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The Start of Something New - Journey Through the GMAT

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The Start of Something New - Journey Through the GMAT [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2013, 07:04
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Hello GMATClubers! (Or is it GMATClubbers?)

I wanted to keep a log of my work available online so I can reference it later and hopefully give back something to this community in the future. Normally, I'd keep it in GDocs or something, but I figured I might as well make it public. This post will be updated to reflect any progress or changes, but I will also make new posts with any important information so that people that are following the thread can get notified. If at any point it becomes overwhelming or annoying, please let me know so I can space out the regular posts more. Any suggestions are always welcome!

First, I want to give a shout-out to jumsumtak! He has been very helpful so far and his story is rather inspiring. Please go check out his debrief when you get a chance. (I can't link to it yet since I only recently joined this forum.)

My original plan of approach can be seen in my first thread:
gmatclub . com/forum/best-path-to-take-from-here-145800 . html#p1169319 (you have to remove the spaces before and after the periods)

My revised plan and progress will appear in this thread. To keep the important pieces in a single place, I will reiterate items from my initial post here.

Final score target: 750+ (770 preferred)
Top school choices: Harvard Business School, Stanford University, UPenn Wharton, and MIT Sloan.


Results of first practice test ever (score is likely inflated due to not taking it in one sitting):
GMATPrep v2.0 Practice Exam 1 - 710 (48Q, 38V)
===48Q===
37 questions, 12 incorrect - 8 of which were data sufficiency questions (this was the first time I saw a question of this type)
===38V===
41 questions, 10 incorrect (breakdown below)
--> 6 Sentence Correction (SC)
--> 3 Reading Comprehension (RC)
--> 1 Critical Reasoning (CR)

Progress/Plan:
During my undergraduate years, I decided I wanted to get an MBA from a top school and go into business at some point. I learned that the GMAT was analogous to the SAT for undergrad applications, but beyond that, didn't know too much about it. Since I read you could take it later and still have it count for years down the line, decided to postpone looking into it.
(01/11/2013) Decided to start preparing for the GMAT. Searched for best ways to study and gathered general information. Learned that it was an adaptive exam, which I thought was really cool. Found the GMAT Club on Google and read through some of the posts. Although unsure of some of the jargon (what in the world was SC or RC or 45Q or boldface, etc.), I was inspired and wanted to take a practice test to see what it was all about. In an effort to not let lack of study material slow me down, I ordered a bunch of stuff on Amazon (Daisy Miller by Henry James, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, The Official LSAT SuperPrep, MGMAT pad, etc.)
(01/12/2013) Downloaded GMATPrep from a post here on GMAT Club. Read through all of its instruction and information pages. Started the first practice exam. Wrote out a full outline and partially complete responses for the AWAs. Noted down that I had to learn good strategy for this before attempting it again. Took the Quant section. Was very intrigued by the data sufficiency (DS) questions. Threw me off guard, but also interested me. I have a solid background in math, but I found myself marking tons of the questions for review. Was hoping to see my score for the Quant section when finished, but it wouldn't let me. Had to go to a friend's house, so left the rest of the exam unfinished.

Monday, week of 01/14
(01/14/2013) Took the verbal section of the practice exam. Was surprised at how little advanced vocabulary there was being tested. Was estatic that I could probably improve in this section after learning more about the strategies and doing practice exams. Found out my inflated score was 710 (48Q, 38V). I needed to focus on DS, SC, and RC.
(01/15/2013) Joined GMATClub. Made my first post asking for some tailored advice. Was introduced to a wonderful person who goes by jumsumtak here on GMAT Club. With his help, I was able to devise a plan of action.
(01/16/2013) Went through the first two chapters of MGMAT SC (about 30 pages). Read more posts on GMAT Club, bookmarked some threads.
(01/17/2013) Watched the two and a half hour video from IVY GMAT on youtube . com/watch?v=9NApwEPHyOA (remove spaces). They went through some tougher problems from the support document (1-10 on Quant, then 8 problems on verbal). Content was pretty good, although you'll have to skip around in the video to get rid of the dead air. Got 5/10 quant questions wrong, but the explanations were good. These problems were tricky. I liked that.
(01/18/2013) Created this thread! :) Watched this video titled "Inside the HBS Case Method 2007" youtube . com/watch?v=eA5R41F7d9Q and another video titled "Getting into: Harvard Business School" youtube . com/watch?v=9Y6022aNtnQ
(01/19/2013) Went through chapters 3 + 4 in MGMAT SC (up to page 64). Doing the exercises at the end of each section take a little while, but it's good. I've been highlighting the ones that gave me a bit of trouble. I wanted to see sample questions instead of just exercises where they make you circle or underline items, but it'll do for now.
(01/20/2013) Skipped

