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Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2011, 12:23
Hi everyone!


My profile:
23 years fresh graduate
Lawyer (Bachelor+ 2 years masters)
Native french speaker, (fluent in 4 languages where unfortunately english is the 4th)
Strong Extracurricular activities
+ successfull entrepreunarial experience
GPA:average+

6 month ago, I found out I had some business skills and that I wanted to enter in a good business school to study a master in Finance in order to have a strong quant (finance) and verbal (law) background that would help me to succeed and help me in the startup I founded 2 years ago.

I applied last year to one of the top european program in Finance, I had the chance to speak directly with the director of the program. He told me that I had a good application but that I was still a Lawyer and that GMAT just became mandatory to enter the program. And that with a 620 I would be in. I said ok "let's give the try", study for +- 2 weeks only with OG, (with an internship in London and a master thesis to finish at the same time) no suprise, with having doing no math during more than 5 years,

I scored a pathetic 450!

So far so good! As I am young (more than 50% of the people repeat one or more study year due to the Belgian public education system), I decided to devote this year for my application: more english-internship abroad- !!!GMAT!!!

I register to Veritas online prep, practice my english in the UK and just took one month full time at home to study, I almost finished all the veritas prep textbooks. Decided it was now time to take CAT practice tests as my test was in 2 weeks:

- CAT1: (GMAT prep) 450.(Q40 V11) no way, I was horrified by the score but decided it was because i wasn't concentrate during the verbal part. and needed to manage thourrougly my time.
- CAT2: (800score) 480. (Q22 V33) The opposite...
- CAT3: GMAT life 560 (Q37 V29)
- CAT4: GMAT life 520(Q 36 V22) I did the test during the night and it was around 11:30pm when i started the verbal part.
- CAT5: GMAT prep 550:
- CAT6: GMAT prep 460 (Q42 V12) F.... it!!! damned test!!!

I really need help guys! I realized it is supid to take CAT like I doinc now, once a day, like crazy, even when I am tired. I had to do that 2 month ago one/week but I thought it was better to work on the theory and accuracy first as I needed to work the basics (Math and Verbal)!

The good news: (i am trying to stay positive)

- It might be a bit stupid; but I I combine my best quant with my best verbal I can get my 620.
- I have until august to reach my 620.
- There are big drop in each section it might be the concentration? I am frustrated as I feel my score don't reflect my real GMAT potential. I am just saying I should score around 600, little below little above.
- I feel I can be able to answer each question, that I learned the accuracy and that it is all about time management, concentration and drill!! It is often the same kind of question!!! I swear, it might be stupid but I m not impressed by good test taker anymore as I feel, one you master one type of question you can master all of the same kind! I feel I should make all the OG exercise to be drilled... but I am running out of time for this time.
- The b-school I am applying for doesn't penalized several retakes... they just take the best score without averaging the score.

Bad news:

- My exam is on Thursday. I need at least 550 to tell my self I raise my score of 100 points. I was an ignorant 4 month ago I have learned a LOT of thing, consequently my score should improve as well! What's wrong? I still don't know!
- I am going to Shanghai to do an internship for 5 month, I wanted to have this GMAT behind my back but life is life.



Please help!!! I WON't ever give up!! One day I ll share my experience "how to become a great test taker"!! It is not about money, not even time or will but tell me how to beat the monster!

PS: sorry for being so long.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2011, 15:05
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What materials do you have?

You need something other than the OG - that's just a collection of questions. You have a GMAT Math book or a grammar book around?
You may be better off studying verbal (should be easier since you studied law) and mastering the Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.

If you have nothing, here is a free resource we put together: gmat-math-book-87417.html
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2011, 15:17
Thanks awfully for your prompt reply! Thanks also for having founded this platform which is I just discovered a great ressource!

I guess you haven't been trough all my post due to its lenght, I ll try to summarize next time:

My materials:

VEritas textbooks
I am a lawyer but non native speaker

Should I do other practice test or focus on certain area those 4 days?

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2011, 17:09
Expert's post
Your post is well written - you have good english skills and a lawyer is a lawyer - your CR should be better than most even if you have not taken an LSAT.

Your Math is getting pretty good at Q42. I would focus on verbal - that's the easiest option for improvement.
Study the strategies - that's your best bet, don't get into too much of the detail, just focus on the general approach to questions, strategies, etc.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 01:26
Thanks again.

I will focus on verbal because it is indeed where there are big gaps among my scores.

I'll take another CAT today, and tell you how it goes. I am sure I improved my skills there were a lot of problems I couldn't even understand that I can now resolve. Same in verbal,SC, I used to guess for 80% of them without seeing even a difference among the answer choices, now in my last SC Veritas Textbooks I got 67% of them correct.

Another point: I think my biggest problem it that I am totally unable to evaluate myself on this test my last GMAT prep (Q40 V12). I checked the results and it was displayed as follow.

