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restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+

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restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 09:13
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So after taking the Diagnostic Test in OG12, I realized that I am far behind many people in preparation for the GMAT. I scored in the average columns for all categories, except Data Sufficiency, where I was below average.

Now, I am not entirely sure where this raw score would leave me. I'm assuming in the low 400's. Regardless, I am going to attack the GMAT with a solid plan based around what I have gathered from the stickies.

I'm going to start by re-learning all the basics. I realized that even simple quantitative problems were giving me immense frustration. The quantitative section appears to be my weakness, so that is where I am going to fine-tune first.

Just a quick background on me:

I'm 23, working for a Fortune 500 financial firm in New York City. I work as a part of a regional security operations and investigations group. I work approximately 45-70 hours a week, on a rotational basis. I've been here for over 18 months. I graduated from Rutgers Univ. with a Criminal Justice degree. My GPA was not spectacular; a 2.99/4.0.

I've never scored highly on any standardized tests, but I never actually cared enough to try (until now). In order to progress through my career, into upper-tier management positions, an MBA is almost necessary. I aim for either a specialization in general management or finance.

But I am getting ahead of myself ;). The first step is nailing a high GMAT score to offset my poor undergrad GPA.

I have just started going through the Math Review section of the OG12. Additionally, I have downloaded the "Math Book" of GMATclub and will be reviewing that as well.

I plan to put in 10-15 hours a week on my off days in preparation. On top of this, I will be also studying during my downtime at work. If I had to approximate, it would come out to a total of 20-25 hours a week. The job can be demanding, but my #1 priority is on the future!

Thanks for reading. I will keep this updated on a very frequent basis.

edit: The plan is to prepare for 5-6 months and take the GMAT in January 2012. I aim to go from a completely "clueless" bum to someone who can attain a score of 700+.

Last edited by restore on 08 Aug 2011, 13:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Manager
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Joined: 30 Jul 2011
Posts: 118
Location: United States (NJ)
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 520 Q40 V21
GPA: 2.95
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Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 24

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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 13:14
Having alot of difficulty with complex absolute value problems.

Can't understand how to find the # of solutions for the following equation:

|x+3| - |4-x| = |8+x|
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Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 24

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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2011, 17:28
Currently working through the OG12.

Finished overviewing the Math Review section. It seemed to touch upon alot of the basic elements in all the math categories, and I did not have too many issues understanding the concepts.

I'm working on the Problem Solving questions, and they seem to be a bit "too" easy. My assumption is that they begin at a low level and gradually move upwards towards "700+ questions."

Quite a few quantitative questions (from the Diagnostic Test) made me go :shock:. I'm even considering dropping the OG12 for now, and just reviewing every single Manhattan guide that is out there.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2011, 07:50
I've logged over 25+ hours of studying since the beginning. My understanding of basic quantitative concepts has improved. The more difficult one's such as Combinations/Permutations/Counting Methods, Absolute Values, and Inequalities will require alot more work.

I ordered the entire MGMAT set of 8 books, which will be arriving tomorrow.

My strategy for attacking this over the quantitative over the next several weeks will be as follows:

1. Review each of the 5 MGMAT books. Finish any problems at the end of every section to help reiterate the concepts.

2. Go back to the OG12, finish the rest of the PS and DS questions, while utilizing the MGMAT books as an "open-book" reference guide.
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Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 24

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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2011, 13:59
Finishing up the 1st MGMAT guide: Number Properties.

I am having great difficulty with a few of the In-Action problems, especially the ones from the "Advanced" chapters. I feel that I am understanding concepts as I read through them, but once I get to the problems, I am unsure how to apply them.

A bit discouraging, as I had hoped to have been further along after reading the guide. I got most of the problems wrong.

I will re-read the entire guide and take handwritten notes on key concepts, then review all the questions I incorrectly completed.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2011, 07:11
restore wrote:
Having alot of difficulty with complex absolute value problems.

Can't understand how to find the # of solutions for the following equation:

|x+3| - |4-x| = |8+x|



Square both the sides, and then simplify!
Manager
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Joined: 30 Jul 2011
Posts: 118
Location: United States (NJ)
Concentration: General Management, Finance
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Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 24

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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2011, 04:03
Finished the 1st MGMAT guide: Number properties.

Read it over and took notes on key concepts. I had a error rate on all the practice problems (including the OG12 ones) of roughly 50%. I understood where I went wrong with certain problems, but I believe I need more practice with the application of concepts.

