Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe : Share GMAT Experience
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# Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe

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CEO
Joined: 29 Mar 2007
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Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe [#permalink]

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15 Feb 2008, 23:08
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Here is what I suggest for anyone who is serious about the GMAT:

First if your like I was 6mo ago then its going to take ALOT of hard work. I was terrible at both math, reading, and grammer. I scored a 1080 on the SATs. I just never really tried at much until my last few years of college. I did well, but I still had to really work at it b/c my ability to read+comprehend was slow.

I must say anyone who is serious will be plesently suprised by the increased analytical and quantitative skills one will gain from this test. Yes, you will actually become smarter. (In my opinion).

Don't get discouraged by the people who post 720+ scores with only studying a month to a week. These people are already at a level that is much above the average joe. You must do a reality check and gauge where you are really at. I think Im a pretty good example of just how hard it is to go from a 600+ to even just a 650+. to go from a 400-550 is not very hard. Just need to know basics from 550-630 its about twice the effort. This trend just increases as you increase the score.

One thing I want to point out here as well. A read in a lot of posts about how people are so discouraged to see everyone getting 700+'s on this forum. Again, 99.999999% of these people who score high deserve it. However realize this. How many people here do you think actually report their 500's or low 600's etc... Probably not very many. Other than a few brave who want some feedback, I just don't that a lot people would post their low scores.

I liked to think of this test as jiujitsu/boxing. You really can't expect to be a golden gloves champ or a purple belt in 6months... I mean i guess its possible, but youd have to be some amazing prodigy to do this. This really helped me realize that I knew I couldn't just do some studying here and there to get to a decent level. You gotta do the work and more importantly you gotta do the RIGHT work the right way. Sure you can train boxing all day, but if you don't have someone to show you how to do it right, then all that time is just a waste. Maybe not the best analogy, but it worked for me.

Material:
All MGMAT materials. A lot of ppl dont like the CR and RC's. These helped me out in the begining. But honestly I stopped doing the diagramming, but only after I really got comfortable with reading. When I finally did stop diagramming, I was able to finish the verbal with about 10min+.
OG- Use this for your base w/ the MGMAT books. I suggest you save the diagnostic questions for later use.
OG-Green and Purple

Now once you have a good base and you start to understand the concepts I recommend you take your first CAT. Id suggest a PR or even a MGMAT (although this one is brutal for math), but do NOT waste a GMATPrep here.

Now move on to the PowerScore CR bible for more advanced CR.
Depending on your quant skills now, I reccomend the challenges. If your still rusty, review the OG's and use some paper tests to get the basic math down. (the math here is very easy, but the concepts are identical with those on the real GMAT.)

Now were getting somewhere: start taking a few more MGMAT CATs or PR's. When you start to score decently here we are now ready for the GMATPreps.

It is very important that you NEVER solve anything on GMATClub that has a GMATprep problem. You want your score to be as accurate as possible. Otherwise your just robbing yourself of your true score.

After your first test assess your weaknesses. Here is where I reccomend you work on the Verbal paper tests. These are very good. Despite my slighty above par verbal for my past test, I def improved my verbal b/c of these tests. I could do CR's in a min half or less. SC's 1 min max and RC's where a breeze to read through. U may see some repeats here though.

Note Never take the Paper's as anything but practice. Actual scores are so different than the real GMAT. Also do not skip problems, just mark it and move on. You cant skip on the real deal.

Now assess your skills here. How are you at this point? Id reccommend you review your error log. Then get ready for GPrep 2.

Review the probs after the test and have the real test within a couple of weeks of your last GmatPrep.

Last week your going to do some winding down. Just review your error log. Make sure you know the formulas 100%. Other than that, your not going to learn anything new in 1 week.

Again good luck to you new GMATTER's. I will still be available to answer questions.

Also anyone in NYC that is willing to meet me in Midtown or soon to be long island city (only 1 stop or 3min from grand central) I will be more than happy to help you out w/ the GMAT.
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Joined: 28 Dec 2005
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Re: Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2008, 06:48
Great stuff, GMATBLACKBELT.

By the way, I never did congratulate you on your most recent score ... so congratulations ! I think I echo the sentiments of others here when I say that you will be missed. I always looked forward to your posts, as you and i seem to solve many of the math problems the same way. And, if I couldnt get it, I knew youd get it somehow and, more importantly, explain it well.

Good luck in the big city with the new job ! Hope you'll still continue to visit us here every now and then
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Re: Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe [#permalink]

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16 Feb 2008, 10:04
Great post black belt.

You are right. I too noticed increased analytical abilities by studying for this test. I used to be terrible at arguments and would frequently lose in arguments with women. Now, they don't stand a chance

There is no short way to get a high score on the GMAT. You are right, you have to put in a lot of work. The ones that write it after studying for a week or two do one of two things: they either lie about how much time they really spent studying or they gained these skills through previous practise and experience, such as their job or university education.

Here is my recommendation. Buy 1-2 high school applied grammar books and do them inside out. Buy the Official Guide from GMAC and memorize everything that is in the GMAT Bible. Then do a GMATPrep to gauge where you are and review your incorrect answers, and learn any concepts you are rusty with.

Also two things you should do. In the Quantitative section, you should get used to key words. For example, if you read a question and see 'average' or 'median', then you should immediately prime your brain to think with averages and average formulas. Try to consciously force yourself to do this, and after a while it will become normal.

Then, whenever you read a question, you should immediately formulate it in terms of various equations. Do NOT try to think about it in your head-- draw pictures, write equations and so forth. This will help minimize errors.

Another thing is read every question at least 2 times.

Then finally, once you have an answer, quickly redo it to make sure you didn't make any mistakes.

This all might take a while to master, but once you become proficient at it, it'll be second nature.

So, when you see a quant question, you should read the question two or three times, then immediately formulate it. Figure out what the question is asking for. Watch out for the traps. Then solve the question, and recheck it. Then move to the next question.

Once you perfect this method and have done a few thousand math questions, you'll be in 50-51Q territory.
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Re: Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2008, 05:12
Hey good to hear that you are thru..... Congratulations :-D Cheers!
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Re: Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe [#permalink]

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17 Feb 2008, 10:07
Thank you so much GMATBlackBelt - that's some really good advice. You and Startup Addict are right about the level that one is at. Some people have a good quantitative background and some have a good verbal background and some have both. I always knew that it was a matter of working hard enough to pull oneself up to a level where they can score well. For me the harder part has been staying disciplined since I work full time. You did very good on the GMAT - you came close to 700. I wish you all the best in your new job. You have been a very positive voice in this forum.
Re: Study Suggestions for the Avg. Joe   [#permalink] 17 Feb 2008, 10:07
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