Q 18 correct out of 37 still a score of 40! (surprise!)
V21 correct out of 41 score of 12!, there is something I don't understant here honnestly! I remembered I thought I performed poorly at Quant and it was not the case. My CAT scores are always a big "suprise".

I keep you update.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 09:32
After a big argument with my parents at lunch; you know the conversation "I think you should improve your english ans take some math course at the U as you studied law...", you surely know how irritate it might be when people talk about GMAT and just never take the exam and just don't know what it is!

Well I decided to take a practice test:

GMAT Simulator:

A MIRACLE HAPPENED:

620 (Q 44 V31):

But I am really questionnong the accuracu of this CAT!!!Math was so easy! I answered correctly to 30/37, I have had all the time I needed to finish the exam, I spent 5 min in one question etc Also like GMAT Life this cat give poor score compared to the correct answers, I guess it is due to the low level of the question! I want to say thanks to veritas to make easy test to raise up mood of their client!

Verbal seemed to be more normal 26/41 correct answers, 3 last answers choices were "not educated" guess due to the time.


Really this CAT seemed to be too easy, especially in math! It was a kid stuff! Question are drafted to directly compared to the actual GMAT, the transciprtion is thus easier? What do you think about this CAT?

I have performed my two lowest score on the GMAT prep...

I don't know what to do for the last 3 days. One more last CAT or GMAT prep? Or stay on this last good (for me) score? Just verbal and review some math concept? Please HELP!
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 10:23
Stop taking CAT exams and start studying--you've already taken 4 more full-length tests than I did in my 8-9 months of GMAT studying. The best basketball/soccer/football players don't get better by playing a lot of games, they get better faster by working skills and drills.

Get a set of review guides (Manhattan GMAT review, Princeton Review, etc.) and learn how to approach and solve each type of problem. Working test after test isn't going to teach you a lot other than giving you a feel for how exam day will be. Using prep books will teach you how to analyze and break down an argument, how to identify common flaws in sentence corrections, and how to find the relevant information for RC questions.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 10:59
Thanks! Biggest problem with the verbal is the time because of the re-reading and some RC contain very sharp vocab. I'm going to make some CR, SC and mix problems in math those last days.

One question I remembered GMAT prep sometimes ask how many primes do has an integer. But what does it mean exactly?

What's the formula to calculate the product of consecutive integers?

Thanks! For tonight, watching a movie and relax. Tommorow, I'll wake up at 8 and practice! Never give up!
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 13:17
Those questions are good signs you need to do some basic GMAT quant review. You'll learn those kinds of things by doing book reviews as opposed to working CAT exam after CAT exam.

I think your first question has to do with prime factors of an integer--is that what you're asking? For instance, the prime factorization of 20 cuts it down to the product of 3 numbers: 2x2x5.

I can't remember the formula for product of consecutive integers, but think of it this way--if you're looking at the product of 3 consecutive integers, it could be factored out at (n-1)(n)(n+1), which would then be simplified to (n)(n^2 - 1) which would then be (n^3 - n). So the product of 5, 6, and 7 becomes 6^3 - 6=210 I don't know if that process saved you any time since 5x6x7 is pretty easy, but you get the idea. You'll learn those kind of shortcuts from review books.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 13:40
Thanks for your prompt reply!

For my questions I think it relies more on the interpretation of the question. I will try to retrieve it in the GMAT prep. I think it was like "How many prime are there in x" For instance if it is: 36: 2*2*3*3 is the answer 2 (2 and 3)? Anyway I will try to retrieve the question.

For the other question; I asked because I saw somebody asking the same question on the forum. I haven't seen a question like that in any Veritas Textbook or CAT test. I just have seen the sum of consecutive integers using the average concept: average=median : sum/amount of integers

REgarding the basics I have been trough almost all the veritas prep books, it took me more time that I thought as I was a real stupid IGNORANT lawyer; I believe of course some basic review would be useful but drill as well.

I skipped the following textbooks: AWA (just practice 3 AWA), Data sufficiency (there is clearly an overlap with the others math textbooks where there are a lot of DS), Advanced word problems, Reading Comp. Due to a lack of time. I wanted to practice in the OG as well... I 'll go trough those textbooks and the 3 OG for the next attempt. Step by step; Rome has not been built in one day. I am coming from far; an ugly 450. I would be happy with an improvement of 100 each attempt.

However; I don't know how to score a good score in verbal as I feel RC really depends from the passage the computer give me, and I need to be quicker. I would say that around 31-33 is my maximum potential, maybe I can improve SC a bit more but being faster will come with the reading of a LOT of passages in english which is something that takes months...


Thanks again for your advice!
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2011, 16:18
I'm afraid there is no chance of improving your reading speed with just a couple of days left. However, if you are planning on re-taking GMAT in August I'd recommend you to start reading good qualitative English novels starting today, maybe 30 min or an hour per day. There are so many good books out there just waiting to be read :-)

The best of luck!
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2011, 07:48
Hi guys,

Can you please help me with the following question? I actually do not understand what is ask?

