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The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support!

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The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2012, 08:03
Hello everyone,

I already started my preparation on November 15, 2011. But I would say that it wasn’t that successful due to a lot of stoppages (exams, family situations, etc.), procrastination, bad selection of study materials (Princeton Review 2012th edition), and an unrealistic plan (I thought I would be able to study for the GMAT in less than 30 days though I have never taken a standardized test in my whole life!) I ended up delaying my planned test day several times. Soon I realized that with the way things are going on, I won’t be able to take the GMAT ever. So I thought about changing the way I think towards the GMAT. And one of the ideas was to make use of this wonderful forum. I told myself why not to share my preparation journey with you so that you can encourage and motivate me, help me overcome procrastination, and give me some valuable advice about the plan, methods of studying, etc. :)

Some background information: I’m 22 years old, non native speaker of English. My goal is to pursue a PhD in MIS in the States or Canada. Based on that, my GMAT targeted score is 650+. Higher is better though I prefer to be realistic, scoring over 700 would be a hard task for me!

Planned Test day: This week I decided on a test day in an attempt to avoid additional procrastination. I’m planning to take the GMAT on November 8, 2012. So I have slightly less than 70 days.

What I have achieved until now:
(November 15, 2011 till December 25, 2011) I used the OG12 and The Princeton ReviewCracking the GMAT” 2012th edition. I finished the Qaunt section but didn’t practice much from the OG12. I did questions 1-147 of the PS! No DS! And my accuracy was catastrophic not mentioning that I was solving blindly!

(March 21, 2012 till May 7, 2012) I decided that I shouldn’t waste the OG12 questions before having a good grasp of the basic concepts. My plan was to start with the “theory”, take a practice test, and then work on my weak areas through practicing from the OG. So I started by revising the Quant part of the Princeton Review and solved the 4 Qaunt bins at the end of the book then moved to the Verbal section, did the practice questions that come with the GMAT PREP software. I was eager to know where I was standing so I took the OG diagnostic test (scored almost average on all sections) but I needed a more accurate result to gauge my actual level so I took the GMATPREP 1 and ended up getting 480 (32Q, 25V) I was disappointed as I was expecting something around 550!

At this point I noticed that the method I followed was wrong and that the Princeton Review isn’t going to guide me towards my desired 650+ score. This was a fact that I knew but always ignored. So I decided to buy the MGMAT study guides (fifth edition) in addition to the OG13 as I needed it to study for a new section this time, the IR!


(May 20, 2012 till July 5, 2012) I started focusing on the Quant, the first thing I noticed is how important was to practice from the OG concentrating on one topic at once and not solving randomly. I studied everyday but a lot of things happened starting from July 5 and till September 1 that prohibited me from studying at the same pace! There was a time that I didn’t study for 2 continuous weeks!

But in general here is what I have accomplished until this time from the MGMAT:
1. Guide 1 - Fractions, Decimals, & Percents: All except chapter 7 (Extra FDPs) including related OG13 Q
2. Guide 2 - Algebra: All (except Extas – 3 chapters) including related OG13 Q
3. Guide 3 - Word Problems: did chapter 1 (Algebraic Translations) with the related OG13 Q
4. Guide 5 - Number Properties: did chapters 1 & 2 (Divisibility & Primes + Odds, Evens, Positives, & Negatives) with the related OG13 Q
5. Guide 6 – Critical Reasoning: did first 3 chapters
6. Guide 7 – Reading Comprehension: did first 3 chapters

Plan: What I’m planning to do is the following:
1. Start with the RC (4 days)
2. Move to the SC (8 days)
3. Back to CR (8 days)
4. Quant (20 days) I strongly believe it’s my strength
5. I’m planning to take a test every week, I have access to 6 MGMAT CATs and the 2 GMATPREP CATs
6. I’m a perfectionist guy, this is the reason I was spending a lot of time on each chapter and on each exercise! YOU should help me make sure that I get rid of that upon my journey :D


Looking forwards to hearing your opinions and ideas ;)
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Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2012, 06:40
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hi Mochad,

If your Quant is your strong point, you can probably get away with 15 (instead of 20) dedicated days to Quant. Might make sense to distribute a little more to the verbal side if that's your bottleneck.

http://www.gmatpill.com/gmat-practice-t ... study-plan


Be careful about being too much of a perfectionist on the GMAT. Getting stuck on one question and not moving onto the next until you figure it out can ultimately hurt you with a severe penalty (see this article on perfectionists and the GMAT).

Also, keep in mind that quality, focused attention to GMAT without distractions in a short amount of time (30) days is better than unfocused preparation with multiple distractions over several months or even years.

