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Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop

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Ms. Big Fat Panda
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Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 15:00
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Thus begins my official preparation for the GMAT.

Background Information

I am not your usual GMAT candidate. For starters, I'm 19 years old, and I have been toying with the idea of applying to Harvard's 2+2 for a while, and hence joined GMAT Club approximately 3 months ago, I think.

Though I am originally from India, I am bilingual in English and I love math. And I love Venn Diagrams. Just ask Hussain15.

Resources:

1. MGMAT Study Guides
2. The Powerscore On-Demand Course
3. The OG12 and the Official Guide Reviews for Quant and Verbal
4. Veritas Prep Guides

My debrief can be found in my signature.

Last edited by whiplash2411 on 03 Sep 2010, 13:17, edited 2 times in total.
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2010, 10:04
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I've finally charted out my study plan. I'm a bit OCD about some of this stuff, so I have an elaborate plan with backstops in place should my schedule go out-of-hand. I've divided my study time into four blocks.

1. Strategy
2. Familiarity
3. Practice
4. Testing

Attachment:
Strategy.jpg
Strategy.jpg [ 25.75 KiB | Viewed 11707 times ]


Strategy - This would be the initial portion of the process. I plan to go through the concepts, compile the best tactics to tackle each type of problem - PS, DS, CR, RC and SC. Then put these strategies together and make a document that'd be comprehensive and something that I can just print out and use as I please.

Familiarity - I wish to work on problems and questions from MGMAT and Veritas during this period to gain familiarity about the type of questions. This would be untimed and I plan to use an error log starting from this period onwards. This is basically to master the application of the strategy I've learned to actual questions.

Practice - This would be timed and I'll continue using an error log. I plan to use the OG 12 and OG Quant Review/OG Verbal Review for this block. From the errors identified in the previous block, I plan to work on weaknesses more.

Testing - This would be the final portion, taking practice tests. I plan to use GMAT Prep I at the beginning of this process to just gauge how much improvement I've had. Then I plan to take the MGMAT tests, the 800score tests and perhaps the Knewton free one. Then finally it'd be GMAT Prep II in order to get a final assessment. If I get a 750 or more on my GMAT Prep I'll stop preparation and go take the GMAT. If not, I'll go back to block two and three and rework my way through weaknesses.

I plan to allocate 3 months for this. Half a month for strategy and one month for the middle blocks and half a month for test-taking. Goal would be to take the GMAT end of December.

(I know this is a bit freaky, but if I don't plan things compulsively, I just cannot get down to work) :D (Engineering teaches you as much) :D Comments welcome!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2010, 10:12
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Hi Whiplash,

Your strategy looks very thorough and I think you should see great results. For practice, I would also recommend GMAT Club tests. I hear they are great for reaching 51Q. I think you have the potential to reach the coveted 51. To speed up your RC, I would recommend non-fiction books like Harry Potter.

Also, I am very interested in the Veritas book set. When you get a chance, I would appreciate it if you gave your insight on how useful these books are.

Thanks and best wishes,
Dawg
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 26 Aug 2010, 22:26
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Like I mentioned I am bilingual in English partially because I used Wren and Martin as a grammar textbook since when I was in 4th grade or something and we stopped using it before high school (9th grade). I think and speak in English except when I am with my parents (My dad will kill me if I don't speak in Tamil at home - retains the culture, he says).

I wouldn't advise reading it fully as the only thing. It's better to just grasp the important points in it. That book is not an introductory grammar book, it's more of a comprehensive book for everything grammar related.
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 07:58
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hmmm....at 19 my strategy was to run away from books....classes.....and a few years later when i thought i had bid adieu to them for good....they are back :(
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2010, 07:35
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whip, it looks like you're on the right track. Just a few suggestions from a third-party observer to help you out...

1) If you have not done so already, schedule the actual test now. I scheduled mine 2 months ahead of time, which was good since I spent the first month procrastinating. You could fall into lull periods where you don't do any studying for a week or two. But scheduling the test way ahead of time turns up the mental heat and ensures that the goal weighs heavily on your mind 24/7

2) The error log is useful, so make sure you are using it to its maximum benefit. Spend just as much time analyzing it as you do making it. Really figure out where your weakest areas are, and then go back and do a few extra problems from those sections.

3) I cannot stress this one enough: Do not underestimate the value of GMATPrep, and realistic CAT's. The test is going to look and feel exactly like the GMATPrep. You want to have as much experience in an actual test environment (3-4 hours long) as possible. The test is on the computer so your practice should be weighted towards computer-based tests. Take CAT's regularly. Include the breaks. Do the essays each and every time.

