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Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+

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Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+ [#permalink] New post 02 Dec 2011, 11:11
Hi. I took the GMAT on August 4th after 4 months of intense study and much to my horror only scored a 660 (44 V and 37 Q) despite scoring 690 and 710 on the two Gmatprep tests just days before the exam. During those 4 months I did the following:

-Kaplan GMAT Premier 2010 (the whole book plus paper based practice exam)
-NOVA (Quant Section)
-MGMAT SC Guide & corresponding OG 12th & OG VR 2nd ed. problems
-All 5 MGMAT Quant Guides & their corresponding OG 12th & OG QR 2nd ed. problems with OG Archer explanations
-Kaplan Verbal Workbook CR Section
-Kaplan 800 CR Section
-Kaplan 800 SC Section
-All OG CR problems
-I've also done some of the Beat the GMAT (Magoosh) practice problems and video explanations as well as watched most of quant videos from Gmat Pill.
-Almost all Thursdays with Ron videos
-4 private tutoring sessions with Mitch from Princeton (Gmatguru)
-3 MGMAT practice tests, 1 Kaplan test, and the 2 official Gmatprep tests

I am now trying to formulate a solid study plan for my second, and hopefully, final attempt. I'd really appreciate feedback concerning how to order and structure my study plan and what I should eliminate or add. Quant was my main issue, as I scored in the 97th percentile on verbal, so the plan must focus on quant. I have identified the following as potentially important parts of the plan, but am not sure how I should organize and structure the plan:

• Thorough review of the 5 MGMAT Guides
• Master Gmat (1 week free trial then purchase by the week to finish the quant section)
Knewton GMAT on Demand Online Course (have already purchased but not yet started)
Total GMAT Math by Jeff Sackmann
Veritas Prep guides (Data Sufficiency, Advanced Word Problems and Quantitative Review, and Combinatorics and Probability)
• OG Problems & MGMAT OG Archer repeat
Kaplan 800
MGMAT Advanced Quant
MGMAT Advanced Quant and Advanced DS workshops
• MGMAT Challenge Archive & Question banks
Magoosh Practice Problems (already have access)
• Private Tutoring (rather not but may consider a few sessions)
• Flash Cards (review of all the flash cards I made from last time + MGMAT & Beat the GMAT iphone flashcards)
• Thursdays with Ron videos (repeat)
• Do way more Practice Tests this time (6 MGMAT, 2 GMAT Prep + possibly reset and repeat them, 6 GMAT Club, 4 Kaplan, Old official GMAT tests, Princeton)

I plan to spend 3 months studying about 4-6 hours per day. What do you think? Could you offer some helpful suggestions concerning the quality of this plan, and suggest what order I should do everything in and how I should break up the work? Thanks so much for your time and consideration!
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
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Re: Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+ [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2011, 19:12
Expert's post
heel289 wrote:
Hi. I took the GMAT on August 4th after 4 months of intense study and much to my horror only scored a 660 (44 V and 37 Q) despite scoring 690 and 710 on the two Gmatprep tests just days before the exam. During those 4 months I did the following:

-Kaplan GMAT Premier 2010 (the whole book plus paper based practice exam)
-NOVA (Quant Section)
-MGMAT SC Guide & corresponding OG 12th & OG VR 2nd ed. problems
-All 5 MGMAT Quant Guides & their corresponding OG 12th & OG QR 2nd ed. problems with OG Archer explanations
-Kaplan Verbal Workbook CR Section
-Kaplan 800 CR Section
-Kaplan 800 SC Section
-All OG CR problems
-I've also done some of the Beat the GMAT (Magoosh) practice problems and video explanations as well as watched most of quant videos from Gmat Pill.
-Almost all Thursdays with Ron videos
-4 private tutoring sessions with Mitch from Princeton (Gmatguru)
-3 MGMAT practice tests, 1 Kaplan test, and the 2 official Gmatprep tests

I am now trying to formulate a solid study plan for my second, and hopefully, final attempt. I'd really appreciate feedback concerning how to order and structure my study plan and what I should eliminate or add. Quant was my main issue, as I scored in the 97th percentile on verbal, so the plan must focus on quant. I have identified the following as potentially important parts of the plan, but am not sure how I should organize and structure the plan:

• Thorough review of the 5 MGMAT Guides
• Master Gmat (1 week free trial then purchase by the week to finish the quant section)
Knewton GMAT on Demand Online Course (have already purchased but not yet started)
Total GMAT Math by Jeff Sackmann
Veritas Prep guides (Data Sufficiency, Advanced Word Problems and Quantitative Review, and Combinatorics and Probability)
• OG Problems & MGMAT OG Archer repeat
Kaplan 800
MGMAT Advanced Quant
MGMAT Advanced Quant and Advanced DS workshops
• MGMAT Challenge Archive & Question banks
Magoosh Practice Problems (already have access)
• Private Tutoring (rather not but may consider a few sessions)
• Flash Cards (review of all the flash cards I made from last time + MGMAT & Beat the GMAT iphone flashcards)
• Thursdays with Ron videos (repeat)
• Do way more Practice Tests this time (6 MGMAT, 2 GMAT Prep + possibly reset and repeat them, 6 GMAT Club, 4 Kaplan, Old official GMAT tests, Princeton)

I plan to spend 3 months studying about 4-6 hours per day. What do you think? Could you offer some helpful suggestions concerning the quality of this plan, and suggest what order I should do everything in and how I should break up the work? Thanks so much for your time and consideration!