So stay focused as best you can.
_________________


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Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2012, 11:42
Thanks gmatpill :)
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Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2012, 11:50
Achievements in these two days:

Thursday September 6: Wasn't satisfied with what I did! Watched 40 mins of "Reading Comprehension: Long Passages & Main Idea Questions" from "Thursday with Ron"! That guy is really awesome ;)

Friday September 7: Could have done better! Continued the video as it was more than 1:40:00 And took a lot of notes - believe it or not, 4.5 pages - then read chapter 3 in the Reading Comprehension Guide (Short Passages -MGMAT)
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Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2012, 11:49
What I did today (Day 3):
1- Watched "Reading Comprehension: Short Passages & Miscellaneous Question Types" from Thursday with Ron (1:38:12 :P) Took a lot of notes as usual (4 pages :-D)
2- Finished chapter 4 (Long Passages) in the Reading Comprehension Guide (MGMAT)

Felt I could do better today! Back to the plan, tomorrow should be the last day allocated for Reading Comprehension! Though I'm planning to extend this period 5 additional days (total of 9 days). Planning to study as following:
1- Day 4: Thursday with Ron "Reading Comprehension: A Trick for Finding the Main Idea" + Ch 6 (Question Analysis - MGMAT)
2- Day 5: Thursday with Ron "Reading Comprehension: Inference & Suggestion Questions" + Ch 7 (Passages & Problem Sets)
3- Day 6: Thursday with Ron "Reading Comprehension: More on inference & suggestion questions" + Start with OG13
4- Day 7: OG
5- Day 8: OG
6- Day 9: OG

N.B. still not sure about how much will I spent on each question when starting to solve in the OG
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Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2012, 00:28
Sunday September 9 (Day 4):
1- Thursday with Ron “Reading Comprehension: A Trick for Finding the Main Idea” (1 hr)
2- Read MGMAT chapter 5 (the seven strategies)

Monday September 10 (Day 5):
1- Thursday with Ron “Reading Comprehension: Inference & Suggestion Questions” (1 hr)
2- Thursday with Ron “Reading Comprehension: More on inference & suggestion questions” (1 hr 30 min)
3- Summarized the points I’ve learnt till now regarding RC
4- Created a list of vocabulary that I didn’t know as I noticed such deficiency affected my understanding a lot

Tuesday September 11 (Day 6): Not satisfied!!!
1. MGMAT chapter 6 (Question Analysis)
2. MGMAT chapter 7 (Passages & Problem Sets) did 2/7 passages only

Wednesday September 12 (Day 7): Not satisfied!!! Again :P
1. Completed MGMAT chapter 7 (Passages & Problem Sets) did the remaining 5 passages

Today Thursday September 13 (Day 8): Planning to COMPENSATE :D
1. Fast revision of MGMAT chapter 7 (Passages & Problem Sets)
2. Start with the OG. Goal: solve first 50 Q (approx) though I think I can solve more than that :-D
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Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support! [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2012, 22:19
Thursday September 13 (Day 7): Definitely unacceptable!!!
1. MGMAT chapter 7 (Passages & Problem Sets): Revision
2. OG13: 10 Questions only! That’s embarrassing! I thought you said you can solve more than 50 :P

Friday September 14 (Day 8): Could have done better. Maybe 50 instead of 30
1. OG13: Questions 11-41. I'm not sure if that is normal, but it took me almost 3-3.5 hours to solve them! Am I slower than usual? Regarding answering, I don't think so! It took me 5 mins to read the passage on page 382 - Q37: 79 sec - Q38: 54 sec - Q39: 40 sec - Q40: 82 sec (only one wrong) - Q41: 73 sec. As for the correction! Yes it's taking me a lot of time, rereading the passage, trying to answer the question again, go thoroughly through the explanation, compare between answer choice especially those that confused me.

I'm solving in the OG in chunks of 3 (3 passages at once) should I increase them to 5?

I noticed additional thing, vocabulary is giving me a hard time! Now if the context was clear, then no problem at all even if I didn't know the exact meaning! But if the context wasn't clear!!!!!!!! Any thoughts?

Thoughts & Plans: My estimation for the time needed to cover the RC materials was almost accurate. But I wasted a lot of time! That must be dealt with! I’m aware now that sticking to the previous plan is impossible! Meaning that I won’t be ready by November 8! But I’m going to pretend that this is not true! Keeping psychological stress!

I still need 3 days for the RC (finishing OG) but I’m going to move to another section, SC! I’m excited to start!

I’m going to do my best finishing chapters 1,2, and 3 and solve the related OG questions.
Re: The Critical Stage of My GMAT Journey. Need Your Support!   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2012, 22:19
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