focus here in the last week or two.

If your test is on Tue, take 1 practice test on Monday (at the same time as your real test) and then take the rest of your day off. Possibly review a few notes here and there but spend it doing what you like - enjoy it! Then go to the test fully prepared.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 22:58
Thx bb.

Which Practice test do you recommend me taking?
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2009, 23:16
Expert's post
Nach0 wrote:
Thx bb.

Which Practice test do you recommend me taking?


Best if you have a GMATPrep test saved. PowerPrep will work too if you have not gone through those questions elsewhere.
If not, then anything will do.

Do the whole thing, including the AWA.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2009, 15:11
Cool.

I seem to be getting the same questions wrong as I did before when reviewing my error log... It only applies to the 600-700+ questions though. Not sure what I should do at this point.

But, the good news is, I feel confident when faced with any SC question! I get pretty much all of them right, unless its super tricky or I rush through it without reading it all.

Right now I'm just going over the questions I missed from my error log. Should I continue doing this or attempt to practice the less common problems, such as combination and geometry?
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Re: Please critique my progress so far [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2009, 15:31
Expert's post
You have a limited amount of time, so you should focus on the areas that will have the greatest return.
Combinations and Coordinate Geometry may not be a good investment as you may not get any on your test... (I did not see any on mine, just one measly probability question), so I would focus on your weak areas and fundamentals if there are still holes.
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Re: Please critique my progress so far   [#permalink] 26 Apr 2009, 15:31
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