4) Finally, don't just be a robot who sticks only to practice at home and on the computer. Be flexible with your routine and if you stumble upon new methods or exercises, do them. You want your prep to be as well rounded as possible. Try to use GMAT concepts in everyday life during your prep. This will cement them into your head. It's nerdy, but it works.

Good luck
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2010, 22:09
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Well, given the past week's terrible turn of events, my hit rate dropped to like an 80% because I consistently screwed up phenomenally. So I decided not to do CR for a while and instead start preparing for SC by listening to the lectures and taking notes. We'll see :)
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2010, 09:34
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Thanks folks. I was looking for dates in the last week of December and 29th was the only one that had a 12pm slot. I didn't want 8am slots because of logistical problems and also because I didn't want to look back on this, should I do bad, and think, "Oh! If only I'd had a later slot" :)

So yeah. Let's see where this battle goes :)

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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2010, 09:34
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Hey, a fellow vegetarian! (Close to my age too! :wink: )

Good luck, it sounds like you are well on your way to a great score!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2010, 15:39
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Update! Just took my first MGMAT test. Really got bored halfway through and wanted to just kill myself, but even after skimming and guessing on a couple of hard ones, I ended up with a Q46, V40 Overall 700! Finished math with 21 minutes to spare and Verbal with 24!

I have heard that the first test is the hardest. But one important thing this test brought to my attention was my short attention span. I need to work on staying focused for the entire length of the exam. The MGMAT Quant section was DEFINITELY harder than the GMAT Prep.

We'll see how this goes!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2010, 12:53
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NICE. Yes, 19. Applying to HBS 2+2 :) I read your debrief. Sweet score. Hopefully, I'll be in the same boat by the time I take the GMAT. Right now I am averaging late 600s-early 700s. I need to start doing some actual studying, lol.
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2010, 20:52
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Hi Whiplash,

I have been following your posts and progress!! Thanks for all the great reviews and write-ups!!

Good luck for the big day!! You are sure to get a great score!!

I am another Southie Indian girl, though much older!!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 03:51
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In that case, let me rephrase:

Four words:

YOU

ARE

A

SMOKE

MONSTER.

Posted from my mobile device Image
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[highlight]Monster collection of Verbal questions (RC, CR, and SC)[/highlight]
massive-collection-of-verbal-questions-sc-rc-and-cr-106195.html#p832142

[highlight]Massive collection of thousands of Data Sufficiency and Problem Solving questions and answers:[/highlight]
1001-ds-questions-file-106193.html#p832133

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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2010, 17:21
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You will be fine! We will keep our fingers crossed for you! As we say in my country before an exam 'merde" ;-)
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2010, 12:32
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ROFL!!!! That's a good one, Pkit!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2010, 17:18
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Thanks for the support, guys. I actually got done with my GMAT at 2:30, but I didn't get a chance to get online. I got a 760, Q50-V44 :) Debrief to follow soon!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 15:13
You have a solid plan and good preparation material. I m sure you will do well on G -Day.
But you really took 3 months to start off your preparation. I m suspicious. Have you consulted any madrasi tantrik lol.

Just kidding. Good luck and keep us updated.

PS: Be wise while selecting your final strategy books. eg. Do not prepare CR from both Mgmat and Powerscore.
I know you might be knowing this but I have a bad habit of advising all even if its not required ,so I cannot resist. :lol:
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 15:20
Haha, no Gurpreet I didn't consult a tantrik. I was just answering questions on the forum on and off because I was on an internship over the summer and then I had to travel to England and I didn't want to start preparing knowing fully that I would have to take a break immediately. So I just held off actual preparation till I started college again and here I am now.

I plan to use Powerscore for CR mainly and use MGMAT for more practice questions. If I feel like I shall benefit from it, I might purchase the CR bible from Powerscore. Thanks for your advice nonetheless, it's always appreciated!
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 15:27
You might be getting powerscore CR bible with powerscore demand course. If not then do purchase its awesome.
Now I have realized that its better to have small but intense Gmat preparation, but if verbal is the issue then we should just read read and read for some months and then shoot for the Gmat Prep. Have you booked the exam?
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Ms. Big Fat Panda
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Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 15:45
I wouldn't say that verbal is an issue. I just want to make sure I leave no stone unturned. :) I have really strong foundations in grammar from studying Wren and Martin for school (GAH). So it's more of a reacquainting process than anything else.

I haven't booked my GMAT date yet. I am waiting for my final exam schedule for this semester before I do that. I'll book it sometime late September.
Re: Shoot for the stars, reach a treetop   [#permalink] 25 Aug 2010, 15:45
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