For every positive integers n, the function h(n) is defined to be the product of all the even integers from 2 to n, inclusive. If p is the smallest prime factor of h(100)+1, then pis:

between 2-10
10-20
20-30
30-40
>40

thx
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2011, 16:52
Try bellcurves GMAT prep website
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 08:01
I am afraid I do not understand what do you mean by "Bellcurve"?

I just fight against the real GMAT today: 560 (Q40 V 24), we are even I would say. My last score was a 450 so improvement of 110 points. However I am below the 600 I will need for July-August.

I fell I was on the good track for the Math Part however sometimes I knew approximately the answer, can still improve my accuracy and speed somtime.

Verbal part, I am a too slow reader that's a fact, sometimes some vocab stuck me.

My debrief: I was a total ignorant. Now I can say I know the fundamentals and basics, I need drill and speed.

I'll take a break for the next 2-3 week, and will make a new study plan.

I implore GMAT Gurus to help me. I wonder to purchase Knewton class as they have a "50 points guarantee" policy? But I don't think I need two mix two methodologies? Do I?

I will complete the few veritas textbooks I had not completed and do all the exercises of the OG (I hadn't work with the OG) Do I also need to purchase the OG verbal and OG quant?


Thanks in advance for your help.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 09:24
Expert's post
Duke007 wrote:
I am afraid I do not understand what do you mean by "Bellcurve"?

I just fight against the real GMAT today: 560 (Q40 V 24), we are even I would say. My last score was a 450 so improvement of 110 points. However I am below the 600 I will need for July-August.

I fell I was on the good track for the Math Part however sometimes I knew approximately the answer, can still improve my accuracy and speed somtime.

Verbal part, I am a too slow reader that's a fact, sometimes some vocab stuck me.

My debrief: I was a total ignorant. Now I can say I know the fundamentals and basics, I need drill and speed.

I'll take a break for the next 2-3 week, and will make a new study plan.

I implore GMAT Gurus to help me. I wonder to purchase Knewton class as they have a "50 points guarantee" policy? But I don't think I need two mix two methodologies? Do I?

I will complete the few veritas textbooks I had not completed and do all the exercises of the OG (I hadn't work with the OG) Do I also need to purchase the OG verbal and OG quant?


Thanks in advance for your help.


Congratulations. That is quite an improvement. Your Quant seems to be in order. Keep practicing lots of questions and solve OG12 back to back... Put up your doubts on the Quant forum and we all will help you solve the questions.

I do understand the problem of not being a native. You need to read English books and/or watch TV in English. That will help you a lot. (A few years back, I was in Germany and was learning to speak German. The classes were great but what helped me most was that we only had German programs on TV and my friends were Polish/Russians/Koreans and the only common language we had was German. I watched a lot of 'Friends' and 'Timon and Pumba' in German and talked to people on the street (in German of course). I got a 96% on my test and 100% in conversation section!)
GMAT books can teach you how to attempt RC, CR and SC but no book can teach you English. It will be far easier to read a passage if you are good in English and you will be able to eliminate 2-3 options in SC within seconds. That will help you improve speed. Focus on strategies given in Veritas RC, SC and CR books and practice them. A lot of research and thought has gone into them. Also follow the GMAT blog of Veritas. There are some great articles there related to strategies. Get back if you have any questions.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 11:10
Thanks!

I am about to go to Shanghai for an internship. So I need to make my shopping before :-) OG Quant and Verbal needed or is the 12nd edition enough?

As I will be working during the day, how long do I need to study daily? and in total when shoul I register for the GMAT again?

I was wondering 1h30/day 2,5-3 month with a CAT exam every week during the weekend after the first month? What do you think?


Thanks in advance.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 11:28
As I said before, the OG is alright for occasional practice but if you really want to learn you'll need something like MGMAT. And a weekly CAT exam is unnecessary at this point...or at any point, really.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 13:07
Expert's post
Duke007 wrote:
Thanks!

I am about to go to Shanghai for an internship. So I need to make my shopping before :-) OG Quant and Verbal needed or is the 12nd edition enough?

As I will be working during the day, how long do I need to study daily? and in total when shoul I register for the GMAT again?

I was wondering 1h30/day 2,5-3 month with a CAT exam every week during the weekend after the first month? What do you think?


Thanks in advance.


OG12 is enough as far as OGs go. In Practice Tests, you have access to diagnostic quizzes. Use those to practice too.
How long you need to study depends on your own motivation. An hour each of Quant and Verbal at least 5 days a week would be a must. In addition, read as much as possible. 2.5 - 3 months window is enough to make good progress if you work diligently. And yes, a CAT on the weekends (Life, Simulator etc) would be great for practice. Make sure you go through all the solutions after taking the test. Since you have covered basics, practicing, especially the Verbal sections of all those tests will help you. But stop working hard a week before your actual GMAT. Just go through your logs and revise your formulas/concepts/strategies.
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Re: Really need help for my prep? [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2011, 15:35
Thanks!
Re: Really need help for my prep?   [#permalink] 27 Jan 2011, 15:35
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