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What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT?

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What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT? [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 07:45
Hello guys,

I will begin this post by saying rather famous and worn-out phrase " I wish I knew about GMATclub forum long time ago". I never imagined that Internet forum could be so useful and helpful, but in a short period of time, I concluded that this forum is more valuable than all books gathered together. Here is my story.

I come from Eastern Europe, and although a non-native speaker, I have been studying in the UK for the past four years. Uni went pretty smoothly, graduating with a GPA above 3.6 (major in business, concentration in finance). Until recently, I thought that I am not gonna pursue a master degree (wanted to work and wait for a decent chance to go for a MBA), but in the last moment things drastically changed in my life, and due to complications with visa, I had to continue education on a higher level immediately in order to stay in the UK. In other words, in February this year, I started looking for top master programs in finance, and soon I realized that all of them require GMAT.

To make a long story short, I had my GMAT exam booked for 12 of April, and I started studying for it on 20th of March, so less than 20 days. This is how I tried to do it:

-I bought following books: OG 2012, Cracking the GMAT (The Princeton Review), Kaplan Math Workbook and Kaplan 800
- I studied every day minimum 6 hours, going through all the books, just doing questions without keeping track of time and without error log
- I did two GMATprep tests approximately 10 days before the exam and scored 580 and 620
- One week before the exam I found out about the gmatclub forum, and begun to realize how poor and disorganized my strategy was, and I how much time other people devote to this exam. At this point I knew I was screwed ((
- During that last week I was just doing only various questions from the forum, since all the questions from the books I already knew by heart

It is not hard to understand that my score on the actual GMAT was catastrophic: 540 (q37 v27). To be honest, I didn't expect any better, but anyway, disappointment was obvious. During the exam I had issues with time management, especially with Verbal section, where in most of the questions I just guessed at the end, because I thought I spent too much time already on them. Not to mention quantitative part, where most of DS questions I guessed as well.


It is obvious that I tried impossible, I guess the fact that I went to a mathematical gymnasium and that I scored 110 on my TOEFL exam couple of years ago, made me "confident". If you ask me, I definitely have problems with math, since I was never able to do hard questions on the forum in the allowed time or without looking to a solution. On the other hand, I dealt with verbal section quite easily, and was able to do most of the questions (700+ level) on my own. The thing is that it always took me a lot of time to do it.

So here is where I would like to hear your opinion guys?
What should be make next move? How to prepare it better?
Should I go for a GMAt prep course? ( The thing is that I feel that such courses would go through basic stuff, which I already covered, would that be necessary)

I am planning to take a new test on 23 of May, I am realistic and therefore I aim for 650 "only". I would really appreciate if some of you great guys here would share your thoughts, since I realized that this is the only place where I can get an meaningful advice. Thanks in advice guys


P.S. I apologize if my message was posted in the wrong section.
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Re: What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT? [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 09:12
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Because you can study intensively over one month, I think that you can achieve 650.

Books: You should buy MGMAT series (8 books) ,CR Bible ,verbal and quant review. No doubt that they will help you a lot.

Quant: Review basic theories - From MGMAT and our forum's quant section
Solve problems in quant review and our forum's quant section

Verbal:
SC : SC is pattern. You must read MGMAT SC carefully , it will tell you almost everything you need to know about SC and do the exercises in the end of each chapters. If you can not do some problems, return to review theory which underlies the problems.
CR: Read the CR Bible... It is well-structured and give you the types of the questions you will face on the test day.
RC: I have only one recommendation... Read a lot everyday. New York times, Economists,... They and GMAT's RC have the same context.

Accuracy First, Timing Later. The more you do, the more you will be accustomed to the pattern of solving problems, leading to higher speed.
Hope it helps.
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Re: What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT? [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 16:38
Thanks Hellscream for your reply. As I understood, I should definitely buy MGMAT series (8 books) and CR bible, these are "must have" if I want to improve my score, am I right?

Although your Verbal advice is very clear, I still don't know what to do for quantitative section, since I begun to realize that I have serious issues with it. What I mean is that, although all the math chapters are pretty clear to me ( always knew them, especially now), almost all the questions on the 700+ level require me to look at the solutions, in the sense that I have to see an approach how to solve it. What does this mean, do I just have to continue indefinitely practicing until I get most of the possible concepts or is there something else?


P.S. If you, or some of other members with more knowledge about it could me advice on prep course. I have been doing a research, and there are courses that can be done within one month ( private tutoring, class, or online) with all three major course providers: Kaplan, Manhattan and Veritas. Which one should be most applicable to my situation, and do I need one at all?

Many thanks!
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Re: What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT? [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 17:11
jssboy wrote:
Thanks Hellscream for your reply. As I understood, I should definitely buy MGMAT series (8 books) and CR bible, these are "must have" if I want to improve my score, am I right?


MGMAT 8 and CR Bible no doubt will help you a lot. They did help me and (almost) many others in our forum.

jssboy wrote:
Although your Verbal advice is very clear, I still don't know what to do for quantitative section, since I begun to realize that I have serious issues with it. What I mean is that, although all the math chapters are pretty clear to me ( always knew them, especially now), almost all the questions on the 700+ level require me to look at the solutions, in the sense that I have to see an approach how to solve it. What does this mean, do I just have to continue indefinitely practicing until I get most of the possible concepts or is there something else?


indefinitely practicing.... It is suicide... First, review theory using our forum's resources :http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-quantitative-section-7/ (+MGMAT) and do OG problems. You MUST understand each OG's quant and solve it easily. If you get wrong (due to knowledge), try again to solve the problems. If you are still wrong , read the explanation carefully and search for explanation to see whether there are other ways to crack them . Take note which sections are your strengths and which one are your weaknesses. Review theory on your weaknesses.

THen, trying to solve MGMAT's CAT quant section. It is harder than that the real test , giving you great chance to find mistakes, weakness and hone your quant skills.

If you need more challenge, the challenge is just in front of you :)....The hardest quant problems available are in our forum...

jssboy wrote:
P.S. If you, or some of other members with more knowledge about it could me advice on prep course. I have been doing a research, and there are courses that can be done within one month ( private tutoring, class, or online) with all three major course providers: Kaplan, Manhattan and Veritas. Which one should be most applicable to my situation, and do I need one at all?

Many thanks!


I do not use any tutor service; hence I give no comment. However, I find that this link may be of some help for you: http://gmatclub.com/reviews/?fl=sign

Hope it helps.
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Re: What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT? [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 17:51
Are you keeping an error log?
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Re: What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT? [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 03:04
I didn't use any error log tool while preparing for the previous test, but tomorrow I am starting all over again, and I will definitely be keeping an error log.
Re: What should my next step by after the first disastrous GMAT?   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2012, 03:04
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