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time needed to prepare

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time needed to prepare [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2006, 18:14
Hi! I'm planning to go to Columbia Business School. I'm just not sure if I should apply next year or year 2008. From experience, how long does the whole preparation take?Assuming I'm starting this August from scratch (haven't reviewed for gmat yet)
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2006, 20:41
It takes a good 3 months to adequately prepare for the GMAT. You have enough time for Columbia. And, if you don't get in this year, then apply Early Decision next year. You can't rush the GMAT though. Take the full 3 months to prepare and don't rush it.
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Re: time needed to prepare [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2006, 08:00
redbeanaddict wrote:
Hi! I'm planning to go to Columbia Business School. I'm just not sure if I should apply next year or year 2008. From experience, how long does the whole preparation take?Assuming I'm starting this August from scratch (haven't reviewed for gmat yet)


The average amount of time seems to be between 2 and 4 months. Some take longer. Depends on the score you want to get to, and where you start. Going from 650 without studying to 680 is one thing, going from 550 to 730 is another. (I went from 600 to 730 in 4 months)

Also expect a good solid month to finish your applications properly.
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hrs per week [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2006, 17:17
thanks. Anyway, how many hours per week should my target be if i go for 4 months?
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Re: hrs per week [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2006, 07:18
redbeanaddict wrote:
thanks. Anyway, how many hours per week should my target be if i go for 4 months?


Again, depends on how much you need to study. I studied roughly 1 - 2 hours a day and 6 or 7 hours on weekends for about 2 months, then I studied 1 hour a day and 8 hours on saturday and 8 hours on sunday for about 6 weeks.

On average, I'd say most people put in between 10 and 20 hours a week -- but I know people who put in more.

More importantly that just "raw time" is coming up with a schedule you can stick to realistically. Better to do 1 hour a day every day than 7 hours on sunday. Don't try to do too much too fast or it wont sink in.

I'd say start with a smaller goal and increase it as you see fit - Say 30 minutes a day, then if that doesn't wear you out too much, bump it to 1 hour, then try and add a bit more for weekends... Slowly increase rather than decrease from a high point.... That is, I often see people come in here with insane plans "I'm going to study 4 hours a day 5 days a week and 12 hours saturday and sunday." -- You will burn out too fast... Start small, then move up.

As a guage, from what I've seen, most people who aim for 700's study between 100 and 200 hours. Some much less, some much more.

Determine your target schools, and your target GMAT score. Be realistic. Take a practice exam, with the essays, see how you do. This will be your best guage as to how much time you need. If you are scoring 400 and want 700 -- you will probably need more than 200 hours. If you are scoring 680 and want 710, 50 hours might be enough. For comparisons sake, I went from low 600's to 730 with about 250 hours of study, give or take. A friend went from 640's to 680 with 300 hours of study. Another friend went from 640 to 720 with about 20 hours of study. In other words, it varies a lot....

To summarize:

1. Determine your target score
2. Take a practice exam
3. Revise your target score as appropriate. (My first target was 640, when I scored that on one of my first practice exams, I revised to 680. When I started scoring 710's on my practices, I re-revised to 700+. I ended up with a 730)
4. Come up with a reasonable plan of attack
5. Increase your studies to suit your personal tolerance for pain.
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books [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2006, 16:02
Thanks. I could use all the help I can get. This application process is killing me. Anyway, wch books did you use?
Have been out of college for 3 years, am pretty sure will have to start from scratch.
books   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2006, 16:02
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