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Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice).

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Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2009, 12:23
Hey Guys,

I had taken the GMAT in mid-August and scored a 630 (V: 36, M: 40, AWA: 6.0).

I prepared for 4 weeks before the exam and covered the following:

Princeton Review Manual for the GMAT (did this thoroughly, every single bit).
Official Guide 11: Completed about 80%

Tests: Princeton Review Online tests and the download from the official MBA site.

When I started with the PR diagnostic test, I had scored a 500. Over 4 weeks, my last test score (4 days before the exam) was 630. The 2 days before the exam, I did 2 download tests from the official site and scored 630 again on each of them and my final test score is 630 as well.

I am re-taking the GMAT to aim at a 700+. I have 5 weeks of prep time. Taken time off work so have the whole day for 5 weeks.

One thing to note is that between August and now did not touch my books one bit so the pace has been affected.

What books do I use next? Would the 8 series Manhattan GMAT coupled with OG 12 suffice? Aiming for a 700+

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2009, 18:22
For improving your verbal score, I would recommend that you buy OG 12 and just practice those questions before the test. I was able to pull up my verbal score from a 36-38 to a consistent 40+ just by working the OG problems and taking a lot of practice tests.

For quant, check out MGMAT's word translations (#1), number properties, and geometry (if you're rusty here).
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Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2009, 04:16
Hello IndianGuardian,

You're only a couple points off (38+) on verbal to get in the 80 percentile range, so that shouldn't be too difficult to achieve. Quant, on the other hand, you're a ways away. You need ~47-48 to hit the 80 percentile and thus pass 700 with the combined score.

What subjects on the quant section did you struggle with? That should dictate how you spend the first batch of prep, and then take a practice test to gauge your improvement (you get 6 MGMAT tests if you buy a book, and a promise of no overlapping questions. That might be worth it here).
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Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2009, 04:54
You have two advantages here:
1, Your verbal score is already good and you need very less improvement here if you want 700. Getting 40 in verbal is sufficient.
2, You have ample amount of time with you. (5 weeks with no office / job).

For Quant , you have to figure out where you are lacking. I think your concepts/basics needs some brushing up.

My advice to improve quant is to go through kaplan math workbook as it has good questions and solid foundation. You can skip the foundation for those topics of which you are confident about.
After kaplan , give a GMATPrep. If you are able to score 45-46 (which you can) then I would suggest going towards the next step which is "GMATClub Tests". This will further improve your score by 3-4 points from there.

I know it is easier said than done but looking at the amount of time you can spend , I have told this and I sincerely think that this improvement can be made in quant in 5 weeks.

Having said this , don't neglect your verbal in this time frame..!! :-D
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Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2009, 05:37
Thanks guys for your replies.

@mohater: In Math, I would say I am weakest at Data Sufficiency problems (and sometimes problem solving) which specifically pertain to questions with variables in them. I don't have problems in other concepts. I have started with the MGMAT books and I guess it is to do with my basics. For example, the MGMAT book in chapter 1 talks about the 'Prime Box' and I do have a difficult time understanding the way they are using it to solve problems. An example problem which I would have difficult solving would be:

"Given that 8 is not a factor of g, is 8 a factor of 8g?"

In Verbal, strong at Critical Reasoning, weak at RC and SC. I am hoping the MGMAT SC Guide will correct my SC situation and RC would be what I have to focus on. In RC, I go wrong in RC Specific or RC General questions (like inference, theme of passage etc). If the RC questions are reasoning questions, I don't get those wrong (example, which statement would the author agree with most, what would strengthen, weaken author's viewpoint etc).

Looking at the above weaknesses, which books would you recommend I use for targeting each weakness?

Thanks for all your help.
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Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2009, 06:12
IndianGuardian wrote:
Thanks guys for your replies.

@mohater: In Math, I would say I am weakest at Data Sufficiency problems (and sometimes problem solving) which specifically pertain to questions with variables in them. I don't have problems in other concepts. I have started with the MGMAT books and I guess it is to do with my basics. For example, the MGMAT book in chapter 1 talks about the 'Prime Box' and I do have a difficult time understanding the way they are using it to solve problems. An example problem which I would have difficult solving would be:

"Given that 8 is not a factor of g, is 8 a factor of 8g?"


That would likely be an approach issue. The MGMAT method is breaking the math down to the simplest possible approach for the problem. Some people can look at a problem and skip a number of steps. MGMAT has you write everything down and build up.

There is a DS strategy (see strategy link in my sig). The strategy assumes you have adequate problem solving skills.

Your example is pretty straight forward. Whenever you multiple two numbers, the two number are automatically factors, even if one of the factors is prime.

i.e. 2 and 13. 2x13 = 26.
the factors are 1,2,13,26

In your example, 8 times anything automatically has 8 as a factor.
IndianGuardian wrote:
In Verbal, strong at Critical Reasoning, weak at RC and SC. I am hoping the MGMAT SC Guide will correct my SC situation and RC would be what I have to focus on. In RC, I go wrong in RC Specific or RC General questions (like inference, theme of passage etc). If the RC questions are reasoning questions, I don't get those wrong (example, which statement would the author agree with most, what would strengthen, weaken author's viewpoint etc).

Looking at the above weaknesses, which books would you recommend I use for targeting each weakness?

Thanks for all your help.


MGMAT SC is probably the most recommended verbal book on this site. If you have a strong foundation in proper written English, you shouldn't need too much help. We have the GMAT fiction thread with a list of recommended readings:
books-to-read-improve-verbal-score-and-enjoy-a-good-read-76079.html

Some people have used LSAT books to prep for CR and RC. The MGMAT book for RC teaches you to take notes as your write, and then use a form of shorthand to assess the answer (i.e. use a + if the answer supports the author's main point and a - if the answer goes against it).

Best of luck,
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Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice). [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2009, 21:14
Thanks mohater :) Will update with how my GMAT went once it's done.
Re: Retaking the GMAT in 5 weeks (need some prep advice).   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2009, 21:14
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