My suggestions:

Make a study plan, not a source plan i.e. don't focus on what all you will do from Knewton, Veritas, MGMAT, Kaplan etc. Instead, focus on your weak areas. I agree that regular practice in Verbal should be enough to get 44 again which is solid. In Quant, figure out why you are at 37. What is it that doesn't work for you... (Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Combinatorics, Stats etc) In each of these topics, what exactly are you uncomfortable with... In which subtopics do you make maximum mistakes... (Number Properties, Inequalities, Right Triangles etc) Once you jot down the areas where you need practice, then focus on the material - This week, I will do 'this' topic from 'this and that' book. Once you specifically take care of your weaknesses, your score can't be left behind.

It is easy to get 44-46 in Quant if there are no gaps in the concepts. Thereafter, it's basically your skill of applying concepts in innovative situations that see you through.
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Posts: 9
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Re: Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+ [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 12:02
Do you have any specific ideas of how to go about mapping out a plan over 3 months to accomplish what you suggest?

Really my weaknesses are spread across quant and I'm consistently a little slow in all categories so I need to get more accurate and faster in everything. I also seem to miss shortcuts, get bogged down in long calculations, and and don't have an arsenal of fast math methods. How can I improve these things? See attached file for a look at my OG quant stats.
Attachments

Quant Stats.png
Quant Stats.png [ 99.09 KiB | Viewed 1078 times ]

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Re: Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+ [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 11:03
Heel289,

Dude, its not you do X,Y and Z and you get a desired score. This is a classic mistake. Suppose you want to develop a 6 pack, could you say in advance of 3 months that you would do A, B, C drills and you would get a 6 pack. You need to divide and conquer - identify your weakness and rectify them - as you would do in verbal - randomly practising questions won't boost your score.

Also the 4-6 hours everyday is putting too much stress on yourself - you can improve by putting 2-3 hours of focussed effort.

A 80/80 %ile break up is more desirable - a V45 and Q37 won't do that. I also think that getting to V45 won't be an easy task.


My suggestions:

. Get Total GMAT Math Book / Manhattan GMAT Math Foundation Book and run through them.
. Practise Basic and Advanced Sets from Jeff Sacksman based on your weak areas.


Stay Away from(now)

. MGMAT Advanced Quant
MGMAT Advanced Quant and Advanced DS workshops
• MGMAT Challenge Archive & Question banks

They are for Q47+ .

You can try contacting Ian Stewart and discuss with him.
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Spring has passed, summer is gone and winter is here. And the song that I meant to sing remains unsung.
For I have spent my days stringing and un-stringing my instrument.

Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
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Posts: 4178
Location: Pune, India
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Re: Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+ [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 21:46
Expert's post
heel289 wrote:
Do you have any specific ideas of how to go about mapping out a plan over 3 months to accomplish what you suggest?

Really my weaknesses are spread across quant and I'm consistently a little slow in all categories so I need to get more accurate and faster in everything. I also seem to miss shortcuts, get bogged down in long calculations, and and don't have an arsenal of fast math methods. How can I improve these things? See attached file for a look at my OG quant stats.


You will need to make a plan depending on the days that work for you, the time slots that work for you etc. I can give you a rough idea, something similar to a plan that I would make for my Veritas students:

1. Study 5 days a week - everyday 2 sessions, one of 2 hrs (for Quant) and another of 1 hr (for Verbal) - if possible (morning and evening).
2. For Verbal, all you need to do is practice. Stay in touch. You already have a great score and it is not likely that it will fall if you keep practicing a little bit. Identify some sources (Veritas books for our students) and fix a number of questions e.g. 5 questions of SC, 5 of CR and 2 of RC. It will take you 20-30 mins to do the questions. In the next 30 mins, re-visit the questions and analyze each and every option again till you are very clear about what worked, what didn't work and why.
3. For Quant, work on a topic a week. Go through the basic theory very properly first, do lots of practice questions (untimed), some tougher problems (untimed) and some problems of the topic from online forums such as GMATClub (use the search feature). If you have doubts in some problems, put them up here and we will provide solutions. This will take around 6 weeks.
4. Next 3 weeks, take timed section tests (i.e. 20-30 questions from one topic) and analyze each and every question afterwards (very important). Also, you can take one full length test a week (accurately timed). Make sure you put in enough time to analyze every question later on and note down the takeaways you find useful. Thereafter, it is just a game of revision.
5. If you work on building strong basics, your speed will increase automatically. GMAT questions are not calculation intensive. If you miss the concept, then you end up working the long way. To further increase your speed and cut through the calculations, focus on alternative methods of solving (if they interest you!). Many people like to use these methods on this forum so if you put up a question which ate up a lot of your time, chances are you will solutions which will help you solve it in under a minute. Also, you can check up the veritas blog: http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/categor ... om/page/2/
We like to discuss alternative, more intuitive, less mathematical approaches.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
My Blog

Save $100 on Veritas Prep GMAT Courses And Admissions Consulting
Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews

Re: Please help me form my study plan to go from 660 to 730+   [#permalink] 08 Dec 2011, 21:46
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