Began the 2nd MGMAT guide: Fractions, Decimals % Percents a few days ago.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2011, 04:42
When are you giving the test ? For permutations and combinations I don't think the MGMAt is the beat book and I say this with experience. I have used the MGMAT and am desperate searching for a combin/ permutation book.

Image Posted from GMAT ToolKit
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Joined: 30 Jul 2011
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Kudos [?]: 17 [0], given: 24

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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2011, 07:42
scbguy wrote:
When are you giving the test ? For permutations and combinations I don't think the MGMAt is the beat book and I say this with experience. I have used the MGMAT and am desperate searching for a combin/ permutation book.

Image Posted from GMAT ToolKit

I am planning to take it in either December or January 2012.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2011, 07:09
Restore, someone suggested to me that I leave the Advanced sections until after I'm done with all the books which is how I'm planning to approach my studying. I've been working on the "math skills refresher" section of the Kaplan book and hope to finish that before attacking the MGMAT books.

I'm brutal at Quant and am looking at taking the test in the same time frame as you!
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2011, 16:50
megany wrote:
Restore, someone suggested to me that I leave the Advanced sections until after I'm done with all the books which is how I'm planning to approach my studying. I've been working on the "math skills refresher" section of the Kaplan book and hope to finish that before attacking the MGMAT books.

I'm brutal at Quant and am looking at taking the test in the same time frame as you!


That might be a pretty good idea. I'm having a lot of difficulty on the advanced sections, especially Data Sufficiency.

In terms of my progress, I have completed the 2nd MGMAT: Fractions/Decimals/Percents book. I found the Problem Solving questions to be somewhat manageable. I still have a high error rate overall, but I did not do as poorly as I expected.

In terms of the DS, I made many careless mistakes and also failed to understand a few questions. I do, however, believe I am improving in my "logical reasoning" capabilities. Slowly, but surely, I will get there some day :).

I'm moving on now to the 3rd MGMAT book. This may be my biggest weakness of the entire quantitative section, which in itself, is already a struggle.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 01:18
restore wrote:
megany wrote:
Restore, someone suggested to me that I leave the Advanced sections until after I'm done with all the books which is how I'm planning to approach my studying. I've been working on the "math skills refresher" section of the Kaplan book and hope to finish that before attacking the MGMAT books.

I'm brutal at Quant and am looking at taking the test in the same time frame as you!


That might be a pretty good idea. I'm having a lot of difficulty on the advanced sections, especially Data Sufficiency.

In terms of my progress, I have completed the 2nd MGMAT: Fractions/Decimals/Percents book. I found the Problem Solving questions to be somewhat manageable. I still have a high error rate overall, but I did not do as poorly as I expected.

In terms of the DS, I made many careless mistakes and also failed to understand a few questions. I do, however, believe I am improving in my "logical reasoning" capabilities. Slowly, but surely, I will get there some day :).

I'm moving on now to the 3rd MGMAT book. This may be my biggest weakness of the entire quantitative section, which in itself, is already a struggle.



Hey Restore....good progress...gud luck....i am a non-native and want to improve my Verbal score..i am keen to know how you are planning your preparation for Verbal section
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 07:15
harshavmrg wrote:
restore wrote:
megany wrote:
Restore, someone suggested to me that I leave the Advanced sections until after I'm done with all the books which is how I'm planning to approach my studying. I've been working on the "math skills refresher" section of the Kaplan book and hope to finish that before attacking the MGMAT books.

I'm brutal at Quant and am looking at taking the test in the same time frame as you!


That might be a pretty good idea. I'm having a lot of difficulty on the advanced sections, especially Data Sufficiency.

In terms of my progress, I have completed the 2nd MGMAT: Fractions/Decimals/Percents book. I found the Problem Solving questions to be somewhat manageable. I still have a high error rate overall, but I did not do as poorly as I expected.

In terms of the DS, I made many careless mistakes and also failed to understand a few questions. I do, however, believe I am improving in my "logical reasoning" capabilities. Slowly, but surely, I will get there some day :).

I'm moving on now to the 3rd MGMAT book. This may be my biggest weakness of the entire quantitative section, which in itself, is already a struggle.



Hey Restore....good progress...gud luck....i am a non-native and want to improve my Verbal score..i am keen to know how you are planning your preparation for Verbal section


I am a native speaker, so verbal will not be as difficult for me as quantitative. Even then, no preparation is a plan for failure.

I have been reading articles on the website of "The Economist" every single day, specifically the 'Science & Technology' section. I read each article paying close attention to all the general and specific concepts. I also strive to improve how quickly I can finish a passage while retaining as much information as possible.