Monday, week of 01/20
(01/21/2013) Downloaded multiple apps on my iPhone and started getting into the habit of doing practice problems in my spare time (while being a passenger in a car, while eating breakfast, etc.). The apps I downloaded were: VeritasPrep, GMAT+, IntelliVocab, and MGMAT Flashcards
(01/22/2013) Started going through the Magoosh trial that I signed up for when I joined GMATClub (30 days free). I did the math section (17 free problems). Average pace was 1m 18s. Score was 5 wrong, 12 right. 3 of the ones I got wrong were DS questions. I realized that my problem is jumping to conclusions too quickly. If I know the second one is sufficient, I somehow always fall into the "C" trap of picking both without testing the second one by itself. I'll need to work on this. For one of them, I saw 3100/2 = 1750. All the work up to that point was correct, so silly mistake there. The other one I got wrong was a number theory question where I forgot to account for two additional cases.
-> Went through some of the verbal questions as well. In one of them, the shortest answer replaced the main one, but it used "dislike" instead of "wasn't fond of." I don't exactly agree with this answer choice because there are many things I'm not fond of, yet don't dislike. Oh well.
(01/23/2013) Finished up the Magoosh verbal section. Results: 4 wrong out of 13 total, average pace of 1:08. Incorrect answers: 2 SC, 1 CR, 1 RC. Thinking about upgrading to the full version for $99.
(01/24/2013 - 01/27/2013) Did practice problems on my iPhone apps on occasion. Did e-GMAT's trial. Found it to be awful. The questions were poorly written (poor grammar and construct) and I really couldn't stand it. Might be fine for people with limited English experience, but I could not tolerate the mistakes in the SC diagnostic test. Take it for your self to see. Also, the software glitched up on me multiple times and made me frustrated because I had to retake it. Definitely crossing that off my list to things to sign up for.

Monday, week of 01/28

Overall strategy for my reference:
MGMAT SC strategy
->GMATPrep SC problems
Slingfox Quant Notes
Forum Quant Questions (have to figure out where/how to use this)
->GMAT Pill eBook Quant Section (Ch. 6)
--->MGMAT CAT Test 1
By jumsumtak's suggestion, I should add the problems from gmatclub . com/forum/members/member-73391.html here.
MGMAT Verbal
->GMATPrep CR and RC questions
chineseburned's 6.0 AWA strategy reading
->Review possible essay prompts and try writing answers
IR review from official MBA question pack
--->MGMAT CAT Test 2
(Identify core weaknesses and revise strategy/approach)
Following is tentative at this point...
OG 11 Quant or Verbal
Limited LSAT material (The Official LSAT SuperPrep)
--->MGMAT CAT Test 3
GMAT Pill eBook other sections
--->MGMAT CAT Test 4
(After that, really depends on how much I have to improve... The following may change order.)
OG 13 (not full read)
More LSAT prep
->GMAT Club 700+ quant questions
Specific MGMAT for quant (Fractions? Geometry? We'll know later.)
Slingfox Verbal Notes
--->One more MGMAT CAT Test (5)
Relax...
--->Practice Exam 2 from GMATPrep
-------->REAL EXAM! :)

Hope this helps someone some day...

Last edited by Mentalist on 27 Jan 2013, 12:32, edited 5 times in total.
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Intern
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Joined: 15 Jan 2013
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GPA: 3.94
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Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 4

Re: The Start of Something New - Journey Through the GMAT [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2013, 11:39
Notes... I guess this second post will be a good place to keep some notes.

SC:
Remove prepositional phrases and see if it still makes sense.
"The creation of a robot plane with extraordinary wing structure will be able to fly very fast, very quickly."
What's doing the flying? In this sentence, it's the 'creation'... We need to give the meaning that the robot plane will be able to fly, not the creation.
"When created, the robot plane...will be able to fly..."

"A number of..." is plural whereas "The number of..." is singular.

Wrong: Her products are unusual; many consider THESE unique.
Right: Her products are unusual; many consider THEM unique.

CR:
(From IVY GMAT YouTube video - see above post)
look for OCTAVE
O -> Opinion (personal opinion of author)
C -> Contrast words (but, yet, although, however, despite)
T -> Tone (+/-/neutral)
A -> Avoid extremes, strong words, superlatives (best, worst)
V -> Verify each word before marking in the answer
E -> Eliminate, not select
Intern
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Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 14
GPA: 3.94
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 4

Re: The Start of Something New - Journey Through the GMAT [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2013, 19:38
Based on this Debrief: first-attempt-750-q50-v40-my-self-study-experience-145627.html#p1167937

I should modify my plan to include
Aristotle SC Grail ($25), Aristotle New SC Questionbank ($10), and http://gmat.veritasprep.com/
http://www.aristotleprep.com/products/# ... id=8709089

Also need to add these to my list:
Topicwise CR and Topicwise SC
Re: The Start of Something New - Journey Through the GMAT   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2013, 19:38
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