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When to take diagnostic test?

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When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 19:17
I started studying for GMAT today with Official Review 13th edition. I have also ordered MGMAT books. The official review book has a diagnostic test in chapter 3. Should I take the test right away or wait until I review all the question types in Quant and Verbal?

Thanks!!
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Re: When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 22:38
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mayurjoshi wrote:
I started studying for GMAT today with Official Review 13th edition. I have also ordered MGMAT books. The official review book has a diagnostic test in chapter 3. Should I take the test right away or wait until I review all the question types in Quant and Verbal?

Thanks!!


Hi Mayur,

I agree with Karishma on taking a diagnostic test. I would suggest that before taking the OG diagnostic test first, you take the first GMATPrep test and determine your Zero level score. Form this you will have a base level to start with. You should then set an intermediate goal for your score. I tell every one that goal setting is vital to one's GMAT preparation. Once you've set your goals, you take the OG diagnostic test to get rough idea about your improvement area. Then study all the concepts and take another test; If you are able to reach your intermediate goal set your final goal and optimize your strategies to achieve it.

MGMAT books are an excellent resource for GMAT. Make sure to do the Official Guide assignments at the back of every chapter. You must have ordered 5th edition, I think in this also topics are divided into two parts - basic and advanced. If you score less 600 or less in your initial GMATPrep test then I suggest that you complete the all the basic chapters first and then do advanced topics along with the OG questions. In my opinion if you are able to do a focused self study with the existing resources (OG13, MGMAT Books/ online resources, GMATClub resources, Verbal Review, Quant Review, GMATPrep tests) they are sufficient.

Also see the below posts which contain responses to related queries.

strategies-for-speeding-up-question-solving-146838.html#p1180946

suggestions-to-crack-the-gmat-146926.html#p1179705

All the best,

Vercules
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Re: When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2013, 19:28
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mayurjoshi wrote:
I started studying for GMAT today with Official Review 13th edition. I have also ordered MGMAT books. The official review book has a diagnostic test in chapter 3. Should I take the test right away or wait until I review all the question types in Quant and Verbal?

Thanks!!


Take the diagnostic right away.
If you score well, you can stick to OG questions and get a couple of specific subject books later if need be.
If you score well in some sections and not so in others, get the specific subject books of those sections in which you did not score well and go through them before trying out the OG questions.
If you do not score well, get the entire package of books of a test prep company, go through it thoroughly and work on the OG questions later.
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Re: When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 23:47
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VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
mayurjoshi wrote:
Thanks Vercules, for the suggestions. Would it not be a waste of GMAT Prep test (we got only 2 original from GMAC) to use it so early in the preparation? When I take the diagnostic test should I focus on gettings the answers correct and not worry much about total time for each section but record the time taken to answer each question?


Yes, in my opinion, you should not take the GMAT prep test just yet. Take it after one complete round of prep material. You will know the question types well and you will get good guidance on your strengths and weaknesses from the test taken at that time.
And yes, the diagnostic can be pretty much un-timed but don't sit on a question for 10 mins. No time-recording needed. You are trying to figure out how conceptually strong you are and nothing else.


I do not disagree with you completely. GMATPrep is without any doubt one of the most important resources. Both of the ways to kick start the preparation would be good, still I would prefer taking the GMATPrep test first and no, it will not be a waste of resource. The reason is that for GMAT everyone one has his/ her goals in mind. For most of us it 20 - 30 points higher than the average score for the B-School. Again for many of us it comes out to be around 700. Philosophically, to go somewhere you must be aware of where you are at present. I think the same way for GMAT, if you want to score 720 then it will be good to know where are you at present. Are you starting at 550 or 600 or 700. We should not neglect the fact that we are dealing with a computer adaptive test, and it takes some time to get used to this way of test taking. Why not taste the real thing initially.

Moreover, GMATPrep is a lot more than just 2 computer adaptive tests. Each GMAT prep test does not contain only 41 Quant and 37 verbal questions, it contains a lot more questions of varying difficulty levels. I did each test at least 5 times, just to make sure that I see all the questions present in the tests. Though the scores will be inflated after second attempt; I never scored 750 even in the third attempt of GMATPrep test. Anyway you will have to spend considerable amount of time on these tests, so taking one initially would not be such a waste of an important resource.

I'll share my experience. In my three months of focused study, I took the first GMATPrep initially and scored 590 and set an intermediate goal of 650 then thoroughly studied the study material that I have. Mid way of my prep I took other tests (MGMAT) and crossed the 650 barrier and set another target of 710. In the last two weeks I did only I did only GMATPrep tests and other official questions. In fact, last week I did only GMATPrep tests and I was amazed to see different questions that I got incorrect every time I took the test. For the repeat tests also it took me 5 hours to analyze and study the questions that I got incorrect. Tow days before my actual test, on fourth repeat of GMATPrep test, I scored 730 and in the actual one 750.

Mayur, in the end these are just opinions, its your call after all. You should choose a plan or strategy in which you feel most comfortable. Either way, if you are consistent and focused in your preparation you will achieve your target score.

FYI
I and Bunuel have done thorough testing and analysis of GMATPrep software, it would give you more insights about the algorithm. Check them out

gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenarios-146146.html

gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenario-ir-147106.html#p1181172

All the best,

Vercules
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Re: When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 08:36
Vercules wrote:
mayurjoshi wrote:
I started studying for GMAT today with Official Review 13th edition. I have also ordered MGMAT books. The official review book has a diagnostic test in chapter 3. Should I take the test right away or wait until I review all the question types in Quant and Verbal?

