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Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review

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Joined: 13 May 2010
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Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review [#permalink] New post 21 May 2010, 07:48
Hello guys/gals,

So I'm a relatively new member, I just found this site about a week & a half ago (unfortunately one week after taking the GMAT for the first time), I've been reading post voraciously ever since. What a great resource!!

So, I did horribly the first time around 530 Q28 V35, the school I'm targeting has a middle 80% range of 530-700 (avg. approx. 590-615) so I've decided to retake the test. Ideally I'd like to be in the high 600's if not crack the 700 mark. I've never been a good standardized test taker, and it's not so much the material on the GMAT that confused me so much as I believe I allowed myself to get in the way of success; trying to gauge how well I was doing based on question difficulty, trying to solve problems I knew were easy but couldn't find the shortcut etc etc.

Bearing this in mind I wanted to give a brief summary of what I did to prepare for the first test and then share my plan for the retake. Really what I'm looking for are some suggestions for my study strategy, any stories similar to mine (for confidence :-D ) and any general review comments about my new approach. I am a working professional 40-50hrs per week in a demanding job so please bear that in mind.

Thanks everyone!

FIRST GMAT
Overall: 530
Quant: 28
Verbal: 35
AWA: N/A (just took it beginning of this month)

Prep;
Kaplan GMAT premier online; primarily used the online resources, practice quizzes and one CAT
OG GMAT practice questions; primarily focused on quant, doing a question, then reviewing the solution for immediate feedback.
Took one of the practice tests from the free software on MBA website (can't post a link yet)

SECOND GMAT (PLAN)
Target overall: 680+
Test Date: 8/02/2010 2pm (so slightly over 2 months study time) I have one vacation already planned in this timeframe, 5 days 4 nights (booked months ago). I have two weekend trips to visit family that I cannot get out of (and shouldn't frankly). So there will be some breakup in my routine (I've read this could be either good or bad, advice?)

Prep;
Purchased the following; OG Quant workbook (are these the same questions that are in the bigger overall OG? just bought it last night)
Manhattan GMAT word translations
I don't think I'm going to touch the Kaplan GMAT Premeir again this time other than the additional 5 practice tests that I have left on the CD.

Going to purchase; Manhattan GMAT number properties, Manhattan GMAT Sentance correction, and perhaps the Princeton Review Cracking the GMAT 1012 (should I purchase this? looking for advice).

I don't want to overdo this or have too many conflicting test strategies when preparing, but at the same time I really want to dig in. So what is everyone's advice on this approach with these materials? Anyone out there who has a 40-50+ hr a week job and retook with success? Of course any feedback that I can get would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!! I would like to be a success story on here!

Looking forward to your review/advice/suggestions!!
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Re: Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review [#permalink] New post 21 May 2010, 15:07
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Re: Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review [#permalink] New post 21 May 2010, 16:14
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Expert's post
Also, take a look at this study plan: gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html

That's my recommendation. Usually a set of MGMAT Guides is a good idea and a solid review.
Your quant score seems to need a lot more help, so i would start in MGMAT Math Foundations and then move over to other books.

Don't spend too much time on questions and tests yet, instead put all your effort into theory and basics.
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Re: Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review [#permalink] New post 30 May 2010, 13:07
Thank you bb,

I know that there are some math concepts I need brushing up on, which I should be able to sharpen with practice and concept/theory review. In reflecting on my experience probably the most difficult barrier for me to cross with the math problems were the actual translation of word problems to algebraic formulas. So I'm starting with MGMAT Word Translations and I also bought MGMAT Number Properties (since it's been the longest since I've worked with the mechanics of actual number properties). I think starting with these two guides mixed in with a few of the practice quizzes from Kaplan and the free GMAT review software from the MBA website (can't post links yet but what I'm referring to is M B A . c o m) should be a good start for me.

I agree with your assessment that I shouldn't waste alot of time with the timed quizzes or full CAT tests just yet, my first month I'm going to concentrate on these concepts. Then really dig into the practice tests. As for now I'm thouroughly going through the MGMAT Action problems at the end of each chapter after reading a few times, I'm also tracking these on an error log so I can capture my original performance and thought process.

As of today I have about 2 full months of study ahead of me, my retake date is 8/2. Wish me luck! Thank you for your review and if you have any additional advice after this post I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you!
_________________

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If my post helped you in any way please give KUDOS!

Expert Post
Founder
Founder
User avatar
Affiliations: UA-1K, SPG-G, HH-D
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 12550
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Hospitality and Tourism)
Followers: 2423

Kudos [?]: 10425 [0], given: 3784

GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member CAT Tests
Re: Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review [#permalink] New post 30 May 2010, 22:52
Expert's post
Good Luck!

Also, look into getting MGMAT Math Foundations if you find concepts in the MGMAT Number Properties or other books a bit challenging - that book is a good precursor for those who have been out of college for a long time or were never fans of math.
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Re: Retake - Need feedback on plan, advice, review   [#permalink] 30 May 2010, 22:52
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