I am also a part of several forums (for my hobbies/leisure) and have been making an effort to improve my business writing skills in all my posts. I believe that improving your score in the 'Sentence Correction' section requires you to incorporate a higher level of grammar and spelling skills in all facets of your life.

Once I complete the five quantitative MGMAT books, I will move on to the remaining three verbal ones.

As of now, that is the plan for the next several months. I wish you the best of luck! It looks like we both have our own separate battles to fight!
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 13:46
Life has been very busy the past several days, so I have not been able to study consistently. I've been managing roughly an hour or two at work, and only a few during my off-days. Obligations can really wear a person down! But I am committed to achieving a score of 700+ on the GMAT.

In terms of progress, I am about halfway through the 3rd MGMAT book. My understanding of inequalities, VIC's, and other algebraic equations has improved. I still make careless mistakes, but I have been catching more of them.

A bit of good news with my career is that my director let me know that my schedule would shift to a standard 8AM-5PM early next year. This will allow me to attend night classes for my MBA. I have been looking at a few business schools, specifically in New York City. My "reach" school will be Columbia University.

Anyways, back to studying!
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 30 Aug 2011, 10:02
Update (quick vent of frustration):

Work has been real hectic lately. Because of Hurricane Irene, I was put on-call for contingency purposes for the entire duration of Saturday and Sunday. Needless to say, I worked from 5AM Sunday through 7AM Monday morning. The total hours for the week came to 84.

Now, my motivation in studying for the GMAT has declined. The increase in work frequency coupled with lack of sleep has kept me disinterested in studying. I've still been able to squeeze in an hour or two each day.

Anyways, about a week or so ago, I decided to alternate studying for the Verbal and Quantitative sections. I began the Critical Reasoning MGMAT book and I have just the OG12 questions to finish it off. I am also nearing the end of the Equations, Inequalities, and VIC's MGMAT book.

The CR section has proven to be much more difficult than anticipated. I am a native speaker, yet I had an error rate of close to 40% in the end-of-chapter questions. Clearly, I overestimated the difficulty of the verbal section.

Looking back, it has been about a month of studying and I do feel that I have progressed, but not enough. I still have four more MGMAT books to go through and the OG Quant/Verbal books to go through before I take my first practice CAT.

Never have I devoted so much time to prepare for anything in my life. I have a week-long vacation planned in October, but I am going to cancel all my plans just so I can sit and study the entire duration.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2011, 05:05
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I finished the 3rd MGMAT book. The advanced problems in the OG12 and the book itself were difficult. I had an error percentage of over 60%. I plan to review all the quantitative notes that I have taken over the past month.

Additionally, I will be beginning the 7th MGMAT book: Reading Comprehension. I will do that with the OG12 questions for the Critical Reasoning book over the next week or so.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2011, 05:21
Finished the MGMAT Critical Reasoning book. I seemed to have difficulty with the first set of OG "Find the Assumption questions. The rest of the categories went by, to my surprise, relatively smoothly. I made a few careless errors here and there, but overall I felt good with the material.

I also finished the MGMAT Reading Comprehension book. I just have to find time to start and finish the OG questions for it.

I'm also finishing up the MGMAT Geometry book. Much of the information was already known, but it was a good refresher.

The last two, and probably the most important ones from the MGMAT series are the Word Translation and Sentence Correction books. I decided to save the best ones for last ;). Overall the studying is coming at a rather slow pace, but I am progressing. Work has been absolutely hectic, but I am able to squeeze an hour or two each day.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2011, 07:48
I finished up the Geometry OG12 questions, so I can officially close that book. It was easy overall, but the advanced Data Sufficiency questions were difficult. I had a high error rate with them overall.

I am putting a hold on the RC OG12 questions. I have to utilize my little free time with to the fullest. I have already begun the Sentence Correction MGMAT book, and I can see that it will be very beneficial.

After this, the last MGMAT book is Word Translations. Once that is done, I plan to take one CAT test and see where my weaknesses lie.
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2011, 09:08
I'm still here... Still studying, sporadically.

I'm working through the final two MGMAT books (Word Translations and Sentence Correction). There is a ton of material, so I plan to take my time in completing them.

I'll be going on a much needed one-week vacation in a few days. After that, my work schedule gets normalized (no more 60-84 hour rotational day/night shifts). I will be able to focus strictly on my GMAT studying on a consistent basis.

I'm going to get through this. My goal is still the same, enrollment in a GOOD B-School by Fall 2012!
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Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+ [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2011, 19:13
Good luck with your goal. Have you taken any practice tests yet?
Re: restore's journey from "clueless" to 700+   [#permalink] 10 Oct 2011, 19:13
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