Thanks!!


Hi Mayur,

I agree with Karishma on taking a diagnostic test. I would suggest that before taking the OG diagnostic test first, you take the first GMATPrep test and determine your Zero level score. Vercules


Thanks Vercules, for the suggestions. Would it not be a waste of GMAT Prep test (we got only 2 original from GMAC) to use it so early in the preparation? When I take the diagnostic test should I focus on gettings the answers correct and not worry much about total time for each section but record the time taken to answer each question?
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Re: When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2013, 19:20
Expert's post
mayurjoshi wrote:
Thanks Vercules, for the suggestions. Would it not be a waste of GMAT Prep test (we got only 2 original from GMAC) to use it so early in the preparation? When I take the diagnostic test should I focus on gettings the answers correct and not worry much about total time for each section but record the time taken to answer each question?


Yes, in my opinion, you should not take the GMAT prep test just yet. Take it after one complete round of prep material. You will know the question types well and you will get good guidance on your strengths and weaknesses from the test taken at that time.
And yes, the diagnostic can be pretty much un-timed but don't sit on a question for 10 mins. No time-recording needed. You are trying to figure out how conceptually strong you are and nothing else.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
My Blog

Save $100 on Veritas Prep GMAT Courses And Admissions Consulting
Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews

Expert Post
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 4877
Location: Pune, India
Followers: 1153

Kudos [?]: 5367 [0], given: 165

Re: When to take diagnostic test? [#permalink] New post 14 Feb 2013, 20:56
Expert's post
Vercules wrote:
I do not disagree with you completely. GMATPrep is without any doubt one of the most important resources. Both of the ways to kick start the preparation would be good, still I would prefer taking the GMATPrep test first and no, it will not be a waste of resource. The reason is that for GMAT everyone one has his/ her goals in mind. For most of us it 20 - 30 points higher than the average score for the B-School. Again for many of us it comes out to be around 700. Philosophically, to go somewhere you must be aware of where you are at present. I think the same way for GMAT, if you want to score 720 then it will be good to know where are you at present. Are you starting at 550 or 600 or 700. We should not neglect the fact that we are dealing with a computer adaptive test, and it takes some time to get used to this way of test taking. Why not taste the real thing initially.

Moreover, GMATPrep is a lot more than just 2 computer adaptive tests. Each GMAT prep test does not contain only 41 Quant and 37 verbal questions, it contains a lot more questions of varying difficulty levels. I did each test at least 5 times, just to make sure that I see all the questions present in the tests. Though the scores will be inflated after second attempt; I never scored 750 even in the third attempt of GMATPrep test. Anyway you will have to spend considerable amount of time on these tests, so taking one initially would not be such a waste of an important resource.

I'll share my experience. In my three months of focused study, I took the first GMATPrep initially and scored 590 and set an intermediate goal of 650 then thoroughly studied the study material that I have. Mid way of my prep I took other tests (MGMAT) and crossed the 650 barrier and set another target of 710. In the last two weeks I did only I did only GMATPrep tests and other official questions. In fact, last week I did only GMATPrep tests and I was amazed to see different questions that I got incorrect every time I took the test. For the repeat tests also it took me 5 hours to analyze and study the questions that I got incorrect. Tow days before my actual test, on fourth repeat of GMATPrep test, I scored 730 and in the actual one 750.

Mayur, in the end these are just opinions, its your call after all. You should choose a plan or strategy in which you feel most comfortable. Either way, if you are consistent and focused in your preparation you will achieve your target score.

FYI
I and Bunuel have done thorough testing and analysis of GMATPrep software, it would give you more insights about the algorithm. Check them out

gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenarios-146146.html

gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenario-ir-147106.html#p1181172

All the best,

Vercules


I absolutely agree with what you said. In fact, a few months back, I wrote a post on why it is important to take a GMAT prep test as soon as you can.:

http://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2012/08 ... prep-test/

For discussion sake, here is my concern in this particular case:

The original poster, mayurjoshi's question was this: Should I take the test right away or wait until I review all the question types in Quant and Verbal?
My inference from this is that he is not aware of the various question formats in GMAT. In that case, I feel it discourages students to take a full GMAT simulation. As an example, let me tell you about some students I get in my class. We suggest people to take a full length diagnostic before starting the class so that they know exactly where they are. It helps them and us establish appropriate plans for their goals and expectations. Most of them are anyway aware of GMAT question formats. Now, a few students are not aware of the question formats (what DS/CR questions are, for example). They come to the class feeling spent, discouraged and disillusioned because 'they couldn't even understand half the questions'. After one DS/CR class, you can feel the difference in their outlook. They are bright and rearing to go since finally 'they get what DS/CR is all about (and not very hard at all)'. Hence, I advise my students who are new to GMAT to take the first GMAT prep test after one round of prep material so that investing 4 hrs and tons of effort is worthwhile. What is the point of losing it mid-way if you don't know what half the questions are asking. The pattern of the questions is not intuitive to everyone. The diagnostic, on the other hand, is meant to be for people who have thought about GMAT for the very first time. It is quite simple, yet effective.

Anyway, those are my opinions from my experience. They would be different for different people.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
My Blog

Save $100 on Veritas Prep GMAT Courses And Admissions Consulting
Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews

Re: When to take diagnostic test?   [#permalink] 14 Feb 2013, 20:56
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