Today, I took the practice GMAT. I am interested in getting my MBA in economics so the math section is pretty important to me. Although I have never even looked at a Gmat book, I have done a little bit of research, and have messed around with some math questions on it, probably a total of 2 hours, than I just took the exam. I scored a 32 (just took the quantitative). This is in the 36th percentile.
I did bad on the questions that asked me what was needed to answer the problem, I got like 2/8, and then I did fairly well on the other word problems. I have only had one math class (statistics) in college, and I have not had anything else since High School. When I was younger I was borderline exceptional in my math computation skills, and I think that is what kind of saves me, but I really don't remember much math otherwise since I was public realtions/ad major in college.
All things considered with this being pretty much a preliminary Gmat test minus 2 hours of practice and never really reviewing any of the questions I missed. Let's say with 1 month studying about an 5 hours/week the first two weeks, and 10 the last 2 weeks. What is a reasonable goal to shoot for in math? Is it reasonable to shoot for the upper 25th percentile or even higher, or should I just be shooting for upper 40-50th percentile?
Thanks for any of your comments.
This is not a surprising outcome for the amount of effort you invested into preparation - what amazes me is that some people take the test like that - open the book for a few hours the day before and then head to the test center thinking that all they need know to (high school math and grammar rules) are very fresh in their minds. Usually a big surprise is waiting for them since most people don't use/remember formulas for mixture questions/work problems/geometry questions.
You are definitely not born with a high GMAT score, so to answer your question - there is plenty of hope and potential - thousands of members here achieved far beyond your goal by starting at or below your point.
What you need is a good book that covers math principles tested on the gmat - Kaplan's Math Book
and Manhattan GMAT Math Review
books have had good reviews. What you need to do is give either of these books your undivided attention for at least an hour at a time - this means possibly before work while it is quiet in the office and your mind is still fresh or during a weekend when you can be alone - reading it on the bus/train or at a friend's party does not really work. Your goal is not to finish the book but to make sure you plug as many holes in your memory of high school math as possible (in the shortest amount of time as it sounds from your post). Mark each problem that you make a mistake in (on a separate sheet of paper). Do not solve the problems in the book - use scratch paper - that's how you will be doing it on the real GMAT and if you are looking to get a higher score, every point counts.
Not to push it on you, but for a serious math score, very many members recommend our GMAT Tests (http://gmatclub.com/wiki/GMAT_Tests
) - they are designed to be harder and more provoking than most materials out there (that's why we built them) - you have two free - give them a shot when you are ready (not tonight). It sounds like you got your hands on the GMAT Prep - you have only two tests there (technically), so don't use up (aka waste) the second one as it is the only accurate measure of your performance - save it until you are close to your test date to measure your improvement, and don't bother with tests before you are done with the Math book - then practice to test your knowledge and test-taking skills.
Also, take a look at the FAQ thread for the GMAT
- may be helpful.
Good Luck, oh, and keep reading up on this forum and Share Your GMAT Experience
- lots of good advice for your specific question.
Founder of GMAT Club
Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... | Want to know your GMAT Score? Try GMAT Score Estimator
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books
Co-author of the GMAT Club tests
Have a blog? Feature it on GMAT Club!